Do Primers Go Bad

Dry Heat?

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Apr 1, 2018
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I bought out a Gibson’s Store in Silver City NM of all of their Primers and some of their powder that I was using at the time back in 1983. I bought a few thousand Small Rifle Primers even though I had nothing at the time that used them. The price was right, as they say. Fast forward 25 years. I’ve got a 223 now. I load some cartridges, take them out and Bang Bang Bang. Not a single failure. Federal primers. I live in Arizona but my loading equipment went with me on the road for years from N Mex to Utah to Minnesota to Florida over a 4 year period. I keep my primers in Tupperware tubs. And I’ve still got some Bullseye that still goes Bang in my 1911! Like I said, the price was right!
 

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Just to try and eliminate the human error part, I picked an RCBS auto primer tool. I was using the RCBS hand tool. What a difference. I can easily see how it could have been the way I had the primers installed.
I still don't have any clues as to why the hang fires.
 

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Just as an FYI, Winchester asked for the primers back in the end of March. It took them nearly a month to send the packaging. It has been another month and they are still farting around. What I was told was as soon as they got them back they would cut a check so I could replace them. Nothing, nada, zip zilch. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!! As they say, "vote with your feet" Never will buy another Wimpchester product again, purely because of the customer service.
 

Wraith Hunter

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Colorado
I was out shooting some reloads yesterday in a 6.5 CM comparing them to some factory loads. I had a couple hang fires and a couple no fire in the reloads. There's plenty of primer/pin contact and no issues with the factory loads. All I can figure is that the primers are too old?
I have used 20 year old primers with great success. However, oil is a great way to make a primer inert. spraying WD-40 onto a primer will kill it if the lubricant gets to the active agent.

One of the more common causes for hang fire is primer depth. If a primer is not fully seated into the primer pocket the firing pin usually deforms the primer but not to the point the anvil is fully engaged.
 

Dosh

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Just as an FYI, Winchester asked for the primers back in the end of March. It took them nearly a month to send the packaging. It has been another month and they are still farting around. What I was told was as soon as they got them back they would cut a check so I could replace them. Nothing, nada, zip zilch. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!! As they say, "vote with your feet" Never will buy another Wimpchester product again, purely because of the customer service.
@redmt, many will agree with your assessment of Winchester's CS. Many, me included, aren't enamored with their products. However, there are a lot of members who are. With the competition in the firearm related industry increasing yearly, customer service and support should be a major part of their policy. It's great to hear reports on customer service good or bad, it should interest everyone. Hope you get that check.
 

Michael Cantor

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Jan 8, 2018
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SoCal
I was a huge Winchester fan. I have a 220 swift (pictured in the sidebar) and swore by it for years. From 1994. I recently had a problem with my firing pin dropping when I closed the bolt. In all fairness, I changed the trigger to a Timney back in 94 also. So the parts may have worn differently than the manufacturer intended. Be that as it may, I tried to get a new exact firing pin for my model and they are nowhere to be found. USRAC sends me to midwest gunworks and the "salesperson" there looked up my serial # and sent me the firing pin specified. IT WAS NOT EXACTLY RIGHT. It did not have a notch for the firing pin stop screw. I had to modify a few things, I cut the firing pin stop screw down to accommodate the LACK of a notch. It was a pain in the *** to fit. I finally gave up and brought it to a local gunsmith who is a certified Winchester repair shop. The first time there he did something, but my safety was not working properly when I picked it up. I left it there and he finally got it within the week. All seems good now and it is still my go to gun once again. I have killed a lot of animals with it and won a few dozen shooting competitions with it. I just can't let go.

SOME Winchester parts are hard to find and they are twice as expensive as Remington.

I was never in love with Remington; I did not like the way the rifles fit me back in 1980 when shopping for my first big game rifle. I didn't like the gloss wood, I did not like the feel of the bolt knob and tight fit to the stock. Winchester marketed the Rifleman's rifle and Jack O'connor was God. It was powerfully convincing advertising. Whatever, that was just me at 18.
For what it's worth, I still think The winchester Action is a "better" inherrent design with more "potential" for accuracy. The flat bottom receiver with integral recoil lug is a huge plus, resistant to torque in the stock. The three position safety is nice, until it wears, then its a hassle.

I just recently got into Remington because of deals that were presented to me. I built a semi-custom gun on a PTG action (won't do that again) (next custom will be with a DEFIANT action) and I bought a Remington 5R Long Range which comes with an excellent HS precision stock AND I also bought a Stainless synthetic Fluted in 22/250. All have Tactical knobs now so THAT problem is moot. All have Timney triggers, so THAT problem is Moot. 2 custom stocks, so THOSE problems are moot.
And, the 22/250 is an absolute tack driver 3/8" groups with UMC 50 gr HP ammo from walmart. What more can you ask for?

I think accuracy (repeatability) comes from repeatability. Holding the firearm the same way every time, a reasonably perfect concentric chamber to bore alignment, a perfect crown, actually, the last portion that swages the bullet, Consistent ammo and consistent trigger pull. Reliable optics and mounts go without saying. Mostly, a shooter's ability to shoot well!

There's no denying Remington's popularity and gunsmiths have worked on them to make them more "accurate". Remington's manufacture and parts are consistent (except for a couple of blurbs) and parts and aftermarket parts are readily available. This makes it popular and so sales abound.

I think HOWA 1500 actions are way underrated and probably one of the "best" mass produced actions ever, and I have three of them. BUT, aftermarket parts are not as widely available. They don't have the long range and tactical stocks I prefer... is the main drawback. However, the Hogue Overmolded stocks are absolutely excellent. I have several and they make the guns carry like they are 2 pounds lighter and the rubber absorbs vibration from the shot. Can't go wrong with them, not even the $100 stocks with pillar bedding. The full length Aluminum bedding block has an amazing fit and is my preference and the stock is heavy.

What were we talking about? I have ADD.
Oh yeah, Winchester customer service. It is truly a shame for a once great company that they think they are too big to deal with the end-user.. well, that's not exactly true, but they sure don't bend over backwards to help.
Though, I'd like to try a Coyote Light rifle.
At least the new model parts will be available for a hundred years or more.
I'll be DEAD, probably.
 

epoletna

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Jan 10, 2015
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Northern Nevada
Do primers go bad? Hah! I knew one in high school, used to hang out behind the gym, smoking. . .

Oh, wait -- you mean cartridge primers? No, pretty much not. I actually had a single pack of CCI primers that survived a flood in my garage. They still work just fine.
 

Kansaswoodguy

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Aug 26, 2014
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568
I've had primers that where stored in the garage in very hot humid summer conditions for around 10 years do what the OP is describing. I now store them in the house in ammo cans with desiccant in the can and only take 1000 at a time out to the reloading room for small rifle and a couple hundred for large rifle that's probably a 3-6 month supply for me. I also started storing the majority of my powder in the house and only bring out what I need when loading.
 

MajorSpittle

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Aug 24, 2012
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Oregon
Just as an FYI, Winchester asked for the primers back in the end of March. It took them nearly a month to send the packaging. It has been another month and they are still farting around. What I was told was as soon as they got them back they would cut a check so I could replace them. Nothing, nada, zip zilch. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!! As they say, "vote with your feet" Never will buy another Wimpchester product again, purely because of the customer service.
I think I sent mine back about the same time with about 60 rounds of primed brass, and 20 live rounds I worked up, and a few of the spent brass/primers that leaked. I finally got a reply after 2 emails saying they were sending me a check. It has been over a week now and haven't seen the check. It will be interesting to see what the reimburse me for.
 

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