Primer pockets; to clean or not to clean!

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by celsee, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. celsee

    celsee Guest

    Okay, I am reloading lots of 9mm now, the wife bought a kahr k9 and has gone wild! I find some people swear you do not need to clean the primer pockets, others wouldn't load a round w/o a nice clean pocket.

    I need your opinions, please!!!! :roll:
  2. luvmy40

    luvmy40 Member

    Be aware that I am in no way an expert at reloading or in ballistics.
    When I started reloading I cleaned the primer pocket of every case. Now I check the first few cases for major crud, if they are ok I start loading, taking a good look at a random case every now and again. if I start to see any major debris, I start cleaning each pocket.
    I keep pretty good track of how many reloads have been done on each batch of cases. there doesn't seem to be any kind of set pattern to which cases need the pockets cleaned. I haven't had any primers fail to seat properly because of debris.
    While I always keep a watch for damaged cases,I have been getting 4 or 5 reloads from the .40 cases before I start to see signs of dammage around the case mouth. Starting on the 4th go-round I inspect every case very closely for any damage instead of my typical cursory examination as each round comes off the press. I haven't done enough 9mm to get a feel for it yet.

    Now I'm sure there will be some people who will tell you that every pocket should be cleaned, and that would certainly not hurt, but it seems to be a waste of time to me. Maybe if I were loading hot or tuning a rifle load... but not for my target loads.
    There are also people who will tell you that every powder charge should be weighed in and that you should never use a turret mounted powder charger. Once again nothing, wrong with that, but since my loads are well below max charge , I simple check the first few charges in every batch and then a few at random intervals to make sure that as the powder level drops in the magazine the charge doesn't lighten up too much.

    IMHO, if you are reloading target loads at lower charges, taking reasonable precautions in cleaning cases, weighing charges and examining cases is sufficient.
    If you decide to clean every pocket and weigh every charge it won't hurt anything and is a good habit to have. I'm just not that industrious.

  3. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

    Hiya celsee :)

    When I'm reloading for any cartridge, I inspect the brass once its outta the tumbler, gettin' rid of any and all the iffy stuff. If it doesn't pass inspection, there's no reason to go thru the additional case preppin' steps. <shrug> 9MM brass is really cheap and easy to come by so "iffy" becomes a nobrainer. <shrug> Same with 40 SW brass. 357 SIG brass takes a bit more scrutiny to determine if its really a toss it away kind o situation because of the cost per piece and its availablility. Fortunately, its becoming much more affordable. :) I tumble my brass then deprime and resize it because its easier on my dies. Then, before ya prime it, I use a primer pocket brush ta give the primer pocket a quick little cleanup. Also, make sure that the flash hole is unobstructed and uniformly round. If somethin' is obstructin' it, I use a dull little drill bit to push thru and allow for a clean and consistant primer ignition. The drill bit should be small enuf in diameter to fit through the flash hole without actually recutting it. I forget the exact size. <shrug> Also, when you're primin' ur brass, if the primer goes in too easily, I toss it noting that I just wasted a primer. :( But, there's no reason whatsoever to keep a reloaded round when there's the slightest chance of the primer fallin the fuck outta the primer pocket. :shock: I use a Lee Hand Primer because its sensitive enuf for me to "feel" for my primer/primer pocket install. Sometimes, it may be the primer that is a bit off, but mostly the primer pocket is shot-out. <g> Either way, consider it "trash". <shrug> Hope this helps. Be safe and have fun. Also, if ya run across a favorite load recipe, post it, Dude. It could include all the magic #'s needed to make for the ever sought after, "perfect load" for someone's 9MM firearm. Take 'er easy, Dude. :)


    Wulf <-- thinkin' "fuckin' lawyers"
  4. celsee

    celsee Guest

    Luv, Wolf, thanks for the replies! You both make a lot of sense, guess I will try a few without cleaning and see what happens compared to all the ones I have always cleaned. I do check them for debris and find my cci primers don't normally leave lots.

    I'll let you know what I find!