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Thread: Bad Primers?

  1. #1
    Member ElDax's Avatar
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    Bad Primers?

    So today I was at the range sighting in my 6.5 Creedmoor and there was an older fella at the range before I got there, had a bit of a yarn with him and then got to shooting. Anyway not long into it he gets a misfire, that's odd but I guess you do get them now and then right? then after another few shots he gets another...OK now that's weird, something is obviously wrong with 2 misfires in that many bullets. Hes happy enough to continue shooting them and then this happens. Looks to me like the primer has failed as there is a small crack and a tiny hole where gas has escaped out the back. I had a look at the other cases and couldn't see any pressure signs. He had 4 misfires by the time I left the range. Anyone know what could cause this? He said they were Winchester primers.Name:  failedcase1.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Potentially a moisture issue thats caused part of the primer to corrode then has dried out again.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    jackson21 likes this.

  3. #3
    Member ElDax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niceandfar View Post
    Potentially a moisture issue thats caused part of the primer to corrode then has dried out again.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    I was having a discussion with another guy who turned up at the range later and we thought that could be the case. He claimed it was in a dry location inside a sealed plastic box, wonder if it might have been condensation from temperature variation if that is even a thing with ammo? haha

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    Yeah. i had a similar issue with oil contamination to primers.

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    If he was loading in an environment that was warm with highish humidity then the powder and primers will absorb a bit of moisture due to amoumt of moisture in the air. Then when cases go into a cold environment the moisture could sweat on the inside of the case. Im not talking big drops here, just enough to cause issues with the primers which are the most sensitive part.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Member zimmer's Avatar
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    Yeah looks to be the bronze colour of Winchester. Although I've got Remington that are bronze as well but you say they are Winchester at any rate.
    Very early batches when they changed from the silver ones to bronze had a problem exactly like that.
    Lots of lovely etched bolt faces.


    Mmmm just looking again. Did the primer fall out basically intact after the case was extracted? If that's the case it may get more concerning.
    Last edited by zimmer; 10-08-2020 at 05:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    About 10 years ago this was a widespread issue with winchester large rifle primers. They are possibly from that era, as a "bonus" his bolt probably now has gas cut pits where the primer failed. I know as I had 2 rifles pitted that way. No liability was ever accepted but stuff got replaced. Someone in the near target school might remember more including the batches supposedly involved.

  8. #8
    Member ElDax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
    Yeah looks to be the bronze colour of Winchester. Although I've got Remington that are bronze as well but you say they are Winchester at any rate.
    Very early batches when they changed from the silver ones to bronze had a problem exactly like that.
    Lots of lovely etched bolt faces.


    Mmmm just looking again. Did the primer fall out basically intact after the case was extracted? If that's the case it may get more concerning.
    No the primer was still seated firmly, I popped it out with a universal decapping die when I got home. I did ask him if they were old as I have some Winchester primers that are the silver ones that came with all my reloading gear. He said they were newer than those but didn't specify exactly how new. He did say he would only reload once every few years so it's entirely possible.

  9. #9
    Member ElDax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Henry View Post
    About 10 years ago this was a widespread issue with winchester large rifle primers. They are possibly from that era, as a "bonus" his bolt probably now has gas cut pits where the primer failed. I know as I had 2 rifles pitted that way. No liability was ever accepted but stuff got replaced. Someone in the near target school might remember more including the batches supposedly involved.
    I had a look at his bolt face and it was blackened, but I couldn't see any obvious damage. I did notice what appeared to be some tiny silver flakes of metal which I assume came from the bolt or was melted primer metal attached to the bolt. None of this seemed to concern him too much though.

  10. #10
    Member zimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElDax View Post
    No the primer was still seated firmly, I popped it out with a universal decapping die when I got home. I did ask him if they were old as I have some Winchester primers that are the silver ones that came with all my reloading gear. He said they were newer than those but didn't specify exactly how new. He did say he would only reload once every few years so it's entirely possible.
    All good. He needs to change primers particular if he is not exactly sure of their vintage. I stopped using Winchester years ago. Not because of gas leaking (I dodged that) but because I perceived my ES opened up and groups were not as good as with the old silver primers. That was in my Omark target rifle.

    I am sure though there are many happy users of later batches of Winchester these days.

  11. #11
    Member Puffin's Avatar
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    https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co....primers-23288/
    and links embedded there leading to more detail including batch numbers.
    zimmer, Marty Henry and ElDax like this.

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    Had similar issues with winchester primers mate and stopped using them a while ago. No issues since

  13. #13
    Member zimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauser308 View Post
    Primer pellets are coated with an impervious coating during the manufacturing process. They are or should be kinda impervious to environmental changes but that looks like a mechanical defect in the primer cup...
    And impervious to the old chestnut of handling them with your fingers being a cause of misfires.

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    Im a happy user. Ive done some tests with them over the years and i still prefer them as a good general all round primer. in terms of the flame there was no difference between the old silver ones and the new bronze ones. There was a crook batch of Win LR primers about 10 years ago which were gas cutting one of my omark bolt faces. I still have a box somewhere. Primers are very much a personal thing and if you find a good brand stick with them.
    I've also had no issues with the Muron russian primers and found the flash on these to be similar to winchester

 

 

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