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Old 03-26-2011, 00:57   #1
SigFTW
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BLIB and a Dud

Can some one tell me why the powder clumped up, bad primer?

The first one was a BLIB, the primer pushed the bullet barely into the barrel. The second one was a dud.

.223
748 Winchester ball powder (First and last time I will use)
Wolf SR Magnum

Last edited by SigFTW; 02-27-2012 at 09:24..
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:42   #2
Randy from Kansas
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The primers look like they were not seated in the brass all the way causing the primer not ignite properly? Normally it would take two firing pin hits one to seat and the next one to fire the round. Or you have a plugged flash holes.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:43   #3
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Powder looks suspect. Do you still have the canister? How was it stored? How long ago were the rounds loaded? How were they stored? How were the cases lubed, and with what? Was it a spray that got inside?

FWIW, I generally deprime (universal die), clean, lube, size, and clean again (to get the lube off). At that point the brass gets put away. When I get back to the brass I, universal deprime (clears flashhole), charge, seat and crimp. At that time any lube residue is gone. I also tend to use an alcohol spray lube that evaporates and dries quickly.

Never had any problems with Winchester powders; but I shy away from Wolf primers. Others have used them sucessfully; but I've head of too many problems to spend my money on them.

I agree with Randy that the primers don't appear to be fully seated. One of the rounds seems to have alot of crimp still on the primer pocket. His point on the flashhole is a good one. I've seen new brass with no flashhole. Of course it would have been hard to deprime these without a flashhole. How did you clean these cases, what media did you use, and were the cases sized, after they were cleaned?

Need a bit more information about your process.

Last edited by dudel; 03-26-2011 at 07:53..
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:47   #4
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The flash holes are all cleared before priming and powder with a full length sizing/priming die. I use alcohol based spray lube however I don't tumble again.There is a possibility of over spray but I'm very conservative when apply the lube. The powder is new and stored in indoors. The brass is new LC (first load) no crimp. The loads are 1 to 2 weeks old.

I am thinking the same thing about the primer not being seated fully. I will double check the next batch for this issue.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:00   #5
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The primer will back out on firing and look like it wasn't seated. When the primer goes off, it pushes itself backward. When the round reaches pressure, the case head pushes back on the breachface and "re-seats" the primer.

I think your load, in those two rounds at least, is too light.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:05   #6
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Originally Posted by SigFTW View Post
The flash holes are all cleared before priming and powder with a full length sizing/priming die. I use alcohol based spray lube however I don't tumble again.There is a possibility of over spray but I'm very conservative when apply the lube. The powder is new and stored in indoors. The brass is new LC (first load) no crimp. The loads are 1 to 2 weeks old.

I am thinking the same thing about the primer not being seated fully. I will double check the next batch for this issue.

Thanks for the help.
All the right answers that I can see. It's a puzzler to be sure. Were you dipping, trickling or using a powder dump? Seems like the powder got contaminated somewhere between the canister and the round. Anything peculiar about the projectiles? Stored in oil? (ok, I'm reaching there. ) Alcohol based lube should have evaporated. The alcohol based ones I'm familiar with are powder friendly. Which one did you use? Were these compressed load?

It's possible the primer could have done that; but I've never heard of that happening with a weak primer.

Very interested in the outcome.

Edit: Ah! A brainstorm. Did you pull the rounds with a kinetic puller? (please say yes). I've seen static charges build up when the powder gets shaken violently. Could the clumping be static? Did powder stick to the inside of the puller? Did the clumps come apart easily? If so, the clumping isn't the problem it's likely in the primers.

Last edited by dudel; 03-26-2011 at 11:11..
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:24   #7
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Mt bet is on bad primer. If the primer fired on 2nd strike, it's on your loading technique. If it never fired, it's likely a bad primer. Wolf does have a rep with certain primers for poor QC. I won't use their SP for that reason, seen far too many bad primers.
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Old 03-26-2011, 14:58   #8
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I believe that Hodgdon lists "Do Not Reduce" loads for 748 in .223.
The powder gets clumped because there is not enough pressure generated to have the powder burn properly. There are just some powders that I won't use because they are too sensitive in terms of charge weight for a given caliber.
This is not the primer...the powder clearly shows that there had been a flame front. Now, it could be too weak a primer.
If you have to use 748, be sure to load close to max.
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Old 03-26-2011, 22:44   #9
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Originally Posted by noylj View Post
I believe that Hodgdon lists "Do Not Reduce" loads for 748 in .223.
The powder gets clumped because there is not enough pressure generated to have the powder burn properly. There are just some powders that I won't use because they are too sensitive in terms of charge weight for a given caliber.
This is not the primer...the powder clearly shows that there had been a flame front. Now, it could be too weak a primer.
If you have to use 748, be sure to load close to max.
I am using 24.4 gr, min would be 22.7. I only bought 1lb to try out. However I went back to H322 stick powder because I have never had a problem.

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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Mt bet is on bad primer. If the primer fired on 2nd strike, it's on your loading technique. If it never fired, it's likely a bad primer. Wolf does have a rep with certain primers for poor QC. I won't use their SP for that reason, seen far too many bad primers.
I have 11k of Wold primers (it was price $10 less each than CCI) So I hope that is not the case. will keep an eye out with the next batch; H322 with Wolf primers.

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Originally Posted by dudel View Post
Edit: Ah! A brainstorm. Did you pull the rounds with a kinetic puller? (please say yes). I've seen static charges build up when the powder gets shaken violently. Could the clumping be static? Did powder stick to the inside of the puller? Did the clumps come apart easily? If so, the clumping isn't the problem it's likely in the primers.
I have this habit (check point) of always shaking all my 223 loads. That tells me if powder was missed, I have had that happen only 2 times and that was my fault. I knew something was wrong when I ejected the shell and shook it to check for powder, no loose powder. I pulled it the old fashion way (pliers ) because I didn't want to brake up the clumps if it had any. I can tell that the powder did see some heat because of discoloration.

I hope changing back to my H322 will solve the problem.

Thank for the input

Last edited by SigFTW; 03-26-2011 at 22:45..
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:52   #10
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I have this habit (check point) of always shaking all my 223 loads. That tells me if powder was missed, I have had that happen only 2 times and that was my fault. I knew something was wrong when I ejected the shell and shook it to check for powder, no loose powder. I pulled it the old fashion way (pliers ) because I didn't want to brake up the clumps if it had any. I can tell that the powder did see some heat because of discoloration.

I hope changing back to my H322 will solve the problem.

Thank for the input

You got me real curious, so I went to my Propellant Profiles book. They have eight pages on W748 (normally about 4 pages/powder). You picked a real picky powder. Some gems:

While ball powders normally need magnum primers, W748 doesn't require them. The smaller grains are supposed to ignite easier than the larger grains.

W748 tends to leave more fouling than other ball powders.

It works best in a slightly compressed load.

It doesn't work well in reduced loads. As charges are cut back, it becomes increasingly difficult to ignite. Fillers help; but are not advised for jacket projectiles.

Suggested charge weights for .223 are in the 27 -28 grain range, with 28 gr showing up most often for 50gr projectiles.

On the plus side, it has a lower flame temp (contributing to barrel life), meters well (as most ball powders do).

I think you are right to look for another powder.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:08   #11
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Originally Posted by WiskyT View Post
The primer will back out on firing and look like it wasn't seated. When the primer goes off, it pushes itself backward. When the round reaches pressure, the case head pushes back on the breachface and "re-seats" the primer.

I think your load, in those two rounds at least, is too light.

I was going to bring this up, glad to see someone else was on track! Was the ammo ever exposed to an oil? I.e. stored in a magazine or loaded in the weapon that had been oiled. If you use a penetrating type oil (WD-40 or similar) it will do it's job and penetrate around the primer or between the bullet and case and cause two problems: dead or weak primers and clumpy powder that wont burn.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:05   #12
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Originally Posted by williamsmattc View Post
I was going to bring this up, glad to see someone else was on track! Was the ammo ever exposed to an oil? I.e. stored in a magazine or loaded in the weapon that had been oiled. If you use a penetrating type oil (WD-40 or similar) it will do it's job and penetrate around the primer or between the bullet and case and cause two problems: dead or weak primers and clumpy powder that wont burn.
No, not exposed to oil however, I have seen some of the ball powder sticking to the mouth of the case, also it could be possible that some of the lube was in the primer pocket when seating, which could have contaminated the primer.

I can add a second toolhead (Dillon 550B) just for sizing and trimming as stated in another thread (thanks twobyfour! ). Then tumble clean, add the second tool head for priming and loading. This will remove any possibility of lube oil contamination.

Last edited by SigFTW; 03-28-2011 at 09:11..
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:35   #13
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UP-DATE

I reloaded some new 223 rounds with the Wolf SFP and 748 Winchester ball powder. I took extra time prepping the cases and tumbling clean after resizing to remove any oil that could cause the contamination to the powder. I made up about 60 rounds until I used up the last bit of powder. After I refilled the powder dispenser with H322 stick, I cranked out 20 rounds with Wolf SFP and H322, and then headed to the range.

I shot the first 2 mag with the newly made 223 (Wolf and 748) and had 4 BLIBS (very shallow, and easy push out), 2 duds and 2 delayed fires.

I loaded the Wolf and H322 rounds and had no problems.

Frustrated I went home and started to do the good o’ Google search and found out I was not alone. It seems that Wolf primers do not like ball type powders however works fine with stick. I also found out that Wolf produced some new primers dedicated to 223s. See below.

“SMALL RIFLE 223 (part # QQQSR223) NEW NEW This is the newest primer available in the Wolf line. It is ever so slightly hotter than the small rifle magnum primer and it comes with a brass colored thick cup. This primer can be used in place of the SRM primer or used when a different powder is used that is hard to ignite.”

It’s not a problem for me because I like H322 stick powder and only bought 1 lb of ball. I am glad I didn’t buy 8 lbs or I would be ticked off right now.

I will load up more rounds with H322/Wolf and see if I have anyone issues, I sure hope not!
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:15   #14
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Thanks for the update

Now to summarize, Do not use Wolf primers with 748 or would you say don't use wolf or Winchester 748
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:30   #15
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Thanks for the update

Now to summarize, Do not use Wolf primers with 748 or would you say don't use wolf or Winchester 748
The issue is not limited just to 748, it also applied to H332 and other ball type powders and it all points to the Wolf primer.

As for the stick type like the H322, it's still up in the air until I can reload about a 100+ rounds to test. The 20 that I did shoot did not have any issue however 20 is not enough to call it OK.

I did send a email to my supplier about the issue and my concerns and hope to have a rely from them soon.

***Just a side note for people new to reloading. If you pull the trigger and nothing happens, don't just eject the shell and try to load a new one. Take the time and look at the shell and verify a cleared barrel. A BLIB is serous!!!***

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Old 04-01-2011, 08:34   #16
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Well, I'm just glad I found out abou this little issue before buying any Wolf Small Rifle primers!
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:41   #17
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Well, I'm just glad I found out abou this little issue before buying any Wolf Small Rifle primers!
Wolf does offer a NEW hotter primer for the 223. So that may take care of the issue.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:46   #18
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I have never used wolf primers, but have burned at least 100 lbs of 748, and it does do its best with warmer loads in 223 I have found. I have used both magnum and regular primers, but use magnums when I can, but as I get older I worry about it less. I use a lot of H-380 in 7.62 Russian and use regular primers in that. Proper storage of powder is essential. I have pounds of DuPont 5066 pistol powder I sill use and it was discontinued in the '60s. I got it from an engineer who was a bulls eye shooter and kept it stored properly.
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Old 04-01-2011, 14:25   #19
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What bullet weight are you using? If it's a 55 grain (maybe I missed it), you are below the load recommended by Hodgdon. Hodgdon doesn't list a start load. If you want to find out if the primers are no good, you need to use the proper charge weight.

You also need to use the your current charge with a different primer and see if that works. So far, all you've shown is that the primers work with your H322 load, and they don't work with your 748 load. So, the variable, at this point, that seems to matter is the charge weight and powder used. The primers do work based on what we know at this point.
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Old 04-01-2011, 16:56   #20
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What bullet weight are you using? If it's a 55 grain (maybe I missed it), you are below the load recommended by Hodgdon. Hodgdon doesn't list a start load. If you want to find out if the primers are no good, you need to use the proper charge weight.

You also need to use the your current charge with a different primer and see if that works. So far, all you've shown is that the primers work with your H322 load, and they don't work with your 748 load. So, the variable, at this point, that seems to matter is the charge weight and powder used. The primers do work based on what we know at this point.
55 gr bullet loading data is listed in Hodgdon loading data with no min. It is also listed in Hornady Seventh Edition loading book. Hornady Win 748 min 22.7 Max 26.4, Hodgdon Win 748 Min n/a Max 26.3.

As for other primers, I did use CCI before I switched to Wolf. I did not have any problem using H322 and Win 746. However, I am not sure how many rounds, my best guess is around 200 and I still have about 30 left. I will try them out when I get back from my vacation.
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