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Thread: How clean do YOU get your priming pockets?

  1. #1
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    Default How clean do YOU get your priming pockets?

    While working my way through another stack of 250 cases today, I was thinking about how the least fun step in the process was the cleaning of primer pockets. Normally I clean fired brass in treated walnut shells, then size and deprime, then clean the lube off with untreated corn cob media. After that, I spin my little Lee primer pocket cleaner in the primer pocket to remove the little 3-point black stain/residue from the fired primers. Then I take my primer pocket brush and give it a spin to remove the last bit of black stuff from the corners inside the primer pocket. This process results in brand new looking brass ready for reloading ...but how necessary is it to get the primer pocket so shiny-new? I'll bet my sweet bippy that I could put primers in those pockets without taking the time to spin the pocket cleaner in them nor brush them ...you think? Tell me why I'm wrong...

    Brian

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    I don’t think your wrong………… in fact I have hard evidence to prove that primer pocket cleaning is a complete waste of time. As a general rule, I don’t bother to clean primer pockets on brass that I am using for load development and plinking. Not once have I ever had one fail to fire. Further more, I have loaded 40 rounds, with the same load, and the only difference being clean primer pockets on 20 of them. Shot all 40 for accuracy over the chronograph and could not identify any appreciable difference in accuracy or velocity. Do I still clean the primer pockets on my hunting loads? Yep………….but I cant really tell you why. I honestly don’t think it makes a darn bit of difference.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    I will "clean" the primer pockets on my brass by using a tool designed to cut all primer pockets to the same depth. This provides a more consistent primer seating depth.
    You may be shocked by how far out of shape factory primer pockets are.
    Does it result in more accurate loads? Beats me, but it makes me feel good and it is very easy to do.
    The base of the case has a way of distorting with every firing. Even after the initial primer pocket cutting after each firing it will still clean up better with a fresh cutting using the tool.
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I will "clean" the primer pockets on my brass by using a tool designed to cut all primer pockets to the same depth. This provides a more consistent primer seating depth.
    You may be shocked by how far out of shape factory primer pockets are.
    Does it result in more accurate loads? Beats me, but it makes me feel good and it is very easy to do.
    The base of the case has a way of distorting with every firing. Even after the initial primer pocket cutting after each firing it will still clean up better with a fresh cutting using the tool.
    Ezackly!!

    IF I do anything to a primer pocket, I use a carbide primer pocket tool to cut the pocket to the correct depth. Since the tool is carbide, I can use it to clean the grit from the pockets without dulling the tool and cut pockets to correct depth. I do nothing to new brass because after the first firing the head reshapes some under pressure. This little tool comes with a hex shank adapter which fits my little low speed battery powered driver. It is very slick and does a good job quick.

    With most handgun calibers I don't do anything to them pockets, just seat another primer on the grit and carbon. I have no problem with seating primers to the correct depth (the bottom of the pocket) without cleaning them and don't think it has ever made a difference. But with rifle calibers, I do think I get more consistant ignition with the pockets clean and uniform and it makes me shhot better when I think I've done something important. Besides I think the little drill/driver and cutter are fun to play with. I also find that wearing my old Bison hide slippers while seating primers makes more accurate loads also.

    Brian, do you have 250, 500 S&W cases to clean? Good grief is that thing belt fed?
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    Default Primer pockets

    I have a five station motorized tool from RCBS that I use to clean primers pockets. There are two chamfer tools, one inside, one out side that make removing burrs after trimming to length quick. Then I have a small and large primer brush in two positions and in the fifth position I put a bore brush the size of the cases that I am cleaning. I am not sure if it does a lot of good to clean out the neck but it does not hurt either.
    How often do I clean the primer pockets? That depend on what I am loading and for what. If it is just a 20 round box yes I will clean the pockets. If I have trimed the cases yes the pockets get cleaned. If it just pratice rounds or I am doing a couple hundred rounds, no that pockets do not get cleaned.
    Good loading and have fun.

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    Quik hit with a primer pocket brush. I dont uniform the pockets, I use Lapua or Norma brass so not necessary. I get SDs as low as 9, I wish my shooting was as consistrent. O well, off to the range to try some Norma factory fodder.

  7. #7

    Default primer pocket litany

    I just give my Lee primer pocket cleaner a few twists. I don't worry if there is a little discoloration in the pocket. I don't use anything that removes material from the primer pocket with the exception of a primer pocket flash hole uniforming tool that removes any "flash" or burrs from the inside of the case around the flash hole. I clean the pockets every time I reload the case. I have encountered a problem early in my reloading where a primer will not seat properly because of hard residue left in the bottom edge of the pocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I will "clean" the primer pockets on my brass by using a tool designed to cut all primer pockets to the same depth. This provides a more consistent primer seating depth.
    You may be shocked by how far out of shape factory primer pockets are.
    Does it result in more accurate loads? Beats me, but it makes me feel good and it is very easy to do.
    The base of the case has a way of distorting with every firing. Even after the initial primer pocket cutting after each firing it will still clean up better with a fresh cutting using the tool.
    I did that on the brass when it was new ...but not since. Maybe I'll experiment with a few cases and see what the uniformer does this time around. Hmmm....

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    <snip>
    Brian, do you have 250, 500 S&W cases to clean? Good grief is that thing belt fed?
    Not quite 250.. I had purchased 200 rounds of Starline brass and they must count them by weight. I received 206 in the bag. I had also purchased 2 boxes of the 500 S&W Special stuff from SW too, and even though it's called "Special", it was NOT loaded into the shorter length cases but instead was loaded into full-length Starline 500 S&W brass. I won't be buying ANY rounds from stores anymore ...even that 'Special' stuff is now $38 a box at SW.

    I started out by reloading 20 at a time, to get familiar with reloading that is. Then I did 50 rounds at a time. Now I load up everything I have and keep shooting until it's all gone. Then I have a "big weekend" that gets focused on reloading ...like this weekend. Smelting piles of wheel weights into ingots and reloading 246 rounds of S&W 500 is my big goal this weekend. I had Friday off and went shooting, now I'm out in the shop doing honey-do's and having fun with gun related stuff. Wife's calling ...BBQ burgers today. Life is good.

    Later.

    Brian

  10. #10
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    I use a primer pocket uniformer to clean the cases and it takes a couple loading to get them all cut 100%. I dont bother trying to do it in one step.

    I tried to use the primer pocket uniformer on my 500 S&W cases (hornady) and it just gets stuck in them.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    I use a primer pocket uniformer to clean the cases and it takes a couple loading to get them all cut 100%. I dont bother trying to do it in one step.

    I tried to use the primer pocket uniformer on my 500 S&W cases (hornady) and it just gets stuck in them.
    I think my primer pocket uniformer is an RCBS if I recall ...maybe the wooden handled one (Lyman? Lee?) ...I'd have to get off my backside and go look to see which tool came from which company. But anyway, the uniformer didn't get stuck in any of the 500 S&W cases that I have and mine are all Starline. Just an FYI...

    Your first note above echos what Murphy said. Next time the cases are free of primers, I'll try the uniformer on them again. Right now they're all loaded up again.

    Brian

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    Mine is the RCBS one. It works great in all my other calibers. My primer pocket cleaner works fine in the 500 s&w cases.

    My hornady cases shoot just fine and will seat a primer just fine. They are two boxes of the same lot.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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