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Thread: How to determine if you have correct striker energy to insure firing.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Cradle of the Confederacy
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    How to determine if you have correct striker energy to insure firing.

    The hardest primer to ignite in small arms is the Cal 50 BMG round and requires lots of striker energy.

    The second hardest primer to ignite in small arms is the small rifle primers loaded in MILSPEC ammo.

    The large rifle and standard small rifle are the mid range.

    Then comes the magnum pistol primers.

    Finally the small pistol primer is the easiest to ignite and have to be because the majority of handgun designs don't lend themselves to having heavy striker energy especially in revolvers.

    556MM primers were redesigned when the first M16s were going off when the bolt was released and the free floating strikers continued forward and impacted the primer.

    Thus several things were changed in the ammo and the weapon design.

    The first strikers on ARs had a big knob on the back where they have a small knob now. Obviously the weight of the striker was reduced significantly to lighten the impact on the primers. In the business such ignitions are known as TIC OFFs.

    Also to stop TIC OFFs the primers were redesigned to have heavier cups requiring more striker energy to set them off reliably.

    The M16 spec calls for a .022" indent on copper for reliable ignition. Coppers are very expensive and there may have been another way to measure it developed since I retired.

    Ruger/Remington at one time wanted .020" indent on rifles. Other vendors wanted only .016" indent which last I read is the SAAMI min recommendation now.

    You have to have a holder for each caliber you want to test.

    Above are the holders for 30.06, 7.62 and 5.56MM.

    Above is a copper inserted into a copper holder and once inserted the weapon is held muzzle down and trigger is pulled resulting in striker impact the copper.

    This is a bench inspection gage to determine how deep the indent is on copper pellet. Note gage in this photo is zeroed.

    After impacting the copper it is put back under the gage and the tip of the gage is inserted into indent. In this the indent is showing just shy of a .019" indent.

    To my knowledge coppers are only made by Winchester now and they are pricey. The holders are made by Pacific Tool and Gage and last ones I bought years ago were 155.00. I also have a holder that fits most of the magnum rifle calibers. I heard they were $1.00 each about ten years back and they are precision made.

    Note the indent on the copper has no relation to the indent you get on a fired case and deep indent on fired primers means only two things, the round went off and your striker is not broken.

    Now on some rifles with insufficient energy you will see evidence of reverse primer flow that tends to let the primer surface to push the striker back and follow it into the bolt face. To be sure the round will fire but if the flow is bad enough you will see a hole where your striker hit, looks like it was drilled. If this happens pull your bolt down as chances are very good the piece that broke off is now inside your bolt and it stops the striker from protruding correctly to insure ignition.

    CIP I bought a new Remington 7615 223 Police Patrol Rifle about 18 years back. It had a crooked bore and I could not sight it in at 100 yards and showed reverse primer flow. I sent it back to Remington who replaced barrel. Shot fine when it returned and still had reverse flow. I ordered new hammer spring from Wolfe, put it in and the reverse flow disappeared immediately.

    Bottom line you only want to reload 223/5.56 with MILSPEC Primers. Last I heard Remington BR has heavy cups, the Russian primers do and CCI has a primer with box marked milspec.
    Last edited by Humpy70; 01-30-20 at 05:57.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Feedback Score
    50 (100%)
    Impressive Hump.

    I always just slammed in a mag and slapped trigger at the range.
    If it went bang, bang, bang........... GTG.
    ( :
    A true "Gun Guy" (or gal) should have familiarity and a modicum of proficiency with most all firearms platforms, as well as the major Food Groups.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Feedback Score
    20 (100%)
    Awesome information as always sir!

    Have you ever measured a "tic" to see what is typical and what depth would one actually fire?

    IG told me to check headspace if the "tic" appeared to deep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Cradle of the Confederacy
    Feedback Score
    If memory serves me correctly the all no fire drop height on a primer from a ball weight dropped in a primer test fixture is .011" for large rifle primers and the all Fire Indent Range is .013 indent and these are arrived at with no external influence in how hard the fixture is impacted. That difference is less than the thickness of a sheet of notebook paper. Problems start when you wrap a striker in a spring and put it into a tube and the spring can rub on the striker.

    For instance if you have a 1903 or a pre 64 mod 70 Win (both are easy to disassemble) pull the spring down and look at inside of spring and I believe you will find flat spots on the spring that were worn down by the striker being fired and retracted wearing the spring.

    The easiest way to determine if you have spring wear is to remove the spring once or twice a year and measure the uncompressed length with calipers. As indicated I get Wolff Springs in a heavier than factory energy level.

    I have straightened out three rifles brought to me in the winter that worked fine after they were degreased.

    Now if you have the wrong lube inside the bolt body and it is cold stand by for news as the spring energy will be bled off.

    Remember primers have to be hit HARD and FAST to work correctly. Retard striker energy or velocity or a combo of both and you have problems.

    to give you a idea of how long a properly made spring can last I have a Swiss M1911 rifle that still gives .022" indent today ! ! ! ! I had a La Corona 98 Mauser that gave .024" indent and I think it had a 1951 date on it.


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