Had a primer go off

BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior MemberPosts: 4,310 Senior Member
Was hand priming some .223. It was not going well, had 5 or 6 that went in crooked. I kept moving the shell holder around figuring I had an alignment problem and thought I had it going ok, did about 10 in a row without issue when all of a sudden POW! Blew the plastic case off and primers went everywhere. Probably about 20 of em. Some of them actually came apart without detonating, just the one went off. I don't know what it is about .223 but they do not prime well for me. Pistol shells prime just fine by hand, rather easy actually but .223 never seem to work right. It's all range brass, all measured and trimmed and inspected visually. Pockets cleaned. I don't get it.
"He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
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Replies

  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,509 Senior Member
    It's probably crimped brass. You gotta swage or ream the crimp out before it's reloadable
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,310 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    It's probably crimped brass. You gotta swage or ream the crimp out before it's reloadable

    Please elaborate.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 5,766 Senior Member
    Wow, glad you weren't hurt. What type of hand primer? That sucks.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,807 Senior Member
    CasePrepXpressLg.jpg

    .223 / 5.56 brass many have crimps, and some don't have uniform pockets.

    Something like the case prep center above uniforms the pocket with a cutter, swages, cleans and then de-burrs and chamfers.

    In .308 and .35 Remington I have found Federal cases cut correctly and Remington a bit small. If you ever use one you will surprised how many are not right.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,310 Senior Member
    I dunno, just says FC and 14 on it. Does not have that NATO + with a circle around it.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    See my/your old post and others comments..............get a primer pocket swage hand tool from Lyman one for LG and one fer SM pockets. RCBS has one that fits on a press. Problem is even if it is not Berdan primed (two flash holes in cases) and Boxer (one hole) the primer pockets are squeezed in tighter for possible rough handling by military and the type weapons it may be fired in. Different brass MFRs like PMC had tight pockets I had to swage out with a tool.

    So a regular priming process will not work, holes to tight, outta round and primers won't seat without a lot of force if they do at all. Forcing them too hard will cause a possible detonation like you had.

    Are you sure you used the small primer push rod and weren't trying to put a LG primer into a SM hole? Stuff happens.

    Hand held tools have changeable tips these days and some can be press mounted. You only have to do it once. Called Uniformer/Swager/Reamer.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    I dunno, just say FC and 14 on it. Does not have that NATO + with a circle around it.

    As mention above crimped brass ... how hard was it depriming? Crimped primers usually take a little more force to deprime.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,310 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Does it look like the case on the left in this link?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headstamp

    instead of 223 Rem, it just has a 14.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,509 Senior Member
    If it doesn't say .223 on the headstamp, then it's 5.56 brass, and has crimped primers.
    That's probably American Eagle, of some stripe.

    They crimp the primers in place on military/civilian 5.56 ammo to keep the primer from falling out after it's fired, while running through though the action.
    You HAVE to swage or cut the crimp ring out of the brass before you can safely reload it.
    I prefer to cut it out with a primer pocket reamer, a few twists, it's gone.
    I recently upgraded to the Lyman case prep center that Dan linked, it's awesome.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,509 Senior Member
    Also, if you're gonna shoot that brass in a .223, you have to trim it to .223 length.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Also, if you're gonna shoot that brass in a .223, you have to trim it to .223 length.

    No difference in trim lengths of .223 and 5.56 is there? Hornady manual says they are the same, but calls it .223 Service Rifle. Case trim length for both 1.750 and max case length is 1.760 which would require it to be trimmed if at or exceeded.

    OAL MAX cartridge length is actually shorter for the service rifle @ 2.250 and 2.260 for civilian .223 in their load data.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,305 Senior Member
    The length is the same. I believe 5.56 brass has less volume than .223 brass, it's a bit thicker in the head, causing higher pressures. I've never found this to be a problem, but some worry-warts do.

    You can remove the crimp with the blade of a pocket knife or a tool made for it. FC means Federal Cartridge and 14 is the year it was loaded.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,945 Senior Member
    Actually, The LC-06 brass I have is LIGHTER (thinner) than any commercial brass I've weighed. (I bought it new and unprimed, so I didn't have to deal with crimped primer pockets)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,509 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    No difference in trim lengths of .223 and 5.56 is there? Hornady manual says they are the same, but calls it .223 Service Rifle. Case trim length for both 1.750 and max case length is 1.760 which would require it to be trimmed if at or exceeded.p

    OAL MAX cartridge length is actually shorter for the service rifle @ 2.250 and 2.260 for civilian .223 in their load data.
    Yes. 5.56 case length is 1.760". 5.56 has a longer leade, I'm just making sure he trims it, if he intends to shoot it in .223.
    If he's shooting a 5.56 chamber, no worries.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,305 Senior Member
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,177 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    FC means Federal Cartridge and 14 is the year it was loaded.

    This....

    and...as others have pointed out...you've been trying to cram primers into a crimped primed pocket...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,509 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »

    Good read. Thanks for sharing.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Important thing is he is OK, probably was a little startled to say the least ...............who wouldn't be.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    This video shows the crimp styles on military ammo. What to look for in your brass that will tell you if a Ring Crimp or variations were used and thus need reaming out before attempting to put in a new primer. Although it is about Green Tip .....................

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBSWzv3SM4c
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,180 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Important thing is he is OK, probably was a little startled to say the least ...............who wouldn't be.

    If you want a sphincter tightening experience, then having a shotshell primer go off in the priming die with a pound of shotgun powder sitting in the dispenser right above it will do it. The priming ram supposedly covers the flash hole, but there's a LOT of fire shooting out around it when it happens. And it's loud. One of things that make you go, AAAaaaaahhhhhhh! :silly:

    It only takes one hardened lead #6 shot in the priming pocket to set off a shotshell primer.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,909 Senior Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    I dunno, just says FC and 14 on it. Does not have that NATO + with a circle around it.

    FC is Federal Cartridge and is not military. What kind of hand primer do you use? Sounds like it's not aligning the primer to the pocket well. I think I'd try another priming tool. Through the years, since about 1980, I've probably reloaded many more .223 than anything else and have probably had fewer issues with it than any other cartridge. If your brass isn't military and thus not crimped, I think you've got an issue with your hand primer.

    Edited to Add: Scrap that. I didn't realize American Eagle was Federal. And I didn't realise they were crimped. I looked at some of mine that I have yet to get around to depriming and they are crimped. So that is your problem. Either de-crimp them or can 'em and get some civilian .223 brass.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    From YouTube comments.........ATK owns/runs LC and Federal who repackage their Ammo and Federal sells it under their name. Some military may be marked FC, it is rather convoluted how it all works and what is made by who and how it gets repackaged or even reused (components) and is sold to civilians. We get what didn't meet MIL Spec or go completely through the QA/QC because of some law or contract agreement they can't sell it on the market. I don't know all the details.

    There is some military brass marked FC and the year of MFR. I have plenty marked FC with a military crimp. I guess like WCC marked instead of Win.


    " I work there. We package that ammo and ship it to Federal where they label it. Notice the NATO headstamp? That military ammo that didint meet government specs and was sold commercially. By the way, ATK owns Federal and American Eagle. We even make stuff for federal. Nobody at the plant works for federal, we are all ATK employees."


    "I just ran across this video. I actually work there. The place has went down hill, as far as several things but anyway, this may have been mentioned but ATK owns, FEDERAL and American Eagle. They recently bought Bushnell and Savage arms as well. There are several more they own such as Blackhawk, and a operate a few other plants too. Horrible company to be employed by however unless your in upper management."

    More FC brass

    http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=338220
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,310 Senior Member
    Most of what I have bought is Am. Eagle and most of that in 5.56. Looking at them compared to the pics in CPJs and other links I would say yes it is crimped. The last (first) group I did I suspect was .223 picked up from my daughters BF when we shot his AR. Until I order one like the Lyman above, do the hand tools work?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    Most of what I have bought is Am. Eagle and most of that in 5.56. Looking at them compared to the pics in CPJs and other links I would say yes it is crimped. The last (first) group I did I suspect was .223 picked up from my daughters BF when we shot his AR. Until I order one like the Lyman above, do the hand tools work?

    Yes, I have older Lyman with wooden handles one fer LG and one fer Sm...........just a lot more work fer a hand jobby. The RCBS die- like one by far is much mo easier. Note, It would not work on my Lee Turret press, but did on a Lee single stage press.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,909 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    FC is Federal Cartridge and is not military. What kind of hand primer do you use? Sounds like it's not aligning the primer to the pocket well. I think I'd try another priming tool. Through the years, since about 1980, I've probably reloaded many more .223 than anything else and have probably had fewer issues with it than any other cartridge. If your brass isn't military and thus not crimped, I think you've got an issue with your hand primer.

    Edited to Add: Scrap that. I didn't realize American Eagle was Federal. And I didn't realise they were crimped. I looked at some of mine that I have yet to get around to depriming and they are crimped. So that is your problem. Either de-crimp them or can 'em and get some civilian .223 brass.

    After thinking about this and remembering some of my attempts at priming Garand brass, I'm surprised you ever got any primed before and I bet your accuracy sucked!

    Back a number of years ago when I was new to reloading, crimped primer pockets had eluded me in my educational process and I tried to prime them. I guess I noticed they were a bit harder to deprime when sizing the cases, but I didn't pay attention. When I tried to prime them they really messed the new primers up. I only did that once with maybe 2 or 3 cases before I backed off and did some checking and finding out Mil Spec Ammo has crimped Primers.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,807 Senior Member
    Is there a better way to decap crimped brass?

    I have a decap only die.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,310 Senior Member
    Well I went out at lunch planning on getting just a hand reamer or something. My luck all they had was Lyman large type. So I ended up with the RCBS die. I'm not sure I get how it works. It looks to me like it just smashes it way to a larger hole. Correct?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,945 Senior Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    Well I went out at lunch planning on getting just a hand reamer or something. My luck all they had was Lyman large type. So I ended up with the RCBS die. I'm not sure I get how it works. It looks to me like it just smashes it way to a larger hole. Correct?
    Yep, though instead of "smashing" they prefer to call it "swaging".
    I have one, and as long as you have the correct size "punch" and the little "Cup" to knock the case off of it at the bottom of the stroke, it works well, and I find it to be fairly quick as well. Of course YMMV. :beer:

    IMO, I've used a hand reamer on large pocket cases (military -06) and find the RCBS MUCH easier and quicker to use.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,180 Senior Member
    If you got this die set:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/235832/rcbs-primer-pocket-swager-combo-2?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    it pushes the crimped metal back out and uniforms the primer pocket at the same time. Once set up on your press it makes taking the crimp out fast and easy, and doesn't remove any metal in the process.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



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