Extruded primers

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by DrMLap, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. DrMLap

    DrMLap New Member

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    I recently purchased a box of .303 Savage ammo from Graf & Sons. These have 150 gr jacketed RN bullets made by Hornady. I fired them in my son-in-law's Savage '98 which I had had thoroughly inspected by my gunsmith before firing anything in it. It shot just fine with no problems except one puzzling anomaly. Every case I ejected had a slightly extruded primer, about .016" to .020". And, oddly enough, the primers do not look flattened, as would be the case with a too powerful load. Indeed, the recoil of the weapon felt nominal. Other than sticking out a little, the fired primers looked normal.

    It is my understanding that the headspace on a rimmed cartridge like the .303 Savage is determined by the gap for the rim measured from the face of the bolt. Thus, if the gap is too large or the rim is too thin, I could conceive of primers backing out. The rims on my cartridges measure about .058". The data I found says it should be .063". That doesn't seem to be sufficient to cause my problem. I have nothing with which I can measure the actual headspace of the rifle. I can only assume my gunsmith did that.

    And in case someone should ask, yes, the Savage is chambered for .303 Savage and which is stamped on the gun.

    So what could be causing my primers to extrude? Do I need to take the Savage back to the gunsmith? Do I need to avoid Hornady ammo in .303 Savage?

    I think this mystery needs to be solved before I start reloading .303 Savage.

    I think I should include some photos.
    303_end_view.jpg 303_slant_view.jpg 303_side_view.jpg
    And because another forum asked for it, here is an image of my bolt face. bolt_face.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  2. 68c15

    68c15 TFFWPP President Supporting Member

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    Too light of a load? Try factory loads and see what happens. But first I'd also ask gunsmith if he checked headspace.
     
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  3. vassago

    vassago Well-Known Member

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    Agreed with too light a load (or too slow powder), the primer "shoulders" are so round they have not seen much pressure.

    What happens is that during firing the primers back out and get reseated when the case head slams into the boltface. If there is very little pressure/too light a load the latter is not happening.

    I had the same issue when I loaded .30-06 with slow powder and light bullets for which I had no load data. Increasing the charge kept the primers from backing out.

    The .303 savage is a pretty old cartridge, perhaps Grafs & Sons keep the charge light so it is safe for older firearms as well.
     
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  4. howlnmad

    howlnmad Old Guy Doing Things Moderator Supporting Member

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    I would agree with to light of a load but what throws me off is that this was purchased ammo.
     
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  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Purchased ammo? Made where?

    I once bought brass from CBC made in Brazil, I believe, for 50BMG. The brass was so thin normal reloading left the bullet lose in the case after seating (no neck tensions). I have bought RWS brass in 7.62 x 39 that was so thick I could not use normal reloading data because those loads overflowed the reduced capacity case.

    American brass is supposed to be made to SAMMI specs. Who knows about foreign brass?

    And I agree that the normal firing cycle has the initial pressure buildup pushing only the primer out of its pocket, back against the bolt. Then when the pressure gets to its peak or near it, the case is pushed back against the bolt face and the primer reseats. The pictures indictate to me either out of spec brass, excessive headspace, or most probably too light of a load. But if you reload for it do not exceed the reloading manual maximums. It hurts nothing that the cases do not have the primers re-seated unless it is a head space problem.

    Just my thoughts.

    LDBennett
     
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  6. vassago

    vassago Well-Known Member

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    It's factory reloaded ammunition using used cases unless specified otherwise, hence the PPU case.

    PPU (Prvi Partizan) is usually good quality brass.
     
  7. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, that is not an uncommon occurrence with lever rifles like the '94 Win. and the 1899 or 99 Savage. I'm not familiar enough with the Marlin's to speak to them. My old 99 in 303 Savage did it with some loads and there was nothing wrong with the rifle. However, I do concur with the above and the suspicion of a light load. I'd suspect the 150 gr. bullet as standard weight for the 303 Savage was 190 grs.

    Load some of your own with a heavier bullet and see how they act. I liked IMR-3031 and a 180 gr. cast, gas checked bullet in mine.
     
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  8. howlnmad

    howlnmad Old Guy Doing Things Moderator Supporting Member

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    I would give Grafs a call and see what they say.
     
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  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    94's can have this effect because the locking bolt is in the rear and only the thin receiver walls connected the locking bolt to the barrel.

    The Savage 99 is much heftier in design, in my opinion. The receiver walls appear to be thicker and more massive. Yes, the lockup is the bolt moving up and into the top edge of the receiver at the back of the bolt. But I think the receiver is more massive than the 94's receiver. Another indicator is the 99's were offered in 308 and the 94's never were. The 94's had the 307 but the receiver walls were strengthened in that model. No such strengthening seemed to be required for the 308 version of the 99. The 300 Savage cartridge is in general a higher energy level cartridge than the 30-30 so I suspect the Savage to be inherently stronger and less prone to receiver stretch that the 94's can suffer.

    Both the 94's and the Savage 99 are excellent guns (I have both). Both are strong enough for their intended tasks. I love them both.

    I actually think it is the ammo. I just looked at a couple of my reloaded fired cases and there was no protrusion of the primers. The load was 42 grains of IMR4320 behind a 147 gr FMJ bullet. That is a max load (accuracy tested) from Hornady's reloading manual. Interestingly my notes showed I struggled with an excessively long chamber and countered it with fire forming of new brass and not pushing the shoulder back during sizing for the next reload.

    LDBennett
     
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  10. DrMLap

    DrMLap New Member

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    In all honesty, I should note that I mistakenly identified my rifle as a Savage 98. There is no Savage 98. It's a Savage 99.

    Funny no one called me on that. :oops:
     
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  11. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    No biggy Dr. If everyone was like me they knew what you meant. I don't believe you're the first to make a typo....lol!