Primer pockets expanding. Pressure sign?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bweber, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. bweber

    bweber Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been noticing something funny in my 300wsm cases. I've been loading them with Fed 215M match primers. Last time around I decided to try the Remington 9.5m primers as I've had good luck with them in the past (and have a bunch lying around).

    I found that they went in too easily, and that I could knock them loose just by holding the case at an angle and wrapping it against a hard surface (they would actually fall out).

    So, I went back to the Federals thinking the Remingtons might have a slightly smaller diameter. Then I noticed that while the Federals don't knock loose, they are going in much more easily than they used to (and I've only loaded these cases a few times).

    So, it appears as if the primer pockets are expanding widthwise, which is nothing I've ever seen happen before. Is there something going on that I should be worried about? Is this a sign of excess pressure? I've heard of cases blowing primers due to excess pressure (and saw it start to happen with a 300WM I was working with a few years ago). But this is new to me.

    I clean the primer pockets of carbon when I reload them, but I don't ream these or anything like that.

    Thanks,

    Ben
     
  2. Fergus Bailey

    Fergus Bailey Well-Known Member

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    This might be a pressure sign, but it could also be soft brass. What make are the cases?

    Are there any other pressure signs like ejector marks on the casehead? Are you loading at or near the max recommended load for the bullet/powder combo? When you say “only loaded these cases a few times”, how many reloads does that actually equate to?
     

  3. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    1st problem is 215s.

    No need for 215s with a WSM, 210s work just fine.

    H4350 or MRP and 210s with anything from 180-210 will normally shoot very very accurate.

    Primers vary in dimensions. measure the 215s and rem 9 1/2s for size.

    BH
     
  4. bweber

    bweber Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. These cases are all Federals. I know that none of them has been loaded more than three times, including the original factory loading (these are leftovers from testing Federal premium ammo).

    I haven't seen any other pressure signs. And generally I've been keeping below max loads. My only caveat there is that this rifle (Kimber 8400) seems to have a short throat. I measured the max OAL with the Barnes 200gr tsx and came up with 2.828". I believe that's shorter than the SAAMI OAL for this cartridge, so I'm having to seat the bullets deeper than normal to get the .05" off the rifling that Barnes recommends. I know that seating the bullet deeper will increase pressure at least initially.

    Bountyhunter -I'll try the lighter primers. The 215/9.5's did seem a little hot for this round. I just started there because that's what most of the load manuals seem to specify. Do you have any load data for those two powders?

    Thanks,

    Ben
     
  5. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    180 gr bullet

    MRP-65-67.8 gr

    H4350 60.0-64.0 gr.

    BH
     
  6. anachronism

    anachronism Well-Known Member

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    I've alway gotten fewer loadings from Federal brass than any other. The reason? The primer pockets get loose. I had a real problem with it in .223 & .308. Don't re-use the cases if the primers don't seat really tight. I just had to replace an AR15 bolt because gas leaked around the primer and flame cut pits in the bolt face in a circle around the primer. This brass had never been overloaded and was on it's third firing, that's only two reloadings. A Kimber bolt sounds really expensive to replace.
     
  7. CentreHit

    CentreHit Well-Known Member

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    Federal Brass - Loose Primer Pockets

    Hmmm,

    Should have read this thread before I purchased "once fired Federal Match brass" from a fellow shooter recently...:mad:

    I was up to my third reload on the Federal brass batch and discovered the 'hard way' that Federal brass doesn't like to be reloaded much as the primer pockets get too loose. RESULT = one damaged new Savage bolt. Gas had escaped around the primer and damaged both the ejector and extractor springs inside the bolt - damn!

    Initially I was very concerned I had done something extremely incorrect with my reloading procedure. But, later after trying to discover why/what had happened I tried to seat a new primer into the cleaned/de-primed/re-sized brass the primer went into the pocket real easy. I removed the case from the press and gave the edge of the brass case a rap against a heavy block of wood and yep - primer came right out and shot across the piece of wood.:eek:

    I then used a kinetic bullet puller to pull the remainding 15 rounds (as I was loading up slowly to the max published figure in the ADI reloading manual) and re-weighed the powder, as expected just below max and what I'd set initially. Max published load was 43.0 grains and I had loaded 42.5 grains.

    So, exit all Federal brass that I have. Pity, as I had not experienced this before with other Federal brass in different calibers.

    Live and learn they say...

    Cheers.

     
  8. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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  9. CentreHit

    CentreHit Well-Known Member

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  10. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    I hope that it works for you, keep us posted :)

    edge.
     
  11. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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  12. Shootin4fun

    Shootin4fun Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...I have reloaded Federal brass in 243, FL sizing, up to 8 times with mostly non-max charges level that results in medium velocity yet flattened primers (no other pressure signs) and yes some primer pockets are getting very easy. I've recently had a few cases that started to rupture horizontally about 1/2" up from the case head. But this is after 8+ reloads.

    I have noticed that Winchester brass seems to take more of a beating out of an autoloader than Remmington, making me think it is softer.
     
  13. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    For WSM/WSSMs I would use only Win reloading brass. It's good stuff.

    Also, your action might not be designed for magnum diameter cartridges, and your chamber may be too loose near webs.
     
  14. mrultramag

    mrultramag Well-Known Member

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    I would say it is pressure that is causing you the problem. Even if the problem is soft brass; the load your using is enough pressure to loosen the primer pockets in 3 loadings. If you want that federal brass to last you will have to back your load down. So for THAT brass you are experiencing excessive pressure signs. I would use a hand primer; you can feel how easy the primer seats and you get a feel for what it feels like in new case, once fired and several firings. You will know when they are seating too easy and adjust your load accordingly before you loosen the pockets on all the brass in that lot. I would do this during load development so you have it figured out before you shoot thru all your brass.