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Old 01-11-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Primer pocket dimensions

I've searched high and low for standardized primer pocket dimensions (diameter and depth) for all four common types - large and small pistol, large and small rifle, but have been unsuccessful. Can anyone help? I check my pocket diameters with gauge pins, and for small rifle, .173" gives a nice snug press fit. Is there any trustworthy dimensional data with tolerances out there? When I uniform the depths I shoot for .130" +.000 -.005", which sets my primers below flush.

Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

Nominal diameters are 0.175 and 0.210. small primers are the same for both rifle and pistol, but large rifle primers are deeper and will not work in a large pistol pocket.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:30 AM   #3
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

I dug out the SAAMI book and the cartridge drawings show nothing about primer pockets. That is left to the maker.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

Thanks for the reply Charlie. I should have clarified the depth I stated is for small rifle. I want to make some go-no go gauges, both for diameter and depth, and so far have had to use my own findings as a guide.

Ken
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

Gage pins are an excellent idea but may not tell you what you really want to know. As a rule of thumb they should fit in snug, if you find them getting easier to seat the you are developing a problem. If they get too loose you will get gas leakage round the edge and cut your bolt face.

I generally go on feel and the ones that seat S O F T are set aside and shot separately and discarded. The choice of brass has alot to do with how soon the pockets get bigger as some brass has soft heads. Generally your military brass has hard heads and will take reloading more times.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
Gage pins are an excellent idea but may not tell you what you really want to know. As a rule of thumb they should fit in snug, if you find them getting easier to seat the you are developing a problem. If they get too loose you will get gas leakage round the edge and cut your bolt face.

I generally go on feel and the ones that seat S O F T are set aside and shot separately and discarded. The choice of brass has alot to do with how soon the pockets get bigger as some brass has soft heads. Generally your military brass has hard heads and will take reloading more times.
I agree with using "feel", but what I am doing with the gauge pins is weeding out the already loose ones. Once a primer is seated in an enlarged pocket, one either takes the chance of shooting the load or decapping it (always makes me nervous). So if a .172 dia. gauge pin falls in the pocket for example, the cartridge is discarded. Respectfully, I don't understand why this procedure wouldn't tell me what I need to know.

Thanks for the reply.

Ken
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:00 AM   #7
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

I see your point and doesn't hurt a thing to do them that way.

I assume you wear safety glasses while loading.

Insofar as EASING PRIMERS OUT, I am not aware of anyone that has had a problem.

Primers need to be hit hard and fast to ignition or heated to around 400F. When I have a run of cases and get loose primers I have put them back in and ease the case up into die till the pin just touches and VERY GENTLY apply force and it will come right out. Especially if it is loose they will sometimes drop free when you just touch the primer.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

Yep, safety glasses are always used, and when decapping live primers I throw on the earmuffs as well. I'm embarrassed to point out a mistake in my previous post - a .172 pin would mean the pocket is really snug - I'm using a .175 as my high limit. So my go / no-go will be .173 on one end and .175 on the other. Late night postings.....

Ken
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: Primer pocket dimensions

sounds like you are good to go.
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