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Primer question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by frayluisfan, Dec 1, 2006.

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  1. frayluisfan

    frayluisfan Member

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    Question about primers. With a Glock 20, I've had several rounds from the last batch of reloads that didn't fire. The dimple on the primer was very light. Most times, they fired on a second try (sometimes took three tries). Those that fired on a 2nd or 3rd try then seemed to have a normal-looking primer indentation after they finally fired. I've had no trouble at all with factory ammo. Any thoughts?

    Many thanks!

    frayluisfan

    PS--The above were with 3rd-time brass, but this brass has definitely not been loaded anywhere close to red line, so it oughta still be fine, I would think.
     
  2. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Might be that the primer was not seated all the way. The first strike used some of the energy to move the primer forward, thus the light strike. Just a theory.

    Check the batch for high primers.
     
  3. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Take the barrel out of your gun and drop one of the rounds in. Make sure it slides all the way in. Tip the barrel up and make sure it slides back out on it's own. It sounds to me like they aren't going all the way in and you are getting soft strikes. I have heard of people having trouble with Glock brass because they will bulge at the bottom more than most other guns and your sizer die won't size down that far.
    Rusty
     
  4. frayluisfan

    frayluisfan Member

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    Dear Ilbob and Rusty,

    I checked what you suggested, and it looks to me like the primers are seated to a depth that is very comparable with factory loads.

    Also, checked a bunch of my reloads by dropping them into the barrel, and only one presented any sort of trouble. It was a bit difficult, but others were fine.

    Hmm....

    Thanks a lot for your thoughts. Any other suggestions?
     
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Primers should be seated about .004" below flush with the base of the case. After you've done this awhile, you'll be able to feel when they're right. If the primers are seated all the way, then I would suggest changing to another brand of primer.

    Here is a list of primers from hardest to softest:

    CCI
    Winchester
    Remington
    Federal

    If you're using CCI primers now, then see if you can find Remington or Federal. If the gun misfires with properly seated Federal primers, then have the gun looked at by a gunsmith.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  6. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Primers have to be seated to the bottom of the pocket firmly to sensitize them. With a hand primer you can feel it with a progressive you have to rely on the settings. Either way if you want the round to fire reliably its better to set the prime in hard and mash it flat than it is to not set it all the way to the bottom of the pocket. What happens when you don't set full into the bottom of the pocket is the first firing pin drives the primer forward, often to the bottom of the pocket so the next firing pin strike will usually set it off. Measuring depth of the primer is a waste of time and tells you nothing as primer pockets usually are not uniform unless you have used a primer pocket uniformer to ensure they are.
     
  7. Deavis

    Deavis Member

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    I had the exact same problem with my HK USP 40 years ago. Part of the problem was the gun and the other part was the loading. My gun, which I bought used, had a lighter hammer spring in it. HK replaced the hammer spring and the firing pin spring and I've never had a problem since. However, during the debacle, I noticed that sometimes I would not completely seat the primer in the case and could duplicate the behaivor with that specific gun when I did a just barely flush setting. Further, switching to Federal primers completely removed the problem (with the lighter spring).

    My advice, make sure you are setting the primers fully (slightly below flush) when you reload. You can feel it and you won't set them off by being "tough" unless you are really jamming them home. If it is only your Glock that won't spark them then, check the striker mechanism (especially if another gun will fire them). My HK wouldn't always fire them the first pull but my father's Sig always did no matter what. Good luck!
     
  8. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Bet you are using CCI primers. I had the same problem with my Glock 21. Switched to Winchester and no more problems. Also had the same problem with my tuned S&W 60 and have completely stopped using CCI pistol primers.:cuss:
     
  9. frayluisfan

    frayluisfan Member

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    I've been using Winchester primers. Haven't had any problems until now.

    Thanks for the tip on seating though. Next batch, I will make sure I seat them firmly. (I have a vague memory of seating this batch of primers with less authority...)

    Do primer pockets ever expand from use, to the point where primers may not be held as snugly in place? Can primers ever be seated too deeply because of the primer pocket expanding a bit?

    Thanks again to all.
     
  10. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Primer pockets can get loose to the point they won't hold the primer in very tightly. This can occur after many loading with good brass or from just one reloading with poor quality or soft brass.

    One of the reasons everyone doesn't recommend American brand brass for reloading and I've found the same with a few loading of Norinco Chinese brass.

    The primer pockets expand in diameter due to the wearing away from inserting and pushing out primers. Never had one get any deeper.

    Federal primers seem to be a bit larger than the other brands and I've switched to Federals for batches of brass that wasn't holding Winchester, or CCI primers as tightly as I liked. If you do use Federals several times from the start the primer pockets seem to be noticeably looser if you switch to other brands.
     
  11. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I use CCI mag primers with 800X on 10MM nuclear loads out of my G20 and haven't had a light primer strike yet. Also, I use Winchester primers in my 180gr target loads over Blue Dot and haven't had any light strikes either.

    Is your G20 new or used? Might be time for a spring change.
     
  12. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Member

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    frayluisfan,

    Before you do anything to the pistol, which, I'd changed the firingpin spring and/or the hammer spring if this continues, but first I would switch to CCI primers. For consist fire, I've had nothing better. The previous information is all good. But, I'd switch primers first.

    -Steve
     
  13. stellarpod

    stellarpod Member

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    Actually, Steve C, you can readily feel a proper seating on a progressive as well. At least I can on my Dillon 650 and the Pro 1000 I used many years ago. It occurrs at the end of the upstroke of the lever and it has a very definite tactile feel.

    stellarpod
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Feel the primer seat, hell. Dillon et al are making a virtue out of necessity trying to get you to apply benchrest rifle treatment to bulk pistol ammo because their regular presses seat the primer at a point of low leverage in the handle linkage. Phooey.
    I spent the entertainment budget one year on a 1050 instead of a new gun. It seats the primers to a positive mechanical stop. No misfires.

    If the above bandaids do not help, replace the springs. The large frame Glocks are for some reason more sensitive to spring balance than others. Change striker and recoil springs to full strength new. Be sure the striker channel is clean and dry.
     
  15. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Ironically, I also own one each of these presses, and I agree that you can feel when a primer does not seat right.

    Even so, I run my thumb over the primer after they are loaded before putting them into the ammo boxes I take to the range. You can easily feel a primer that is not as deep as the others just by running your thumb or finger over them.
     
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