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Shooting @ range today, 44 Mag Vaquero, 100 rounds, about 20 had light primer strikes, all but 8 fired after several attempts. These were WIN large pistol primers, have used them B4 & no problem, seating depth seemed ok on all rounds, have Wolff spring in the gun for lighter trigger pull, why would some fire with normal strike yet 20% showed lighter detent from primer strike? Are Winchester primers "harder"? If so what is a good choice of "softer" primer? This really has me puzzeled, thoughts please.
 

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Did you change the hammer spring? If so change back to original and see if the problem gos away.
The primers should not be that different in hardness so I would think changes made to the pistol.
 

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You need to find a primer that will fire 100% with factory springs installed .
When seating primers make sure they are seated all the way into the primer pocket untill the bottom out...if not you might get a misfire and it gets blamed on a "light strike".

After putting back the factory springs , properly seating primers and finding a brand of primers with 100% ignition...now you are ready to start swapping springs ...one at a time , start with the factory spring and try the next lightest ....when you start getting misfires ... go back to the heavier spring .

You don't like the spring weigh the primer requires ... pick another primer and start over with testing ... every gun is a law unto itself and all the variables require testing from scratch....no easy way out .

It's a matter of trial and error but it's the best way to do it ...and don't forget to seat the primers all the way into the bottom of the pocket... this is a secrete most aren't aware of , trust me on this !
Gary
 

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Federal primers are about the softest primers you can use. If you have any or can get some to try that would probably solve the light strike problem if you are trying to run the gun with a light trigger pull weight. Plus what Gary said make sure all primers are seated to the bottom of the primer pocket.
 

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I find my Blackhawks are fine with factory springs. I never experienced a misfire with my reloads. I only use Winchester primers now, as for a while they were all I could find.

If you changed the hammer spring, swap it back.

CCI primers were the only ones that caused the problem in a DA gun, and it needed a new firing-pin spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you change the hammer spring? If so change back to original and see if the problem gos away.
The primers should not be that different in hardness so I would think changes made to the pistol.
I find my Blackhawks are fine with factory springs. I never experienced a misfire with my reloads. I only use Winchester primers now, as for a while they were all I could find.

If you changed the hammer spring, swap it back.

CCI primers were the only ones that caused the problem in a DA gun, and it needed a new firing-pin spring.
I think I will put the original hammer spring back in & try that, I'm quite sure primer seating depth is not the problem, thanks guys!
 

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I've got three Vaquero's plus two more single action Ruger's I shoot regularly. The first place I would look is how the primers are seated. I have used both Winchester and CCI primers. I helps to start simple and work up to the most complicated causes. On a single action gun the place to start is with how primers are seated. A high primer will give you what appears to be a light strikes. Been there done that.
 

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I used an RCBS hand priming tool for a long time, and a couple years ago I started having trouble with them rubbing the face of the recoil shield (plate) in my Taurus Titanium Tracker .41 mag., making the cylinder hard to turn. I discovered wear in the tool, enough that primers weren’t seating all the way, and I went back to seating primers with the ram on my press. Never had any misfires, but that’s just another thing to think about. And yes, the primer pockets were cleaned each reloading.
 

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High Primers and other crazy making stuff with handguns: I am having to look to the same problem on a Dillon 550 I recently got. It's crazy making since the gun will go off but not all the time. It does look like light strikes on the misfires. I put in a couple of spring kits in Ruger single actions. I never had any problems with those kits. However, if that's when the problem started that's the next place to look. An old reloading trick was to rub one's thumb across the cartridge heads. If you can feel the primer it's not seated. It already been suggested to put the old spring back in. You could check everything fast that way.
 

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Yep, good idea to put the original hammer spring back in (or a stiffer spring). I've had to do that on several of mine that were 'modified' for easier cocking. I was seeing same problem you were seeing.
 

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I think I will put the original hammer spring back in & try that, I'm quite sure primer seating depth is not the problem, thanks guys!
I have heard that line before ... but you would be a wise reloader to check and make sure the primers are bottomed out ...seating depth be hanged .
Gary
 

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Don't waste time changing hammer springs, it's the Winchester primers. I had the same problem last spring, couldn't figure it out. Finally I changed to Federal primers and no more problems.
Winchester has let some LP primers get out that are overly hard.

I've also got some misfires with Winchester 124 grain NATO 9mm ammo, but I attribute that to the spec for military ammo to have harder primers.
 

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Also. the Winchester primers are for both standard and magnum loads. Says so on the box. Never a problem in the Ruger center fire handguns. Two of these gun have Wolf spring kits.
 

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Yeah, I shot tens of thousands of Winchester primers too over the last 30 years. Never had a problem with 99.9% of them, but lately they seem to let some hard ones slip in. No company puts out perfect primers (or anything else) 100% of the time.
 

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I'm skeptical not having heard anything about this outside this thread. I will share that my primers are not the most current product.
 

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I know, I know, one thing at a time, but it’s probably a combination of the lighter spring and harder primers., which is why you aren’t hearing much about it anywhere but here. The primers are probably on the harder side of spec, which causes no problems for the vast majority of reloaders out there. So, you swap Winchester primers for a different lot that is more typical of their hardness or to a stock hammer spring, all would be good. It’s just that you fell into an unlucky combo.

May I ask, have you had issues with these problems in other calibers?


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Until somebody comes up with a smoking gun that hard primer stuff it is an urban legend. What OP described is a classic sign of high primers. Otherwise it would be problem related to a aftermarket main spring. The suggestion was to install his stock spring. What's wrong with that? I had a modified revolver sent back to the custom shop because it was to fire only Federal primers. I had not seen any Federal primers lately. I insist on having my handguns shoot any standard cartridge that I may encounter. This maybe will maybe wont on the gun going off does not get it...ever. I currently use Winchester primers in my Ruger's, 1911, Glock G20,. G21 and a Model 29 Smith. No problems with any of these guns. Give one solid reason what OP should not put stock mainspring back in his gun.
 

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Primers. Feds softest, then WP, then CCI. When my action job(s) came back, I usually had some misfires due to light primer strikes on my CCI primers. The gunsmith used a different brand for his testing (don't recall what it was). Action may have been like butter ... but if it won't reliably light the primer of my choice... Problem... So he gave me a set of lengths to try which I did. Heavier hammer spring (more loops) solved the problem in all cases. Some went all the way be to using the stock hammer spring.

FWIW, I hand prime all of my cases, so I 'feel' it seat and then a little more to force the anvil down on the primer mixture. I can count on one hand the number of 'bad' primers over the years, and I've shot (what I think) a lot of lead down range.
 

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I never liked hand priming tools. I Now use an RCBS Ram primer and it seats them perfectly. How is the OP priming the cases? Still, I would bet on the aftermarket springs.
 
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