View Full Version : Reasonable Rate of Bad Primers

June 25, 2012, 08:08 PM
What is a reaonable rate of primer failures? My reloads with Win209 primers seem to fail about once every 1,500 shots. These are with good pin strikes.

June 25, 2012, 11:27 PM

June 25, 2012, 11:36 PM
TKM, like my friend, olddrum, I've never had a failure to fire that I've attributed to a bad primer.
FYI: I load WW primers in WW cases.

June 26, 2012, 01:55 AM
Zippy, our friend. This was a win209 primer in a WW hull (the silver one). We disected it at the range and it was well packed with powder. The pin left a pretty good indentation in it.

June 26, 2012, 08:45 AM
My friend, since you're relatively new to reloading, here's something to think about: Are you sure the primer wasn't double struck? On very rare occasions, I've somehow got a spent primer mixed in with the new ones. I've always noticed it while loading; but, if overlooked, the FTF might be considered due to a bad primer.

June 26, 2012, 12:29 PM
No, Zippy. It was a shiny new primer out of a sleeve of 5,000. The hull was in great shape, the primer was seated nicely, and the powder was well packed. The recipe was 18 grains of Promo, an alsost new silver AAHS hull, 1-1/8 ounces of shot, and a WAA12 wad (the CB Clone). My powder drops with the bushing I used are falling right on that 18 grains mark +/_ .15 grains. I was shooting with Weatherby at the time and we cut into the hull to verify that it was packed with powder.

June 26, 2012, 01:02 PM
Were the primers possibly adulterated -- might they have been hit by the over-spray from a gun cleaning product?

June 26, 2012, 01:20 PM
At the rate they make those things, if 1 out of 1500 so far, maybe the entire sleeve of 5000, that isn't too bad

Did you try it in the other barrel? I say this because Brownings are notorious for light (but good looking) primer strikes, especially in the bottom barrel

June 26, 2012, 01:26 PM
I had a few Win 209 primer failures ....about 4 or 5 yrs ago .... I had half a dozen out of 500 shells or so ....and then it went away / and no issues since.

At the time I had some issues with the Win 209's -- I fired them up in practice / but never had another issue .../ and for awhile I shifted to Remington primers and Chedite....

I think its kind of like anything else ...issues like this come and go .../ when you buy the next batch of primers, it'll probably go away.

June 26, 2012, 02:06 PM
Oneounce. I didn't try it in the upper barrel becasue I wanted to see if it appered to be a bad poweder drop, but it was the lower barrel. The first two were from the same 100 primer box and that was over 2,000 shells back. Of those two one went bang in the top barrel but the other was just a dud. The one last week was out of the first 100 box of the fourth 1,000 of the same sleeve. The primer strike looked pretty good.

June 26, 2012, 02:10 PM
Jim. You are probably right. 1 in a thousand isn't the end of the world if all you shoot is practice. 5 or 6 out of 500 would be a huge deal, I imagine, if you were in competition.

June 26, 2012, 06:02 PM
I found that I kept the FTF and cut deeper so I could view the primer from the inside. It fired but the powder didn't. Zippy may be right and somehow a fired primer got reused.

June 26, 2012, 06:07 PM
1 in 5,000 would be too many ....if I was shooting my reloads in competition.../ you don't need that kind of stuff creeping into your mental game.

I'd have to check the current rules carefully ...but if a shell misfires, its considered "defective ammo" - providing there is a noticeable firing pin dent in the primer....but you're only allowed 2 defective shells out of the first box ( or 25 targets ) ....after 2 defective rounds...the shooter is allowed to replace the box of ammo with a new box of factory ammo ( and you get 2 more defective shells ) ...but if the shooter elects not to replace the ammo after the first 2 defective shells ...then any misfires after that are lost targets.

I'm not sure how the current rule reads in registered 5 Stand or sporting Clays shoots...

gun malfunctions - get a little more complicated...( but the rules cover gun malfunctions --- as well as ammo malfunctions ).

June 26, 2012, 06:10 PM
In 5-stand or sporting after 2 malfs, thew next is a lost target

June 26, 2012, 06:19 PM
In 5-stand or sporting after 2 malfs, thew next is a lost target
It's the same in NSSA Skeet and ATA trap -- the third failure to fire, in a single event (typically 100 targets), is scored as a lost target.

June 27, 2012, 01:27 AM
There are two or three reasons to have a ftf other than poor quallity of a primer. Shot in the primer seating pocket can move the anvil. Picking up damp hulls and throwing them in a plastic bag. What Z said about spraying your primer tray. Getting spent primers mixed with good primers *I don't think this is to likely but not impossible for the very talented."
Now my story.
Several years ago the club I shot at had a corporate event. Closed for the afternoon, cook out, shoot all you want, you get the picture. Close to dark Rain set in and shut the shooting down. Two of my good friends were the first through the next day and it was as if it had rained once fired AA's. The owner let them pick up the emptys. Sun was out and they looked dry. I got to shoot the first round with them and the new hulls they had scored. The drop out rate was. by my quess. 20 to 25 out of fifty. The hulls were still wet inside. For what its worth.

340 Weatherby
June 27, 2012, 01:49 AM
Klawman, just do what I do. Borrow (steal) 300 Weatherby's ammo.

June 27, 2012, 02:39 AM
Were the primers possibly adulterated

It is very unlilkely that the primer or primers were sprayed with any gun cleaning product or anything similar. It is possible but very unlikely that the hull was damp inside. The anvil also appears to be located about right. I think this is operator error and I am "talented".

Mike Irwin
June 27, 2012, 06:16 AM
I don't recall ever having a primer failure with a shotshell load, and at one time my Dad and I were going through 20,000 or so rounds a year.

June 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
Stealing 300 Weatherby's ammo I like!

Dave McC
June 27, 2012, 01:51 PM
Last year I had two duds in the same batch of primers,Win 209s. I shipped them back to Winchester, who couldn't find anything wrong.

Those are the only two I can recall, out of close to 100K primers.

June 27, 2012, 03:50 PM
I must have reloaded close to 50,000 rounds using Winchester 209's. I cannot recall a single "dud".


.300 Weatherby Mag
June 27, 2012, 11:09 PM
I've had a factory winchester AA refuse to light a gun that has seen many thousands of flawless rounds since.. The bad ones are out there...

August 6, 2012, 09:28 PM
I finally called Winchester about the primers. A nice lady gave me another number to call for for the ammunition company and then I got passed from one person to someone else's voicemail. Needless to say no one has called back and I don't think I should hold my breath for a call back. The one at Winchester said it was very difficult to reach someone at the ammunition company (I think she meant Olin).