Primer pocket cleaning

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by springerbuster, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. springerbuster

    springerbuster New Member

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    OK, here is another question from someone new to reloading. Is it standard practice to clean primer pockets with every reload? Not that it matters but I am loading 9mm and 223 Rem. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. oldreloader

    oldreloader New Member

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    Some say yes, some say no.I have always cleaned mine and always will.For me it's another chance to inspect the case and then I KNOW that primer pocket dirt won't cause a problem.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I always clean mine. I know many people that say "I never clean my primer pockets and ain't never had a problem". I also know many people that always take a rod to the range with them, to knock duds out of the barrel. I ain't sayin' that one causes the other, but I don't have duds, either. :p
  4. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

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    Always clean mine.
  5. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    Clean each primer pocket and inspect each case, for me its a routine reloading requirement.
  6. oldreloader

    oldreloader New Member

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    AND if it's range brass I make sure it's NOt berdan primed before the decapping pin goes SNAP!
  7. FTK87

    FTK87 New Member

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    I only clean the rounds i load for accuracy, the .223 plinkin rounds for my AR don't get the pockets cleaned. but basically everything I shoot through my bolt guns does.
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    OK, I will go ahead and say it - I never clean mine and I never have a problem. :rolleyes: I don't take a rod to the range with me either!:D:D
  9. gary0529

    gary0529 Member

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    Always clean and prep the brass that I use for Bench Rest or Hunting rounds and those that go in the carry gun but o not clean for plinking/practice.

    do not carry a cleaning rod to the range! :))

    Gary
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I load progressively on my Dillon RL550B. There is no opportunity normally to clean primer pockets if you load progressively. But here is what I do.

    Handgun ammo NEVER gets trimmed or the primer pockets are NEVER cleaned. The brass goes from cleaning in a vibratory cleaner to the press and finally to finished rounds. I have handgun brass I bought new in 1987 (I know by the head stamp) that has been reloaded many times. I have never had a dud and have never had to use a rod to push a bullet out of a handgun barrel.

    Rifle ammo gets inspected for trim after a sample of ten from a batch are run through the sizing die. If any show that they need trimming then the whole batch get sized only and then trimmed. The primer pockets get cleaned as part of the trimming and de-burring process. They are then loaded progressively with the sizing die removed from the press. So that means about every second or third reloading the primer pockets get cleaned. I have never had a dud and have never had to use a rod to push a bullet out of a rifle barrel where the cause was attributed to a dirty primer pocket. I do carry a cleaning rod to the range and have had to use it but not because of dirty primer pocket induced failures.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  11. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

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    I look in the pocket to see if it's clear and it always seems to be. Usually I'll clean the every few loads or so. But mostly because I'm bored. Not because I think I'm really accomplishing anything.

    And I usually bring a cleaning kit to the range with me. Not to push out duds (I haven't had that problem yet), but to clean the gun. Why have that smell from the gun cleaner(s) in your house/garage and breath it in if you can avoid it? Besides the barrel is easier to clean when it's still hot.
  12. JohnTheCalifornian

    JohnTheCalifornian Member

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    I used to but damn was tedious, so I quit. Have not had any mis-fires or any malfunctions..... yet.
  13. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

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    I always clean the primer pockets on my rifle brass. I uniformed them with a redding primer pocket uniformer when they were new, and now it is a snap to clean the crud out. Two or three turns with that same uniformer and they are clean and shiny.
    Pistol brass has never had them cleaned and they all still go bang.
  14. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

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    I inspect primer pockets and flash holes when I inspect spent brass, I clean the pockets if needed, but frankly I would guess only 20 to 30%.

    I reload for accuracy, but I enjoy laziness whenever I can get away with it!

    Miles
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    great minds think alike miles;) My standard practice is to wipe off spent cases while inspecting for deformities, lube cases with LEE case lube, resize/deprime and toss em in the tumbler for 2 or 3 days. Then I pull them out and inspect the clean brass once more, this time also checking for how well the tumbler media cleaned the primer pocket and case necks, which usually after 3 days is pretty darn clean. Laziness is a virtue:)
  16. qajaq

    qajaq New Member

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    It only takes a second and at least you can see if there is anything in the flash hole. And I've always cleaned them so why change now. Do dirty primer pockets create any problems? Haven't a clue, because I never had any.
  17. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

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    Like you GA, my procedure is out of habit, routine whatever.

    As far as possible problems, something in the flash hole might disrupt the ‘flame spread’ through the powder causing a slower or uneven burn, and probably much more importantly some grime (or even cleaning media) in the primer pocket can prevent the primer from completely seating.

    I have never encountered either of these problems so am far from an expert here, but that is what I check for. At the same time, at least to me, inspection is important. I’m not only checking for contamination of the primer pocket, but any damage to it, or the case head. And of course any leftover material if the brass had been crimped ect.

    Miles
  18. bcl32

    bcl32 New Member

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    When I was shooting benchrest yes, for hunting when the cases are shinney enough in the polisher to suit me thats it. Check for media in the pockets and however they look is good enough.
  19. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

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    I reload 40 S&W and do not clean the pockets and haven't had any problems. I would if making target or hunting rifle ammo.
  20. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Always clean mine,it's just a good practice especially when your loading for semi-autos with free floating firing pin like some of mine. A high primer isn't a good way to start your day,I just always do it to keep my routine consistent on all my ammo.
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