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Sealing primers??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dstark, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. dstark

    dstark Well-Known Member

    Just wondering if anyone seals their primers, I've used clear nail polish and primer sealer but they both seem to make more of a mess than anything. Its hard to get a thin enough layer not to leave any excess, and any left on the brass doesn't come of in the tumbler next go around. It's probably not worth it but figured I would give it a try anyhow.
  2. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    It is not worth the trouble.
  3. PTK

    PTK Well-Known Member

    I put a small dab of any nail polish on the primer, making sure it fills the small gap around the primer and the case. I then wipe it with a rag, leaving just a small ring in the gap, sealing the primer.

    It does add another step, but it takes all of 5 seconds a round, which is fine by me for cartridges I carry around. For range fodder, I don't bother sealing the primer.
  4. herohog

    herohog Well-Known Member

    Anybody used thinned lacquer?
  5. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Well-Known Member

    I know they sell primer sealer under various brandnames, but I've never used any of it.

    WESHOOT2 Well-Known Member

    up! from the submarine....

    I have used George & Roys Primer Sealant with great success.
  7. poe

    poe Active Member

    Should you also seal around the bullet? How does nail polish work. I could possibly purloin some of that from the wifey.
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    In loading some 750,000 rounds or so, I've never found the need to seal either the bullets or the primers, but then I don't go surfing with ammunition in my pockets either. As a matter of fact, I don't surf. I've carried ammunition in just about every Kind of weather there is while working, and I've never had a round fail to go off when I needed it to.

    Military ammunition is sealed because it may have to endure surf, mud, rain for days and days, etc. Unless you're subjecting your ammunition to these conditions on a daily basis, there is really no need to seal them.

    Hope this helps.

  9. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    I only seal storage ammo and hunting ammo, for plinkin, it's not worth the time.

    I have had commercial pistol ammo get wet and fail to fire (blazer aluminum)

    Nail polish is primer sealant. I don't seal the bullets, I think the bullet and the case mouth are self sealing, especially lead bullets with a crimp, I just don't see water getting by that. It works by flowing around the gap between the top of the primer and the brass and drying quickly. It stays flexible and will dissolve in laquer thinner even after it dries.

    I bought the commercial stuff the first time, but when I need it again, I'll head to K-Mart and get a big cheap bottle of red fingernail polish.

    It really speeds thing up and makes for a cleaner job if you have a decent small artist brush that comes to a point. I seal after the rounds are fully loaded.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It is a total waste of your time unless you plan on standing in a foxhole full of water in the rain for days on end.

    Primers themselves are already sealed from the factory with a disk of foil and a drop of red, green, blue, etc lacquer depending on the brand. They fit the primer pocket in the case so tightly water can't get by them. Same for the bullets.

    Unless the ammo is totally submerged, they won't leak.

    If you have to hunt in a monsoon, put your spare ammo in a Zip-Lock bag.

  11. birdbustr

    birdbustr Well-Known Member

    I've got to go with RC and the others that say there's no need to seal. I've never had a shotgun or rifle round fail to fire due to rain or even due to being dropped into water. I've hunted in some really wet situations, (ie. swamps, flooded timber, rain, sleet, snow, mud, etc.). All my rounds went boom either right then or eventually when I used them later.

    If water caused a misfire I would seriously look into blown-out primer pockets in the brass or the bullet not crimped well.
  12. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    The foil disk has nothing to do with sealing out water. I have yet to see any color laquer attached to a primer that I've ever bought.

    All it took for some Blazer ammo I had to go bad was to get wet, and stay wet for a couple days. They were not submerged. Granted, being aluminum cased ammo may have been a contributing factor.
    50% of the primers failed to ignite. Luckily the powder stayed dry and there were no squibs.

    Just because most shooters haven't had ammo go bad from water, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

    If you look at any military, premium hunting or self defense ammo, you'll see it's sealed at the factory. There is a reason for that.
  13. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    Oh? Then the next time you go to load, take a close look at the TOP of the primer,,, by the anvil, you'll see some color there. It's the lacquer sealant that rcmodel alluded to.
  14. GaryL

    GaryL Well-Known Member

    I use nail polish (thinned slightly) for hunting ammo. That's basically all the manufacturers use, unless it's for special applications - then they do something a little different. The nail polish will block anything that is likely to wick in past the primer (oil or water based).

    Anyone who has ever experienced a hang fire with older military ammo is more likely to feel the need to seal ammo that may be around for a while.

    If you want to kill primers, soak them in oil. That's what is recommended. The factories handle and store the priming compound wet to prevent issues. When the primers dry, they're ready to go.
  15. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Well-Known Member

    I don't bother, never had a problem, even with ammo that has been stored and carried for over a year. My ammo generally doesn't last longer than that.
  16. gandog56

    gandog56 Well-Known Member

    Never used it, and never had a primer fail because I didn't.
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes it is. I neglected to seal the primers on some bear load 54R's a few years ago and they tagged along with me in some adventures. Went to fire one last month at the range and it was a squib. The primer went off but the powder had gotten wet and gone bad, so it did not ignite. The powder wad and bullet lodged in the throat. I checked it visually because there was no recoil, but if I hadn't it would have been a kaboom for the record books with two massive charges of IMR going off at once.
  18. PTK

    PTK Well-Known Member


    Stop adding real life experience to this! The armchair commandos want to be able to say sealing serious use ammo isn't needed, and you're ruining it.
  19. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Well-Known Member

    lol PTK.

    Just to be fair, Cosmoline does live in Alaska. That's kinda like a different planet. :)
  20. Down South

    Down South Well-Known Member

    I've been reloading for 37 years and have never sealed a primer or bullet. Nor have I ever had a problem and I've been in all types of weather with my reloads.

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