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Old August 8, 2013, 06:23 PM   #1
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Primer pocket size

I'm reloading .223 and have discovered an issue in priming. I had been reloading with a RCBS rock chucker press, and began having problems seating primers; I got a hand-primer and found the same issue. When I looked a little closer, I discovered this problem: apparently some primer pockets are different sizes. Some of my brass will accept the primer without a problem, but others look to have an undersized primer pocket (or my primers are too big, depending on how you look at it. I have a mixed batch of brass which I have obtained from a wide variety of sources (some are my brass which I am reloading, others have been given to me by family/friends, etc). I have used Remington #6 small rifle primers and CCI small rifle primers with the same result.

When I look closely, the primer pocket on the brass that won't accept the primers has about a 1/32" lip around the diameter of the primer pocket. It's consistent with different machine tolerances in the brass manufacturing process.

The brass that won't accept the primers has headstamps including Federal, PSD 84, and WCC 69. All the brass has a primer pocket with a nominal value of about .170", +/- .002". Obviously .002" is out of tolerance for my primers....

Is just the part of the inherent differences between different manufacturers as indicated by headstamps, or something else? Should I just discard the brass that appears to have primer pockets that are too small, or look for another primer for them?
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Old August 8, 2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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On military rounds the primers are swedged into the pocket.
It’s easy to fix and there are many ways. This is my tool that I have been using for over 25 years.
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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There is a factory crimp in the primer pocket, you need to swage the pocket to get the primers to seat correctly. RCBS makes a nice swager
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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Here is one type of crimp (there are others)

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