Is There a Reason Primer Boxes Have Gotten so Big?


PDA






barnbwt
March 4, 2013, 12:37 AM
I got lucky yesterday; finally found a 1000pk of large and small pistol primers (not great price, but only ~5-10% over what I payed six months ago). Is it me, or are the primer trays getting bigger? When I first started reloading about 2 years ago, they were 3"x3" trays, now they're 5"x5" trays. A few weeks back a guy at work sold me some old CCIs he had hanging around--tiny at 2"x2"!

What gives? Are the manufacturers being required to pack them less densely because the primers have gotten more dangerous or something? :rolleyes: Or is it simply the manufacturers are trying to charge more for packaging and a bigger billboard?

TCB

If you enjoyed reading about "Is There a Reason Primer Boxes Have Gotten so Big?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
gamestalker
March 4, 2013, 12:43 AM
I hear ya, I've been seeing this trend for more than 30 yrs. and can't figure out the manufacture reasoning for the life of me?

GS

ReloaderFred
March 4, 2013, 01:12 AM
It's to provide more airspace between the individual primers. This is done to lessen the possibility of sympathetic explosion while in transport.

A couple of years ago I gave some old primers in the wooden trays to the reps from Federal at the SHOT Show. They were pretty spooked at handling them that way, so they've evidently had some type of problem in the past.

Hope this helps.

Fred

ljnowell
March 4, 2013, 01:33 AM
The federals are the worst! They take up twice the space as everything else!

Wil Terry
March 4, 2013, 12:58 PM
The federals are the worst! They take up twice the space as everything else!
The FEDERALS are also BY FAR the most sensitive to sympathtic detonation.

ZeSpectre
March 4, 2013, 01:03 PM
It's to provide more airspace between the individual primers. This is done to lessen the possibility of sympathetic explosion while in transport.
I have been told this as well.

HOWARD J
March 4, 2013, 01:14 PM
Why are Federal primers so easy to install ---I can almost push them in with my thumb.
They measure the same dia. as a CCI

chris in va
March 4, 2013, 02:26 PM
HOWARD J Why are Federal primers so easy to install ---I can almost push them in with my thumb.
They measure the same dia. as a CCI


Thinner/softer cup material.

cja245
March 4, 2013, 02:33 PM
I try to avoid Federal primers mainly because they take up so much damn space.

Certaindeaf
March 4, 2013, 02:34 PM
No one really knows. What is known is that Federal has been large for quite some time. Rumor has it that they heard that industry-wide packaging mandates were about to be implemented but they never were but had already switched over to satisfy those.. they never switched back because of already sunk costs.
I've not heard that their packaging is any safer than the much smaller CCI etc.

HOWARD J
March 4, 2013, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the info--that's what one of my kids said.
I always use CCI---I don't like the feel you get on a Fed primer but beggers can't be choosers. That box takes up a lot of space I still have some of the old CCI boxes--- they are very small compared to Fed.

Ken70
March 4, 2013, 02:51 PM
Federal is the only company to use "basic" primer compound. Look at it wrong (like the Happy Fun Ball) and they go off. Everybody else uses "normal" compound, that's why Lee says only Winchester and CCI if you're using a LM.

cfullgraf
March 4, 2013, 03:12 PM
Besides the safety aspect of the increased space around the primers, the new, larger trays with individual primer pockets may be easier, faster, and cheaper to fill. Also, camera Q/C systems may be able to determine missing primers in the trays easier.

A theory based on my experience working with high speed consume goods packaging equipment.

1KPerDay
March 4, 2013, 04:53 PM
I've been working through my stash of 70's era CCI primers and I love the little trays; they're easy to unload into my lee safety prime tray. The newer CCI trays are Juuuuuust small enough to fit, but I have to dump one row at a time and slide the tray along to keep it centered over the round lee safety prime.

BullfrogKen
March 4, 2013, 05:03 PM
The Fiocchi primer trays are still pretty compact.

But yeah, I avoid Federals just because they're such a pain to store.

BruceB
March 4, 2013, 07:17 PM
Some years ago, Federal actually TESTED their primer packaging (rather than guessing, interpolating, navel-examining etc. etc.).

They placed a large quantity of their primers , in factory packaging, out in the open and set fire to the pile. The resulting explosion was sufficiently impressive that the packaging was immediately changed, and THAT is why Federal started the trend to larger (and less risky) packages.

Now, stop complaining and enjoy the increased safety of your primer packages! (Those bigger boxes also don't fit on older 'flipper' trays... I consider that a small price to pay, and bought one of the bigger Dillon trays).

1KPerDay
March 4, 2013, 11:50 PM
So the larger boxes are composed of fireproof paper? :D

CGT80
March 5, 2013, 02:39 AM
The Wolf/Tula primers are great. All the primers are flipped the same way. I flip a tray over, onto my big brass dillon primer tray, and push the plastic insert out of the cardboard. That leaves me with ten rows of ten primers lined up neatly to be picked up by the dillon tubes. I can load 100 primers in a tube in 1 minute 8 seconds.

I have some Federal Large Rifle Mag primers. 5 trays of those take up the same space as 10+ trays of the others. It works ok though. I don't use many of those. I do use akro bins to keep primers in. 8 of the dillon 550 bins will fit in a drawer of my loading bench. Each bin has a type of primer. I keep the cases of primers in a different location. I can't fit everything right at my bench.

I have some of those old Winchester Staynless (I think that is how it was spelled on the box) primers in the small wood packages. They are pretty cool. I haven't bothered to see if they actually still would ignite.

Fire_Moose
March 5, 2013, 03:19 AM
I Luke remington's packaging.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

evan price
March 5, 2013, 05:18 AM
Federal did it for safety as said above...others do it because bigger box is more attractive to the buyer. Smaller boxes are seen as being less. Marketing.

rodregier
March 5, 2013, 06:12 AM
My understanding is that standard testing protocol is a blasting cap is installed in the center of a cubic meter of primers in shipping packaging assembled at a test site. The blasting cap is fired from a safe distance and the outcome checked. There should be no significant evidence of sympathetic detonation of the packaged primers around the blasting cap.

This represents a worse-case transportation accident.

The report I read is that *earlier* generation Federal primer packaging failed this test miserably, and the whole assembly went high-order. Apparently the "boom" was heard many miles away.

BBQJOE
March 5, 2013, 10:24 AM
Every time I throw away a primer tray, I can't help but think there must be a post use for these things.
But the only thing I can think of are really tiny ice cubes.:scrutiny:

rogn
March 5, 2013, 10:38 AM
Some people use them to count out large sizes of waterfowl shot when loading high performance shotshells. Heavyshots expensive and good counts are good for performance.

rodregier
March 5, 2013, 12:08 PM
New threshold for tedious - ouch! I thought I had OCD tendancies :-)

Trent
March 5, 2013, 12:53 PM
How they used to look, with 50 BMG added for scale :)

http://i.imgur.com/G0D9Tl.jpg

Fire_Moose
March 5, 2013, 04:47 PM
Every time I throw away a primer tray, I can't help but think there must be a post use for these things.
But the only thing I can think of are really tiny ice cubes.:scrutiny:

Haha me too.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

Drail
March 5, 2013, 07:57 PM
I don't have a link but i remember back in the 90s when Federal redesigned their packaging. Supposedly in some tests they set off an entire pallet of primers (in the old small packaging) and people who lived miles away were calling 911 asking what the hell just blew up. I don't have any problem with their bulky packaging if it makes primers safer to ship. Deal with it. These things are very dangerous in large quantities and Federal primers ARE very sensitive. With things the way they are now I am amazed that you can load them onto a truck and ship them cross country. I used to drive fuel tankers and you couldn't pay me enough to drive a truck full of primers. No way.

Fire_Moose
March 5, 2013, 08:45 PM
I know there are limits to how much powder can go on one truck. I'd assume there is a similar limit for primers.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

fguffey
March 6, 2013, 09:02 AM
R. Lee, in his book on modern reloading claimed Federal primers were more powerful, he spent a lot if time pointing out the perils of of getting them close to gather, then? When giving credits he claimed he did not test Federal primers, he said he did not test Federal primers because they did not donate primers to be tested. So, it could be said Federal, in an effort to give R. Lee something to complain about they started selling their primers in large primer trays to make it difficult to transfer primers from the large tray to the Lee automatic hand hand primer.

My favorite primer is the ‘more powerful’ primer, I use a lot of Federal primers, moving primers from the large tray to a flip tray to any hand primer has never been a problem for me.

F. Guffey

Nalgi
March 7, 2013, 12:49 AM
its because us Baby Boomers cant work with the little ones anymore

Queen_of_Thunder
March 7, 2013, 09:12 AM
The FEDERALS are also BY FAR the most sensitive to sympathtic detonation.
What! Now I'm heaing this. Many people reccomended that I use Federal primers only and now I hear this. What gives?

Triumph
March 7, 2013, 10:32 AM
Interesting!

I purchased some Federal & CCI primers the other day & was wondering about the packaging. Ordered a bunch of CCI off Cabelas last night. Only have a few hundred Federal. I'll be sure not to look at the Federals wrong:eek:

I was reading LEE's book last night and he is very anti primer tube (for any primers) & Federal primers for Lee primer system.

I have a Dillon 550B on the way & now have a very healthy fear of a kaboom in the primer tube (have now seen 3 other threads on it). I know it's very rare but don't want to be the guy!!

Guess I'll use save the Federal primers for my single stage & use the CCI in the Dillon primer tubes.

Lj1941
March 7, 2013, 11:14 AM
Safety-Greater space between individual primers:)

Trent
March 7, 2013, 11:32 AM
Has a Dillon primer tube ever gone off? With 6 spots of separation from the priming surface, from the tube, I'd think it'd be very difficult to get a Dillon tube to go during the reloading operation.

fguffey
March 7, 2013, 12:42 PM
Today, 11:32 AM #32
Triumph
Member


Join Date: October 19, 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 213 Federal Primers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting!

I purchased some Federal & CCI primers the other day & was wondering about the packaging. Ordered a bunch of CCI off Cabelas last night. Only have a few hundred Federal. I'll be sure not to look at the Federals wrong

I was reading LEE's book last night and he is very anti primer tube (for any primers) & Federal primers for Lee primer system.

I have a Dillon 550B on the way & now have a very healthy fear of a kaboom in the primer tube (have now seen 3 other threads on it). I know it's very rare but don't want to be the guy!!

Guess I'll use save the Federal primers for my single stage & use the CCI in the Dillon primer tubes.



“I was reading LEE's book last night and he is very anti primer tube (for any primers) & Federal primers for Lee primer system”

Trumphy, as a suggestion, keep reading, there is a gap between “anti primer tube (for any primers) & Federal primers for Lee primer system”, he gives thanks to all those companies that donated to his cause, he claims he did not test Federal primers because Federal did not donate primers to be tested. I am not saying R. Lee was not happy with Federal, I am not saying they did not respect him in his effort and as a results he did not respect Federal in his book, I am not saying he covered himself by making the claim “I did not test Federal primers”. I did not purchase Lee’s book on modern reloading, it was given to me, the person that gave it to me called a few days after giving me the book with a question. I ask him why he did not read the book before giving it to me. Seems there was something he wanted to know but had no interest in reading /researching so he gave me the book knowing I would.

“I have a Dillon 550B on the way & now have a very healthy fear of a kaboom in the primer tube (have now seen 3 other threads on it). I know it's very rare but don't want to be the guy!!”

FEAR/RESPECT: The thread from CALGUN.COM was spread throughout the reloading forums, there is a chance there was one instance repeated three different ways. Again, I would not grab for a tube of primers for any reason, as I said before it is not easy to do but when things go really wrong it is better to make that sound than do the wrong thing. Dillon is a manufacturer, they also do testing, Dillon can not set primers off with a discharge of electricity, they can fold loaded primer tubes in the center to crush primers. When folded the primers are crushed/pushed out from the center, if the primers can not exit fast enough the tube splits. It is not easy to crush a short tube, leverage is gained when the tube is supported on the ends. Again, If I should for some reason drop a tube of primers I will try and make that sound, that sound is made when someone is presented with a crises and does not react, they just make that sound. If they act they could kill themselves or others when an animal runs out in front of them and the worst choice is made as in swerving.

Every winter, drivers are doing good, like “look at me”, “I can really drive good on ice”, then? The first reaction is ‘go for the brakes’, and it is all over, slowly. The best training is practice and knowing when to make that sound.

F. Guffey

Trent
March 7, 2013, 01:04 PM
Thanks fguffey, I did some digging between that post and now, and did find a LOT of blow up Dillon presses.

Kind of backs up the "wear safety glasses" thing...

Hondo 60
March 7, 2013, 02:14 PM
Originally Posted by BBQJOE View Post
Every time I throw away a primer tray, I can't help but think there must be a post use for these things.
But the only thing I can think of are really tiny ice cubes. :scrutiny:

For 99% of us this doesn't need to be mentioned.

BUT

Don't forget, priming compound is a mechanical mixture of lead styphnate, antimony sulfide, barium nitrate, and other chemicals.

DO NOT USE THE PRIMER TRAYS FOR CONSUMABLES. (like ice cubes) :uhoh:

plodder
March 7, 2013, 02:17 PM
Wow, I have been blissfully cranking out the rounds on my 650XL and blowing up the primers in the feed tube has not been at the top of my concerns. Now when I get back at it tonight or over the weekend I will be paranoid. Maybe a good thing??:eek:

Triumph
March 7, 2013, 02:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQJOE View Post
Every time I throw away a primer tray, I can't help but think there must be a post use for these things.
But the only thing I can think of are really tiny ice cubes.


For 99% of us this doesn't need to be mentioned.

BUT

Don't forget, priming compound is a mechanical mixture of lead styphnate, antimony sulfide, barium nitrate, and other chemicals.

DO NOT USE THE PRIMER TRAYS FOR CONSUMABLES.


That cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh today.

SSN Vet
March 7, 2013, 02:52 PM
inflation :)

gotta make 'em feel like they got something extra (air) if you're gonna jack the price

BruceB
March 7, 2013, 11:09 PM
Re: Dillon primer tube

Many years ago, gun-writer Ed Matunas did a "live-fire test" on the Dillon primer shield.

He set up one of the Dillon steel shields at a safe distance with a full 100-primer tube inside it. A .223 bullet through the tube produced "an impressive fireball"....and that was all.

A photo of the tube after the test showed distortion around the bullet hole, but that was the extent of the damage....the tube was otherwise intact.

I would purely HATE to have my face near that explosion, but personal damage would mostly amount to a ringing in the ears. That column of primers is a VERY GOOD reason to always wear good safety glasses when handloading, though.

GaryL
March 8, 2013, 06:20 PM
Also, camera Q/C systems may be able to determine missing primers in the trays easier.Well, if you don't mind a little educatin'....

I do automation stuff, including camera inspection systems. I have done many applications ranging from microchips to car doors and candy, with inspection rates up to 1000 parts per minute. A smaller tray would be easier to inspect with automated equipment than a large one. You would get more resolution (pixels) per primer, not to mention the possibility of maybe a lower priced camera for the same capability. The lighting would also be slightly less challenging, as its usually easier to provide consistent illumination in a smaller area for a smaller inspection surface at a lower cost.

Ike Arumba
March 8, 2013, 06:46 PM
I accept the above-cited reasons for the larger Federal packages. Nevertheless, this reminds me of something that happened many years ago, when I worked for Hewlett-Packard. Management told us with great enthusiasm about how astute marketing had driven the new redesign of inkjet cartridge boxes. The old boxes had been small and rectangular, making efficient use of materials. The new design was much bigger, with the ends slanted 45 degrees to form a trapezoid when viewed from the top. It was much more wasteful of materials and shelf space. But, they so proudly noted, there was consumer resistance to paying such a high price for such a small box, whereas the bigger box made it look like one got more for the money. The diagonal ends also supposedly made the box look more visible on the shelf from more angles.

That was when I realized that the HP culture was on its way downhill. Prior to that, the joke had been that if HP had sold sushi, it would be labeled "cold, dead fish".

BBQJOE
March 8, 2013, 07:08 PM
For 99% of us this doesn't need to be mentioned.

Oh holy hell.
Please forgive me. :banghead:

I hate typing words and thoughts that may have been said or thought before, anywhere.

GaryL
March 9, 2013, 10:48 AM
Tiny ice cubes for putting bad primers on ice. :neener:

suzukisam
March 9, 2013, 11:34 AM
I live a few miles from the lake city munitions plant. and every so often just to remind their employees of the dangers they work around, they take a brick of BMG primers and set another brick (can't remember the distance) a little ways away and detonate the first brick, and the second brick goes up shortly after..

ReloaderFred
March 9, 2013, 12:39 PM
When I first started reloading in 1963 there weren't many options for primers, and you bought anything you could find. All this complaining about packaging size doesn't make any sense to me at all. Everyone should just be happy that components are available and stop worrying about the minutia.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Whew! I feel better now..............

rodregier
March 9, 2013, 03:06 PM
I'm happy. Preventing transport "incidents" helps ensure primers can still be shipped by common carriers. The alternative is very ugly to contemplate. Imagine what primers would cost if the transport vehicles were build like EOD transport trucks?

If you enjoyed reading about "Is There a Reason Primer Boxes Have Gotten so Big?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!