One Year Primers? (designed to break down)


Alpine Storm
December 4, 2008, 07:12 PM
While at a dealers shop today I heard a gentleman who seemed to be rational and intelligent (often an anomaly in a gun store) say that there is a push to regulate ammunition via a primer that only has a one year shelf life.

Can anyone verify or disprove this claim?

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December 4, 2008, 07:19 PM
Alpine I can tell you the life on all of the more green friendly primers is much shorter than on the older ones containing lead styphanate.

Gun Slinger
December 4, 2008, 11:05 PM
Heard that one many times over the last several years.

Other than the problems that the "green" primers seem to have (I hardly believe it to be an intentionally designed quality), I stick with the proven lead styphenate primers in both loaded (and handloaded) ammunition. Short of some "gun grabbing" eco-libtard effort to restrict the manufacture of such primers, they are quite common and stored correctly will last a very, very longtime. I avoid the "green" primers because their initial and longterm durability remains in question at this time.

In all honesty, it would be quite difficult to chemically engineer a compound that would remain useful for a given period of time without compromising its reliability during the time that it is supposed to be functional. I am not saying that it is impossible, but it is so implausible given todays' current technology that that it closely approaches the level of being impractical, if not impossible. It is one thing to conceptualize such a compound and it is yet another to engineer and manufacture it. In other words, it is easier said than done.

From a liability standpoint, such a "self-deactivating" compound would also place the manufacturers at risk unless an adequate disclaimer were printed on the product packaging that warned of its limited useful lifetime. Since manufacturers avoid such broad and undefined liability, I can scarcely imagine that they would subject themselves to such an unpredictable and unproven technology as "self-deactivating" primers since their objective is to remain in business and generate profit.

I cannot disprove such a claim (it is impossible to prove a negative) but I find it highly unlikely that such is the case.

Alpine Storm
December 4, 2008, 11:25 PM
That's a very good point. You either have a ammunition that is designed to fire reliably or you don't. It would probably be difficult to have a controlled process that doesn't accelerate in heat, humidity, etc.

I feel better already.

evan price
December 5, 2008, 01:58 AM
This rumor was started in 1992 when Clinton got elected, and it led to the Great Primer Scare of 1992, when people bought any primers they could find and nobody had any in stock for a year. People bought hundreds of thousands of them so they would have them in case this came to pass.

Well, it never came to pass.

Now we have the Great Everything Scare of 2008, when Obama got elected.

What fun!

Gun Slinger
December 5, 2008, 01:19 PM
Alpine Storm,

Ran this one past my Uncle who holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering today. Needless to say his laughter was deafening, even over the phone.

He confirmed what I posted earlier.

While not impossible, it would pose certain, nearly insurmountable issues from an chemical engineering standpoint in terms of predictable and reliable degradation/deactivation of the self-deactivating compound, possible diminishment/interference with the primer's function and researching the product's performance longterm.

In short, he believes "such a technology to lack even the remotest feasibility given today's and the foreseeable future's level of chemical technology." His words.

December 5, 2008, 01:22 PM
it led to the Great Primer Scare of 1992Exactly!
Some rumors are too darn good to just die gracefully and go away!


December 5, 2008, 01:46 PM
Ok, so I'm having a senior moment today, I admit I'm confused... So as a I read though all this, am I to understand that there is no such thing as a "green primer" (e.g. one that has a pre-determined shelf life and is safer for the environment?). Thanks for clarifying - I haven't reloaded for 20 years or so and am getting ready to get back into it, so I need to begin buying supplies.

December 5, 2008, 03:30 PM
OK...well I think everybody is saying you can't engineer a primer to last for a predetermined shelf's a chemistry thing.

As far as one that is better for the environment, I haven't seen any comments. If it is like leather working products, the environmentally safe stuff if terrible.

December 5, 2008, 04:38 PM
am I to understand that there is no such thing as a "green primer"NO, there is such a thing as a "green" lead & heavy metal-free primer.
MagTech is the only company making & selling them for reloading, as far as I know.

But they have no pre-determined shelf life.
They just won't last as long as normal primers, which is nearly forever if stored properly.


December 5, 2008, 04:50 PM
i gotta tell you, i am so sick of all this crud already. i really wish the jerk hadn't been elected anyway, now, all the other crud that is comiing along with him, i think is actually getting worse than him, himself!

December 5, 2008, 05:23 PM
Actually I first heard that rumor not long after the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Every few years it resurfaces. The last time I heard it a few years ago it was stretched to there were computer chips placed in every primer set to cause the primer to go inert exactly 2 yrs after the primer was made. Every time I hear these rumors it's always being told by people who are selling ammo and reloading supplies. Hmmmm. Wonder if they have a motive for spreading such yarns?

December 5, 2008, 05:36 PM
ISP--Shhh don't give em any ideas! The microchips in primers would make for some cheap ammo alright.

December 5, 2008, 05:46 PM
Spreading fear/rumors will make matters worse.

December 5, 2008, 05:59 PM
Yup, but fear and rumors is what sells ammo and guns.

Average Joe
December 5, 2008, 07:22 PM
Urban Legend strikes again !

December 5, 2008, 10:20 PM
push to regulate ammunition via a primer that only has a one year shelf life

That's the most rediculous thing I've ever heard.

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