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Tula Lead Free SPP - Experience?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by john16443, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    Grafs offers lead free small pistol primers from Tula. Anyone have experience with these that they can share? Looking specifically for the lead free primer experience, I've successfully used many 1000's of other Tula primers in LPP and SPP.


  2. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    Well, an email to Grafs got me this generic response.

    "Jacob Nixon jacobn@grafs.com
    6:18 AM (15 minutes ago)

    No problems at all. Are just fine to use.

    Thank You,
    Jacob Nixon
    Graf & Sons Inc.Technical Support
    573-581-2266 ext. 123"

    I guess nobody has used the lead free version based on the lack of responses.
  3. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    The marginal savings is just not there for me lead free or not. Right now Powder Valley is showing 1,000 CCI SP primers at $26.00.

    In 40+ years of reloading and using CCI, Remington and Winchester primers I have a total of two that failed. One had a missing anvil and one was basically inert for whatever reason.
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I am leery of technology changes as we don’t know the full story on the new primer compositions.

    Things I would like to know is how is the shelf life, temperature sensitivity, or if there any funny pressure issues. Primers have dwell times which is important for automatic weapons, but not so much for semi’s or revolvers.

    I guess the most important issue would be shelf life as I want primers that I can use if they are 10 to 20 years old. That way I know I can stockpile them up and be able to use them later!

    If everything is good, a lead free primer is a good thing as reducing lead in the air from the primers is a good goal. Considering the OSHA limit is 50 micrograms per cubic meter in the workplace and primers blow out 400 micrograms per shot, getting down to zero micrograms is a desirable thing.

  5. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    It's not about the savings, it's about the absence of lead. I'm struggling with elevated blood lead levels and need to reduce exposure wherever I can without ceasing my shooting. What I want to know is if they work essentially the same as the normal variety or not.

    I'll go through more than 7000 in a year, and can use the lead free SPP for my 9mm and 45ACP reloads. They'll be used within a few months of purchase so shelf life concerns should be minimal.
  6. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    They are inconsistent and burn at odd rates. I have seen two .40s blown up while using them. I think I read somewhere that federal and Speer stopped using lead free ones for that very same reason.
  7. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Did some more google searching and found out that this may not be such a good idea, yet. I'll bet we'll see this lead free primers as standard offering before the end of the decade. Looks like latex gloves to pick up brass and a breathing mask to minimize inhalation at the range. I already ultrasonic clean cases, so the primer pocket residue and potentially breathing the tumbler dust are no longer issues. Depriming on the LNL AP with a tube directed to a water filled container keeps that primer crud contained as well.
  8. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    Though it is always a good idea to be safe, I think that maybe you are taking it a little far.
  9. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Sounds good to me. If my lead level were high, I'd wear a mask if it meant I could keep on shooting!

    The rest seems like common sense. I already keep some gloves in the range bag for cleaning guns and picking up brass. I also empty my primer tube into a bottle with a little water in the bottom. Even if it wasn't toxic, that soot and spent primer dust is just plain dirty.

    After two years of reloading, my lead level is a 2. I guess I'm ok, for now. Thank goodness, cuz I'd really rather not wear a mask, too.
  10. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    I few years ago I shot some Fiocchi and SBR ammo with lead free primers during the ammo drought of '08 - '09. I had maybe ten failures to fire out of an estimated 800 rounds.
    Don't know who made them, but lead free primers in general have a reputation for being harder to set off.

    I've wanted to try them in handloads, but they're never in stock.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  11. waho

    waho Well-Known Member

    (longdayjake They are inconsistent and burn at odd rates. I have seen two .40s blown up while using them. I think I read somewhere that federal and Speer stopped using lead free ones for that very same reason.)
    longday, could you explain as to how a primer could cause a gun to blow up. I just bought some of those primers and would like to use them, however I don't want to destroy my gun. I can see the inconsistency's in burn rates causing problems, but not to the point of blowing a gun up. Any insight would be helpful.
  12. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    Ya, longdayjake, I would like to know also:)

  13. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Well-Known Member

    If you look at the brass that comes with the lead free primers the primer hole is larger and most are crimped. If I recall this came about because during testing the primers were backing out. So they are not direct replacement in my book.
  14. waho

    waho Well-Known Member

    I have heard this before, so since I had a box of WinClean ammo I pulled a bullet from one and compared it to another Win cartridge. Primer holes were the same size.The largest drill bit which fit into both was a #45.

    Attached Files:

  15. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    Well, here is a little write up from Oregon Trail bullets.

    My guess is that with certain powders that are very picky and have a small range of loadings eg. TightGroup there may be excess pressures built up by an inconsistent ignition. Both of the guns I saw break were using a combination of tightgroup and lead free primers.

    Also, I know for a fact (because I speak with federal, speer, and other companies regularly) that they offloaded a bunch of lead free primers for very cheap because they decided they were not a good idea. I ended up with 3000 of those very cheap primers.

    I found that they would not even set off my .357 loads with h110/w296. I got several stuck bullets trying to use them. I also found several missfires and odd recoil while shooting 9mm with them. I have since switched to CCI primers and now I have no problems at all.
  16. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    Thanks longday, looks like I will stay away from the lead free primers:)

  17. waho

    waho Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess I have a choice to make, do I pull the ones I loaded or try them out.Do you know whose primers they were using?
  18. waho

    waho Well-Known Member

    A little update on the Tula primers. I loaded three different powder charges, tried them out. Of the 42 rounds that I loaded I had one failure to fire. Other than that they worked fine. The one failure could have been my gun or the hardness of the primer, there was only a small dimple in the primer. The gun is a SW 686.
  19. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    Good to know waho. Did you notice any sort of shot to shot inconsistencies (other than accuracy!) in the 41 rounds that went bang?
  20. a1bigtuna

    a1bigtuna Member

    How does one know which primers are the newer ones with no lead? I plan on keeping my old primers (thinking they don't have a shelf life if kept properly) and just use the new stock for current shooting. Another question: If new ammo is made with the newer primers, which I hear have less of a shelf life, wouldn't that mean the new ammo would also be faulty?

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