Sealing primers


April 6, 2010, 07:51 PM
I have not read anything about sealing primers? What are the advantages or disadvantages?
Just wondering.

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April 6, 2010, 09:37 PM
The advantages are easier identification at the range, they will store forever, and you will improve your painting skills. The disadvantages are the time to work on your painting skills could be better used elsewhere, it really isn't necessary, and it ads another step that you really don't need to add.

Properly loaded ammo with good neck tension will keep your powder dry and fresh just as long sealed or unsealed. Unless your brass is worn out & still has tight primer pockets, sealing them will not gain you any benefit. If you plan on storing them under water or in a very moist location just put them in an ammo can with a good seal and a dessicant pack. It should last as long as you need it to. Heat & temp swings will do more damage to the ammo.

There are threads somewhere about sealing case necks & primer pockets. I didn't search them out, but they are here.
Ahhh, here's one. :)

April 6, 2010, 11:20 PM
Are you refering to the sealant on mil-surp ammo like xm193 and the like? Would you use some sort of laquer or actual paint?

April 6, 2010, 11:31 PM
For long term storage, lacquer thinned with lacquer thinner, or plain old fingernail polish work well.

If you're not doing long term storage, it's not worth the bother.

But if you do, put a big enough drop of polish on the top of the primer that it will run down into the space between the primer and the case. Then wipe off the excess on top.

April 6, 2010, 11:58 PM
If you really got ta do it, hard as nails works well. I prefer purple. :neener:

April 7, 2010, 12:05 AM
I color code my nail polish according to the load. :D

April 7, 2010, 12:26 PM
If you're not doing long term storage, it's not worth the bother.It's not worth the bother if you are doing long term storage.

Actually, unless you plan to spend the monsoon season standing waste deep in a foxhole full of water there is absolutely no reason to lacquer seal primers on hand loaded ammo.

It is a total waste of your time and perfectly good lacquer.


Marlin 45 carbine
April 7, 2010, 02:30 PM
it would likely be a good idea to seal primers of ammo used in the 'boomsticks' that divers use for shark protection. some years back I was camping with a group in the forest mountains and one fella had evidently dropped some handload .45acp which I found months later re-visiting the campsite. despite this rainy area all the rounds fired, around 10-12 or so.

April 7, 2010, 02:43 PM
Sealant on primers and bullets is Ok if the rounds are left out in the rain and other elements, before being picked up for use.
It's just a specification the military have incase of extreme conditions.
For rounds kept out of the weather before use theres no need for it.

April 7, 2010, 04:14 PM
Well, if it's a waste of time, somebody forgot to tell the marines!:p

April 7, 2010, 04:38 PM
All GI ammo, not just the Marine ammo, has sealed primers and sealed bullets.

But they are the same guys I was talking about standing in a foxhole full of water for days on end.

If you are not standing in water for days on end with your handloads, it's a waste of time.


John Wayne
April 7, 2010, 06:23 PM
I sealed a few rounds for a recent camping trip. Rained a lot, sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night and my gun was sitting in a puddle even though it was inside the tent. All rounds went bang when I fired them at the range after the trip. They might have gone bang anyway.

I could have been wasting my time, but if so I only wasted about 15 seconds. I only do the nail polish laquer on rounds I intend to carry in rainy environments--I've probably ''waterproofed'' 20 out of a few thousand rounds loaded.

April 7, 2010, 07:10 PM
i knew i saw it somewhere.....

my huntington catalog has honest to god primer sealant in it

it's called "george and roys primer sealant" (huntingtons item GR100) and is available at

April 7, 2010, 10:11 PM
I've probably ''waterproofed'' 20 out of a few thousand rounds loaded.

Yep, me too. Used the wife's Hard as nails polish.

April 8, 2010, 12:02 AM
It's an admittedly small sample (1), but here's a .45acp round I picked up at the range. There's no telling how long it had been exposed to the elements. I pulled the corroded bullet and found powder that looked like new. I piled it on the bottom of an empty coke can and it burnt like Titegroup when lit with a Bic. I decapped the primer and used it in one of my reloads without any problem at all. Draw your own conclusions, but I don't see any need to seal primers for anything I load.

April 8, 2010, 01:58 PM
This is like one of those endless 9MM vs .45 arguments.

I think we can all agree that sealing primers does no harm.

We can disagree forever if there's any benefit to it, and under what conditions it would be done.

For ammo that will be stored long term, I seal primer and bullet, then store it in an air tight G-I ammo can with dessicant, and store it at about 55 degrees in an underground storage facility at a friend's ranch.

The other 99 percent of my ammo is not sealed.

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