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Old July 4, 1999, 11:21 AM   #1
RonR
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Join Date: March 12, 1999
Location: Salem OR USA
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Most times I clean primer pockets prior to reloading used brass (rifle & pistol). I am not shooting most times for benchrest groups, but often 50 to 100 rounds for competition.

If the pockets are not terribly crudded up, can a primer be seated and not loose accuracy? Is this pocket cleaning a necessary step? My few tests were inconclusive.

Thanks

RonR
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Old July 4, 1999, 05:15 PM   #2
Joefo
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Ron, It sure doesn't hurt to clean out the pockets. It doesn't take all that long. I usually ream the pockets on new brass and trim the flash hole. After they have been fired I just clean them.
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Old July 4, 1999, 11:23 PM   #3
bfoster
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Ron... As far as I can tell, It takes a competitive benchrest rifle to prove that there is an advantage to be gained in the matter of group size due to not cleaning (slightly dirty) primer pockets, and then only on my best days. However, all primer formulations that I am aware of contain a frictionator, commonly ground glass, as well as other chemicals the residues of which are which are relatively hard. I, for one, don't care to send any more of these fragments down my barrels than necessary. This residue does sometimes shake loose: if you examine decapped cases, it isn't that uncommon to see a half clean primer pocket. I recommend the use of the carbide primer pocket uniformers available from Sinclairs or Whitetail Engineering for primer pocket cleaning. Yes, this will wear them out, but you'll get tens of thousands of rounds cleaned before you need to secure another for uniforming. Good shooting, Bob.
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Old July 5, 1999, 12:00 AM   #4
flatlander
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Ditto what bfoster said about using a primer pocket uniformer to clean pockets. If you're going to clean them anyway, why not cut them all to a uniform depth, square to the case head? Doesn't take much more effort than cleaning, and if you get one of the tools that can be used in a cordless screwdriver, it's really not much of a chore. I really like the idea of having uniform depth, since I shoot High Power with an AR; I feel it reduces my chances of a slamfire, and like the "feel" of seating primers in a uniformed pocket.
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Old July 5, 1999, 12:05 AM   #5
Art Eatman
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More dittos, but a bit of reinforcement: That black crud, if allowed to build up due to not cleaning the pocket, can keep the primer from seating to the proper depth. Or in an effor to seat properly you wind up with some deformation of the primer.
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Old July 5, 1999, 11:53 AM   #6
Joefo
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This is exactly what I do. The carbide cutter can also be bought from Midway.(Primer pocket uniformer and flash hole deburring tool are both on sale this month). I also trim the flash from the inside of the flashhole. I also doubt that I could tell the difference between doing all this and not doing it yet I still do it. I shoot mostly DCM matches.
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Old July 6, 1999, 10:00 AM   #7
flatlander
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I think most of us include some steps in our reloading routines that have questionable effect on accuracy, but if it gives us more confidence in the quality of our ammo, it's worth it. Bill Wylde has a 500yd. range and a machine rest to test the AR's he builds; he has stated that deburring/uniforming the flash holes definitely helps accuracy.
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