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Old October 15, 2006, 06:39 PM   #1
mrawesome22
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Flattened primers cause for concern?

I loaded up some 50 grain V-Max's this weekend for my 22.250 Remington 700 VLS. My Hornady data says 36.4 grains of Varget is max. Hodgdon says 37.5 is max. So I loaded 5 cartridges at 36.4 grains .060" off rifling. I also loaded 5 with 36.4 grains .030" off rifling. Of the .060" off rifling, 1 out of the 5 had a flattened primer. Of the .030" off rifling, 3 out of 5 had flattened primers. Bolt lift was normal and the only thing I could find was the flattened primers. Should I back off the charge a little? Is this even a cause for concern? I really liked this .030" off rifling load. It is super accurate. I don't want to mess with it unless there is just cause for it. Am I flirting with disaster? Could it just be that my gun is strong enough to handle this load and the primers aren't? Your comments are very much appreciated.
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Old October 15, 2006, 07:34 PM   #2
ZeroJunk
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Would be good if you could post a picture.Some factory loads will actually flatten the primer somewhat.If it is bad enough there will not be any of the rounded edge of the primer visible and the firing pin indentation will be cratered.So ,it depends on what you call flattening.
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Old October 15, 2006, 07:38 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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What primer?
Federals really are softer.
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Old October 15, 2006, 08:08 PM   #4
silicon wolverine
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ill flatten feds somewhat just seating them. If you shoot any ultramax ammo ALL thier primers are flattened from the factory. As long as you arent getting pressure signs i wouldnt worry about it but id defeinatly keep an eye on it.

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Old October 15, 2006, 09:33 PM   #5
mrawesome22
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WLR primers. I'll put some pics up after I get off work.
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Old October 16, 2006, 01:22 AM   #6
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http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l2...2/DSC00610.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l2...2/DSC00608.jpg

The flattened ones are on the bottom row and the normal ones are on top.
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Old October 16, 2006, 06:10 AM   #7
ZeroJunk
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Those indicate a reduction would be a good idea as they are flattened and also appear to be cratered.I'm sure some of the others will have suggestions.
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Old October 16, 2006, 08:01 AM   #8
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Grant Cunningham, a West Coast gunsmith who has gotten some good press here in the past, once told me that Federal primers are the softest and easiest to touch off, followed by Winchester, and CCI.

CCI's are the hardest.
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Old October 16, 2006, 08:11 AM   #9
corey006
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+1

On what Zerojunk had to say.

Flattened primers are not really a huge issue UNLESS they are accompanied by some other pressure sign, which in this case is your firing pin mark is "cratered" somewhat.

I would back off as well.
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Old October 16, 2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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Ditto the backoff, even if it is just so you get to look at the primers to compare them. The cratering (the slightly raised impression around the perimeter of the firing pin indentation that resembles a low lunar crater wall) is usually a pressure warning, as the others indicated. Occassionally, however, cratering may be due to the firing pin tunnel being too large for the firing pin. If the cratering continues even after you've backed the load off half a grain to a grain, I would have a gunsmith check that the firing pin and tunnel are within specifications.

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Old October 16, 2006, 12:59 PM   #11
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Nick,Now that you mention it the cratering appears in the photo to be as bad on the non flattened primers as it is on the flattened ones.Could also be that the photo flash exaggerates what is there.
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Old October 16, 2006, 02:52 PM   #12
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Your right ZeroJunk, the cratering on them is as normal as any other round I've shot in my other guns. And the cratering is EXACTLY the same on the flat and non flat. Those pics didn't come out too well but it was the best I could get my ancient camera to do. But again, to look at them in person, hell, the non flat actually look a little worse than the flat. But again, the cratering is perfectly fine. I think the photo exagerates the effect. I think I'm going to try some CCI's and see if they do the same thing. I'm also going to try some non nickel brass. This nickel stuff is very slippery and I was thinking that plain brass would have a better grip on the chamber walls. I also think the cratering is just where the material is getting moved out of the way very quickly by my firing pin. My firing pin spring is a real brute. If none of that works... guess I'll have to back off my charge. I really was wanting at least factory ammo speeds though.
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Old October 16, 2006, 06:20 PM   #13
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Just out of curiosity, why did you start at the Maximum load?
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Old October 16, 2006, 06:49 PM   #14
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mrawsome22,
it is a sign of too much pressure. You should back off some on the charge. You can keep the depth at .030 if this gives you the best accuracy, but start your charge lower and work your way up. It is obvious that 36.4 gr. is alittle too high for both seat depths.

Always start low even if the data gives maximum charges as safe pressures. It may not be so with your gun.
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Old October 17, 2006, 01:15 AM   #15
mrawesome22
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I did not start at this load. I started at 33.5 grains and worked up. Going to try 36.0 grains tomorrow and I'll get back with you all. But I was wondering, if this load flattens primers in my gun, wouldn't it flatten them in all guns as long as the ogive was .030" off the rifling with proper headspacing? It just seems odd that they would publish a load that flattens primers. I'm using the exact same components in their load. The only difference is OAL. Maybe loading so close to the lands is causing a rise in pressure? But everything I've read about that subject is up in the air. Some say loading close to the lands raises pressure, and others say your an idiot if you believe this. But then again, my loads that were .060" off the rifling only had one flattened primer. Hmm... guess I'll just have to see what kind of accuracy I can get out of reducing the powder. I'll keep you all informed of my tinkering.
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Old October 17, 2006, 01:40 AM   #16
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Mr. Awesome - to answer your question, NO. What is safe in one gun may NOT be safe in another! Please do not assume that - it's a very, very dangerous assumption.

My primary "hot" reload is in my .357 mag. I push up a 180 gr. hardcast bullet at 1350 with nearly zero pressure signs. It's my personal max load for my GP100.

A friend of mine wanted to try some of them in his gun - no way I said. Turns out, I was right. Cylinders on his GP100 must have been just a hair tighter than mine - in his gun the best we could push was around 1275 with the same components. That max load of mine could well have been dangerous in his gun.

Every gun has extremely minute changes. Chambers could be 1/10,000 of an inch different than the next...perhaps the steel used has a .005% variation in it...maybe there is a small burr in the chamber - the point is, variables DO exist in EVERY manufacturing process. It's just plain part of life.
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