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I got some once-fired .303 shells from a guy and every one had a primer(boxer) that had just slightly backed out. Just enough s

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  • I got some once-fired .303 shells from a guy and every one had a primer(boxer) that had just slightly backed out. Just enough s

    I got some once-fired .303 shells from a guy and every one had a primer(boxer) that had just slightly backed out. Just enough so they would not slide in a shell holder. I measured by the base and there were no signs of pressure. Any idea what causes that? I am not sure what Enfield model he shot them in. The brass is PPU ammo company.

  • #2
    Several possibilities, with some being more likely than others

    1. Reloaded brass, with the shoulder set back too far. You would think that these would fire form and set the primer back into the pocket, but I've done it myself in an 06 and they looked just as you describe.

    2. Factory load (or reload, I suppose) was significantly underpowered and didn't reseat the primer when fired. I have some PPU in 8mm Mauser that I would consider mouse-fart in strength. Btw, PPU is Prvi Partizan, from Serbia and is pretty good brass. Most full-length cartridges extrude the primer when fired, it's just that the case lets go of the chamber at some point and moves back a tiny bit, reseating the primer. Neck-sized cases cut this way down, obviously. This can also flatten the primer quite a bit, making it look like you have a high pressure situation. Reading primers can be tricky.

    3. Excessive headspace in your friends rifle.

    I'm betting that the rounds are once fired, and loaded lightly at the factory to CYA. Try a case in your rifle. If it fits with minimal force, size carefully, making sure not to set back the shoulder. If you can't close the bolt, set your sizing die carefully until you can. ,


    • #3
      Amflyer brings up excellent points.
      I deprime many of my cases with a decapping punch, then clean the primer pockets. I'm well aware one pass through the FL die and the decapping pin will knock out the old primer, but I prefer to do it in a separate operation before resizing.
      I hope your .303 British provides you with many more years of service.


      • #4
        Personal "reloader quirk"?
        Yeah! I got some of those too! LOL!
        Everything I would suggest has already been mentioned.




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