I have a question about pre primed brass


February 7, 2013, 08:11 PM
A few years ago, I would say about 4, I had purchased 500 .223 casings which were pre primed. Unfortunately before I was able to reload I was transferred and had to move. Since then they have been stored away and have not been used. They have been stored in an area where the climate varies.

Do you think the primers are still good, or should I buy new ones and change them out now that I am in a location and a position where I can start reloading.

If I should change them out, is there anything I would have to do differently to de-prime the casings since they have live primers in them.

Thank you in advance for your help since I am new to reloading.

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February 7, 2013, 08:31 PM
I've been reloading several years and it seems that primers will live through a lot. You weren't too specific about the conditions, but if they were at least kept out of the weather I say go for it. Maybe chamber an empty case and test fire the primer. Just be more vigilant in detecting a squib especially if it is a semi-auto you're loading for.

February 7, 2013, 08:32 PM
Climate can certainly cause primers to go bad but you may be OK. Try firing a few of the unloaded cases and see if the primer goes off. If it does, I would go ahead and reload them.

February 7, 2013, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the info, i'll try test firing a couple. As far as the climate, they were stored in Wisconsin, most of the time in a storage unit but the weather is anywhere from 100 in the summers to below zero in the winters.

February 7, 2013, 09:34 PM
They would be the same as if they were stored in their original packaging. Test firing some without powder and bullet will tell you if they're still good. It takes a lot to kill a primer.

Hope this helps.


February 7, 2013, 09:52 PM
They'll be fine. I have 100 .222 Mag cases I primed about 20 years ago. They got stuck back and forgotten. I'll load them one day soon. My loaded .222 Mag is almost gone. I do not shoot it as much as I used to. I am fortunate to have more choices in rifles these days. Still a great caliber/rifle though.

February 7, 2013, 11:10 PM
I just loaded up a couple hundred primers that I found in my grandfathers workshop. They were up on a beam and the boxes were covered with about an inch of sawdust. They were old Olin primers from the 60's I believe. They all went bang for me. Now that unheated building leaked some and the temperatures ranged from -30 to + 120 in there (Maine) for a lot of years before I used them so I bet yours are A-OK. As suggested try a sample lot and see if they work first before loading them all up. I would load them and shoot them and not just pop the primers on the test samples were it me doing this.

February 7, 2013, 11:13 PM
I had a case of LR BR primers that sat in a very poor enviroment (SD) for a number of years, like close to 15 yrs. I think. All of them worked just fine when I finally got them back. I would definitely use those.


February 7, 2013, 11:47 PM
Thanks for all the info.

February 9, 2013, 10:12 AM
I was given a box of 50 Remington primed nickel plated .45acp cases in 1966. Price on the box is $3.50.
These have been sitting in my cabinet until last week when I loaded them. Every one shot just like new. Storage has been in normal indoor climate. After 47 years, there is no deterioration. I can't say the same about my body which is not quite as good at 73 as at 26.

February 9, 2013, 01:14 PM
Primers found in the Great Pyramid were still functional after three thousand years.

Seriously, though, primers last a long time. Sometimes, even methods to inert them that are considered foolproof, like soaking with WD-40 or oil, fail to to the trick. I think yours will be just dandy.

Hondo 60
February 9, 2013, 08:57 PM
I'd say "bring em in & let em set for a week."
That'll make sure they're dry.

They should work like a champ then.

If you try em while they're damp, it may not go so good.
Just make sure you dry em out first.

February 11, 2013, 10:49 AM
thanks I will definitely do that. I appreciate all the help

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