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obscure desire: inert primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by yhtomit, Jul 3, 2007.

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  1. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    In building a (planned) display of ammo types -- nothing huge, just cases I encounter -- I am considering the idea of creating dummy cartridges from each case, rather than just keeping the cases polished and empty.

    However, if I were to make a dummy cartridge, I'd also want to have a dummy primer in there :)

    Surely there are people on here who have created display only cartridges -- what do you do? Or do you just plug up the bottom some other way, and display in a way that this doesn't matter?

    timothy
     
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I either use a new primer and no powder, or just leave the expended primer in place and seat a new bullet on top of it, again without powder.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  3. jr81452

    jr81452 Member

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    soak a working primer in water for over night. then, very gently, use a bullnose tweezer or fine needle nose pliers to remove the anvil and priming compound. what you are left with is an empty brass cup. seat empty primer as normal and mark the case to display its inertness. remember that safety glasses are your friend (and thick gloves wouldn't hurt either) just in case :)
     
  4. griz

    griz Member

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    No offence JR, but I wouldn't try that. It might work fine, but even with glasses my face would be too close to a fair amount of energy while trying to clean out the priming compound. Just my two cents.

    What I have done is put a primer on the heating element of the stove, cover with a cardboard box or inverted pot, turn the heat on, and wait for the bang. Wear hearing protection. The pieces are contained and you will find the primer cup inert and un dented.
     
  5. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Why not fill the case with something inert like rice before seating the bullet and just using a live primer. Rounds are very hard to detonate accidentally to begin with, and even if the somehow the primer did go off I don't think much damage would be done.
     
  6. jr81452

    jr81452 Member

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    griz, no offense taken:) you would be surprised at how easy the anvil and priming compound come out. i just use a 8" long fine needle nose pliers to pull mine out so i don't have to put my face anywhere near the primer. i guess that may not work if your nearsighted though :uhoh:
     
  7. PowderApe

    PowderApe Member

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    Just put a drop of oil down inside the case and hand spin it to force it into the flash hole. Oil deactivates the primer mixture without destroying the cup.

    Id also reload the dummy rounds with something (like the rice idea above) to give them an authentic rattle.

    I certainly would not disassemble the primer.....
     
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Oil? Don't count on it. Tests by members of this web site have conducted extensive tests on primers using water, WD-40, oil and other methods to deactivate primers and have been unsuccessful. Primers will, for the most part, still go BANG...
     
  9. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Soak in water with a little liquid soap added for a day or two.
    Carefully pull the anvil out as described above.
    As long as the compound is wet it is safe.
    Priming compound is metered into the cups wet and then dried when they are manufactured.
     
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    The modern primers (at least most) are coated with a water proof coating...So don't depend on that either. Just be careful. I would recommend that you not worry about it and seat live primers and forget it. As was said above. It's hard to accidently set a primer off. You have to want to set one off and then without a firearm it isn't that easy...
     
  11. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    Pull the anvil out and then pick out the compound wafer with a wooden toothpick.
     
  12. PowderApe

    PowderApe Member

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  13. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Aah yes...The blue cool aid....
     
  14. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    Save the used primer, remove the guts, and use a punch on the primer cup to form back. Seat primer and be done.
     
  15. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    Heh, there are good suggestions flying here :) Thanks.

    If this *wasn't* such an obscure desire, I'd like to have 'em in some distinctive color (anodized green or blue, perhaps) just to emphasize that "This kind could (or might) go bang if struck just so," vs. "This kind is purely for demonstration purposes."

    timothy
     
  16. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    The Bushmaster is correct. Oil, water , wd40 will NOT keep a primer from firiing.
     
  17. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Member

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    Wouldn't you also want to drill a hole in the case to show it's an inert round? Just to be sure it wouldn't get confused with a live one.
     
  18. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    gwalchmai wrote:

    Hmm, that sounds like a good idea. Hadn't thought of that before, but layered signals would be good. Not kidding, I would really like to have bright-green primers, and though plastic bullets would be a bit tacky, perhaps anodized or similarly colored bullets. Ideally, I'd like each one to look unmistakably like the round that it is, and just as unmistakably inert.

    timothy
     
  19. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Member

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    Doesn't the military have standards for inert rounds? That's where I say the holes in cases, I think.
     
  20. layusn1

    layusn1 Member

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    The ones we were using at the Master At Arms school for Weapons Week were crimped in on four sides of the cases in a very ugly and very obvious fashion. I don't think you would want to do that if you were wanting to put them on display. I think you want some kind of appeal of the original round remaining intact. I would say make them look as original as you want and put them behind glass in a shadow box where your not going to mistake them for real ammunition to begin with because they aren't going to be anywhere near any real ammunition.
     
  21. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    They might -- good question, and another one I'd not though to ask. OTOH, since these aren't really for *handling* (except perhaps occasionally by an interested guest), I have dual goals ;) Maybe I could try to make them look "real" when viewed from the front (as in a display case), with the back dipped in a rustoleum bath or something!

    timothy
     
  22. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    You could also do what we do to make our own snap caps. Leave the primer out and fill the primer pocket with silicone or Shoe Goo. Shave it off even with a razor blade and when it hardens, you've got a round that looks good. You could even use the high temperature silicone and have red primers.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  23. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

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    IMHO dummy rounds should be clearly visibly identified , best done by leaving the primer out alltogeather .
     
  24. Koos Custodiet

    Koos Custodiet Member

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    Around here, a primed case is regarded (by our new law) as a live round. And you're not allowed to have ammo for a firearm you don't have a licence for. I could go to jail for having a primed 45 Auto case.

    So I took a primer, put it in a tin, put the tin on the fire, waited for the bang. Retrieved the cup from the tin, primed the case (go lightly, 'cos the empty cup dents easily).
     
  25. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Julian S. Hatcher warned that priming compound is powerful
    enough to drive the avil of the primer through your eye and
    possibly into the optic nerve.

    I make snap caps by punching out a piece of plastic
    shotgun wad with a fired .17 HMR casing (fits small pistol, small
    rifle primer pocket) and seating the plastic wad in place of
    a primer. (the local range has plenty of .17 HMR casings on
    the ground)

    I have made dummy primer by using a fired primer cup saved from
    a reloading session and flattening the firing pin indent with
    a narrow, flat punch. (The concentric ring left in the primer cup
    is a visible signal that it is a dummy primer).

    Disassembly of a live primer is risky. there are safe alternates.

    My experiments with wd40 show it may kill a primer, or
    weaken it, or have no effect. It depends on how "waterproof"
    the priming compound in the primer cup.
     
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