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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had a disappointing morning at the range today. I've used the same loads for my .45ACP semi-autos and revolvers for a long long time and never had a problem.

I wanted to put a bunch of rounds through my XD-S (single stack .45...not multiple XDs) that had only seen factory ammo so far. I loaded up a couple magazines with my reloads and pulled the trigger.....nothing...racked the slide and pulled the trigger on round #2....nothing! 3/6 shots failed to fire. Inspect the brass and see what appears to be a shallow primer strike. Well, CRAP! I'd heard about issues with the XD-S but mine had been totally fine before now.

So, I'm more than a bit irritated at this point.

I put away the XD-S and get out the S&W 4566, load up a magazine and....nothing. Same thing, light primer strike but no go. 3/8 rounds failed to fire.
Same story in the XD .45 Compact (not the XD-S...the 4" compact).

So, now I'm thinking it's an issue with a bad lot of primers, but at least I'm no longer ready to throw the XD-S into the creek.

My morning is going to hell!

Let's try this one more time...I load up a couple moon clips for one of my .45 revolver....and BANG! No issues. I run a couple of the already struck cartridges through and need to hit most of those a couple times before they pop, but eventually they all do. I do have a couple FTF with fresh cartridges, but not nearly the frequency I was having wiht the autos. Run some through a second .45 revolver and no issues.

I didn't actually count, but best estimate is that 40% of rounds failed to fire in any of the semi-autos and maybe 10% FTF in the revolvers.

So....what could be going on? I haven't adjusted my .45 dies in forever as i always use the same load....4.9gr W231 under a 230 pill (either LSWC or plated RN) loaded to 1.205". Primers are Winchester WLP and flush with the rim - not too deep and not protruding.

Both XD models are striker fired, the 4566 is hammer fired, the revolvers have standard weight springs in them.

Thoughts?

P.S....I fired off a full magazine of my factory carry ammo in the XD-S without trouble after all of this.

PPS.....My S&W 629 also locked up tighter than a drum, but that's another thread.....so my morning just sucked overall.

PPPS.....yes, I took 6 different .45's to the range today...didn't you?

 

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What method/tool do you use to seat the primers? "Flush with the rim" sound like they are not deep enough. Depending on the condition and brand of brass, this condition would allow the energy from the firing pin to be transferred to pushing in the primer vice deforming it enough to ignite. The result looks like a light primer strike. If nothing else in your process has changed, try seating a small batch a little deeper. My advice is worth exactly what you paid for it, though. Good luck.
 

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Do you keep details of all of your loads to note any minute changes...such as when you switch to a different lot number of the same primers or powder?
 

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I have been having issues with Winchester primers lately. Switched to CCI and haven't had any more problems. I think Winchester has been having problems with their primers for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you keep details of all of your loads to note any minute changes...such as when you switch to a different lot number of the same primers or powder?
silly, silly man...you know me better than that!

Nope, part of the reason I use the same load in semi-auto and revolver alike is so I don't have to switch anything up. I found a load that works well across the board and now just load for volume. I know a lot of guys load to maximize accuracy, I load for volume and cost reduction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
What method/tool do you use to seat the primers? "Flush with the rim" sound like they are not deep enough. Depending on the condition and brand of brass, this condition would allow the energy from the firing pin to be transferred to pushing in the primer vice deforming it enough to ignite. The result looks like a light primer strike. If nothing else in your process has changed, try seating a small batch a little deeper. My advice is worth exactly what you paid for it, though. Good luck.
Hmm....I'll set some a little deeper and go from there. The primers are now seated flush with the brass.

Method...I use a Dillon 550 and prime along with decap/resize station.
 

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Sounds like high primers to me. If you can rule that out then a bad lot or spoiled box of primers is my next guess. FWIW I have not had any issues with Winchester primers lately.

edit: could it be dirty primer pockets? not normally an issue but it could become one with well used brass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
edit: could it be dirty primer pockets? not normally an issue but it could become one with well used brass.
I would buy that for an occasional fail to fire, but 40% of the brass going bad all at once? I do the normal tumbling to clean but never clean the primer pockets specifically.
 

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How were you holding your mouth????
If off to the left then the primers aren't seated to the bottom of the primer pocket, hence they would fire with a second strike.
However, if off to the right then the primers aren't seated to the bottom of the primer pocket, hence they would fire with a second strike.
Either way you need to adjust the primer punch stem to seat fully...... And stop screwing your face around, one day it will freeze like that!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wonder........


I had loaded up a bunch of .44 Mag and then switched over to .45 ACP. I have different tools heads for each. I wonder if when I switched the tool heads, I failed to switch out the shell plate? The .44 Mag shell plate would have a bit more height for the rim thickness thus not seating the primer as deeply....

I'll need to check that out when I get home!
 

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I had the same problem a while back and I wasn't seating the primers enough. I'm using a Dillion 550 also. Now, I take my time, try not to go too fast and push on the handle a little more when seating the primer. I was loading 45 acp rounds also.
 

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Tim- Since rimless cartridges headspace on the case mouth, could it be possible that your crimp has allowed the catridge to enter the chamber a few thousanths too deeply, resulting in a light primer strike ??

The quick way to resolve this issue is to switch to CCI primers and hold all other parameters constant.
 

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I wonder........

I had loaded up a bunch of .44 Mag and then switched over to .45 ACP. I have different tools heads for each. I wonder if when I switched the tool heads, I failed to switch out the shell plate? The .44 Mag shell plate would have a bit more height for the rim thickness thus not seating the primer as deeply....

I'll need to check that out when I get home!
Did you ever check the shellplate on your Dillon? Just curious whether you've gotten to the bottom of this mystery yet!

Lou
 

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The primer in the picture looks like it might be a bit high. But, could be the angle of the picture.
I have used Winchester Large Pistol primers for years in my 1911s, Open IPSC race guns (9x25 Dillon) and my Springfield XDm & XDs with no problems. I seat them at least flush with the base. But, I prefer .010 or so below flush.
I use Federal #150 LP primers in my competition Smith 625...again seated below flush. 99.9% with a 6# double action trigger.
While you cannot "adjust" the Dillon 550, you can set the primers below flush very easily with the 550 press. I am a Dillon Dealer and have loaded thousands of rounds of .45 with my original (1986 era) 550.
I hope this helps, unless your primers got wet or otherwise contaminated, that is about the only reason for a light hit withe weapons your mentioned.

Phil

P.F. Custom Guns
Asheville, NC
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I finally got around to figuring this out. Opened up what was left of that run of reloads and sure enough a fair number of them (but not all) had high primers. I fiddled with the shell plate, paid very close attention to how I was working the ram and was still having issues.

Took the primer feed doo-hickey off the press a couple times and remounted and still had issues.

Finally figured out that the primer seating cup was a bit out of round and was catching on the underside of the press just enough to not seat fully sometimes. Popped on a new seating cup and we're god to go.
 
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