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Really, REALLY snug primer pockets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JSmith, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Reloading .38spl (again), this time a batch of PMC brass. (Where does all this stuff come from? I thought I'd loaded all the .38spl cases 3 weeks ago...)

    The PMC primer pockets seem to be much more snug than the Blazer brass I loaded a short while back. I am really pushing hard on the lever (Lee Classic turret) and the best I can manage is dead flush with the base of the case. Other primers are raised a couple of thousandths. (I'm not a weak person, and they can only go so far. I put my left hand on the back of the press at the top to brace it while I pushed on the lever with my right, so believe me - they're in as far as they'll go!)

    Has anyone else come across brass with especially snug primer pockets? (This stuff is once-fired brass.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  2. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    May need to ream the pockets.
     
  3. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    I thought of that, but they're really pretty clean.
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    S&B .38s are really snug as well. Haven't tried PMC.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have all kinds of .38 Spl brass. While some PPs are tighter than others, I haven't had any I couldn't prime with my hand primers, including PMC, S&B etc.
     
  6. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've come across some over the years that have been tighter than others, but never any that even mildly challenged my press or me. There may be something else at play hear that is causing the issue.

    I would take a good look at the priming ram and sleeve to make sure there isn't an anomaly of sort, maybe debris or a mangled part is causing the extreme amount of resistance your encountering.

    GS
     
  7. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    While I have never had a problem with 38 primer pockets, there have been others that were out of spec in one way or another (clean, but too shallow or too tight) and needed uniforming (depth reaming) or swaging. The RCBS swager I use for military crimped primers will also roll the top of the pocket if it's too square and can help a little with tight primers. Don't discount the primers being slightly oversize while you're ruminating on this... :scrutiny:
     
  8. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Mix a little moly (or possibly graphite) in with the primers and then try to seat them. This is regularly done on commercial loading machines. Moly is available from Midway and a little goes a long way.
     
  9. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Do you mean, coat the primers with moly?
     
  10. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I don't know if you're using primer tubes and picking them up from a tray but yes, sprinkle some moly over them, shake them around a little and then load them. It'll make a big difference to the seating effort.
     
  11. blarby

    blarby Member

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    I spray my lee trays with PTFE about once every 3000 primers or so for this very reason.

    Its frikkin fantastic- and it makes decap A TON easier as well.

    It don't take much.

    Once you get it on all of the feed surfaces, it'll keep coating over and over with just the little bit that gets picked up with each primer.

    Also helps prevent primers sticking on feed surfaces, in tubes, etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  12. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Reaming is different than cleaning. Cleaning uses a brush, reaming uses a cutter and removes metal.
     
  13. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    Assuming you are using the right size primers and nothing wrong with your priming tool, reaming the primer pockets is what I would do.
     
  14. lonniemike

    lonniemike Member

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    A uniformer is a good idea along with phasing out the PMC.best
     
  15. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Try some Federal primers. I have been using them in PMC cases for years with no seating problems.
     
  16. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    If I find a batch of brass that's hard to seat primers with, I tend to just very slightly chamfer the pockets. It leaves the pockets plenty tight to hold the primer but lets it start a little easier.
     
  17. murf

    murf Member

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    jsmith,

    high primers are never a good thing. suggest you either get a uniformer tool and make the pockets right, or toss the cases with shallow pockets.

    the different manufacturers primers are all the same height, so switching primers won't solve this particular problem.

    murf
     
  18. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    I prime on the press, one at a time by hand. I'll try a little moly on the primers next time.

    I believe I'll do both. My wife will tell you that I will sieze any excuse to get a new tool!
     
  19. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    Throw down a couple of pictures, one with no primer, the next with a primer seated as far as it can go.

    It would help me see the sitch. And I have loaded a freakin' ton of 38/357's or all kinds.
     
  20. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    I would, but they're done. I'll photo one of the primed ones later today.
     
  21. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I've used a regular countersink to help seating primers. Not removing crimps but putting a bit more chamfer on the pocket mouths often helps. It's been a while since I reloaded any .38 PMC, so I can't comment on that particular brass, but some case mfgs. (S&B), don't put much chamfer (if any) on the pocket mouth. I try the easiest solution first...
     
  22. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Pictures do help.

    A straightedge says the primer in the photos (same cartridge, front and top) is still an ittybit high. I can't see it, but apparently it's not quite flush. Is that cartridge unusable as-is?

    But my main question was, how hard should I have to shove on the press handle to get them that deep? I had to shove real hard. Can a primer go off if you push on it too hard?
     

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have absolutely crushed some primers and they did not go off. Never say never, but it is a sharp blow pinning the primer compound between the cup and anvil that sets them off.

    Flush is OK, assuming the gun will set them off.
     
  24. Gadawg88

    Gadawg88 Member

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    I loaded a batch of 38 sp with mixed brass the other day, including some once fired PMC. I noticed some were much harder to seat than others. Some went in smooth as silk and others required a fair bit of effort. Nothing too extreme though. The PMC seemed to be the worst. I was using CCI primers.
     
  25. david bachelder

    david bachelder Member

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    I have some 9mm brass that has very tight pockets. I run a quick pass with my case mouth de-burring tool. Fixes things right up. I also use the same tool to remove any military crimps.

    It's fast, cheap and very effective.
     
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