Is it safe to reseat primers?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hockey7711, May 30, 2021.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hockey7711

    Hockey7711 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2020
    Messages:
    197
    I've been experiencing some light primer strikes, and I've read that it could be because the primers are not seated deeply enough.
    It is safe to use a primer seating tool to push them in deeper, considering these are live cartridges?
     
  2. Horskinator

    Horskinator Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2020
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    NO! If by chance the primer ignites the cartridge you just had an unsupported case explode near your body. Not worth it. Pull them down reseat the primers then reload powder and projectile.
     
    CQB45ACP, dcloco, mokin and 7 others like this.
  3. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,637
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Some here will tell you it is OK to do it. I believe the risk is not worth it and don't want things blowing up in my hands should things go bad. Chamber them a second time and fire them or take the round apart enough to remove bullet, dump propellant, resize neck, reseat primer, and reassemble. If you reload one should at least be able to take rounds apart that are problems and not just leave them in a box for someone to fimd years later and then get hurt. Part of responsible reloading IMO. Think a grandchild blowing up a gun and getting maimed or killed with grandpas reloads. Nobody wants that.
     
  4. MWC1974

    MWC1974 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Virginia
    What frog said. It’s not worth it.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    68,578
    Location:
    Alabama
    Basically not a good idea, no matter how remote the chance of it going off is. Don't re-seat it and it has a zero chance of going off.
     
  6. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2017
    Messages:
    956
    Location:
    Utah
    Re-seating is not all that uncommon. I’ve not heard of anyone getting hurt re-seating. Have you?

    When I’m forced to re-seat, I use my hand primer with welding gloves, hand priming in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket shielded from my body. I had to re-seat 800 rounds of 380 and 600 rounds of 38 Special last year because unbeknownst to me, my old hand priming tool had worn out and SPP was the most sensitive.

    Curious about the anecdotal evidence question.
     
  7. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,637
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Well about 30 years ago a fellow reloader that my grandfather worked with set off a round of 30-06 using a ram prime on top of his RCBS press. Didn't need to go to the hospital but had cuts on his face. Good thing he needed glasses to see what he was doing or things might have been different. We all take out chances getting out of bed every morning but some things are not worth the risk. Just sayi'n.

    And yes I saw some cuts on his face. Looked like he was attacked by an angry weed wacker.
     
  8. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    Preble County, OH
    No one here is going to tell you it's safe to reseat primers. And neither am I. I will tell you that I have been reloading since 1965 and have reseated hundreds.
     
  9. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,614
    Convention says not to, for the evident reasons. Enough said.

    I would do it, gingerly, with safety gear. For context, I have also experimented to find out what it takes to ignite a primer with a primer seating tool; I have abused them every way I could think of, and I never ignited one with any priming tool. It is certainly possible, but rare.

    Additionally, setting off a primer in an unsupported case is no where near as violent as might be supposed. The bullet will be ejected, the case will probably split, and the primer will likely be ejected, but it's nothing like firing the cartridge in a chamber.

    So if you believe you understand the risks, and have the safety gear to protect against the unlikely ignition. . . you probably wouldn't have asked the question.

    Next time, check your primers before charging.
     
    sparkyv, GeoDudeFlorida and Juiceking like this.
  10. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2021
    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    I've never heard of anyone doing it before. Thanks for the experiences everyone has shared.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  11. docbrown

    docbrown Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Brooksville, FL
    Can you do it? Yes. Should you do it? I strongly advise against it. While unlikely, you could set off the primer. If you decide to do it, I recommend doing it on the press, without a die in the press so that IF you set one off, all you would have to worry about is a hole in the roof/ceiling. Don't do it with a handheld priming unit. That's my $.02 worth.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  12. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    4,333
    I've done it, though I prefer to do it in a hand priming tool which does not encapsulate the cartridge, and I wear a coat, leather gloves, and a face shield. I personally would rather deal with fragments of brass than a loaded cartridge "chambered" in a die. Pick your poison, I suppose.

    To the best of my recollection, I have never detonated a primer during the handloading process, so I do not believe there's significant risk in reseating primers. It is just that the consequences could be so unpleasant...
     
    Bigdog357 likes this.
  13. whughett

    whughett Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,393
    Location:
    Rhode Island/Florida
    I’ve lost track of the number of cartridges loaded in 45 years of handloading . I’ve never had a primer fire under the anvil of a priming tool hand held or press mounted.
    I have on occasion reseated a high primer.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  14. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,980
    Location:
    Kansas
    apollo_11y.jpg
     
    sparkyv likes this.
  15. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    To be clear: Never attempt to reseat a primer in a live round!

    Reseating a primer in an empty case is acceptable if done carefully, very carefully!

    (Pull the bullet and dump the powder to get to an empty case!)

    In 20 years review this post!

    Smiles,
     
  16. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    3,125
    What cartridge? What kind of firing mechanism? If it’s for sure seating depth, then the first strike pushed the primer forward. How much more does it need? Have you tried striking them twice?

    Other than taking it apart, working on live primers in live ammo isn’t exactly brilliant. Up to you. Everybody has to make their own decisions. But let’s also try not to give advice with too little information.
     
  17. Herman B

    Herman B Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    Messages:
    195
    Don't confuse high primers with light strikes. One is a gun problem.

    I'd seat them deeper with a firing pin.
     
  18. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    3,554
    Thanks for the thread... I didn’t know it was unsafe. It’s my first time using a progressive and I had a few finished ammo that needed to be seated deeper. I used a hand tool.

    I guess welding gloves, face shield, and 5 gallon bucket is on my Amazon cart now.
     
  19. Bigdog357

    Bigdog357 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Messages:
    71
    I just re-seated 700 loaded 38 spl with no issues, I noticed the primers were all a tad high. I used a Sinclair hand held primer tool to re-seat, I had used a RCBS bench primer originally, not sure why they didn't seat all the way the first time. I read all the pros and cons on several forums and decided the risk was low to non existent so I went for it.
     
    whughett likes this.
  20. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,415
    Location:
    Freeport, IL
    I can tell you first hand - they can be ignited from abuse.
    I had an inexpensive red progressive press with LOTS of priming issues.
    And I HAVE set off Federal SPP while trying to reload.
    Happened twice cuz I was too dumb to stop after the 1st one popped.
    After the 2nd one popped, I boxed the press up (sold it) & went back to a single stage.

    To the OP - just don't. That's my advice.

    Stay Safe my friends
     
  21. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,614
    I'd like to understand the circumstances if you recall in detail.
     
  22. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,122
    Location:
    Colorado
    I wouldn’t try to reset one that has already had a light strike on it...

    otherwise, I look at re-seating a primer as being no different than seating it the first time.
     
    Bigdog357, .38 Special and BBarn like this.
  23. SingleActionAndrew

    SingleActionAndrew Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Before you try pressing the primers further into your cases, is there a reason other than ignition failures to assume they're not seated enough?

    The NRA metallic reloading course I took taught that excessive compression of primers can also cause ignition failures.

    Are the primers actually proud (not flush) of the case head?

    Are they some interesting, old or potentially water damaged primers that we're using because of the great shortage? From impact-pulled cartridges?

    What kind of gun are you shooting? Firing pin channel dry?
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  24. BBarn

    BBarn Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have reseated a few primers on unstruck loaded rounds without incident, but generally avoid it due to the potential consequences. If it's simply a matter of the rounds failing to fire due to high primers, I prefer to re-strike them in the firearm.
     
    FROGO207 and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  25. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,637
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    You can crush a primer as well as not seat it enough. Both will cause a misfire. I use a hand primer to install primers because I can feel them being inserted. The anvil is the first thing to hit and with added pressure the primer cup seats. I can't feel this when priming on a press. In time you will be able to feel this as well with a hand primer.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2021
    merlynski likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice