30-06 LC-44 Small primer?

On another forum a gent asked the following question about a piece of brass he found.

Any help?

Never heard of a 30-06 with the headstamp LC-44 (ie: with a dash in the headstamp) and never heard of one with a small primer on an LC 44 case.
Photo - Pleeeaaasssse

Chris P.

Guy isn’t a collector, so the dash may simply represent a space.

I’ll see if I can get him to post up a photo.


Because of the primer crimp, many novices (as compared to us exspurts) will mistake a large primer for a small one.

But I’m hoping it IS a small one. It would be something for us to talk about. ;) ;)

And the dash would be a bonus.


Possible that he has a .30 carbine case, not .30-06- both are for .30 caliber “rifles”… Hope you can get photos just to keep Chris P from going nuts thinking he missed something.

Too late!

I doubt it’s a carbine round, I’d trust the guy to know the difference. Ditto a crimped pocket vs a SR pocket

This is the guy I got both my 240 Womack Krag and 350 Womack Express cartridges from, his rifles and die sets were both made by Mr Womack for a mutual friend. He’s also done a couple 'cats of his own, so you could say he’s been around the block as far as reloading goes.

Here is the photo he posted, along with a “normal” LC case


I’d have to get that case into my grubby little hands to say for sure, but it looks like an over-aggressive crimp to me.

They do make tools for tightening up loose primer pockets (I have one) and it’s done with a swadge that you whack with a hammer. Too many whacks and you can’t seat a regular primer. Maybe that?

Or maybe somebody deliberately tried to change the case to a small primer by swadging? (Tried that too) Of course I’d then have to ask the question - why?


Except for his apolagy for including a “dash” in the HS, I’ve given you every thing he’s posted.
He’s a experanced reloader, and hasn’t mentioned trying to do anything “weird” to the case (and I’m the guy that experamented with using the SMAW principal with a -06 case as a kind of “forward ign system”).

I asked him if it was a “seperated primer” or a bushed pocket, and this is the response I got [quote]No, not that. It doesn’t look as much like it when actually looking at it. I was reaming the crimp on some military brass and of course was using a large reamer. I just picked up this case and attacked it with the reamer. I had made a couple of turns when I realized something wasn’t exactly right. That’s when I examined it more closely and the truth dawned on me. Notice how much wider the crimp is than on the LC case next to it.
That at least explains some of the “shiny marks” around the pocket.


Well it sounds like he’s got something special there. If he’s a shooter and a wildcatter I trust his opinions. NO ONE should ever doubt a wildcatter, especially. :)

I didn’t mean to imply the he did anything to the case. I was suggesting that maybe another experimenter had fiddled with the primer pocket. Somebody like you or me. I have a bucket full of brass under the workbench in my garage that contains some really weird looking cases. My own “Meketa Lab” rejects. I’ve often wondered what the eventual owner of that bucket will think, say 50 years from now, when he sees some of those cases.

A 30-06 SMAW? I’ll have to try that.


[quote]Tailgunner, read the thread over at the other forum. No, it is not an over aggressive crimp and it is not an attempt to tighten up an oversize pocket. Once the crimp was reamed out, it is a snug fit all the way to the bottom for a small primer.
It looks like I have discovered, and have in my possession, something that not even the experts are aware of. Hmmmmmmmm??

Hmmmmmmmm is an understatement!

Since he’s not a collector I assume he will just toss that case. :) Have him throw it my way. :) :)

I don’t mean to beat this horse to death - but how about a bushed primer pocket? That’s been done too and he’s probably seen some of them hisself.

Has it been fired?


Well, never say “never” and always avoid “always” !!!

Without getting my grubby little paws on it (after Ray)…

I have never heard of anything about Lake City experimenting with small primer on the 30-06 in 1944 or shortly thereafter and, like Ray, I remain a little suspicious. Not of the guy who posted it but of the whole idea that this is factory. I would look very closely for a primer bushing which are often hard to spot even for an expert like this guy who posted it.
Chris P.

That “small” primer pocket sure looks irregular compared to the normal pocket shown next to it - by irregular, I mean rough around the edges. I once saw a case where the bottom of the primer cup (the surfact struck by the firing pin) had blown out of the pocket along with the anvil, sheard off from the sides of the primer cup. This, in essence, created a bushed primer pocket and was rough looking like this. The circular primer crimp might be hiding evidence of the outher edge of a partial primer cup or other bushing.

In a strong enough press, fighting an exceptionally heavy primer crimp, it might even be possible to fracture a cup and take out the bottom of it along with the anvil, leaving the sides still retained by the crimp, during the decapping process. Of course, that would probably bend the decaping rod and/or break the decapping pin as well.

I am not saying that’s what this is. The picture is too small to make any conclusions from it. I am simply recounting a phenoma I have seen that replicated the appearance of this round, right down to the flash hole being visible along with most of the bottom of the primer pocket itself.

That looks like a very heavy primer crimp and nothing more. The size difference between a large and small primer is great enough that a large pocket reamer won’t even begin to touch the sides of a small pocket (I just tried it). It is possible that the base of the primer cup popped out, leaving the body in, and under the crimp, but I don’t think this is the case here. We need some better pictures and some measurements. I’ve had some .45 and .30-06 that had such heavy crimps that #1, the primers bulged out considerably during the decapping process before coming out and #2, the crimps were so heavy that the reamer almost would not go in the pocket.


John’s post brought back some old memories. I recall having that very thing happen to me many years ago. As a young man with a new family I could not afford regular loading tools and dies so I loaded with a Lee Loader. Those of you who have used a Lee will remember that it had a very strong, hardened, decapper punch and base that was used with a mallet. The punch was virtually unbreakable.

I remember punching out primers from surplus WWII '06 brass and having the punch go completely through the primer cup, pushing out the anvil and leaving the rest of the primer in place. Since there was no way to get the remaining wall of the primer out, the case was simply tossed.

Could be.



Your friend said he removed the crimp. Have him measure the inside of the pocket. If it measures more than .174" - maybe as much as .180" - then that’s what he has.

Unless he actually reamed out the entire pocket, in which case it should measure .174".


I’d previously asked ham about it being a “busted” primer, and others have suggested the same thing. He didn’t measure it, but did say that once the crimp was removed it was a snug fit for a small primer “all the way to the bottom”.
A little more on his experance level (he has a link to this thread BTW), and a answer to JM’s question [quote]Gunner, just a thought relating to a post on the other forum. I have been reloading for 48 years, use one of the strongest presses (RCBS A-2) ever made, and have NEVER torn the complete bottom out of a primer so that you couldn’t tell what had happened. I have broken plenty of pins, punctured many, many primers but never torn the bottom completely off of one.
He’s not the type to jump to conculsions, as in his “trade” that would be a little hard on his “customers” (he’s a vetrnarian)

Tailgunner - your friends loading experience mirrors mine, except that I am not a Veternarian, but rather worked in the firearms trade for 36 years. I started loading at age 22, and am 69 now, so he has one year up on me in loading. Among other tools, I, too, use an RCBS A-2 press that I bought almost as soon as I started reloading, and it is still going strong. In 47 years, I have broken exactly one decap pin on that tool (and one on my Star loader). Many of my die sets are as old as the tool, and still in semi-active use.

I have never broken out the bottom of a cup either, but at least one of my customers did, as I recall from decapping old military brass - I mean old - that had mercuric primers. I don’t recall the resolution. I turned his whole inquiry over to someone else. I never used such a case; in fact, I shun cases that have ever had a corrosive primer in them (if I know that they have) and for the last 35 years of my loading, I haven’t used any military brass at all. No need to, since uncrimped primer pocket commercial brass is has been available in most calibers I would ever shoot for years now, and frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to take the crimp out of the cases. I did that for a couple of years when I was competition shooting with a Springfield turned into a match rifle (couldn’t afford a Model 70 Target), but never was happy with the accuracy I was getting. I was using surplus .30-06 match bullets also, but G.I. They were, at that time, a pretty poor excuse for a “Match” bullet. I still have some of them, perhaps a couple of hundred, that i never shot up because once I started loading good ammunition, it wasn’t worth the bother.

I have also seen at least one case picked up off the ground that already had the bottom of the cup missing. I don’t know exactly what causes it - I am not terribly scientifically minded, and frankly, if it doesn’t happen to one of my loads, I am not terribly inquisitive. Any such questions I had when working in the industry I simply asked people more inclined towards that kind of information than I, and considerably more expert than I.

I was simply bringing up possibilities, since any experiment with a different primer size in military .30-06 during WWII (1944) is unknown, and in my opinion, highly unlikely.