Is cleaning primer pocket really needed?

Rhed

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I don’t even know how to clean primer pockets. But I do deprime before going into the wet tumbler with stainless media.
 

Snuby642

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    Poor guys.
    Like I never raised my family, worked overtime and 7 days months on end to feed my family.

    At least you have that priority strait, wish more did.

    I can't afford to buy top shelf equipment so I throw time and effort at what I can controll.

    It's all I have a lot of.
    I can't afford to leave single stone unturned.

    I didn't make the checklist of brass prep, my mentors on the hide did.
    The steps combined have produced better ammo.

    They must own stock in small tool companies.
     

    Zatoichi66

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    I remember watching a video many years ago from a benchrest shooter who tested clean vs untouched primer pockets. The results if I remember correctly were exactly the same.

    I clean mine because it takes about 2 seconds per case. Just knock the big powder debris out
    In my cleaning process, i use walnut to clean gross dirt, spray with lube, resize/decap, then wash in a wet tumbler with stainless pins & Frankfort brass cleaner, which make the flash holes clean. For “blasting ammo” like 9mm & other straight wall cases, i don’t bother cleaning pockets. With 5.56 i skip the wet tumble but clean the pockets with an RCBS small primer pocket brush while trimming.

    hope this helps
     

    RickyK

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    Maybe , need to get a 1k yard shoot with the non primer pocket cleaners & non flash hole deburrers against the primer pocket cleaners & flash hole deburrers . Who you gonna take ?
     

    MarshallDodge

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    Maybe , need to get a 1k yard shoot with the non primer pocket cleaners & non flash hole deburrers against the primer pocket cleaners & flash hole deburrers . Who you gonna take ?
    I take that shot all the time with dirty primer pockets. The wind causes me way more problems than a little carbon.
     

    MarshallDodge

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    Im just an innocent bystander still learning , post you best 1k group .
    A 3-shot group before a cease fire was called.
    20190914_155753.jpg


    The wind was definitely in my favor that day and the pic was taken to show a friend how well the load I put together was shooting. 6X47L, neck turned and annealed Lapua brass that I think had 13 firings at that time, 115 RDF, RL16, CCI450


    Your turn :)
     
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    Zatoichi66

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    The way I view this topic is to remove as many variables as possible—maybe that helps?
     
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    Bulletsmith

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    Don’t think it really matters much. Even the flash hole maybe questionable, I shot my 308 PALMA rifle at a reduced target at 300yds. While using a magnetospeed and after a 20 rd string I found 6-7 pieces of stainless steel pins stuck to the magnetospeed. They had to have been stuck in the flash hole. Didn’t see any issues with accuracy.
     
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    Snuby642

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    Maybe , need to get a 1k yard shoot with the non primer pocket cleaners & non flash hole deburrers against the primer pocket cleaners & flash hole deburrers . Who you gonna take ?
    I'll take team clean for the win.
     

    billt

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    I don’t even know how to clean primer pockets. But I do deprime before going into the wet tumbler with stainless media.

    If you're wet tumbling with Stainless Steel Media AFTER depriming, your primer pockets will be clean. The wet tumble / Stainless Media does an excellent job in cleaning those. You won't however, have the deburring that takes place when you use the tool, which removes the burrs inside the flash hole. That is a one time process for the life of the case.
     

    Snuby642

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    I am jealous of the cleanliness on the wet / steel media results for the pockets.

    Processed pockets may be a better term for my work flow.

    I do a lot of reclaimed 223 range brass and then load it on the dillon. I headstamp sort deprimed and tumbled brass. It gets checked with a pocket gauge.

    Other than swage process, the rest is done in front of the idiot box using hand held strait cordless screwdriver and the cutting tools.

    A small patch of carbon that was left by the uniformer in a low spot is not cause for rework since next tumble will get most of it.

    Reamed / swaged and uniformed the dillon won't hang up a primer.
    That infuriates me in the middle of a batch. Un crimped bolt gun loads normally just get hit with the uniformer to take out the carbon quickly.
    20210704_194307.jpg
     
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    phlegethon

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    Cleaning the pockets is much less important than deburring the flash holes. Will gain you at least 2 FPS SD alone.
    LOL. Do you have any idea of how many rounds you’d have to shoot to know if there were a difference that small?
     
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    bluejay75

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    LOL. Do you have any idea of how many rounds you’d have to shoot to know if there were a difference that small?

    That is pretty funny! Was speaking more to adding that step plus others like a good sizing die, cleaning the necks with a stiff bristled or bronze brush, mandrel to the necks etc. I went from teens to 0-2 SDs total on some of my loads.

    And what makes this funnier is that I dont think Im a good enough shot to tell the difference between a 10 SD and a 2 SD load.

    All of these loads are absolute hammers!
     

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    LR1845

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    That is pretty funny! Was speaking more to adding that step plus others like a good sizing die, cleaning the necks with a stiff bristled or bronze brush, mandrel to the necks etc. I went from teens to 0-2 SDs total on some of my loads.

    And what makes this funnier is that I dont think Im a good enough shot to tell the difference between a 10 SD and a 2 SD load.

    All of these loads are absolute hammers!

    i shot 3 6.5x47 barrels that produced several 10 shot groups with 1-2fps ESs and I don’t remember how many 5-6 shot groups with 0 ESs…1 10 shot group that I really remember was 1 thru 9 at 2750 and number 10 2751.

    that said no matter what I do when I take a large sample it ALWAYS ends up in the 20fps to 30fps range…I’d like to see you take a 30-40 shot sample and see where your numbers end up.

    This is a 63 shot sample with fully prepped brass and a 5 shot group at 850yds from that 63 shot sample.
     

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    bluejay75

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    @LR1845 I’m a hunter first and foremost. Yes I owe it to the game to know what my loads are doing but I’m not sure why I would need to shoot 50 rounds to test consistency. How much difference did you see from the 10 shot to the 67 shot numbers?

    I shoot longer strings with ball powder that were thrown charges to see if a high or low throw would pull one out of the group. I had a few rounds hang loading on the bottom edge of the charge range.
     

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    LR1845

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    @LR1845 I’m a hunter first and foremost. Yes I owe it to the game to know what my loads are doing but I’m not sure why I would need to shoot 50 rounds to test consistency. How much difference did you see from the 10 shot to the 67 shot numbers?

    I shoot longer strings with ball powder that were thrown charges to see if a high or low throw would pull one out of the group. I had a few rounds hang loading on the bottom edge of the charge range.
    As a hunter I guess a few shots over the chrony tell you what you need to know as your not shooting longer stings as a lot of guys here do…the point of my post was that these low ESs and SDs do not hold up as you shoot more rounds over the chrony.

    my typical practice is 30-60 rounds and matches I shoot are from 50-90 rounds so I like to know how my loads preform over a larger sample.

    as far as what I see from 10 to 30-40-60 round samples is 10 rounds normally produce low numbers and as the round count increases so do the numbers.

    if my numbers are 30ish FPS or under I don’t worry about it if much over 30 I start looking but like I said i always end up between 20 and 30fps.
     
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    texastonk

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    I load for friends and family and have for years. Most won’t spend on higher quality components but they want better than the cheapest ammo off the shelf.

    I debur the flash hole uniform the primer pocket and make sure the pockets are clean to help aid in primer seating.
    Doing this absolutely helps the accuracy and consistency of the ammo when using
    Cheaper components.
    Some types of shooting it don’t matter others it does. Using all top end components with top end guns it matters less depending on what your looking for.
     

    BullGear

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    For the record, I never cleaned the primer pocket other than through normal cleaning. I've always seen the process of decapping to clean the hole and tumbling to clear the crud.

    I'm not a 1 hole kinda shooter, never have been. I have found my method to be enough for me. For all those Dead Eye Dans out there, have at it. There's not a right or wrong way of doing it. If you think it makes you shoot better, I applaud your efforts. However I have found that most guns shoot better than the person pulling the trigger. I personally would spend the time that you're cleaning primer pockets at the range and I bet that time will get you closer to a 1 hole shooter than any amount of cleaning primer pockets ever will.
     

    Jackomason

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    Being willing to cut out un needed practices and be OK with it is really commendable. When you're new to loading its so easy to think you need to do everything.

    Recognizing the value of your time and the importance of the ammo you are producing is a great asset. With that said, there isn't any caliber I intentionally clean primer pockets on. Take that time to run an expander mandrel or if you've got something good going already just hang out with the family.
     
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    Snuby642

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    First fired 308 nearly ready to load.
    Cleaned, sized mandrell ran, pockets pristeen, trimmed to + / - 0.001

    Remove excuses.
     
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    308sako

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    Back in the 1960's I read an article by the Army Marksmanship unit in one of the gun rags of the time. There most important point they made was to clean the primer pockets to allow for proper feel when seating the next primer... I have been faithful to that concept ever since.

    Yes your mileage may vary, but lazy is second place...
     
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    Snuby642

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    Looks good. Do you sort your brass by weight as well?
    I should start sorting for the 308 since we have several hundred cases of first fired fc and also cbc
    Which has crimped pockets .

    I think the rest of my process is set well and should be able to see a result from sorting now, besides it's a free improvement.

    Running out of varget and 8208 sucked bad. The cfe223 works but I can tell just not quite perfect.

    Re-doing seating depth test on the 168 smk at 0.003 increments since last time was at 0.005 and 3 thousands nt instead of 2 thousands with the mandrell.

    The mandrell is well worth the step.

    The ammo got better, then the shooting got better but now realize the extent of the barrels we have are nearly maxed out for performance expectations..

    It just never stops prying the wallet open. Lol
     

    bluejay75

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    I should start sorting for the 308 since we have several hundred cases of first fired fc and also cbc
    Which has crimped pockets .

    I think the rest of my process is set well and should be able to see a result from sorting now, besides it's a free improvement.

    Running out of varget and 8208 sucked bad. The cfe223 works but I can tell just not quite perfect.

    Re-doing seating depth test on the 168 smk at 0.003 increments since last time was at 0.005 and 3 thousands nt instead of 2 thousands with the mandrell.

    The mandrell is well worth the step.

    The ammo got better, then the shooting got better but now realize the extent of the barrels we have are nearly maxed out for performance expectations..

    It just never stops prying the wallet open. Lol

    Try having your rifle headspaced to minimum tolerances. This has gained precious accuracy in my factory guns. If your bolt jiggles after dry firing on a closed bolt...you most likely could benefit from a tighter headspace. Will make your brass last longer with less trimming as well.
     

    orkan

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    If your bolt jiggles after dry firing on a closed bolt...you most likely could benefit from a tighter headspace.
    I think I know what you're trying to say, but I'm not seeing the correlation here. Nearly all bolts jiggle on a dry fire, because there is nothing to go between the shoulder and the bolt face. The fitment of the bolt to the action (specifically the rear band) and the fitment of the cocking piece to bolt shroud and the cocking piece raceway in the action are some of the critical areas that would determine how much the bolt wiggled during dry fire.

    I'm certainly a fan of having proper headspace as you mention, however. :)
     
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    Snuby642

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    Call factory and ask for the custom shop to rework bolt.
    Sounds a little expensive.

    I'll have to settle for a 2 thousands shoulder bump for now.

    It would be nice to have all guns in one caliber having matching headspace / chambers.

    That's on my lotto winning - bucket list.
     

    jLorenzo

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    it takes a fraction of a second to clean them on my RCBS case prep center. I do it after champfer and deburing. That said I have just left them before and didn't notice any difference. I wouldnt want to load them a bunch of times without cleaning, seems like carbon could build up.
     
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