Look at these- tell me what you think

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by newby, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. newby

    newby New Member

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    These are some spent cartridges that I shot today. I am new to reloading and I try to inspect EVERYTHING to make sure that I dont tear up my gun or worse. I think I have a good recipe that works but would like to know why I am getting this shape on my primers.

    Here is the skinny-
    .40 cal- shot through Berretta PX4 Storm
    180 grn Gold Dot JHP
    4.9 grns of Green Dot
    CCI Pirmer
    OAL- 1.123

    Everything cycled fine (only a few stove pipes- 2 out of 45 bullets fired- but this gun is VERY picky and stovepipes with everything other than Winchester)

    Attached Files:

  2. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    Firing pin may be hitting it too deep, I have never seen that before.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    It's called cratering. It's an overpressure sign. Primer cap is flowing into the firing-pin hole. Might not mean overpressure. Might just mean you need a primer with a thicker cap. But usually means overpressure.

    About 2/3 to 3/4 the way down this page there is a section called "Pressure". Has some good stuff on it. http://38super.net/Pages/Factory2.html

    Nice article here about dirty barrels raising pressure, and showing cratered primer. http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/barrel-fouling-and-pressure/
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I checked three load manuals and the Alliant website. Only Lee has loads using Green Dot. Even Alliant does not list loads for Green Dot. I think you might think about changing powder.
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Which CCI primers were they? And just my .02, but if i have a load that stovepipes 2 out of 45; it's back to the drawing board or time to have some fine tuning done on the gun.

    I would look into titegroup or w231 and run a test to see how they perform. This will give you some good comparison. Also, your seating depth appears to be a hair too much; OAL should be no less than than 1.125, you're only off a couple thousandths, but it will affect case volume at an exponential rate.

    also curious to know type and how much crimp you're putting on them
  6. newby

    newby New Member

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    I am using CCI 500 Small Pistol Primers

    I was afraid that someone would say that this is from over pressure. I think that I will buy Win231 when I see some on the shelf. I already have been told that this is a better and more forgiving powder for .40 Cal.

    As far as crimp- I am using the Lee Carbide Pistol 3 Die set. This does not come with a crimp die. I have read differnt posts that gives me the idea that the jury is still out on crimping. I have discovered that there are people that crimp everything and others that don't worry about it. I am not able to push the lead into the case by putting my body weight into it when everything has been seated. I think the bullet seating die actually crimps a little.
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the seating die has a crimping shoulder on it. People crimped for years, using the seating die, before Lee came up with his Factory Crimp Die. I've got a FCD for everything I load that they make one for, just because they work so dang good. But some of 'em, like the 38 S&W I've been loading tonight, they don't make an FCD, so I've been crimping with the seating die.
  8. Slowrid-Der

    Slowrid-Der New Member

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    It has to be pressure. But you can know for sure by loading a new primer into an empty case and fire the primer only case to see what happens with it. It would take a very hard firing pin strike to make the primer mushroom like that.
  9. newby

    newby New Member

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    Ok, so if it is high pressure what do I do. I loaded these rounds with the min load that is in my book. I have heard that if you load too light of a load you can get high pressure as well because the bullett doesnt start moving out of the case in time to let off pressure. Is there a formula or unwritten rule such as go down 1/10 grn unitl I stop seeing pressure?

    I get to go get a puller now!
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    newby:

    W231 or Hodgdon HP38 (the exact same powder in a different can) is one of the most versatile powders for hsndguns you can have. It load anything, almost. The powder you chose is really a shotgun powder that can be used for handguns but W231 is expressly for handguns.

    Get a Hodgdon manual or a manual the covers W231. Use the recipe shown there as the starting load. If you want more power (which does little more to a paper target or a can in the field) increase the load in 0.5 grain increments NEVER exceeding the Maximum load listed there. Stop increasing and back down if you see ANY signs of excessive pressure. Do not seat the bullet deeper than the listed Over All Length. Use calipers not a yard stick. When you stuff the bullet into the case too far it decreases the volume there and the pressures get higher from just that alone. So follow the recipe EXACTLY.

    On Crimping:

    There are several types of common crimping with limited usage for some.

    Roll Crimp..... used on revolvers and cartridges that provide a crimping grove or cannelure into which the case gets rolled. Roll crimps are NEVER used on semi-auto pistols. Some older rifle cartridges use roll crimps

    Taper Crimp..... used exclusively on semi-auto pistol cartridges like 25ACP, 32ACP, 45ACP, 40S&W, 10mm, and any cartridge that headspaces in the gun on the front edge of the case. These guns can not used roll crimps as the case would not headspace correctly in the gun and misfires would occur as the cartridge would seat too deeply for the firing pin to reach the primer. All die sets for these semi-auto calibers come with the taper crimp as part of the seating die. It is important to follow the instruction packaged with the dies to setup the seating die correctly for taper crimping. These calibers will not hold their bullets adequately if the seating die is set up wrong and no taper crimp is made.

    Rifle cartridge crimping.... If the bullets used have a cannelure or a crimp grove then regular roll crimps can be used. If the gun is not a semi-auto or a heavy recoiling rifle then only the tight neck tension of the case throat is all that is needed to assure that handling and recoil will not move the bullets in the cases. For bullets without a cannelure or crimp grove you can use the Lee Factory Crimp Die which, through the use of a collet die, pushes the case into the bullet body horizontally in about four places. This Lee FCD can also be used instead of a roll crimp on bullets with cannelures and crimp grooves. It should NOT be used for semi-autos that require a taper crimp.

    In your case you need to set up the seating die correctly per the instructions for the seating die so that an adequate taper crimp is provided.

    The controversy in crimping is where to do it. Should you be trying to seat the bullet while the seating/crimp die is trying to crimp the bullet or should they be two separate steps? Manufactures of dies often offer a separate crimp die where you purposefully adjust the seating die so it doesn't crimp and do the crimping as a separate operation. The Lee FCD is one of those optional crimping only dies.

    I use the Lee FCD and think it works very well indeed. But I only use it on my gun ammo for semi-auto rifles. For bolt action rifles I use NO crimp at all. For the semi auto pistols I use the provided taper crimp function of the seating die. I roll crimp all my revolver ammo and my lever and pump gun ammo in the grooves or cannelure provided.

    Confused? Just reread your reloading manual. Its all there (except perhaps the Lee FCD but the Lee reloading book covers it there). Good luck.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  11. newby

    newby New Member

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    LD-
    Your reply is about the most informative that I have read- Thanks for your time and input. I will look for Win231 and pull the other bullets that I have and start over with a new recipe.
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    newby:

    Do read the manuals and then re-read them. You can never know too much about reloading. I seem to learn something new every day and I started reloading nearly 50 years ago. I have actively pursued it regularly and often for the last 20+ years. I learned the hard way without any help. I come here to keep others from having to make all the mistakes I made. I get wordy in my explanation but I want the reader to get all the info not just enough to get him or her in trouble.

    Do feel free to ask any question that enters your mind about reloading here AFTER you have adequately studied you reloading manual. We want to help those that help themselves, not the ones that mine us for info so that they don't have to bother reading a manual or two.

    Here's to many years of enjoyable reloading for you!

    LDBennett
  13. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    I AM NOT SURE THAT YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM HERE; as this is typical of some Beretta pistols (or pistols made on Beretta tooling, like some Taurus clones.

    I suggest that you shoot several brands of factory "range grade" (such as Win. white box, Rem-Umc, Federal, Am. Eagle, brass case Blazer, etc.). If you see the same brass "flow back" that we see in your pictures, then it is your gun not your ammo! This is what i strongly suspect.

    I first noticed what I see in your photo's in a Taurus clone of a B92 made in the late 1970's. To wit: off center firing pin strike and primer flow back (aka "cratering") with all factory ammo. I have seen the same thing in numerous Beretta's since.

    I opine that the Beretta's manufacturing process drills the firing pin hole in the slide from front to rear. If the drill is dull and wanders while starting to cut you get this type of signature on the primer when it is struck and fired.

    Many others who have posted on this thread give valid opinions about high pressure causing this type of primer signature.

    However with some Beretta designs this is not unusual and is nothing to be concerned about (other than a lack of manufacturer strict QC) as long as it does the same thing with standard factory ammo.

    Hope this helps; would be interested to learn "newby's" findings.
  14. Slowrid-Der

    Slowrid-Der New Member

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    You should always start at the minimum load and work your way up. After reloading for a while with the powders and primers you will get used to what your guns like. Keep record of loads and how they respond.
  15. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    While my first thought was the firing pin hole was too large, my comments were made to guide a new reloader to a better way. Green dot is not a very good choice for handgun calibers and W231 or its clone, HP38, are a lot more universal and a lot more economical. They work well at all calibers that you can find reloading data for. There was also the obvious confusion about crimping and bullet seating depth.

    It might be fine to kiss off the funny looking primer imprints and say all is well, but I think it better to get the new reloader on a better track... using W231 or HP38, understanding crimping, and back into the manual to better understand the variables of reloading so he doesn't make a mistake that hurts.

    But that's just my opinion and yours may vary.

    LDBennett
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