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Too small primer pockets??

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  • Too small primer pockets??

    Was having trouble seating small pistol primers in 9mm Win brass. Threw the first few away thinking I just got them started crooked. Last one I pulled the primer back out and measured the pocket. This one was 0.167", specs I found call for 0.173-0.174". These look like commercial Win brass, not military issue. I know some military brass has a crimped pocket that must be reamed, but never heard of in in Win head stamp commercial. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Iíve noticed that some commercial brass, notably Winchester and Fiocchi 9mm seem to have crimped primers. I just wrote it off to their matching mil spec production or an effor to reduce reloading. A primer pocket swaying tool can easily make them good to go.

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    • #3
      I know for a fact, when my 650 has a primer failure , it's always Winchester brass. This stuff is all at least 5 years old. It was a problem then.
      01/06 FFL $15 transfers and guns near wholesale


      Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles~ Abe Lincoln

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      • #4
        Normally the crimped stuff I can tell apart because the pocket will lav e a little "sub-lip" where the crimp is and you can see the ring when you look really close. I've had guys out to shoot with WIN white-box 9mm commercial that looked like it was some sort of .mil over-run and had crimped primers. When it comes to 9mm (and most pistol brass) I just chuck it in the recycle bin.

        When it comes to pistol loading, I'm a "volume" kind of guy, and finding that stuff is usually discovery. If you're working on a progressive, I just keep a handful of FL sized, deprimed brass in a small container next to the press (650 & 550), when I feel one of those "resistance" seating primers, I swap out that piece of brass and drive on.

        One of the best investments I've made is a set of primer pocket gauges:

        https://www.brownells.com/reloading/...prod71030.aspx

        I use them religiously with range pick-up brass .223, both to quickly ID the crimped, and discard the loose. Not expensive and faster than measuring.
        Last edited by Chuck R.; 01-12-2019, 13:47.
        The Lion Does Not Turn Around When the Small Dog Barks

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        • #5
          Are you sure that the cases use Boxer primers or that you don't have Berdan primers? When contracts may be for millions of rounds, non-standard primers might be spec'd so that the cases can easily be reloaded and used by an "enemy/"
          The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
          If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
          I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jim Macklin View Post
            Are you sure that the cases use Boxer primers or that you don't have Berdan primers? When contracts may be for millions of rounds, non-standard primers might be spec'd so that the cases can easily be reloaded and used by an "enemy/"
            I dunno....I suspect since he's talking about issues "seating" primers a safe assumption might be he'd notice they were Berdan's when he was sizing and getting the spent primers out......That whole bent decapping pin is sort of a dead give away. But, who knows.....
            Last edited by Chuck R.; 01-12-2019, 23:30.
            The Lion Does Not Turn Around When the Small Dog Barks

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chuck R. View Post

              I dunno....I suspect since he's talking about issues "seating" primers a safe assumption might be he'd notice they were Berdan's when he was sizing and getting the spent primers out......That whole bent decapping pin is sort of a dead give away. But, who knows.....
              It isn't likely I know. There can be all sorts of issues. If you bought used brass, "once fired" it might be the flashhole was drilled. I've seen lots of strange things.

              Drilled primer pockets so wax bullets could be fired. A shallow pocket can certainly prevent seating a Boxer primer. Just as high over pressure can make pockets go loose, the web could be pushed back. Primers have both a diameter and a shape. Some primers are domed and some are flat. Use the correct matching primer post.

              Some fouling can prevent seating the primer to full depth w/o using excessive pressure.
              The anvil must be in firm contact with the base of the pocket and in contact with te primer pellet w/o breaking the pellet.

              The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
              If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
              I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

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              • #8
                I generally decap before hand sorting 9mm brass. It's a PITA but less so than clearing random press stoppages. At any given range visit when I pick up stray 9mm, I'll find a lot of Winchester that is crimped. Someone told me that they funnel their over-run Mil-surp to white box. I never checked into that to see that's the case but I know Winchester brass is good stuff that comes with quirks. I'll gladly take it even though it has to be swaged.

                Of all the blue stuff I own mixed with all the green, red and orange machines/tools, I like Dillon's super swagers the best. I have a Hornady reamer that gets used occasionally when I find I've missed one or two crimped cases. I'd rather swage than ream since you lose material when you ream. I've found for fact that reamed brass tends to have loose pockets after a couple uses whereas my swaged brass only "wears out" because I'm too lazy to anneal it so it eventually splits. Not a big deal in 9mm but a more expensive loss when you start looking at other calibers that tend to show up with crimped primer pockets.

                Regardless of what anyone says, I consider brass an expense. The days of people "giving away" free brass are fewer and farther between than when even I started reloading. (And that's only been about 6 or maybe 7 years now tops.) If I happen to end up with more brass than I started with after a range visit, than that can be easily negated by the amount that I lose because I can't find it or it just wears out. In the end, I have to supplement my brass somehow in order to keep up. Usually that means buying some factory ammo here and there getting its brass into circulation. Often, the cheapest way to do that is WWB or similar.
                Last edited by fixxer; 01-13-2019, 07:16.
                For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
                And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
                And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
                And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
                -Lord Byron (=5 lines)

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                • #9
                  Fixxer,

                  I anneal rifle brass religiously (have an automated machine), pistol brass normally get's lost at a match or a class long before it splits.

                  I've got a Dillon Super Swage, and it's a great tool, just used it on a bunch of .300AAC brass. Was kind of surprised it had crimped primers, but it did. Primary use is .223/5.56 and my annual deal this time of year is .223 brass prep, on average about 2K to get through the year. Most of it is range pick-up at matches/classes. It's about a couple weeks worth of part time effort:

                  1. Decap brass
                  2. Clean in tumbler with steel media (gets primer pockets clean)
                  3. Check primer pockets using gauge, set aside ones with crimps (use Dillon), toss loose pockets into brass recycle can.
                  4. Anneal (I have an automatic annealer approx 500+ rds an hr.)
                  5. Lube on cookie sheet
                  6. Run through Dillon utilizing a tool head with only sizing die. Touch brass once, from cookie sheet to station 1, use Dillon as if all 4 stations are active. Sized brass falls in bin.
                  7. Run brass through Big Dillon Vibrating cleaner & corn cob to get lube off
                  8. Run brass through Trim-It2 set at minimum trim length on drill press. I don't even measure 1st, it's faster just to run it through.
                  9. Load ammo on Dillon, omitting the resize die. So case in station 1, bullet in station 3.

                  For brass that I know is mine (known length and times fired), I will go fully progressive and skip some of the brass prep work, such as the trimming. Then use the vibrating cleaner for a few minutes to get the lube off.
                  The Lion Does Not Turn Around When the Small Dog Barks

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