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primer recovery

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by quiknot, Jan 14, 2007.

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  1. quiknot

    quiknot Member

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    recently while reloading i had some brass cartridges collapse..found i had something in the seating / crimping die....now i am about to remove the bullet to recover it and the powder...

    question is: is it possible to remove the primer and re seat it into a new cartridge or is it not safe or worth the risk?

    thanks
     
  2. 20yearvet

    20yearvet Member

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    Why take the time to try and recycle something that costs at most $.02 (2 cents) and risk it not working or even becoming dangerous?
     
  3. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

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    I'm with 20yearvet, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DECAP LIVE PRIMERS. It ain't worth the time, trouble and potetially dangerous situation. Just chunk em as experience. Mac
     
  4. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    2 pages at least!

    This thread should go 2 pages before dying out. Decapping live primers can be safely done.:uhoh: There I said it!:what:

    Now a disclaimer; IF you do it gently with either a decapper die or your FL die. And they can be re-used!:scrutiny: Horrors! Those in the crowd that are afraid of their own shadow, should not do it, may require panic attack medicine?;)

    Now I may require you all to think for a moment. Put down the beer, or cigarette and consider something. What does it take to set off a primer? A HARD sudden blow with a pointed steel firing pin! All the while the primer is held solid in a shell, in a chamber, tight in the primer pocket! Where do those conditions exist in a shell in a die with the primer free to be moved by a decapping rod??? If primers were that sensitive, they would be packaged in shock proof containers, instead of hard plastic trays. Again, if they were that sensitive, they would pop when two shells bounce together in someones pocket!

    We see threads all the time on here and other forums about cleaning primer pockets, and to be sure NOT to have high primers. Because, so the theory goes, the firing pin may have to seat the primer to the bottom of the pocket to fire it! Sometimes when it doesn't, we get a FTF,(failure To Fire ).

    I suppose it's remotely possible to set one off doing a decap of a live primer. Pulling the handle sharply, or in the case of decapping live crimped-in-primers. Since it's a no-brainer to always wear safety glasses while loading, the added presence of gloves while doing it might be a good idea.

    I've done it numerous times, then reused the decapped primers. But only in range practice ammo, not for hunting or serious competition.
     
  5. mec

    mec Member

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    don't usually bother with it - the 2cents thing. But, I have done it with no problem
     
  6. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    +1 for what Snuffy said . .I don't ever tend to reuse them, but I do decap them so that there aren't any live primers in my recycle bucket.

    Just my .02

    Regards,
    Dave
     
  7. YoPedro

    YoPedro Member

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    10 finger safety first

    I'm sure you could de-cap a live primer, but why, to what end? If you do and it goes off though, it's not too tragic but can be the cause of another type of discharge which may require you to change your shorts!

    I run a woodshop and I am Mr. Safety. My ten fingers and two eyes are a testimony to not taking chances with what we cannot get back. I found a quarter in the range parking lot today and that more than covers the number of primers I have had to throw away over the years.

    I'm sure you can afford to toss out a primer or two once in awhile. As far as going for it, well there is nothing heroic, courageous or wise in taking unnecessary risks when dealing with firearms. But, you could be adventurous and primer fire it in your gun just for giggles. That is the safest way to remove a primer!
     
  8. Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Member

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    "Hey, watch this, I'm gonna deprime this here..." BOOM:eek:
     
  9. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Take the necessary precautions and try it.

    I've decapped live ones...I've reseated 'em. I've even decapped them and put them back in the box for later use. All of them fired and I still have all my fingers and toes.

    Ed
     
  10. Phillip Allen

    Phillip Allen Member

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    decapping live primers is very likely to crack the priming pellet...or re-seat the anvil...neither is good for dependability or accuracy
     
  11. USSR

    USSR Member

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    BS. Can be easily and safely done, have done hundreds of them over the years. Of course, wear safety glasses as you should be doing anyways and gently push the primer out.

    Don
     
  12. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Member

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    Has any one had a primer go off during primer seating or.....decapping? How large is the explosion? Does the primer blow out or does most of the explosive force go out the case mouth?

    A few nights ago I "deactivated" a primer that had been deformed during seating by firing the empty primed case in my pistol. It was dark out in my backyard and I must say the flash was more than I expected it to be.
     
  13. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Member

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    I've decapped live primers before...never had a problem. That being said, it's probably not the smartest thing to do.
     
  14. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I think it is not as unsafe as some might suggest, but not safe enough that I would do it myself, certainly not to recover a single primer of dubious value. Primers are cheap. I'd be inclined to just remove the bullet and powder and be done with it. Squirt a little oil in on the primer and that should deactivate it so you can dispose of it, or just shoot off the blank, if you can get it to chamber.
     
  15. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    I was going to be the first one to respond to quiknot, but, alas, my net provider went down for the count and it took a half a day and a night for them to get back up. As everyone has pretty much covered this subject I will only respond by saying. I'm with snuffy. There is no real problem decapping live primers from cases. As you are already wearing safety glasses in the first place and your fingers are not in an exposed location when extracting live primers No problem. Reusing them...Yessss and Nooo...Only if you are in a pinch or you are using them in practice rounds at the range where you don't have a ready supply of new fresh ones. Well said snuffy....:)
     
  16. mec

    mec Member

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    "Has any one had a primer go off during primer seating or.....decapping? How large is the explosion? Does the primer blow out or does most of the explosive force go out the case mouth? "

    pretty loud. The primer is usually sitting in a shell holder and doens't leave the pocket. The old lee loader set had a priming setup that had you sticking a rod into the case and then placing the case over a primer in a depression in the tool. You tapped the rod to drive the case down on top the primer. Fairly regularly, this would set the primer off with the blast going over your fingers. Hot but no injury. It was loud enough that ear protection was needed.
     
  17. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Had one go off on me when I first started reloading with the very same Lee "classic" reloading tool. It sent the rod into the air about 3'. Not really dangerous but as always when reloading, eye protection is a must.
     
  18. mec

    mec Member

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    Impressive. Mine were small pistol primers and didn't break my grip on the rod.
     
  19. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    My experience with the Lee Loader was much like mec's, many primers went off, but none caused any problem. The seating rod never budged, and I never got burned. They were loud enough that my wife would call down from 2 floors away and say, "set off another one, eh?" I always wore eye protection, but never had an occurrence where it actually was needed. Mine were mostly CCI large rifle, both regular and magnum. Since those are about as powerful as primers come, I've got to question the rod going 3' in the air especially since the primer always goes off when the hammer is putting force on the rod on its down swing.

    Steve C, was there a special circumstance when that one happened?

    I'll also weigh in on decapping live primers - it's safe as long as you go slow and wear eye protection. Personally, I would also wear ear protection for that operation on a just-in-case basis. However, I would never even think of keeping a live primer recovered in that manner. Too high a probablility that the compound pellet was cracked or the anvil was deformed.

    If the brass is unusable as the OP suggested, I would just toss the whole thing in the trash. And, no, there's no danger in doing that either.
     
  20. Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Member

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    All this trouble and possible danger to save a few cents.

    :confused:

    Not to mention the time spent.

    :confused:

    I just don't understand "Why?"
     
  21. dtalley

    dtalley Member

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    I have deprimed live primers (10 or less). I did it because I didn't want to take the brass with live primers to the recycler. I didn't discover the brass was bad until after I had primed them.:cuss: Go slow and use steady force and of course eye and ear protection.
     
  22. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Because it's a hobby, Primerinmyshoe. And with all hobbies, time is unimportant...:D And we all reload to save money (a fallacy) and make better ammunition (also a possible fallacy). :D
     
  23. mec

    mec Member

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    most vacuum cleaners don't do this but my mother's did. suck up a primer and " tick, tick, tick BLAMMMM!"
    After a while, she got used to it.
     
  24. Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Member

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    OK Bushmaster, I guess I get it. I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I reload to shoot. The process of reloading is a necessary thing I must do in order to shoot. Don't get me wrong, I take reloading very seriously, and have learned a lot about the process. For me it's the guns and what makes them tick, and being able to use them to the best of my ability that occupies my thoughts. When I reload I crank out 500 to 1000 at a time. Not worrying about a few components that don't make the grade. That's why I can't see myself worring about a few primers or cases. But, as it's said - to each his own.
     
  25. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    L M A O...My wife told me if she sucked one more of those primers in her vacuum cleaner she would have my head on a plater. Guess it scares the HE-double-tooth-picks out of her.:evil:

    Primerinmyshoe...Understand. I, on the other hand, load to shoot,to load, to shoot. But I'm not that carried away to have some fun in between. I enjoy both.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
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