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Old 08-18-2013, 07:21 PM
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Default 357 mag brass

I purchased some once fired 357 brass. Typically I only purchase new brass or use the once fired brass that comes from my ammo purchases.

I had some down time today so I decided to reload some of the once fired brass that I had purchased. I noticed what appears to be, for lack of a better term, a "ring" around the primer pocket. I resized the casesand cleaned primer pockets.

I noticed that when seating the primer it was unusually hard and noticed metal shavings fall out around the primer pocket. Out of 50 I had one that would not accept a primer, almost like the primer pocket was not centered. The installed primer on the cases with the "ring" are flatter than normal. I assume this is from the extra pressure required to seat the primer.

I did not like the looks of the primers of the 50 I had done so I retrieved some of my personal once fired cases. I resized them cleaned the primer pocket and the primer set with normal pressure and looked correct.

I was worried that the primer would blow out if I loaded them up. I don't know if this is correct way to check but I put the cartridges, primer only no bullet or powder, into an old Taurus that I have. They all functioned but the primers on the cases with the ring blew out of the pocket and were deformed. It took a little work to get the Taurus open but no damage to the pistol. The cases that I primed without the "ring" looked worked fine.

Can anyone provide any information what the "ring" around the primer pocket may be from. Also has anyone had this problem?

Top row is my once fired cases without the "ring"
Next two rows were purchsed as once fired and have a "ring"
From left to right before priming, after priming and after firing.

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Old 08-18-2013, 07:36 PM
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If in doubt use a case champhering tool...like the RCBS..or find one that you can chuck up in a drill and do them all the same.

I have never had to do this...
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:07 PM
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First of all, it is very common when firing primed but not loaded brass in a revolver for the primer to back out of the pocket and "tie up" the cylinder. The gases from the primer are restricted going through the flash hole and cause the primer to back out against the recoil shield. The same thing happens when you fired loaded rounds, but the pressure in the case causes it to back up and reseat the primer. So you just experienced what is common.

The cases with the ring, don't appear to have been crimped, but!!! in many cartridges a circular crimp is used to retain the primer. But I have never encountered that on 357 Mag brass. 38 Special military brass, yes.

As a common practice, I run lots of brass through my RCBS primer pocket swager. I do this with all crimped brass, and brass with tight primer pockets like S&B. So if it were mine I would just swage the pockets and be done with it. It puts a nice radius where the "ring" is, and insures the pocket diameter is uniform and not undersize.

Don't concern yourself with the primers backing out, because they do every time you fire them.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:08 PM
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It almost looks like your brass had "crimped" primers as in military brass. I have not seen it in 357 but have in 45 ACP.
I have a bag of TZZ (Israel Military brass) with crimped primers.

The Magtech (CBC) looks like a crimp to me.

As to the primer backing out, they will all do that in a revolver if you have no powder and bullet, The cylinder will then get stuck and you say foul words.

When a cartridge goes off (fires) the primer backs out and slams against the breech and re seats, Without the full charge it just backs out and stays out.

I dislike messing with crimps. If it is not a lot of brass, weed it out and use other brass. JMHO I have other things to do than mess with it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:42 PM
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Thanks for the info guys! I think I will dispose of the the primers and trash the brass about 200 cases. It just didn't feel right when I was seating the primer and defiantly doesn't look right to me when compared to what I call normal. I'm not taking chances with these. I just haven't seen 357 brass look like this around the primer pocket. Of course I've only been reloading around 15 years and usually only buy new brass or use brass from my ammo purchases.

I learn something new everyday. I thought that the primer would push out farther when the cartridge was loaded. I now understand that more pressure moves the case back to the breech and reseats the primer, makes sense.

The crimped primer comment has me thinking, although I've never seen a crimped primer.

I have never fired primer only before but this stuff did not look right. The one I call "normal", far right in this photo, doesn't appear to have moved at all.

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Old 08-18-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default I like my own brass

I don't like to buy 'range brass' because it is so inconsistent and variable. Alas, these days I'm happy to get range brass.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
The crimped primer comment has me thinking, although I've never seen a crimped primer.
Now you have!



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Old 08-19-2013, 01:59 AM
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Default Primed & ready to go

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Buck2 View Post
I have never fired primer only before but this stuff did not look right. The one I call "normal", far right in this photo, doesn't appear to have moved at all.
Like was stated, the primers will normally partially pop out of the pocket, when fired without a bullet/powder, but occasionally they don't, like on the right. I was surprised the first time I did it in a revolver too, & had to force the cylinder open. I've never had, nor would I expect, that problem when firing primed only cases in an automatic.

Last edited by BLUEDOT37; 08-19-2013 at 02:00 AM. Reason: .
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:32 AM
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I would NOT toss that brass, it's perfectly good for reloading and too valuable. All you need to do is purchase an RCBS Primer Pocket Swager and swage the primer pockets on that lot of brass. BTW, all you are doing with swaging is very slightly sizing the pocket in some and mainly adding a lead in radius in the area where the pocket was "necked down" by the crimp. Use a hand primer to test your setup and when you achieve a typical insertion force you are good to go for doing the rest of your cases.

On the RCBS swager setup is rather simple but there is ONE CRITICAL STEP you do not want to forget. That is to put the stripping collar over the swaging pin on the press column. Forget that and you'll need to use some large pliers to get enough leverage to wiggle that casing off the swaging pin. Guess how I learned that. BTW, the swaging pin goes on the press column in the slot where you normally put the shell holder. Then put that stripper (a cap like thingy with a hole in the center) over the swaging pin. Finally you adjust the die so that when you press the case onto the swaging pin it provides just enough radius to allow a fresh primer to be inserted with normal force. Start tight and turn the die down slowly until you get to this point. BTW, don't force any primers into your test cases, if they wont start with a normal force they generally wont stick in the pocket and you can test using the same primer and case till you get it right. Obviously when you get close to correct the primers will start to stick so those you can press in with a bit more force than normal to get the case free. However you'll want to continue to tune the die down a whisker until priming takes a normal pressure t o press in.

Finally, you aren't alone in finding crimped handgun cases. I've just been through a lot of 400 45 ACP cases and found that some brands are now being crimped. One such brand is Speer Lawman cases and the crimp is EXTREMELY subtle. Speer is using a cone/radiused shaped crimp tool that creates the crimp by dishing in the case head around the primer pocket. Unless you look close you won't notice this dishing but you WILL destroy any primers you try and force into these cases. Winchester is now crimping some cases using a crimp ring simlar to that seen here. PPU and other foreign brands are very typically crimped, some with a ring type and some with a notch type. Finally, Federal Large Primer 45 ACP cases have almost no lead in radius or chamfer around the primer pocket that will damage any primer that isn't perfectly on center when you press it in. I am now at the point where I sort my 45 ACP large primer cases by headstamp and pocket swage any brass that isn't Remington. Oddly enough the small primer cases everyone complains about are no fuss no need for crimping perfect easy to prime.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for the heads up..............
article and pictures, let me learn something new about
brass that I did not know.

Just shows what mil spec and "Odd" brass can do to you.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:39 AM
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Don't toss the brass. Recycle it. Or De crimp it.

You do not need and expensive tool to de crimp it. Just ream it out with a reamer. chamfer tool or a screw counter sink. Just takes a little twist.

Lee Chamfer Deburring Tool

L.E. Wilson Chamfer Deburring Tool 17 to 45 Cal
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:29 PM
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I've seen that with .45acp and 9mmPara. it's a biatch to squander time on but the cases may be worth it to load a dozen more times.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:00 PM
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Rule3: I have the Lee Chamfer tool but never had to use it.

Scooter123: Thanks for that really good information. I do hand prime all my brass, I think that's the main reason I noticed something wrong almost immediately.

I only reload 45 colt, 45acp, 44 mag, 357 mag and 38 special. I never encountered this problem before but it sounds like I might if the crimp style is becoming more popular in handgun rounds.

I'm not a high volume reloader, typically reload 100-200 at a time through 2 single stage presses.

I will try the chamfer tool on them. It just adds a little more time to my already slow process. I may be slow but I do enjoy the time I spend on reloading.

Thanks for all the information.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:51 PM
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Thanks for all the help. I used the lee chamfer tool a couple turns on each case and primer set perfectly Reloaded 100 357 mag, kinda of a light load 5.5g of unique under 158 gr cast.

Not one problem yesterday out of my 66 or the 686
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:25 PM
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I bet it's old LEO brass. Some of that may be crimped. Never saw it in .357 though.
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