I found another one

A little over three years ago I reported that I found a Winchester primer without a anvil. I found another one today. The primer on the left is normal. The one on the right is missing the anvil:

IMG_9718Cropped

I searched through my log files for all the rounds I have reloaded with WSP (Winchester Small Pistol) primers. I have reloaded 62,719 of them and found two missing anvils. While rare it does seem like a more frequent event that I would have expected.

10 thoughts on “I found another one

  1. Though quite rare, the consequences of a known bad primer are sufficiently high that it seems prudent to include an inspection step in the reloading process. Which is pretty easy with a large (e.g., Dillon) primer flip tray.

    I wonder if Winchester makes their own primers or subcontracts the job to an outside vendor (a question that also applies to every source of primers).

  2. The question becomes, “How do they detect and eliminate such problems?”
    A quick google search isn’t very helpful.
    Two in 62k isn’t very many if you’re a normal hand loader doing a few hundred a month. But it isn’t very good by modern manufacturing standards.

  3. I’m impressed by the fact that it’s so rare. It isn’t terribly difficult to remove the anvil, therefore a primer that passes an inspection might still, theoretically, end up missing the anvil by the time it gets to your loading bench. I’ve seen whole primers floating loose inside a thousand count case, so it’s no stretch to imagine a loose anvil in there.

    The press I’m currently using allows you to glance down and see the primer right before it gets seated into the case, so you’re looking right at the anvil. Chances are that you’d catch it either in the flip process or in that pre-seating glance in the press.

    Of all the problems one can run into during the loading process, this one is pretty minor, though it may explain some of the commercial loads I’ve had fail to fire even when the primer was crushed hard by the firing pin.

    I did, after all these years, recently manage to end up assembling a 10mm cartridge with no powder in it. The pistol went “click” (not really just a click but a “thup!”) but there was smoke (that’s your other clue). Good thing I’m not highly trained– A “Tap-Rack-Bang” maneuver at that point would have blown up my pistol, ruining my day and possibly removing parts of my hands or embedding bits of steel in other body parts. The primer impulse had pushed the bullet far enough into the barrel that, yes, a fresh cartridge could have been chambered behind it. I checked.

    Yeah, so a cartridge with no powder in it can be very bad. As it was I only needed to stop shooting because I didn’t have a range rod and hammer with me to pound out the stuck bullet.

    I even weigh my finished cartridges. A double charge or a missing charge would show up easily, and still somehow I missed the lack of powder. Tends to give one pause. Obviously I was distracted by something.

    Problem is, when you’re distracted you’re less likely to recognize the fact that you’re distracted. Is it only when you’re un-distracted that you see you’re being distracted?

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