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Need help, recent .223 failure to fire

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Big Bore Fan, Nov 17, 2012.


  1. Big Bore Fan

    Big Bore Fan
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    I bought 6k Wolf SRM primers awhile back and have loaded about 1,200 using Win. 748 and shot about 500 of them without any problems. When I ran out of the Win. powder I decided to get a 8lb jug of WC844 from Winders trying to save some money. Well today I loaded up 40 rounds to start my work up and had 6 fail to fire with good deep firing pin strikes, non of the 6 would fire on a second try. This was with 2 different AR's that have had no problems with until now.

    I have not had a chance to pull them down yet but it's on my list for tomorrow. I just finished searching the net and found a few others with similar problems. I guess it's the powder primer combo. If it is what do ye ol reloaders think I should do? Sell the powder and buy a jug of 748 or sell the primers and buy some other brand?

    I do have a few CCI small rifle magnum primers laying around. I thought about loading some up with those and see how that works. Just to make sure my problem is what I think it is.:brickwall:
     

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  2. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    Pull a round and deprime it. Look at the ejected primer and see if it has fired. I would have thought you would hear a primer snap even if the rifle didn't go bang.

    Sometimes primers don't fire if they aren't seated deep enough. All the firing pin does is further seat the primer when it hits.

    Richard
     

  3. sig357fan

    sig357fan
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    I've not used any Wolf primers but have read on line that they are not 100%.

    pull your non firing rounds down and see if the primer fired, if so, is the flash hole in your brass clear of obstruction.

    if the primer fired and the flash hole is open, then I'd say someting is wrong with your powder.

    try some different primers with the powder you have, if the different primers work, use them and save the Wolf to try with another powder.

    sig357fan
     
    #3 sig357fan, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  4. Big Bore Fan

    Big Bore Fan
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    I have to work tomorrow but as soon as I get home that's what I planned on doing. I didn't hear any pop's so I guess the primer never went off.

    I feel like I seat the primers the same way for all my reloads but I will take a close look to see if they look any different. It wouldn't be the first time I messed something up. :whistling:
     
  5. ar154life

    ar154life
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    Chances are you done nothing wrong.

    Wolf small rifle primers are known to have issues with ball powder particularly wc844/h335. Can you post what lot # you have and when you purchased them?
     
    #5 ar154life, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  6. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49
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    In a perfect world all primers would be seated approx. .002 below the base of the case.
     
  7. Big Bore Fan

    Big Bore Fan
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    I got up this am and went strait to my bench to pull and inspect ammo. Looks like most of the primers may have been seated to high, and they did go off even though I didn't hear them. It makes me wonder if any of the ones I loaded using the 748 powder where seated to high. So far all I've shot using that powder has worked. And of coarse I took pics.

    Also, if you take a close look at the pulled powder you can see some of it has a yellow/green tint to it from the primers. Is this typical of seating to high?

    powder lot #86642, bought about 2 months ago.
    primer lot #16-09 bought about 4-5 months ago
     

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    #7 Big Bore Fan, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  8. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    For the primer to work, the anvil needs to be at the bottom of the primer pocket. One thing I noticed with Tula primers (thought to be identical to Wolf) is that the anvil is sometimes quite high in the cup - to the point where it can almost fall out.

    The firing pin pushes the primer cup toward the anvil and if the anvil moves away because the primer isn't properly seated, the primer won't go bang.

    I would like to see a photo of the fired primers along side new primers.

    Richard
     
  9. fredj338

    fredj338
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    A high primer will not fire first strike, never seen it. Wolf are cheap & they work, most of the time. The small primers tend to be slightly out of round & require a firm hand in seating to get them to bottom. Unless the primer anvil is resting on the bottom of the pocket, it's almost impossible for it to fire.
     
    #9 fredj338, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  10. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker
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    Jacks #1 Fan

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    Historically Wolf primers have had issues with WC844/H335.

    That said. All I use for AR loads is Wolf/Tula SRMs with TAC and have loaded thousands, not a single failure to fire.
    If your having issues with your current batch get some CCI #400 SRPs to burn off that WC884 then switch to TAC. (or pay more for the CCIs)
    I like H335 for my bolt gun varmint loads but much prefer the TAC and Wolf combo for my ARs. The SDs are much tighter with all bullets I use from 55, 60, 62, 69 and 77 grainers.
     
  11. fredj338

    fredj338
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    THis baffles me. I fail to see how any primer that fires, has an issue w/ igniting powder, as long as the powder is in good shape. If the primer fires, then it's obviuosly not the primer but the powder that is suspect.
     
    #11 fredj338, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  12. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    I have been wondering about this as well. Those .223s that I have loaded with Tula primers have all shot very well. But I'm wondering just what happens inside the primer if it is not fully seated. Could it just fizzle?

    The OP reported that the primers looked like they fired (I would still like to see photos) so I am willing to question the powder. But I'm not 100% comfortable with that analysis.

    The other day there was a discussion about buying pulled bullets and powder. I thought to myself "There is no way I would be interested in reclaimed powder". Now I'm certain! If just isn't worth the hassle to save a few bucks.

    Richard
     
  13. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker
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    I agree Fred, but honestly never intrigued me enough to experiment with it. I suspect it has something to do with the fine line composition of the powder, based on the extremely fine ball and almost "wet" looking consistency.
    In combination with the ignition rate of the Wolf primer. Just a bad combo... Like I advised to the OP get some TAC and move on. I too have zero confidence in pulled powder. I've tested a pound with 55 FMJs with CCI#400 and it's very inconsistent at 220 yards and beyond. Hosing ammo inside 50 yards it's fine but to get the groups tighter at distance you have to load on the top of the range. I didn't see the point.
     
    #13 Boxerglocker, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  14. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    Yep most of those primers were to high! Why they didn't go off on the second strike is weird! Ensure your seating them flush or just below the case head. Load some more if they work great if not I say you have a bad lot of primers! Notify Wolf an see what they say!:supergrin: You did decrimp the pockets before seating them right?
     
    #14 Gunnut 45/454, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  15. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49
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    Big Bore Fan;
    You can't go by the appearance of your primers to determine if they were seated too high. A primer seated properly in an empty case and fired will back out of the pocket giving a similar appearance to what you have.
     
  16. njl

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    I doubt it. Primers are explosive. Either they go off or they don't...unless maybe they were contaminated (oil/case lube). Also, I wonder, is there any chance there was media stuck in the flash hole...in which case the primers went off, but most of their flame didn't reach the powder?
     
  17. Big Bore Fan

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    Wow yall have been busy while I've been at work. Here is a pic of the primers that came out of the misfired rounds. I had planed on trying some cci magnum primers when I got home but as you can see it's a little late to be shooting, even in the back woods I live in. I don't think its just a primer problem as I have used a good amount of these primers from the same lot with 748 and no problems. I do have some Tac on hand that I was going to use for some 77g smk's, that's somthing else I can try with the wolf primers as mentioned. I check all flash holes before priming because my media has a tendency to hide there, so that isn't a problem. I'm off tomorrow so when I finish my hunny doo's
    1: I will try some more just like the first batch just to see. 2: try different primers. And 3: use same primers with different powder.

    Oh and yes all primer pockets had the crimp removed. One more strange thing. ( in case there wasn't enough already) the first 10 rounds all fired and grouped pretty good too. They where all FC head stamped and when seating the primers I noticed the pockets where loose. That's why they where the first in line, they where the starting charge of 23.0 grains.
     

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  18. fredj338

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    No, a primer will not fire if truely high, just never seen it. First firing pin strike will often reseat it & it fires ont he 2nd, maybe 3rd. If it never fires, the primer anvil was either damaged, contaminated or lost. I have seen Wolf primers w/ no anvil, had the navil drop out in the primer flip tray, seen them w/o any compound. So while I will use the LP or LR, I am off Wolf/Tula for small anything.
    Yeah FC brass sucks. It looses the rpimer pockets faster than any other brand, just too soft in the case head area.
     
    #18 fredj338, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  19. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    So they actually cooked off but didn't ignite the round- unless I'm blind those are fired primers!:whistling: Well now you got a different problem- they are either very weak primers or your powder is bad. You said it was surplus powder - do the smell test (very strong cat piss smell no good) . And then do a burn test. Make a line of powder in a safe place on concrete floor or metal pan fire it up with a match. Does it burn vigerously or just spits an sputters. If it's the latter it no good!:faint:
     
  20. fredj338

    fredj338
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    The smallest flame should ignite good powder. If the powder is bad, it may or may not ignite, depends on how bad. I suppose it's possible to have contaminated powder that will not ignite, I have just never seen it. As Gunnut notes, if it burns w/ a match, it should burn in a comrpessed space w/ even a weak primer flame.
     
    #20 fredj338, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012