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Federal primers...


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...anybody else use them? I've had some primer flattening issues with my .357 Magnum loads but the cases eject as smooth as butter- no "mounding" around the firing pin dent or other possible signs of excessive pressure, either. I wonder if their metal is soft...?

Just curious.

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At the edge where the primer and case head meet there's usually a radiused chamfer around the circumference of the primer; I've noticed the primer metal seems to be flowing such that this radiused chamfer is almost completely gone. As I mentioned, no other symptoms of over-pressure...

It is not too easy for me to get photos but I might be able to...

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Yes, I checked the charges about every ten to fifteen rounds and they all flattened out. I also calibrated my scale prior to using it. The OAL is 1.590 which is what it should be for a 125-grainer and they're crimping right smack in the middle of the cannelure.

My next step will be (of course) to back off the loads to see if it helps. The data I have recommends magnum primers which is what I have but it may be that the Federal's are just too hot for this combo. If I can get some non-magnum's I'll try those and see.

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The Federals are soft IMO compared to CCI's or the old plated Winchesters. The Federal Magnums might be a bit thicker. But looking at your photos I don't think you have a problem.

My old Model 19 is a little loose on headspace and it flattens primers a lot more than what your seeing.

Pressure problems will typically show up not just as primer flattening, but also as primer extrusion into the clearance area around the firing pin and excessive case expansion.

If you want to get a better idea of what kind of pressures you're running, shoot some factory ammo in the gun and mic the cases right below the head. Then reload those cases and make the same measurements after shooting.

Similar case expansion = similar pressures.

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Thank you for the advice, JSharp. I will try to remember to mic the factory cases I have and reload/re-mic to see.

Yeah, primer appearance alteration is but one possible indicator; as I mentioned, the cases extracted quite smoothly, perhaps even more so than factory loads!

I might add the recoil wasn't bad at all, either. The muzzle flash, however, was very bright.

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UPDATE: today I shot a dozen 6.8-grain rounds of TiteGroup/125gn JHP's and the primers come out looking identical to the 7.2-7.4 ones. I think I do not have an issue now.

I was just too lazy I guess to start at 6.8 grains; I got the micrometer to meter 7.1 grains and I didn't bother to adjust it downward the FIRST time WHICH IS WHAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO!!!

SHAME ON ME! blush

One thing I must say about TiteGroup: I have found it to be VERY clean-burning compared to some of the factory stuff I've used.

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