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I just started reloading and I had a good round of testing powder drops. I found my desired powder limit and made 200 rounds. They worked great the next day when I went to the range. The next time I went out (about 2 months later) they didn't work at all. Not even the primer detonated, which leads me to think it was the primers. I took the round apart, I definitely had powder. Any help?

  • Dillon RL550B.
  • .40 cal. 165 gr flat point Berry"s
  • zapalky small pistol primers
  • Alliant Bullseye 5.4gr
  • COAL: 1.16"






 

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If they worked after loading then, two months later, they didn't lends me to think somehow the primers got contaminated. Oil? Moisture? Lube?

How and where (what climate) did you store these finished rounds?
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I don't think it could be oil or solvents. My reload bench is in my office and I clean guns in the garage.

I've got some new primers, I'll shoot some Saturday and see if they work.

Thanks!
 

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Dillon sells them at their store. I have some new Winchester primers I'm going to try this weekend.
I looked them up and see that they are from Czechoslovakia and are basically S&B primers. I have used S&B and never had any problems with them. Yeah, see what the Winchester's will do.
 

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Primers are manufactured with a plastic coating and I am wondering if your primers missed some or part of the plastic coating. Without the coating the compound, which is not much probably degraded to the point they are no good. I cannot see it being oil or solvent because the O.P. would have had to have had quite a bit in the mix of reloading and it would be obvious.

I think they be bad primers from the get go.

Highboy
 

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The primer I see doesn't look like it's had a very hard strike.
Am I wrong?

Did you try any a second time?

When I came back there was another clearer shot of the primer that looks better but still not as dented as most that I have seen.
 

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As others have mentioned, there are only 3 things that have a FTF, light primer strike (Firing pin, pistol hardware) outside influence on the primer (prep, case lube, oil or other) or bad primer.

Eliminate the primer first before you start changing the cadence on the case prep. The last thing it would be is the hardware.

Hell, listen to me, reloading 9 months, over 10,000 rounds, and I sound like I've been doing it all my life. :) Seriously, I listen to other reloaders, research, experiment...my advice is other reloader's advice. It's just a process of elimination.
 

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Well Mak....some folks can cram as much or more learning into 9 months as others try to do in 20 years. I believe you've done well!

The re-load question has been answered as well as it can be. I too thought the firing pin strike might be a little light but the strike from my Haenel/Aydt is lighter and it always sets off the primer. However, I use Remington primers in it which have a reputation for being soft. All I know about S&B is their loaded ammo has a good reputation.
 

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A "failure to fire cartridge" primer strike will look funny because the gas pressure never pushed it against the firing pin to form the common crater we see in ever empty case.

USA made primers have a cover over them to protect them during handling. That was instituted some years ago and maybe not for these foreign primers. Back then you were warned not to touch the priming compound with your fingers as just the natural oil from your fingers could contaminate them. Even today I never touch the primers. They go from the packaging, dumped into the tray flipper, into the primer tube, and into the press without me ever touching them.

This may be contamination from handling them ??? or maybe bad primers. If you got them at Dillon call them up and tell them the problem. If it is common then they will have seen it. They may have a solution (replacement, compensation, or ???).

LDBennett
 

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That was my first thought - contaminated primers. I had this happen way back in the 70s when I used to load each primer (with my oily fingers) into the priming arm of my RCBS press. The only other 'duds' were around the same time - I had lubed/sized my cases and didn't clean all of the case lube in/out of the case and the rounds were all misfires. To this day I avoid touching my primers. Might just be coincidence - but I haven't had a single misfire since. That is thousands and thousands of rounds. If they fired when fresh, and then failed to fire after sitting as few days - sounds like contamination.

I've never heard of those primers either. Unless you got a terrific buy on those, I'd recommend that you load with standard/available primers like CCI, Federal, Winchester or Remington. I stay away from the 'exotic' stuff.
 

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If you still have the bullets, pull and empty them. Then shoot some of the rounds w/ just the primers left and see how they behave. The rounds you emptied out are emptied in fresh cases w/ some other brand primers and then shoot those to see if powder behaves? Pending the percentage of the last failures you had, make a good sample percentage to test.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A "failure to fire cartridge" primer strike will look funny because the gas pressure never pushed it against the firing pin to form the common crater we see in ever empty case.

USA made primers have a cover over them to protect them during handling. That was instituted some years ago and maybe not for these foreign primers. Back then you were warned not to touch the priming compound with your fingers as just the natural oil from your fingers could contaminate them. Even today I never touch the primers. They go from the packaging, dumped into the tray flipper, into the primer tube, and into the press without me ever touching them.

This may be contamination from handling them ??? or maybe bad primers. If you got them at Dillon call them up and tell them the problem. If it is common then they will have seen it. They may have a solution (replacement, compensation, or ???).

LDBennett

This may have been it then, I did look closer at the Zapalky primers and they do not have a coating where the Winchesters have a red coating. Thanks for all your help guys! Good to learn better habits.
 

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If they worked after loading then, two months later, they didn't lends me to think somehow the primers got contaminated. Oil? Moisture? Lube?
How and where (what climate) did you store these finished rounds?
It is extremely difficult to contaminate a primer once it is seated in the brass with a bullet seated. Very strange. I have even tried to deactivate some primers by soaking them in WD40 and they still would fire.
Did the dud rounds have a real good firing pin indentation? Were you using the same firearm for both range trips? If they were light strikes, it is a firearm problem and not the primers.
 
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