Hang fire - primer issue?

Dec 27, 2017
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#1
I had a slight hang fire this weekend with my Tikka T3x in 300 WM. I was shooting factory Hornady ammo (American Whitetail 180 gr) at the time. I pulled the trigger, heard the firing pin drop, had enough time to think to myself wtf, then the round went off. Visually, you can see a difference in the primer on this round vs the other 3 that were fired from this box. And looking at a box of the same ammo from a different lot, there's a big difference in the primers:



The hang fire round is the bottom left one. And the primers on the box on the left are clearly different than the box on the right, with varying levels of discoloration of some sort on some of the rounds in the box on the left. Any idea what might be going on here? Bad batch of primers for this lot maybe?
 

mijp5

Gunny Sergeant
May 7, 2009
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1,684
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#2
I had hang fires in roughly 20 - 25% of my loadings in 6.5x47 using wolf SRM primers. When I changed the primers, the hang fires disappeared. Using the same primers in 223, I have seen no hang fires. I think yours are very likely the primers.
 
Likes: Kraze
Dec 27, 2017
15
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#4
I had hang fires in roughly 20 - 25% of my loadings in 6.5x47 using wolf SRM primers. When I changed the primers, the hang fires disappeared. Using the same primers in 223, I have seen no hang fires. I think yours are very likely the primers.
Thanks, that's good to know! This is probably the cheapest ammo that my gun shoots well that I've tried so far, but after this, I won't be using them anymore. It also makes me want to get setup to reload sooner rather than later!

Not sure I'd concern myself with the why, you did make the rds. Call Hornady and return the ammo.
I have contacted Hornady and sent them the picture, but have yet to hear back from them. The reason I'm concerning myself with the why is I want to start reloading soon. So if I can use this as a learning opportunity, maybe it will help me out down the road if I run into a similar issue with reloads.
 
Aug 7, 2014
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Gillette, WY
#5
Thanks, that's good to know! This is probably the cheapest ammo that my gun shoots well that I've tried so far, but after this, I won't be using them anymore. It also makes me want to get setup to reload sooner rather than later!



I have contacted Hornady and sent them the picture, but have yet to hear back from them. The reason I'm concerning myself with the why is I want to start reloading soon. So if I can use this as a learning opportunity, maybe it will help me out down the road if I run into a similar issue with reloads.
I understand that aspect, looking at the rounds, looks like different primers between batches. Case fill can be every bit the culprit as well as the primer, pull a bullet and look inside, then weigh the charge. It wont mean much, as we have no clue what powder was used. Not everything is just cut and dried in reloading.
 

mcfred

Sergeant
Feb 17, 2011
732
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#6
A gunked-up firing pin assembly (weak primer strike), shallow firing pin protrusion (weak primer strike), and/or excessive headspace (weak primer strike) for that specific rifle can also have an affect too, if the ammo's good.

Clean, check pin protrusion, and check headspace to confirm. It's something you can do diagnose an issue that Hornady cannot.
 
Likes: Kraze
Dec 27, 2017
15
1
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#7
I understand that aspect, looking at the rounds, looks like different primers between batches. Case fill can be every bit the culprit as well as the primer, pull a bullet and look inside, then weigh the charge. It wont mean much, as we have no clue what powder was used. Not everything is just cut and dried in reloading.
Thanks for the info. I think if I never hear back from Hornady/they don't want these for testing, it would be a good time to invest in a bullet puller and scale. I could pull and weigh the remaining rounds from this box and see if they're all close to the same weight. That should at least satisfy my curiosity if nothing else.

A gunked-up firing pin assembly (weak primer strike), shallow firing pin protrusion (weak primer strike), and/or excessive headspace (weak primer strike) for that specific rifle can also have an affect too, if the ammo's good.

Clean, check pin protrusion, and check headspace to confirm. It's something you can do diagnose an issue that Hornady cannot.
Good to know! I did just see something about some Tikka bolts being gunked up from the factory. I'll have to disassemble and clean it out really well.
 
Aug 7, 2014
835
99
28
Gillette, WY
#8
Thanks for the info. I think if I never hear back from Hornady/they don't want these for testing, it would be a good time to invest in a bullet puller and scale. I could pull and weigh the remaining rounds from this box and see if they're all close to the same weight. That should at least satisfy my curiosity if nothing else.



Good to know! I did just see something about some Tikka bolts being gunked up from the factory. I'll have to disassemble and clean it out really well.
Hornady needs to reply to you, really. If not box it up and send it to them with a nasty gram, all you need is a ORM-D sticker.
In my experience, a primer fires or not, your gun is getting the rds to go off, it's not your firing pin. That's like saying it's igniting it but not hard or fast enough, yellow caution lights in stop lights don't darken before they turn red.
Just get the ammo to them, they will replace and you will not get an answer as to the why. Your choice to shoot it, and continue to buy, or sell it.
 
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Likes: Kraze
Dec 27, 2017
15
1
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#9
Hornady needs to reply to you, really. If not box it up and send it to them with a nasty gram, all you need is a ORM-D sticker.
In my experience, a primer fires or not, your gun is getting the rds to go off, it's not your firing pin. That's like saying it's igniting it but not hard or fast enough, yellow caution lights in stop lights don't darker before they turn red.
Just get the ammo to them, they will replace and you will not get an answer as to the why. Your choice to shoot it, and continue to buy, or sell it.
Hornady got back to me a little after my last post. They didn't mention anything about the primer change between lots, which is to be expected I suppose. So the ammo is going back to them. And I'm going to start buying what I need to reload. At least that way I'll have control over what primer is used, and any ammunition failures will be my own fault (y)

Thanks to everyone that replied.
 

mcfred

Sergeant
Feb 17, 2011
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SW USA
#10
In my experience, a primer fires or not, your gun is getting the rds to go off, it's not your firing pin. That's like saying it's igniting it but not hard or fast enough...
I have experienced duds and hang fires from cold weather affecting firing pin assembly lube viscosity (factory grease is not ideal) and crap Russian primers used with 65+ grains of slow powder whose primer weights ended up varying by 30 milligrams (~half a grain) in the same lot. The lightest primers were likely to be the cause of the duds upon disassembly. You can get a fizzle from an inadequately struck primer, and large powder charge weights amplify the effect, in my experience.

I doubt you'd notice a hang fire in a .22 Hornet given how easy it is to light li'lgun or 4227 etc. vs Retumbo/H1000.
 
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