Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Reloading

Reloading Berger Bullets


Primer Pockets ?

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 09-15-2013, 07:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,125
Re: Primer Pockets ?

Originally Posted by backwoods83 View Post
Use a micrometer on the case head. Maybe I'm the idiot here that realizes that brass is malleable/ductile, and that if the shoulder, case body, and neck expand upon firing that eventually the primer pocket will as well, but I don't hear any bickering about resizing cases, so why all the BS about resizing primer pockets if that's all that's wrong with them. Just because the pocket is loose doesn't mean the web is busted.
If pockets are getting loose after one or two firings, the concern is not over the tightening of the pockets but rather what is making them loose in the first place: typically over pressure loading. The OP is getting 300fps + over non AI book max velocities. While not stated explicitly, the OP also seems to infer that these cases haven't been loaded to "normal" life-cycle limits. If he can buy a tool to tighten them up, great. I personally wouldn't, but I am conservative by nature when it come to reloading - to each his own. BUT - If he continues to run over pressure, he is playing with fire and that is not an opinion or a conservative fall-back.

My issue with your previous posts are that you are implying that loading to excessive pressures is no big deal: your friend has loaded over pressure for 7+ years with no issues, you believe that actions are proof tested to 2x SAAMI pressures (once? 1000 times?), you reloaded factory brass that had loose pockets, and brass is malleable so just twist it back to shape. That is all great, but far from empirical truth that loading to extreme pressure is safe. It isn't, and only one incident in a lifetime of shooting is one too many...

In the example of your friend, he reloaded cases 30+ times and tightened pockets 3 or 4 times. It is stated that his loads are known overpressure. If the OP has finger-tight pockets after 2 or 3 loadings, would a fair assumption be that he may be waaaay over pressure? Or as long as the cases mic out OK at the head would you think it is acceptable to run any pressure that doesn't gall the locking lugs or blow the action? While primers and primer pockets may not be a great indicator for pressure, common sense says you can't ignore them either. When viewed relative to velocity, book max, times fired, etc they can (and should) be viewed as a warning sign.
Reply With Quote

Unread 09-15-2013, 07:37 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,206
Re: Primer Pockets ?

1st example, use CCi 400s in a 22 hornet, run it up until you see pressure signs, now you have just destroied your 22 hornet brass, this works both ways, not all brass is equal nor is the cup thickness on primers, or the size of primers, one could feel loose upon seating and another brand snug, .001-.0015 makes a big difference in how primers fit. No I'm not suggesting to run 10k psi over saami spec, but I'm also saying that multiple near max (58k on a 60k psi cartridge) loads can cause pockets to loosen, doesn't mean the brass is bad. The 338lapua is another good example, in saami terms its psi max is 65k, in cip terms its 68.65k, yet we still use it on actions that have been chambered for rounds as small ass a 222 (remington 700) they are available in some european countries, so do you think most europeans are going to run them around 64k or 68k? The guy asked if it was safe to tighen primer pockets, my answer was, if the rest of the case is up to par then it is safe to tighten them, simple answer. I'm not telling him to run 70k+ psi, even though some commercial rounds are loaded hotter than that, I'm just telling him that it won't hurt anything to tighten the pockets.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:51 PM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC