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Old April 14, 2012, 08:51 PM   #1
Beau Bo
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FTF Question

Walther Interarms PPK/s .380

I was trying different loads, checking for accuracy. Had 5 failure to fires (out of about 50 rounds) I had to restrike the primer a few times but eventually all the rounds fired. Following that I shot about 150 factory rounds without a single problem.

The primers I am using are CCI small pistol. I've used about 700 out of this box previously on various handguns (including the PPK/S) without a problem.

Any idea what's going on?
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
WWWJD
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Primers may be too hard for that particular hand gun... may want to try Winchester or Federal... or anything else. See what happens.
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3
Ethan.G
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how old is your ppk? ever store it with the hammer back? might need a new hammer spring, or a lighter firing pin spring (if it has one?)
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:21 PM   #4
Beau Bo
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If light strike are the problem why would I need a lighter firing pin spring?
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Old April 15, 2012, 12:16 AM   #5
WWWJD
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I think he meant to say heavier.... Surely.

Since you're a reloader, changing primers should be straightforward. Better than tracking down replacement springs... Which probably wouldn't fix anything anyway unless options are available to you for spring weight.
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Old April 15, 2012, 12:35 AM   #6
Ethan.G
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no no no the firing pin Retainer spring, not sure if the ppk has one but i Know the 1911 has one. Its the spring that goes around the firing pin, holds the pin off the primer till it gets struck.

i know people with 1911s neglect to clean it it gets gummed up and causes problems
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Old April 15, 2012, 12:53 AM   #7
William T. Watts
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Ethan G is on the right track

The 1911 pistol has a spring in the slide to prevent the firing pin from moving forward when the action is closing, it's primary purpose is to prevent an accidental discharge, in your case I think this is highly unlikely. Most likely your hammer spring isn't delivering enough force to the hammer to drive the firing pin into the primer to ignite it. (Correction) Actually the firing pin spring in a 1911 has three functions, (1) prevent accidental discharge, (2) reduces/prevents firing pin movement until it is struck by the hammer, (3) prevents the firing pin retainer from being dislodged or interferring with hammer striking the firing pin.
I have a Winchester model 94 Big Bore (307) I cannot use CCI primers because the hammer spring isn't strong enough to deliver the necessary force to the firing pin, I've had many FTF with this rifle. I switched to Federal primers (softer primer cup) and cured the FTF problem. William

Last edited by William T. Watts; April 17, 2012 at 09:48 PM. Reason: correction/additional information!
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Old April 15, 2012, 07:57 AM   #8
steve4102
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If the factory ammo fired without issues then I would look towards your handloads before the firearm.

FTF are often times caused by improper seating of the primer, usually not set deep enough.

If the primer is not seated deep enough the first firing attempt seats the primer deeper, on the second or third firing attempt, the firing pin wil force the anvil against the primer pocket and ignite the primer.
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Old April 15, 2012, 08:16 AM   #9
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^^^ What Steve said. I'd bet your primers are not seated well. I find CCI primers harder to seat than some.
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Old April 15, 2012, 04:41 PM   #10
Beau Bo
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Well, I'm using the Lee Auto Prime hand primer. Checked and they seem to be seating to proper depth. Haven't had this problem with other guns so now I'm thinking Mr Watts maybe onto the solution - the hammer spring is too light for the CCI primers. Anybody else notice a difference with CCI primers compared to others?
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Old April 15, 2012, 06:01 PM   #11
Ethan.G
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thank you Mr Watts for making me not look like an idiot hahaha i have heard CCIs have a thicker cup but never seen hard evidence for it
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Old April 15, 2012, 09:53 PM   #12
mrawesome22
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The Lyman 48th has a nice section on how primers work.

In the box they are very insensitive because the anvil has not been pushed into the priming compound yet.

So squeeze that handle hard.

Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk 2
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Old April 16, 2012, 05:25 PM   #13
Old 454
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I had a few like this as well with FTF and I also used CCI primers....first 50 rounds shot with out problem then I had some ftf, and what I found is yes there were some primers that were a little above flush with the case head and I also found that I had a little case bulge and the cartridges were not seting properly in the chamber.

I just seated the primers so they are now just a scosh below flush and I used a Lee factory crimp die to take those small bulges out of the case.
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Old April 17, 2012, 07:31 PM   #14
Beau Bo
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I did have a few cases (about the same amount as I had FTFs) with bulges from a poorly adjusted expander die. But I did run through a Lee FCD but bulge was still slightly visible. How would this cause a FTF as described?
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Old April 19, 2012, 05:26 PM   #15
Old 454
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the case bulges that I had that while they were not big they prevented the cartridge from seating all the way into the barrel and the slide did not close all the way preventing the bullet from firing.

I had to acually open the slide and push the cartridge into the barrel where it seated and then fire it. Very embarrasing that my reloads did not work as expected, gotta few chuckles outta my shooting buds.

after running the cartridge through the fcd all worked fine as the fcd resized the loaded case.
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Old April 19, 2012, 05:35 PM   #16
serf 'rett
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Cartridge not fully seated might result in forward movement when struck by firing pin, with result being failure to fire.

Having said that, I'd put my quarter bet on either the primer seating depth or the improper chamber seating because you state that you were able to fire the rounds after several restrikes.

Restrike would drive the cartridge further into battery (headspacing off the case mouth) or could seat the primer deeper.
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Old April 20, 2012, 08:23 AM   #17
William T. Watts
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Beau Bo

Pick up one of the other brand of primers, load 50 rounds & take a trip to the shooting range, you will have your answer. William
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