Another primer question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Sinsaba, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Sinsaba

    Sinsaba New Member

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    I have another primer question. Most .357 magnum loads in my reloading books say use a small pistol primer. However, when I did this I had so many misfires it was unbelievable. A friend of mine who has been reloading for some time said he had the same problem but that if he used magnum primers he never had any problems. There is at least one loading that calls for magnum primers in one of my books (the Speer manual calls for 13.9 – 15.5 grains of H110 with magnum primers for 158 grain bullets).

    What’s the story? Can one safely use magnum primers in other loads (as my friend says he does) by working up to it?
  2. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    THe problem may not be the primer, will the ammo fire, if you try to fire it a second time?

    if so your primers are not seated fully, your first hammer strike may seat the primer then the second will fire the primer.

    use the type of primer listed in the load data.
  3. h2oking

    h2oking Former Guest

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    Angel Divelle has a good thought but I think it unlikly because if the primer is not seated properly the cylinder usually won't turn. In addition I would check to see how hard a primer is hit on a missfire as you might have a too light of a hammer strike. Another thing you MUST always use magnum primers when using Win 296 or H110. I would suspect that would be true with other like powders but for those I have little experience. I also load with VV N110 and 2400, I use magnum primers for both. I hope that helps.
  4. Sinsaba

    Sinsaba New Member

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    On the second strike question -- sometimes yes sometimes no.

    On not seating them properly -- If every other type of ammunition I load works flawlessly and I only have this problem with .357 magnum, I'm inclined to think I'm seating these primers properly too.

    On light strike -- the strike looks fine and commercial ammunition works just fine in this gun.
  5. h2oking

    h2oking Former Guest

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    Saying that a second strike sometimes fires the 357 magnum misfire leads me back to perhaps what AngelDeville was saying about a primer seating problem, however not necessarily caused by you, but rather a bad batch cases that the primer pockets may be cut too deep. I have had brass with that problem including primer pocket cut too shallow so I couldn't even seat the primer. I would compare the depth of the primer on your reloaded unfired 357's to other unfired ammo you know don't have a problem. I will keep checking back so please let us know.
  6. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    Have you tried any 38 Spl in your 357 or even factory 357 ammo? I'm guessing the firing pin isn't making adequate contact. What is the load you are using? Are the primers seated flush with the case? Put a small straight edge over the case and see where the primer is in relation to the straight edge. You other firearms may have a deeper firing pin strike so that seating your primers too deeply doesn't bother them. Also have you looked at the load that misfired. is the primer showing a good indent or a dimple?
  7. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    If your using brass that has been used before, especially if dirty, are you checking the flash hole is clear? Also try a new batch of primers, even factories get it wrong from time to time.

    I went through several years of reloading hundreds on a monthly basis, and hardly ever had a misfire problem.
  8. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    Different brands of primers have softer & harder cups.

    If you're shooting a Smith have you tightened up the hammer spring? Have you maybe put put gun oil down in the area the hammer moves in? Most revolvers won't tollerate gun oil there. It slows the hammer fall. Has someone cut your mainspring down to lighten the trigger?
  9. h2oking

    h2oking Former Guest

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    Hey guys he says that some times it fires on a second pass (no dirty primer hole here) he says it works fine with his other hand loads and factory ammo (no hammer spring, firing pin, or his primers are any problem here) the only thing left I can think of is the 357 case he is using has too deep of primer pockets. Where is LDBennette when we need him.
  10. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I would agree on this assesment. Because the round does fire on the second strike, blocked flash holes are eliminated. Because commercial ammo fires fine in THAT gun, light strikes are unlikely.

    It takes only a tiny bit of too-deep to make this problem appear. If his cases are once fired commercial and if his cases are mixed lot, that idea becomes remote, also. That would leave only dirty chambers not letting the cases fully seat. Seated deeply enough to allow cylinder rotation, but then driven the rest of the way in by the hammer fall. That one I have experienced in a .357 which had been fired extensively with .38 Specials.

    Sinsaba, let us know if all these cases are of the same lot, or if you are using mixed lot cases. Also let us know if you shoot a lot of .38 Special in that gun.

    Pops
  11. Sinsaba

    Sinsaba New Member

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    The brass is almost exclusively once fired (in this gun) remmington brass from commercial ammo I've bought and fired. And I experienced this problem with the gun "squeaky clean"

    I have never fired .38 Special in this gun.

    As I indicated, there is an H110 loading that will take magnum primers and I've never had a misfire with magnum primers with the same type of brass. The 9mm I loaded with the same lot of primers all worked flawlessly so I don't think it is a bad batch of primers either.

    The other half of my question is would it be safe to try to work up a loading with other powders and magnum primers? (Nothing wrong with H110 but I would like to have choices)
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    2400 is the vintage and classic powder of choice for the 357Mag. It is faster burning than H110 or W296 (the H110 might actually be the same powder manufactured by Winchester and sold with Hodgdons name on it???) and predates those two by decades. Speer and maybe others show 2400 used with Small Pistol Primers (not Magnum Pistol Primers). Until the slow burning H110 and W296 (and its predecessors with similar numbering in the name) arrived on the scene, 2400 was the answer for 357Mag.

    I use these two slow powders and the close equivalent AA#9 but with these powders you must adhere to the loading data closely as under loads can cause detonation rather than burning of the powder with bad results to the gun and maybe you. The Winchester load data booklet cautions to use the loading data as specified and to not use a starting load....only the exact load listed. Others don't make that distinction but since Winchester designed the powder maybe it best to follow their directions and NOT those of others.

    LDBennett
  13. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    He said his other hand loads work fine but his 357 Mag doesn't. I take that to mean other firearms. I still think he is seating the primers too deep for that revolver.
  14. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    OK, now we are beginning to get someplace.

    1. You have never fired .38 Special in that gun. Gun is "squesky clean" We'll assume this includes bras brushing the cylinder chambers at least once. (Proposed Problem Eliminated)

    2. Loads fire fine using magnum primers and you are using a published load that states magnum primers can be used.
    ...Discusson: There are subtle differences in the measurements of primers from batch to batch, lot to lot, mfg. to mfg. The magnum primers might well be a tad longer than the standards. I've experienced trouble loading small rifle primers deeply enough in 32-20 cases, where small pistol primers do just fine. The height of the primers appeared the same on a dial caliper, but a digital micrometer shows the rifle primers to be a squeak longer. Three of my manuals show only magnum primers with every .357 H110 load and the others make no recommendation for primers.
    ...Conclusion of magnum primers discussion: Magnum primers are fine, so long as you approach maximum loads data VERY CAREFULLY and watch for pressure signs.
    ... Note: Because the misfires do not fire the primers, we are not seeing the increased flame front of the magnum primers being a factor in this problem. The problem is that the primers are NOT FIRING when struck, so the extra oooomph of the "magnumitis" is not a factor in this problem.

    3. One lot of cases: I would grab a mixed lot of cases and try them with that same load, with a few of the loaded rounds using the suspect remington brass. Any misfires, segregate to inspect the head mark. If they are all the remington cases, you have found your problem. If you get misfires on other brands, also, we are back to square one.

    4. Other powders: I use several powders in my .357s. For full power, I use either 2400 or 4227 in the long barreled (over 4") ones. Those two powders are the work horses of my field/defense pistol loading, except 9mm. There are many loads in the books for them and all those I've tried work well. Sometimes I use magnum primers and sometimes I use standard primers. The powders don't seem to need to be reduced but about 1% to 1.5% with magnum primers to get back to the chronograph results of using standard primers.
    ...Discussion: When converting a load to using a magnum primer, reduce your standard load by 3% to 5% and work back up. The flame front on a magnum primer is hotter and of longer duration than that of the standard primer. This imparts a little more energy to the load and ignites more of the powder on the initial flash, each of which raises your chamber pressure somewhat.

    This is probably much more information than you need or want, but hey, that's me. :D

    Short answer:
    1.Yes you may use magnum primers with H110 in .357 with the 158 gr. bullet.
    2. We don't know what the answer is to the misfires, but STRONGLY suspect it is deep primer pockets or short primers.
    3. There are many other powders you may use with the .357. Conlult your manual(s) and follow their guidelines. 2400 and 4227 are old time favorites.

    Pops
  15. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Just noticed this over on AmmoGuide:

    Pops
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