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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started reloading for my M1a National match, and have a question about flattened primers. I am running Hornady 168 gr HPBTs over 39.5 gr H4895, Winchester WLR primers, in LC 11 cases.Cases were once fired military brass, they had to be sized twice to fit in my cartridge gauge (won't go there again). Cases were trimmed, primer crimps removed, and necks de burred, bullets seated to a COAL of 2.8 in. Accuracy was awesome considering I am still learning the rifle (.6 inch at 100 yards scoped), but every case showed flat primers, nothing had extruded into the firing pin hole, and there were no other signs of over pressure. Any advice on how to eliminate flat primers? do I need to worry about this? Thanks in advance for reading this.
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Not a fan of Winchester primers. CCI is a much better choice if you can find them. Winchester also has a tendency to pierce easier in my experience as well due to their thinner shell.

Shooting the '03 yesterday, all I had for the reloads were Winnie primers. After picking up brass after the RFP stage the guy shooting next to me handed me a few and said, "better check your load, those primers look flat". That "load" is 48 grs of IMR 3031 under a 125 TNT, pretty anemic.
 

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There is nothing wrong with flat primers. When they flow into the surrounding groove, you have a problem.

Winchester used to make high quality nickeled primers, up to about 10 years ago. Some batches of the non-nickeled were so soft that they allowed bypass, essentially putting divots in the faces of bolts. Folks that didn't catch it in time had a circle of divots in the bolt face. Not just M14 bolts, but those of bolt action rifles as well.

As I recall, TonyBen found out the hard way.

I swore off Winchester primers at that point. There are better options.
 

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I use Winchester magnum primers if I cannot get CCI No. 34. Non-magnum primers will flatten...even w/ mild loads. I found this out when I did few that were middle of the load range. But no primer corners spilling in the groove. If the cup spills over into the groove, you may want to reduce that load.

Otherwise, i just stick to CCI No. 34 or Magnum primers.
 

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There is nothing wrong with flat primers. When they flow into the surrounding groove, you have a problem.

Winchester used to make high quality nickeled primers, up to about 10 years ago. Some batches of the non-nickeled were so soft that they allowed bypass, essentially putting divots in the faces of bolts. Folks that didn't catch it in time had a circle of divots in the bolt face. Not just M14 bolts, but those of bolt action rifles as well.

As I recall, TonyBen found out the hard way.

I swore off Winchester primers at that point. There are better options.
Try about 22 or more years for the good Winchester primers. They’ve been gone a long time.
 

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The appearance of fired primers is a notoriously poor way to gauge pressure. I fully realize that reloaders have been doing this for 100 years, or so. It is very inaccurate, as any ballistician will tell you. Measuring case head expansion is much, much more reliable, although it is difficult to do without the proper tools.
 

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The appearance of fired primers is a notoriously poor way to gauge pressure.
To expand on this, sometimes "overly-sizing" a case (too much shoulder bump) creates a gap between the cartridge and the boltface. The firing pin pushes the case forward and upon ignition, the primer backs out a little. As the case expands it squishes the primer giving the false appearance of excess pressure.

An additional downside of "oversizing" is the potential for case separation. A case gauge is a good tool but has limitations. In reality, you need to size cases in relation to your chamber.

 

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There is nothing wrong with flat primers. When they flow into the surrounding groove, you have a problem.

Winchester used to make high quality nickeled primers, up to about 10 years ago. Some batches of the non-nickeled were so soft that they allowed bypass, essentially putting divots in the faces of bolts. Folks that didn't catch it in time had a circle of divots in the bolt face. Not just M14 bolts, but those of bolt action rifles as well.

As I recall, TonyBen found out the hard way.

I swore off Winchester primers at that point. There are better options.
I ran into this a few years ago as well, did damage to the bolt face of a Mauser I had. Contacted Winchester and they took back all the primers I had of that LOT # and replaced them. They were aware of the issue and fixed it.
I have heard of no further issues.
I still use Win primers all the time in my bolt or lever guns, but in most cases for my semi's I use CCI or 210Match Federals.
 

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Why, why do guys make more work for themselves when they don’t have too……

Stop stuffing those phat bloated cases in your .308 sizer die risking a stuck case! You need too run them through a 30.06 sizer FIRST, then run them again through your .308 sizer.

Trust me without getting into the weeds with details, let’s just say that your arm and your brass will thank me.
 

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Cases were once fired military brass, they had to be sized twice to fit in my cartridge gauge
You need too run them through a 30.06 sizer FIRST, then run them again through your .308 sizer.
Long time ago when I first started reloading surplus brass an old timer at the range gave me that advice. Been doing that ever since.
 

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Why, why do guys make more work for themselves when they don’t have too……

Stop stuffing those phat bloated cases in your .308 sizer die risking a stuck case! You need too run them through a 30.06 sizer FIRST, then run them again through your .308 sizer.

Trust me without getting into the weeds with details, let’s just say that your arm and your brass will thank me.
Perfect Phil. We need to remember there are newbies that weren’t aware of this process and others that have been too stubborn to try it. Can’t be stressed enough that MG brass just plain sucks and alternatives are there and end up lasting loNiger for loading. Agreed, guys will thank you for expanding their knowledge base. Good man. If one can only find the bloated brass, use the 06 sizer first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Why, why do guys make more work for themselves when they don’t have too……

Stop stuffing those phat bloated cases in your .308 sizer die risking a stuck case! You need too run them through a 30.06 sizer FIRST, then run them again through your .308 sizer.

Trust me without getting into the weeds with details, let’s just say that your arm and your brass will thank me.

If I have to use any more once fired military stuff I will keep this in mind, case life has been exactly one reload. Luckily I have a pile XM80 that should keep me well supplied with once fired brass that didn't come out of an oversize chamber.

Thanks for all the words of wisdom Gentlemen!
 

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Perfect Phil. We need to remember there are newbies that weren’t aware of this process and others that have been too stubborn to try it. Can’t be stressed enough that MG brass just plain sucks and alternatives are there and end up lasting loNiger for loading. Agreed, guys will thank you for expanding their knowledge base. Good man. If one can only find the bloated brass, use the 06 sizer first.
Thanks sometimes I forget, I too was once a noob.



A brief explanation for those in the wonder...

If you resize MG brass in a 308 die, the swollen brass doesn't have anywhere to go. The 30-06 die sizes the body without touching the shoulder, then the 308 die pushes back the shoulder without having to work the body.
Thanks for the back up, and well said.
 
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