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Thread: Polish Grit Stuck in Flash Hole?

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Polish Grit Stuck in Flash Hole?

    Just wondering if anybody has any experience with what happens if you polish a case and don't get the grit out of the flash hole, then load a round and fire it?
    I don't think I can recall any but I figure the primer would likely discharge the stuck material and ignite the round. However, would it be a bit of a delay fire do you think?
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I never had the interest (or was it courage?) to test it. I have a little skewer left over from cooking a turkey that's just the right diameter. I keep it on the bench while inspecting case and just poke out the media when I see it. No extra time to do it, but lots of peace of mind.

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    I keep my primer holes clean. I figure leaving a piece of corn cob in there might not hurt anything, best case, but worst case could be really really bad.

    I keep both a cheap knife and a small drill bit on my reloading bench, I can clear 95+% of them with one pass of the knife in a fraction of a second each. the stubborn take longer with the drill bit.

    I too am curious to know if anyone has left the primer hole partially blocked on purpose to see what would happen.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    I keep my primer holes clean. I figure leaving a piece of corn cob in there might not hurt anything, best case, but worst case could be really really bad.

    I keep both a cheap knife and a small drill bit on my reloading bench, I can clear 95+% of them with one pass of the knife in a fraction of a second each. the stubborn take longer with the drill bit.

    I too am curious to know if anyone has left the primer hole partially blocked on purpose to see what would happen.
    I also use a long little drill bit, on some I have used skinny pipe cleaners as well.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    My reloading area is right next to my air compressor, a quick shot of 90psi from the inside out clears the flash holes nicely.

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    I guess I could probably do something quicker but I judge just been using my universal decapping die in a little partner press in the brass prep area of my reloading room.

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    Handgun rounds I usually just tumble them with the spent primer in and nothing gets stuck there or is knocked out when I decap. Rifle I decap in a universal die and tumble them, then when I size the decaping pin knocks anything out as it goes through the press. Donít know what it would do if the hole was plugged, I suspect nothing out of the ordinary and you would never know it happened but I donít know for sure.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Worst possible case would be that the primer and beginning burning of the powder has enough force to get the bullet moving and engraved into the throat, but the burning of the powder is delayed and then the powder gets going with the bullet stuck in the throat and the gun blows up.

    I've never heard of this happening due to media being stuck in the flashole, but one wouldn't expect to find that media after the gun blows up. Guns have blown up due to hangfires.

    More than likely the primer would blow the media clear and the powder would ignite normally. But it's just not worth risking it.
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    I inspect every flash hole and clean if needed. With all the things we do to keep out rounds consistant and perfect, I figured the flash hole was just another step. Not willing to test experimantal cob loaded rounds.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I've never heard of this happening due to media being stuck in the flashole, but one wouldn't expect to find that media after the gun blows up. Guns have blown up due to hangfires.

    You bring up a very good point PaulH, there are likely many mystery "explosions" that are hard to trace. Had a friend blow the end off a 12ga semi-auto some years back while shooting sporting clays - he couldn't figure it out - I had lunch with him before it happened and I saw him dump the spare change into his shooting vest pocket where he also carried his spare choke tubes. I asked him if he had looked into the chokes before he installed them as it is common practice to swap them around several times during a day of shooting - he said no he never did. Well, upon counting his change that was left in his pocket he was a dime short - mystery solved!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    ...he was a dime short....
    Yup, a dime is the perfect size to hang up on a fullish choke.

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    I tumble cases before resizing so getting media in the flash hole can't happen. I tumble first, then inspect cases for crack, splits etc. Then I resize and clean primer pockets with a tool, trim and de-burr if necessary. That is what I thought everyone did.
    Tumbling after resizing will/can get media in the primer pocket and adds another unecessary tedious step of getting media out of the flash hole. It also means if you deprime and resize in one step you will contaminate the media with resizing lubricant if you don't get it all off.
    I reload with a single stage press and inspect every case, including pistol cases and buy cases in bulk. The first thing I do with new cases is to debur the flash hole and uniform the primer pockets.

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    Yip...tumble first then resize. Not that it is wrong I suppose, but why would you resize a dirty case and risk the grit scaring your resizing die? My exception is on my Dillon 550B with carbide dies and used on straight pistol cases...they seldom ever get cleaned and if they do I still do it BEFORE I load. I have broken the decap pin on occasion and I'm never really sure why unless I find a rock or something in the case.

    On cases where the pockets need to be cleaned, I chuck a RCBS primer pocket cleaner of the appropriate size into my Unimat and turn it at very low speed and it takes about 1 second to get a clean shinny primer pocket...much easier than doing it by hand and easier on my notso limber and aging fingers. I have an old Forrester hand crank job that works well but the motor makes it much faster and easier.
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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I have an older Thumblers Tumbler and was wondering if anybody else had one and had found a way to keep the rubber band belt tighter as mine has no way to take it up? Book says to store belt off of pulleys so it will shrink some which does work but not a stellar setup in my book...?
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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