Primer Ignition problem......I need more Heads to ponder

Longtine

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Ok. Yes I'm new to this board......but I've been reloading for 35 years so I know a little about the how. So, here's the deal. I have 3 Bergara's. In the last month I bought an Approach in 7mm Magnum and a Highlander in 6.5 CM. On a hunt 3 weeks ago I took my son to Oklahoma. Using the Highlander and my reloads (Lapua small primer brass, 127 LRX, H4350 and CCI mag primers). We hunted 4 days and on that last morning a nice 10 point comes in. Son readies the gun.....click....put another round it.....click again. I dug another round out that was in my pocket, slammed it in and it fires. Ok, so i blew it off that since we left the rounds in the magazine of the rifle over the last 3 days maybe the heat, thaw, heat, thaw had an affect with the small rifle magnum primers and it was an ignition problem. So back to Texas and started to reload for the Approach in 7mm Mag (Nosler Brass, Rem brass, Retumbo, H1000, RL 22, RL 23, 168 VLD, CCI 250 primers). Over the course of all these loads and combinations that I was working on I had 12 miss Fires on at least once on all the powders and brass.

Background, my reloading bench is setup in an insulated shop but.....there is not heat and only air and some of the powders I have had over a year. Unopened.

1. Could it be the uncontrolled climate affecting primers or powder? Am I keeping the powders too long without using them?
2. I played with the seating depth to a point of leaving the primers flush and even protruding slightly out of the brass. I even seated the primers deeper than normal.

I just need help with some more thoughts and more knowledgable experts than myself.
 

TheOfficeT-Rex

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Can you pull some of rounds that didn't go bang?

If so, you can look to see if the primer went off and didn't ignite the powder, or if you got some bad primers. JRB did a video series on 6.5CM hangfires where he found poor ignition with some combinations of powder and small rifle primer. He pulled them and you could clearly see the primer had worked but did not ignite the powder.
 

Longtine

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Ok....just pulled a bullet from one that just now did it. The primer is in tack and never fired. So It's got to be something going on with both the bolts of the 2 guns I'm guessing
 

SpeedyR

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for sure seat the primers just below flush. My guess is you are using some of your firing pin energy to seat the primers to the bottom of the cup and it's not leaving enough force to ignite the primer.

Check the factory loads, but typically the primers are just below flush and definitely never should be standing "proud" of the case.

I've had primers that got a bit wet from flooding and they always went bang. IMHO it's hard to make them inert, so my guess is it's the seating of the primer that's causing issues. Heat and humidity can affect the powder but sounds like primer depth is more than likely the culprit.

what do you use to seat the primers?
 
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ken4570tc in WY

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If I read all this properly, you are using reloads across multiple rifles? Were the reloads resized for a custom close fit chamber then had no-fire incidents with looser spec chambers? What I'm getting at is head space a possible issue?
 

Longtine

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for sure seat the primers just below flush. My guess is you are using some of your firing pin energy to seat the primers to the bottom of the cup and it's not leaving enough force to ignite the primer.

Check the factory loads, but typically the primers are just below flush and definitely never should be standing "proud" of the case.

I've had primers that got a bit wet from flooding and they always went bang. IMHO it's hard to make them inert, so my guess is it's the seating of the primer that's causing issues. Heat and humidity can affect the powder but sounds like primer depth is more than likely the culprit.

what do you use to seat the primers?
The last 3 I shot when this one didn't go bang, I seated them quite a bit below flush. Bergara just replied in an email to disassemble the bolt and polish the firing pin. Deal there is if factories shoot then that's not the issue. They also told me they would not warranty it if i'm reloading.
 

Longtine

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If I read all this properly, you are using reloads across multiple rifles? Were the reloads resized for a custom close fit chamber then had no-fire incidents with looser spec chambers? What I'm getting at is head space a possible issue?
Yes I reload for around 20 rifles. All my rifles are factory rifles. Bergara are the last three I've purchased and they are the ones i'm having an issue with.
 

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alpine44

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Check firing pin protrusion, head space with a gauge, and actual head space of your reloads.

If you bump the shoulder of your reloads back too much your gun will test OK against the no-go gauge but will not set-off the primers in your reloads reliably because the firing pin tip cannot reach far enough into the primers.

Your primers need to be seated firmly against the bottom of the primer hole in the case. Otherwise, firing pin energy will be depleted while pushing the primer down until it contacts the bottom and then there is not enough kinetic energy left to indent the cup against the anvil and ignite the compound.

Edit: Your photos show light strikes. Check the conditions I listed above.
 
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ken4570tc in WY

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Yes I reload for around 20 rifles. All my rifles are factory rifles. Bergara are the last three I've purchased and they are the ones i'm having an issue with.
Yep, that primer strike looks lite! Can you measure firing pin protrusion on the Bergara's vs the ones that fire OK? I've found variances from several factory rifles from .043 (Savage) to .063 (Ruger). Everything has gone bang so I haven't needed to change anything.
 

ken4570tc in WY

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How would I measure the protrusion of it?
How would I measure the protrusion of it?
Have you ever wondered what that protruding pin on the back of your caliper is for? If you can easily cam over the removed bolt to put it in the fired position, you can measure the depth of your bolt face and your firing pin. Then subtract pin depth from face depth.
 

Longtine

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Have you ever wondered what that protruding pin on the back of your caliper is for? If you can easily cam over the removed bolt to put it in the fired position, you can measure the depth of your bolt face and your firing pin. Then subtract pin depth from face depth.

Well damn.....never knew that.

The protrusion is 0.053"
 

Jake the dog

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.053 seems like enough pain fall. Have you compared your reloads to a factory round? I'm far from the most knowledgeable here, but it sounds like excessive headspace.
 
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Longtine

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The last few batches of 3 I ran i made sure and positive that the primer was seated in the pocket firmly and even got a few factories to compare and they were spot on.

You think headspace in the chamber?

The brass was all new brass 7mm magnum.
 

Jake the dog

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Are you bumping the shoulder any when you load? I would check the base to datum on some that are working and some that aren't. The only other thing, is it all the same lot of primers? I have found one bad primer. Thought I forgot to charge that round. When I knocked the bullet out, powder went everywhere.
 

Longtine

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Well not sure if I'm bumping it or not. It's an RCBS full length sizing die with a #4 shell holder. I'm running the shell holder snug tight to the die when I resize. Same as I always have. Maybe the chamber has a little more headspace in the bergara. Not sure. May have to order some of readings comp shell holder kit and go from there.

I've tried 2 different bricks of CCI 250 primers and one of Rem 9 1/2's.

all had a miss fire
 

alpine44

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OK. Take a fired, unsized case that was used in the rifle you are having ignition problems with. Knock the spent primer out with a decapping die or a pin punch, reprime the case (no powder, no bullet), chamber and fire that primed case (pointed in a safe direction).

Then show a photo of that primer compared to the others with the light strikes.
 
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Longtine

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One step further....the new one on the far right in this pic is from a fully sized once fired brass. So there is one not sized and one sized shown.
 

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ShtrRdy

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A question was asked and I didn't see an answer - what are you using to seat the primers?

The small rifle primer in a Creedmoor case sometimes has problems. But you're using a CCI Magnum primer and that's suppose to work.
 
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briscoetab

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If you are running die all the way down to shell holder it definitely sounds like it’s a headspace issue. You are probably bumping the shoulders back several thousandths. When you are firing a round this means the case is moving forward several thousandths in the camber before it hits the shoulder and the firing pin is running out of length, so it is just lightly striking the primer.


If you haven’t got some type of headspace gauge you should really get one, that way you know how much you are setting the shoulders back. Not only will you have issues with light primer strikes, if you are using brass multiple times you are going to have head separation issues as well.

Also, seat the primers all the way down, don’t compare the depth you are seating to the factory loads because the primer pockets could be different depths. I’m not saying to crush the primer, just seat it till it touches the bottom of the pocket. Depending on the brass the primer may be just barley below flush or a few thousandths below.
 
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briscoetab

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I know several of the die companies tell you to set the die up by running it down all the way but that is really incorrect. You do not need the competition shell holders to adjust the headspace, you just have to back die out unit you are just barely touching the shoulders. The best way to do that is with a headspace gauge.
 

Longtine

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A question was asked and I didn't see an answer - what are you using to seat the primers?

The small rifle primer in a Creedmoor case sometimes has problems. But you're using a CCI Magnum primer and that's suppose to work.

I'm using a RCBS hand priming tool.
 
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Longtine

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If you are running die all the way down to shell holder it definitely sounds like it’s a headspace issue. You are probably bumping the shoulders back several thousandths. When you are firing a round this means the case is moving forward several thousandths in the camber before it hits the shoulder and the firing pin is running out of length, so it is just lightly striking the primer.


If you haven’t got some type of headspace gauge you should really get one, that way you know how much you are setting the shoulders back. Not only will you have issues with light primer strikes, if you are using brass multiple times you are going to have head separation issues as well.
I get what you saying about creating an headspace issue. What if I take a once fired brass, take out the depriming pin, and then back off the day say a turn or so, then resize the brass, stick it in the chamber, if it sticks then go down on the resizing die more. Keep this process up until the bolt closes freely? Would that work?
 

Longtine

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I know several of the die companies tell you to set the die up by running it down all the way but that is really incorrect. You do not need the competition shell holders to adjust the headspace, you just have to back die out unit you are just barely touching the shoulders. The best way to do that is with a headspace gauge.
Could I do it like in the above post I mentioned?
 

Longtine

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I just watched John Whidden's video on setting up a die and looking for the -0.002" on fired brass. But what about new brass? How do you handle the new brass? Do I use a once fired brass to set my die so that I get the -0.002" set back and then size all the new brass the same? And would this fix my primer firing issue?

I love this forum but I really think it has shown my ignorance for something I have done so long.
 

MinnesotaMulisha

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Once you have your comparator, you can measure your fired brass and sized brass and compare it to the new brass.

Theoretically, your new brass won't need the shoulders bumped. You should only be sizing to straighten out the case mouths.
 
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Longtine

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No, it was with new brass. Maybe i wasn't clear on that. Nosler & Remington brass on the 7mm Mag and Lapua brass with the 6.5 CM
 

briscoetab

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if I understood correctly you were sizing the new brass? If you were just loading the new brass then I retract my statement about it probably being a headspace issue but you should still setup you die with minimal shoulder bump and not by turning it all the way down till it touches the shell holder.

I used to full length size new brass and I would set the die up to where it bumped the shoulder back .001 then back it off just a tiny bit to where I was getting no shoulder bump. Now I use a neck expander mandrel die (I think that is what they are called). It just smooths out the case mouth and that’s it. I run the case through the expander and load.
 

briscoetab

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But if you are resizing the "new" brass it would end up similar to once fired brass because of moving the shoulder back too much... I think...
So where is the primer issue coming into play with new brass? All the problems was with the new brass.
What speedyr said is what I was trying to clear up in my last post. I understood that you were resizing new brass? If you were resizing new brass by setting up your die with it touching the shell holder then you were moving the shoulders back significantly probably. In my experience new brass usually grows .002-.003 at most after firing and there is no need to set the shoulders back because they are almost always undersized to fit every chamber.
 
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Longtine

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What speedyr said is what I was trying to clear up in my last post. I understood that you were resizing new brass? If you were resizing new brass by setting up your die with it touching the shell holder then you were moving the shoulders back significantly probably. In my experience new brass usually grows .002-.003 at most after firing and there is no need to set the shoulders back because they are almost always undersized to fit every chamber.
I have about come to a conclusion that is exactly what has happened. Maybe the chamber has a little longer headspace and with me resizing them fully it may have set them back even further.
 
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Nimothy

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Probably not your issue and honestly I didn’t read the whole thread but I had this issue on my trued remmy700 with lapua brass and it turned out to be my firing pin needed to bushed/turned, it started to happen out the blue and when the bolt came apart a ton of primer residue and metal pieces came out with it. It’s at short action customs as we speak getting fixed up. Also when it would fire, it would pierce 1 out of 4 it shot. But wouldn’t flatten more didnt have a heavy bolt on a long running mild load for this rifle. Maybe take your bolt apart and see what’s in there for good measure before you start messing with your handloads. Good luck!
 

alpine44

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A lot was tried and posted since I suggested to reprime and re-strike a case that was fired from the rifle but was left unsized.
Seeing the results, I also suggest taking the bolt apart and checking/ cleaning firing pin and the inside of the bolt.
 

Longtine

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For grins i pulled the firing pin from the bolt. I noticed that one side of the firing pin was bright shiny rough and the other side was fine. The two pics show this. So maybe the firing pin is rubbing just enough on the side that it is slowing it down some.
 

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briscoetab

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Probably not your issue and honestly I didn’t read the whole thread but I had this issue on my trued remmy700 with lapua brass and it turned out to be my firing pin needed to bushed/turned, it started to happen out the blue and when the bolt came apart a ton of primer residue and metal pieces came out with it. It’s at short action customs as we speak getting fixed up. Also when it would fire, it would pierce 1 out of 4 it shot. But wouldn’t flatten more didnt have a heavy bolt on a long running mild load for this rifle. Maybe take your bolt apart and see what’s in there for good measure before you start messing with your handloads. Good luck!
Not saying this couldn’t be an issue, not sure on firing pin hole size on those rifles but I would start with the brass if it was me because like I said in the previous post if you have die touching the shell holder you are more than likely pushing shoulder way back. This needs fixed regardless of the firing pin. There is a possibility that you are not touching the shoulder, I have heard of some guys not being able to even touch the shoulder with certain calibers and setups but I doubt this is the case here.

I would get the headspace gauge and see what the shoulder set back is and fix this first. Typically bushing issues have to do with cratering primers and/or piercing primers I believe not lite primer strikes but I think you can run into issues with the pin dragging if firing pin hole is way oversized. Like I said, not saying that it isn’t something to look in to because I am not extremely familiar with busing issues because I’ve never had an issue with one.
 
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Jake the dog

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Let us know what you find when you get the headspace comparator. I'm thinking you were bumping the shoulder a little much. If that's not it, I'll be watching this to see how it turns out.