How to read a primer hit & your brass

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72 usmc
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How to read a primer hit & your brass

Post by 72 usmc »

Some general info on /about primer types & size:
https://firearmsbasics.weebly.com/primers.html

Boxer vs. Berdan Primers – What’s the Difference?
https://www.ammunitiontogo.com/lodge/bo ... n-primers/

https://ammo.com/primer-type/boxer
Boxer-Primed Ammo: Boxer Primers Explained
Looking for Boxer-primed ammo? See what we have in-stock: Boxer-Primed Ammo Search »
Boxer Primer AmmoBoxer primer is the most popular primer style in the United States, due to its ease of reloading – also making it the primary choice among military and civilian ammo manufactuers. Created by Edward Boxer, this popular ammo was patented in England in 1866 and in the U.S. in 1869.

What Is Boxer-Primed Ammo?

The weapon's firing pin strikes the base of the primer cup, which causes the primer mixture to be crushed against the anvil. This creates a flash that goes through the flash hole, igniting the powder in the cartridge.

Today, these primers are created by the millions in various factories around the world. They are typically used with brass casings, and are found in the sizes below.

Boxer Primer Sizes

There are four sizes of Boxer primers available today for reloading:

0.175” or 4.45mm: Small diameter pistol or small rifle primer such as .38 Special and .223 Remington.
0.209” or 5.31mm: Shotgun shell and muzzleloader primer such as 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotgun ammo.
0.210” or 5.33mm: Large rifle or large pistol primer such as .308 and .44 Magnum.
0.315” or 8mm: These are exclusive to the .50 BMG and variations.
The primer size is determined by the cartridge’s primer pocket, which is the opening at the bottom of the cartridge case. A difference you can see when comparing pistol and rifle primers is how thick the primer’s cases are. Pistol primer cases won’t be subjected to as much pressure as their rifle counterparts – which means they will be slightly thinner and easier to ignite.

Boxer cases don’t accept Berdan primers and vice versa, which is due to the anvil being a permanent part of the Berdan-primed case. With that being said, reloading enthusiasts can get them to work with each other through a labor intensive and rather complicated process. However, it’s much easier to simply use the proper case with the proper primer. This reloading issue is one of the main reasons shooting ranges almost exclusively use Boxer primers and brass casings. Some of the more commonly found primers are made by Remington, CCI and Winchester.

Primers give today's shooter a huge advantage over other methods of ignition. They are reliable, weather resistant and can be stored for an indefinite period of time.
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I found some video of how to read primer hits. For better or worse.
Pressure
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.07.58 AM.png
On the photo on the left, the severely flattened primer on the right case indicates the load is too hot.
On the photo on the right, an extruded primer can indicate excessive pressure.
from below link
Reading Pressure Signs
http://www.massreloading.com/reading_pr ... signs.html


YOU TUBE INFO
Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 11.38.39 AM.png
First case LIGHT LOAD, middle case NORMAL, right case Crater=OVER PRESSURE
pic from below source This is worth watching.
LOOKING AT YOUR PRIMERS ON SPENT ROUNDS FOR SIGNS OF OVER PRESSURE - HD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd_wbCpfQ5w

Excessive pressure indicators
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orJdUR_X67M


Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 11.39.12 AM.png
pics from below source
Reloading 101: Inspect Your Spent Primers!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAB3M0Ade_8

Flat primers, a little to hot (30-06 loaded with IMR 4895)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOkFBmK98us



0:04 / 2:07
Signs of Overpressure, 223 brass
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxIach0t2dY


Dents in primer 2 lower pictures
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.56.14 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.57.39 AM.png

from below link

Gun&Ammo Staff - November 29, 2017
The Truth About Primer Misfires
https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/t ... res/247980

Anyone got some better info & pictures please post. Thanks
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:16 pm, edited 12 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

72 usmc
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Re: How to read a primer hit

Post by 72 usmc »

Brass CASE DIAGNOSTICS:

October 3rd, 2016
Case Diagnostics — How to Spot Problems with Cartridge Brass
http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/201 ... dge-brass/

March 3rd, 2017
Inspecting Your Brass — What Case Flaws Reveal
http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/201 ... ws-reveal/

I fire a new surplus rifle, cleaned, and the first shot with the rifle set in two tires. (CLEANED is a whole other story. I take the action out of the wood, Clean the bolt-check the chamber. Check its headspace on a field gauge. Look for cracks in the barrel, receiver, or barrel bulges. Grease & oil- then put it back to test fire.) Some just shoot from the hip? After the first bang, I read the brass. A backed out primer means too much pressure or headspace issue. Punctured primer look at the firing pin & its tip. Light hit to primer & mis fire- look at firing pin or bolt spring-maybe headspace? A raised pock marked cartridge case body that is hard to eject means a rusty or rough, non mirror like chamber. A bulged enlarged cartridge means a slightly enlarged chamber. Chewed up rims means a extractor issue. Scratch on the length of the body- a bur in the chamber edge. The Bolt will not close on a clean rifle or the ammo will not chamber- a headspace or wrong ammo issue. I had a problem with cheep reloads- they were neck sized and did not fit the rifle although it was correct ammo. I never buy another persons reloads at shows. I got some 30-06 that was actually formed for a 7.7 arasaka. I never buy used powder at garage sales. The lady mixed 2 types into the same can to make it a full can. Lots of stupid mistakes back in the day due to being cheep :roll: :roll: :snooty: :snooty: And there are lots of other factors that can cause problems- but best to read the brass and give an old surplus rifle a test fire.

Shooting old brass or surplus steel cases. Here is a shooter with a case split down the side that resulted in gas blow back. Why one should wear shooting glasses as a safety factor. Always check old surplus for neck splits and loose bullets prior to loading. Then due to age you can have no fires, hang fires, or case splits. Worse is the back rim crack or lengthwise split that allows gas back into your face. Minor neck splits occur, but generally do not throw gass back into your face although the case may be blackened from powder soot.
Watch the gas smoke come out of the old Mosin, then look at the cartridge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHH8MJ-bCzI

Also pay attention to the recoil and noise, if it's not right, maybe the bullet got stopped in the barrel. SQUIB is BAD news.
A squib load, also known as a squib round, pop and no kick, or just a squib, is a firearm malfunction in which a fired projectile does not have enough force behind it to exit the barrel, and thus becomes stuck

Do not fire another round. STOP, Check the barrel for a lodged bullet. read this: https://steemit.com/blog/@belkins/what- ... squib-load
from above reference:
Diagnosis

Signs of a squib include:
Much quieter and unusual discharge noise. Smaller or empty powder loads, combined with the primer discharge echoing in the casing or barrel, produce an unusual noise. This noise is often called a "ping" or "pop", rather than the expected "bang" of a standard shot.
Lighter or nonexistent felt recoil force. lower force on the projectile, insufficient to clear the barrel, translates to a lower recoil force, which may be completely absorbed by the firearm's recoil mechanisms.
Discharge from the ejection port or cylinder gap, instead of the barrel. The primer and any burned powder produce smoke, less than a standard load, which cannot be vented through the barrel as normal.
Failure of the action to cycle (in semi-automatic firearms). Both blowback and blowforward semi-automatic designs rely on the recoil force to eject the spent casing and cycle the next round. lighter recoil force may not be sufficient to cycle the action.
Squib loads are also referred to as "pop and no kick", in recognition of the above symptoms.
The only garbage surplus ammo that I have had problems with has been original 1901 krag ammunition with length wise case splits & neck splits that allow the bullet to fall out of the case. 1950s Yugo Mauser ammo with burn splits at all points neck splits, length wise splits, and rim splits with blackened cases and gas blow back. Polish tokarev ammo out of specs that does not chamber, or Polish 7.62 x 25 that has case splits down the sides.
Some Russian Mosin 7.62 x54r that experiences neck splits in both Chinese brass and some Albanian steel cases. And finally Bulgarian Mosin ammo where the case necks split in the package with loose powder and bullets. It was so bad back in the day 90s, Fleet & Farm had the police dispose of the stuff due to liability issues. I got some just to pull the bullets- this was really bad news ammo. I have had some neck splits when firing some WW II 303 ammo. And like most any French ammo older than 40 years, it seems to have dead primers- no fire or a real long hang fire. This is all original surplus 2- 10 cents a round ammo. None was reloaded stuff. Most of the cheep ammo from the 1980s is long gone.



Anyone that has knows of better references on reading ones brass please add them.
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

ammolab
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Re: How to read a primer hit

Post by ammolab »

Just realize that reading a primer for pressure to “set your max load” is downright useless and dangerous in cartridges like
30-30 Win, 30-40 Krag, .303 British and any older or milsurp round that operates in the 40,000 psi range or below.

When you hit primer “pressure signs” you are above 60,000 psi and WAY OVER a safe load for your cartridge and rifle.

Shoot safe

72 usmc
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Re: How to read a primer hit

Post by 72 usmc »

Cratering on Turk mauser 8mm 1940s ammo is a sign of slightly high pressure maybe from old degraded powder.
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.11.52 AM.png
An interesting link on old , Turk, 8mm, surplus ammo ( source of above photo):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AunvMjcJPHY

Hang fires on old surplus ammo, also may be a concern, see this on Ethiopian NATO ammo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8gO39Lxpb8
A quick video of a hang fire with a second or 2 delay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIqcJ86QsV4
A real informative video move to 4.20 if in a hurry...
:arrow: :arrow: Hang-Fires and Squibs -- Not the video I intended to make. Notice this is new factory 7.7 Arisaka ammo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC5SVAW5EwA


Reading one's brass, a nice review and high pressure with old ammo. THIS IS GOOD.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8gjYQrIl_w

:arrow: :idea: Another review on reading ones brass: Reading Your Spent Cases – Learning to Be Your Gun’s Best Friend
Posted on December 5, 2012
https://artsofthefusilier.com/2012/12/0 ... st-friend/

Rifle Brass Lifespan AUG 26TH 2018 by MORRIS SMITH
https://eastcoastreloading.com/blog/rif ... -lifespan/

Examples of surplus Mosin ammo (7.62x54R, with split cases and burn cracks. Worth a read:
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... -Splitting

A SECOND LOOK AT A CAUTION TO CONSIDER. When shooting old or reloaded ammo, pay attention to the sound of the rifle/pistol, if it's weak sounding, or a poof, or a pop & no recoil CAUTION A Squib LOAD.
a great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esfHFW-opGI
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:20 pm, edited 7 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

72 usmc
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Re: How to read a primer hit & your brass

Post by 72 usmc »

Neck splits are common in surplus ammo, especially older surplus with brittle brass; look for tiny cracks before firing. Get rid of the cartridges showing visible cracks prior to shooting. Use this to pull the tips. Some that look good and show no visible cracks will experience burn splits after firing. The location of the split may cause gas to come back into your face. At the neck no concern, but toward the rear of the case watch out. That is why most wear shooting glasses. Picture source is from the web grab.

Inspect surplus prior to loading. Look for tiny hair line cracks and cull these out. Do not fire these. Turk 8mm is the worse for finding these; also check any Polish Tokarev rounds for visible cracks.
IMG_6943.jpg
Some good rounds will experience cracks after fired.
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.30.49 AM.png
Polish Tokarev ammo is also known for brittle brass & cracks.
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.39.13 AM.png
Bulgarian 7.62x54R is the worse for me. But other Mosin brass can experience cracks toward the rear of the cartridge. This degree of case failure sends some gas back at your face.
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.40.47 AM.png
Turkish and Yugo Mauser 8mm and some Mosin cases can have some nasty case cracks that send a poof of gas back at you if the split is toward the rear of the cartridge.
Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.37.40 AM.png
If I have a batch of surplus ammo that constantly experiences this degree of case failure as seen in the above 2 photos (Splits on the side or back), or get squibs due to wet or clumped powder this is not firing and just pushes the bullet into the barrel, or if the bullet tip is so loose due to small hair line cracks in the neck that I can pull the tip off prior to shooting, I stop using this ammunition for shooting. It becomes only good to pull the bullet tips for reloading. The Old powder gets dumped in the garden and the brittle brass goes into the scrap bucket. It is just not worth a safety risk to go blind, ruin a rifle or pistol, lose a finger, or get a piece of wood stock or metal sherd in the face. :doh: :doh: :doh: :think: :think:
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

onefouralpha
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Re: How to read a primer hit & your brass

Post by onefouralpha »

Certainly not worth it. Even if you don't get hurt, the gas coming out of those cracks will score your chamber or bolt and over time can cause more serious function issues.

72 usmc
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Re: How to read a primer hit & your brass

Post by 72 usmc »

Updated post 4 June server changeover. Photos restored and saved on the Wayback machine 27 June 2020.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

72 usmc
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Re: How to read a primer hit & your brass

Post by 72 usmc »

This can happen in Turk Mauser brass. Splits toward the rear tend to let gass come back at your face.
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To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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