Problems seating small pistol primer

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by orpington, Jun 19, 2022.

  1. orpington

    orpington Member

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    To say I am frustrated is an understatement!

    Tried seating small pistol primers using RCBS universal priming tool, which I never really like using for small primers as it seems to work better with large primers. Used a Redding #1 shell holder for which .357 Magnum seems to fit snugly. I had thought this was appropriate for .357 Magnum and I do use it for .41 Colt. I now see the #12 shell holder is for .357 Magnum, but there is no wiggle room at all. I visualize each primer to ensure not crooked and placed in the right direction. Nonetheless, at least 50% crushed, improperly seated. I would think it IS the wrong sized shell holder, in hindsight, except it seems the fit is so snug that the #1and #12 shell holders seem virtually the same.

    Advice?

    I mostly load large primer rounds—and now I see why!
     
  2. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    If you were loading 9mm I'd say you had crimped pockets. Still, I would look at my primer pockets. If you have a reamer or uniformer you might try it and see if it makes a difference.
     
  3. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    Try the right shell holder.
    I usually apply slight pressure and wiggle case to center primer before really squeezing it.
     
  4. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    Also did you change out the large primer rod assembly for the small primer one?
     
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  5. Skgreen
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    Skgreen Contributing Member

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    My RCBS hand priming tool works fine with RCBS shell holders.
    Hornady shell holders won't fit in the RCBS tool, regardless of caliber.
    Unclear if the Redding shell holder could be the culprit.

    Shipping costs more than the shell holder:
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1011562071

    (If The OP is watching each primer as it comes up on the ram, the following will not be of much help, but to others it might)

    My hand primer started to seat an occasional primer sideways in the primer pocket.
    My worn primer tray/lid assembly (loose lid) was allowing small primers to turn onto their sides.
    My fix: After flipping all the primers and installing the lid on the tray, I attach (2) small binder clips, (1 on each side), which clamp the lid tight to the tray.
    Haven't had a primer flip since.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
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  6. orpington

    orpington Member

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    It’s brand new Starline .357 brass.
     
  7. orpington

    orpington Member

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    I’ll have to check to see if there is a smaller rod assembly. I don’t recall doing this previously, and as some seat properly, it doesn’t appear the rod is too big to seat the primer at all.
     
  8. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    If you're seating small primers with the large punch and guide; the primer has all kinds of wiggle room to work itself out of alignment.
     
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  9. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    I have the newer model but believe the parts are probably the same or similar 20220619_135342.jpg for yours.
     
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  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    SP primers should not be any harder to seat than LP, somethings wrong. Crimped brass, mismatched seater stem etc....something.
     
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  11. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    1. The universal hand primer does not use shell holders.
    2. Are you using the correct ram for pushing the primer.
    3. Use a rcbs military crimp remover to condition the primer pocket. Any tool can be used to remove crimp, but the rcbs tool has a built in stop for consistency.
     
  12. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Different shell holders have different center hole sizes. The Hornaday is significantly larger to accommodate the center stud in their trimmer. I would use rcbs shell holders unless you can verify the center hole is close in size.
     
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  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I've had both and use the one you picture. Small should use the white insert, and silver ram extention as you have installed.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Using the wrong Primer Seating Punch allows movement of the primer to slip out of alignment.

    That some are seating correctly only means that they happened to be in alignment as the punch raised the primer to the primer pocket.

    If you are using the incorrect punch, it is also likely that your primers aren't seating correctly under flush
     
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  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The Redding #1 shell holder is sized for case heads in the 30-06 family. The #12 is the correct shell holder for the .38/.357Mag cases
     
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  16. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    New Starline has pretty tight pockets. If you're using eastern block printers in combination with the wrong shell holder, that'll get you into trouble. Also, that hand primer has a seperate arm for small and large IIRC.
     
  17. Otto

    Otto Member

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    When switching primer sizes, you have to change not only the metal rod but also the plastic primer feed.
    If you use the small rod with the large plastic feed, it can cause priming failures.

    8967-DE7-A-7989-4-B7-C-B2-A9-896-F80-A0-F8-FE.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
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  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Which brand of primers are you using?

    For me the easiest to seat have been the SPP from CCI with the newest, to my stores, Ginex SPP being almost as easy. I've found the Federal SPP just slightly stiffer. I don't use W-W or R-P, so can't compare
     
  19. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Sounds to me the snug shell holder is not allowing proper alignment for primer to enter pocket mouth and being crushed.
     
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  20. orpington

    orpington Member

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    It’s the one that requires you to place a shell holder so I guess it’s not the universal one. I’ve never liked the design of it, but that’s what it is.
     
  21. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    It's not a bad priming unit and what I had before the universal and after the Lee that I just threw in the trash. They have a product for every level and desire. Try the rcbs shell holder and I bet your pleased.
     
  22. orpington

    orpington Member

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    Okay, GRRRRRR!

    I hadn’t loaded anything OTHER than .25-20, IIRC, that utilizes a small primer in over five years. I’ve extensively loaded ammunition that takes a large pistol or rifle primer, however.

    For whatever reason, the .25-20 worked fine using the large rifle rod. I simply forgot these had to be changed out, I guess because the .25-20 was working fine. As the small pistol or rifle primer utilizes a LARGER diameter rod, it turns out for the last 5 years I’ve been using the black shell holder holder instead of the white one, the latter being for the smaller diameter large primer rod.

    I corrected this problem and the rest loaded fine. My guess is the Redding shell holder #1 is slightly more snug than desired, causing the round to seat ever so slightly off center and too much wiggle room with the large primer setup caused the problem.

    I had simply forgotten to switch this out, and I was in the wrong.

    However, I will rant a bit. The RCBS priming tool I have, this not being the universal one, what a POOR, AWFUL, (insert your negative word of choice here) design!!! You have to take your shell holder off the press, put it on this tool, after you ensured the rod slid down, make sure the support to the rod is aligned, which usually isn’t the case, insert that arc piece, and use the screw piece to affix that, this piece often rolling across the floor with regularity, as opposed to the other multitude of pieces which do the same, but with less regularity!

    Whomever designed this contraption didn’t understand the concept of practicality and the multitude of non permanently affixed pieces which take time to assemble—this being the best case scenario without having to search for components in crevices on the floor, under chairs and reloading benches, etc.

    GRRRR!

    THANK YOU to all who helped resolve the issue!
     
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  23. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    The cost of a second shell holder would be worth the reduction in fustration...frustration.... I got the universal after seeing how easy it was on JRB. He has two one for large and one for small. Everything is easy if you spend enough. :) I just swap the black and white tray and change the rod when I shift and it's fine.
     
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  24. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    With practice it gets easier. And it doesn't hurt to have spare shell holders laying around.

    I appreciate the design of the thing. The ergonomics are good, and it gives you a very fine sense of feel as to when the primer has bottomed out. Those are important qualities!
     
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  25. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It is fairly common for folks to use a dedicated hand primer for LPP and another for SPP. It isn't uncommon for folks to have a separate progressive press set up for different primer sizes...likely easier if you're using Lee presses, but I know several folks who do it with their Dillon 650s also.

    I've recently gone to priming exclusively on a Lee ACP...which doesn't use shell holders at all. Changing fro SPP to LPP is a quarter turn on the primer rod housing to release, throwing in the other size, and a quarter turn to tighten
     
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