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Old November 24, 2002, 11:45 PM   #1
neal bloom
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45 ACP light primer strikes

Recently picked up a SIG 220 is excellent condition. I took it out today with some reloads and with factory ammo, Win Clean 230 gr. The factory ammo shot went off every time with no problems. WIth the reloads I would pull the trigger and about 75% of the time nothng would happen. I would wait a few seconds then eject the cartridge. The primer barely had a dent in it. I would rechamber the reload and it would go off. The factory primers have a well defined strike. Accuracy seemed to be about the same for both factory and reload. Reload data is as follows:

Ranier 200 gr. FP
6.3 grs. Universal Clays
Winchester Large Pistol Priner
1.155" OAL
Winchester Case

Am I doing something wrong or are Winchester Large Pistol Primers harder than the primers on factory loads?
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Old November 25, 2002, 06:49 AM   #2
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I don't think WLP primers are harder than other brands. A few things do come to mind. Headspace with reloads (brass too short), primer pockets too deep, gummed up firing pin/dirty firing pin tunnel, weak hammer spring, firing pin too short, incorrect or wrong size firing pin spring.
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Old November 25, 2002, 09:19 AM   #3
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Winchester has changed the composition of the primer metal in the last year or so - there's reports here and there on the reloading boards about this light-strike problem.

The new ones have a slightly different color.

I loaded some of these in .45ACP for a Glock 30, which is striker fired. Had a devil of a time for awhile till I got them used up.

Now I use Federal or Remington for pistols, CCI for semi-auto rifles.
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Old November 25, 2002, 11:00 AM   #4
Johnny Guest
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Uhmmm - - - -

What kind of crimp are you using, Neal? If the case length is minimum, and the chamber is toward maximum permissable length, these two factors could combine with a too-aggressive crimp to create excessive headspace.

The .45 ACP ctg normally headspaces on the case mouth. Using a very hard taper crimp on a lead or plated lead bullet might allow the ctg to go too far into the chamber. Same with a roll crimp rather than a taper crimp.

Taper crimp should only straighten out the case "bell" effect, not create a visible constriction of the case mouth. If loading thin brass, you mmight need a smaller expander plug to have brass hold bullet in place. Another argument for sorting brass before loading.

I got a "bargain" on some very old once-fired brass a few years back. Headstamp was Rem-UMC, rather than R-P. I'm reliably informed that this brass was a good deal thinner-walled than usual. Calipering case wall thickness, compared to some Speer and Federal brass confirmed this. I ws okay using thazt brass with cast bullets sized .452, but NOT with some jacketed (not plated) bullets which ran .451 to .4515. Yes, a very small difference, but made a difference in the seating and ullet security. Finally shot all that brass up in a Thompson SMG and lost it in the pasures.

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Old November 25, 2002, 11:15 AM   #5
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I think Johnny nailed it.

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Old November 25, 2002, 11:17 AM   #6
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Make sure that firing pin channel is clean and dry of oil. I had the same problem with my G21 and Winchester primers. I switched to Fed primers and the problem disappeared.
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Old November 25, 2002, 08:54 PM   #7
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There is always the possibility the your problem is high primers..
In other words the primers were not seated to the correct depth..The first try at fireing seats the primer so the second try sets it off..
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Old November 25, 2002, 11:28 PM   #8
neal bloom
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Thanks for all of the advice. I'll check out the crimping and tr it again this weekend.

Once again, thanks for all of your help.
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Old November 26, 2002, 02:30 AM   #9
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I think Bompa has spotted the problem with your reloads.
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Old November 26, 2002, 08:26 PM   #10
Jim Higginbotham
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45 ACP light primer strikes

It might be several things but I would check the primer seating first. Lay a straight edge across the case head. There should be enough of a gap between the straight edge and the primer to slip a thin piece of paper between them (about .004").

I thought I had this reloading down and had never had a misfire with a 1911 when I discovered that my ammo would not function very well in a S&W 1955 target revolver (one of the problems was just as you mentioned - it took a second strike to set them off). The problem is that the first strike has much of the force taken up by having to drive the primer in until it actually seats.

Sometime when you have nothing to do, take a number 2 wood pencil and place it down the barrel of your *unloaded* pistol. Point it toward the ceiling and pull the trigger. The 1911 will make a mark on your ceiling, few others will. Glocks and other DA guns have a particularly weak ignition stroke.

Good luck!
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Old November 26, 2002, 10:48 PM   #11
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The crimp on an auto pistol round does nothing more than remove the bell that you put in case to allow the bullet to be seated,nothing more.. Your sizing die,if correct,places enough
case tension to hold the bullet in place for correct function..
A heavy crimp,taper,will generally cause a loose bullet and create a dangerous situation..Bullet set back on chambering..This can and will raise pressures to dangerous levels..Just asking for a
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Old November 27, 2002, 12:02 AM   #12
neal bloom
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Should I even crimp the cartridge after seating the bullet? I've heard arguments both ways to crimp or not.

I'll check for high primers when I load a new batch. I use a Lee Auto Prime and never used a straightedge before. Good advice that I'll make part of the routine.

Thanks again.
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Old November 27, 2002, 09:34 AM   #13
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Use just enough crimp to remove the bell ..
Do you have a case gauge ?? No,than use the barrel out of the gun to see if the loaded round drops in as far as it is supposed to go..Then you know there should be no problems..
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Old November 27, 2002, 09:51 AM   #14
Baron Holbach
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P220 light primer strikes with CCI Blazer 230 grain FMJ

On two occasions, I experienced no primer ignition when using CCI Blazer 230 grain FMJ in my Sig P220.
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Old November 27, 2002, 09:52 AM   #15
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Shouldn't be no crimp on a 45 ACP. The case is a cylinder.

Some people say crimp when they mean remove the bell during bullet seating. This should be done but mouth should be the same diameter as body of case.

EDIT: if you actually roll crimp or taper crimp a 45 ACP you will likely have an excess headspace condition. The firing pin will drive the ctg deeper into the chamber rather than solidly hitting the primer. HTH George
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Old November 27, 2002, 01:33 PM   #16
john kilgore
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The best way to check primer seating is to use a vernier caliper and measure the depth of the seating. Nominal is .003" depth. Even if the primer is flush, it may be "out" enough to give a light hit.
I've found that the "new" Winchester primers are actually slightly more sensitive than the old ones with the Nickle plating, that being Winchesters stated purpose for changing to an unplated metal for the primer cups.
The sensitivity problem is probably the seating depth as the primers are .0005 to .001 "shorter"- by my measurements (but will vary from lot to lot), than the Nickle plated ones. I always seat mine to bottom out and even my match pistols tuned to pop Federal primers rarely give problems with the Winchesters except in extreamly cold conditions (for competition shooting ~70deg.).

For a "hard" primer look at the CCI's !!!
Harder yet is the R-P #5 1/2.
Hardest I've ever seen were some Fiochi and some CBI (Brazilian) ammo that took 2 hits from a new S&W to "pop".
Hope this helps.
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