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Weird primer problem


Rye Miles #13621
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Weird thing happened, shot two rounds from my 73 rifle and  all of a sudden it locked up like a safe! Took out the follower and emptied the remaining rounds. It was still locked up. My pard, who is a gunsmith took the rifle apart and discovered a primer fell out of the round and stuck itself under the lever inside. The primer was in two little pieces. The round was intact with no primer. He said he’s never seen that before and neither have I! :wacko:

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Was it a fired primer or an unfired primer that fell into the rifle?

 

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In the high power rifle world (223, 308, 300 win mag, etc.), the high pressure causes the primer pockets to expand and get loose over time and will loose a primer, locking up the gun.

 

I've never seen it with a low pressure 38 special, but it's  possible the cases has been reused so many times the primer pocket could enlarge.

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Worn out primer pocket or someone used a primer pocket sewage/uniformed a little too aggressively. 
 

Back when I was a teenager shooting a semi-auto 243 saw it happen. From then on if the primer seated real easily that case went into the scrap bin. 

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55 minutes ago, Nickel City Dude said:

Was it a fired primer or an unfired primer that fell into the rifle?

 

Unfired because the round was intact. The primer was in at least two pieces that broke apart when it got stuck under the lever.

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1 hour ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Weird thing happened, shot two rounds from my 73 rifle and  all of a sudden it locked up like a safe! Took out the follower and emptied the remaining rounds. It was still locked up. My pard, who is a gunsmith took the rifle apart and discovered a primer fell out of the round and stuck itself under the lever inside. The primer was in two little pieces. The round was intact with no primer. He said he’s never seen that before and neither have I! :wacko:

Sounds like somethings wrong. 

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This exact thing happened to me 2 years ago during a match! In my case, the round fired and then the primer came out.  It locked up my rifle like a bank vault.  No one in our posse had seen anything like that before.

 

I must admit, I reload brass until it splits.  Some of my older brass was developing loose primer pockets.  Now when I reload on my Dillon 650, I pay attention to the amount pressure I need to seat a primer.  If I don't feel a little resistance, I don't finish loading that round.  Because I'm cheap, and primers are scarce, I do carefully de-prime the cases and save the primers. 

Edited by TN Mongo, SASS #61450
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I have wondered if repeated case cleanings with SS rods in a tumbler (or with any abrasive cleaning for that matter) might enlarge primer pockets.  Seems logical, if it is cleaning them to a shine, the harder SS is likely also removing minute amounts of surface oxidized brass.  And primer pocket tolerance seems necessarily very tight. 

Just a thought.  

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I would be very glad that the live primer only broke in two and didn't fire when down in the action.  Might not have hurt anything, but who knows?  Occasionally one or two of my ancient REM-UMC Brass shotgun hulls is minus the fired primer after the cleaning process, not sure when it actually came out.

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4 hours ago, J.S. Sooner, SASS #73526 said:

Could have been crushed sideways when seated, then fell out when slammed back onto the lifter. 

No I check all my brass when loading, I would have seen that. 
I think the primer pocket was a little too big and the primer came out. Maybe......?

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If the primer was live, and case was empty of a primer, that case has a very loose primer pocket.   Only high percentage cause of this problem.

 

Could have been caused by a high-pressure discharge in the case the last time it was fired - as in, a double charge.   I've seen a double charge open the primer pocket so far that a primer could rattle around in the pocket.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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9 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

No I check all my brass when loading, I would have seen that. 
I think the primer pocket was a little too big and the primer came out. Maybe......?

If the primer was in the case prior to loading and not after the jam, it came out.   The primer was probably mangled by the lever or lifter arm inside the receiver.  Sounds like it was a loose primer and most likely came out as the round slammed back onto the lifter. 

 

You could measure the primer pocket or try to seat a new primer and see how tight the pocket is.

 

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6 minutes ago, J.S. Sooner, SASS #73526 said:

If the primer was in the case prior to loading and not after the jam, it came out.   The primer was probably mangled by the lever or lifter arm inside the receiver.  Sounds like it was a loose primer and most likely came out as the round slammed back onto the lifter. 

 

You could measure the primer pocket or try to seat a new primer and see how tight the pocket is.

 

I think that's exactly what happened!;)

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The TWO pieces were likely the primer CUP and the ANVIL.

 

I had a primer dislodge from the primer pocket about 30 years back.   The rounds were being fired in a revolver

and the primer fell out of the casing as I was putting it in the cylinder.

 

CULPRIT:   Enlarged primer pocket.     It can happen.   It might be more common than we think but because

everyone doesn't talk on a shooting community forum like SASS, we won't hear of those incidents.

 

Another, but RARE, cause can be a minimal diameter primer that didn't fit snug up inside its pocket.

 

..........Widder

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1 hour ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Tap test?

 

Yea, the Tap test.

Put a round in a shell holder and keep the case secure with your hand.   THEN, lightly tap the shell holder on top

of a table.   If the primer is loose, it will pop out, sometimes a little, sometimes fully.

 

..........Widder

 

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2 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Tap test?

Tap the case head at an angle on a hard surface to see if the primer moves.

OLG 

24 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

I got a brand new .45-90 shell with a too-loose primer pocket. Brand new!

Dang it, those are more than a buck a piece!

Who made them?

OLG 

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IDK, but I've been able to get some new brass, maybe from Grafs (maybe Mid-South)? Don't remember.

Got some from a SASS pard too and that's where I think the bad one was from.

It was new but the pocket was definitely loose.

Edited by The Rainmaker, SASS #11631
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2 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

IDK, but I've been able to get some new brass, maybe from Grafs (maybe Mid-South)? Don't remember.

Got some from a SASS pard too and that's where I think the bad one was from.

It was new but the pocket was definitely loose.

Starline makes .45-90. 

You should anneal the case mouth before loading.

OLG 

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Had this happen at the AZ state championship in 2006 with my 73 rifle.  Brand new Starline .38spl brass with Federal small pistol primers and 125gr bullets.  Load I had been using for years and never had a problem with many times reloaded Starline brass and Winchester small pistol primer.  Got some new brass for big match and bought some Federal primers because that's what everybody said were the best.  Primer fell out of fired round and jammed up rifle.  luckily it was last round fired and declared broken gun.  Upon inspecting other 9 fired brass they all had primers backing up but not out.  

Never used Federal primers again.  Never had a problem with Winchester primers in rifle or pistols.  

Short stroked race 73 and short stroked race New Vaqueros.  All with light springs.

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