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Old December 29, 2019, 04:20 PM   #1
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Have a new problem

I have been reloading for a long time and just have not run into this and would like some advice. I know there is plenty of that around here.

I started to reload some Hornady SST .308 once fired brass. I cleaned them and waxed and removed the primer. I cleaned the primer pocket. I am using CCI 200 Large rifle primers. I tried to insert the primer and it would not go into the case all the way. this left me with a problem as I could not get the case out of the press with the primer sticking out of the case.

I am not going into what I went through except that I was back to square one. Using another case I made sure that the primer pocket was perfect and tried again with the same results. I next went to a Lee Auto-prime and inserted a few primers with all the strength I could muster. No Luck. Out of the few that I inserted they all went in with a lot of force.

I have no idea what the problem is. Help.
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Old December 29, 2019, 04:50 PM   #2
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Sounds like a crimped primer pocket. Bevel the primer pocket with a deburing tool and give it another shot.
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Old December 29, 2019, 05:17 PM   #3
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I have tried that. I have about 75 cases and they all are the same. Tried Beveling the pocket and was able to load some but it is still EXTREMLY hard.

Is there something I don't know about Hornday cases
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Old December 29, 2019, 05:17 PM   #4
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Agree...sounds like crimped primer pockets.

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Old December 29, 2019, 05:27 PM   #5
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What steps are you taking to remove the crimp on the primer pocket?
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Old December 29, 2019, 05:32 PM   #6
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Are you absolutely sure it's a large rifle primer pocket? I haven't heard of hornady using small ones in 308--but these days you never know. Otherwise, a pocket swager should do the trick. Come to think of it--a recent batch of hornady's American whitetail I got in 350 legend had what appears to be pocket crimps.
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Last edited by stagpanther; December 29, 2019 at 06:30 PM.
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Old December 29, 2019, 06:24 PM   #7
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Old December 29, 2019, 06:37 PM   #8
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There are only a few possibilities:

1) the primer is too large,
2) the hole is too small,
3) something is in the way.

Have you measured everything with your calipers?

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Old December 29, 2019, 06:50 PM   #9
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They could be small rifle primer brass , it seems cases head stamped " MATCH" just might be small rifle for match competition loads .

Measure the pockets very carefully and see .

Chances are they are or were crimped . Use the Lyman tool (post #7) to ream it out and finish up with a primer pocket uniformer ... these two tools will insure the pocket is the correct dia. and depth .

I hate how all these small primered cases have started popping up in cases that have always used large primers ...just something else we have to look for !
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Old December 29, 2019, 06:51 PM   #10
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Sorta hi-jacking the thread but real close to this.

In the distant past I swaged a gaggle of old military 38spl on a Dillon Super Swage. When I went to prime them I found I had swaged too deeply and the primers went in way too easy. So I ended up tossing the lot.

Since then I pay close attention to my swage setting and pretty much under swage as seating the primers take a bit of forced. On a whim I let my grandson know I needed a go-no go primer pocket swage gauge for Christmas. On Christmas day I tested some of my de-miled LC 308 brass and they are all no-go (too tight) as per the gauge.

In the past I would test my swaging by reseating spent primers. Obviously not ideal as they have already been compressed in a primer pocket. Good news is no more BS guessing around.

Check out the Ballistic Tools Swage Gauges available from Brownell's for $12 and change.
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Old December 29, 2019, 07:48 PM   #11
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All of the hornady brass I have gotten from their factory ammunition in the last year have had crimped primer pockets.

I have not bought the proper tool for it yet, but using my RCBS chamfer tool has done a pretty good job of removing it.YMMV
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Old December 29, 2019, 10:36 PM   #12
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Let's Keep it Simple

Before anything I'd see if my priming tool/device is working correctly. Another way of putting this is about the primer seater been damaged or needs adjustment in the press. I have had exactly the same problem with my 550 when the primer seater got jammed up. Just deprime that case in the press and look to the cup and spring. It would be great to have a picture. Putting as much pressure as described would have crushed a primer flat.
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Old December 30, 2019, 09:35 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I obviously need to pay more attention to the primer pockets. I realize that the prime pockets are too small but the why was beyond me. I have not ever run into this before and reloaded many different headstamps.
Will purchase a tool to fix it.

Thanks again.
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Old December 30, 2019, 02:08 PM   #14
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How small is "way too small"? If it is 0.175", approximately, they are for small rifle primers. If they are 0.210", approximately, they are for large rifle primers.
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Old January 1, 2020, 09:52 PM   #15
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From your initial description, that brass had crimped primer pockets. Easiest fix is via a large primer pocket reamer. I'd unscrew it from the handle and mount it in a drill (assuming you have one handy) to save wear and tear on your hands and wrists. That's how I remove the crimps in the milsurp brass I load.
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Old January 2, 2020, 05:13 PM   #16
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+1 on crimp.

don't know when or why they started crimping primers but have had same issue in 300blk, 308 win, and some 223. all once fired range pickups. it is a lighter crimp than I have found on some "military" brass but just enough to deform a primer if you force it. I set the hard to seat ones aside and swage with RCBS tool when I have a good pile of them. good news is you will only swage them once.
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Old January 3, 2020, 05:48 AM   #17
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My RCBS Primer Pocket Swage die set has been a life saver for me with crimped primer pockets.
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Old January 3, 2020, 08:44 PM   #18
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Crimped primer pocket be damned! LOL, Great tool for swaging the primer pockets.
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Old January 4, 2020, 12:38 PM   #19
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I just got the RCBS primer pocket swager from my wife for Christmas. Excellent tool. Excellent wife as well. Also got the Frankford Arsenal precision primer seating tool, so much easier on my arthritic hand and works great.
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Old January 4, 2020, 04:09 PM   #20
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Hornady SST is about the bullet construction, nothing to do with the case.
Swaging the pockets isn't a big deal. Neither is chamfering 'em with your regular chamfering tool.
Anyway, primer and pocket dimensions are here.
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