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Old October 1, 2000, 09:37 PM   #1
Hard Cast 44
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Just took my 625 45acp out today and had a bunch of moon clips loaded with 200 gr SWC and 7.2 of Unique. Had many light primer hits and was wondering if my Winchester primers need to be switched for another brand or if I need to have my springs checked out. Is there a softer, more sensitive primer than the Win? This only occured in dbl action, single action seemed to be fine. I have never had a problem in any of my 1911s or my 629. Can you help? TED
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Old October 1, 2000, 10:14 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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The very first thing you need to do is to check the mainspring strain screw. If it's not tight, this could be causing your problem.

In case you're not familiar with it, the strain screw is located on the bottom front of the grip frame.

If it has started backing out, it can cause the problem you're noting.

Another thing to check is to make sure that you are seating the primers deeply enough in your handloads. If you don't, the hammer strike will push the primer forward instead of detonating it.

It's not all that surprising that the gun is more reliable single action. In S/A the hammer falls just a little farther, which means that it has more momentum.

A friend of mine was having the same problem recently with a J-frame .22 S&W. It was fine DA with some brands of ammo, but not others.

I ran him through all of the quick fixes, but the problem didn't go away, so last time I was over I checked out the spring (on the J-frame a coil spring).

Someone had cut two coils off the spring in an attempt to improve the trigger pull, and thus the hammer drop just wasn't sufficient to guarantee 100% reliability in DA.

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Old October 1, 2000, 10:26 PM   #3
Hard Cast 44
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Thanks Mike, I did check the screw right away it was all the way tight. I had some other So African surplus that I put through it and didnt have any problems, although I didnt put a whole lot through it. The primers all seemed to be flush with the bottom of the case. I am useing a Square Deal and have never had a primer problem with any of my reloads (44mag and 45acp) before now. The gun appeared to be new in the box with a manufacture of last year. Thanks TED
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Old October 1, 2000, 11:01 PM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Hum...

Have you opened the gun up to see if it's packed with grease?

As for the title of this thread, "Are my primers insensitive," I'd say that would only be the case if they had forgotten your birthday.



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Old October 1, 2000, 11:49 PM   #5
Hard Cast 44
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Nope Mike I havn't opened it up yet. I will go run some different ammo through it tomorrow. I cleaned it and lubed it real well. I was thinking about what you said about the primers being fully seated. It may have been that because all of the unfired rounds went off at the second strike of the pin. Sound right?

As far as my primers being insensitive, I figured they must be because they know that I get my feelings hurt when my guns dont go BANG! when I drop the hammer. Little stinkers. I'll just have to teach them a lesson. Uh, or are they teaching me one? Huh. Go figure.

Thanks TED
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Old October 2, 2000, 10:53 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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Ted,

Do you mean the rounds that didn't fire the first time fired the second time on Double Action?

If that is the case, I would say that primer seating depth is definitely your problem. That is a classic sign of primers that aren't seated deeply enough.

Check you SDB to make sure that the priming mechanism is clean and operating freely, and that the rest of your press doesn't have an accumulation of gook & stuff on it.

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Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
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Old October 2, 2000, 12:00 PM   #7
Cheapo
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After checking the strain screw for being fully tight (as you confirmed), the next step is to see if it has been shortened or is otherwise not putting enough tension on the mainspring.

I do not *know* the tech spec for hammer tension, but a trusted source says it's three pounds. Pull the trigger on your [always check that it's unloaded!] revolver and hold it back. Hook a trigger pull guage under the hammer nose, or through the hammer nose retaining pin if you have a skinny enough bar. If the hammer comes back with two pounds or less, you're in the misfire zone.

Yes, I've tried it with a two-pound hammer fall, and had 10% misfires with CCI Magnum primers.

I have my revolvers set for a three-pound hammer tension.
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Old October 2, 2000, 08:01 PM   #8
Hard Cast 44
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Thanks Mike & Cheapo. It is as you described Mike as far as the second hammer blow firing the round. I was going to go to the range this evening but couldn't. When I do I will take some factory loads and test them. I also have been looking/feeling my reloads, some of the primers seem to be slightly protruding. I am going to mark the questionable ones and load them up to make sure this is the problem. I have shot a lot of them in my Kimber and havn't had any trouble, but I hope your right. It would be an easy fix. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks, TED
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Old October 2, 2000, 11:08 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Slightly protruding primers are virtually guaranteed to give ignition problems in some guns.

Ideally the primer should be slightly below flush level.

A quick and easy way to see if the primers are protruding is to use a straight edge. If you can slide it the whole way across the case head, and see a slight gap between the primer and the straight edge, then you're getting to where you need to be.

If the straight edge catches on the primer as you slide it across the case head, you've found your problem.

Take a couple of factory rounds and use them as your gauge for what the primer should look like when it is seated correctly.

As Cheapo notes, it could also be a case of the strain screw being shortened, which reduces tension on the main spring.

This, however, doesn't really fit with the type and pattern of misfires you're noting.

I don't have my books with me (I'm in Pennsylvania, and my books are in Virginia)but I seem to recall that factory spec for the strain screw is .655 inches long.

I'll have to confirm that when I get back to VA in a couple of days.

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Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old October 3, 2000, 10:30 PM   #10
nwgunman
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...as opposed to "sensitive and caring" primers? And just how many birthdays does a primer have to forget before being considered insensitive? Not to mention the lack of "bang"? I say drop the hammer on them all repeated until they mend their ways!
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Old October 4, 2000, 08:08 AM   #11
Eric of IN
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Read them "Old Yeller", if they don't cry, there insenstive.
Eric
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