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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the range day from hell today. I took three pistols, two of my favorite carry guns and a .22 target pistol. First up was my .40S&W BHP MkIII. It was the only one to work flawlessly, as usual. No story there, I put 50 rounds through it and then went to my next carry gun, a SA EMP4 in .40 S&W. First magazine was okay. Then second magazine, I had a failure to eject. Drop the magazine, and pull the slide to clear it. The case was stuck to the firing pin, where the pin had pierced the primer. Got the case out, inspected the primer hole for debris (didn't see any), reinserted the magazine to continue. rest of the magazine was fine. I was doing speed drills, starting with the pistol holstered in C1; draw, flipping the safety off as I came up horizontal, on target, 3 rounds; safety on and holster. repeat twice more to empty magazine (9 rounds).

Second magazine, I had two stovepipes. Drop the magazine to clear, and when I picked up the cases, I noticed the primer strikes were very light. Had another instance of a pierced primer, and a few more light strikes, and I finally called it quits after the 3rd magazine. Then I decided to try some different ammo. Everything I was shooting were my own reloads. The first batch used Winchester small pistol primers. I had another box which I had used CCI primers, so I shot a magazine of them, with no issues.

Below are a selection of cases that I shot. You can't tell from the lighting, but the top five are CCI, with a nickel finish, all the rest are WSP. Note the center group (WSP have mostly normal strike marks, but start getting lighter. The bottom group is the most extreme, with a pierced primer, and one where there is no dimple at all, just a sort of "splash" mark, but the cartridge fired. These aren't sequential, I had to chase the brass around to find these after the malfunctions. Note the brass is assorted headstamps, and the primers are all properly seated.

When I got home, I field stripped the EMP, and removed the firing pin and extractor to clean them and see if there was anything interfering with the firing pin. Nothing I could find, other than some old residue, which wiped clean with a Q-tip. The firing pin looked completely normal at the tip, I examined it with a 10X loupe and there were no burrs and the tip was symmetrically rounded, and the pin was not bent. As best I could see, the firing pin hole in the breech face was in good shape; this pistol only has a few hundred rounds through it, and only about 75 are mine, the rest is from the previous owner, who took good care of it and the other gun I got from him, they were spotless, and have no evidence of maltreatment.

What could cause both pierced primers and light strikes, to the point of not even dimpling the primer, although the cartridge fired? Could this be a bad lot of primers? The previous outing with this pistol went perfectly, with about 50 rounds fired.
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I won't even go into what I had to deal with the .22 target pistol. Just being a temperamental M41.
 

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First thing I would check for is whether or not your firing pin is the correct diameter for the hole in the slide. I suspect it might be too thin. The second thing I would check is the strength of your firing pin spring. It might need replaced.
 

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Replace the spring and give it a run. I had the same problem with one of my pistols some time ago and fixed it with a simple spring replacement. Not saying that will fix it for you but it did for me. I had a lot of rounds through my gun though before I experienced the problem you described.
 

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Does the gun malfunction when using factory ammo? Some key variables to think about are the firing pin itself, brand of primers, how hot you have loaded the rounds and which powder. The powder/load combination may be too fast. Pierced primers usually means overloaded cartridge or soft primers. Your comment about light strikes: all your photos show primer flow, which is going to change the appearance of each fired cartridge. Springfield uses titanium firing pins, which in my opinion contribute to erratic primer strikes. The reason is because titanium metal itself is "sticky" (stiction) compared with steel. When subjected to the heat of a pierced primer, the tip of the f.p. can distort and fail to retract. The reduced diameter of the pin also has the same effect. Primer flow can also point to a sloppy fit of the f.p. in the breech. I would send your photo to Springfield along with your reloading data: powder type, load, primer brand and a photo of the breech face. I think they have some tweaking to do on this model, which has been discontinued.
-Sparks
 

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Good Morning Y'all,

I have a Springer EMP Compact 3" barrel, in 9 mm. My EMP had a low round count on it, when it started having issues with lite primer strikes (Winchester primers) on my reloads and factory ammo. Also the firing pin would strike the primers off center near the edge of the primer. I also had some ftf issues and a few stovepipes. I replaced all the springs at the recommended intervals.

Well I decided to call Springfield and explained the issues I was having. I sent the EMP back.
3 weeks later, I had my EMP back. Springfield replaced the slide with the new model, firing pin & spring, recoil spring, installed new rear sight (1 night sight tube fellow out), ramped & polished the barrel, replaced the extactor & ejecter, and test fired the EMP. Best part was it was all done under the warranty, no cost to me!!! Glad to see a company stand behind the warranty!!!

Now she runs like a raped ape!!! I've put about 500 rounds down the pipe now with no problems noted. I normally carry it with Speer 124 gr GDHP ammo or Federal HST ammo.
 

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I had the range day from hell today. I took three pistols, two of my favorite carry guns and a .22 target pistol. First up was my .40S&W BHP MkIII. It was the only one to work flawlessly, as usual. No story there, I put 50 rounds through it and then went to my next carry gun, a SA EMP4 in .40 S&W. First magazine was okay. Then second magazine, I had a failure to eject. Drop the magazine, and pull the slide to clear it. The case was stuck to the firing pin, where the pin had pierced the primer. Got the case out, inspected the primer hole for debris (didn't see any), reinserted the magazine to continue. rest of the magazine was fine. I was doing speed drills, starting with the pistol holstered in C1; draw, flipping the safety off as I came up horizontal, on target, 3 rounds; safety on and holster. repeat twice more to empty magazine (9 rounds).

Second magazine, I had two stovepipes. Drop the magazine to clear, and when I picked up the cases, I noticed the primer strikes were very light. Had another instance of a pierced primer, and a few more light strikes, and I finally called it quits after the 3rd magazine. Then I decided to try some different ammo. Everything I was shooting were my own reloads. The first batch used Winchester small pistol primers. I had another box which I had used CCI primers, so I shot a magazine of them, with no issues.

Below are a selection of cases that I shot. You can't tell from the lighting, but the top five are CCI, with a nickel finish, all the rest are WSP. Note the center group (WSP have mostly normal strike marks, but start getting lighter. The bottom group is the most extreme, with a pierced primer, and one where there is no dimple at all, just a sort of "splash" mark, but the cartridge fired. These aren't sequential, I had to chase the brass around to find these after the malfunctions. Note the brass is assorted headstamps, and the primers are all properly seated.

When I got home, I field stripped the EMP, and removed the firing pin and extractor to clean them and see if there was anything interfering with the firing pin. Nothing I could find, other than some old residue, which wiped clean with a Q-tip. The firing pin looked completely normal at the tip, I examined it with a 10X loupe and there were no burrs and the tip was symmetrically rounded, and the pin was not bent. As best I could see, the firing pin hole in the breech face was in good shape; this pistol only has a few hundred rounds through it, and only about 75 are mine, the rest is from the previous owner, who took good care of it and the other gun I got from him, they were spotless, and have no evidence of maltreatment.

What could cause both pierced primers and light strikes, to the point of not even dimpling the primer, although the cartridge fired? Could this be a bad lot of primers? The previous outing with this pistol went perfectly, with about 50 rounds fired. View attachment 638188

I won't even go into what I had to deal with the .22 target pistol. Just being a temperamental M41.
Those are showing extreme pressure, cratering, primer flow, and shear upon unlocking breech—-Stop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input. I shot the same loads in my .40 BHP without any issues, or similar appearance of the primers. Load data is as follows:
Assorted brass, PMC, Federal, Winchester, Remington, Speer
Winchester Small Pistol primer
Hornady 155 grain XTP
Longshot 9.4 grains
COL 1.125"

They are on the hot end of the chart, but Hornady's load data is well-known to be conservative, and I was 0.2 grains short of its max recommended load for that powder/bullet combo.

The ammo I shot without problems that had the CCI primers was slightly lower power, it used 9 grains of Longshot. The velocity difference listed is only 25 fps (1175 vs 1200fps). Hornady's test gun for these is a S&W 4006 with a 4" barrel, a very comparable gun to my Commander-size 1911 I was shooting.

I'll make up a batch of some lower powered stuff, keep it around 1100 fps and see how they do, before looking at the gun again as the problem. That the BHP ran these without any similar issues made me think it had to be the pistol, but we'll see.
 

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I would send your photo to Springfield along with your reloading data: powder type, load, primer brand and a photo of the breech face. I think they have some tweaking to do on this model, which has been discontinued.
I wouldn’t go all crazy about telling Springfield that you are running hot reloads through it. That’ll be their “out” since all of the owners manuals say NOT to run reloads. Based on the data, my guess is that you are way to hot in the first place. Load up some 8’s and re-inspect just for the heck of it. I bet that primer flow disappears. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm wondering if the Hornady data is wrong, maybe they misprinted something. This is my first outing with Longshot, and I stayed less than what the max load is for that bullet weight. Never had an issue with my other loads, and I never exceed the max recommended loads in the manual. I'm going to punch out the primer that had no dimple and examine it under a 10X loupe, and see if it is really a case of flowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wouldn’t go all crazy about telling Springfield that you are running hot reloads through it. That’ll be their “out” since all of the owners manuals say NOT to run reloads. Based on the data, my guess is that you are way to hot in the first place. Load up some 8’s and re-inspect just for the heck of it. I bet that primer flow disappears. 🙂
I sent a different SA pistol back a couple of months ago for FTF's and generally poor function. They never asked any questions, they just fixed it. Free. And I bought the gun used, and told them so.
 

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I'm wondering if the Hornady data is wrong, maybe they misprinted something. This is my first outing with Longshot, and I stayed less than what the max load is for that bullet weight. Never had an issue with my other loads, and I never exceed the max recommended loads in the manual. I'm going to punch out the primer that had no dimple and examine it under a 10X loupe, and see if it is really a case of flowing.
Even the manufacturers can make mistakes, both in published data, and production of components. There has been more ammunition recalls recently than I’ve seen in the last 40 years of reloading and shooting—it happens!
 

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I sent a different SA pistol back a couple of months ago for FTF's and generally poor function. They never asked any questions, they just fixed it. Free. And I bought the gun used, and told them so.
That’s fine, but did you tell them you were using jacked up reloads?? They don’t like that and it gives them an excuse since it’s in the operators manual.
 

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I'm wondering if the Hornady data is wrong, maybe they misprinted something. This is my first outing with Longshot, and I stayed less than what the max load is for that bullet weight. Never had an issue with my other loads, and I never exceed the max recommended loads in the manual. I'm going to punch out the primer that had no dimple and examine it under a 10X loupe, and see if it is really a case of flowing.
Hodgedon, the powder manufacturer, recommends 9.3 as the top charge, you are already over that. Hornady is very close to their recommended loads. You can’t just load “close” to max and assume you are within safe pressure limits. You have to start low and work up. You are dangerously high based on your flowing primers. Reduce your load by at least a full grain and test again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That’s fine, but did you tell them you were using jacked up reloads??.
If they don't ask, I'm not volunteering the info.

I don't know why I never considered what I was seeing as pressure signs; big miss on my part, and I've seen them and recognized them when working up rifle loads. I've only got about 20 more of those hot-loaded rounds, I'll pull them and see if I can salvage the primers, too.
 
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