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Primer Explosion

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by carlo1776, Mar 4, 2013.

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  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Wow, I've never heard of anything like that happening with a primer. I once dropped a case of them, and a good 200 or so went bouncing all over the place, but none have ever detonated. I've also crushed more than just a few over the years too, with nothing ever happening. And I have de-primed hundred of live primers with never a det.. I'm sorry, but in my opinion, it sounds like maybe the version he gave you was slightly embellished?

    GS
     
  2. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I'm with RC here, I'm not seeing it. Like t hear the rest of the story! Lightman
     
  3. gfanikf

    gfanikf Member

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    Is his hand made of det cord? I mean even I'm not that neurotic that I'm worried that touch can make them go kaboom.
     
  4. icanthitabarn

    icanthitabarn Member

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    A guy in the large LGS around here told me they had video of a guy touching a bullet, on the range, and it exploding. He said it wasn't the first time. :confused:
     
  5. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    Once again... I'm with RC on this one.
     
  6. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I've got one of those interlocking rubber mats from Harbor Freight in front of my bench, good padding to stand on, no sparks jumping around.
     
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Static electricity produces high voltage, very low amperage. I kind of wonder if something else was not involved, like trying to remove the anvil from a primer to use it in a Berdan primed case.

    Jim
     
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Static setting off a primer????

    Man.. I dunno.

    Not saying it didn't happen, just saying it's one of those things that I'd have to see.

    Now, I *did* set a sock on fire with primers once. I had termites get in to a box of primed brass stored in the garage at an old rental house, washed the empty primed brass in the kitchen sink to get the mud out of them, then soaked them for 3 days in a tub of water.

    Then fired them. (ALL of them fired.)

    Anyway it got noisy when I was firing them (magnum large rifle), and my wife was complaining.

    So I stuck a sock in a sock and stuck that over the end of my barrel.

    BANG.

    BANG.

    BANG.

    Smoke..

    BANG..

    More smoke

    BANG...

    Flames!!!!!

    Oh crap I set my rifle on fire!

    (Stupid human tricks)
     
  9. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    If it was static - it would be very difficult to get it to go into a primer rather than around it on the metal case. However, setting off primer dust would probably be pretty easy, which could chain react into the primers. Which suggests the importance of maintaining a clean machine.
     
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I wonder if his bench top is rough or something.. maybe past projects resulted in/rendered parts of his bench to resemble glued down sandpaper grit and he scraped one face down across it.
     
  11. James2

    James2 Member

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    I agree, a static discharge.

    There are static prevention floor mats and wrist bands available. Those who work with sensitive electronic gear have long used them. If you ever find yourself drawing a spark from something in the reloading room, it may be appropriate to add some prevention.
     
  12. Rollbar

    Rollbar Member

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    Good read. I am setting up a bench and don't have the funds for a mat (new reloader here). What about a leash and the bench tied to a outlet ground in the house/my reloading room.

    Here in Nevada it is dry and walking across the carpet even barefooted draws an arch as well as outside needing to hold the metal part of the ignition key and touching the metal of the car for a discharge upon entering/exiting. :what:

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  13. nojoke

    nojoke Member

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    "....grounding matts they use for circuit soldering...."

    This is what I installed. :cool:
    I'll post pics later.
     
  14. leadchucker

    leadchucker Member

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    I can't seem to find the sources for this, from Wikipedia, so I can't speak for its accuracy.
    It might pay to take controlling static electricity seriously. Grounded equipment, anti-static mat to handle primers on, anti-static wrist strap when handling them. I also give all the plastic parts of the primer feed an occasional squirt of anti-static spray.

    You can buy conductive spray, designed to add some electrical shielding to plastic housings of electronic equipment. I've not gotten that extreme yet.

    I used to work in an electronics lab. No carpets. Even anti-static floor mats. Standard procedure there was to touch an anti-static pad next to the workbench when you sat down at the bench, before you touched any sensitive electronics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  15. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I forgot about that incident posted on Calguns. Now I'm starting to wonder if i need to do something to neutralize static in my reloading room?

    GS
     
  16. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    Maybe a shot of Free Breeze on the floor and in the air once in a while?
     
  17. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    The Cal Guns primer tube was KI-RACK chopped, when a reloader drops a primer tube full of primers the first thing he should do is make that sound, the worst thing a reloader can do when dropping a primer tube is grab/reach for it. Did the Reloader on Cal. Guns reach for the primer tube?? Yes, as in a CSI search, the ruptured primer tube matched the hole in his hand. Back to the electrons jumping to the primers, WHY? Electrons traveling down the tube would not jump off the tube and onto the primers ‘IN THE CENTER OF THE TUBE'!!!'.

    Anti magnetic, unknown phenomena to reloaders, the primer cup is metal, metal conducts electrons, the primer cup protects the bang part of the primer by conducting electrons around the cup.

    Primer tube, same thing, static electricity will not travel though the primers, the path of least resistance is through the tube. Elections will not jump to the tube unless it has a way to get to ground.

    The primer pressure created in the Cal. Guns accident pushed primers in two directions, pre-ignition knock? Two flame fronts? The primers in the center of the tube went first, the fold in the tube became a rupture.

    Dillon is in the business of testing, if a primer could be set off with static discharge of electrons they would be successful in their attempt, I did not ask them if they have tested plastic or glass tubes instead of metal, by reducing the conductivity of the tube electrons could be forced to travel through the metal primers.

    Again, one day I decided to set a primer off, I started with Lee’s automatic hand primer and Federal primers, then I moved the the RCBS Auto hand primer, 2 hours later, finally I set one off, the primer was convoluted/waded-up/folded before it went off.

    F. Guffey
     
  18. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "Seems that as he picked up a Large Rifle Primer from his bench, it went off..."

    I wasn't there, so ... maybe... but?

    Voltage, of itself, doesn't mean a lot. Electrical currents matter but only in the path of electron flow. The priming pellet is metal covered by the brass cup and a strudy brass anvil is pressed into the cup's skirt. There is no visible way for the VERY weak current of a static charge to pass through that pellet, current would have no place to go that the brass wouldn't do more easily so the current from a static discharge would be expected to flow around the pellet, not through it. And, even if it did, it's highly unlikely to have caused it to detonate.

    I suspect there's more to this story than has yet been told.
     
  19. mdi

    mdi Member

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    New one to me too. I've read of testing primers for "static electricty discharges", and the testers used an arc from an electrode (bare piece of #10 solid copper wire) to a grounded primer. None exploded. But then I have no written factual reports available to confirm this, but I believe it...
     
  20. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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  21. Jurist

    Jurist Member

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    Primer explosion?

    Me thinks there's more to this than met the eye.lol
     
  22. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Primers are not as predictable as we wish they would be. You are dealing with something that is a mixture of a number of different chemicals and it is not "stable".

    This is the BAM friction chart, unfortunately it is a 3D chart, of the current mil spec primer mix. The stuff is mixed wet and as it dries out it takes less energy to ignite. You can look at the different color bands and see the probability of ignition given an energy input and % moisture.

    ImpactEnergyofMilSpecPrimercompositionV1.jpg
     
  23. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    +1

    Isn't it funny how in decades of people handloading you never, ever, heard of incidents such as this UNTIL the internet came along. I typically let my reloading room get cluttered and the floor covered with tumbling media, 22 LR cartridges, elk hair, unburned powder and spent as well as a few stray live primers, then once or twice a year vacuum it all up with my big Craftsman shop vac. If those conditions won't set off a primer, nothing but percussion will.

    Like many others, I smell a rat....
     
  24. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I suggest you do a simple test. Wear protective face covering and gloves.
    Put "A" primer in a metal container and subject it to a still glowing match stick. When the heat gets close it'll go bang and startle you. Anvil will fly separately from the case.

    "IF" a spark from any heat source including static discharge gets to the open end of the primer, it'll go bang.

    Federals will go at lower temps than others due the minute amount of nitro-G included in the formula. Ref.: MSDS at Fed Primer site .
     
  25. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't know, 4 days and 49 posts and the OP has not returned. Me smells something fishy... Like I eluded to back in post #5, I have my doubts this happened as told.
     
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