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Reloading Berger Bullets


What causes hang-fires?

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Unread 12-19-2009, 12:31 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Salmon, Idaho
Posts: 392
Re: What causes hang-fires?

This gizmo plus a primer flipper tray.

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Unread 12-19-2009, 12:51 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Carrollton, Ohio
Posts: 637
Re: What causes hang-fires?

I don't know where the thread is that I first heard this but a light charge with slow burning powder can cause it.

Here is a thread I started a few weeks ago on my hang fire problem with H414.

To summarize...

I was load testing and encountered a few hang fires; not until I added 2 or so grains more powder did the hang-fires subside.

H414 is the only powder I have encountered a hang-fire with.

It was cold out so the comment about the cold could have been a contributor.
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Unread 12-19-2009, 01:18 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Re: What causes hang-fires?

Originally Posted by James H View Post
H414 can be dificult to light in cold temps.
I would switch to H4350 powder or CCI 250 primers.
Either should solve the problem.

H414 is a spherical powder that requires a hotter primer to ignite. Should the problem recur, consideration of the above may be prudent.

Last edited by Winchester 69; 12-19-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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Unread 12-19-2009, 01:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,237
Re: What causes hang-fires?

Originally Posted by Doug in Alaska View Post
Wow, I've been reloading for well over 40 years and have always handled my primers. I've never had a hang-fire but you bring up a very good point I had never thought of. How do you suggest getting the primer into the primer seating cup on a RCBS machine without handling it, rubber gloves perhaps?

I use a Primer tray by RCBS ( a round or square dish with ridges in it and a lid ) when you
open the primer box you dump them in the tray and shake it side to side to turn all of the
primers upside down then place the lid on and turn it over and the primers are ready to load
in the primer tube without ever touching them.

If you don't have a primer tray (They are 5 or 6 dollars) and you load them one at a time
then you can use rubber gloves or the little finger gloves that sectaries use on your thumb
and fore finger to prevent touching the primer. I learned this the hard way when I started
hand loading for my shotguns and had been handling the primers one at a time, I continually
had hang fires and miss fires until I stopped touching them and have never had one sense

I know it sounds extreme but it can save you a misfire.

It is best never to touch your primers with your hands. They are the key to consistant pressures
and if you accidentally alter the burn rate it will alter your SDs and ESs.


Last edited by J E Custom; 12-19-2009 at 01:41 AM.
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Unread 12-19-2009, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 5,804
Re: What causes hang-fires?

I've had some funky primer action from priming them then letting them set in the tray neck up for a few days between loading sessions, when I started flipping them neck down they worked fine. We have a pair of mini needle point pliers for handling primers that won't flip or for single loading them.
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Unread 12-19-2009, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 564
Re: What causes hang-fires?

It was about 20F when I was shooting. The load was pretty hot, about 0.5 gr less than a sticky bolt lift. My groups went to hell after that too. Shooting about 0.3 MOA then right after the hang-fire the last two groups were an inch at 100 yds. I might have been contributing though with my paranoia. I've had excellent luck with IMR4350 fireforming. Maybe I will switch. I just can't find that or H4350 anywhere.

Thanks for all of the advice so far.
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Unread 11-24-2011, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boise , Idaho
Posts: 131
Re: What causes hang-fires?

How do you correct the bolt twitching? I Have been getting some with slower fps and low 2-3moa when I notice them.
Rem 700
Load: 7mm Rum/85.5G retumbo/ 180 bergers/cci mag primers. This is 2-3 times fired brass.

Both this summer and today at 40 deg. ...?

I have never cleaned the inside of the bolt/spring....guess I should look that up too.
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