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Old January 9, 2017, 01:18 PM   #1
Akimbo223
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Sooty 223 primer pocket

Hello everyone. I just got into reloading and fired my first batch over the weekend out of my ar15. Everything worked well. No cycling issues, no failures to eject, or failures to fire, or anything else. I was pretty proud they worked well. After retrieving the cases I noticed they were quite dirty around the primer area before depriming. Not sure if this is an issue, but I thought it was strange. My load was as follows:

60 grain spire point bullets
21.6 grains BLC-2 powder (second lowest recommended charge according to my data book)
Remington 7 1/2 primer
Case length 1.750 (per book)
Overall length 2.200 (per book)

If this is an issue, any suggestions/ideas are welcome.
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Old January 9, 2017, 01:33 PM   #2
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Can you post a photo?
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Old January 9, 2017, 01:34 PM   #3
nhyrum
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Black/soot around the primer pocket is generally a sign of over pressure. Gasses are escaping around the primer.

Try seating the primer a little firmer and/or discard any brass that the primer almost just slides in.
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Old January 9, 2017, 02:27 PM   #4
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Unfortunately i already cleaned them so i can't post a picture. Too much pressure would surprise me because the book states I'm near the bottom of their data, and I'm under its maximum suggested powder by 3.2 grains. I am loading using 223 data for a rifle stamped 5.56. Not sure if that might be why, but I also figured any powder amount suggested for 223 would be well under maximum for 5.56.
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Old January 9, 2017, 02:32 PM   #5
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Gi brass. Swaged pockets to remove crimp?

When i look at Hodgdon data, of bullets in the 60 gr range (62 63 69) , your powder charge looks to light. Below the starting loads.

Last edited by 243winxb; January 9, 2017 at 02:42 PM.
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Old January 9, 2017, 02:40 PM   #6
Akimbo223
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The brass is mostly 5.56 originally from lake city. Some of it looks like it had crimped pocket primers, but not most. As far as swaging pockets all I did was use a primer pocket cleaner. The primers went in with some resistance, but nothing I would consider undue force. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are crimped primer pockets identified by four marks just outside of the pocket? I didn't do anything special for them as the primers went in without difficulty. (But they certainly weren't lose)
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Old January 9, 2017, 02:49 PM   #7
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Most LC will have crimped primers. A stab crimp or a round type. Use google images search to see photos.

See above , pressure seems low?
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Old January 9, 2017, 02:53 PM   #8
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Crimped pockets can be the four post as you stated or a full "ring" crimp. If thats what its called, no idea.
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Old January 9, 2017, 02:59 PM   #9
Akimbo223
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Ok yea, I think they're pretty much all crimped. I didn't have any issue putting primers in. Wouldn't that crimp make priming the cases difficult? Also, why would not removing the crimp leak gases?

I don't know if the pressures were low. The gun cycled flawlessly and I never felt at risk of a squib. At the same time, I felt less recoil than store bought ammo.

PS. Thank you everyone for replying and helping. It seems there is a lot to learn and so far, I've pretty much been trying to do it on my own. Hopefully I will eventually be able to help people with it.
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Old January 9, 2017, 03:07 PM   #10
243winxb
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If you can seat a primer without smashing it, that works, but not recommended.

The gas leak is because your not using enough powder. This causes low pressure and the primer is not sealing correctly.


Check load data here http://www.hodgdonreloading.com

Quote:
60 grain spire point bullets
21.6 grains BLC-2 powder (second lowest recommended charge according to my data book)
Remington 7 1/2 primer
Case length 1.750 (per book)
Overall length 2.200 (per book)

Last edited by 243winxb; January 9, 2017 at 03:12 PM.
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Old January 9, 2017, 03:17 PM   #11
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Note that different bullets, even of the same weight, may produce different pressure. See the difference in starting loads , using your powder . Look at Hodgdon data for 62, 63, and 69 gr.
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Old January 9, 2017, 03:28 PM   #12
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Ok. I feel better that it is below pressure. I can understand what you're saying about gas leak. Basically, the primer should expand to seal the primer pocket when firing, and with too little powder/pressure, it cannot expand enough to do so. I guess I will try more powder.

Also, I bookmarked that Hodgdon load data page for future use. Interestingly, it suggests significantly more powder than my current load. I dont feel comfortable jumping up that much right away, but I guess Ill work several batches of increased loads.

Thank you very much. Not sure if there is a way to give give rep, but if there is I will.
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Old January 9, 2017, 06:05 PM   #13
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Also, you don't just pick a charge started in a load manual and run it. I made 5 of each charge starting from min to max in. 3 grain increments to find the "sweet spot", using a chronograph and all that jazz . But I also make ammo that's for more than just blasting.

To me, not removing the crimp in the primer pocket, the crimp I would think would act as a sort of sizer, since the crimp is tighter than the actual pocket, so it would squish down the cup to a slightly smaller size, causing a gas leak. But that's just my brain thinking, I've never heard anything about it.

Also, bl-c2, being a ball powder, pretty much requires a magnum primer. I can't knock the Remington br's but I personally prefer federal#1 cci#2 and Winchester for my magnum revolver loads (#3)

Maybe try the magnum sr primers. Be it cci, Winchester, federal etc, or the cci #41's.

Also, what book are you using? Just curious
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Old January 9, 2017, 08:07 PM   #14
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I can understand that. I don't, however, have the luxury of affording a chronograph and "all that jazz." I inherited a bunch of reloading stuff (equipment, books, bullets, powders etc) from my uncle just before he passed away. I never learned any reloading information from him or even how to use any of the equipment. I am learning everything from ground zero and trying not to blow myself up in the process.

As far as a primer pocket being crimped, I'll have to look into that. I didn't feel I was using undue force to seat the primers, nor did they look unusual after I inspected them, but this seems to be a hobby where thousandth of an inch matter, so my eyes probably wouldn't pick that up. Again, I'll have to see if there's anything I can do as far as crimps.

On my next reloads, I'm planning on using federal 205M. Do you have any experience with in ar15s? If so... good, bad, indifferent?

The book I've been using is Honady Handbook of Reloading, 3rd edition. I have no doubt that it is old.
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Old January 9, 2017, 08:46 PM   #15
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You sound like you understand how to work up and be safe so good on ya. Keep working up slowly, you'll see soot on the case mouth start to lessen, maybe never fully go away. Keep an eye on those primers.

Btw you are correct that the primer should swell under pressure and seal. When seating you should feel steady resistance going in then a definite hard stop.
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Old January 9, 2017, 09:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainsaw. View Post
You sound like you understand how to work up and be safe so good on ya. Keep working up slowly, you'll see soot on the case mouth start to lessen, maybe never fully go away. Keep an eye on those primers.
I must agree. I'm glad you're being safe

You're where I started about a year ago, so I'm still learning too

As for the federal 205M's, I don't have any experience with those. I use cci's 450's in AR's with blc2. You really do need magnum primers for ball powder to burn right(per Speer's manual)

Last edited by nhyrum; January 9, 2017 at 09:36 PM.
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Old January 9, 2017, 10:11 PM   #17
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Also, unless you're actually shooting matches with your AR, match/bench rest primers are a wasted extra cent or two per round(that being said, I buy the 210M's by the brick)

I apologize if I'm coming across harsh, rude, stuck up, or any other negative adjective. That is not my intent. Just trying to pass on my (meager) knowledge of reloading and firearms that I have experience with.

Currently I load 223 with 50 grain Speer varmint bullets, bl-c2, and cci 450's.

I do plan on loading for longer ranges with 77 grain Sierra match kings, but still looking for a powder. And deffinetley match primers
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Old January 9, 2017, 10:25 PM   #18
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Hodgdon's starting load for a 60 grain spire point is 25 grains. So this is low. Primer cups may have been deformed slightly inward by being pushed past the crimp, which wouldn't help. I, too, have been able to push primers past a .223 that still had its crimp—they aren't as tough as on 7.62 and .30-06 brass—but you'll get smoother, deeper and better seating with them properly cut away.

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Old January 9, 2017, 10:29 PM   #19
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I used to load 60 gn Nosler Partitions over BLC2, around 25 grain if memory serves but don't have the load notes in front of me. I also didn't use magnum primers which are the norm for BLC2 powder. They shot well but we're very very dirty, filthy cases after firing. My advice is remove the primer crimp, use magnum primers, and bump up the load. But may still be sooty on the outside after firing.
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Old January 9, 2017, 10:30 PM   #20
243winxb
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Quote:
As far as a primer pocket being crimped, I'll have to look into that.
A tool like this is ok for a few brass. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/80...reamer-package

Its slow and hard on the hands.
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Old January 9, 2017, 10:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
A tool like this is ok for a few brass. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/80...reamer-package

Its slow and hard on the hands.
I agree, these will help remove the crimp, but it's slow. A little faster if you Chuck it in a drill.

I just finished reaming out about 800 primers. After 2 weeks
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Old January 10, 2017, 12:44 AM   #22
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I have a few thousand primers from my uncle's stuff. 1000 205m and 1000 cci br4 as well as several thousand large primers for which I have no use (for now ) and various lesser amounts of other primers. Also, I notice using magnum primers had been mentioned several times. My understanding is that fed 205m and 7 1/2 are magnum. I guess ill have to grab a primer pocket reamer and up my pressures a bit.

Again thank you everyone, I truly appreciate all the help/ advice. There really is so much to learn.
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Old January 10, 2017, 12:44 PM   #23
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21.6 grains of BLC-2 is way below current minimum for a 60 grain bullet. Elderly manual?
"...not removing the crimp leak gasses..." Like Nick says, the primer pocket will be a tick out of round with a tiny bit of brass in the wrong place. Lets gasses escape.
Magnum primers are about the powders used and nothing else. They're for lighting hard to ignite powders and extreme cold weather shooting. They burn a bit hotter for a bit longer than regular primers. BlC2 doesn't need' em.
Isn't going to bother anything if you do use 'em though. Pressures might be a bit higher, but not enough to hurt anything.
7 1/2 primers are small rifle bench rest primers. Federal 205M's are Small Rifle match primers too. Never seen any difference using match primers myself.
"...really is so much to learn..." Read your manual. Read the reference chapters too.
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Old January 11, 2017, 12:37 PM   #24
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Well, they are also for magnum cases. This article explains it.

In 2006 Charles Petty did some .223 loads with different primers and had a magnum one raise pressure about 10%. In large rifle it gets harder to tell the difference, but I would still back down a load 5% when you make the change and see how velocity compares. Comparing velocity on a chronograph is a good check if you can compare it to the original load side-by-side.


Akimbo223,

If you have a lot of cases to do, you might want to get a primer pocket swager rather than do all the cutting work. I've had good luck with my Dillon 600, but recommend getting the Inline Fabrication plastic inserts for it. RCBS has also come out with a bench swager, but I haven't tried it.
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Old January 11, 2017, 06:52 PM   #25
Akimbo223
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I'll definitely have to look into that. I know I need a case trimmer. I had a bunch of 5.56 case that I hand trimmed by about .25" to get down to 1.750. That took some time.

The loads I'm making now are goong to be staggered with different powder charges so when I next go to the range I can try several different loads.
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