Mild scare last night


October 8, 2003, 10:49 AM
I was sizing a couple of hundred .38 and .357 rounds last night. After looking through the box of stuff I bought from a friend I found one more box of 50 .38 rounds so I began to size them as well. After doing about 35 of them I noticed that the primer I just popped out had not been fired. I got to looking and found that all 50 of the last box had already been primed. Not so scary, but whenever I hear people talk about popping out unfired primers they talk about how careful you need to be. I was not careful by any means, it is a wonder none went off on me.

Be careful out there.

PS anyone looking to sell a .357 ruger so I can use these shells?

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October 8, 2003, 01:42 PM
i've popped live primers out w/ the decapping die... i just don't hit the primer hard, and have never had a problem.

i try to do it the old fashioned way, though, if at all possible (fire the gun). i have chambered and fired cases w/ only a primer in it. gun gets a little dirty, but not a big deal.

Dave R
October 8, 2003, 05:58 PM
Yup. Firing those primers in a firearm first, and then decapping, sounds like the safe way to do it.

I'm morbidly curious how bad the damage would be if you did ignite a primer in the press. Just a few scorched arm hairs? Broken decapping pin? Die shrapnel filling the room? Your "O" press becomes a "C" press?

October 8, 2003, 06:15 PM
Just decapping live primers, while not really a great idea, wouldn't hurt anything.
However, doing that on a progressive could rain sparks onto freshly charged powder in the adjacent station.
If you have live primers or powder nearby that wouldn't really be a good thing either, I wouldn't think...

I've prolly set off more live primers that I could count, having used a lee loader kit for several years while 'getting my feet wet'.

I've decapped lots of live primers by accident, and have never had one go off in a regular press.

Larry Ashcraft
October 8, 2003, 06:39 PM
I've decapped lots of live primers and never had one go off. I always turn my head and pull the handle slowly though.

A primer going off is about like a firecracker, the old 1.5" Black Cats. My dad hit one with a hammer once to show me and my brother what it would do (this was in the early 60's).

We used to burn our trash in the 50's and 60's. When the shop trash got emptied, you would hear little "pops" as the damaged primers went off.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
October 9, 2003, 12:52 AM
As a commercial reloader I have decapped a number of live primers in a STar reloader without any problems but if a batch of brass has live primers from pulling bullets I usually just load and plink with them or fire wax bullets with them.

October 9, 2003, 01:59 AM
The bang isn't much but you can get some small shrapnel from the primer shell and anvil. Not gonna hurt the press or dies.
Can get your eyes.
Be careful and wear safety goggles.

Popped quite a few when decappin mercuric primed GI brass.


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