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Old September 24, 1999, 04:30 PM   #1
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Two or three weeks ago I posted about some problems I, a friend, and other shooters had mentioned on the net with Win. LP primers (brass colored). There had been a significant number of reports of failures to ignite.

The reports from the net were not too specific, but here's what happened to my friend and I. He had several (5 or 6) failures in the same box of fifty reloads for his Wilson .45 ACP pistol. His first ever, though he's only been loading for about a year.

My problem was different from his in that his loads went bang with successive hammer drops, but mine (one failure) didn't with multiple ones. I pulled the bullet and had unburned powder in the case, so the problems seems clearly to have been a dead primer, my first in 25 years or so of reloading.

In the course of discussing this situation on the net and receiving confirmation that other, different, posters had similar experiences, I was told by in one post of Winchester's ammo site with e-mail acceptance. I sent an e-mail outlining the problem to them. Several days later (at least a week--I had forgotten even sending the e-mail), I received the following form e-mail containing no salutation whatsoever:

"Thank you for contacting Winchester Ammunition. We are always glad to hear from our many friends in the shooting sport. Concerning the WLP primers that you had recently reported to our website, please contact me at 800-356-2666, ext. 2738. I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Sharon K. Quirk"

Earlier today I sent the following reply:

"Ms. Quirk:

I called your number and ext. twice just now. The first time the [automated] system disconnected me. The second, I was referred to [again] "voice mail system" which was unavailable. Hummm.

At any rate, your e-mail to me indicates I "have questions." I had none. I was trying to make you aware of a serious condition for several of your customers. The ho-hum response from Winchester will be noted in several places on the shooters' bulletin boards.

Thank you."


[This message has been edited by Rod WMG (edited September 24, 1999).]
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Old September 24, 1999, 05:04 PM   #2
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Came upon your post re the "new" winchester primers (brass colored). I have not, as yet, used any of the large size, though I have run some 38 Special, and 9mm Makarov, using the small primer with their "new" product. I have noticed nothing that struck me as "unusual".

It is possible that you and or others have run into some "bad" primers, though I never remember running into such a problem myself, my experience with reloading being that primers seem to be the one constant. As Murphy observed, "anything that can go wrong, will".

As to Winchester's "response", that sort ot thing truly leaves a lot to be desired, possibly showing the falicy of having to many MBA's around, as opposed to people who really know what is going on. Also, you unfortunately may have run into the bad employee.
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Old September 25, 1999, 09:34 AM   #3
Patrick Graham
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I've used some of their new gold primers with no problems. I used them in my 40 S&W Glock 27. That's isn't a fair test because the Glock will eat everything I feed it.

Are their new gold primers "harder" than their older silver primers?

I'm sure that the differences between the old silver primers and the new gold primers are more than cosmetic. I wish we knew what those differences were.

A 12 years ago I bought a box of 1000 CCI primers to use for reloading 38. The reloads worked fine in my ruger sp101. BUT, I had some that didn't ignite in my S&W model 60 while shooting double action. They would ignite when I fired them in single action mode. In double action the modl 60 hammer doesn't come back as far as it does in single action, therefore not hitting the primer hard enough in double action mode.

I wonder if the new winchester gold primers are going to give me the same problem as the CCi's did in my modl 60.

Keep us posted Rod.

Patrick Graham
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Old September 25, 1999, 01:28 PM   #4
Mal H
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FWIW, I haven't had any problems with the brass colored WLP primers in .357M, .44M, 45 Colt. I haven't use a statistically significant amount of them, maybe 500 to 600.

One thought, in this age of narrowing costs (and Winchester is one of the major culprits), maybe Win is using the same metal alloy for LP and LR primer cups. Usually, primer manufacturers use a slightly harder metal for rifle primers because of the harder striking firing pins and higher pressures in rifles. If they have done this, it might account for the failures to ignite.
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Old September 25, 1999, 02:03 PM   #5
Joe Portale
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Rod WMG and all,

I don't remember if I responded to the first post concerning Winchester primer failures. I too have had primers fail to detonate. When these rounds were re-installed, so to speak, the ammo fired. (hit twice by the firing pin) The primers do behave differently with various pistols. I almost never had a problem when shooting my Springfield 1911, my browning BDM fair, S&W Model 19 many problems, a borrowed HK .45 was an absolutely miserable experience.

I also e-mailed Winchester a couple of weeks ago. I have not received any response from them and do not expect one. I usually buy primers in a flat of 5000. When the primers started acting up, I picked up 1000 from a different store for comparison. These acted up also. It may be time to switch to Federal or CCI.

Joe Portale
Sonoran Sidewinder
Tucson, Arizona territory

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Old September 25, 1999, 03:59 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the responses. For those who haven't had problems, I'm glad.

Winchester's claim for the "brass colored" primers is that they are "new, more sensitive."

I do think the number of experiences Joe P, I, and others have had are cause for concern.

[This message has been edited by Rod WMG (edited September 25, 1999).]
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Old September 28, 1999, 02:45 PM   #7
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One word - Federal.
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Old September 28, 1999, 08:31 PM   #8
Peter M. Eick
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I responded to your earlier thread, but I will add my more recent experience. I finally used up the last of my new brass color winchester primers, and until I hear otherwise they are off my list. In several different guns, WLP, WSP had failures to fire and failures even after a second hit. Since my problems cross guns and calibers I have to attribute it to the winchester primers.

I have since switched to CCI with no problems to date. What primers are others using instead of winchester?
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Old September 28, 1999, 10:36 PM   #9
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hold on, I've never seen brass colored primers from winchester, all I have is silver
and in the NEW blue boxes, whats up? its only
been one year since I bought primers, has
Winchester made a lead free primer in brass
finish? if so what IS the new primer mix besides lead styphnate? I'll bet the recipe
is BATF approved, and EPA correct, and is the first generation new primers sold for public reloading, you'll need a CLEO signed
permit to buy the primers that will work,
just one of them moods I guess? :}
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Old September 30, 1999, 05:01 PM   #10
Joe Portale
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I finally received an e-mail response from Winchester. Not bad, about three weeks. And who said e-mail's faster that the post office. ;-) Anyway, it is the same message that another TFL members reported. It is a reply generated by an autoresponder. So much for customer service.

Joe Portale
Sonoran Sidewinder
Tucson, Arizona territory

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Old October 1, 1999, 04:41 PM   #11
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Regarding brass colored WLP's, I have noticed they are often hard to seat fully without extraordinary amount of pressure, a trait I used to associate with CCI primers 35 or more years ago. These primers vary greatly in color within the same tray.
A few years ago, I was given 500 .223 crappy reloads from Paragon that had primers that looked like that and varied in seating depth, color and finish. They also had a high failure to fire rate.

I wonder if perhaps Winchester is outsourcing their primers from the El Crappola storm door and munitions works in Bangladesh.

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Old October 1, 1999, 04:49 PM   #12
John Foley
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Oh, Great!
I just bought 500 of the "new" Winchester LP primers. My local gun store was out of CCI 300's.
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Old October 7, 1999, 09:12 PM   #13
Big Bunny
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Thanks for the warning, the PC primers are not in OZ yet (thank heaven...thats all we need down here).

***Big Bunny***
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Old October 8, 1999, 06:05 AM   #14
Join Date: October 7, 1999
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I have been shooting my Kahr K40 and my custom Colt Combat .45 using these Winchester LP primers. I have fired almost 500 of them with absolutely ZERO mis-fires. But this report does make me nervous and I will most likely change brands when I need to purchase primer again.
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Old October 8, 1999, 09:04 AM   #15
Jack Straw
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Awww man....

Just what I need. I've been working on a 44 hunting load that doesn't like CCI primers (reliable, but not very accurate), and all I can find is these brass colored Winchester primers. I don't like the idea of heading into the woods with a load that I can't be sure of. If the repeated hammer strikes doesn't spook 'em the exuberant cussing will!

Nobody around Atlanta seems to have Federal or Remington primers.

I hate to pay those HazMat fees.

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Old October 8, 1999, 09:27 AM   #16
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Dont worry about the winchester Brass primers. I have gone through 7,000 of them in the last month, and havent had one mis or hangfire. they are great. I think It sould be the primers wernt seated properly.

10MM Magnum.... tried the rest, now I got the best
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