How to make your own primers?


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PBinWA
March 17, 2009, 10:23 AM
So perhaps it has come to the time that we need to know how to make our own primers? I searched around here but nothing jumped out at me.

Has anyone done this before? Is there any information on the internet regarding home-made primers?

I understand it would most likely be very dangerous so lets avoid those comments.

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~z
March 17, 2009, 10:28 AM
If you figure it out, let me know. I'll sell you a bunch of "once fired" primers real cheap!
~z

MMCSRET
March 17, 2009, 11:03 AM
I know of a man in Idaho that has taken a flat tipped punch and straightened out the cup, cut the white ignitor material from a stick match and put it in the cup and reset the anvil. He told me it works every time but is not consistent in ignition because the tip material on the matches is not the same on every match. He tried it on smaller revolver rounds like 32 and 38 with fast smokeless powder.
He also makes his own black powder for his flint lock hunting rifles.

PBinWA
March 17, 2009, 11:13 AM
I think the cup part is pretty straight-forward. The "alchemy" would be in making the ignition chemical.

I'm assuming that some form of nitrated compound would have to be made, measured, and placed in the cup.

I'm on a self-educating/curiosity tangent with this. Assuming a SHTF scenario it wouldn't be long for primers to become even harder to come by. It really would be nice to be able to "home brew" all your own ammo.

Of course, I'm also hoping curiosity doesn't kill the cat! ;)

LightningCrash
March 17, 2009, 11:47 AM
See US Army Publication TM 31-210 - Improvised Munitions.


Potassium Chlorate is somewhat similar to potassium perchlorate in usage, most strike-anywhere matches are tipped with a combination of Potassium Chlorate and some other junk.

The main thing is not to damage the anvil!

rcmodel
March 17, 2009, 12:02 PM
I understand it would most likely be very dangerous so lets avoid those comments.SO Sorry, but I just can't resist the urge!

It's a good way to shoot your eye out!
Or much worse.

Primer compound is a "detonating" high-explosive, in the truest sense of the word.

Mixing or making it yourself is right up there with juggling six bottles of nitroglycerin, with rattlesnakes in your pants.

rc

~z
March 17, 2009, 12:21 PM
WOW, that sounds interesting
~z

PBinWA
March 17, 2009, 12:31 PM
Thanks LightningCrash!! That's an excellent resource!

rcmodel - your concern has been noted - Thankyou!

snuffy
March 17, 2009, 03:20 PM
http://www.roguesci.org/chemlab/energetics/lead_azide.html

That's one source of the process to make a lead based primer compound. It's worked wet, while it's wet it is stable/safe. Once dried out, it's very dangerous. Not for the faint of heart!

The match tips will work, but the resulting primer will be corrosive.

SlamFire1
March 17, 2009, 03:46 PM
I have seen too many pictures of handless experimentors to want to try to make gunpowder, or priming compound.

USSR
March 17, 2009, 03:59 PM
Primers are the cheapest part of reloading. If you want to do something that is feasible for the average reloader, then cast your own bullets.

Don

zxcvbob
March 17, 2009, 04:04 PM
Strike-anywhere matches are about as hard to find as primers.

Intellectual exercise only:
Potassium chlorate mix would be the way to go from scratch, but very dangerous. Look up "Armstrong's Mixture". Given enough time and energy you can even make you're own chlorate from potassium chloride using electrolysis. Sodium chlorate is used as a weed killer, so that might be useful. Chlorate primers were used thru WWII and have a long life, but they are corrosive. (but they don't rot your brass like mercury fulmanate primers.)

Not sure why I know this stuff; when I read about it over the years, it seems to stick. :cool:

sqlbullet
March 17, 2009, 04:12 PM
Following up on USSR.

Spend your time finding good sources of cheap lead. Refine lead into ingots of known hardness. Sell ingots. Use profit to buy primers.

Result: Lots of primers and still 10 fingers.

It takes a significant amount of resource to be able to safely deal with these materials. For many years (hundreds) mfg's of explosives did things a certain way because they had determined empirically that no one was blown up doing it that way. You can correctly infer from that many people were blown up discovering the process.

Today, large explosive companies spend significant money in scientifically evaluating the available energy budget and sensitivity at any given stage of mfg. It is not feasible to replicate this.

In the home operation, then, we are left with the empirical process, which, as mentioned before, relies on blowing up occasionally to determine safe parameters.

fitz47
March 17, 2009, 05:33 PM
!!!!! Has the primer shoetage driven us to this?

dave from mesa
March 17, 2009, 05:39 PM
Just thinking out loud here. Wouldn't you need some kind of license for making explosives?
Federal prison doesn't turn me on.

Morglan
March 17, 2009, 06:04 PM
USSR & sqlbullet -

I don't think that cost is the incentive behind the thread.

ants
March 17, 2009, 07:29 PM
You start by nitrating resorcinol, a medical antiseptic (I have no idea where you buy it) with a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids. This produces a trinitro phenol compound. It is then reacted with weakly basic lead oxide to form the corresponding lead styphnate salt, which forms into crystals.

But be careful. Lead styphnate can form into two different crystalline forms: a six-sided monohydrate and a small rectangular form. The latter, when formed too long and narrow, is highly susceptable to detonation by weak static electricity from the human body. Touch her and she blows. If you don't know how to reliably form it into the more stable hex crystal, you probably shouldn't even try it at all.

By the way, lead styphnate is highly toxic. As long as it is held in a copper cup in tiny quantities, it poses no threat. But exposure to larger quantities constitutes immediate hazard to humans.

Bottom line: Either you blow yourself up by simple static, or you poison yourself through exposure. You choose.

Maybe flintlock doesn't sound so bad after all.

JimJD
March 17, 2009, 07:41 PM
That's an interesting question. It really is.
But I like my fingers...hands...and the ability to wipe my own arse.
Oh, and vision is nice too.

Just kidding around. :D

Erin Go Bragh!

33rowdy
March 17, 2009, 08:19 PM
I thought of this in the past. I would do it. But NOT on my own. If I had a pro with me that has done it in the past for a living to teach me...Then I would step up to the plate and do it.

marsofold
March 17, 2009, 09:24 PM
Mixing a single gram quantity of potassium chlorate, ground glass, sulfur, and mucilage should be safe enough that even if it went off, it wouldn't really hurt you. I suspect the way to do it would be to mix the mucilage with the sulfur and ground glass first. Then gently mix in the potassium chlorate into the liquid. After drying on the primer anvil, it should be functional. If sodium chlorate is available, then potassium chlorate can be precipitated out by mixing potassium chloride (salt substitute) with it in the correct ratio and filtering the mix through a coffee filter. Would make an interesting experiment. In a single gram quantity.

zxcvbob
March 17, 2009, 11:23 PM
Marsofold, I suspect a gram would be a dangerous amount. Certainly enough to deserve respect. (it probably needs a trace of calcium carbonate in there too to counteract acidity from impurities in the sulfur)

GaryL
March 17, 2009, 11:46 PM
That's one source of the process to make a lead based primer compound. It's worked wet, while it's wet it is stable/safe. Once dried out, it's very dangerous. Not for the faint of heart!

Heat solution B to 60-65 on a water bath and agitate it with a plastic or hardwood stirring rod. The stirring should be as efficient as possible to prevent the formation of large crystals. Stirring, while vigorous, should not produce any spattering of the mixture and the stirring should not rub against the walls of the beaker. The friction might cause some crystals to explode.This right here would be enough to stop me. Opps, *BOOM*. No thanks.

PBinWA
March 18, 2009, 12:02 AM
It looks like Potassium Percholate is available through various sources. Does anyone know exactly what chemicals are used in modern primers?

Anyone seen the gummy bear in Potassium Chlorate video on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=txkRCIPSsjM

PBinWA
March 18, 2009, 12:04 AM
Doh - I knew where to find that info:

http://www.winchester.com/pdf/MsdsPDF/msds_w63.pdf

http://glarp.atk.com/2008/msds/Primers.pdf

http://glarp.atk.com/2008/msds/Primers_Clean-Fire.pdf

http://glarp.atk.com/2008/msds/Primers_LeadFree.pdf

;)

PTK
March 18, 2009, 12:45 AM
I'll state this exactly once - it is against Federal regulations to produce high explosives without a license, and it is also against Federal regulations to make pyrotechnics without a lawful purpose. Reloading ammunition isn't a lawful purpose for pyrotechnics, and certain compositions (KClO3 and sulfur, for example) are legally treated as if you'd just made high explosives.

If you try to order chemicals that are very obviously going to be made into exploding compositions or explosives, one of two things will happen: the sale will be denied, or the sale will go through and at some point in the future you'll get a knock on the door from a friendly BATFE agent holding a warrant and wanting to see your chemicals.

Just because we like the topic (firearms and related) doesn't mean we should advocate breaking laws.

fishinfoo
March 18, 2009, 12:48 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0jxpLH8FtY&feature=channel_page

snuffy
March 18, 2009, 02:18 AM
PTK I'll state this exactly once - it is against Federal regulations to produce high explosives without a license, and it is also against Federal regulations to make pyrotechnics without a lawful purpose.

PTK and others, I think the main purpose of this thread is the "what if?" Or the SHTF scenario, total collapse of the gubmint and the society, how do we make primers?

Nobody has mentioned the toy caps possibility. Roll caps are still made, but darn hard to find. The stuff that makes them pop will work for primers. It's possible to liberate some of the explosive from the caps, put it in an ironed out fired primer, and re-seat the anvil. BUT again it's corrosive as heck, cleaning after even one shot would be imperative.

earlthegoat2
March 18, 2009, 02:24 AM
Just modify the flash hole to fit a No. 11 percussion cap.

naegus
June 26, 2009, 07:25 PM
I believe that in orer to make your own primers successfully, you may need to step back about two generations in gun technology. In the very early 1800's, percussion caps were made using an extremely explosive mixture of fulminated mercury and sulfer. This mixture is still being used today in various modern military cartridges. It does have one drawback: it is very corrosive. So, if you need to manufacture primers, I think that this woud be the way to go. You just have to clean your weapon much more frequently.

mokin
June 26, 2009, 09:06 PM
I don't have a good answer but I think that thinking a couple of generations back as a step forward as far as self reliance goes.

counterclockwise
June 26, 2009, 09:59 PM
.
If you are going to mess with Class 1 explosivies (flame front about Mach 10), then you need to do so in private, not in public, and you need to take extreme precaution.

Notice the fellow on youtube using the matches only did one primer at a time. There is a movie out and about somewhere made as a U.S. Army propaganda film that brags about the Lake City plant and shows them making primers in a short segment. To protect life and limb, only small batches should be considered and even then using thick polycarbonate shielded hoods and remote operated tools.

I fired two wolf LR primers off in my reloading press the other night in succession. It sounded like a 22 short going off and looked to have about the same thrust. NEVER EVER TRY TO ADJUST A PRIMER IN A CASE WITH POWDER AND/OR BULLET ATTACHED:eek:

ultralightbackpacker
June 26, 2009, 11:48 PM
Why does everybody get their pants in a wad over such topics? I care not to say more (but I will), but the great, great, great grand dads of the US would be embarassed to hear a lot of the bantering and using a wimp out clause. :banghead: How embarrassing.

Just modify tannerite to be a little bit more prone to fire (I mean blow up) when hit by less percussion. Simple stuff.

<ducks and runs>

moosehunt
June 27, 2009, 02:51 AM
Right on my friend! I'm not looking at this possible approach with any concern regarding what Big Brother and his BS laws might say. I'm also only looking at it as a way to be prepared, not as something I'll take up as a hobby. If it becomes necessary, I want to know how to do it, and to hell with Federal regulations, because they aren't going to mean diddly! They don't mean squat when I'm trying to survive! I'm not talking about primers for the local friendly shooting match.

Spay & neuter your kids!

Radaray
June 27, 2009, 02:06 PM
Uhhhhh, handling and storing primers carries with it its own dangers. Trying to manufacture them is over the line, in my opinion.

loadedround
June 28, 2009, 11:40 AM
I've been reading the past posts with much amusement and now I have to add my two cents to the mix. Many years ago corrosive primers were made with a Potassium Chlorate mix that was hell on rifle barrels because of the rust these primers caused. True, you could possibly make your own primers in a SOHF situation with used primers and Potassium Chlorate and several inert items, but this chemical, although fairly easy to obtain, is an extremly strong oxidizer and as a result can explode under a mild impact or improper handling. The last person I know of that played with this chemical is affectionately known as "Stubby" around here. Please don't even think about it.! :confused:

Shadmin
July 5, 2010, 01:01 PM
Here is a description of an experiment I conducted as a way to "reload" primers. However, I am not sure it would necessarily be any better than trying to obtain more primers in a survival situation where social structure has broken down and getting supplies has become difficult or even impossible? Anyway, the detonation compound in regular toy caps for cap guns will work, I tried it and it worked. I took the "filling" out of the toy plastic "cap" and loaded the reformed primer "cup" with it and then carefully glued in the 3 prong retainer which holds the primer detonator in place. I used new primer cups and used ones, of course I used the retainers from the new cups with the used ones. The ones I experimented with were small pistol primers and they worked quite well. Of course this is what I did experimentally and am in no way responsible for the results if you try this! I am simply describing an experiment I conducted and the results thereof and as such am not giving advice or recommending in any way that any person repeats this experiment. Good Luck and God Bless! ;)

zxcvbob
July 5, 2010, 01:34 PM
I believe that in orer to make your own primers successfully, you may need to step back about two generations in gun technology. In the very early 1800's, percussion caps were made using an extremely explosive mixture of fulminated mercury and sulfer. This mixture is still being used today in various modern military cartridges. It does have one drawback: it is very corrosive. So, if you need to manufacture primers, I think that this woud be the way to go. You just have to clean your weapon much more frequently. Nobody uses mercury primers anymore because they ruin your brass. You are thinking about corrosive (chlorate) primers. Chlorate is the right technology for DIY primers, but it's a good thing to leave alone. Maybe going back to flintlocks in TEOTWAWKI when you run out of commercial primers is a better idea.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 5, 2010, 01:51 PM
I wouldn't CONSIDER making my own primers - especially for any defense gun. I feel there is enough that can go wrong, why add to the odds?

I would rather have no cartridge than a cartridge that I believe I can depend on in a time of need, and have it not ignite!

I suppose if it is for a rifle to drop a deer or some other animal to put meat in the freezer, then that is another story altogether.

Is it even LEGAL to create your own primers?
I mean, if you were advertising that you do it, would the ATF be kicking your door in at 2 am?:what:

rcmodel
July 5, 2010, 02:04 PM
The fact is that primer mix is too dangerous for anyone to be fooling with at home.

Even major ammo manufactures and government ammo plants have had multiple fatality accidents involving primer mix explosions.

If they can blow themselves up with multi-million dollar manufacturing safeguards in place, inside a seperate bunker type primer manufacturing facility, you and I have no business fooling with the stuff at home!

rc

SuperNaut
July 5, 2010, 02:07 PM
As much as I advocate the DIY philosophy, I think I'll just squirrel away a SHTF supply of primers instead of trying to make 'em...

FROGO207
July 5, 2010, 02:26 PM
I think that the idea of the primers stored away is the best answer yet. I personally do double seal with desiccant (seal a meal) a box of assorted types in a master sealed pack and those in an ammo box. They will survive most likely if I do. Also some propellant in the same way. :cool:

ambidextrous1
July 5, 2010, 02:30 PM
That's the way to go, Supernaut!

Pick a number that makes you happy: 10,000, 20,000, maybe 50,000.

Use 1/5 of the quantity you decide on - then replenish your cache to the number you have chosen.

Repeat the procedure, using your primers on a FIFO basis. If primers become unavailable, you'll have an ample supply for the forsseable future, and you'll still have two hands and ten fingers; what's wrong with that?

WNTFW
July 5, 2010, 02:43 PM
Danger aside, if you don't figure it out before SHTF you probably won't figure it out after. So would this be the best use of your time/resoureces before SHTF? Or would buying a couple of K extra of primers before SHTF be better? Or would having ammo loaded and ready to go be the ticket?

You need to have food, water etc. so are primers the weakest link?

Does anyone worry about making their own brass?

rcmodel
July 5, 2010, 02:55 PM
Truth be known, you would probably be better served in a hunter/gather SHTF situation with a few .50 cal ammo cans full of .22 LR rim-fire ammo.

It will kill anything you can eat, while not making enough noise to alert all the other scavengers & criminals within 2 miles of your location.

And .22 RF ammo will be worth it's weight in gold as trading material.

rc

SharpsDressedMan
July 5, 2010, 03:05 PM
If you buy 20-50 thousand primers now ($600-$1500, figured at $30M in bulk) and store them right, you should never have to make homemade primers. You just KEEP buying them as available money permits, rotate your stock, and hole up (as many of us did during this last run on ammo, etc) when things get tougher. As mentioned above, the bullets are the more expensive item, and casting one's own is a better use of ones time and resources, and a hell of a lot safer. You could easily spend more than $1500 the first time you go to the hand surgeon.

azyogi
July 5, 2010, 03:08 PM
I have a TAP-O-CAP tool for making percusson caps for BP, the best roll caps for this purpose are American Western brand caps [made in Canada] followed by the ring style plastic caps. SHTF I think I would rather have my ROA or NMA with beer can percusson caps than a rebuilt primer in a cartridge.

BeerSleeper
July 5, 2010, 03:24 PM
I can see no possible way a "rebuilt" primer could be as reliable as a new one, especially in a SHTF scenario. I don't know about anyone else's vision of a SHTF, but in mine, reliable cartridge ignition is MORE important, not less important. At 3/pop, stockpiling seems a more efficient preparation than developing the means to rebuild them.

taliv
July 5, 2010, 04:10 PM
i'm not going to do it because it's too time consuming. i don't think it's too dangerous. search the archives and you'll find this has been discussed several times. my grandfather used to make his own primers probably 60+ years ago all the time as did many people in that generation. it was an interesting process and was apparently as reliable as most things of that day, and not the least bit dangerous, imho.

of course, what we consider safe and what they considered safe are wildly different things... for instance, they used to drive without seatbelts, while we tie on bungie cords and jump off bridges.

rcmodel
July 5, 2010, 04:20 PM
60+ years ago I was a pretty young whipper-snapper.
My daddy and some of his WWII buddies where pretty into shooting & hunting after they came home from the war.

But I never heard of anyone making thier own primers then, or now.
There was never any need to anyway, as war surplus primers where about $2 bucks a thousand for all you could carry. And commercial ones didn't cost much more then that in the mid-50's

rc

Grey Morel
July 5, 2010, 04:38 PM
See US Army Publication TM 31-210 - Improvised Munitions.


Potassium Chlorate is somewhat similar to potassium perchlorate in usage, most strike-anywhere matches are tipped with a combination of Potassium Chlorate and some other junk.

The main thing is not to damage the anvil!

This is not hard. I have done it, and so have many others. Matchstick primers DO work; you just need to take a few things into account:

* you need to use 'strike anywhere" matches.

* you need to prepare the match heads properly to attain a reliable priming compound.

* you need to meter the compound consistently to get reliable ignition.

A man by the name of 'Delmar' developed this procedure:

1) crush the heads off the matches using needle-nosed pliers

2) CAREFULLY grind the match heads into a fine powder

3) remove the anvil from a spent prime using needle nose pliers

4) take a punch and hammer, and strike out the old primer dimple

5) fill primer cup with ground match head powder.

6) take your punch and CAREFULLY tamp down the priming compound.

7) repeat steps 5 and 6 until primer cup is full of compressed match head powder.

8) re-seat the anvil by pressing down with your punch.

9) seat re-loaded primer into your cartridge.

In my experience, it takes at LEAST 3 match heads to provide enough priming material for reliable ignition with large pistol primers in 45 acp. you have to top-off and compress the powder several times to get it all inside the primer cup.

It also took me about 5 minutes PER PRIMER.

Another thing you need to know, is that matchstick primers do not store well. you need to use them within a few days or the moisture in the air will kill them.

Its fun to know how to do it... I experimented with them enough to see that they work, but I will continue to use commercial primers even at $.03 each for the increased consistency and the enormous amount of time they save.

rcmodel
July 5, 2010, 04:48 PM
AH!
Homemade corrosive primers!!

rc

ranger335v
July 5, 2010, 05:45 PM
"Reload" primers? Anything can be done if we're determined to do it. But, disassembling primer anvils from the cups, punching the cup flat, installing a new pellet and replacing the anvil is more than I care to think about. I'd rather throw rocks!

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 5, 2010, 05:45 PM
Truth be known, you would probably be better served in a hunter/gather SHTF situation with a few .50 cal ammo cans full of .22 LR rim-fire ammo.

It will kill anything you can eat, while not making enough noise to alert all the other scavengers & criminals within 2 miles of your location.

And .22 RF ammo will be worth it's weight in gold as trading material.

rc
I agree completely.

Also, unless we are heading into the very end of time where the entire globe is nothing by anarchy and Martial Law, anyone with some guns and some ammunition stored should be alright. How much is not enough and how much is too much? Put it this way, no matter how many guns I have and how much loaded ammo I have, there will always be someone who has a lot more than I have. Unless I am living in a fortified bunker with provisions for EVERYTHING, I, and many others, will be out looking for food. We can be prepared all we want, however all it takes is one shot that we weren't expecting and then it is perhaps die a long, horrible death, or just outright die.

I know where my destination is, and this old world is only a temporary stop for me. Death is as much a part of life as birth is!

Greg Mercurio
July 5, 2010, 05:53 PM
This is a classic example of "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Anyone willing to experiment with mass detonable compounds should have a will, self paid medical and a lot of land to work from. Lots of luck.

Rollis R. Karvellis
July 5, 2010, 05:56 PM
When it come's to this point, a good bow and reusable arrow's would probaly work better for hunting and, limited defince.

rcmodel
July 5, 2010, 06:01 PM
I noticed on the news last night a little 11 year old Platte City MO girl blew herself and her parents kitchen up with 4th of July "Party Snappers".
Blew the windows out of the kitchen, and she was in critical condition last I heard.

Seems she was dumping them all out of the boxes & seperating the packing materials.
Then putting them into a glass mixing bowl when one went off and detonated the rest of them.

Make your own primers?
Yea! Thats the ticket!

rc

sonier
July 5, 2010, 07:01 PM
matchead primers are the safest and easiest way to make your own primers in a shortage, they go bad after a few days and have "delayed explosion" when you laod matchstick primers if it dosnt fire wiat 30 seconds and point gun in safe direction, then quickly remove cartridge and put it in safe spot, making the matchead primers are safer than firing them by far.

taliv
July 5, 2010, 08:11 PM
while i appreciate the sarcasm, rcmodel, the fact is, we're doing lots of things that are inherently dangerous.

thousands of people die each year from accidents as a result of unsafe handling of firearms. the anti boards are full of sarcasm substantially similar to yours. reloading substantially increases the risk of catastrophic accidents. exceeding max published loads further increases those risks.

but the risks of all those are acceptable to most of us given some common sense and proper safety measures. i just don't see how reloading primers using match heads is any different.

Grey Morel
July 6, 2010, 04:45 PM
Anyone willing to experiment with mass detonable compounds should have a will, self paid medical and a lot of land to work from. Lots of luck.

... It's a handful of matches, not a brick of SEMTEX. If one DOES detonate on you, it just goes "pop", and you get mad you wasted 5 minutes of your life.

zxcvbob
July 6, 2010, 05:19 PM
It's a handful of matches, not a brick of SEMTEX. If one DOES detonate on you, it just goes "pop", and you get mad you wasted 5 minutes of your life.As long as it's just one. And as long as that's what we are talking about, and not mixing up a bucketful of Armstrong's mixture, mercury fulminate, or lead or silver azide.

Greg Mercurio
July 6, 2010, 07:21 PM
If in the worst case, you were reduced to making primers from match heads, you could probably make a case for this DYI BS. You might better have spent a little of the time invested herein researching and funding an ample supply of the real deal. But I'm presupposing you have a few tens of thousand spent primers as feedstock, along with a few tens of thousand of kitchen matches as well.

And that's what's great about being American. You can do damn near any foolishness and someone is always around to clean up your mess.

SharpsDressedMan
July 6, 2010, 07:33 PM
I have lots more primers on hand than matches. I must be in the mInority...........

qajaq59
July 7, 2010, 09:30 AM
Seems to me that making your own primers might be more dangerous then the enemy would be in a SHTF situation. It'd be easier to steal their primers.

disentropy
January 24, 2011, 09:39 PM
I just found this thread via google and I wanted to add that there is an electrical alternative to conventional primers. Remington even made a rifle called the Etronx. Here is an article about it:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_6_47/ai_74033119/

The basic idea is that instead of the hammer crushing the primer, its possible to set off the primer via electrical discharge - the same way your BBQ lighter works. When pressure is applied to a piezoelectrically active crystal (such as Quartz) it will build up a voltage which can get high enough to ionize the air surrounding it (i.e. a spark). Instead of tetracyne they add carbon to the primer compound (I think) and that makes it conductive enough to have the electrical ark land there.

The advantages of this process were that lock time is reduced to essentially zero. The disadvantages are.. too many to list :)

Also, as designed, it still required a primer. However it was a step in the direction of all-electrical priming of the bullet.. a concept which I think should be doable, but like others have said pretty dangerous :)

Here are some possibilities:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosive_primer
and here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer_primer#Electrical

CHALK22
January 24, 2011, 10:16 PM
I think for about $3/100+/-for primers..............I'll just give'em the $3. Plus they come in such a convienient carrying case!

Joe in fla
January 24, 2011, 10:28 PM
Among other nasty things, primers usually contain a significant amount of PETN, a HIGH explosive which REQUIRES a federal permit to even possess. Do yourself a BIG, BIG favor and don't even consider trying to make your own primers! I've read the manuals about mixing priming compound and loading primers. It's an incredibly difficult and dangerous job and accidents are common even with modern equipment. When priming compound ignites, it goes high order, in other words, it DETONATES. Even small amounts of priming compound can cause huge explosions and do a LOT of damage! If you concerned about future availability then save some money and lay in a stock of primers. Kept in a good, sealed container such as an ammo can they'll last very nearly forever.

Sitting on ~30,000 of the little suckers! :-)

Curator
January 24, 2011, 10:56 PM
When in Brazil last year a back-woods villager on teh Rio Paxim showed me how he reloaded 209 shotgun primers with strike anywhere match tips. First he knocked out the cup and anvil, cleaned the primer body and using a ground-flat nail straightened out the primer "dent." Next the placed about 20 "kitchen" matches in a a damp cloth overnight to soften. The next day he used a razor blade to surgically remove the white tip. He added a small amount of water and medicinal alcohol then ground the tips into a damp paste. He filled the primer cups about 2/3 full with the paste and assembled the primer while the compound was still damp. (he used a small vise) Primers were loaded into plastic shotshells and kept dry for several days before loading with black powder and home-cut cardboard wads. He was loading steel B-Bs because these (and black powder) were available. Brazil is a crazy place. There is no legal source of ammunition but muzzle loaders are allowed on the Amazon and western frontier for subsistance hunting and protection. Everything is either smuggled in from Paraguay or Bolivia or home made. The home-made shot shells shot fine with their home-made primers. Of course, Black powder doesn't need much spark to light.

taliv
January 25, 2011, 12:06 AM
Among other nasty things, primers usually contain a significant amount of PETN, a HIGH explosive which REQUIRES a federal permit to even possess. Do yourself a BIG, BIG favor and don't even consider trying to make your own primers! I've read the manuals about mixing priming compound and loading primers. It's an incredibly difficult and dangerous job and accidents are common even with modern equipment. When priming compound ignites, it goes high order, in other words, it DETONATES. Even small amounts of priming compound can cause huge explosions and do a LOT of damage! If you concerned about future availability then save some money and lay in a stock of primers. Kept in a good, sealed container such as an ammo can they'll last very nearly forever.

Sitting on ~30,000 of the little suckers! :-)

while i won't give anyone grief for erring on the side of safety in their public recommendations...

sitting on 30k of them would be breaking the law most places unless properly stored, which is highly unlikely in a residence. see this thread for some anecdotes, but it is your responsibility to understand the laws in your own state/city
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=259164

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