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Don't be stupid & light off your primer tube. A public service announcement.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GJgo, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    So I had my first "That was dumb. Yep, I still have 10 fingers." moment while reloading some 9mm last night. I was sitting at my Hornady LnL progressive press, which seems to have a problem with Federal small primers hanging up when the cam tries to slide them forward. On most days it's only been a minor annoyance, however last night for some reason every single one was sticking in there. I started down the wrong decision path by getting annoyed.

    After 5 teardowns to clear the jam, on the 6th one I stupidly decided to just rack on the cam a few times to clear it out. The smart thing to do WOULD have been to stop, tear it all down, and leave it alone until I could chamfer the bottom of the hole where the edge of the primers were hanging up. I must have left my thinking cap at work.

    So, what did the stuck primer say to his 94 friends sitting on top of him in the primer tube? BANG!!! The protective blast shield steel tube that surrounds the aluminum primer tube acted like a barrel and shot the ruptured aluminum tube an inch into my ceiling! (see photo) Primers are no joke, folks, the entire full tube lit off insantaneously just like a gun shot.

    Be safe, guys, and don't let the combination of testosterone & malfunctioning machinery get the best of you. I take full responsibility for the ID10T error here, it could have easily caused an injury much greater than my pride & a ringing in my ear. I'm pretty embarrased about it but maybe my story will save someone else some pain.
     

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  2. Beerme

    Beerme Member

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    at least your safe man
    but damnit thats funny
     
  3. pcwirepro

    pcwirepro Member

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    Wow. Glad to hear you still have all your digits. Did you change your shorts prior to taking that picture?
     
  4. Alabama2010

    Alabama2010 Member

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    bet that was no joke on your ears...glad no one got injured.
     
  5. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    See what most people don't understand is that testicles, impatience and dangerous work that requires patience does not mix.


    I am glad you are OK, I don't mean to make lite of your experience but the way you wrote it had me laughing and my wife looking at me like I lost all my marbles.
     
  6. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    LOL so true. Actually, the first thing I did was let my wife know I was OK. Then, I grabbed a Q tip, wetted the end, and stuck it in the hole I pulled the tube out of in the ceiling to make sure nothing in there was smoldering. That was actually my second thought, with my first being "Holy S--T that was loud!"
     
  7. FatGeek

    FatGeek Member

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    I've got too many scars on my hands from allowing testosterone, impatience and sharp objects to mix.

    Thanks for posting, wife was trying to figure out why I was laughing also :)
     
  8. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    Glad you were okay. Looks like a few blew out the top before it hit the ceiling. You may have a few live live primers lurking around now.

    Maybe Lee (and Federal) were right when they said not to use Federal primers in progressives. ;)
     
  9. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    When the wife walked in, and asked just what the hell is going on, I would calmly inform her that I was running a cable feed, and could she please go upstairs and grab the other end of the wire.
     
  10. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    I had to dig 5 or 6 primers out of the ceiling with a knife. There were some still in the tube, and a whole mess on the floor. Every one I found was spent. I gave it all a good wipe down and then ran the vacuum to sweep them all up. When I took a shower I even found one in my hair!
     
  11. russellcframe

    russellcframe Member

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    Woops. Glad you are ok. I understand now why my Lee Reloading Manual says "never use a priming tool which stacks primers in a tube".
     
  12. MetalHead

    MetalHead Member

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    You haven't lived till you vacuumed up live primers, kinda hard on the vacuum bag though!
     
  13. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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  14. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Actually, Dillons have been known to blow a tube of primers, too. So have other brands that use stacked primer tubes.

    When I was loading on an Ammo Load automatic loading machine for our department, I had the primer tube blow on two occasions. That primer tube held 200 primers, by the way. Since it was a motor driven press, there wasn't a whole lot I could do to prevent it from happening. I've also seen a C-H blow a tube, but not while I was operating it.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  15. Sommerled

    Sommerled Member

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    My 18 y.o. son was reloading 223 for an upcoming prairie dog hunt and was, as he admits, breaking my rules meant to keep him safe. Rules such as concentrate, no distractions, don't rush anything, and always wear eye protection. Well, he had his IPod in his ears, no eye protection, and was hurrying to get done so he could go somewhere. He forced a primer that was probably askew or something. I heard the bang from upstairs. Only the one primer went off, thankfully, and shrapnel hit him in the face without damage. He sure had a look of wonderment on his face.

    He now follows the rules. Some have to learn the hard way.

    So glad no one was hurt.

    Sommerled
     
  16. UpTheIrons

    UpTheIrons Member

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    I've read that Federal primers are the last ones you'd want to put in an automatic feeder, because they are so soft. Is that y'alls experience, too?

    Aside from this...uh...rather vigorous example, that is.
     
  17. bds

    bds Member

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    Wow, more reason why I am happy to hand prime my cases! :eek:
     
  18. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    I blew a tube of primers on my 650. Its safeties worked quite well, and they sent me replacement parts very quickly.
     
  19. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Yipes!

    Kinda like PopCorn, only ( a lot ) faster?


    Glad you are Okay..!
     
  20. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    What exactly is in that Blue Koolaid? Must be some strong stuff!

    To the OP, thanks for reminding people that this CAN and does happen.

    I do wonder though, anybody had this happen with a Loadmaster? Though it doesn't have a tube it also doesn't have (by default) a shield of any kind. I'd be interested to see someone use a tray type system, but out of good materials instead of crappy plastic with mould flashing all over.
     
  21. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    This must be an internet myth as I was recently assured it was impossible for primers to mass detonate. <end sarcasm>

    It is. I've sipped other colors since my first taste, but there is always something missing.
     
  22. kestak

    kestak Member

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  23. spiritz

    spiritz Member

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    Wow - Glad you are okay.
    I am relatively new to reloading.
    I have been using a single stage for about a year now, but upgraded to a LNL like yours.
    Your incident (especially with picture) really makes a point...

    thanks...
     
  24. ric426

    ric426 Member

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    Wow. Glad things weren't any worse and you weren't injured. Looks like there could have been some serious shrapnel!
    I just set up my new LnL AP a week ago, but I've got a few hundred cases that I'd already hand primed so I haven't used the decapping or priming system yet. I've also got 3 thousand Federal small pistol primers waiting to be used. I think my hand primer will be getting used at least until all the Federal primers are used up (even though Lee says not to use Federal primers in that either). If I were to set off a tube of primers at my press in the basement and they went through the ceiling, they'd be sticking through the kitchen floor and I'd find my reloading gear (and probably everything else I own) relocated to the pole barn before the smoke even cleared and we peeled our neurotic dog off the ceiling
    So if you're not supposed to use Federal primers in stacking tubes or primers trays, what are you supposed to do? I can picture the corporate lawyers recommending a bomb squad suit and a pair of long tongs to pick the primers out of the tray one at a time... :scrutiny:

    This kind of puts a damper on my plans for a steam powered reloading system.
     
  25. nofishbob

    nofishbob Member

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    Just for another data point, I have used thousands of Federal primers in my LNL progressive pres without an incident.

    My press feeds the primers reliably and smoothly...why would there be a problem?

    If your press is roughing up the primers, I would humbly suggest to adjust your press reather than seek more robust primers.

    Good luck!

    Bob
     
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