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Back in the early 80s when I was preparing to get into reloading, I spent some time at the local gun shops talking to a lot of people about this new venture. I was interested to know what were the most important things to keep in mind, and hear about the experiences from people who had been doing this for a while so I could avoid making their earlier mistakes.

The one thing that impressed me was that nearly everyone agreed that the primer was the weakest link in the chain. It was the easiest to botch up and have fail, and the one part you needed to pay the most attention to if reliability was your goal. The general consensus was that cleaning out the primer pocker prior to reloading a new primer was critical in this regard.

Now I have cleaned out primer pockets for every round I have ever reloaded. Every one. And to date I have only had ONE round I reloaded fail. And we are talking about many thousands of rounds since the early 80s.

But the progressive loaders don't have any means to clean out the primer pockets, do they? So is this step really not all that important or is this just a tradeoff you need to make in order to get the high volume reloading that a progressive press allows?
 

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You can always take the decapped shell out and clean the primer pocket before bringing the ram down to prime the case. But that defeats the speed advantage of the progressive.

I just single-load right now.
 

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I'm not cleaning the primer pockets of my handgun practice ammo for the same reason.
Why bother, so far so good on no misfires or dud rounds.

On my JHP loads it's a different story.
 

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I've reloaded since 1987 and haven't cleaned a primer pocket since '87 and had no problems.
 

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i clean all my rifle primer pockets, that i load for, but never the .45/.357 handgun reloads!

go figure huh?




[ deleted ] thanks.
 

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I do a quick little scrape-out with a Lee primer pocket tool. It works well for a quick clean, not **** 'n' span by any means. Don't know if it does anything, but it makes me feel better :)

Of course if I loaded on a progressive I probably wouldn't.
 

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I load rifle ammo on the single stage RCBS press so I clean the pockets. Pistol ammo is pretty much loaded on the Dillon so that gets passed. Can't tell a difference cuz there are no misfires ... so far.

Malfunction clearing and handling jams technique is critical.

RIKA
 
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