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Old June 18, 2007, 07:01 PM   #1
PeteQuad
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Light Primer strikes?

So I've had this happen twice to me now. Last time it was in a S&W Model 10-6 (.38spl) from 1963, that I'm pretty sure has had no work done on it, using Winchester small pistol primers in Starline bass. Today I shot 150 rounds of .44spl in my 3 month old S&W 629 (also no work done on it) using Winchester large/magnum pistol primers in Starline brass, and around the 140th round it happened again.

I'm not sure what is causing it. I'm pretty sure I'm seating them all to the same depth using my Lee Classic Turret as there is a pretty obvious stopping point (Lee Safety Prime system). Is this something that just happens from time to time? Twice in 300 rounds seems like a lot. Anyone have any ideas about this, or what I can do to make it not happen again?
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Old June 18, 2007, 08:13 PM   #2
Chief-7700
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Might be time to replace some springs. How many rounds throught the offending gun?
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Old June 18, 2007, 09:19 PM   #3
benedict1
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Winchester primers are the hardest to ignite. I have no trouble, however, in my S&W 686+ which is the closest thing to what you are shooting.

Did any of them fire on the second try? If so, they are not seating completely.

There is no adjustment on the Classic Turret for priming depth. It is fixed by the bottom position of the ram. The only thing I can think of is that there might be some cleaning media stuck in the flash hole, or were they, by chance, AMERC brass? If so, that stuff is junk and anything can happen with primer seating depth.

Some old military brass that has been deprimed and the primer pockets reamed can be troublesome too. I find a few occasionally that hold the primers very loosely. If you have old military brass you might want to separate it out from the other cases.
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Old June 18, 2007, 09:54 PM   #4
PeteQuad
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Only about 700-800 rounds through the 629, and it wasn't Americ, it was brand new Starline brass, good stuff. I didn't try shooting it again, instead I took it apart and popped it with a hammer. Should I try firing it again after a failure?

I thought CCI were harder to ignite, but if not I will try them instead of Winchester going forward.
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Old June 18, 2007, 10:03 PM   #5
Chief-7700
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1963 gun, change the springs and see what happens. Off topic can't tell you how boxes of WWB I have run through my M1911, yes I do use WW LPP for my reloads and no FTF...........
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Old June 19, 2007, 12:05 AM   #6
jamaica
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Before you panic, give the piece a good cleaning paying particular attention to the firing pin area, then lightly lube it. This problem is more often related to gunk in the mechanism than the primers .

They will probably fire if you hit them again.

Also were you shooting single action or double action? I can't explain why, but have seen this malady more often when going double action.
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Old June 19, 2007, 08:33 AM   #7
PeteQuad
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I was shooting double action. I will clean the firing pin area better, thanks, I hadn't thought of that. Both times this occurred it was after over 100 rounds, so it is possible it was getting a bit dirty.

Please note that yesterday's occurrence happened with a 3 month old gun, so I doubt it has anything to do with springs. I have a 78 year old S&W that hasn't had any springs changed and it shoots great. Also, neither of my guns ever had a problem with any factory ammo.

Thanks for all the suggestions though!
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Old June 19, 2007, 09:06 AM   #8
deadin
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Quote:
Also were you shooting single action or double action? I can't explain why, but have seen this malady more often when going double action.
The DA sear gives slightly less of a hammer throw than the SA sear. If the springs etc. are right on the edge of having proper strength, it could show up here.
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Old June 19, 2007, 09:52 AM   #9
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My first thought is some of the primers are not seated completely, run your finger over the base of your loads to check for high primers.
Your Model 10 and 629 have adjustable main springs, they may need more tension.
If it is none of the above switch to Federal primers, if you still have light strikes you have a problem indeed.
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Old June 19, 2007, 09:55 AM   #10
JoeHatley
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Did you double check the strain screw?

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Old June 19, 2007, 01:42 PM   #11
PeteQuad
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I am not a gunsmith, and although I am progressing and have bought the S&W shop manual, I don't intend to start checking screw and spring tensions in what is almost a brand new gun, especially since I never had problems with the factory ammo and just had this problem with some reloads which I just started making. Also, happening twice on 2 different guns within a week of each other, after never having a problem with factory ammo leads me to believe this is not a gun related issue.

I don't want to sound ungrateful for the advice but I just want to narrow this down to the most likely culprit. Cleaning the firing pin hole sounds like a good idea. I hadn't thought you could get a light primer strike from not seating one enough... that is interesting. Is that true? Seems counter-intuitive, but if so that could have been the issue, since although there is a clear stop to the primer seating on the turret press I use, it is possible I did not push it all the way down.

I will watch these things with the next several batches I make and see if it happens again.
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Old June 19, 2007, 01:53 PM   #12
benedict1
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Quote:
I don't want to sound ungrateful for the advice but I just want to narrow this down to the most likely culprit. Cleaning the firing pin hole sounds like a good idea. I hadn't thought you could get a light primer strike from not seating one enough... that is interesting. Is that true? Seems counter-intuitive, but if so that could have been the issue, since although there is a clear stop to the primer seating on the turret press I use, it is possible I did not push it all the way down.
Yes, it's true. Glocks can be very tempermental this way. Our G21 in .45 ACP gave me some problems until I made certain my Load Master was seating Winchester primers properly.

And, make sure when you go to the bottom of the stroke to seat the primer with your Classic Turret that you are quite firm. Don't BANG the handle down, but be firm. I think your problem will go away.
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Old June 19, 2007, 11:42 PM   #13
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FYI Pete, the main spring tension screw/ appropriately called the strain screw by Mr. Hatley is pictured here Unlocked 016.jpg at the lower portion of the front of the grip frame, a clockwise turn increases tension and the opposite lessons it. I have backed off this screw for target loads with Federal primers.
Quote:
My first thought is some of the primers are not seated completely, run your finger over the base of your loads to check for high primers.
Your finger can detect a high primer .002" above the base of the shell, use the finger
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Old June 20, 2007, 10:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
I don't want to sound ungrateful for the advice but I just want to narrow this down to the most likely culprit.
That's exactly what I did for you. You just aren't experienced enough to realize it.

The gun worked with factory ammo, because the strain screw was tight at the time. Now it's backed out a bit, and you just happen to be shooting reloads.

Double check the strain screw...

Joe
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Old June 20, 2007, 11:51 AM   #15
PeteQuad
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OK, thanks Joe, you're right I wasn't hearing you the first time. I will double check that screw.
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Old June 20, 2007, 05:07 PM   #16
Arub
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I have problems with Winchester primers with a NIB 686, a 625, and have problems with a couple of Glocks with the Winchester primers. Switched to Federals and CCIs and have had no problems since.


Too many people, too many guns having problems with Winchester primers for all the problems to be with the guns.
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