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Problem with Winchester primers???

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ar10, Nov 11, 2008.

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  1. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    I bought a brick of WLR primers a couple of months ago and had over a third of them ftf. I used them in my CZ527 762x39 with my worked up loads so I had primed 100 of them. The bullet was Serria 125gr sp's using cleaned range brass. Since I was working up three different powders, RE7, H322, and 1680 I knew the loads were right. All the primers were hand primed, just like I've been doing for thousands of other reloads, and I've use the WLR primers in the past with no problems. The cases were also clean inside and out and the pockets were also clean. On a few of the reloads I eventually got the primer to fire by throwing the bolt a few time. None of the pin strikes looked abnormally light because I checked them against the rounds that did fire.
    Has anyone run into this problem with Winchester primers or did I just get a bad run of primers.
     
  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I'd bet a pretty serious amount of money that there's nothing wrong with those primers. Load up a different caliber with them and see what happens.
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Try seating them deeper and see what happens...
     
  4. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    Did that, but with a different brick of WLR in my AR10, range brass, 168gr HP's, 41.6g Varget. 300 rounds, shot 200 of them with no problems at all.
    I wonder if it's the rifle, It does have a two stage trigger, and I did fire 10 rounds of Rem box rounds as a bench mark before shooting my reloads, no problems at all.

    One thing that did grab my attention real quick was when was firing my second set of loads, 22.9gr 1680, same bullet. the bullet ended up about half way down the barrel. I had to drive it out. After that I stopped using the 1680. I went through the H322, from min to just below max load and didn't have any trouble other than the FTF's. My last batch of RE7 did the best(when they fired) and I was key-holing the 24 and 25.6 grn. I was also shooting 5 of each load at 100yds.
     
  5. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    Not sure how much deeper I can get them. They were all just below the surface. All my other loads in my other rifle were about the same. If some one can post pictures I'll be happy to send them so everyone can look at them. I kept all the rounds in the same order as I fired them so I could try and figure out what the problem is.
     
  6. USSR

    USSR Member

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    +1. The failure rate of properly stored primers is like 1 in tens of thousands. Several potential problems come to mind: the primers are not fully seated as previously mentioned; possible problem with FP/Spring; or you pushed the shoulder back too far on the brass when you resized the cases.

    Don
     
  7. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    I bought a brick of Winchester large rifle primers, and a few hundred Winchester large rifle magnum primers. I haven't had any problems with either, and am achieving excellent groups.
     
  8. rhinoh

    rhinoh Member

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    Hmmm...I've had two ftf's with Winchester small pistol primers in the last 100 or so .40s I've loaded..multiple restrikes no go. If it happens again I'm gonna save the primer when decapping and closely inspect under magnification. I've got 1000 or more of these primers on hand, and if this is typical I'm not happy.
     
  9. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    Be sure to annotate the lot number from the box so you and others can track them. For what it is worth, I have had excellent experience with Winchester when I had some ammunition issues. They will request the box /package, and any primers/ammo that fail.
     
  10. Curt Blunt

    Curt Blunt Member

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    I don't ever recall a dud primer. A friend and I have 527's in 7.62 and have had a few problems with failure to ignite. He uses large pistol primers in his loads with cast bullets. I suspect a stronger mainspring would fix the problem but haven't gotten around to it, yet (been too distacted with other projects).
     
  11. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I've had 1 Win primer ftf. I pulled the bullet and punched out the primer. The anvil had come loose from the cup. All the thousands before and after have been perfect.
     
  12. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    I'll try and answer each issue.
    The primers were purchased less than a week ago. I can't answer for the gun store as to how long they were on the shelf before I got them. I'm guessing not too long, but I will call their PO Tuesday, we know each other pretty well as I do a lot of ordering/buying from him.

    I'll address the last three issues you mention in the same response. Like I stated above, I kept each round fired in the same sequence. In other words when I fired one round I placed it back in the box exactly the way it came out, the FTF's are in the same order. The only exception were the rounds I loaded with 1680. As far as primer seating. All the primers were put in at the same time, there were no breaks or interruptions. I also used the same primer tool I've used in all my other loads.
    (NOTE: Whenever I work up load I do it by hand, from the time I sort the brass by headstamp to the time I shoot it). The primers I put in came from the same box from the new brick I bought and were put in the first night.
    As far as shoulder being pushed back. Since I ran the all the cases at the same time with the same setting, on the same press seems to discount sizing problems.
    The spring issue did cross my mind, the problem with that assumption on my part (correct me if I'm wrong) is if the spring is in culprit then wouldn't it be consistent??? These FTF's seem totally random, along with primer seating, and the shoulder.
    I also checked primer seating against those that did fire against those that didn't. They're the same depth, or so close it wouldn't make any difference.
     
  13. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Where do you guys get your primers anyway. I have been reloading for over 22 years and hundreds of thousands of primers of all brands except Wolf (and I'm thinking I might try them). I have never had a primer failure. Not a one...I've even purchased 1,000 pack primers with a 1/4 inch of dust on the box because there were no others available.

    How are you stroring them when you get them home...??
     
  14. rhinoh

    rhinoh Member

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    Mine came from Sportsmans Warehouse. Stored inside the house ie: controlled climate heated/cooled.
    I'm a relatively new reloader, maybe have loaded 1000 rounds or so, mix of 410, 12g, 380, 9, 40, 45, .223, 7.62x39. But I'm stocked up to load many thousands more;)
    The two ff's really concerned me as I had planned to reload self defense rounds too...not so sure now, maybe practice only, sure don't want to risk a misfire in the unlikely event it is a life or death situation. I've never had a misfire with normal ammo in 35+ years of shooting- except my Mini-30 doesn't like Wolf with its hard primers:scrutiny:
     
  15. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I can tell you that getting them wet doesn't seem to bother them much. We had a pipe break which drowned half a brick of mine. They were so wet that the boxes were falling apart. I let them dry for a month and then used them in plinking loads thinking they would fail. Not a one did.
     
  16. dardascastbullets

    dardascastbullets Member

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    (NOTE: Whenever I work up load I do it by hand, from the time I sort the brass by headstamp to the time I shoot it). The primers I put in came from the same box from the new brick I bought and were put in the first night.
    As far as shoulder being pushed back. Since I ran the all the cases at the same time with the same setting, on the same press seems to discount sizing problems.
    The spring issue did cross my mind, the problem with that assumption on my part (correct me if I'm wrong) is if the spring is in culprit then wouldn't it be consistent??? These FTF's seem totally random, along with primer seating, and the shoulder.


    I believe that you have answered your own question and don't realize it. May I ask how you can eliminate case headspace as a problem source when you don't have the means to measure it? And, IF you have a spring problem then you have a 'compounded' problem with the cases driving forward via a weak spring.

    Measure the case headspace (as compared to your chamber) EVERY time after you move the full length sizing die from its moorings. Reposition the die back to your 'golden' setting will completely eliminate a case headspace problem.

    I am curious if you are seeing a light ring appearing near the base of your cases? This is indicative of a case headspace problem.
     
  17. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Just on a guess, try to fnd some new brass from one of the major manufacturers. I'll bet the primer pockets are the problem with the range brass, either deeper than usual , or have radiused bottoms, and the primers are moving forward on impact from the firing pin.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    As already stated, it could be a little bit of spring, primer seating, and shoulder being back a bit far working together. Yes, it could be inconsistent. Could it be the primers? Yes, but is just isn't likely.

    Try sizing some of your fired brass again, this time not sizing as much. Size them as little as you can and still have them chamber. This is good for the brass and generally good for accuracy anyway. Then try the same primers again.

    If you still get failures, try some different primers. If you still get failures, get a new fireing pin spring. If you still get failures, call Winchester and fuss at em. :)
     
  19. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    i have had exactly 1 ftf due to a bad primer. it was a winchester lr. but i am certain that it was strictly a coincidence. 1 ftf in roughly 4k rounds isnt terrible by my standards, unless it is the one that is pointed at a charging bear @ 15 yards!
     
  20. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    No I don't use a head space gauge. What I do, on all my reloads is smoke the bullet with an empty case then chamber the bullet. The process, in my opinion, is just as accurate if not more so than buying a headspace gauge.
    If that's the case then why did 2/3 of the round fire w/o a problem? And I did check/compare each of the fired and unfired rounds with a "last word" starret gauge. And each of the rounds were clamped to my endmill base because its level and magnetic. there was less than .0001 difference in any of the primers.

    No there is no "light ring" that appears at the base. As I mentioned previously. I took pictures of the rounds. Anyone who want's to look at them is more than welcome.

    If there is a problem with the FP spring then why did 2/3 fire and 1/3 didn't. The FTF's were all random, there was no order in which they didn't fire.

    I have sent an email to Winchester and I do have the box and lot number.
     
  21. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    It has been several years, but there were a number of reports of misfires when Winchester quit plating the primer cups - and undoubtedly cut other corners - as they went to the blue boxes. Mostly in Glocks and CAS single action revolvers, though. Old stock? Recurring problem? I dunno, maybe Winchester will be straight with you.

    In the meanwhile, I would try those primers in another gun and other primers in that gun.
     
  22. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    That is just about the perfect empirical evidence of a weak FP spring. Weak springs will cause inconsistent ignition. Some will fire, some won't. The fact that more fire than don't isn't at all surprising.

    The other, even more common cause of inconsistent ignition is seating depth as many have said, and you have addressed. However, without being able to eyeball the actual seating depth of the primers in your cases, it is hard to say if they are seated properly or not. You measured them for consistency of depth, but apparently not for actual depth. Can you determine how far below flush they are for comparison purposes?

    You said you use a hand priming tool - which one? Do you press hard at the end of each priming stroke? I have an RCBS hand priming tool which has worked flawlessly for many years. I press each primer in hard without worrying about depth. The primers are seated quite deep, not just a little below flush. I also use Winchester primers almost exclusively for both handgun and rifle without one single problem.
     
  23. EShell

    EShell Member

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    I bought 10,000 WLR primers when we had that "primer shortage" about 10 years back and am still shooting through them with ZERO misfires.

    I get satisfactory performance and decent close range groups with them, although for my long range stuff that's sensitive to extreme spread, I use Federal primers because they are more consistent and my ES numbers go way down.

    In a clean firearm of modern manufacture, light strikes due to spring problems are almost unheard of and I would not expect this to be the problem.

    A fully seated primer will be .005" to .007" below the case head, which is noticeably below the case head. If your's are just below flush, you may be experiencing ignition problems due to wasting firing pin impact energy to more fully seat the primers. This, and headspace, is the only times I've ever seen chronic "primer failure" since starting reloading in '71.

    Headspace has nothing to do with bullet seating depth and smoking the bullet doesn't tell us anything at all about headspace.

    I would suggest necking a test case up to the next caliber, so it will not chamber at all. Then, back off your sizing die and run the test case up into your F/L sizer, gradually bringing your sizing die down until the case will barely chamber. This setting will be "minimum headspace" and correct for the given firearm. If your sizing die has not bottomed out on your previous setting when you reach this point, you have been applying excessive sizing to your cases.

    I have found that adjusting the dies as per manufacturer's instructions invariably produces an SAAMI minimum case with a short shoulder and near-maximum headspace in most guns. That setting is designed to produce a sized case that will chamber in any gun (with minimum headspace) after being fired in any gun (with maximum headspace) or after being reformed from another cartridge. It is really not a good idea for daily use.
     
  24. Eagles6

    Eagles6 Member

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    Just had a ftf today with a Remington LR primer in a 30-06 180 gr HDY SST with 55.5 gr Winchester 760 Winchester Mod 70. Good hit, no bang.
    I have had Winchester whitebox 30 carbine ftf, half a dozen out of a box of 50. Sent the rest of the lot back to Winchester and they said that the primers were contaminated with oil. I didn't have it out of the box until shot so it was nothing I did.
    I also bought 1000 Remington SP primers last summer and loaded them in 38 spl/357 moderate to max loads in a Ruger SP 101. Almost every one backed out of the primer pocket. Took them back to the sports shop where I got them and said someone else had the same problem.
    It may just be quality control. It happens.
     
  25. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Spray the bolt/firing pin/hammer with WD-40, you have a slow firing pin.
     
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