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Old April 7, 2000, 09:50 AM   #1
Tech 1
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Join Date: April 5, 2000
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My agency is experiencing frequent misfires with our factory reloaded practice ammo.
(.38 special 125 grain +P)
It has a fully encapsulated jacket with a clean fire primer. This problem is not isolated to a specific batch lot. We have inspected the trigger pull and hammer drop on our revolvers and found them to be in spec. Additionally the primers are not deep seated. We however do not experience this problem at all with our duty ammo (Spear Gold Dot 125 grain HP). It has been suggested that the primer may be too hard. Has anyone else experienced this problem or have any suggestions on an alternate lead free primer or cartridge?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Tech 1

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Old April 7, 2000, 10:08 AM   #2
Svt
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I bought a bad batch of Large Winchester primers. Out of the 1000, I had 30+ misfires. By inspecting the primer, there was a large dent from the pin. If I stuck the round with the dented primer back in the mag and fire it again, it fires fine.

I called up Winchester and they said that there were a lot of people complaining about misfires. However, I didn't get a refund or anything. So, I stick with Federal primers now.

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Old April 7, 2000, 01:27 PM   #3
John Lawson
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We had trouble with CCI primers, switched to Federal and the problems disappeared. This was in caliber .38 special, and I noted that the later model .357 revolvers that some officers carried ignited them with freat uniformity. The older guns like the Model 10's and 15's were the ones having problems. I replaced some hammer springs, properly lubed the guns, in one instance removed and replaced the firing pin and in another replaced a hammer that was warped and struck the frame on the way down. Perfect ignition with CCI's. However, by that time administrators were heavily into Federals.
A few years ago Handloader magazine did a drop test and found CCI primers to be the hardest to ignite of all common brands.
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Old April 7, 2000, 04:04 PM   #4
Banzai
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Yes, I echo what has been said here. There's a reason that Lee and other makesrs of primer feed/seat devices caution the use of large quantities of Federal primers. CCI's have the hardest cups available, with Winchesters being second, so they're harder to ignite. As I found this out the hard way, on an IDPA match run, I've switched totally to Federals. Federals are also a little hotter than CCI's or Winchesters, so be careful with changing your loads if you're near max. Drop back a few grains, and start over. This should cure the problem altogether.

Everything that I've heard about the clean fire primer seems to indicate that they, too have a high rate of "hard primer" symptoms that just won't go away. Something to do with the fact that the cup needs to be a little thicker than standard primers (thus making the internal volume of the cup smaller) so as to generate more pressure in the primer pocket area to get proper ignition of the clean fire chemical mix.

Tom


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Old April 8, 2000, 09:16 AM   #5
Tech 1
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This is great information! I am going to go back and inspect my primers to see if they are being struck off center. These primers may be very demanding of a true center impact.

Thanks again for sharing.

John

"I've never lost. I just ran out of time to implement my options."
-Vincent T. Lombardi
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Old April 9, 2000, 09:07 AM   #6
Patrick Graham
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In shooting my Modl 60 in double action mode I found that primer mfg does make a difference. CCI primers are harder (or need to be hit harder) that the older, silver winchester small pistol primers. When I say harder, I mean that the modl 60 wouldn't always hit the primer hard enough to ignite it when I shot double action (just pulling the trigger without cocking). Don't know if the outside metal on the primer is harder or not.

Another view, of the same question. Is it the fact that the Modl 60 doesn't compress the hammer spring as hard in double action as it does in single action? Thats why double action mode on the old Smiths was so slick.

In single action mode the Modl 60 would shoot both the CCi primers and Winchester primers just fine. The hammer spring is compressed more in single action mode.
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Old April 10, 2000, 01:34 PM   #7
Matt VDW
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There's more to primer sensitivity than just the hardness and/or thickness of the primer cup. The priming compound itself also plays a role.

For instance, Federal uses a more sensitive formula for the lead styphnate in its primers than CCI, Remington or Winchester do. I believe that this is why the Federal primers are also packaged differently, since they're more susceptible to shock.

The problem with non-toxic primers is that they can't use lead styphnate (nor, for that matter, the old mercuric priming compounds in corrosive ammo). Finding a non-toxic priming compound has been the big stumbling block in producing totally "green" ammo.

By the way, I've had misfires with Winchester WLP primers, too.
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Old April 11, 2000, 01:05 PM   #8
Tech 1
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Thanks Matt VDW for your response.

Great stuff.

Tech 1



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Old April 11, 2000, 02:41 PM   #9
LOCHFAL
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I have had problems with the cleanfire primers specifically. I shoot lots of CCI and Winchester but have not had a problem with them.
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