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CSEMARTIN

Breech Face Erosion

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This is a Les Baer Premier II that was machined for a 45 firing pin several years ago because of erosion around the firing pin hole.  Now I am seeing more prominent erosion of the breech.

 

Should this be repaired? I e-mailed Brenda at Les Baer yesterday and haven't heard back.  Can it be welded up?  Ignore it and keep shooting?

 

I have sentimental attachment to this gun, and I want to make this problem go away.  The gun's name is Larry.  He is very special to me.  Please help!  Thank you.

erosion1.jpg

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That’s pretty bad. You need to use much softer primers OR the metal is bad in that slide. If factory ammo is doing that I’d expect LB to replace it

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That doesn't look like normal wear to me.  I would definitely check the slide hardness and most likely replace the slide. If you're intent on keeping it, you could TiG weld the breech face and remachine it.  Might be a bit of a challenge getting in there with a torch, but I'm sure it can be done.

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Looks like primers leaking . What do your fired cases look like. Clark does breech face repair.

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2 hours ago, Sarge said:

That’s pretty bad. You need to use much softer primers OR the metal is bad in that slide. If factory ammo is doing that I’d expect LB to replace it

 

The erosion started when I was using Federal primers.  I switched to Winchester and CCI and the problem has continued.  I have heard that the steel Les Baer uses is soft.

 

 

45 minutes ago, ltdmstr said:

That doesn't look like normal wear to me.  I would definitely check the slide hardness and most likely replace the slide. If you're intent on keeping it, you could TiG weld the breech face and remachine it.  Might be a bit of a challenge getting in there with a torch, but I'm sure it can be done.

 

I contacted an excellent welder I know, and he told me the same thing.  Might be hard to get in there to weld it up.

 

3 minutes ago, TONY BARONE said:

Looks like primers leaking . What do your fired cases look like. Clark does breech face repair.

 

The cases look like all the brass I've ever shot.  I'm not seeing anything out of the ordinary.  I've e-mailed Clark Custom and asked about having this repaired.

 

Thank you everyone.

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Some questions about your brass prep. Are you reaming the primer pockets before loading? Have you tried to narrow it down to one specific brass manufacturer?  

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1 hour ago, GrumpyOne said:

Some questions about your brass prep. Are you reaming the primer pockets before loading? Have you tried to narrow it down to one specific brass manufacturer?  

 

I'm not reaming the primer pockets.  I didn't realize pistol guys did this.  I thought this was a rifle thing.... Should I be doing this?

 

I've never reamed pistol primer pockets, and I've never had these issues before.  I'm perplexed.  I haven't tried to narrow it down to one specific brand.

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I have an Infinity slide and it has a breach face insert. I’m not sure if that is unique to their slides or if this was done by someone else since I acquired this pistol used?

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You should find what is causing the problem before you repair the slide. In my case it was a bad batch of Winchester small rifle primers. I had erosion around the firing pin hole. Clark saved my open gun slide.

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I spoke to the guys at Clark Custom.  They are unable to repair this slide.  It's interesting that you mentioned the problem with the Winchester primers because that is what I have been using.  This erosion happened fast.  I'm going to switch to something else for now.

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Thanks Jim.  I'll give him a call.

 

I'm also going to file a complaint with Winchester.  The erosion that I am seeing happened so quickly it makes me really wonder if I got a bad batch of primers now that Tony mentioned it.  I had some mild pitting\erosion in a couple of spots before the match this past weekend.  What you are seeing in the photo above literally happened after one day of shooting...maybe 200 rounds.  I am also seeing a couple of spots on the breech face on a gun that I built.  That gun has barely been shot.  It's practically brand new.  I test fired the gun a few months ago and it sat in my safe. I shot three stages at the match and put it away after it malfunctioned on me.  I had a failure to feed so I got my backup gun out of the trunk of my car.  I got that pistol out last night and noticed a couple of areas of pitting on the breech that aren't right. I've compared it to another gun I built at the same time.  The erosion I'm seeing is from the match.  It's really pissing me off.  The first stage was six rounds,  the second was 18 rounds and the third stage was 18 rounds(I fired 19 rounds and got a procedural because it was a limited stage)  I shot the same ammo in both guns.  43 rounds (plus test firing) on a brand new Nighthawk slide shouldn't cause any problems!

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, CSEMARTIN said:

I'm also going to file a complaint with Winchester.  The erosion that I am seeing happened so quickly it makes me really wonder if I got a bad batch of primers now that Tony mentioned it.  

 

I'm surprised you haven't heard of this issue with Winchester large rifle and pistol primers that's been going on for the last 10+ years. It's a really common occurrence with some batches of Winchester primers, with information about it all over the web. Winchester keeps claiming they've fixed it, but the issue keeps cropping up again.

 

The primer cups are too hard/brittle and are prone to cracking, often resulting in gas cutting of the breech/bolt face. You'll see a little ring of soot around the primer on fired cases that did this; carefully punch out some of those primers and examine them, you'll find a vertical crack running from the mouth of the cup into the exposed rounded corner that sits against the breech face.

 

Winchester will at least replace your current primers, and might replace the slide but be prepared to spend some time on the phone with them. I had 3 different bolts and one slide pitted from these primers (like you said, it happens very fast), but opted not to have them replaced because it was more hassle than it was worth. IMO the damage on yours is probably not enough to impact function, but it's your decision whether to push Winchester about it. 

Edited by Yondering

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Winchester was very good about me returning 19,000 primers and they provided return shipping and reimbursed me the cost of the primers. I would not trust using Winchester again as open gun slides are very expensive. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Yondering said:

 

I'm surprised you haven't heard of this issue with Winchester large rifle and pistol primers that's been going on for the last 10+ years. It's a really common occurrence with some batches of Winchester primers, with information about it all over the web.

 

 

I've been out of shooting for almost ten years.  My last match was in 2010. 

Edited by CSEMARTIN
Clarification: My last major match was this past weekend. The one before that was in 2010.

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This just makes me sick to my stomach.  This is a gun I spent 16 days building with Bob Marvel over a course of five months.  Look what 43 rounds did to the breech face.

Nighthawk2.jpg

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Not saying there is not a problem with Winchester primers, but I have been using Winchester small rifle primers for 6 or 7 years and have 

not seen any problems in 2 different guns. What kind of load are you running with these primers?

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I have been using the same .45 load since 2004.  I've also used many Winchester primers in the past without any problems.  This was a new batch/lot number of primers.

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3 hours ago, sauza45 said:

Not saying there is not a problem with Winchester primers, but I have been using Winchester small rifle primers for 6 or 7 years and have 

not seen any problems in 2 different guns. What kind of load are you running with these primers?

 

I've never had a problem with the small rifle or pistol primers either, or heard of one. It has always been the large primers with the problem, usually the large rifle primers but I've experienced the problem with large pistol primers myself.

 

CSEMARTIN, honestly, you got off really easy on that slide. That damage is just cosmetic, most of the damage I've seen is far worse with only 2 or 3 leaking primers. 

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Whats going to be the problem if erosion goes unchecked? My 2 2011 open have those erosions for years that I cant remember how and when it started. And both still shoot great w/ moderate usage of 500-600 rounds a week of .38s major ammo. 

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I think that is a reasonable question to ask BoyGlock.  Here is my reasoning for wanting this fixed:

1)I don't like it. 

2)I don't want to wait for a problem to develop months or years from now and then try to get Winchester to cover the repairs.

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On 7/26/2019 at 8:55 AM, CSEMARTIN said:

I have been using the same .45 load since 2004.  I've also used many Winchester primers in the past without any problems.  This was a new batch/lot number of primers.

Do you mind posting the lot number (want to check my stock.

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