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seating primers in Federal .223 brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SSN Vet, Nov 19, 2008.

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  1. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I've read that Federal .223 Rem brass is poorly rated and that most of the issues have to do with primer pockets....

    Well I wound up with a bag of 100 Federal cases and thought I'd give them a try for my "plinker" rounds.

    The older looking cases with primer pockets that were not crimped were indeed loose and the primers went in with little to no effort, but I couldn't seem to dislodge the primers, so I went ahead and loaded them.

    On the cases that had crimped primers, I reamed the primer pockets and found that the primers seated nice and snug....

    but...

    they sure looked deep....

    I'm used to seeing them 2-3 thousandths below the base on RP and Win brass.

    but when I put the depth probe of my calipers on these, they were 10 thousandths below the base.

    Should I be concerned?
     
  2. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    You might be a little gamer than I am SSN Vet, willing to pass those cases, that seated primers 'easily' as Ok for loading up.(although each person's definition of seating 'easily' may vary somewhat.)

    If I have doubts about cases, Myself I would've been more inclined to deprime and toss them in the scrap brass bucket.

    There are several indicators, to me, of when a case is beyond it's usefulness, and loose primer pockets is one of those.

    When a primer lacks tension in the primer pocket, you might be just inviting a blown primer issue, as there is less likelyhood for a good seal, and provides a path for high pressure gasses to escape.

    That would by my greatest concern, over the ones that seated firmly, and were a little deeper than normal.
     
  3. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    O.K. help me out....

    what happens when a primer "blows"

    the case should be fully suported...(ammo. is for an AR)

    wouldn't the gas pressure make the primer cup expand and seat more firmly.

    still got a lot to learn at this end.

    fortunately, all of the "low tension" primers were in cases that have a slightly different head stamp, so I can segregate them out.

    Just loaded ~100 of these Federal cases and probably 10 or so were "loose"

    still, I'd prefere to shoot them and then scrap them, as I hate to waste my efforts.

    What would be the result of a blown primer?
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    A slighly loose primerpocket is OK as long as the primer takes reasonable pressure to seat. It may need to be scrapped the next time though.

    Over pressure blows primers. That is controlled by good load procedure, not wether the PP is a little loose or real tight.

    No. Gas pressure over expands the case head, enlarging the primer pocket, and letting the primer blow out along with gases. It is nowhere nearly as catostrophic as a blown case head, bad, scary, but you will probably be OK.

    You will be D***** glad you have your safety glasses on if you blow a primer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  5. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    Most of the time, it will seal, but it's not something that can be relied upon 100%, if the primers are really loose.

    I had one do it to me one time, and as soon as it happened, I said to myself "I knew I should have just tossed those cases".

    It blew the primer out, just like an over pressure issue(which I knew wasn't the problem).

    Those federal's may not be as loose, as the one's I had.
    So if you were to shoot them, I would suggest using some safety glasses, with those ones and toss the bad ones after.
     
  6. ilike223s

    ilike223s member

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    I had pmimer drop out of FC cases while in the tumbler,after one shot.
    I have a lot of them FC with and with out the primer crimps.Once I shoot what i have loaded..im tossing in the scrap bucket.Im not going to bother with them anymore,i HAVE a few xs in them once shot pick off the range brass,I still like the LC brass,the best I'll load them untill the primmers wont hold.and I only shoot them in my bolt guns,
     
  7. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    Has anybody tried tightening up FC primer pockets with their Dillon swager?
     
  8. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    and how would that work?
    /Bryan
     
  9. agd1953

    agd1953 Member

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    "Has anybody tried tightening up FC primer pockets with their Dillon swager?"

    The add for the dillon swager states it will tighten up loose primer pockets
     
  10. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    The Dillon ad I just read makes no mention of it being able to "tighten" loose primer pockets.

    There are roll sizing machines that make that claim though. They roll the case and squeeze it down between two plates and that action can tighten a loose primer pocket. On the Dillon swager, you can over swage and possibly make it looser.
     
  11. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    In addition to primers coming out of a loose primer pocket, there is the problem of gas leaking around the primer and eating a circle in your bolt face. Bolts are expensive. Brass is not that expensive (yet).

    CDD
     
  12. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    That would be solving the wrong problem anyhow.Some of the FC cases had very thin case webs which would stretch a lot more than other brass upon firing, opening up the primer pocket.Dump the crap and buy better brass.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They used too, but I guess they figured out it doesn't work well. ;)

    Oh, and I am going to keep on shooting my .223 Fed brass, cause it's doing just fine, so far. Just because it does not last as long as some others, doesn't mean it is junk.
     
  14. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    I've seen one reference, I think on the NationalMatch forum, to 'old' vs 'newer' Fed brass. Allegedly the newer stuff has a thicker web and tighter pockets. No indication was given as to when the difference may have gone into production nor any means of identifying the different batches.

    Someone needs to section a new piece of brass.
    /B
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Around your fourth reload, you will have to use glue to keep the primers in the pockets of Federal .223 brass.

    And that is when it goes into the scrap bucket.
     
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