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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I purchased a new Marlin XS7 chambered in 7mm-08 for a wildcat project. Sent the rifle off to the smith that does the wildcat, .358 Hoosier based off the .358 Winchester, to have the new barrel installed. During load development last summer, I had two rounds that would not fire. The primers were dented and I tried them at least twice as I recall with no success. I chalked it up to bad primers and moved on. Primers in all circumstances are CCI standard large rifle primers. I was having no luck with the barrel and the gunsmith who originally installed the barrel decided that we had a bad barrel and replaced it for me. This weekend I got back out to the range for load development with the new barrel and again I had one round that would not go bang after two attempts.

Not really sure how i should proceed now but I have got to do something as I will be really upset with myself if this happens when I am drawn down on a Game animal.

Should I be checking the primer seating depth?

I am mechanically inclined just not a smith, should I try disassembling the bolt to clean and lube?

Could the firing pin be too short? Is there a published length?

I have heard that some primers are harderv than others. What brands seem to be of a softer metal?

I have read some posts where the bolt assembly wasn't screwed all the way together and therefore not striking properly. I'm inclined to think this could be the case and that in combination with a primer seated too deeply is causing the pin not to strike properly.

I did do a search but it seems it has been quite awhile since anyone has posted about this issue so I wanted to see if any fresh info is out there about this. All help MUCH appreciated!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just checked the seating depth of the primer in the round that did not fire, 0.008". Wonder if this is the issue or part of it. I am now going to try and disassemble the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that was easy. I was able to get another complete revolution out of the bolt assembly counterclockwise. Wonder if this will help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I sure hope you are right 308x7!! I have had more than enough challenges building this wildcat to last a lifetime. I was thinking last night that I could measure pin protrusion at the 2 different settings as well. Think I will pull the bullet and powder from the round that would not fire and see if it will go this time around with the new setting on the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I pulled the bullet and dumped the powder on the round that failed to fire, stuck the empty case in the rifle (with the adjusted bolt) and no bang after 2 tries. Now I am really scratching my head. I have always heard that CCI primers are harder than most others so I wonder if I should get some Winchester or Federals to use in this rifle?
 

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You might want to check the headspace. The cartridge case may be too deep into the chamber,and the firing pin can't reach the primer for proper ignition.

Rob
 

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I had 2 misfires with winchester primers lately but never with cci200,250 or fed match.

What surprises me is how many of you guys use this platform to build other custom rifles on. It realy doesnt look like the best action and the floating bolt head is not the exact same as a savage. My guns boltface dont even align square with the chamber and I had headpsace issues. Gunsmith had to srew in the barrel some more to sort the headspace, still this doesnt fix the boltface not squaring out. Id rather get a solid Rem700 action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did notice that the dent in the primer was more pronounced after two more tries. Makes me wonder if the primer is junk?
Wonder if I can safely test this primer to see if it will ignite? Thoughts on how to do this??
 

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You could put the case/primer in a shell holder, put the shell holder in a vice and hit the primer w/ a punch. Even though it is just a primer - you will need ear protection (& eye protection)!!
CCI's are the hardest primer maybe try Rem or Fed. Your bolt/firing pin spring could be weak. This happens if it was left cocked for a long period of time.
+1 on what Rob said - it might be the headspace just a tad too long for that case. Do your fired cases have a ring at the base??
I have only had 2 bad primers in my life (almost 30 yrs reloading), one of them was early in my reloading carreer and I might have gotten oil on it, so I discount that one. However in this day and age of importing everything from China, maybe some of the chemicals that make up the priming mixture are coming from Asia and the quality isn't there. Then again in this day and age of hiring illegal aliens to do work "that Americans won't", maybe the QC at the American plant has slipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
cowboybart,
First off, let me say I am not a seasoned reloader, only been doing standard cartridges for maybe 5-6 years and this is my first stab at a wildcat. I do notice a ring of sorts just above the rim of my sized cases. I have my sizing die set 1/8 to 1/4 turn deeper into the press after the shell holder made contact with the die and the handle of the press is camming noticeably. I am using the same shell holder every time and I have a Hornady locking ring in place on the die so my sizing procedures should be consistent every time.
Definitely think I will try to find some softer primers to try with this rifle. Since I have had zero issues with these primers out of this brick in multiple other rifles I just have to believe it is this rifle and not the primers.
 

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If you have a noticeable ring it is not a die issue or your technique. You have just a tad too long headspace. This will shorten your brass life and on a case with the shoulder set back a bit will cause the round to move forward under a firing pin strike. The energy that usually dents and detonates the primer is now being used to push your round forward and only giving a smaller dent.

Set your barrel back about an 1/8 of a turn, maybe even a 1/16th of a turn.
 

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Once your brass has been fired in your gun - even w/long headspace, you can adjust your die up to barely touch the shellholder. This will help lengthen case life. However, if you have several that still will not fire the barrel should be set back.
 
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