RCBS hand priming tool blew up in my hand


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JohnnyGrey
March 20, 2008, 11:55 PM
Yes, it was I that posted earlier about problems with this god forsaken thing and .223. I did as I was advised, and checked the plastic parts for mold flash, there was none, but the parts didn't seem to line up perfectly, they seemed slightly convex. I went to my local gun store and bought a flash hole uniformer thinking it would make the brass easier to prime. It worked partially, but the thing was still occasionally shredding primers. It always jammed too. No matter at which angle I held it, getting a fresh primer was hit or miss.

So just a few minutes ago, I was priming a shell when I got a BANG! My hands are black and they sting, the primer dish landed on the other side of the room, scorched. The clear cover is nowhere to be found and the flourescent light overhead is shattered. I got pissed off and just left everything the way it was. My ears are ringing still and my left hand is red. My eyes are okay since I was wearing glasses and I had the thing pointed away from my face. Oh, you know that black sliding piece that's supposed to keep the prmers in the tray from blowing up in your face? It doesn't work. Good thing I only had about 10 left in it.

:cuss:

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sig228
March 21, 2008, 12:06 AM
Wow. What brand of primers?

Luggernut
March 21, 2008, 12:09 AM
Glad you are ok- that's scary.

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 12:20 AM
Thanks Luggernut.

They were Federal primers. I was telling the guy at the store about the difficulties I had in seating primers and he suggested I go with Federal. He says they're a hair smaller than the CCI primers I tried last time. I don't blame the primers for what happened here.

gravelyctry
March 21, 2008, 12:48 AM
I had a primer go off one time in my press. From now on, I wear safety glasses and ear plugs whenever I'm reloading. Glad you or no one else was injured.

scrat
March 21, 2008, 01:22 AM
you had a defective priming tool. you really need to contact rcbs. glad your ok.

Nighthawk0083
March 21, 2008, 02:38 AM
did you happen to put the the bar in upside down. One side is flat and the other round. Flat side should touch the primer and the round to the socket in the tool.

When i prime brass i hold the tool at a 45 so i see the primer drop in the hole and then slide the case in to the shell holder, then point it away from me and push it in.

Sunray
March 21, 2008, 03:26 AM
"...problems with this god forsaken thing..." If you don't have confidence in it, stop using it and contact RCBS' Customer Service. 1-800-533-5000 They will help you.
Never have had an issue with the auto-primer feed myself.

bensdad
March 21, 2008, 03:51 AM
I'm really sorry this happened. Must have scared the crap out of ya.

I'm so new to reloading that I really should just keep my mouth shut, but I noticed one glaring omission. You said you got a "flash hole uniformer?" That does not sound like a tool that would fix the primer pocket. Maybe it is. If so, then I'm off-base. Anyway, I'm wondering if the primer pockets were the real culprit. Sometimes they need to have a crimp removed. I think the tool is a swager?

I smashed two or three primers a while back (on .223 no less). I was told to swage the primer pockets. Now, I just set aside any .223 cases that don't take a primer easy enough. I'll get back to them when I get a swager.

Also, as posted above, you have to have the pin in with the flat surface facing up.

One last thing, I don't know what you mean by, "that black sliding piece," but if you mean the unit that the shell holder goes on (primer feed) you were using the wrong one. The white is for small primers. The black is for large primers. .223 are small primers. If you were using the black primer feed with the small rod, then the rod was very likely canted. This could have easily caused a kaboom (I think).

71Commander
March 21, 2008, 08:29 AM
The black thing has me confused also. Mine is white.:confused:

stubbicatt
March 21, 2008, 08:40 AM
Groan.

Glad you weren't hurt. There are other priming tools you can use that will work better perhaps.

I have a Lee for the last 20+ years or so, and I like it that you have to use thumb pressure, so you can tell if you are meeting resistance to seating the primer. As soon as I can tell it's not going in the primer pocket, I stop and examine the situation more closely.

I've been using a Dillon Super 1050 since late last year on my 223's since it can swage out the primer crimps, if any. As I sit here now, I realize how much safer that press is than hand priming.

Walkalong
March 21, 2008, 09:01 AM
As posted earlier, it's a bad one. Contact RCBS. It is to late to stop what happened, but they will make it good. Mine has worked great for years.

It's the old rule of thumb, don't force it. Quit using it. Find out what's wrong. Fix it before you use it again. :)

steve4102
March 21, 2008, 09:21 AM
The black thing has me confused also. Mine is white.

Exactly! Black is for large primers and White is for small primers.

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 09:44 AM
I'm so new to reloading that I really should just keep my mouth shut, but I noticed one glaring omission. You said you got a "flash hole uniformer?" That does not sound like a tool that would fix the primer pocket. Maybe it is. If so, then I'm off-base. Anyway, I'm wondering if the primer pockets were the real culprit. Sometimes they need to have a crimp removed. I think the tool is a swager?

I smashed two or three primers a while back (on .223 no less). I was told to swage the primer pockets. Now, I just set aside any .223 cases that don't take a primer easy enough. I'll get back to them when I get a swager.

Also, as posted above, you have to have the pin in with the flat surface facing up.


I'm sorry, I meant primer pocket uniformer, a hand tool. I did have the pole flat side up.

One last thing, I don't know what you mean by, "that black sliding piece," but if you mean the unit that the shell holder goes on (primer feed) you were using the wrong one. The white is for small primers. The black is for large primers. .223 are small primers. If you were using the black primer feed with the small rod, then the rod was very likely canted. This could have easily caused a kaboom (I think).

I don't mean the black/white plastic piece, I mean the long, curved black metal strip that slides through the above pieces. This metal piece is supposed to isolate the primers in the tray from the mechanism, but it didn't work. I had the primer tray rubber banded shut with two rubber bands, as someone on here recommended, but the thing still blew itself apart. I still can't find that clear plastic lid.

evan price
March 21, 2008, 10:11 AM
Federals are actually the softest primers and the easiest to Kaboom. Try Winchesters next time, and have RCBS send you a new tool.

ADKWOODSMAN
March 21, 2008, 10:23 AM
Will he ever use a hand priming tool again?

Walkalong
March 21, 2008, 10:23 AM
My guess, if there was nothing wrong with the tool, is you were using the wrong insert (one black, one white) like another poster suggested. If you use the black one, which is meant for large primers, when using small primers, it will let the small primers flip around, get out of alignment, etc, and cause problems. It's easy to do. :)

Virginian
March 21, 2008, 10:33 AM
In 30 years plus, I have had one primer blow up in my old Lee hand primer. I was loading Remington primers in Remington 25-06 cases and it just went bang. Fortunately all the bang went out the case which was pointed away from me. After that I started wearing glasses religiously. The fired primer was seated in the case and looked just fine just like any fired round. Haven't a clue what caused that little jewel.

spencerhut
March 21, 2008, 10:41 AM
Wow. Just freaking wow. I've been around this hobby pretty much since I can remember, 8yo or so, and have never set off a primer with a hand tool or personally known anyone that has. Hell I've seen primers crushed in every manner you can imagine with various hand tools and on the several presses, but never seen one go bang on the press or in the hand tool. 30+ years.

This hobby requires significant patience, requires it. High levels of force/effort/energy are nearly always bad in nearly any operation we perform. The operations that my require high levels of force/effort/energy require patience and practice to learn. Like sizing a case fired in a machine gun in a small base die without getting them stuck in the die. Patience, practice and the correct level of force is required to prevent frustration.

Difficulty in seating primers is a very common thing, especially when dealing with military or just mixed range brass. Seating primers should always be done slowly and carefully. Excessive force means something is wrong and you need to stop and figure out what it is. If you can not figure it out and work around it, you may end up loosing an eye or a hand.

We have all been in a position at some point where we blamed a tool for a problem and later realized it was our own fault. So don't blame the tool if it is operator error. If you don't have significant experience reloading, chances are it is operator error rather than a defective tool.

jmorris
March 21, 2008, 10:44 AM
Itís hard to get a free lesson these days, glad that you are ok. In the future STOP if things donít feel right and get the machine working or trash it. It looks like you were struggling with it for at least three days (your last post about it was on the 17th). What if 100 had gone off?

Now to your problem, if the machine works(ed) fine for 9mm and not .223, you have yet to remove the crimp from the .223 primer pocket. The pocket should look like the one on the left (photo below); the one on the right will cause the symptoms you described. You can ream to make the pocket uniform and not remove the crimp. The crimp it must be cut out or swaged to be removed. After this operation is preformed you wonít be able to tell the difference between 9mm and .223.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=69924&d=1198858335

The Bushmaster
March 21, 2008, 10:58 AM
You might try the Lee Auto Prime II. The way it is designed it will allow only one primer to be set off if one does and I haven't had one go off in the 20 years I've used it. It is a press mounted primer seating system and works very well with the Lee "C" press or other single stage press.

mallc
March 21, 2008, 11:28 AM
Agree that the problem was likely crimped primer pockets on .223.

I occasionally crush a primer with my Dillion 650 when loading military brass, even after the sweging the pocket.

I also load a lot of .223 new brass using an RCBS Universal hand primer and have never had a problem.

Can you post a photo of the offending brass?

Scott

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 11:42 AM
My guess, if there was nothing wrong with the tool, is you were using the wrong insert (one black, one white) like another poster suggested. If you use the black one, which is meant for large primers, when using small primers, it will let the small primers flip around, get out of alignment, etc, and cause problems. It's easy to do.

No, it was the white insert. Since all I do is 9mm and .223, I have no use for the black one.


We have all been in a position at some point where we blamed a tool for a problem and later realized it was our own fault. So don't blame the tool if it is operator error. If you don't have significant experience reloading, chances are it is operator error rather than a defective tool.

I might not have 30 years experience reloading, but I've got plenty of experience with mechanical devices and tools. I understand how this thing is supposed to work, and I can tell you that it is poorly built for that purpose.

The fit between the parts is loose and sloppy.

The feeding is extremely unreliable regardless of how I hold it.

The black "safety gate" flat out does not work and I have a blown up primer tray and shattered work lamp to prove it. Take it from me, that little strip of metal will not protect you from a kaboom.


Difficulty in seating primers is a very common thing, especially when dealing with military or just mixed range brass. Seating primers should always be done slowly and carefully. Excessive force means something is wrong and you need to stop and figure out what it is. If you can not figure it out and work around it, you may end up loosing an eye or a hand.

What am I supposed to think when many shells took more force to prime than the kaboom took to happen? Because the priming tool uses shellholders, I can't simply stop if a primer goes in crooked or takes too much force. If a shell isn't primed perfectly, it will remain stuck in the shellholder!

The brass I have had the most trouble with is stamped: ππY

I don't know exactly which shell I was priming at the time because after it blew up, I got mad and just walked away. I couldn't remove it from the tool because the primer didn't seat properly and is preventing the shell from coming out.

Spartacus451
March 21, 2008, 11:56 AM
What am I supposed to think when many shells took more force to prime than the kaboom took to happen? Because the priming tool uses shellholders, I can't simply stop if a primer goes in crooked or takes too much force. If a shell isn't primed perfectly, it will remain stuck in the shellholder!
I have had this problem occasionally. What I do is take the shell holder out and put it in a press and gently decap the stuck primer.

Primer detonation is an odd thing. It never happens to some people no matter how many times they mangle primers. Others it happens to repeatedly. I can't figure out why people have such markedly different experiences.

spencerhut
March 21, 2008, 01:42 PM
Primer detonation is an odd thing. It never happens to some people no matter how many times they mangle primers. Others it happens to repeatedly. I can't figure out why people have such markedly different experiences.

Primers are designed to function on impact. If you work slowly, even with great force, they will not go off. I have crushed my fair share of primers and never had one go off because once I feel abnormal resistance I slow my movements way down. I've crushed primers in sideways and nothing happens. Then for the hell of it chambered and fired the empty case with the crushed primer, bang, nearly every time. Why? Impact vs slow steady force.

I understand how this thing is supposed to work, and I can tell you that it is poorly built for that purpose.

Ouch. I disagree.

What am I supposed to think when many shells took more force to prime than the kaboom took to happen? Because the priming tool uses shellholders, I can't simply stop if a primer goes in crooked or takes too much force. If a shell isn't primed perfectly, it will remain stuck in the shellholder!

I would continue to apply slow and steady pressure until the crushed primer is far enough in the primer pocket to remove the case from the shell holder. I've done this many times over the years. Never had a problem.

nnY is Priv Partisan if I remember correctly.

I'd suggest you get one of these:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=447022&t=11082005

Load it in your press while you are hand priming. The moment you feel more resistance than you are comfortable with stop and run the offending case through the Primer Pocket Swager. When you place the case on the pocket expander (mounts in the press ram like a shell holder) you will be able to visually see almost immediately if the primer pocket in question will easily take a primer or if it is indeed too tight and should be swaged.

Remember most of the operations in this hobby go by experience and feel. We all have crushed, broken and destroyed our fair share of equipment, brass and bullets. Most things, like seating primers, are not easy to get a feel for right away. Be very patient. Go very slow when seating the primers. If it just wont go in there is a reason, and I doubt it's the equipment you are using be it Lee, Lyman, RCBS, Dillon Hornady, you name it. All these companies make good reliable reloading gear. They have to or they would not be in business.

spencerhut
March 21, 2008, 01:53 PM
Might want to try one of the Lee hand priming tools also.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=807875

My uncle has one he has used for . . geez . . must be over 30 years now. Still has the same one after all these years and he has loaded a lot of ammo over the years. Dirt simple. Dead reliable.

Walkalong
March 21, 2008, 02:56 PM
You can crush primers all day without them going of. It takes impact to set them off. Over & out.

The Bushmaster
March 21, 2008, 03:06 PM
And the impact has to be very heavy too. The tests to see what it takes to set one off that I have done says you really have to be trying to set one off.

+1 to Walkalong

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 03:11 PM
I assure you, I didn't slam, shock or jar the primer in any way, it was crushed. There was no slack in the handle. It was stuck, I squeezed it, it exploded.

Walkalong
March 21, 2008, 03:17 PM
Well, it's just that it is so hard to do. :)

Have you called RCBS yet? They would be VERY interested to hear that you think the safety bar did not work. Did any other primers besides the one go off? If not, it did its job. I am willing to bet RCBS will send you a new one.

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 03:29 PM
Well, it's just that it is so hard to do.

Have you called RCBS yet? They would be VERY interested to hear that you think the safety bar did not work. Did any other primers besides the one go off? If not, it did its job. I am willing to bet RCBS will send you a new one.

Yes, they all blew up. That's why I said it didn't work. I had the thing rubber banded closed, and it still blew the tray across the room and managed to crack the fluorescent light above me. Did you read the topic?

taliv
March 21, 2008, 03:40 PM
you're saying EVERY primer in the tool also blew up? not just the one you crushed? what was it, 10 of them?

wow

Cosmoline
March 21, 2008, 03:49 PM
They were Federal primers.

FWIW, the Lee reloading handbook specifically warns against using Federal primers with their hand primer unit. I've used CCI's only for years and never had a kaboom

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 03:53 PM
FWIW, the Lee reloading handbook specifically warns against using Federal primers with their hand primer unit. I've used CCI's only for years and never had a kaboom

Interesting, thanks for that. I'll stick with CCI. I've crushed some of those, but they've never gone off.

Walkalong
March 21, 2008, 04:06 PM
Did you read the topic?Yes, It did not state it clearly. I thought it was a simple question. Forgive me for being interested, or trying to help.

FullEffect1911
March 21, 2008, 04:07 PM
i've heard feds are useful for guns that tend to light strike primers. The federals will more reliably ignite from the light strike... that will tell you something.

nYY brass? That stuff does have a primer crimp correct? and therefore was it removed before trying to prime?

Rampant_Colt
March 21, 2008, 04:16 PM
OUCH!
I was just considering buying one of those - i think i'll go with the Lee Auto-Prime II instead

JohnnyGrey
March 21, 2008, 04:23 PM
nYY brass? That stuff does have a primer crimp correct? and therefore was it removed before trying to prime?

I'm not sure, but they seem quite irregular. I did uniform the primer pockets on all the shells, but those are a pain. Some of them won't even fit in the shellholder without a lot of force. I tossed most of them, but I won't find out until later today if that's the one it blew up on.

I'd like to move away from hand primers and see if I can attach something to my rockchucker for priming.

Spartacus451
March 21, 2008, 04:40 PM
I'd like to move away from hand primers and see if I can attach something to my rockchucker for priming.
I have used the Lee Auto Prime II for priming on press and I enjoyed it. You have to watch and make sure primers are feeding and rattle the tray if they aren't. It is good about not flipping primers and you have good feel and leverage. I keep a challenger press set aside for priming.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
March 21, 2008, 04:46 PM
Those privi partisan brass are very high quality, but do have crimped primer pockets. Whatever tool you used to remove the primer pockets did not do the job. You need to get a swaging too, I suggest you get a Dillon 600 I think it is. Comes with large and small primer pocket swager. It's a very good unit and will eliminate the issues you're having.

As far as the handtool is concerned, that's not your problem. And switching to your Rock Chucker to gain even more leverage isn't going to help. You've already used too much leverage as it was. Get your brass primer pocket crimps swaged properly and you'll eliminate your issues.

Right now, you're upset and I'm sure that scared the mess out of you. It certainly would have me. But you need to think things through logically and listen to the more experienced reloaders who have dealt with these issues.

Your primer seater IS NOT your problem. Your brass primer pockets that haven't been swaged is the problem. Until you address the primer pockets, you're going to have these issues.

Seriously,

Dave

P.S. Don't take any more advice from the genius at the store that told you to use Federal, the easiest to ignite primers out there, in a hand priming unit. There's a reason Lee, who makes the primer seater with the greatest feel, advises against using those in their hand priming unit.

spencerhut
March 21, 2008, 05:20 PM
You can crush primers all day without them going of. It takes impact to set them off. Over & out.

100% Right:cool:

I assure you, I didn't slam, shock or jar the primer in any way, it was crushed. There was no slack in the handle. It was stuck, I squeezed it, it exploded.

Well that's it for me. :scrutiny: You can't fix stupid.

71Commander
March 21, 2008, 06:21 PM
For all that want to start using a Lee priming system, just remember that Lee states on their gear to do not use Federal primers.

I need Federal for my 625.

Big Boomer
March 21, 2008, 09:10 PM
I use them all the time, now I just throwing some stuff out here, but I have never had your issue at all.

Is the 223 a small rifle primer? I you happen to use the black piece that is for LARGE primers. The primers could then be trying to go in off center (because the feed hole is too large) and hence the boom!

Make sure you are using the right rod as well. And as said above that you are using the flat side against the primer not the rounded side.

fatelk
March 21, 2008, 10:22 PM
I assure you, I didn't slam, shock or jar the primer in any way, it was crushed. There was no slack in the handle. It was stuck, I squeezed it, it exploded.

I did the same thing recently, wouldn't have believed it otherwise. I hadn't properly swaged the primer pocket and was trying to force one in, carefully. BANG! No damage done, but it startled me. I've never had one do that before or since, out of many thousands, and I've crushed and mangled many.

DaveinGA is absolutely right about the crimp. The little hand reamer thing may not remove all the crimp. I use an RCBS primer pocket swager and it works great.

RCBS has excellent customer service and a great warranty. I've used the hand priming tool for many years. I started with the LEE tool, but broke two of them, and switched to the RCBS. If the primers are not feeding right in addition to the primer pocket issue, it could be you got a bad one. Call RCBS; I can just about guarantee they will replace it so quick it will make your head spin.

redneck2
March 21, 2008, 10:44 PM
I've got a Federal primer that I need to take a picture of if I can dig it out of the trash can. It's a small rifle that's folded completely in half. It was on the shell plate on my 550 and got crushed totally when I loading. After looking at it, I couldn't believe that it didn't go off.

Ten at a time would be quite interesting.

JohnnyGrey
March 22, 2008, 12:00 AM
Well that's it for me. You can't fix stupid.


That's great, thanks for the contribution, now take a walk.

Everyone who says primers can't go off under gradual pressure, are you saying that I somehow impacted the primer while it was inside the tool? Exactly how would I deliver such a violent impact to the primer while contained in the tool? And no, I did not drop it. I'll say it again, the primer was CRUSHED. it went BANG. If it was impossible to detonate a primer in this fashion, why would RCBS build safety gates in anticipation of such an event? It's because IT IS possible for a primer to go off under a crushing force, and I had the scorch marks on my hands to prove it.

I did the same thing recently, wouldn't have believed it otherwise. I hadn't properly swaged the primer pocket and was trying to force one in, carefully. BANG! No damage done, but it startled me. I've never had one do that before or since, out of many thousands, and I've crushed and mangled many.

Tell it to spencer. He must think we're both delusional.

Those privi partisan brass are very high quality, but do have crimped primer pockets. Whatever tool you used to remove the primer pockets did not do the job. You need to get a swaging too, I suggest you get a Dillon 600 I think it is. Comes with large and small primer pocket swager. It's a very good unit and will eliminate the issues you're having.

As far as the handtool is concerned, that's not your problem. And switching to your Rock Chucker to gain even more leverage isn't going to help. You've already used too much leverage as it was. Get your brass primer pocket crimps swaged properly and you'll eliminate your issues.

Right now, you're upset and I'm sure that scared the mess out of you. It certainly would have me. But you need to think things through logically and listen to the more experienced reloaders who have dealt with these issues.

Your primer seater IS NOT your problem. Your brass primer pockets that haven't been swaged is the problem. Until you address the primer pockets, you're going to have these issues.

Seriously,

Dave

P.S. Don't take any more advice from the genius at the store that told you to use Federal, the easiest to ignite primers out there, in a hand priming unit. There's a reason Lee, who makes the primer seater with the greatest feel, advises against using those in their hand priming unit.

Thanks for the advice. I will buy a swaging tool since the hand tool doesn't seem to be doing the job. I went and bought an RCBS autoprime unit that will hopefully solve all the other minor annoyances (kaboom aside) the hand priming unit has been causing me (awkward angles, bad feeding, tray falling out/apart, etc).

ForneyRider
March 22, 2008, 12:08 AM
I cut a WLP in half the other day.

Didn't go off.

On my Lee Pro 1000, I had a little too much powder spillage and it caused the primer to turn sideways.

bensdad
March 22, 2008, 01:32 AM
Wow. I know the OP is upset. I would be too. But I can't imagine a more simple way to prime cases than with the RCBS hand primer. It's the shortest segment of the reloading process for me. Once those pockets are properly swaged, and you use the right parts for the right rounds, it's slick and easy beyond belief.

Ol` Joe
March 22, 2008, 11:08 AM
I agree with johnnygrey, primers can set off with pressure. My dad once had a primer fire while useing a old Lee thumb tool in the 60`s.
They are designed to fire under pressure, impact or heat and have been known to explode from use of hand impact bullet pullers.
Federal uses a different priming compound then Winchester, CCI Remington, ect and are more sensitive then the others. It is the compound used not the cup thickness as many think that is the cause of their sensitivity. They are often recommended for pistols that have trouble igniting the other brands. Lee expressly warns against useing them in their hand tool.

John I`d do as the others suggest and call RCBS and discuss this with them. they are 100% customer oriented and will try their best to make things right. 1-800-531-2666

alsaqr
March 22, 2008, 07:05 PM
"Your primer seater IS NOT your problem. Your brass primer pockets that haven't been swaged is the problem. Until you address the primer pockets, you're going to have these issues."

Bingo!!!
+1

wdlsguy
March 22, 2008, 07:13 PM
Users have reported that the primers in the tray of an Auto Prime can explode for various reasons, some of which include: a cocked primer, or an attempt to prime a case which has a primer already in place, or more than one primer on the punch, or priming a military case with the crimp not completely removed. Should an explosion occur, our tests have demonstrated that safety glasses will normally prevent serious injury to the user if CCI or Winchester primers are used, because the explosion is minimal. Other primers, however, can explode with sufficient force to seriously injure the user, or persons nearby. We do not take any position with respect to the quality or performance of primers available on the market. However, only those primers manufactured by CCI or Winchester are recommended for use in the Lee Auto Prime, and when loading those primers, safety glasses should always be used. No other primers should be used with the Lee Auto Prime.

http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206223755.5838=/html/catalog/primtool.html

xring44
March 22, 2008, 07:41 PM
I have three of the RCBS hand prime tools, one set up for small primers that I litterly loaded thousands of rounds of .223 for prarrie dog shoots, the other set up for large primers for rifles with the same head diameter, the other set up for .22PPC as the diameter of the head is quite different. They are very good tools, made by a very good company that is very shooter friendly.

Obviously the stake wasn't removed from the primer pocket. The others have offered great advise, I'd offer the same, call RCBS, explain what happened, listen to there advise...start again.

SlamFire1
March 22, 2008, 08:47 PM
I find this so interesting. The gentlemen had an oversensitive primer go off in his priming tool, and most people are claiming it is because of something he did!

Folks are claiming all sorts of weird orientation things, and that primers have to be hit in a certain way, and that it never happened to them, so it can’t happen.

You can even read the manufacturer's warning about what primers to use in their tools. Which means there are primers they don't want used in their tools. And it makes no impression. :banghead:

You just have to think about the "how and why" that created these warnings. Certain brands of primers detonated in their priming tools!! I am certain that Federal was one of them.

Face it; fulminates are unstable. They will go off in ways that you would not anticipate. And certain primers are more sensitive than others .

Give the guy a break.

Walkalong
March 22, 2008, 09:13 PM
It was his tone that got the responses, but I guess we may have been a bit tough on him. :scrutiny:

He held up well though. :)

Spanked by a fellow Alabamian, dang. :D

snuffy
March 22, 2008, 11:27 PM
Face it; fulminates are unstable. They will go off in ways that you would not anticipate. And certain primers are more sensitive than others .


Ummmm, fulminates haven't been used in primers for half a century, did you mean styphanates?

I too have crushed primers every which way to sunday. Never had one pop. Apparently it is possible. Since I'm hard of sight, I can't load WITHOUT glasses. They're parked on my nose from waking to bedtime, they've saved my eyes on numerous occasions.

redneck2
March 22, 2008, 11:35 PM
Hey, if I had 10 primers go off in my hand, I'd have an intense tone also.

FWIW....I use some Lee equipment, but one of my issues with Lee is the incredible amount of self promotion in his reloading books. IIRC, the same company that owns Federal also owns RCBS. The "safety" of Federal primers may have more to do with being a competitor than being dangerous.

As for jumping on the original poster....too many people tend to jump to absolutes just because they've never experienced something. Look at all the people that ridiculed Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers and flat out called them liars.

In my case, I've mutilated primers about every way possible without issues. I'm more interested in why one would go off without being stuck so it doesn't happen to me. I've never been in a car accident, but I still wear my seat belt every day.

taliv
March 22, 2008, 11:45 PM
i've crushed a primer (that i'm really sure I didn't strike) and had it explode on me (only once, but it happened).

JohnnyGrey
March 23, 2008, 12:05 AM
Thanks everyone for the responses. I think I figured out a few things since my last post.

The tool I was given by the guy at the gun store after telling him my problem, was a primer pocket uniformer. It's obvious that it was built to adjust the depth of the primer pocket. I looked at the thing and tried to figure out how it was going to make the pocket wider, but the guy assured me if I spun it as I drove it in, everything would be okay.

Today I went back to the same store and asked someone else how I could remove the military crimp from .223. I showed him the tool the other guy sold to me and he says that won't do a thing for me. He says I needed the primer pocket reamer which looks kind of like a star with blades on the outside. That is what I need.

So the day of the kaboom, I ran that uniformer through every single shell until it offered me no resistance. I thought, okay, if this tool can easily make it into the pocket, then the primer should be able to fit too, especially since he said Federal primers were softer than the CCIs I had been using. Obviously, I was mistaken.

I think I'll hold on to the autoprimer since it probably feeds more reliably than the hand tool. Other than a few annoyances, and the safety gate, I guess there's nothing really wrong with the tool. I don't think RCBS can really do anything for me, except call me a putz for not reaming the pockets.

No kidding about the Federals being powerful, I'm still cleaning up glass from that shattered bulb. I don't even want to think what would have happened if I was holding the tool in a different direction.

Luggernut
March 23, 2008, 12:27 AM
Glad you found the problem! I would however call RCBS- they may replace it regardless... just don't tell them you are a putz. :D

I use the RCBS swager that work WITH the Rock Chucker.. it works great.


Also- more importanty- I think this should provide some warnings to us that primers CAN AND DO go off.... sometimes.. even if smooth, gradual PRESSURE is applied. I usually toss my S&B handgun brass for the same reasons. Unless I get around to swaging or deburring/reaming it with the hand tool.

Grump
March 23, 2008, 01:17 AM
In defense of the OP, how many of us know-it-alls have cleaned the primer compound dust from a pickup tube or other primer-handling tool?

How many of us remember that heat, static discharge, FRICTION and impact are ALL ways that a "class 1" or whatever high explosive can be pushed above its activation energy?

JonnieGrey spoke the truth. He pushed and it went bang. The black thing he spoke of was NOT the large rifle insert, but another, curved, piece. I see the primary legitimate complaint as the failure of a part appearing to and apparently described as intended to prevent flashover to the primer supply.

The number of people posting who did not catch things obviously written in the OP or stated in his subsequent posts is outright embarrassing. Signal-to-noise ratio gets bad from that.

All this talk of how many primers YOU crushed without a bang doesn't change what actually happened. Brainstorming in search of answers is nice and can be valuable, but not when we stop listening and get too eager to hear ourselves pontificate.

jmorris
March 23, 2008, 02:14 AM
and was trying to force one in, carefully. Thats pure comedy gold.


The tool I was given by the guy at the gun store after telling him my problem, was a primer pocket uniformer. It's obvious that it was built to adjust the depth of the primer pocket. I looked at the thing and tried to figure out how it was going to make the pocket wider, but the guy assured me if I spun it as I drove it in, everything would be okay.

Today I went back to the same store and asked someone else how I could remove the military crimp from .223. I showed him the tool the other guy sold to me and he says that won't do a thing for me. He says I needed the primer pocket reamer which looks kind of like a star with blades on the outside. That is what I need.
You didn't read post #20 did you?

JohnnyGrey
March 23, 2008, 02:23 AM
You didn't read post #20 did you?

Sure did. It just took me a while to realize that what I had was a uniformer, not a reamer.

Zeede
March 23, 2008, 02:51 AM
Glad you're okay, JohnnyGrey.

Cameron

35 Whelen
March 23, 2008, 03:40 AM
Glad you're OK Johnny, but I'm with Spencerhut. I've been around this for some 40 years and doing it for 30+. I've squashed, mashed, distorted, bent, ripped, torn, and seated primers in every incorrect way conceivable, ( just last night I managed to seat one sideways...that's on its edge...in a 7.62x54r case) but I've never seen one go off. As a kid I used to pop primers Dad dropped on the floor (and some he hadn't dropped :evil:), but it always took a whack with a hammer or some other such blow to set them off.
Maybe you had a super sensitive primer. I've been using the Lee hand priming tool for a couple of decades now and have had no mishaps and no compaints.
35W

Virginian
March 23, 2008, 06:39 AM
Well I have mangled many a primer that did not go off too, did one Friday, but I will always remember that one that went off just from thumb pressure in that Lee hand primer. Aside from being spent, it looked like a perfectly normal primer after the bang. So I surely know one can go off without shock, heat, impact, or major deformation on the strike surface.
Oh and my name is Spencer too, so watch it. :-)

Urbana John
March 23, 2008, 07:35 AM
I've stated this before because it's the quickest and easiest way to remove the military crimps.

I've got a vice mounted on the left side of my bench with a VSD clamped in the vice, with a chamfer tool in the drill. With the drill running on slow speed, I can cut away the crimp and bevel the primer pockets quicker than I typed this!!

I've used the RCBS hand primming tool for years with no problems,yet.

I've got "thousands & thousands" of military 223's & 308's and some of the earlier ones have been reloaded several times.

And I agree with the OP, the black curved part of the primming tool doesn't always prevent more than one primer getting in on top of the rod. In fact, I've had 2 or 3 at the same time, but going slow and easy, they will at still "seat".

"If", a case does get stuck, because the primer didn't get seated, I keep an extra decapping rod handy and gently push the primer back into the tool.

UJ

JohnnyGrey
March 23, 2008, 11:51 AM
Glad you're OK Johnny, but I'm with Spencerhut. I've been around this for some 40 years and doing it for 30+. I've squashed, mashed, distorted, bent, ripped, torn, and seated primers in every incorrect way conceivable, ( just last night I managed to seat one sideways...that's on its edge...in a 7.62x54r case) but I've never seen one go off. As a kid I used to pop primers Dad dropped on the floor (and some he hadn't dropped ), but it always took a whack with a hammer or some other such blow to set them off.
Maybe you had a super sensitive primer. I've been using the Lee hand priming tool for a couple of decades now and have had no mishaps and no compaints.
35W

Again, what do you guys hope to prove here? I'm pretty sure I didn't hallucinate when I saw this happen. Because it didn't happen to you, does not mean that it didn't happen to me, or others on here. I did not make this up, I promise. You want to kill some time? Stick a bunch of primers in a vice and turn the handle. Let me know how it goes.

xring44
March 23, 2008, 12:00 PM
I don't think anyone thinks your a hallucinating, and I don't see where anypne is being contrary enough to warrant being scolded for pointing out that they haven't had it happen to them. You asked for advice, we tryed to give our best advice. Its that simple. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on any subject, if I ask advice, I'll read the offered advice and either use it or disregard it. No need to assume that someone is picking on you, I certainly wasn't, I was merely stating what my experience has been in the last 45 years of reloading.

mallc
March 23, 2008, 12:06 PM
I actually tried crushing Winchester primers in a large vise as a controlled experiment. Flattened them puppies pretty good and made some dust but no pop. I guess you just got unlucky.

Scott

JohnnyGrey
March 23, 2008, 12:31 PM
I've never had a Winchester kaboom either, but I'm not going to assume that nobody else has just because I haven't. For the next 40 years, I may never have another explosion again, it doesn't change what happened a few days ago.

Luggernut
March 23, 2008, 01:08 PM
Guys.. bottom line... don't get too comfortable priming.... things can go bad.

redneck2
March 23, 2008, 01:16 PM
I don't use the hand priming tool. I have one, but never needed it with my 550.

Anyway, I'm wondering if two stacked on top of each other. One maybe slipped or crushed quickly and let the seating pin pop hard enough to make the first one ignite.

When I first got back into reloading maybe 10 years ago, there were some posts on THR about primers chain firing in 550's. The blast shield always held, but it typically blew a hole in the ceiling above the press. I gotta think 50-100 at a time would be way loud. I remember just popping off a muzzle loader cap to clear the nipple on our front porch. Ears rang for 30 minutes.

The Bushmaster
March 23, 2008, 01:32 PM
Johnnygrey...Did you get the Lee Auto Prime II? If you did, you'll like it...

Eagle103
March 23, 2008, 02:37 PM
Like they say, reloading is pretty safe until you deal with the primers. It's good to know that the "safety gate" apparently does nothing. I'm sure RCBS would be very interested in looking at what's left of your hand primer and I'm also sure they'll send you a new one. The only primer I've seen go off happened to my 11 year old son using a Lee Loader (hammer type). It startled him a bit and come to think of it I don't think he's used it since then.:D
Since ATK owns both Federal and RCBS you probably won't see them recommending against using Federal primers anytime soon but in this case I think Lee's advice against using them may have some merit. I'll probably still use the Federals I have but that's it. Apparently the crimp on your cases is what set the primer off but would it have happened with a CCI or Winchester? Who knows for sure.

TexasSkyhawk
March 23, 2008, 06:16 PM
Geez.

I've been reloading for over two decades, for numerous calibers and with all colors of reloading equipment.

I had a Federal primer go off on me. Wasn't wearing any sort of safety glasses. Wore an eyepatch for just over a month. My SAC was furious with me. My ASAC thought it added to my undercover look, though.

Have only had one primer go bang on me in the loading process, but it was enough.

One of our armorers at Quantico was curious as to what happened. We too put primers in a vice and squished them. According to one of our resident chemists, steady, slow, pressure isn't what will set a primer off. Static electricity combined with friction during the "pressure" process can do it for sure. Anything inside the individual primer that is out of tolerance can create an unstable environment and contribute to a primer-bang.

I love the analogies of "focus groups of one." I'm a pilot and I once had to do a forced landing because my engine quit on me. As enjoyable as that experience was, what was even MORE enjoyable was hearing from all the so-called seasoned "seen it all, done it all" pilots who'd been flying for decades who told me I'd done something wrong since THEY'D never had an in-flight engine failure.

Let's face it, s--t happens. If it didn't, there wouldn't be the bumper sticker that says "S--t Happens."

Jeff

xring44
March 23, 2008, 07:13 PM
I believe I can shed some light on the loading gate allowing two primers in the upspout if it can be dealt with without acting like I am condemning anyone for anything.

If you double stroke the squeeze handle, ie; start up with a primer and not complete the stroke, instead release the pressure letting the squeeze handle return to its at rest position, sometimes the primer will not follow the rod back down and if the unit is tilted to the side, it will load a second primer, what you have then is a primer trying to seat another primer. I have had this happen on several occasions, fortunately, other than ruining the lower primer, (crushing the sides ) all ended with out a exploding primer.

Dumpster Baby
March 23, 2008, 10:37 PM
Not trying to be a wise guy, but this is what I use. Nothing to go wrong. Never had a problem with it. I keep my fingers very dry when handling the primers or wear some finger cots. It's a 100% malfunction free tool.

http://san1.atlanta.gbhinc.com/GB/094499000/94499287/pix1889820484.jpg

PedalBiker
March 24, 2008, 01:12 AM
I have an RCBS priming tool. I've had primers double up on occasion. I don't think it's unlikely that if one were seating primers into a military crimp one would go bang. Once the primer clears the crimp there could be enough energy stored in the system (hand, tool etc) to fire the primer. Anything elastic can store energy, a clean break of some kind of tension would release it.

Thank goodness it wasn't a tray of 100 primers that went bang.

I used to be pretty lax about wearing glasses while reloading (I even used that old Lee hammer tool with no glasses). I've still never had a primer go off unintentionally (even when decapping live ones with the sizing die). From now on I'm redoubling my efforts to remember eye protection.

Thanks for the heads up.

Ol` Joe
March 24, 2008, 11:53 AM
Dumpster baby, I had one of those years ago and used it till it broke back in the early 80`s. Must have primed 10K+ cases with it before the thumb lever broke. Great little tool! I use the newer Lee now as they haven`t offered that style for 20 years or so. You won`t find the screw in shellholders easily either.

sig228
March 24, 2008, 11:57 PM
Dumpster Baby...Love the name...from that "Always Sunny" episode?

Bullet
March 25, 2008, 01:19 AM
Dumpster Baby

If you like the one you've shown you’d probably really like these -

http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=REPTSI&item=PT-2000&type=store

The Bushmaster
March 25, 2008, 10:24 AM
WOW!!! $115.00...I think I'll stick with my Lee Auto Prime II...Even counting the Lee "C" press it doesn't come near to that...Besides I already have the Auto Prime II...And I don't have to have a different set of shell holders. The ones that come with the die sets (both Lee and RCBS) work in it...

Walkalong
March 25, 2008, 11:46 AM
A Little OT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dumpster Baby...Love the name...Makes me sick to my stomach because of what it represents, but to each their own.


All the different priming tools work just fine. Pick one you like (feels good in your hand) and go for it.

entropy
March 25, 2008, 11:49 AM
Dumpster Baby.....:) Love the name.



I use a Lee Auto Prime. Works for me.

The Bushmaster
March 25, 2008, 03:17 PM
Maybe he should change it to "Dumpster Diver". Would that work Walkalong?

FM12
March 25, 2008, 08:21 PM
Could the primer have gotten stuck on the crimp, and as pressure increased the primer went in all the way, kind of suddenly, then bottomed out and exploded?

Just thinking out loud here.

Walkalong
March 25, 2008, 08:51 PM
Maybe he should change it to "Dumpster Diver". Would that work Walkalong?I like it. I've done that! :)

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