Blown Primer when switching to WLR from CCI

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by MajorSpittle, Jan 25, 2019.


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  1. MajorSpittle

    MajorSpittle Well-Known Member

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    I have only used CCI Primers thus far, but loaded up 20 rounds of my usual 30-06 load with WLR primers this time and decided to Crono them to see if it affected my load (58gr IMR 4831 under 168 gr A-Max). This was in some Federal Brass that has been reloaded 5 times.

    I noticed that the WLR primers were not seating as tight (hand priming tool) as the CCI primers. They were seated though and didn't back out any when seating the bullet. Yes the difference in force needed to prime was enough to make me check but everything was fine and I chalked it up to the WLR primers being made with a softer material.

    Well sure as ----, 12th WLR round decided to blow a pin hole along side the primer. I looked at the brass and got ----ed and threw the casing off a cliff near me and immediately regretted not saving it after I inspected my rifle to find a very deep pit in the bolt face ( I am glad I didn't end up with hot gas in my face, Thanks Tikka ).

    What I don't understand is how this can happen. Seems to me the Primer would recoil into the bolt face and seal around the primer hole vs blowing a hole like that. I did a quick google search and others have had WLR primers do the same thing.

    So my question is to any experienced reloaders out there: Is this a known issue with WLR primers? Federal Brass? Where might I have gone wrong, perhaps I need to inspect primer pockets better or not use WLR primers if they don't seem to seal as tight as the CCI primers do? All the rounds with CCI primers went in tight as usual, so I figured the brass was fine and the WLR used a softer (brass) cup, was this my mistake?
     
    tsyarnall likes this.
  2. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

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    It's a common safety factor to reduce charge weights by a grain or two, when changing primers, but now you know why. You got lucky to not be hurt.
     
  3. biggen

    biggen Member

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    I had the same problem except with WLRM in my 300 RUM. I had two of them pinhole with Remington brass on about the 3 reload. I assumed the primer pockets were gone on them even though they didn't feel loose, but RUM's are known to be hard on pp's.

    I told my gunsmith and he suggested going to Federals, I tore down the ones I had loaded and deprimed the brass, reloaded with Federals and no more problems. Anybody want to buy most of a brick of WLRM's ?
     
  4. MajorSpittle

    MajorSpittle Well-Known Member

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    Well, I loaded some up to 59.5 with CCI primers when originally working up the load (no pressure signs). I don't think it was a pressure issue as they were only about 2750fps which was about 15fps faster then the CCI primers. Also the other rounds showed no pressure signs and had no issues at all. It seems it was something specific to that brass, primer, or cartrige. Don't think it was the charge though as it chrono'd the same as the others.

    But thanks for the reply.
     
  5. MajorSpittle

    MajorSpittle Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have about 80 rounds of ammo loaded with WLR that I need to figure out if I want to shoot or not. They are loaded in fresh brass with real light loads (cheap 150gr hornady soft points for target practice and to size the brass). I think I shelf my brick of primers though and stick with CCI.
     
  6. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

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    You're probably right on it not being over pressure. I see now that you said gas was cutting edge of primer against pocket wall. I use win primers to fire form my cases. They are snug in new brass, but a shade loose on several time fired brass where Feds and CCI will be a tight fit. Guess it's a diameter thing. Glad you're okay.
     
    MajorSpittle likes this.
  7. MajorSpittle

    MajorSpittle Well-Known Member

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    I think I might stay away from Winchester. I was also shooting some of their M22 .22 rimfire ammo. About 2 in 30 rounds didn't fire in two different guns (about 6 misfires in 100ish rounds). Switch over to some federal Auto Match and never had one misfire the rest of the day. I wonder if Winchester has bad nitroglycerin they are putting in their primers or if their brass just sucks and causes issues with primers.

    I will definitely be looking over my primer pockets if I decided to reload the federal brass a 6th time, but will most likely toss it all to be safe. Now I need to see what a bolt face costs for a Tikka T3 :-(
     
  8. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

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    post a picture of your bolt face , if possible . I'm guessing it's fine to use , just a cosmetic blemish .
     
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  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

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  10. cohunt

    cohunt Well-Known Member

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    3 issues here

    1st you should reduce the load when switching componants-- that said u dont think you are over pressure..

    2nd is that cci primer cup material is thicker than win -- this can be good or bad, win primers will show pressure signs earlier than cci but cci can withstand more pressure before flattening or blowing

    3rd is that win primers have been known several times to have had this issue, pin hole blowout near the "rounded" portion of the primer--- it popped up on another forum about a year ago, you may have gotten some primers from that older lot or they may be having issues again if it's a new lot.

    Go back to cci (or fed primers)--- most say that the cci br primers or federal gm primers show the best consistancy anyway
     
  11. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

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    Changing primers is the last thing I do when checking for accuracy. I don't change anything except the be primers. When I did it with a 223 I had no problem with any primers except Winchesters. Every one of them pierced.
     
  12. djfergus

    djfergus Well-Known Member

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    As a safe rule of thumb I know that you load should always be reduced & worked back up when changing and component is your load recipe, but I did substitute a WLRM primer for a cci 250 magnum primer one time and it blew the WLRM primer out and left the primer pocket grossly enlarged with pits burnt out of the case head. I have interchanged cci 250s with Federal 215gmm with no problems but I would absolutely not recommend even trying that without reducing the load first. The WLRM primer is the hottest primer by far that I have ever dealt with and I no longer attempt to try the in anything.
     
  13. ofbandg

    ofbandg Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth. While loading for my '06 and '06 AI I found that Federal brass gave higher pressures with the same loads as did Win and Rem brass so I weighed them and found them considerably heavier - but once I adjusted for it the results were fine.
     
    RockyMtnMT likes this.
  14. Edward Pagliassotti

    Edward Pagliassotti Member

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    Winchester did, at some time, make some questionable (bad) primers. You can go to their website and contact them relative to ‘pinholes in the edge of WLR primers’. I did so in March of 2018. I gave them the lot numbers of my inventory of large rifle mag. (WLRM); my large rifle standard (WLR) and my small rifle (WSR) primers. No I am not a dealer but a bit of an “If 100 is good then a 1000 is better to have on hand”.
    They were quick to respond to my e-mail with the statement “Our best course is to get the defective primers back and get you reimbursed”. They did not say which, if any, were defective but asked for all of them back.
    Since primers are ‘hazardous’ to ship they had a very formal & time consuming way to return them at no cost to me other than my time.
    After all was said and done I received a check @ the current cost of primers and bought some CCIs.