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Old February 18, 2012, 11:37 PM   #1
Kilroy08
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Join Date: April 15, 2005
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Brass bulge and primer woes

I finally got the reloading bug. While cleaning the garage, I found a bunch of RCBS gear Dad bought back in '77 and never used. I'm reloading for my GP100 in .357 magnum right now since all I have is that set of dies which came with the press. So far things have been going well. I only have a couple questions.

I have noticed that some of the cases had a slight bulge where you could see the outline of the base of the bullet.

After reading various posts it sounds like my problem is a mis adjusted expander die. I am assuming that I need a little more flare to the case mouth. Would I be correct in this estimation?

I'm also guessing I need to clean my primer pockets better. I've had two or three cases where the primer was dragging on the breech face of the revolver. Spinning the cylinder by hand was a little tough and cocking was terrible. I don't have a hand primer, I have been seating them in the shells with the priming tool in the press. I've been running it down until it's snug. I'm figuring this problem is being caused by a improperly seated primer.
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Old February 19, 2012, 09:31 AM   #2
243winxb
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Just enough flare is need to get the bullet started. The bulge showing the outline of the bullet base is normal with some die sets. The expander does go down and opens the brass to except the bullet & bells at the same time. Cleaning pockets may or may not help. Clean them or use more pressure to seat them. The primer should be flush to .004" below the case head.
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Old February 19, 2012, 01:30 PM   #3
Scharfschuetzer
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Kilroy,

You are likely spot on about the primers as the culprit here and the drag they produce due to a tight fit against the recoil shield of the revolver. They should seat against the brass at the base of the primer pocket for good and uniform ignition. It they protude above the case head, the anvil in the primer can not do its job of supporting the priming mixture against the fireing pin blow and inconsistant ignition may result.

If your pimer pockets are very dirty, there are tools available to clean them out. Lee, RCBS and Lyman all make hand held or trimmer mounted versions.

I find seating primers easiest with a Lee hand held priming tool. I use it in preference to my press mounted primer seater and I've worn at least three of them out over the years. I think that Hornady also makes such a tool and RCBS has a bench mounted tool that I often use. The RCBS tool will last a lifetime of priming duties.

243,

Nice shot of the expanding die and its features. A photo is worth a thousand words.
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Old February 19, 2012, 06:04 PM   #4
Zach W.
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Quote:
I have noticed that some of the cases had a slight bulge where you could see the outline of the base of the bullet.
Perfectly normal.
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Old February 19, 2012, 07:03 PM   #5
jepp2
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I can typically see the base of the bullet is most of the handgun loads. Regarding the high primers, I seriously doubt if it is due to build up in the primer pockets. I would really suspect you just aren't seating the primers with sufficient force. Keep in mind that a properly seated primer will be .003 to .005" below flush. So your high primers are a long ways from being properly seated. Does the bottom of the primer pocket have an unusually large radius at the outside edge? I started uniforming all my primer pockets and I find some have a very large radius that prevents the primer from seating properly.
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Old February 19, 2012, 10:26 PM   #6
Kilroy08
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Thank you for all of the input.

A hand primer is first on my list. Nothing gets older faster than running the press up and down and pushing in the in press primer. I had some crud still in a few primer pockets and cleaned that out. I also made sure things were firmly seated from then out.

So far everything's been smooth shooting.
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Old February 20, 2012, 12:32 AM   #7
Zach W.
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I'll put a plug in for the RCBS universal hand primer then.

Great tool imo.
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Old February 20, 2012, 09:15 AM   #8
David Bachelder
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I do most all of my priming on the press (RCBS Turret). I use my RCBS Hand primer from time to time, it's a great tool to have and use.
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