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Old July 8, 2012, 02:08 PM   #1
Jerry45
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Holes in primer pocket rim...

First, sorry for the terrible picture. I'm no photographer.

Notice the tiny hole and power burn at the edge/corner of the primer pocket at the bottom of the photo.



That is a new, first time fired, Remington 30/06 case. I've loaded, for years, IMR 4064 49.0 grns. I've reloaded factory loaded cases (purchased ammo shot then reloaded cases) since the 70. Some of the cases have been loaded 10 times and nary a problem.

The problem started with the new brass. First, some I had loaded and shot 8 times started blowing holes like pictured. I thought it was because I had uniformed the primer pocket with a RCBS primer pocket tool in my Bench-mate. I dumped those and loaded up some fresh cases. After 5 reloads some started blowing holes. I dumped those and loaded the last 30 new case I had. Two out of the 30 did it on the first firing. Anyone have any idea what's up. It's all going in the trash as I've ordered some new Nosler brass.

They have pitted the hell out of my bolt face and that PO's me to no end.
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Old July 8, 2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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Was it WLR primers?
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Old July 8, 2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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Before trashng the brass

I suggest that you carefully deprime the cases, catching the primers from each case that has a "hole."

Look at the SIDE of the primer cups and see if there is a CRACK in the primer cup. If so, then the primer cups are cracking and causing the gas leaks when fired.

I have some old CCI 500 primers that occassionally do that. (I have relegated them to low-pressure revolver loads.)

Are the primers doing this old or new? What brand?

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Old July 8, 2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Leaking primer. Classic sign of overpressure.

WLR = Winchester Large Rifle.

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Old July 8, 2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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What bullet?

Based on your statement that you have been loading the same load for years, I was first assuming that nothing had changed, except for the leaks. If you have changed primers (even just lot #) or powder lot #, then there is some chance that you are getting over-pressure. Also, changing bullets, not just weight, but also construction type, say going from Sierra to Nosler or Barns. By the way, you did not mention what bullet you are loading.

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Old July 8, 2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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Your photo is too fuzzy to be sure but it looks like you had a blow out in the radius of the primer cup itself. That happens from time to time to all brands of primers due to defects in the copper sheets they get from their suppliers; there is NO way the primer makers can stop it but, thankfully, it's not really hazardous. It does tend to burn some ugly looking pits in the bolt face tho.

It has nothing directly to do with excess pressure but when it happens I religate those primers to use in lower pressure cartridges like .30-30, .35 Remington and pistol cartridges used in lever rifles.
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Old July 8, 2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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Why are you blaming the brass??¿ It's clearly the primers that are at fault.

Looks like a mix-up, using large pistol primers instead of large rifle.

A primer pocket uniformer only works on the bottoms of the primer pocket. So, that is not a concern.
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Old July 8, 2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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First, try a different primer. Defective primers is my first guess. 2nd is gas leaking between the case & primer.
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Old July 8, 2012, 04:32 PM   #9
Jerry45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason75979
Was it WLR primers?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL1
I suggest that you carefully deprime the cases, catching the primers from each case that has a "hole."

Look at the SIDE of the primer cups and see if there is a CRACK in the primer cup. If so, then the primer cups are cracking and causing the gas leaks when fired.

I have some old CCI 500 primers that occassionally do that. (I have relegated them to low-pressure revolver loads.)

Are the primers doing this old or new? What brand?
It's not the primers. The hole is in the case. I deprimed every one that has done it and the primer is perfect. Look next to the primer at the case. You can see the hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrawesome22
Leaking primer. Classic sign of overpressure.

WLR = Winchester Large Rifle.
The primers aren't leaking. The case is blowing out. If it were due to overpressure why it is only affecting the "new" brass and not the old brass. Why are there no other signs of overpressure. 49.0 gr. is 2.0 gr. under max load in every load table I've checked. It's 2.0 gr. above minim, dead center of load table and what the rifle shoots best. I've been shooting it for years and only the "new" brass is doing this. I have brass from loaded cartridges that I bought and shot in 197?. It hasn't blow out using the same bullets, primers, powder and powder charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wncchester
Your photo is too fuzzy to be sure but it looks like you had a blow out in the radius of the primer cup itself. That happens from time to time to all brands of primers due to defects in the copper sheets they get from their suppliers; there is NO way the primer makers can stop it but, thankfully, it's not really hazardous. It does tend to burn some ugly looking pits in the bolt face tho.

It has nothing directly to do with excess pressure but when it happens I religate those primers to use in lower pressure cartridges like .30-30, .35 Remington and pistol cartridges used in lever rifles.
That sound like the problem "except" the brass is the week link not the primers. Primers are perfect when removed. The radius of the primer-"pocket" is blowing out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snuffy
Why are you blaming the brass??¿ It's clearly the primers that are at fault.

Looks like a mix-up, using large pistol primers instead of large rifle.

A primer pocket uniformer only works on the bottoms of the primer pocket. So, that is not a concern.
It is not "clearly" the primers. Believe me the hole IS in the shell case. It's in the crease of the 90° bend next to the shoulder/face of the primer. I have pulled the primers and examined them and the case(s) under a magnifying glass and the hole is without a doubt in the case not the primer. The primers are pristine other than the firing pin dent and the "tiny" vertical scratches on the sides from being pressed in and out. There is no soot on the sides of the primers, its only on the face of the primers next to the hole in the case and it wipes off the primer. There is no hole or crack in the primers. When the soot is wiped off the case the hole is "clearly" viable with the naked eye and shows up very well under the magnifying glass.

I know its hard to see in my terrible picture but the dark spot in the upper left corner of the soot is a hole in the case. The black spot above the R is another tiny hole. This is the only case that has two holes all the other just had one. It has to be thin/defective brass. What appears to be dents or burnt spots in the primer next the soot on the case is just soot on the primer. When wiped off there is nothing there.


.
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Old July 8, 2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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What seems strange is the progession.

You stated in your first post that it first happened with some brass that you had reloaded 8 times, then brass you loaded 5 times, then brass that was once-fired with the factory loading. That would suggest that it is something that you just started doing to the brass, rather than the brass itself... EXCEPT that the way you wrote the original post sounds like you loaded the second set of brass 5 times BETWEEN the time that you had the problem with the 8-times-fired brass and the beginning of the problem with the 5-times-fired brass.

Assuming that you are right that it is not related to the primers, then maybe it is something that is happening to the brass, perhaps when you cleaned it. Was all of this brass cleaned with some kind of cleaner, for example?

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Old July 8, 2012, 06:27 PM   #11
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The has happened ovetr the last year an one half so let me see if I can remember and also explain it clearly. I bought 100 new cases from Cabella's. Took 50 out of the bag, full length sized it, champfered (shouldn't have done that) the the prime pockets, loaded it and shot it over the course of a month. First firing.

Second fireing = tumbled in crushed walnut, full length sized primed, loaded and fired over the course of a couple of months.

Third fireing = (had gotten my Bench Mate and Lee neck sizing die) Cleaned (brushed) inside neck, trimmed cases to length, uniformed primer pockets, chamferd neck in and out and shot over the course of a few months.

Fourth firing = annealed, cleaned inside neck, cleaned primer pocket, neck-sized loaded and shot.

Fifth firing = same as forth except didn't anneal. One case blew out.

Sixth firing = same as fifth. No problem.

Seventh fireing = cleaned in walnut, annealed, trimmed to length, cleaned neck, chamfered, full length sized, cleaned primer pocket loaded and shot. Two blowouts. Notice one had a ring around it. Put it in the vice pushed on it and it broke. Checked lot and found another with a ring, not so pronounced. Checked inside with wire no ridge. Tossed anyway.

Eight firing = cleaned inside neck, neck sized, cleaned primer pocket, loaded and shot. Three blowout. Tossed all the fired brass.

I had 20 rounds that I had loaded at the same time as the original 50. Somewhere around the third or forth loading I had a blowout then again two loadings later. Tossed that lot.

Now keep in mind I was also loading some of my old brass at the same time using the same components and shooting it. No problems. I really expected it to go first. Not so I'm still reloading it.

I then examined the remaining 30 cases, Found one with a ring around it. Checked inside with a wire and couldn't feel a ridge. Tossed it anyway. I loaded the the remaining 29 rounds of the "new" 100 lot. That was three weeks ago. Annealed, full length sized, checked for length (no trim necessary), loaded. Went to range and shot 10 rounds. One blew. Went to the range last week and shot the last 20. Two blew. Also shot 10 of the old brass that has been loaded at least 10 times over the years. Same primer lot, same powder lot same bullet lot. Noooooo problem.

I need to add; when I anneal I hold the base of the case in my bare hand so the base of the cases aren't getting hot.
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Old July 8, 2012, 07:51 PM   #12
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Jerry you may have had the heat migrate down the case after heating it. I always anneal in a pan of water, with the water covering the bottom of the case to prevent it from getting to hot. I heat them then knock them into the water.

If you are not water quenching them, the heat can migrate to the web of the case. Also since they are new cases did you weigh them, and then water weigh them to see if they had similar case capacity? That can change things with a load. Lower case capacity can change the pressure.
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Old July 8, 2012, 08:26 PM   #13
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Jerry 45,

Your last post makes a much clearer picture of why it is the brass that is the issue.

The annealing caught my eye, too. It is not clear to me if there were any blow-outs before the case had been annealed at least once. Can you be more specific about that?

Also, when annealing, as you finish heating the case (which you are holding in your fingers), do you drop the case into water, or just set it down on the bench to cool?

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Old July 8, 2012, 08:35 PM   #14
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If the brass can't handle the pressure requested of it, it has been over pressurized.

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Old July 8, 2012, 09:32 PM   #15
Jerry45
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The cases didn't not blow before annealing. However, when I anneal I hold the case between my thumb and forefinger near, not at but near the base. When the neck gets hot I dunk the case, neck to about midway of the case in a can of water still holding onto the the case. It never gets hot enough where my fingers are that I can't hold it. Some do get warm but not hot. I do the same thing with my .223 brass that is loaded near max load and have had no problems with that brass. It's not Remington brass though.


mrawesome22, if this brass is getting over pressurized than something's wrong with this brass. That's what I'm trying to verify.

If someone comes up with something I'm doing wrong I'll acknowledge it and change the practice. I tend to believe it's a batch of brass but was hooping for conformation from someone that may have run into the same problem or for someone to say you did X or Y or Z wrong.

Glad to answer any question that will help y'all help me. The help is appreciated.
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Old July 8, 2012, 09:55 PM   #16
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I still say defective primer.
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Old July 8, 2012, 10:14 PM   #17
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Jerry45 I wouldn't anneal any more cases, I would limit the number of firings of a case to four firings only. I believe the 100 rounds of virgin R-P brass you purchased were not defective and didn't show any sign of failing until after you annealed them. It is my believe had you used a mic and miked over the rim before and after the fifth firing you would have seen at least a .0001 or more expansion. Additionally you should have detected a different feel as you were priming the cases before the fifth firing. it has been my observation nothing is gained by trying to fire a case more than four times and increases the risk of damaging your rifle. I never could learn the art of annealing so I gave up before I damaged one of my rifles, I think I know how you feel and feel badly for you. Best wishes to you and better things down the road!! William
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Old July 8, 2012, 10:14 PM   #18
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It could be the brass. It could be the primer. It could be excessive headspace. It could be a hot batch of powder.

Are you still using the same powder and primer lots you started with in the 70's?

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Old July 8, 2012, 11:40 PM   #19
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I've purchase a custom 308 so I won't be shouting the 06 as much as I was. I've also ordered some new Nosler brass. Four loadings with no annealing shouldn't be a problem.

No the power isn't from the 70's. The batch of powder I'm using was purchased before I purchase the new Remington brass though. I had been shooting it in the old case without a problem. I also was and still am shooting near max load of the same powder in my wife's .223 bolt gun. Have also shot some of it in my AR without a hitch.

I don't understand how primers could/can cause the case to fail. Please explain.
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:57 PM   #20
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Do you have any old chrono data to compare against?

4064 is a slow powder for the 223Rem. Over pressure should not be a problem until you get to heavy bullets with a compressed charge.

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Old July 9, 2012, 03:59 AM   #21
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Not sure why you'd cut a primer pocket that isn't crimped but that could be a problem. The annealing didn't hurt it at all, you'd burn the hell out of your fingers by the time you'd get the brass hot enough to weaken it. If you anneal though you should probably do it the right way, tempilaq with a case holder. Have you called Remington and asked them?

I have R-P brass that is over 40yrs old I only ever throw brass away when they are beyond help.
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Old July 9, 2012, 10:51 AM   #22
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I owe everyone a HUGE APOLOGY. It's the PRIMERS! I should have done a better investigation before posting.

I decided to clean one of the cases up really well so I could try to get a decent picture of the "hole". The more I scraped the more it appeared to be a pit and not a hole. Turned out to be a pit. So I turned my attention to the primer. With the naked eye and under a hand held magnifying glass I couldn't see anything but shiny metal. But perhaps that's a spot??? Under a good, lighted magnifying desk lamp I found the tiniest of black spots on the edge if the primer. I scraped at the outside and it seemed to be pitted but getting larger as I scraped. I scraped the soot away on the inside and saw light through the HOLE. It's iddy-biddy but there is definitely a hole.

I don't own a crono. Not even sure if that would help with this problem??? As to why I chamfered the primer pocket. The first "new" case I tried to prime the primer crushed. So I chamfered the first batch of 50. Must have been a large primer because none of he remaining cases had a problem although some primers were really tight going in and some were pretty easy. I use a Lee hand primer for priming rifle ammo.

I guess I'll start by back off the load and see what happens. If primers still blow at 47.0 grs. I'll toss them and open a new box. I need to get some match primers for the 308 so I'll start using them in the 06 also.

Thanks for all the help guys. Sorry for the bad info and anyone willing/wanting to throw anything else out there PLEASE DO.

Scold me if you must but I already know I'm an idiot.
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Old July 9, 2012, 12:51 PM   #23
Stonewall2
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Just replace those bad primers Jerry !

It is cheaper than fixing the bolt face.....

I had some Federal small rifle primers that did the same thing fifteen years ago .
The claim was that that lot had been exposed to ammonia ions after it left the factory.

Being in Canada Federal wheasled out of replacing them so I changed to Remington 7.5 .

Glenn
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Old July 9, 2012, 02:47 PM   #24
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All makers occasionally have such cup blow-outs, mine were CCI and Remington. And neither had never been even close to any ammonia.
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Old July 10, 2012, 01:04 PM   #25
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I ordered Federal Match Primers last night. Today I pulled the bullets out of all the cases (30-06 and 308) loaded with WLR primers and deprimed them. We'll see what happens with the FLRM primers when they come in and I do my ladder testing.

Thanks again for the help guys. If people hadn't kept saying primers I probably wouldn't have found the real culprit. I really, really thought it was the cases.
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