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sum1 04-12-2011 01:04 AM

Let me start by saying I am new to reloading and any help is appreciated. I recently purchased some reloading equipment and managed to make some .223 rounds for my mini last night however my tumbler is not in yet so I did not tumble my brass.

So anyway here is what I did

-Trimmed the cases (i found the cases would stick in my press if I did not do this)
-cleaned the inside of the neck with a brass brush from my gun cleaning kit
-inspected the case inside and out
-cleaned the primer pocket with a small tool (there is still a small amount of black left over but I did not believe it was enough to stop it from firing)
-made sure all the flash holes were clear
-primed with federal small rifle primers, with hornady's hand primer
-measured my powder as per my manual
-seated the bullet as per my manual

however after all of this the 5 rounds I made to try misfired, there was a firing pin mark in all 5 aswell, I know the gun is not at fault as I fired 5 rounds of factory ammo right after trying this without problem.

Could my problem be that there was small amounts of case lube still in the case when I added the powder? Would this cause the powder to not fire?

The primer was not seated in far enough? (they were atleast flush with the case)?

The primer pocket was not clean enough? Does this have to be perfectly clean for it to work?


Jesse17 04-12-2011 01:22 AM

I'm not sure if lube will effect the primer, but I believe it will render the powder inert.

My first thought (only done a little hand loading about 8 years ago) was you didn't seat the primer well enough and it's moving forward (absorbing the impact instead of denting) when the firing pin strikes it. But thats just my guess, someone who knows more than I will be along shortly.

spittinfire 04-12-2011 01:27 AM

How did the mark in the primer in the factory loads compare to the handloads? Was it deeper? The same? Almost sounds like a light strike.

How about OAL...How does the OAL of the factory load compare to your hand load?

sum1 04-12-2011 01:41 AM

the primer seems to be seated in the same distance as the factory ammo aswell it did dent enough that I believe it should have gone off. The OAL is exactly what my loading manual says I will measure some factory ammo and see how it compares however it is not the same grain of bullet so this may not be valid?

If the case lube does indeed render the powder inert, I believe this could be the cause. How do most people deal with the case lube after resizing/depriming?

Jesse17 04-12-2011 01:47 AM

You shouldn't have anywhere near enough lube to effect the powder. Just a super thin film on the outside of the case. Anymore than that and you'll dent the case when you size it.

sum1 04-12-2011 02:04 AM

There is only a thin film on the outside of the case and on the inside of the neck, not enough that would have originally thought it would effect anything.

c3shooter 04-12-2011 02:42 AM

You have some bad primers. It is not that the powder is inert, your primer is dead. Primers tend to be very sensitive to oils. How long have you had them? Where have you kept them? If you pull down one of your misfires, will bet you a beer you have good powder- but the sparkplug did not work.

PS- brass does not have to be sparkly pretty shiny. Helps with sizing, looks nice, but a tad of carbon in the primer pocket should not affect rounds. Unless you dunked cases in lube, the lube is on the OUTSIDE, not inside w/ powder.

Be VERY careful about handling primers w/ lube on your hands.

JonM 04-12-2011 03:18 AM

undersized brass as in moving the shoulder down from incorrectly adjusted dies has the possibility of allowing light strikes to happen. the main body of the case would be shortened and your relying at that point for the extractor to hold enough tension for the primer to be hit squarly. bottle neck cases like the 223 headspace off the neck.

not saying its the "case" just a possibility

TXnorton 04-12-2011 09:23 AM

I agree with Jon. Check your sizing die set-up. You stated that you had to trim the cases before sizing/de-priming. That is unusual. While I trim my cases every time I reload, it should not be neccessary for one-time fired cases.

If your sizing die is set up wrong you may be setting the cartrdge shoulder back by a few thousandths. That MAY be enough to prevent a hard enough strike on the primer as the firing pin MAY be pushing the cartridge forward when it strikes.

RMP1394-RLTW 04-12-2011 12:56 PM

I agree with C3shooter, when you pulled the trigger did you hear a pop? this would indicate that the primer fired but it did not ignite the powder. you could also size some brass and seat a primer with no powder or projectile and fire it in your rifle to see if you have a bad batch of primers or maybe you handled them too much or humidity got to them. I keep all of my primers in ziplock bags with those silican packs to keep moisture out. I think this helps, I typically dont have primers sitting around too long before they are loaded!

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