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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would value the input of experienced reloaders of the 7.62x39 cartridge. I consider myself an experienced reloader, but I am certainly LEAST experienced with this round.

It appears that almost all boxer-primed brass with head stamps OTHER than "WINCHESTER" clean up nicely, polish well, and are easy to get the primer pockets clean. They ALSO appear to take large rifle primers. NOT the WINCHESTER brass. They stay dull, hang on to whatever they've been rolled in, and have primer pockets that seem to be DESIGNED to not clean up well, without considerable effort.
I reload .223, HAVE reloaded .222 Remington. .22 Hornet, .22 Harvey K-Chuck, and 222 Rem. Mag (remember that one?), so I have SOME experience with small rifle primer pockets. All of them, COMBINED, have not given me the trouble with cleaning that the Winchester AK brass has.
My questions are these:
1.) Is there a particular trick, tool, technique, secret handshake, incantation, or yoga stance necessary to fast and thorough cleaning of Winchester primer pockets?
2.) WHAT was Winchester THINKING when they decided to make their brass with SMALL primer pockets, rather than large primer pockets?

The answer to latter question isn't REALLY necessary to my successfully reloading this round. But SOMETIMES ammo makers REALLY do stuff that makes me wonder. Again, any insight is most welcome.
 

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Not enough info here. You’re not saying how you clean the brass or what you’re adding to the tumbling media. I use several different brands of brass and Winchester is one of them. I’ve never had any problems with Winchester cleaning up any differently than any other brand. Need more info here on how you’re cleaning your brass before any suggestions can be offered.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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1.) Is there a particular trick, tool, technique, secret handshake, incantation, or yoga stance necessary to fast and thorough cleaning of Winchester primer pockets?
2.) WHAT was Winchester THINKING when they decided to make their brass with SMALL primer pockets, rather than large primer pockets?
1) "Winchester" hasn't made brass in a very long time. They buy on a cheapest bidder wins basis, and have sourced from several suppliers in the past few years. Beyond that, I don't clean brass, so I can't help you.

2) That the same people who believe all manor of nonsense without a shred of evidence, will buy it because of the continually Parrotted story of accuracy and ignition. 😉


And I'm sure most remember the 222 mag, it's the parent to the wildly popular 204


Cheers
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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You don't need a large rifle primer to light off the contents of a 7.62x39 case; either large or small will work fine. "Small" peters out with a bit more capacity; folks have tried small rifle primers with the .308 Win case, and similar, with mixed success. In theory the least amount of primer "strength" gives the best accuracy, but 7.62x39 is rarely offered in match-grade arms, if ever. So no it doesn't matter in that application. Offshoots of the x39 case; well, it might in the better quality guns.

But for the average AK/SKS, no, primer size would never make a hoot's worth of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brass prep:
1.) washed/agitated in hot (~180F) Dawn dishwashing soap/Water/food-grade disodium tartrate solution.
2.) Rinsed in tap water twice.
3.) Immersed in 91% isopropanol or 95%+ acetone.
4.) Allowed to air dry.
5.) Dark brass is chucked on a spinner and polished (lightly) with #0000 steel wool.
6.) Primer pockets are cleaned with a primer pocket cleaner (NOT reamer) of some description (Lee, Lyman, Dewey, RCBS), in this case, Lee.
7.) Brass is unchucked and sorted appropriately.
It sounds like a lot, but it takes longer to read through the procedure than to prep 3 cases, thusly.

Okay, I get that "Winchester" hasn't made brass for a long time (and probably never will again). My mistake. But whomever is/was making it and head-stamping it thus, is/was making it with small primer pockets. It APPEARS that the smaller primer pocket is "made" by inserting a circular "insert" inside the larger primer pocket which (I surmise) is formed when the brass is originally drawn.
This ____ little ____ "Gimmick" (Insert expletives of choice in blanks. I certainly did) makes cleaning the primer pocket an onerous chore, resulting in "not terrific" results. I'll try to work up images, but I'm something of a cyber-neandert(h)al, so uploading may be a greater chore than the one of which I write.

That the same people who believe all manor of nonsense without a shred of evidence, will buy it because of the continually Parrotted story of accuracy and ignition. 😉
Okay, I don't find this at all implausible, and should have realized. Going to the trouble of doing this in a round that is almost exclusively run through "meat choppers" seems unnecessarily troublesome & expensive. Unless there's some Bench Rest(ish) round that may be reformed from it. Did the PPC series of rounds arise from the .30 Russian short?
Anyway, MY reloads will be run through a meat-chopper, so the smaller primer pockets don't HAVE to be shiny clean. The OCD that makes me a better-than-fair reloader certainly flares at the sight of half-clean primer pockets, though.
 

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i haven't had a factory loads for almost 30 years, so take this with a grain of salt. are you sure its brass? or is it steel?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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The PPC rounds come from the .22 Russian (forget the exact lingo) which came from the x39 case. So yeah.... it is not that accuracy cannot be had from that round, or any round, but excellent bullets and match-grade firearms are pretty well needed. So.... till someone makes bench-rest bullets in whatever groove diameter is needed (.310"? .311"?) it will pretty well be a moot point as to which primer size is "best".

Bushing the primer pockets would seem to be an exercise in cost / frustration, so if that was done then perhaps it was to just use up a large supply of a different size.... and maybe what it was bushed to, isn't even a standard size? Who knows.

The 6.5 Grendel comes from the same parent case as well, with who knows how many variations on the same theme. I'd prefer large pockets myself, as I don't load for anything else with small rifle primers and so it becomes a nuisance to get yet another scarce component. Just the way it is right now.
 

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Here’s just something to think about: I interviewed for a job in a brass foundry located in WNY several years ago. Not only did they produce brass to sell in ingots and rolls, they made brass cartridges for several different manufacturers. There were many, many bin stacked in the plant with different headstamps on them for whoever wanted to order from them. They were not all Winchester by any means. If a company couldn’t keep up with capacity they ordered from this place. This is a very common business practice in many different types of manufacturing.
 

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Okay said:
little [/B] "Gimmick" (Insert expletives of choice in blanks. I certainly did) makes cleaning the primer pocket an onerous chore, resulting in "not terrific" results. I'll try to work up images, but I'm something of a cyber-neandert(h)al, so uploading may be a greater chore than the one of which I write.


Okay, I don't find this at all implausible, and should have realized. Going to the trouble of doing this in a round that is almost exclusively run through "meat choppers" seems unnecessarily troublesome & expensive. Unless there's some Bench Rest(ish) round that may be reformed from it. Did the PPC series of rounds arise from the .30 Russian short?
Anyway, MY reloads will be run through a meat-chopper, so the smaller primer pockets don't HAVE to be shiny clean. The OCD that makes me a better-than-fair reloader certainly flares at the sight of half-clean primer pockets, though.
A couple of responses:
While perhaps the majority of 7.62 x 39 ammo will be fired (wasted!) in AK 47 and SKS rifles (meat choppers?), there are several 'sporting arms' chambered for the round. I have two, a Ruger M77 and a Mini Mauser, both are nice rifles and the round is very similar in capability to the 30-30, so saying 'almost exclusively run through "meat choppers" ' is a little extreme and somewhat disrespectful of the chambering and other rifles so chambered (IMHO).
I have brass with both large and small primer pockets, and while I have not bought any in some time, the 'large pocket with a small pocket insert' is a new one on me. I'm not sure I understand the 'manufacturing economies' of doing so for any manufacturer (?). If there is an separate 'insert', I would think it would be made of steel (not brass) and therein could be some of the cleaning issues (?).
The 22 PPC (and later 6mm PPC) benchrest cartridges had it's origin from the 220 Russian parent cartridge , which is based on the 7.62 x 39. Other benchrest cartridges have their heritage in that case, or were 'inspired' by it (30 BR and others).
Just a personal thought. If I were going to run my reloads through a 'meat chopper' and go through the trouble to 'recover' the empties and meticulously clean (OCD or not) them as you do, I'd throw that crap away and buy some Starline brass...just saying.;):)
 

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[QUOTE="MikeG, So.... till someone makes bench-rest bullets in whatever groove diameter is needed (.310"? .311"?) it will pretty well be a moot point as to which primer size is "best".[/QUOTE]

My Ruger M77 has a .308" bore, while my Mini Mauser has a .311" bore. Until the 30 BR replaced it, the 7.62 x 39 (as the 30 PPC and variants) was used in benchrest 'Varmint For Score' competitions. The 'settled upon' bore is .308" with many benchrest quality bullets available today. The small primer also seems to 'rule' in the BR world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I haven't had a factory load for almost 30 years, so take this with a grain of salt. Are you sure its brass? Or is it steel?
[Salt Added] I'm quite sure they're all brass. None of them are attracted to magnets. None of them are Berdan primed. Those are the criteria I apply for keeping cases in this caliber. The question was worth asking, though. I've done dumber things at the reloading bench than try to polish & deprime a steel & Berdan case.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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[QUOTE="MikeG, So.... till someone makes bench-rest bullets in whatever groove diameter is needed (.310"? .311"?) it will pretty well be a moot point as to which primer size is "best".
My Ruger M77 has a .308" bore, while my Mini Mauser has a .311" bore. Until the 30 BR replaced it, the 7.62 x 39 (as the 30 PPC and variants) was used in benchrest 'Varmint For Score' competitions. The 'settled upon' bore is .308" with many benchrest quality bullets available today. The small primer also seems to 'rule' in the BR world.
[/QUOTE]
If it's a .308" bore, then yes I can see the accuracy potential going up a lot, just on account of much better bullets.

Would be interested in seeing a pic of the head/primer pocket of the troublesome brass.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Okay, I don't find this at all implausible, and should have realized...
Anyway, MY reloads will be run through a meat-chopper, so the smaller primer pockets don't HAVE to be shiny clean. The OCD that makes me a better-than-fair reloader certainly flares at the sight of half-clean primer pockets, though.

Personal mania aside, it doesn't matter to accuracy 99% of the time.

By all means, do whatever makes you happy. Just be aware that 100% of the "little tricks" the cool kids do, will only matter in a meaningful way; to 0.1% of the shooters in the world.

If you follow the cool kids at all, then you know;):rolleyes: That small primer pockets and a $500+ trickler are the only way to be able to shoot anything smaller than a barn, past 200 yards.

Here are a few threads that you may find interesting/entertaining/dumb
This thread is where we tested the "magic" of the small primer pocket.
This thread is where I loaded non-sexy velocity ammo, in a non-sexy factory rifle, that isn't mine, used hold-over in a stupid SFP scope, and clanged away at 1K.

Do cleaning primer pockets matter to actual performance? Possibly. Very few actually test and measure such things, they just read about it, and know that it somehow allows them to "shoot MOA all day"......:rolleyes:
What about scrubbing your brass like it holds the antidote? Again, see above.

I've got brass from the 1960's that I've loaded more times than you are supposed to be able to. I've cleaned it maybe twice, never annealed it, and don't pretend the case capacity is double actual. I use it and a clapped-out 308 to shoot to a mile with, I've shared several threads where you can read about it.

Again, if it makes you happy and you enjoy it; then don't stop. But if you think that you need to, for some accuracy level that no one could master without doing it; you've been mislead. Marksmanship is a skill learned from repetition and adjustment, not a youtube video by a celebrity with similar manias. :)

Cheers
 

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Obviously, the OP is not doing what he is doing to achieve any particular degree of accuracy, or to improve an 'unacceptable' level of accuracy. If he was, he certainly would choose a 'platform' other than a self proclaimed 'meat chopper' to burn up his 'carefully constructed' product.
Dakker, I assume your reference to the "cool kids" is not a reference to the true benchrest crowd and is more to the 'me too' crowd (?). If not, you are insulting and disrespecting the efforts and achievements of the benchrest community at large. What that community has done to the benefit of the rest of us (if even indirectly) since at least the 1940's should be recognized and not disparaged. While the "little tricks" may not have been of recognizable benefit to you, there are many benchrest competitors that shoot matches every week, and put enough bullets 'down the tube' to wear out barrels faster than 99% of us ever will, that might take strong exception to your stated viewpoint. When you are trying to shoot tiny groups while competing with up to 100 others having [more or less] equal equipment and talent, "little tricks" can make the difference between 'bringing home the hardware' or not...just my two cents.:)

MikeG, I, too, would like to see a good clear photo of the head of one of those cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
MY motivation for cleaning the primer pockets is to get them spotless with new (to me) pick-up brass, before I use them the first time, to minimize primer pocket "crud" build-up. After that, I rarely bother with them again, unless "stuff" builds up in them (which only seems to happen sometimes, when "stuff" isn't completely cleaned away, in the first place).
I'm not a member of ANY "Cool Kids Club", and have no desire to be. I'M only doing what seems to have worked best FOR ME, in the past to assure greatest reliability and tenable accuracy results.
I have no delusions about turning my tired old SKS into some 1000-yd.-capable target rifle. If it keeps 7 of 8 rounds on a 1 gallon milk jug at 150 yards, I'm MORE than okay with it. But it MUST fire, every time I squeeze the trigger, hence my concern with brass and primer pocket cleanliness.
 

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Kosh, You have not said if you have successfully reloaded any of the brass in question, only that you have been cleaning/prepping the brass. Are you able to get photos of the base of the case showing the primer pocket with 'insert'? Are you certain that the old primers were not crimped in, which can appear as an insert? See this example photo:
Finger Circle Household hardware Auto part Metal
Apparently, Winchester (or whomever) has seen fit to sometimes crimp in primers. As you can see, a crimp can sure look like an insert or sleeve. If your 'pick up brass' had crimped in primers, either a pocket swage or reamer operation to remove the crimp is required to complete the 'case prep' before you can 'clean' the primer pocket and seat new primers. I'm just grabbing at straws in an effort to help solve your problem, a photo would sure help us understand, as I think we are nearing the 'thousand word tradeoff'.;)
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Dakker, I assume your reference to the "cool kids" is not a reference to the true benchrest crowd and is more to the 'me too' crowd (?).
So you didn't want to read what I wrote, but will assume what I meant. And though you claimed to assume the better, spent an awful lot of time telling me how offended you could be, and how terrible a person I could be, if in fact I did offend an American icon and possible cure for cancer...
 
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Darkker, You're right, I should not have assumed anything, even it was for the better, and for that...I apologize. I did, however, read what you wrote, and I'm still confused as to who the "cool kids" are, maybe I'm out of touch. I guess it doesn't matter, but I like to understand the perspective, Peace!:)
 

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Darkker, You're right, I should not have assumed anything, even it was for the better, and for that...I apologize. I did, however, read what you wrote, and I'm still confused as to who the "cool kids" are, maybe I'm out of touch. I guess it doesn't matter, but I like to understand the perspective, Peace!:)
I believe that your reference to "cool kids" was, in this case to reloaders as opposed to those that haven't taken the step to be different and still use factory ammo. It's because there are so few of us...about .01% of shooters. I agree! I have seen those "inserted" primers, before. I found them after I knocked the primer out and resized the case. It was a standard large-rifle primer, but the primer had corroded on the inside hence the bottom had punched out when the decapping pin tried to push the old primer out. You can clean the pocket out if you choose, no big deal, and the "crud" won't accumulate, even if there is a little left each time. there will only be about the same amount left each time. If the next primer is put in correctly, it'll fire each time. One way to really clean your cases is to use steel-pins in a tumbler. you'll clean not only the outside of the cases, but the inside and the primer pockets. You were saying that your method works quite well with 3 cases. Well and good. There is not much shooting involved, but it is fun! Try it with 200-300 cases. NOW you can get a chance to test a bit for accuracy! You get to shoot a few groups to compare...OR...you get to find out what your "meat chopper" will really do! Have fun, Gene
 
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