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Thread: Soft primer strike problem is rearing its head

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    Soft primer strike problem is rearing its head


    During the first and second firings of my Savage Axis HB in .223, I had probably a total of 7 soft primer hits.

    I read the thread on soft primer strikes and their treatment, but can't really recall what was done - IIRC some of the respondents said that they took the bolt apart and reseated the springs and modified some washers, is that correct?

    I'd rather not send the rifle to Savage for repair - it's a colossal PITA to do this. What did you do to fix yours?

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    Doing some research made me recall what rounds were failing... I am sure they were my handloads, with CCI primers. These handloads were made with Lee Full-Length Sizing Dies. I wonder if the full-length resizing I did set the shoulders back a little too far and I have a slightly more generous headspace in my chamber in the Savage? Could be the round is "scooting ahead" in the chamber under the impact of the firing pin.

    I will also measure my firing pin protrusion and report that back here. I am using a Lyman Case Length Gauge to evaluate the re-sizing of my rounds.

    Keep in mind I reload those for the ARs, never having intended on using them in the bolt gun... I have 60 shells once-fired in the Axis... I will neck size these and shoot them to see if they all fire with the CCI primers. If so, I may have my answer.

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    Which CCI primers? My Axis will also have light strikes if I shoot 5.56 rounds that have hard primers, but I never have issues with factory .223 rounds....or my handloads with CCI 400's in them. And are your primers seated fully into the brass? And before anyone says anything my Axis has a Wylde chambered barrel so I can safely load both...

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    I have never had a light primer strike before. I shoot nothing but my own reloads. With the current panic buying I bought 1000 CCI primers and today I had 3 misfires with what looked like light strikes. I do know that CCI primers are harder and may be designed for AR 15 with its floting fireing pin. Some of the Federal #6 primers will cause Slam Fires in the AR.

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    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    You have two paths. Pic one and follow it.
    Measure your shoulder length and confirm it is correct. Dry fire with primed brass to test.
    Rebuild your bolt to look for issues. Dry fire with primed brass to test.
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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    After around 200 hand loads thru my 243 Axis I started experiencing light primer strikes. I tried polishing the FP and the inside of the bolt w/o it doing any good. I had my LGS order new springs from Savage and the problem went away.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Don't blame it on the firing pin spring till you can prove it!!
    Still got some of those FTF rounds??
    Increase the OAL by pulling the bullets out to a "jam into the lands". Chamber them, pull the trigger and see if they will BANG.
    First thing I look for in RELOADS is if the shoulder got pushed back too far. If so, the case gets pushed forward in the chamber by the firing pin and you end up with a FTF. Looks like a soft strike.
    Long OAL keeps the case head against the bolt head so the primer will go off.
    And I'll add, I shoot nothing but CCI BR and Mil Spec primers. Only primers that EVER FTF were in cases that had the shoulder pushed back too far. Had one round that got wet from laying out overnight, it just went fizzled.
    Been there, done that. We learn as we go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor Cal Mikie View Post
    Don't blame it on the firing pin spring till you can prove it!!
    Still got some of those FTF rounds??
    Increase the OAL by pulling the bullets out to a "jam into the lands". Chamber them and see if they will BANG.
    First thing I look for in RELOADS is if the shoulder got pushed back too far. If so, the case gets pushed forward in the chamber by the firing pin and you end up with a FTF. Looks like a soft strike.
    Long OAL keeps the case head against the bolt head so the primer will go off.
    Been there, done that. We learn as we go.
    I was routinely neck sizing for my Axis 243 and still experienced the light primer strike that's why I finally ordered the springs. Changed the springs, continued to neck size and had no further light primer strikes. When the new springs arrived I compared them to the old ones and the new were overall longer. Jamming bullets in my case wouldn't have mattered. For someone else, it just may do the trick.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    GaCop Same here. Thanks!

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    Curious if either of you actually tried increasing the round OAL to see if that cured the problem or just popped for a new spring?
    I don't shoot an Axis so maybe there's a difference between the 10,110,12,112 etc. or the Axis?
    And thinking back, the few FTF that I experienced happened on my XP 100 converted rifle in .221 Fireball. Case OAL cured that issue and it has never happened again.
    Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have.

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    Yep. Finally ran out of options except another spring.

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    If you used 41 cci primers then that is your problem. Not only are they thicker the anvil is spaced out farther to prevent slam fires. Regular 450 mag cci primers are the same thing as 41 but the anvil is in the standard location as the 400 primers. 400 primers are not meant to be loaded in 223 or 556 ammo as it is thinner and was designed for 22 hornet class of cartridges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    If you used 41 cci primers then that is your problem. Not only are they thicker the anvil is spaced out farther to prevent slam fires. Regular 450 mag cci primers are the same thing as 41 but the anvil is in the standard location as the 400 primers. 400 primers are not meant to be loaded in 223 or 556 ammo as it is thinner and was designed for 22 hornet class of cartridges.
    What your saying is very true for Small Rifle Primers but in FOGeologists' case and mine with our 243s, LRPs were involved.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    LR military primers are made the same way the sr 41 primers are. The anvil is spaced out farther to prevent slam fires. Another way to overcome this is run a firing pin protrusion out farther.

    More than likely the head space was on the long side. After having the new springs in your bolt now I can guarantee the spring is a lot shorter now than when you put it in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    LR military primers are made the same way the sr 41 primers are. The anvil is spaced out farther to prevent slam fires. Another way to overcome this is run a firing pin protrusion out farther.
    Not sure I understand this


    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    More than likely the head space was on the long side. After having the new springs in your bolt now I can guarantee the spring is a lot shorter now than when you put it in.
    Guarantee? Im not sure I agree with this unless we heat them up enough to anneal them or the material and the heat treat process were flawed.
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    LR military primers are made the same way the sr 41 primers are. The anvil is spaced out farther to prevent slam fires. Another way to overcome this is run a firing pin protrusion out farther.

    More than likely the head space was on the long side. After having the new springs in your bolt now I can guarantee the spring is a lot shorter now than when you put it in.

    That whole statement is wrong.....
    "As long as there's lead in the air....there's still hope.."

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    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpshooter View Post
    That whole statement is wrong.....
    Well I wanted to give him a chance to clarify it before I went that far. I digress, yours may have been the right approach.
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpshooter View Post
    That whole statement is wrong.....
    How so???

    The anvil is spaced out a little farther, have a harder to ignite compound and the cup is harder on the #34 LR military primers. If the firing pin is not sticking out far enough as in on the low side of protrusion. Then with a chamber that is on the high side of the HS. And brass that is sized back too far then you a high tolerance stacking problem. Adjusting the protrusion to the high side could help with the tolerance stacking.

    As to the spring being shorter they do lose compression over time. So yes the firing pine spring will probably be shorter.

    Oh and by the way, I am still waiting on your response from a rifle you built that the bedding was cracked and the barrel was not free floated like I paid you to do. Only been about 8 years or more. Still waiting on a response. Or a refund.

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    The anvil is not spaced out farther, it's shorter. I has to be because the cup is thicker. All primers have the same tolerance in height. CCI uses the same compound in the 450's as they do in the 41's. The firing pin will not penetrate any primer more than .025", no matter what the cup thickness, anvil height or spring pressure. In my studies of ignition, the penetration of firing pin dent averaged .021" over 18 different primers, using stock springs.
    In an ideal situation where there is no headspace, setting the protrusion to .025" would be sufficient, however when you figure in some shoulder set back of .002", it might be wiser to increase the protrusion to a minimum of .030",which would give you more than enough reach for full detonation.This would be for precision handloaders who have control of what they load for their gun. For the average varmint hunter, .035" will cover the gammet. If it won't fire at that length, you don't have enough spring, or enough travel, or you have enough headspace it won't reach. For that matter, be glad it didn't go off. As far as the headspace being long from the factory...not bloody likely. They are checked several times by several different workers. It is far more likely that the shoulder of the case was set back too far.
    In this case of the Axis, the firing pin is one piece and cannot be adjusted like the standard 110 pin. The standard FP protrusion is .055", and the only way to "adjust" it is to shorten the tip. At .055" protrusion, the travel to the primer is reduced by the amount of difference it takes to get a .025" penetration. In other words, you are losing about .030" in travel, which translates into lost momentum. That short amount doesn't sound like much, but it is equivalent to 7 in/oz in impact energy.
    Springs do NOT lose compression over time, they lose compression over cycles. High volume production compression springs as used for firing pins are made from "Rocket wire", not the common garden variety music wire used in common hardware applications. These types of springs are not suitable for repeated rapid cycles, and will take a set and continue to lose compression.

    Because firing pin springs are made in high volume, they are not "conditioned". To properly condition a compression spring, it is first stretched 1% per coil over it's free length, them compressed to solid height. The result makes it slightly shorter, relieves some stress and puts it into it's compression range....kinda like stretching a ballon before you blow it up.

    That last line....I have no knowledge of, nor do I know who I'm dealing with.
    "As long as there's lead in the air....there's still hope.."

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    Well said Fred!!
    Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have.

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    Your wrong FRED. CCI states the anvil is spaced farther away on the 41 primers.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    Your wrong FRED. CCI states the anvil is spaced farther away on the 41 primers.

    Tomme, I am interested in this. I went to CCI's site but the only thing I could find was that they are built to Military spec's. Can you provide a link. Thanks


    I did Find this in a technical article however;
    CCI/Speer Technical Services says: "The CCI 400 primer does have a thinner cup bottom than CCI 450, #41 or BR4 primers... [with] the CCI #41 primer... there is more 'distance' between the tip of the anvil and the bottom of the cup."

    Credit to John Barsness "A primer on Primers"
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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    You know what?? It is no longer on their site. It used to be. And it gave the difference of the depths as well.

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    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    I found the mil spec references but I never could find the drawing. I had never seen the reference to the #41 with regards to the spacing between the cup and anvil until I uncovered the article I mentioned above.
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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