The Survival Podcast Forum

Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Firearms (Including Long Guns, Pistols) => General Ammo, Reloading, Bullet Casting, & Ammo Craft => Topic started by: DDJ on February 12, 2018, 10:33:26 AM

Title: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: DDJ on February 12, 2018, 10:33:26 AM
I am now frustrated and confused.  I am having inconsistent results when cleaning primer pockets and removing military crimps.

I have spent hours case prepping 400 cases by hand over Christmas.  Yesterday I had some free time and it was warmer so I went into the garage and started priming these cases.  The first 100 went perfect other than 2 primers jumping out of the primer cup as I installed them no issue.  The second 100 had the worst primer insertion I have seen yet. 

The primers were:
Hard to insert
Did not seat fully
Seated diagonally (one side would be down the other would be well raised.
Pushed the caser out of the shell holder (literally the case would push up through the shell holder and fly across the room as I applied force to insert the primer and I was not pushing that hard)
Shredded, there would be a lip of metal from the primer side sealed back and pushed up on one side.

I have been using a Lyman had military pocket reamer and bottom tool.  Holding the case in my hand and turning either the case or the tool depending on which wrist needed the break.
I examined the cases and verified that there were tool marks
I retried cleaning the pockets with both tools

All I can figure is that my reamer has worn and it is not cutting correctly anymore. 
Any suggestions as to what else to look for or at?

Does anyone know of the expected life of these tools.  I assume that steel cutters cutting brass would last a life time or at least 5 to 10 thousand rounds.  I might be at 2000 but not much further than that and most have not been military crimped.

Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: Carl on February 12, 2018, 04:02:49 PM
  Many of the military casings need the primer pocket to be camfered to remove the sharp edge at the mouth of the primer pocket. My Dillon uses a die to swage this open.Also ,you did not mention which primer you chose...I most often use FEDERAL Small Rifle for 5.56-.223
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: DDJ on February 12, 2018, 07:24:43 PM
I am using CCI Small rifle #400s  and this Lyman tool is supposed to remove the military crimp and has a bit of a chamfer in the cutter design.

I am thinking that I must have warn off the cutting edge of this tool.
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: NWPilgrim on February 13, 2018, 05:16:08 AM
I doubt you wore of the cutting edge.  I have used the same tools for trimming brass for decades and they have not dulled noticeably.  Doing this with hand tools is only for a few cases at a time.  If you have hundreds of cases you need to get cutters like this that mount to a lathe style trimmer, or mounted in a cordless drill, or are part of a motorized trim center.  Or get the Dillon Super Swager and adjust for the MINIMUM amount of swaging that allows firm but smooth insertion of the primer.

Sounds like you are using way too much force and perhaps the wrong shell holder size when priming.  Are you hand priming or priming on the press?

I assume you are using the reamer and a pocket uniformer (cuts the pocket bottom square to the exact depth needed).  Those two should ensure a good pocket for primer insertion.  Are you holding the reamer perpendicular to the case head, not leaning over to one side or the other?  Are you paying attention while doing it or watching a movie at the time?  Some guys will watch TV while priming or trimming.  I think it is a bad habit to mix reloading and ANY other activity (talking, texting, movies, drinking, etc.).
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: Carl on February 13, 2018, 07:05:52 AM
  Your primer choice is good but somewhere indexing is awry.
I used a machine to insure alignment ,It was RCBS ,though now the Dillon does it on the press.
The bevel cut ,to remove the crimp,must be centered and equal all around . A hand tool will work
but must be eyeball checked with each use.

  As you did not mention the PRESS or loading station I must add the alignment and primer feed is suspect more than the pocket trim
as timing and alignment is critical...even if for a single stage press and I also question RIM DAMAGE if a proper shell plate is in use.

  We are blind on this end and must assume all factors that can cause this .. I also doubt that you pocket trim is the issue and suggest a look at primer feed and alignment and indexing (if a moving shell plate or die set is in use. 

  Is one manufacturer case giving most trouble as I only used FEDERAL,REMINGTON etc ...Well known manufacturers...NO foreign surplus. My ammo load would run at 4000 shells per hour and my DILLON 1050's at 800 or so rounds per hour as it was hand powered.

Check each thing again and don't ASSUME all is correct,for if it was correct,it should be working.

My 40 S&W loader at low speed ,I used 5 of these in different calibers ,in my shop,and 4 Dillon 1050's)
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 13, 2018, 09:22:17 AM
Because I am still in single stage land, I prefer to hand prime my .223.
Any cases that have resistance when seating a new primer (I also prefer the CCI 400), I set those aside.
I then run those right pockets through a manual RCBS ram swager.  These are < $30.  I prefer forging to cutting as material is not removed, but it's not a critical thing either way.

Also, I usually only need to swage once fired NATO or other crimped brass.  There after those cases are sized appropriately and never again need the pockets swaged.
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: machinisttx on February 13, 2018, 05:20:32 PM
I had problems with lyman primer pocket reamers. Also have an RCBS swage tool, but it's slow and kinda awkward to use. I just took a quick look and couldn't find my reamers, but I'm thinking the last ones I bought may have been hornady. Whatever brand it was, I recall that I didn't have any more problems. My uniformers are all either Sinclair or KM Shooting. (
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: DDJ on February 16, 2018, 10:15:43 AM
Sorry I did not think it could be the press since the first 100 went perfectly, but...
Lee Turret
Lee Safety Prime
The shell holder that came with my lee Die set (#4 I think but it is not in front of me)

I did bring the Reamer into work and use a mold polishing tool on the flats of the cutting surface.  They did not show signs of a damaged edge but I dressed them anyway.

I do eliminate as many distractions when I reload as possible, but I do not put as much into case prep.  However on Sunday when I was having issues I was 100% on task and even with re-reaming I still had issues.

I will try again this weekend and see.

Does anyone make a case holder for the drill that I could lock the case into instead of having to get tool holders for all of the tools.  I have gone to a drill for resizing but not for primer pocket stuff, yet.
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: armymars on February 16, 2018, 10:43:10 AM
I use to have trouble with S&H brass because U.S. primers would not fit the Primers pocket.
Title: Re: 223 Primer insertion issues
Post by: Carl on February 16, 2018, 11:10:10 AM
I have used an old RCBS bit that fits in a drill and has large  or small step bits (like a countersink drill bit) that would leave a nice bevel in the primer pocket and could be used hand held and was fast  as it could be set for depth quickly...they were $10 or so about 35 years ago. My production machines now do all that work.