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Discussion Starter #1
With all the discussion on who makes the best brass, full size or neck size, and so forth...no one talks about an important variable...flash hole uniformity. At the factory..flash holes are "punched" through. Depending on the age of the punch, etc, they are not all uniform. With fast burn flake powders it has been found that it is not that important. However, with Ball, it's another game. The ideal is 0.0810" on any large primer, rifle or pistol. Buy two drills...#46 @ 0.0810" and a #44 @ 0.0860" Check all flash holes with these two...If the flash hole will not take the #46 @ 0.0810", drill it out with it, by hand. If it takes the #44 @ 0.086".....mash & discard. Anything 0.086" or larger allows too much Ball to sift into the primer area or if smaller , not hotter enough for uniform burn. Factory specs are 0.0780" to 0.0820". Absolute Max. is #45 @ 0.0820"!!! Then take a sharp larger drill and go into the inside of the case and deburr the flash hole, by hand. Something to think about! Best Regards, James
 

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Great point... all too true!   Thanks for the great tip too,  I like simple solutions.... you are a treasure of these!

Many thanks to you and God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I take no credit..I was fortunate to have some great and practical teachers, who are now testing lightning bolts for the "All-Father".....Best Regards to All, James
 

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I guess that I'm the exception. I check all my primer pockets after the first firing and uniform them from the inside, that opens the hole and tapers it Then use that little gadget for uniforming the pocket itself.
Since I mostly shoot cast slugs I'm not using top pressure loads, so my cases last forever.
Some of my 375 Whelen cases are some where near their 20th loading. Some of my older 45-70 cases may have come from the Little Bighorn.
Jim
 

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Mr. Gates makes a very good point, one that is often overlooked. In a recent lot of .303 British, I found in 200 cases one that had an obviously undersized flash hole. It would be readily apparent to even a novice handloader. I wonder what the results would have been if I had used that case.

Regardless of cartridge or its manufacturer, it is wise to thoroughly inspect new brass before a single primer is seated or propellant added.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For what it's worth...I think todays flash holes are too big. The specs are a carryover from the flake and tubular powder days when weaker primers were the norm. Back in the late 60's WW developed serious primer problems with their unsealed shotgun primers with ball powder. The powder was sifting down into the promer bodies and blowing them, even when pressures were in spec. I think the same thing happens today when the flash hole is up around max. I see no reason the 0.0780" (the min) would not work best with modern powders. They know this also, but back off due to all the brass out there that might get mixed up. Lake City did make a run of .308 Match brass with primer pockets for the small primer (sound familiar?) with min flash holes...It was some of the best ammo I ever fired in the M14. They collected ALL the fired brass and I could not lay my hands on any through the "sources"!
I have seen cases where the primer was well flatten in .44 Mag loads and I knew my pressures were right. These were loaded with the early 295 WW powder. Sometimes I think the variation shot to shot in pistols can be traced to the flash hole????????? And maybe ball getting down into the primer???? It might be an interesting experiment to have a layer of fine tissue over the flash hole under the powder and run them across the clock????
 

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James, I remember the old WW shotgun primer problem. You are making sense with your primer hole size observations. Most muzzleloaders don't have flash holes the size of the boxer primed cases. Look at the ignition requirements of the lowly #11 cap in this instance. I have noticed primer influence on load development for centerfire cases in the years I've been at it. Another thing I've noticed in the forums I visit are posts on the brass from the WW clean or clear shot loads. I'm thinking it is a lead free primered round for indoor ranges. The primer hole is bigger and some people are advocating tests on enlarging the primer hole size. I think ignorance is NOT bliss in this case. I love the internet, but some of the info spread as gospel is going to get some people hurt. This may be an impersonal place with little human contact, but it only takes a few read posts to know where the knowledgable people are coming from to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
RugerNo3...You are correct, they are going the wrong way! As with ML flash holes, the smaller the opening the hotter the flame! Also less back pressure back into the hole as the powder lights off. All this reminds my of something that happened in the early 60's. I had dropped by the A.W.Peterson Gun Shop to "see what the lizard had on the rail"? Leighton Baker, the owner, was sittig at his deak looking at SA Colt with a 7 1/2" barrel. He says to me, "Have you ever seen a full-automatic Colt single action?". I thought he's been smelling too much powder smoke, or something! I picked the Colt and gave it the once over. It was an original frame and grip straps, but had a new Christy barrel and cylinder, chambered for .22 Hornet. Overall a new gun, if you lean that way. The owner brings it in and says each time he pulls the trigger, it dumps all 5 rounds!! Oh Well.......I had to see this! I went in to the shop and picked up a handfull of Hornets. I loaded 5 rounds and stepped to the door and lined up on the dirt bank and let fly. Bang,bang,bang,bang,bang...so fast that it was more like a roar, Sure enough, it had dumped all five. Now that might be just the thing for an evening outing at a Turpentine camp juke joint, but it sure didn't rate for what it was designed for! Kicking out the hulls, you could see what happened! All the primers were blown out...I mean out, like gone! That big firing pin hole in the frame. Now talk about fanning a six gun! The boys installed a smaller pin in the hammer and bushed the hole in the frame.....Shot like a drean then! So...people don't realize how much pressure they are dealing with and they are stupid to "open" up the flash hole, unless you are shooting wax bullets. Oh well....Time to feed the buldogs!
My Best Regards To All, James
 

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Hi, Mr. Gates:
  I'll bet your full-auto SA Colt story raises a few eyebrows! I first heard about that one from Dave Tomlinson (Past President of the National Firearms Association of Canada). The gunsmithing technique was a bit different, but the effect was the same. Dave has more full-auto conversion techniques on his list, including one that's simple, quick and instantly reversable without a trace. No, I'm not going to post them, and neither would Dave. He was trying to convince the Feds that their definition of "easily converted to full auto" left something to be desired.

  I use a Lyman flashhole reamer. It deburrs and reams in one operation. I don't try to put a big taper on the flashhole, I just clean them up. Should I taper them more? I'll have to get a #44 drill the next time I'm in the big city.

  I picked up a Whitetail Primer Pocket Uniformer at a gunshow years ago. It wasn't a hard decision, since I had a new batch of .222 brass that I couldn't seat primers deep enough in. Paid for it's self the first time I used it! Later I bought the Large Rifle and Large Pistol Uniformers directly from Mr. Wright. I heard he's retired and sold the design to one of the big boys. They're carbide, so they don't wear out, and they're not adjustable, so you can't cut too deep. They're also the best primer pocket cleaner made. Using them is a bit of work, but I'll never be stuck with a high primer again.

Bye
Jack  
 

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Discussion Starter #10
you know Jack..the thing that has always bothered me about progressive loaders are those dirty primer pockets and primer depth. I supose it doesn't matter since lot of people use them. The reamer you speak of is a great tool justs as long as you remove only the punch burr. For military crimped in primers,,we used to use our Case pocket knife. Now I've got "up town" and use a RCBS primer pocket swage. It comes with large and small primer swage and works in the Rockchucker. With that leverage you can iron out the crimp and make those pockets uniform. Speaking of the of open primers and ball powder....I was down in Albany, Georgia on the zone skeet shoot one time and one of the shooters that used my "AA's" came to me with the darnest problem. He was shooting a 12 ga 101 Skeet and handed me two fired case. The entire base of the case looked like a bowl sunk in. The primer was intact, but had a tiny hole at the firing pin indentation. I asked was he shooting reloads and the answer was no. I took the gun down to the practice field and fired a couple of rounds with me factory loads...perfect bases. I checked the lot number out of my book and they were some of the old open primer loads. He had almost a case left, so I replaced them out of my car trunk. You would never think that pressure through that tiny hole would cave in that solid head case, but it did! WW also had a another problem ball.....smoky cases. The cup on the bottom of the AA wad was not long (deep) enough to seal. They made the cup's skirt longer and no more smoky cases. Did they ever publish the causes...Oh Yeah! Their idea was that people forget a problem, if they don't read about it. Remember..."Quality is as the customer perceives!!" With that I will go feed the bulldogs!
Best Regards, James
 

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Hi, Mr. Gates:
  A friend has a 101, and they must have gas check firing pins, or the gas would have got back into the action. Not so good in a boxlock!

  The Whitetail tool isn't too good for cutting out military crimps. I have a Lyman primer pocket reamer for that. It was my first reloading accessory, after the basics, back when milsurp .303 was $2.00 for a box of 48.

  The boys over at Precision Shooting Magazine did a flash hole size test. To sum up, they went from .061 to .081 in 5 steps. Pressure went up 4%, velocity went up 1/2%, but velocity standard deviation went from 5 to 23. Check it out at:
<a href="http://www.precisionshooting.com/mar01.html

Bye" target="_blank">http://www.precisionshooting.com/mar01.html

Bye</a>
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jim...That's a very interesting article and runs to what we feel on primer flash holes. I think it would be very important for the makers of the Super-Mag revolvers of today. Thank You for sending me over there!
Best Regards, James
 
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