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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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Problem solved--Highscore helped me figure it out. He suggested trying the primer arm in my single-stage RCBS press with the normally-swaged primer pockets, and by damn, it worked! A dozen cases, swaged the normal way so they'd not catch on the swage rod, were primed with no problems.

The problem is, apparently, the RCBS hand primer I'm using--slightly out of alignment, though not enough to prevent priming non-military brass.






With newly-swaged brass (Federal Cartridge in this case), I've been having a bit of trouble getting the primer to seat in the primer pocket. It'll catch on something a bit before it seats.

I'm using CCI small rifle primers in .223 brass. Is that common when using swaged brass, or is there something I may not be doing that causes me not to have a nice smooth primer installation?
 

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What are you using to prep the primer pockets? Whatever method you use, you need a smooth transition from the lead in to the actual straight of the pocket. When I swage my .223 brass in my Dillon swager, sometimes there is a left over ring of brass at the bottom of the chamfer that does make seating difficult. I know that I need to pick them out before seating primers. My Dillon 550 isn't the best at lining up the primer cup and the case. I usually keep pressure on the shellplate with my finger whick helps a lot. Sometimes they do "crunch" in but unless they really get mangled, I just shoot them. They look like crap but shoot OK. The primers always slide in smoothly when using my RCBS hand prime tool, but I usually only use that for long range ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What are you using to prep the primer pockets? Whatever method you use, you need a smooth transition from the lead in to the actual straight of the pocket. When I swage my .223 brass in my Dillon swager, sometimes there is a left over ring of brass at the bottom of the chamfer that does make seating difficult. I know that I need to pick them out before seating primers. My Dillon 550 isn't the best at lining up the primer cup and the case. I usually keep pressure on the shellplate with my finger whick helps a lot. Sometimes they do "crunch" in but unless they really get mangled, I just shoot them. They look like crap but shoot OK. The primers always slide in smoothly when using my RCBS hand prime tool, but I usually only use that for long range ammo.
I'm using the Dillon Super Swage 600 (see other post about that). I'm using the RCBS hand prime tool as well.

I've had a number of cases where the primer was pretty mangled and schmooshed into the primer pocket--I just set those aside, not knowing whether it was a good idea to use them or not.

I'm having a bit of trouble getting the SS600 to give me a nice rounded edge on the primer pocket. I can't get the deep-enough impression without catching on the swage rod, which sticks out just enough from the back-up plate to do this.
 

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Just read your other post. Your swaging rod seems to hang out a bit more than mine from the plate but not that much. Are you trying to move too much of the primer pocket? You only need enough radius to allow the primer to start squarely into the pocket. I took my Dillon swager apart and there is no adjustment on the swage rod itself. Couldn't remember what it looked like as I only do .223 on it and have owned it for about 4 or 5 years. My normal process is to hit the pockets just hard enough to knock off the edge and put on a small radius. I then spin the case a bit and hit it again to make certain that the chamfer is even. Not sure the second swaging is needed but it works for me. One more thought, are you adjusting the unit so you are using the entire stroke of the arm? Post a pic of a couple of swaged cases if there is a possibility that the depth of swage could be the problem. Are the primers getting beat up while using the RCBS hand primer?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just read your other post. Your swaging rod seems to hang out a bit more than mine from the plate but not that much. Are you trying to move too much of the primer pocket? You only need enough radius to allow the primer to start squarely into the pocket. I took my Dillon swager apart and there is no adjustment on the swage rod itself. Couldn't remember what it looked like as I only do .223 on it and have owned it for about 4 or 5 years. My normal process is to hit the pockets just hard enough to knock off the edge and put on a small radius. I then spin the case a bit and hit it again to make certain that the chamfer is even. Not sure the second swaging is needed but it works for me. One more thought, are you adjusting the unit so you are using the entire stroke of the arm? Post a pic of a couple of swaged cases if there is a possibility that the depth of swage could be the problem. Are the primers getting beat up while using the RCBS hand primer?

Here are three cases; the right one is an FC case I swaged so that it would clear the swage rod; the middle one is also an FC case, but once I had the case in position to be swaged, I turned the locator rod to move the case closer to the swage rod (and after swaging, I couldn't remove it without backing out the locator rod).

The left one is an RP case that I'll have no trouble priming, sort of as a control to look at.

The case on the right I almost certainly can't prime without the primer hanging up. The middle case probably ok, but it's out of the question to have to lower the locator rod, crank it down, swage, crank it back, lift up the rod, every single time.

See anything that looks weird or different from yours? I'm using the entire stroke of the arm.

 

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yes, I use it and it's a mfnpia but it works and yes, I use a brass catcher!
if I'm going to all that trouble, by golly, I'm bringing home all my brass!
I'm an extreme kind of person so I usually get all my case prep done in a weekend, get blistered up, then start to load for range testing.
 

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The case on the right looks OK to me and the one in the middle looks like it is swaged too deep. The edge of the crimp needs to be wiped away, not crushed into a huge radius. PM sent!
 

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FC brass seams to give me a little bit more problems than LC brass, I can still get it set up to clear and give a nice swage on there for the primer to go in there, you dont need to get rid of the whole crimp ring just round it so the primer will slide in there nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The case on the right looks OK to me and the one in the middle looks like it is swaged too deep. The edge of the crimp needs to be wiped away, not crushed into a huge radius. PM sent!
Problem solved--Highscore helped me figure it out. He suggested trying the primer arm in my single-stage RCBS press with the normally-swaged primer pockets, and by damn, it worked! A dozen cases, swaged the normal way so they'd not catch on the swage rod, were primed with no problems.

The problem is, apparently, the RCBS hand primer I'm using--slightly out of alignment, though not enough to prevent priming non-military brass.

Thanks to all who took a shot at helping me solve this problem. What a great place this is!
 
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