Odd .357 MAG Event

While reloading today, I ran across a few range pickup .357 cases with HS HRTRS 357 MAG. I assume these are Herter’s from Cabela’s. The odd thing is that the primer pockets are too small in diameter to allow seating of small pistol primers. I crushed every primer I tried to seat, and in checking the pocket diameter with a set of number drills, I conclude that they are about 0.002" - 0.003" undersized. There seems to be no primer pocket crimp. To me, that indicates they are purposely designed to discourage or prevent reloading. Who makes the Herter’s cases? Probably not Prvi, as the primer pockets in their .357 cases are OK.

I believe S&B is the mfg of the new HRTRS stamped ammo.

S&B .357 Mag is the brand currently being sold in the NRA shop at Bisley and I have picked up quite a few. I’ve noticed nothing unusual about the primer pockets. Interestingly I have just noticed that the last lot I picked up have silver primers but the box of S&B primers I have on my shelf are gold coloured, maybe a bit more investigation is required.

My S&B .357 cases have a very noticably flat base, no rounding off at the edge or the primer pocket. Is that similar?

There was no rounding of the primer pocket mouth. I even chamfered the pocket mouth with a slightly larger drill bit to see if that would help allow primer seating, but it did not, they still crushed. I do not know if the original HRTRS fired primers were brass or nickeled, as the cases were resized and de-primed before I noticed the problem. I have never had any previous difficulty in priming fired S&B .357 or .38 Special cases, but the primers do seem to go in with a little more resistance than with US-made cases. If one has ever tried to prime WWII EC/ECS .45 ACP steel cases, it’s same situation as HRTRS .357. Primers won’t go into the pocket. The HRTRS .357 cases are now in the recycle bin, but I had only 5 or so of them, so no big loss. I won’t pick up any more.