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Old May 10, 2013, 07:48 PM   #1
Colorado Redneck
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What happens when a primer is pierced or blown out of the pocket?

I have several hundred CCI #550 small pistol magnum primers, and am considering working up a load using these in 204 Ruger. Reason---primers are darned scarce, so using these as backup would extend my supplies.

Having never experienced a primer fail (pierce or blow-out) it would be helpful for peace of mind to know what is the worst that can happen. Evidently some members are confident that CCI #550 are equivalent to CCI #400 (SRP). I worked up a load using #550 with the 222 Remington, and the primers looked fine, but 204 Ruger is a higher pressure round. The rifle is a Remington SPS Varmint.

If the bolt is likely to perforate my eye socket, then to heck with it. If there is some gas blow back around the bolt, then it may be worth the experiment.

Any thoughts?
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:58 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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CCI small pistol magnum primers are identical to CCI small rifle primers in every way. This does not necessarily apply to other brands.
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:58 PM   #3
jepp2
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First, I ass-u-me you always wear eye protection when firing your rifles.

A pierced primer can do damage to the bolt face. The jetting effect will remove metal where the gas stream impacts. It can also damage the tip of the firing pin. The amount of gas getting back to your face would be minimal. Much less than from a case failure on new 22-250 brass I had recently. I will show a picture of that at the bottom of this post.

The blown primer will be the result of overpressure and less likely to happen if you stay within listed loads. But again, not so much of a pressure release.

Either are much less significant than a complete case head separation due to thinning of the case above the head. Those can do serious damage to your rifle. But enough damage to the bolt face isn't something that you want.

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Old May 10, 2013, 08:00 PM   #4
Colorado Redneck
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Thx Peetzakiller

I have fairly good faith in that being the case. There certianly was no problem with the 222 Rem load I tried (except the groups looked bad.) Have you ever experienced a pierced rifle primer?
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:06 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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I've had pierced primers in my Glock 357sig. I didn't know it happened until I inspected the case.

Pierced primers are really not a big deal from a safety standpoint. You'd get bolt face cutting eventually but a couple isn't going to hurt anything, except maybe a tiny spec in the bolt face. Somewhat depending on how bad they pierce, I suppose.

I've been considering trying REGULAR CCI small pistol primers in my .204. They handle HOT 357sig loads just fine, pushing 50,000psi.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:06 PM   #6
Jerry45
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I had some "bad" primers pierce in my Remington 30-06. They pitted the bolt face but other than that no harm to the human. Still PO'ed about the bolt though. They weren't CCI.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:23 PM   #7
zplinker
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With pierced primers, where does that little piece of metal go??? Disassemble you bolt, and you are likely to find it. Not something you want 'floating around' in there.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:42 PM   #8
Jerry45
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Bolt has been dissembled and cleaned. There were no little pieces of metal because the metal was vaporized by the burning gasses.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:44 PM   #9
Colorado Redneck
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Thanks--

Just needed rassurance that Medicare wouldn't be on the hook for surgical removal of steel from my ugly mug.

You bet I wear safety glasses when working up new stuff! And some heavy leather gloves.

I have some old H4895 left over from wife's Grampa (maybe 25 years old---cardboard container) and 250 40 Gr. V-max'es that haven 't worked worth a damn with any other combination. Worked up some loads with that powder starting with min charge and the high end has some promise, but used some Rem primers. Hate to waste Rem 7 1/2 primers to fool around developing something. If I can put these components (old H4895, 40 gr. Vmax, CCI#550) together and make them work decent (3/4 inch groups or better) that would be a deal for me.
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Old May 12, 2013, 04:08 PM   #10
Dan Newberry
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With a primer that's totally blown out, hot gas blasts against the bolt face, and can ruin the ejector spring. Savage rifles have a looser fitting ejector pin, and they are susceptible to this--even in some cases the ejector pin has been found welded into the hole, which require a new bolt head to fix the problem (that's cheaper than the machine work which would otherwise be required).
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