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Priming 45 Win brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by stodd, May 13, 2013.

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  1. stodd

    stodd Member

    Jun 14, 2010

    So i grabbed some of the once fired winchester 45 acp brass i have and was going to get some primed and ready to go. I' m trying to prime them with CCI large pistol primers and my Lee hand prime tool. I found that they are very hard to get the primer in flush with the brass.

    Anything have any idea why they are so hard to prime flush? Is it because they are new once fired win brass?

    Oh ya they are large primer pockets.
  2. Curator

    Curator Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    If you did not clean the primer pockets prior to re-priming this may cause difficulty in getting the primers seated slightly below the case head. Another possibility I ran into with the Lee hand primer is when the push-rod becomes worn it won't seat primers below the case head and may even allow some to sit proud.
  3. noylj

    noylj Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Dirt has never been a problem with seating primers for me--in 40 years, I have never had a problem due to a dirty primer pocket.
    There is black soot across the primer pocket that never builds up thickness and then, sometimes, there is white "ash." The ash generally falls out during decapping and is so little that it too doesn't matter (see primer anvil for lots of space for "stuff" to pack in).
    Pockets may be tight. Pockets may have been machined with a slight taper. Some of the "Win" cases I have gotten have a primer crimp just like military rounds (I "assume" they are running on same line and don't want to spend time getting the primer crimp out of the process and just want to keep on running). The crimped primer shouldn't be your problem, as you are getting them seated, just not deep enough.
    Get a primer pocket reamer and see if that improves things. Set the hard to seat cases to the side.
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    The first thing I would ask you is, are you certain they are all large pockets? of course i would assume you've already checked that out though.

    As for cleaning them, just do a quick 5 second cleaning with a primer pocket brush, and then use as much force as is necessary to get them in all the way. But unless the pockets are indeed staked or crimped, I would not ream them, or other wise alter the pockets, at all. A good tight fit is never a bad thing. If it's military brass, or brass with definite staked or crimped primer pockets, or you can clearly see that they are out of spec or deformed, then, and only then, would I go beyond a simple cleaning with a brush.

    Properly primed brass should put the primer at least .004" below the case head, and as deep as .008". I've read in one of my load books, Speer I think, that some where between .004" and .012" is acceptable. But I never seat mine more than .008", unless I run into pockets that are unusually deep. The point in seating below flush is to prevent mis fires. What happens with a primer not seated deep enough, is the firing pin will drive the primer deeper upon impact, rather than producing a deep enough dent in the primer, which in turn prevents the anvil from fracturing the priming compound.

    I have never used a hand priming unit, rather, I use an RCBS priming die on my press. I simply adjust the die to seat every primer to the same depth. And by using the press, I don't even notice exceptionally tight pockets, much less struggle with them. It's old school, but I wouldn't do it any other way. Been priming on this die with zero mis fires in over 30 yrs. of reloading.

  5. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    outside the perimeter
    Have you tried new brass to see if you get the same problem? If not, it's probably dirty pockets.

    I clean brass in a Thumler's with steel pins. It completely cleans the pockets like new and solves that problem.
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  6. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    The first thing I would do is grab the calipers and check the depth and diameter of the primer hole.
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