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I am first time re-loader. Just completed my first batch (50) of 45acp. Used Winchester large pistol primers and six were duds. Is this standard or did I do something wrong with the process? I touched several primers with my hands, just inspecting them since I've never seen a primer. The rest were all loaded with my press. Any ideas on what I could have done wrong?
 

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When I was starting out with reloading, I occasionally had the same trouble. I eventually figured out that I was not fully seating the primers. When that happens, much of the energy of the firing pin is consumed by pushing the primer into the cup fully, and only a little energy is left to dent the primer - a misfire. Inspect the duds and observe the difference between those that fired and those that didn't. I think you'll find that the misfired rounds will have somewhat more shallow dents in them. Practice will solve this problem; be patient...
 

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If you rehit those six duds, they'll probably all fire.
 

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Primers need to be seated below flush. That is about 0.002 inches which you can feel with your finger.

Primers have what is termed an anvil. That is the star shaped metal you see on the bottom of the primer. The anvils three legs are suppose too touch the bottom of the primer pocket. The priming compound is a disk the gets crushed between the anvil and the primer metal body. If the legs of the anvil don't start out touching the bottom of the primer pocket then the firing pin does nothing until it seats the primer fully. With its energy used up seating the primer, there is not enough left to crush the priming disk.

However you seat primers (in the press or by hand) make sure every one is full seated to below flush by about 0.002 inches.

The "duds" probably will fire the second time through the gun.

Touching the primers with the fingers use to be a NO-NO but today most primer manufactures put a protective covering over the primer disk to guard against hand oils killing the primer. But I avoid hand touching them anyway...you know, old dog can't do new tricks.

LDBennett
 

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It sounds like they weren't seated fully. Make sure they bottom out in the primer pocket.

Touching the primers isn't going to cause them to not fire.
This will do it. I had a few rounds from my first few batches that would't fire due to this. I know people will probably cringe for me saying this, but usually when I have a no-fire, obviously I'll wait long enough for it to shoot off. But I'll stick it back in the chamber and it usually fires off. I cant recommend this.. But especially for 22lr, I had a light strike issue with one of my rifles, so I put em in a revolver and it went pew pew
 

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I too can report that I've had primers that weren't seated fully and failed to fire. The first strike causes the primer to seat, but not fire. These were 45 ACP as well.

FWIW, I find CCI primers are harder to seat than Federal. I'm buying federal primers whenever possible. I do have some Winchester primers in Small Pistol but haven't tried them yet.
 

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Getting them seated is all in the machine you use to seat them.

Some here like hand tools and "feel" the anvil seat. I think that too elusive for me.

Some use presses that are less than perfect at repeatability in seating primers.

My Dillon RL550B as set up by the factory ALWAYS fully seats primers. While there is an adjustment of that I have in 30 years never had to adjusted it for both large or small primers of any power.

I use Winchester primers exclusively because those are the ones I use to get at gun shows for bargain prices. I have a pretty big supply on hand. I have avoided CCI because their cup is supposedly harder and tougher to seat. Having only used a few over the years I can not verify that. I have stuck with Winchester because they flat work with no troubles and because in a primer test several years ago in a gun magazine they were the most energetic of the standard primers.

As an aside, when I reloaded for 50BMG the primer seating depth was closer to 0.010 inches than 0.002 inches. I had several failures to fire because of high primers (seated like I would normal ammo). That it scary when the cartridge is loaded with over 200 grains of powder and it fails to go off....you learn to wait a long time before you pull the dud out of the gun!!

LDBennett
 

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Oregon duck shooter, welcome to the forum. You've found the right place to ask questions. There are probably several hundred years' worth of experience collectively in the members here, and we are all glad to pass on what we've learned.

You will find that the only dumb question about reloading is the one you don't ask. We all started out with no knowledge once upon a time, and got information from someone else, so we've all been there.

We like a good discussion, a good laugh. Pull up a keyboard and a chair and enjoy.

I agree with the others here. It is probably a primer seating issue.

I have used whatever primers I could get for my .357 rounds and all have made the round go "bang" without any problems. I've used CCI, Federal, Winchester, magnum and standard.

I do hand prime, using the Lee auto prime tool. That gives me an extra chance to check each case for defects.

Let us know how you get on. As said before, try shooting those rounds that failed to fire the first time around.
 
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Now I will say I've had issues with Winchester primers for metallics like crazy. About a 10% fail rate. Any other brand I've put in I've never had a fail to fire. I use a hand primer, and prime about 500 pieces of brass in a sitting. I also check the brass after I seat the primer to make sure it's seated correctly. Still get a lot of Winchester primers that failed to fore. So now they just sit, and I buy other brands. Their shotgun primers are great though, and out I don't know how many thousands I only had one fail to fire.
 

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Well, the manuals DO tell you not to touch the primers, but touching them won't kill the primers. I agree with the others that your troubles are likely from the primers not being fully seated in the primer pocket. (I have killed primers when I first started reloading because of case lube on my fingers handling live primers. Also managed to drown a couple in case lube in the primer pockets before I learned to keep my cases clean and dry while reloading.)

When you seat your primers, you don't need to squash them, but you do need to make sure they are fully seated in the primer cup. I like to prime a batch of cases with primers, and I use my finger tip to **feel** that the primers are seated just below the flat part of the head of the cartridge case as I place them in the next station for reloading. I give them a swipe with my finger, and if they don't feel just right - they get a closer inspection and possible trip back to the priming tool.

One thing I do is to make certain that all of the carbon is removed from the primer pocket before I prime the cases. A lot of guys don't - and that is fine. Just that I see carbon building up in the primer pocket over time as a possible source of ignition trouble.
 

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Winchester primers have a 10% failure rate????????

For 30 years I have used them exclusively and NEVER had a failure to fire from a bad primer. Admittedly the batch I have now is at least five years old and there is a possibility that newly produced Winchester primers are less reliable. But I doubt it. The only primer pockets I clean are those of rifle cartridges that get trimmed as part of the trimming process. I have pistol cases reloaded at least 10 times, head stamped 1987 when they were bought new by me, that have NEVER had the primer pockets cleaned other than going through my Dillion vibratory cleaner using walnut shell media which never cleans the pockets.

Often times it its the guy behind the tool that is the problem. I think using hand primer seating is part of the problem. "Feeling" the primer seat is a judgement which can be erroneous. Using a good tool, like the mechanism in my Dillon RL550B that has a stop for the seating function, is a better way in my opinion. Every primer is seated exactly to the same depth. Mine came factory adjusted and I have never changed it in 30 years of use.

It is possible that newly made primers from Winchester, made in haste during the Obama administration when there was a primer shortage, are not the same as my stores but I am suspicious of that assertion.

How many others that report here that use Winchester primers made in the last 5 to 8 years have seen a 10% failure rate? Without corroboration, this claim of 10% failure rate of Winchester primers is bogus in my opinion and is really a process failure by the poster.

Sorry to be so blunt but a claim of 10% failure rate is a serious allegation. Winchester would not be happy about that.

LDBennett
 

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Winchester primers have a 10% failure rate????????

For 30 years I have used them exclusively and NEVER had a failure to fire from a bad primer. Admittedly the batch I have now is at least five years old and there is a possibility that newly produced Winchester primers are less reliable. But I doubt it. The only primer pockets I clean are those of rifle cartridges that get trimmed as part of the trimming process. I have piston cases reloaded at least 10 times, head stamped 1987 when they were bought new by me, that have NEVER had the primer pockets cleaned other than going through my Dillion vibratory cleaner using walnut shell media which never cleans the pockets.

Often times it its the guy behind the tool that is the problem. I think using hand primer seating is part of the problem. "Feeling" the primer seat is a judgement which can be erroneous. Using a good tool, like the mechanism in my Dillon RL550B that has a stop for the seating function, is a better way in my opinion. Every primer is seated exactly to the same depth. Mine came factory adjusted and I have never changed it in 30 years of use.

It is possible that newly made primers from Winchester, made in haste during the Obama administration when there was a primer shortage, are not the same as my stores but I am suspicious of that assertion.

How many others that report here that use Winchester primers made in the last 5 to 8 years have seen a 10% failure rate? Without corroboration, this claim of 10% failure rate of Winchester primers is bogus in my opinion and is really a process failure by the poster.

Sorry to be so blunt but a claim of 10% failure rate is a serious allegation. Winchester would not be happy about that.

LDBennett
Winchester primers have had some serious issues with pin holes being burnt through the cups for the past several years. I haven't heard anything about misfires but, pin holes being burnt through isn't a good thing.
If you search "Winchester primer problems" in your search engine you'll see a long list of threads addressing it.
 

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I just finished shooting the last batch of 1000 reloaded 357 using Winchester primers and have had no miss fires or pin holes. I bought the primers last May.
 

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I've been sitting here thinking and trying t remember if I ever had any trouble with any primers. The only problem I can remember is the Federal primer gong off when I was seating one of them. I gave them to my neighbor and the same thing happened to him within a day or so. I have never used another Federal primer.
 

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Federals are my main primer and again never had an issue whether I prime them on my LNL or RCBS hand primer. I better go buy a lotto ticket before my luck runs out!!!
 

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Guys - I'm certainly nowhere as experienced as you folks, but I've been impressed with Federal primers. I find they seat easier (why is that?) and haven't had an issue with them not firing (or going off in the press... knock on wood).

I do have 1000 winchester SP primers that I'll be getting into shortly.

The CCI primers are the ones that I've had issues with seating hard. Also, the times I had rounds not fire, they were CCI (due to not being seated fully). They did go off the second time around.
 
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