Excessive Headspace

Q. Are “extruded” primers a sign of excess pressure? I’ve been told that if you notice primers backed out of the flash hole on your fired cases that the cause was excessive headspace in your rifle’s chamber. I had the rifle’s headspace checked and it was well within tolerance. Where else could the problem lie?

A. You are correct that excessive headspace is one of the possible factors which could cause primers to “back out” of the flash hole after firing.

  • Other causes could be hot loads which are pushing the envelope on pressures which should be approached with a particular rifle, bullet, case and powder. Carefully check your loading data to be certain that you are in a safe range.
  • Another thing to check is whether the press fit of the bullet in the case neck is excessive. If your case necks have thickened from forward brass flow, you may need to check neck wall thickness and outside neck turn as necessary. Please proceed with caution. Safety at any cost is worthwhile.

Posted in: Headspace Gages FAQs