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Old June 13, 2018, 03:00 PM   #1
Nick_C_S
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Blew a prmer completely out.

Well that was a first. I was at the range today with my Kimber 1911 (45 ACP), doing a load work up.

After round #4 during a 10 round string, the gun failed to go into battery. Lo an behold, a primer was wedged between the barrel breech edge and the slide's breech face. The primer was intact (anvil still in the cup) - other than being bent by the barrel & breech face. That's a first. Never had that happen before.

I found the brass. Looked normal - except for the whole missing its primer thing . The brass in question, btw, is from Winchester White Box. This was the first time it was reloaded. It was originally purchased and fired by me - so there's no doubt it was once-fired brass.

It was a hot round; but within published data. It just so happens that I was chronographing at the time (doing a load work up). The bullet was an Everglades 230gn JHP. Power Pistol was the propellant. CCI 300 was the primer. The chrono registered 951 f/s - which happens to be exactly the average of the 10-round string.

Has anybody else ever experienced this? I've never had a primer completely blow out of a piece of brass. Other than a loose primer pocket, is there any concerns someone might have - from a safety standpoint?
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Old June 13, 2018, 08:02 PM   #2
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In my 1911 in 45, I had a case bulge at the feed ramp, enlarge the primer pocket so much that it was oval in shape and destroy the slide buffer.
It was a load at the high end, but normally safe...the reason was due to my loaded rounds sitting in direct sunlight INSIDE a loaded steel magazine on my shooting bench.
Last time I EVER put my rounds in the sun, all my rounds go in an esky cooler now, even my spare mags.

If you still have that brass case, try to push a NEW primer in by hand, if it seats all the way, you have an issue.
Sometimes, recoil can push bullets back into the case, this can raise pressure enough to do what you experienced.

Cheers.
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Old June 13, 2018, 08:32 PM   #3
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What about the other rounds in that batch? Any signs of over pressure? If not, the first thing I would suspect is that you had an isolated example of a loose pocket.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:33 PM   #4
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I will be careful with this suggestion, as I have been castigated on this very forum for even making such a suggestion.

So I will simply ask questions instead.

For Nick C S, is it possible that the round in question may have experianced a preparation step different for other like rounds in the past ?

In particular, is it possible that round was cleaned using steel pins with the primer removed to allow the pins to clean the primer hole ?
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Old June 14, 2018, 07:49 AM   #5
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230 grain at 951fps? A little warm? Ya sure thats not the issue?
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Old June 14, 2018, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
is there any concerns someone might have - from a safety standpoint?
951fps does seem a tad warm so my question is

Is this a new bullet type you are using ? Maybe the jackets are harder or is it larger in diameter causing a pressure spike when swaged into the barrel . Could have been a one off bullet that was larger , have you check the diameter consistency ?


Is this a new bottle of powder ( different lot# ) then you have been using ? Maybe it's a little hotter then the old powders you have been using but you'd think the pressure signs would have been present in more then just one round if that were the case .


The only concern I'd have is not knowing what caused the problem . I don't think I'd keep pushing that combo of components that hard until I did .
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Old June 14, 2018, 10:17 AM   #7
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"...It was a hot round; but within published data..." What load? It matters. If you used the CPRN data on Alliant's site, you used plated bullet data. Plated bullets are not jacketed bullets.
Mind you, I'm not 100% convinced their on-line data is accurate. 8.1 of Power Pistol should give the same velocities with any 230 grain bullet. Alliant's claiming 69 FPS more with a plated bullet than with a jacketed bullet.
However, primers blow out due to excessive pressure or primer pockets that are excessively worn from use.
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Old June 14, 2018, 01:49 PM   #8
Nick_C_S
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Correction: The anvil did dislodge from the primer cup. My up-close vision leaves some to be desired - as is the case with many my age. Upon closer observation at home with strong readers revealed no anvil.

Quote:
951fps does seem a tad warm
Quote:
230 grain at 951fps? A little warm? Ya sure thats not the issue?
Yes folks, it was a max-throttle round. I was doing a load work up. It was 7.1 grains of Power Pistol - trickled to exactly 7.1 on a 10-10 balance scale. The scale was check-weighted at 7.0 grains.

OAL 1.220". Speer #14 max is 7.4 grains; and yes, I understand that their GDHP's are thick plated and would likely cause higher pressures if using a jacketed bullet (as I was). Hornady maxes at 7.1 with their jacketed bullet; 1.210" OAL. Sierra is at 7.3 - 1.210". I referred to no on-line sources; as is usually the case with me (old school, I guess).

Quote:
Is this a new bullet type you are using?
The bullet I was using is an Everglades jacketed. Been using this bullet for about 5 years in lots of different loadings.

The primers on the other 9 rounds were slightly flattened, as is common with many other strong 45 ACP rounds I've seen; and looked the same as the 10 each at 6.9 & 6.7 grains. And didn't look nearly as flattened as is commonly seen in 10mm or 44 Mag - no comparison at all.

Quote:
Is this a new bottle of powder?
No. It's nearly empty - first opened 5/21/15. Although it's been my experience that opened bottles of propellant tend to get lighter per volume (lose moisture content??) as time goes; thus, making them "stronger" by weight (more volume to achieve the same weight). But in this case, I'm doing a work up over a short and recent period of time. The the density of the propellant hasn't significantly changed since I started the work up (6/4/18).

Quote:
Is it possible that round were cleaned using steel pins with the primer removed to allow the pins to clean the primer hole?
Yes they were. I always resize/decap, flair, then tumble them in a ss pin bath for two hours. The primer pockets were squeaky clean when I hand-primed them. I use a Lee hand primer; and I mash 'em down pretty good. Been hand priming 34 years. I got it down . And didn't notice anything unusual when priming this batch.

I'm doing concurrent work ups with this bullet, using Unique, Power Pistol, and AA#7. I am done with Unique and PP (with this 7.1 being max); and still need to do some more on the AA#7. I plan on posting a range report when I'm done, btw. Something of a propellant competition, as it were. So this post is a bit of a spoiler .

Thanks for all the info and insight folks. I think it was just a combination of a high pressure round, coupled with a slightly large primer pocket. I would be more concerned if the offending round hadn't been chronographed - and clocked at exactly average of the 10-round string.
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Old June 14, 2018, 02:50 PM   #9
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I agree this seems like a one off thing since you’ve been using all these same components for awhile now .
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Old June 14, 2018, 07:40 PM   #10
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If you still have the brass, there's lots of potential evidence there. Case volume test? Attempt to prime the case and see if the pocket acts oddly when you prime it?

Maybe the (seemingly) rarest possible variable is to blame... maybe you had an out of spec primer?

Maybe check the pistol carefully and see how your disconnector and it's timing is functioning -- is there even a slight chance that the slide was just a hair out of battery, giving the primer the space to move? Doubtful, but if it was a poorly primed high primer and yet, still detonated, wouldn't it have some room that it otherwise wouldn't normally have?

Not knowing much otherwise, and slowly growing in to a curmudgeon... I believe that WWB is low-end ammo and trending daily toward LOWER end. Maybe that piece of brass was out of spec and acted oddly the first time it was discharged, too.

I have zero concerns about the load you built, plenty of folks running .45 Super that never launch primers and I had a wild fling with .460 Rowland and never launched primers. 230gr at under 1,000fps isn't nuclear or nutbar.
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Old June 14, 2018, 09:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
I believe that WWB is low-end ammo and trending daily toward LOWER end.
Could be. I've always considered it on the upper end of the bulk ammo genre. Things may have changed and I haven't noticed. At any rate, I've always purchased WWB as a source for my brass. I have always had excellent luck with Winchester brass - all calibers. It's been my go-to for over three decades. In the case (no pun intended) of 45 ACP, I do notice that these days (last 5 years or so) that WWB brass has a very sharp bottom wall to floor transition. While most brass is coved, or webbed, if you will; WWB brass has a very sharp transition. It looks weak. I don't know if it is or not.

I was trying to avoid my life story, but context is in order here . . . In '12, I started getting back into realoading/shooting heavily, after a virtual 25 year slow down (life happened). At that time ('12), I had tons of 45 brass from way back ('84 - '89 timeframe - this is when WWB brass was stamped "WCC 85" or whatever year). But it's getting old and thoroughly dinged up from the extractor, etc. So I've been shooting and collecting new WWB for a few years now. I bought several cases of 500 (still have one un-opened case, plus a few loose boxes). After shooting (I like they way they shoot, btw) I processed them for reloading (size, flair, ss pin tumble). I have a bunch now. This load work up was the first time I've dipped into this new WWB brass.

I have already decided to reserve this WWB brass for range shooter pressures; and I purchased 1000 Starline +P's just today. The +P's will be used for the hot loads as they are built stronger - per Starline. They also have less internal volume, so I'm going to have to back down the recipes and work back up (sigh).
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Old June 14, 2018, 09:26 PM   #12
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Did Winchester make some 45 ACP brass with larger flash holes for the primer that where called clean burn ?
I remember picking some up off the ground and reloading them but nothing hot .
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Old June 14, 2018, 09:49 PM   #13
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The brass you are talking about was marked WIN-NT and has a small primer pocket.
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Old June 15, 2018, 07:33 AM   #14
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Never had problems with WWB .45's but haven't bought any in over a year. I do use it regularly for reloads and have had no problems with loose primers but I don't load past US gov't hard ball velocities, ie. ~810 fps with 230 gr FMJ's.

If it was an under spec primer you'd think you'd feel it when hand priming...and you've got experience behind you to tell you the tale for that. Since it's a reload, Winchester isn't going to offer any answers. My best guess is a hot load as you were working up, with a bit extra on top.

Thanks for posting this...led to a good discussion of the basics...Rod
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Old June 15, 2018, 11:57 AM   #15
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I can't say for sure. I don't load 45 ACP hot. I don't have detail drawings of internal case dimensions handy.

So I'm not sure how 30-06 brass compares for internal dimensions.

But SAAMI +P max pressure for 45 ACP is 23,000 psi.
With a 30-06 you'd probably be over 65,000 to even loosen a primer pocket.

So,lets look at "weaker" brass. Folks making very heavy 45 Colt loads ,and Elmer's 44 SPL experiments with "balloon head cases" may have been well over 35,000 psi.

I'm no expert or authority,but I have a hard time believing serious primer pocket expansion at any pressure that a 1911 should have to deal with,especially a non-ramped barrel.

I don't know the answer, but we are talking centerfire rifle overpressure signs in a 1911.

Do you measure any case head expansion or feel loose pockets in any of the fired brass? How about bulges in the unsupported portion of the cases?

Does any part of your loading operation ream,size,decrimp,or uniform the pockets?

Something seems fishy.

FWIW,I suggest loading to suit you gun,not an illusion or a "max +P load"

IMO,plastic buffers,recoil springs over 18 lbs,etc just are not the path to choose. I'll concede a square bottom firing pin stopand a mil spec mainspring will slow the slide some.

A bullet setback it a possibility.You are already pushing the limits.Anything raising pressure is an issue. You might try a factory or taper crimp die
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Old June 17, 2018, 08:26 AM   #16
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I had a center "pierced" primer ignition, and a few occurrences where hot gasses will blast through the edge of the cup, but never completely blew out a primer. Kind of a bizarre occurrence. I'm also having a hard time understanding how the 1911's slide allowed the primer to separately blow out ? You would think there would be equal pressures on both the casing and the primer cup forcing the casing against the boltface ? I've never loaded 45 acp past 900 fps, but I am loading some pretty stout 9mm for usage in my Uzi carbine and have not had any primer issues. Typically you start to see slight bulging of the cases when loading hot.
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