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I always use CCI and RCBS hand priming tool with good results.
 

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Today I had 4 rounds (out of ~50) that didn't go bang. 1 of the 4 did have a firing pin dimple in the primer.
That means that 3 of 4 had no evidence of firing pin strike at all. Surely this is not due to "hard primers", but is because the firing pin was not making any contact with the primer?

I suspect your overall case length is a little too long and that this was preventing the bolt from rotating all the way into lockup. Then the firing pin tail would hit the ramp in the receiver bridge to prevent the round from firing, as designed.

If you have more that go "click", check the locking lug position before ejecting them to see if they look different from those that go bang. It may be that the first feeding cycle is effectively resizing the case just enough to close the bolt further the second time around - the bolt camming action is quite forceful - obviously not like a resizing die in a press, but slamming the case pretty nicely when too long.

With the rifle partially disassembled, you can put one of the suspect rounds in the chamber and close the bolt behind it by hand - no oprod, recoil spring or trigger group installed. Feel how much force it takes to rotate the bolt all the way clockwise and check the bolt for vertical play at its rear when closed on suspect rounds and factory fresh ones. This should give an idea if the "hard primer" rounds have a longer effective length compared to name brand factory ammo - try several rounds of each.

Are you sure you are seating your primers all the way? If they are proud of the case head then the bolt may not be able to close all the way because the effective case length would be too long, unless the gun manages to seat them deeper on feeding the round.

Lack of full primer seating would also cushion the firing pin blow, leading to shallow primer indentation but probably not zero indentation.
 

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some years back I loaded some X39 ammo w/CCI LR primers - I bought a 'brick' of.
out of a box of 50 'target' loads I had 2 ftfire. I pulled the loads and pressed out the primers - no compound in them!
I sent a strongly worded letter to CCI/Speer
I had already loaded all the primers. I now use Winny or Federal
 

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some years back I loaded some X39 ammo w/CCI LR primers - I bought a 'brick' of.
out of a box of 50 'target' loads I had 2 ftfire. I pulled the loads and pressed out the primers - no compound in them!
I sent a strongly worded letter to CCI/Speer
I had already loaded all the primers. I now use Winny or Federal
I remember years ago hearing something about some bad CCI primers. I don't remember if there was a recall.
 

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Check to see that you have not pushed the shoulder back a little too far when full length sizing. You can check this with a case length gauge. If the shoulder is too far, the round will not go boom. Instead of "detonating", it may just push the entire round forward to fill in the now excess headspace.
 

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An RCBS FL die pushing the shoulder far enough back to clear Firing pin protrusion is Highly unlikely. It would have to be pushed back about .030", and even then the case head is not resized in the process (cause you cant get the whole case in the die due to the shell holder) and it should headspace on that because the case does have a bit of taper. Its more likely that you have battery issues. IF your bullets are engaging the lands or your case neck wasnt trimed to length (i think you said they were fired in a ar first) the bolt wont fully close. So check the ones that didnt fire and see if there are teeth marks on the ogive of the bullet or crimping of the case neck.
 

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With a FL sizing die I don't see how you are going to push the shoulder back to far. I use RCBS and some Lee dies and my dies are set to kiss the shell holder at the top of the stroke to FL resize. Been doing it that way for thousands and thousands of rounds and never had a short round.
 

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If that was truly the cause, either the chamber or the die was out of spec. The difference between the Go and No-go Guages is like .005" of depth. A firing pin protrudes much farther than that.
This is my thought also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I have a .223 case gauge on order so that should be here next week. I think I found the culprit. A lot of the brass I use is Lake City with the crimped primer. I have a RCBS swaging die that I began using. Some of the earlier loads I used the de-burring tool to cut out the crimp. The couple FTF I had were cases where I cut the crimp as opposed to swaged. Aftering depriming the recovered cases I could see there was crimp leftover and when I stuck another primer in (to test) it was difficult. I'm suspecting the primer wasn't able to seat properly and that the firing pin striking it the first time did seat it allowing a "bang" on the second try.
My trim to length is 1.750". The Lake City and Federal all resize between 1.760"- 1.770" whereas my Winchesters resize to 1.740". This is pretty consistent. Like I said earlier, my .223 reloads have only been fired through my Bushmaster until this outing. The AR ate everything without issue. So I don't think the .01" is affecting much other than the bullet crimp (crimp is set up for 1.750"). My mini is a 182 series from 1981. Could a fatigued hammer spring be a contributing factor?
 

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Any reloaders have issues with CCI primers? I'm loading 26gr of H335 for .223 and using the CCI's. Today I had 4 rounds (out of ~50) that didn't go bang. I ran them through a second time and they fired as normal. 1 of the 4 did have a firing pin dimple in the primer. Seems like an issue of light striking. This is the only time I have ever a failure to fire with 14. Any thoughts?

-Drew
Make sure primers are seated all the way to the bottom of pocket. The first pin drop is seating them and the second pin drop is firing them
 

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If you have or are going to have a large number of crimps to remove I cannot recommend the Dillon Super Swage enough. Once set up(and its easy) you can swage out the crimps at a rate of 350+ an hour without even breaking a sweat. I follow up with a pocket uniformer, but I'm anal!
 

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I have read that CCI primers are a little harder than other makes with Federal being the softest and military primers being the hardest. I had an AK that would double due to its floating firing pin setting off Federal primers.
 

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When you are reloading the 223/5.56 nato rounds, is there any short cuts to learing the crimp out of the primer pockets aside from buying a Dillon pocket swagger or Rcbs?
 

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Thanks for the quick responses. I do use a FL resize die. My loads prior to today have only been fired in an AR. All have been without issue. I will pick up a headspace gauge tomorrow to verify (I should have one but I am newish to reloading). I use a RCBS hand priming tool and they feel they are seated solidly. But I won't rule that out.
I reload for my mini 30 this should be of major concern all 7.62x 39 russian ammo is of .310 or .311 the mini's barrel is .308 shooting regular ammo thru a mini 30 will burn out the barrel over time I reload my using the .308 dies I load my with a 125 grain bullet which shoots very well holds a 2" group at 100 yards but i also have a 4 power scope on it also
 
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