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Old 03-14-2018, 06:40 PM
Czechvar Czechvar is online now
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Default Blew a Primer...or 20...

I’ve been absent from this Forum for a little while, been busy home schooling our son. But I did have an interesting event reloading and thought I’d share. I really like this Forum, but I’m mainly into Sig’s so I’m on SigTalk more....On to my story:

...actually 10 (Small Rifle Primers) plus several more in the tube, but they all went at once. Not exactly sure how it happened, except that the movement of the XL650 was bound up a bit. When I pushed a little too hard there was a quick blast, smaller than I expected though. A blown Primer was lodged in the tube, and the rest were laying in the wheel. I’m guessing a Primer got stuck in the feed mechanism, and I should have stopped and disassembled it to clear the jam. I worked for half an hour to try and figure out where the press was binding, but didn’t suspect the Primer Feed assembly. Comes to $45 in parts to fix, so that’s not bad.

No one was hurt, and I did not lose my hearing...stunk though. I’ll have to replace the Primer Alarm and main small tube...blew that plastic rod to pieces. It wasn’t as loud nor as big a flash as I would have imagined. I should point out that I was only priming finished cases, no powder was out at all. I have so much brass I wanted to do things separately. I don’t have a lot of experience and breaking out each phase of reloading allows me to practice better.






Last edited by Czechvar; 06-02-2018 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:44 PM
Czechvar Czechvar is online now
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Last night I tried to get the blown Primers out of the magazine tube. But the tube was so distended and contorted I couldn’t get them to shake out. So I cut the tube up with my bolt cutter and discovered there were probably 5 or so more blown Primers in the bottom. I tried to knock them out with a hammer and punch on my vise, but no luck. I think altogether about 20 blew simultaneously. I’d equate the noise level to the sound of a couple of average firecrackers going off at the same time. The flash seemed to be about two feet high and about a foot across starting at the Primer wheel. I had a mild, momentary hearing loss that only lasted a few seconds until I could hear my son yelling for me to close the door because of the stink.

My best guess on the cause for now is something wrong on the indexing arm, because the spring is bent and the arm is loose. All of my Primers are CCI. Took everything apart and cleaned with Hoppes #9 and MPRO 7...good as new. Now just waiting on the Small Magazine Tube, two parts for the Primer Alarm, and a new Indexing Arm and Spring. Called Dillon Monday morning and they are sending the parts I need to fix the Small Primer Feed Assembly. No fuss...very friendly and helpful.

Last edited by Czechvar; 03-14-2018 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:55 PM
Wee Hooker Wee Hooker is offline
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Thanks for reminding me to vacuum my reloading bench. It's been a while. Blown primers are scary enough but if that flash touched any stray powder......
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:19 PM
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Got all the parts from Dillon today, love their Warranty. Installed everything and it’s better than before. I’m pretty sure the problem had something to do with the indexing arm and spring.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:05 PM
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I have found that it is better to stop and analyze the issue when I encounter resistance with the press. I have not blown any primes but have crushed a few and locked things up. Dillon is tops.
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Last edited by Old_Cop; 03-16-2018 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Dillon ++
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Czechvar wrote:
I’m pretty sure the problem had something to do with the indexing arm and spring.
I've practiced as a forensic engineer for more than 30 years. Assuming you know the cause of a failure without properly investigating and diagnosing it is a recipe for having it happen again.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:04 AM
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As a side note, I would have had to take a shower and put on new underwear.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:54 AM
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Default ONE was enough.......

One was enough for me. I think it was a small pistol primer and I remember being stunned for a few seconds with my ears going 'Dooooooooooooooooooooo' on a middle 'A' note for a while. I think I could have tuned my guitar without a tuning fork.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:22 PM
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I just dont see how this happens, but enough to be concerned. Static elec, primer flipped sideways, who knows.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:12 AM
stavey stavey is offline
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Give dillon a call you'll be up and running again in no time , free.
Happened to me loading 45's had a small primer case mixed in and ham fisted it. That was all she wrote for the priming system. I still have the split primer tube as a reminder. I was more bummed that I had to wait for parts to continue reloading.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:25 PM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
I just dont see how this happens, but enough to be concerned. Static elec, primer flipped sideways, who knows.
Fred, you know...if it is possible....sooner or later it WILL happen. All it takes is a second of inattention. Never have blown a stack of primers...but I have blown a single in a Lee Loader. Yeah...it was MY fault. With my Dillon progressives though I try to be on top of it at all times....So far...so good

Last edited by Skeet 028; 03-19-2018 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:43 PM
S&WIowegan S&WIowegan is offline
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Exclamation

I have been running Dillon 650s, 550s and even a Square Deal B for a while and never had a primer blowout. I know people who have done it and it's pretty scary. The cause is always operator error and with my 650s I have to periodically take the priming system apart, especially the wheel and clean away all the crud. Once clean, reassemble but don't lube with anything other than a bit of dry lube. Lube will just trap dirt in the system.

Dillon will send you parts and you need to do some serious thought as to how you made it happen.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:21 PM
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I'll stick with my vintage Lyman All-American and Forster coaxial press. I don't trust automation!
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:34 PM
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There is a reason for that black tube around the primer tube.

The old 450 system was bad about turning a primer. I was reloading for my boss at my first gun shop. Every time it would turn a primer I called him to fix it (his choice). He got fed up with and finally slammed the primer arm with his hand and you can guess the results. The tube was almost full and a few went into the ceiling like a shotgun and the rest lodged in the tube.
Called Dillon and they actually connected us to the blown primer department. In a few days we had the newer updated primer system and never had a problem. Later on we upgraded to a 550B and never had an issue with that one.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Czechvar wrote:
Not exactly sure how it happened, except that the movement of the XL650 was bound up a bit. When I pushed a little too hard there was a quick blast,...
So, you had a problem with a progressive press and rather that stop and diagnose the problem, you decided the best way forward was to apply "more power"?

You got the explosion you created by ignoring the signs of an obvious problem. Fortunately, your Dillon contained it.

But is "powering through" really the best approach given how it worked for you recently?

My suggestion is find out what is binding your press before you go all "Jolly Green Giant" on the handle.

Last edited by Tom S.; 04-18-2018 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Straying off topic
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:00 AM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is online now
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Primers are like holding a stick of dynamite in your hand. It has a fuse and you don't know when it will g off. I had a primer full in a Lee round tray explode in my hand - extremely painful. Heed all the warnings and keep your equipment and bench clean.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:55 PM
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I was reloading some 9 mm on my Lee Classic Turret press, A primer got into the primer cup sideways; I didn't catch it the primer was pressed into the brass and boom. It pushed the press handle down out of my hand. No damage to the press but the primer arm and cup had flash burns. I tossed the primer arm just because it seemed to be a good idea. I did check the pin in the ram to insure it was not bent.

Sometimes it does not take much to crush a primer.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:59 AM
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I have crushed primers sideways flat into a pocket with continues pressure on a 550, more than once, no detonation. I am no even sure how this happens on a 650??
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:34 AM
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I prime with a handheld primer tool with the round tray. 20 primers at a time into the tray. Make sure theyíre all right side up. Shake one into position, look to be sure itís right side up, then insert brass and prime.

I did have one go sideways once before I got more careful. I crushed it but it didnít detonate. That will never happen again.
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:24 PM
Czechvar Czechvar is online now
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Well, primed more than a thousand 223 cases without an incident since my explosion. I understand how that part of my 650 works much better now after taking it apart and repairing it.
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