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Primer Weirdness

This is a discussion on Primer Weirdness within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Today at the range, I was firing a couple hundred of home rolled 38 spcl rounds through my Ruber LCR, and one of my rounds ...


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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:04 PM   #1
 
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Primer Weirdness

Today at the range, I was firing a couple hundred of home rolled 38 spcl rounds through my Ruber LCR, and one of my rounds failed to fire. All I heard was a click. I looked at the failed round, and there was a dimple in the primer, but it hadn't fired..... not even a pop.
Just for the heck of it, I rechamberd the failed round and gave it another chance. Lo and behold, this time it fired.
Now I'm perplexed. Obviously the primer was struck the first time, thus the dimple. Why did it fail to fire the first time, yet fired the second time? Does this make sense to anyone?

CCI primers in case anyone is wondering.

Thanks

Pam



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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:29 PM   #2
 
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May not have been seated all the way. First hit may have planted it a bit deeper in the pocket. I've heard of this before.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:29 PM   #3
 
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CCI primers are the hardest ones. If any type will give you a problem, they are it. Your gun may work flawlessly with Federal, Winchester, etc. I try not to use CCI for this very reason. Just my personal opinion on the subject.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:34 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter49 View Post
May not have been seated all the way. First hit may have planted it a bit deeper in the pocket. I've heard of this before.
Good theory, however I wouldn't have been able to close the cylinder if that was the case.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:35 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjironhorse View Post
CCI primers are the hardest ones. If any type will give you a problem, they are it. Your gun may work flawlessly with Federal, Winchester, etc. I try not to use CCI for this very reason. Just my personal opinion on the subject.
I may have to make a switch after I finish this box. Thanks

Pam
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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:52 PM   #6
 
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incorrect. plenty of room in a primer pocket to not be seated all the way, yet still be seated enough to allow a cylinder to close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pampurrs View Post
Good theory, however I wouldn't have been able to close the cylinder if that was the case.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:21 PM   #7
 
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I keep hearing that about CCI primers. I have never used anything except CCI primers and have never had one fail to perform. I don't think I am doing anything special, but they just seem to work for me.

It sounds like you have not had any issues with CCI primers except for this one. I would agree that maybe it was just not seated properly on the first strike. Hard to say, since it worked the next time around.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:34 PM   #8
 
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Never checked my handgun rounds, but when seating my long range rifle rounds I check the depth of my primers below the case. Normally my CCI primers will be seated to a depth of .003 below the case. I've never had a CCI fail to ignite. Yea, I know, kind of anal, but I like bullets in bullet holes at 2, 3, and 4 hundred yards.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:51 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pampurrs View Post
Today at the range, I was firing a couple hundred of home rolled 38 spcl rounds through my Ruber LCR, and one of my rounds failed to fire. All I heard was a click. I looked at the failed round, and there was a dimple in the primer, but it hadn't fired..... not even a pop.
Just for the heck of it, I rechamberd the failed round and gave it another chance. Lo and behold, this time it fired.
Now I'm perplexed. Obviously the primer was struck the first time, thus the dimple. Why did it fail to fire the first time, yet fired the second time? Does this make sense to anyone?

CCI primers in case anyone is wondering.

Thanks

Pam
Makes perfect sense.
It's likely the primer wasn't fully seated. The firing pin struck the primer, some of that energy was used to drive the primer fully into the primer pocket therefore reducing the energy available to set off the primer. Often a second strike will fire a primer that failed to ignite on the first strike.

Another possibility is a light firing pin strike but if you have an unmodified Ruger LCR that is unlikely.

And by the way, CCI are the HARDEST primers to set off.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:57 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Pampurrs View Post
Good theory, however I wouldn't have been able to close the cylinder if that was the case.
Not necessarily. It could have still felt flush, but only a hundredths or thousandths short of fully-seated. It doesn't take much to absorb the force.

And yes, CCI are the hardest to set off as well.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 04:02 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
<snip>

And by the way, CCI are the HARDEST primers to set off.
Is that a good thing or bad thing?
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Old February 7th, 2017, 04:05 PM   #12
 
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I prime with a RCBS hand held priming tool and have developed a "feel" for the depth of each primer as I remove it from the shell holder and set it in my charging block.

Also, have never had any problems with CCI primers, (even after a spring job), in any firearm. When I did have a problem, it was using a Lee percussion type priming tool. Got away from that decades ago...
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Old February 7th, 2017, 04:38 PM   #13
 
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Is that a good thing or bad thing?
If you're seeking the most reliable ignition - it's a bad thing.

Federal match primers are a favorite with target shooters who are also reloaders due to their reliability.

That being said, the primer either fires or it doesn't. So as long as you're getting 100% ignition with your firearm it doesn't really matter as long as it works. It's not as if the primer "sort of goes off" or "goes off half way"; it either goes bang or it doesn't.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 04:43 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Pampurrs View Post
Is that a good thing or bad thing?
I think it's a good thing. If your firearm ignites CCI primers 100%, then it is almost certain to fire ANY ammo's primers.

In my 30 years of handloading, I've used CCI and Winchester primers exclusively, due to their good availability.

On primer seating: Most of my loading is done single-stage, due to the low round count needed for most of the calibers I load for. After I prime a case, I run my fingertip across the seated primer. It is pretty easy to feel a high-seated or flush primer. For the 9mm or .38 Spl I load progressively, I feel each primer as I place the completed rounds in the plastic ammo boxes.

I prefer my primers seated 'just' below flush with the case head. In my experience, an excessively dirty primer pocket floor is the most common cause for a high-seated primer.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 12:20 AM   #15
 
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I have used many different brands of primers over many years and I am unable to understand if a primer is either "hard" or "soft". When properly seated in cartridges that hold the primer next to the bolt face or surface having the firing pin hole they go off providing the firing pin hits them hard enough.

Measuring 3 different types of small pistol primers:

Federal 100, small pistol, cup thickness .017, depth to anvil .121, depth to edge cup .110

CCI 500, small pistol - same dimensions as Federal 100 primer

CCI 550, small pistol magnum - same dimensions as Federal 100

Assuming the brass is only worked enough to form the primer, it should exhibit the same degree of work hardening.

Assuming the brass is 80 percent copper and 20 percent zinc the alloy hardness should be the same.

If some primers having the same cup thickness are "harder" than others I never have seen it. In this situation the discussion is about why a LCR failed to fire (small pistol primers).

Primer sensitivity might be another matter and this probably is a function of the anvil positioning. Most primers, like the pistol primers that I measured have protruding anvils. All 3 of the measured primers had the same protrusion .121 - .110 = .011. Another factor to consider is what CCI call the "sweet spot" apparently the end of the anvil is made wide enough to go bang when stuck slightly off center.

Possibly PamPurrs' primer instead of having a "sweet spot" had a "sour spot" and when the lady went for another run with the dented primer the round was positioned differently causing the firing pin to strike the lead styphanite compound between the surface of the cup and the anvil. Off center anvil?

Hopelfully the little LCR has a snappy ignition system to launch bullets.
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