Primer pocket cleaning is not necessary or even helpful for pistol ammunition.
If you insist, you can decap the brass before it goes in the case cleaner. This will lodge cleaning media in the primer pocket flash hole, but the decapping stage in the progressive machine will clean it out.
When trying to wring out the best accuracy from a rifle load, I clean primer pockets each loading with an RCBS primer pocket cleaning hand tool, but it is probably a waste of time.
Okay, I admit it. I clean the primer pockets on every reload. This is undoubtedly because I have a single stage press, so the brass is back in its tray after resizing and popping out the old primers anyway. With a progressive press, cleaning the pockets would throw off the whole process, so obviously you wouldn't want to do it. If I had a progressive, I bet I wouldn't do it either!
Having recognized that, there is a lot of crud that ends up in my lap when I clean them, so I think it probably does help with the consistent seating of the new primer. I shoot bullseye, so every bit of consistency is important to me.
I reload for three reasons. One, it saves me some money. Two, it gives me the opportunity to work up loads that are more specialized or more accurate than factory ammo. And three, I just like guns and shooting and hunting and the smell of Hoppe's and the shiny new cartridges that I make myself. I use a single-stage press, an elderly, Gibralter-solid Rockchucker. I just enjoy being involved in the creation of ammo, so I've never even seriously lusted after a progressive press. So - and here is the shameful admission - I sometimes clean primer pockets. Not always, and not all of them. But sometimes, I just see a really dirty one and I clean it. And since I have the tool in my hand, and I'm in no hurry to end the reloading session, I clean another. And another ...
Is there any help for me?
If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
[This message has been edited by jpwright (edited 10-30-2001).]
Back before I had a life, I decided to chronograph round loaded with and without cleaning the primer pockets. I did 20 round strings, both because I thought that would give me a more meaningful average, and because that the number of spaces I printed on my chrono record sheets. There was absolutely NO difference between them. I was really glad to see that, cause I've never cleaned a primer pocket since I started loading on my Dillons, and didn't intend to start!
I do clean the pockets on rifle brass, since I load all that on a Rockchucker. I also weigh brass, trim, ream the case neck, and uniform primer pockets, but then I don't shoot or load a lot of that, either.
Yup.....Have to agree with the consensus...I never clean primer pockets, and shoot fairly consistently. I figure that if there is something stuck in the pocket, the decapping die will pop it out.
Now, rifle would be a different story, but the good old .45 just seems to work no matter what.
Well I stand corrected on the Rain-X. I guess I'm the only one that did that.
It may have been a Ball yesterday, it might be a Ball tomorrow, it might even be a Ball later on tonight, but right now I say it's a Strike and YER OUT! - Unknown offical officiating a popular game.