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Dunc

Tight primer pockets

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Seating the primers (CCI small rifle magnum primers) in new/ once fired Lapua 6.5 CM brass is a tough job.  Hands are knackered afterwards and I really must get the bench primer seater mounted.  But, is it unusual to have such tight pockets that you are applying max (two) hand pressure to seat the primers in new brass using the Lee hand primer tool?  Or should I use my Dillon Super Swage to make things easier?  Guess it's better for them to be on the tight side than slack, but these are really tight...

Thanks in advance for any comments.

 

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Small rifle primer outside diameter should be 0.1753" for CCI 400;  0.1750" for CCI 450 or 0.1755 for BR4.  I can see how BR4 might feel a little stiffer to prime than the 400/450 primers but you should never have to force anything that hard...doing so when reloading (ie excessive force needed for any step) is usually a sign something isn't quite right and could potentially have its own dangers when priming due to the forces needed.

If the new brass wasn't exhibiting this amount of pressure needed for priming, the it's odd that once fired should, as with repeated firings primer pockets become looser, not firmer.  I'd start by using a standard SR swaging tool to ensure that all the carbon and fouling has been properly removed and check also that the pocket base is nice and clean. Should be ok after that. The onl;y other thing that I can think of is that the primers aren't being squarely lined up with the Lee hand tool?  Never had this issue myself so other than that,  I wouldn't know what to suggest.

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Thanks.  Checked the CCI 450 primers and they are indeed 0.175".  The new brass and the once fired brass were similar in the force needed and in any case, I was only using 42-43 gr of RS60 so no where near max.

Thanks for your reply! 

 

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I have just had the same problem with a new batch of 308 Palma cases. The BR4 primers that I've used for years with this brass without any problem, just would not seat without using excessive force, causing concern of a primer detonation, or more likely, a crumpled or crushed primer leading to inconsistent results on the target.

So, I had to spend several hours of my life I will never get back swaging the pockets of 300 pieces of what is supposed to be premium-quality brass ?

I complained to Lapua on their feedback page and urge anyone else with similar problems to do likewise. http://www.lapua.com/en/resources/contact.html

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This is not a primer problem, I've just compared the diam. of CCI BR4 vs CCI 450 primers and there's dam' all difference. However the BR4s are noticeably more consistent on the small sample (5 pcs) that I measured, which is as you would expect for a premium primer.

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Hello dunc,

I had a similar issue with the lee hand prime tool with 243 cases, primers wouldn't seat flush without excessive force. Problem was solved by stripping the hand prime tool down, cleaning all bearing surfaces and lightly lubed with choke tube grease. There was also a light burr on the linkage which wasn't helping matters

worth a try?

best of luck

Stumpy

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Thanks, I'll check this but I think the ram is pretty free when it's not seating a primer.  

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Are you ultrasonic cleaning the brass ?

This can remove any lubricity from the brass, and make them noticeably difficult to prime.

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The ram was fine, it was the linkage which slides up the inside of the chromed handle that was binding. It only did it under load when pushing a primer into a case. Once cleaned and lubed it's been fine for 400 primers since.

All cases had primer pockets cleaned and once I got it working properly they seated correctly.

 

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1 hour ago, baldie said:

Are you ultrasonic cleaning the brass ?

This can remove any lubricity from the brass, and make them noticeably difficult to prime.

Hi Dave, hope you got home safely on Sun.   

No, the brass in this instance has not been cleaned beyond cloth and elbow grease which shouldn't have affected the primer pockets but thanks for the suggestion. 

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1 hour ago, Stumpy said:

The ram was fine, it was the linkage which slides up the inside of the chromed handle that was binding. It only did it under load when pushing a primer into a case. Once cleaned and lubed it's been fine for 400 primers since.

All cases had primer pockets cleaned and once I got it working properly they seated correctly.

 

 Will have a look at the weekend when I get a chance.  Thanks.

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Man up and grow a pair of thumbs old man!

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2 minutes ago, bradders said:

Man up and grow a pair of thumbs old man!

Ha-ha, real men shouldn't have a problem seating primers.  Even the Karate Kid had sore thumbs....

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