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Spent primers coming apart during decapping.


Iron Pony
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This failure is a first for me, any suggestions?  

 

Reloading a quick 100 rounds of 44Spec this morning on the Square Deal (please dont take this afield telling me to buy another press etc. I dont want to hear it.) and had two primers fail to seat.  Pulled the offending pieces of brass, set them aside and finished the session at which point I took a look at them and found that the base and wall of the cup had separated leaving the cup wall behind in the primer pocket.  Looked thru the spent primer catch cup and found both of the bases.

 

Hmmm.  Just about 100% sure these were from my BP loads using WW std large pistol primers that once shot, at a match, they went into a jug of water with some dish soap for the remainder of the match then maybe for another day before I got them out of the jug, rinsed and dried them.  I spent some time earlier this spring running batches of BP brass though the wet tumble/stainless steel pin cleaning process.  They were only in the tumbler for about 90 minutes with a teaspoon of lemi-shine and a squirt of dish washing soap after which they were again dried.  

 

Photos show the brass along with two "normal" pieces, and two of the cup bases.

 

There looks to be some corrosion which may just be residue in the primer pockets of the failed brass and on the inside surface of the base.  It isn't, or shouldn't be rust as nothing in the primer, cup or anvil, is magnetic which would indicate to me the makeup is non-ferrous.  Anvils coming out during decapping is nothing new but again this is a first.  

 

Anyone had similar occur?  Anything in the prep process I should be looking at? 

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Posted (edited)

Had that happen with some of my BP loads.  The real thrill is when you are unaware of the problem and try to seat new primers.  Get a Lee Universal decapper and decap the shells in a reasonbly quick time frame after they have been soaked.

 

Not the press.  Had it happen on a 650 and 1050.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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I had this happen with some .30 Carbine brass. I was thinking that it was some old military brass loaded with corrosive primers. Maybe it's the same principle with your brass.

 

 

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I have seen this several times with customer's brass.

 

The issue goes back to setting the primers.

Yes, you set them all the way down i the pockets for consistent ignition.

However, if you get over zealous and push the primer all the way to the bottom of the pocket and then a little extra to make sure, the primer cup rolled edge will cut itself as the primer bottom flattens out against the prime cup walls.

 

This happens with high pressure rounds where the prime slams against the recoil shield with great force.

 

One more items, some manufacturers used some sort of glue on the primer pockets when setting primers.

Usually a slight red line around the primer where it meets the case bottom.

 

If you look at teh primer before firing after setting int he case, if the primer cup is flattens out to the edges, that is too much seating force.

 

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I wash my brass loaded with black powder the day shot and dry quickly.  When I left the brass wet I got lots of primers corroded in place, just as you pictured.  The primer brand does not matter.  I'm going to get one of those hand deprimers for my 45-70 brass.  I don't like loosing 45-70s to corrosion.

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The key here is DRY THE BRASS quickly after it is in your BP rinse. It really makes no difference if it was a BP round or smokiless, if the brass spends any amount of time wet it can corrode and the primers will come apart when you deprime. There was a thread on here a couple of years ago started by Boulder Canyon Bob with the same problem.

kR

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Thanks for the input here and I think the info about drying time you all have provided is pretty much spot on.  

 

Happened to locate another jug of 44Spec brass that has not yet been through the wet tumble/cleaning process but had been post-match washed and dried; resized and decapped about 50 with no issues.  Post match process has always been to dry them in an oven, at about 200 degrees, and I'd never had any problems over a very long period of time.  Searched through the cleaned brass and pulled out some with what looked like water staining that came up with the same issue of coming apart so I can pretty much ID the bad ones.

 

The wet tumble process is fairly new and I'd been using the Frankford arsenal dryer, which has a max air temp of 160 degrees.  As part of using the new dryer I pulled brass after approx 30 and 45 minutes, decapped it to see if the primer pockets were dry and came up with a 60 minute drying time.  Sadly I dont recall the temp setting I used but next time I'll dry some in the oven and some in the air dryer at max temp.

 

  The investigation continues.

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Decap, then soak.  Corrosive elements don't get washed out of primer pockets and apparently if left will form a sticky film.  When I got the rings out of my well-used 45-Basic brass, (too expensive to just put in the scrap heap), I found evidence of some type of deposits between the ring of the cup and the wall of the primer pocket.  Residue of some sort.  This was after several years of washing the brass before decapping. 

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As you can see I tried several times to remove the rings from above, they were really stuck, but...

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bending the little hook into this little screwdriver popped 'em out quite easily.   

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My drying time is 35-40 minutes in an oven at 255 degrees. Or if the sun is out in AZ just throw them on a cloth in the backyard for a while. When you bring them in the house don't touch them they will burn you.

kR

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If you get brass with primers wet, you should de-prime immediately or you will have this problem.

 

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KR I'm going to try an experiment my next time out to the range and run two sets of brass, after washing I'll dry one in the oven and one at max temp in the air dryer and pull some at 15 minutes intervals after say 45 minutes.  

 

Noticed this has only happened, so far, with Starline brass.

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A hair dryer works just fine to dry a match’s worth of brass.  Faster than an oven and you don’t heat up the kitchen in the summer.

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Posted (edited)

Personal experience for comparison:

 

My brass stays dry until I get home and clean my guns.  Brass is soaked in a 3 lb coffee can in water with a squirt of Dawn for an hour while the guns are cleaned.  Then rinsed, dried with a hair dryer.  It may be a month before they polished in corn cob media and  reloaded.  Spent primer stays in the brass until it’s reloaded.  Blackpowder and smokeless brass is treated the same.  I have never experienced the primer problem you describe.


For what it’s worth.

 

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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Man, you guys have me sweating. Got my new wet tumbler and have run several hundred cases through it and then let them dry. Had never heard of this before as I used to dry tumble.

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