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Old December 29, 2012, 12:31 AM   #1
5whiskey
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Primer pocket too large in federal brass?

Still new to reloading... matter of fact I haven't fired a round I've loaded out of my rifle yet. I'm reloading once fired federal .270 brass. I've noticed that some of the primers in the factory ammo appeared to have been sealed with lacquer (or something similar).

Now that I'm reloading, I've noticed quite a few primer pockets that are quite loose (1 in 10 are loose enough that I can almost seat the primer with my hand). I've been throwing the worst offenders away, but even the rest of the primers aren't what I would call a "nice snug fit." Does Federal load their ammo hot, or are the primer pockets slightly oversized? After a little bit of google research, I think what I need is a primer pocket swager. Anyone with any wisdom or guidance to confirm my thoughts so I get a good warm and fuzzy, or if I'm wrong please tell me. I'm not dying to spend more money on reloading right now (my wife may stab me in my sleep), but this rifle is primary reason why I wanted to reload in the first place.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:44 AM   #2
mrawesome22
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After various different problems with various different cartridges, I don't waste time trying to use Federal brass.
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Old December 29, 2012, 05:40 AM   #3
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Federal doesn’t load hotter than anyone else, they just make the worst brass. I would save up bad brass and spent primers for the recycle bin, brass brings good $$ these days.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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I also don`t seek Federal brass for reloading & if there`s some in a mixed batch I cull it out & use it for lower pressure loads .

I know no way to "shrink" primer pockets .

A swager is used to swage crimps out of the way & to make tite pockets more uniform .
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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I know no way to "shrink" primer pockets .

A swager is used to swage crimps out of the way & to make tite pockets more uniform .
Actually there is. Not only does a swager remove the crimp, but the "cup shaped" end of the rod that enters the case swages the brass into and against the form the enters the primer pocket from below.
I read about this some years ago, doubted it, bought one, and have used it to tighten my Federal .308 Win. Match cases and my .22 Hornet cases (both Rem. and Win.) It works.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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I could be in the market for a swager.

What is the 'best' one considering ease of use, price and whatever else is important??

I have a Rockchucker to run it in.
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:24 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
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If I remember correctly the RCBS primer pocket swage was around $45 to $50 last time I priced one at Cabella's.
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Old December 29, 2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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Its not uncommon at all to find loose primer pockets with only once fired federal brass, I hate federal brass and cull it. I seen this with some PMC once fired brass one time years ago also, but only that one time and have used lots of it over the years with no problems
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:15 PM   #9
GP100man
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I know no way to "shrink" primer pockets .

A swager is used to swage crimps out of the way & to make tite pockets more uniform .

Actually there is. Not only does a swager remove the crimp, but the "cup shaped" end of the rod that enters the case swages the brass into and against the form the enters the primer pocket from below.
I read about this some years ago, doubted it, bought one, and have used it to tighten my Federal .308 Win. Match cases and my .22 Hornet cases (both Rem. and Win.) It works.

I love forums that are informative !!

As long as I`ve reloaded I always thought a swagerwere to help tite pockets .

Is this die built heavy enuff to move brass around , I`m having a hard time seeing someting big enuff to move brass going down a 22-250 case neck .

Is it caliber specific???

I know , I`m gone to look it up myself !

GP
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
I love forums that are informative !!
I just wish I could take credit for it. But, someone else posted about it years ago. I was really skeptical and thought that there was no way that would work (I do not remember him mentioning that the rod on the inside was cupped shaped), but when I got the Swager, and saw the cup-shape the light-bulb went off in my head and I understood how it would work. My Ruger M77 Target-Varmint .308 likes "hottish" loads. I wish it didn't, but you have to feed them what they shoot best. The cases (Fed Match) were only good for 5 or so shots before the primer pockets loosen. When they do, the swager puts them back in service for another five firings. After the second five firings I toss them in the recycle bucket, inasmuch as I do not trust the brass anymore for fear of work-hardening...I do not want a head blow-out.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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5whiskey I tried federal brass once,didn't have a problem with loose primer pockets but federal brass is thicker & what ever the powder listing I had to lower by 1. gr. I use winchester brass never had a problem. 42. grains winchester brass,with 42. grains in federal it was like a compressed load, I dont like Federal brass.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:26 AM   #12
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Midway USA has them for 32$.
I use mine for 5.56 which can take a little work getting the rod in the mouth of the case. And pistol cases. Easy to use and last forever (mine’s going on 30 years.).
As far as Federal brass, I have never had problems with Federal in 45 ACP, Colt and 44 special. Granted primers go in easy but I have never had a primer back out or lose its seal. Then again I don’t push reloads that hard.
I have Federal 44 special cases that have been reloaded so many times I wouldn’t want to guess.
I don’t know if date of manufacture makes any difference but mine were purchased in the 80’s as new loaded.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/235...swager-combo-2
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:35 PM   #13
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What kind of primer pocket swager do you have , that goes into the mouth of a case ? Were you thinking Flash hole uniformer instead ?
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:50 PM   #14
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Federal rifle cases are worth their weight as scrap. ...that's about it.
The alloy sucks.


Handgun cases aren't as bad.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:48 PM   #15
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Honestly all brass except Norma and Lapua suck right now. Has everyone forgotten how to make brass???????????
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Old December 31, 2012, 02:12 AM   #16
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To say that all brass except Lapua and Norma sucks is a pretty sweeping statement.

LC, PMC, PSD and Remington in 223 are working just fine from what I am seeing. I am sure there are many more in other calibers working just fine.
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Old December 31, 2012, 05:53 AM   #17
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I built a rifle in October with a 257 Roberts Ackley Improved chamber and I used Norma 7x57mm Rimmed brass. I necked down and turned the necks. The primer pockets got loose with loads that would have been ok with rimless brass. And there is a lot more brass meat around the pocket in a rimmed case. So Norma sold me dead soft case heads for $1 each.

There is a product, I have not tried it, called a brass saver:
http://www.rwhart.com/store/products.asp?cat=32




OK, I ordered one.
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Old December 31, 2012, 08:23 PM   #18
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Overthere, I dont think it is a sweeping statement at all. I spend more time and money that it is worth to get anyone else's brass in shape to be what I consider loadable. The Norma brass lasts twice as long, so in my book it is a bargain.
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Old January 1, 2013, 11:02 AM   #19
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What kind of primer pocket swager do you have , that goes into the mouth of a case ? Were you thinking Flash hole uniformer instead ?

The RCBS primer pocket swager comes with two rods small and large. These go through the mouth of the case and push the case down onto the swager which comes in small and large.
The smaller one used for cases like 223 or 6mm Rem and the like, you have to make sure you get the rod into the case mouth before putting much pressure on the press. If not you can deform the case mouth. Not a real problem but does slow down the process when you’re working on hundreds of 223 cases.
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Old January 1, 2013, 11:21 AM   #20
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Federal cases are perhaps the best commonly available for reloading IF the loader understrands it and knows what he's doing.

Harder alloys are 'stronger' but being harder to start with assures they will also crack and split sooner. Fed uses a slightly softer alloy that is plenty strong enough for normal pressures and will last much longer than harder alloys if the pressures are held down a tad but it doesn't lend itself to hot-rodding as well as others.
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Old January 1, 2013, 02:52 PM   #21
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Harder alloys are 'stronger' but being harder to start with assures they will also crack and split sooner. Fed uses a slightly softer alloy that is plenty strong enough for normal pressures and will last much longer than harder alloys if the pressures are held down a tad but it doesn't lend itself to hot-rodding as well as others.
It is my understanding that all brass cartridge cases are made from the same alloy, C2600 A.K.A., "cartridge brass". If that be true, the "hardness" of the brass used by different manufacturers would be of the same hardness. The only way brass can be hardened is by "working" (plastic deformation), the brass. The only way brass can be softened is by heating it . The "working" and serendipitous "hardening" is caused by the drawing or swaging process. After the case is formed, manufactures will heat-treat (to soften), the mouth shoulder of the case. The discoloration is usually polished off by the manufacturer before shipping with the exception of some relatively heavy "African" cartridges where that has become a tradition.
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Old January 1, 2013, 03:00 PM   #22
reynolds357
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According to Norma, their brass is softer than other brass. According to my experience with it, their statement seems to be true.
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Old January 1, 2013, 05:04 PM   #23
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dahermit, each company uses their own alloy; and some use different alloys for different cartridges.

Some of the alloys, metallurgically, don't even qualify as 'cartridge brass'.


For a read on just a few different brands, take a look at this article:
X-Ray Spectrometry of Cartridge Brass
Note that, of the seven types tested, only 2 use an alloy worthy of being called 'Cartridge Brass'.
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Old January 3, 2013, 09:47 AM   #24
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I stand corrected (and better educated), thank you for the information on what the different brasses being used by the different companies. Science trumps assumption.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Federal cases are perhaps the best commonly available for reloading IF the loader understrands it and knows what he's doing.

Harder alloys are 'stronger' but being harder to start with assures they will also crack and split sooner. Fed uses a slightly softer alloy that is plenty strong enough for normal pressures and will last much longer than harder alloys if the pressures are held down a tad but it doesn't lend itself to hot-rodding as well as others.
Good point. Something else that I think turns people off on Fed brass is case capacity. I’ve seen people shooting mixed brass loads and then complain that Federal brass is junk. No kidding… it was probably way over pressure…. If people left Norma and Lapua brass lying around like Federals, we would probably hear the same thing about them.

Edit: FYI: A dillon swagger, improperly set up, will loosen a primer pocket.

Last edited by MtnCreek; January 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Edit:
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