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Old January 4, 2000, 03:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
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Is it necessary to clean the primer pockets on pistol cartridges? I've been doing it, but should I? It's not a big deal to do it, but if there's no advantage to it, maybe I can eliminate this step.

Thanks for your help.

Reading "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," by Ayn Rand, should be required of every politician and in every high school.

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Old January 4, 2000, 03:12 PM   #2
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As long as the build up doesn't prevent you from seating the new primer to the proper depth, you should be able to skip the cleaning step.

Having said that... I clean mine every time. Just a little "retentive" I guess...


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Old January 4, 2000, 10:18 PM   #3
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,155

I only clean primer pockets if I have trouble getting primers to seat flush or if I'm loading accuracy rounds.

On the other hand, I also clean them out on GPs about every four or five reloads whether they need it or not.

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Old January 4, 2000, 11:03 PM   #4
Join Date: November 8, 1999
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Posts: 53

If you ever start using a progressive press like a Dillion 650, you will probably stop cleaning primer pockets. I have reloaded thousands upon thousands without cleaning primer pockets with no adverse effect.

But the flip of the coin is, there are a few calibers I load on a single stage RCBS, such as 44 Magnum. I clean the primer pockets every time on these....

Also, I load all my rifle calibers on a single stage press and clean the primer pockets on everyone, everytime. Habit from my benchrest days I guess.....

Best Regards....
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Old January 4, 2000, 11:27 PM   #5
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While it might not do much good, it certainly can't do any harm, other than taking more time.. Personally, I used to clean rifle primer pockets, a lot more build-up, however I virtually never clean pistol pockets.
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Old January 5, 2000, 11:03 AM   #6
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I've cleaned maybe 5 primer pockets on some 9 or 45 cases out of 4,000 rounds and my accuracy and reliability has remained the same.

Only bullseye shooters need worry about that. For IPSC, defensive shooting, steel plates, bowling pins, it ain't gonna affect squat!
Come on over to my house and clean out the pockets for 4,000 rounds and then again tell me it doesn't un-necessarily elongate your reloading time.

It's a waste unless you see a lot of residue and carbon build-up in there.

The real question is are you case gauging all of your completed rounds for safety and reliability?

The Seattle SharpShooter
If it can't shoot jacketed rat turds powered by mouse farts, I ain't gonna shoot it!

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