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So, why exactly do we not do this?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Nushif, Nov 13, 2010.

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  1. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    I was sitting there just now, reloading and all that and was using my wee little tweezers to laboriously fit the small pistol primers into the miniscule opening and was wondering about this:

    Why exactly are we not touching primers with our hands?

    Here's my thought process:

    - Tweezers are made of metal, and thus more likely to "set off" a primer than my fleshy fingers.

    - Primers used to contain Mercury, which is bad JuJu. They don't anymore though.

    - When handling a bullet, there is no danger in touching the primer, so unless I'm like ... poking at the interior of it, why is it dangerous when it's not in the bullet?

    Aside from "Just don't do it" is there a real reason we're not supposed to touch loose primers with our dry and clean hands? (Dry and clean being the key terms here, of course.)
     
  2. esheato

    esheato Member

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    All I hear is the don't do it crowd crowing about it.

    I pick up dropped primers all the time and never have an issue.

    In fact, I loaded nearly 3,000 rounds today and touched a whole bunch of them. I'm not worried in the least.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I handle primers all the time. If your hands are not dripping with motor oil, etc, you won't have a problem.
     
  4. Pacsd

    Pacsd Member

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    even if a guys hands are clean and dry there still a film of oil on yhour skin that can render the primer "no good" Secondly, I'm wondering why you don't have one of those tray type primer tools instead of messing around with tweezers?
     
  5. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    8(

    Tight finances is why ... but Hannukah is coming up!
     
  6. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Someone should run a test (not it! I have enough other loading projects happening) because it's silly to think that the oil from your fingers will render a primer useless when I can wash ammo (pistol and shotgun, I've done it myself) in the washing machine and it still fires.

    IMHO, I think it's an old wives tale.
     
  7. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    May be, but everything I've read from all of the manufacturers warns against picking up primers with your fingers so I ASSUME (that word again) there's something to it. Never really tested it but then I like my ammo to go "boom" when I pull the trigger. Same reason I don't buy Remington .22 LR ammo any more. :rolleyes:
     
  8. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    A test was done, Box o Truth, IIRC, and it was proven, (short term at least), not to be true, sprayed directly with several penetrating oils. I handle primers when I have to, and I haven't had any misfires from it, and I fired some ammo two days ago I loaded two years ago, no issues. Doesn't mean there isn't a grain of truth in there, but generally speaking, in my direct experiance, not really a big deal.
     
  9. esheato

    esheato Member

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    BOT did do a test, but it was more of a "does oil seep into loaded cartridges" test.

    Obviously, if you squirt oil directly into the open end of the primer it will kill it. But picking one up off the floor?

    You should do what your conscience tells you to do....me? I don't worry about it.
     
  10. noylj

    noylj Member

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    1) manufacturer's are lawyered up and have insurance companies watching them
    2) you could have rubbed your feet on the floor and picked up a static charge. When a spark forms between your finger and the primer, you might have a heart attack. When you picked up the metal tweezers, you "grounded" yourself.
    3) Found a long time ago that water and oil do not always kill a primer. Never assume.
    4) I have a hard time picking up a primer with my fingers. A pair of tweezers is easier for me. Maybe I need longer fingernails?
     
  11. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I handle almost every rifle primer I load (ram prime)

    10 years and thousands of rounds downrange I've never had a primer ignition issue that wasn't traceable to sizing, seating or firearm issues.

    It's an old wives tale. Think about it, it's not like you're pulling the anvil and pawing at the actual compound underneath
     
  12. Hillbillyz

    Hillbillyz Member

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    I'm with Krokus I've picked up every primer I've every loaded and never had an issue.
     
  13. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    I handle primers all the time with my fingers. I don't touch the anvil or squeeze them, etc., but just picking them up has never been a problem. I've never felt the need to use tweezers.

    You would have to show me proof of that, and I don't think that proof will be coming any time soon.

    Primers are not the delicate little things some would have you believe. They should be handled with respect, especially in quantity, but they aren't fragile nor easily rendered useless.
     
  14. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    I've handled 1,000s of primers with no issues.
    With my turret press I used to put every primer in the little primer loading thingy.
    (good description, huh?)

    Then I finally bought the riser to move the powder hopper up so it ain't banging the primer tray all the time.
     
  15. James2

    James2 Member

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    For many years I primed with one of those primer arms on the press. I put every primer into the little cup with my fingers. I never had a failure. I can't guess just how many primers I have loaded that way, but it is a bunch. Many thousands. FWIW Internet myth.
     
  16. TH3180

    TH3180 Member

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    Intresting thread, I had never heard handling primers is a problem. For me, I won't worry about it until I have a problem. I have a trend to drop some here and there.
     
  17. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    I've handled a whole bunce (I use a single stage press with a ram prime for everything) and have never had a problem. I do wash and dry my hands first if they are sweaty, just to be safe.
     
  18. rondog

    rondog Member

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    You're not supposed to touch primers? OH MY GOD, I'M GOING TO GO BLIND!!!!! fear.gif runaway.gif
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have never used tweezers when loading primers or anything else to do with primers.
    IMO you would have to work extremely hard to "set off" a primer with tweezers. Short of placing them on the back of the primer and striking them with a hammer I don't see how you could do it.
     
  20. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Forty plus years of reloading and many (I hate to even try to count) thousands of primers reloaded and my fingers touched each and every one of them! Some of the ammo has sat for over ten years and I've never had a primer misfire from handling the primer.

    Jimmy K
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, and they put sealant over the priming compound.

    Mals best advise:

    Remember you are handling an explosive, don't be stupid with them, and you'll be fine.
     
  22. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I learned that lesson the hard way.

    I think it's a throwback to years ago when primers were not sealed as they are now. Much like the, "Don't tumble loaded ammo 'cause it will breakdown the powder."
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  23. woodsoup

    woodsoup Member

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    I just got through reading the warnings on 4 brands of primers from my stash. NOT ONE says not to handle them. They all warned of the potential lead hazard from firing them. All 4 say to throughly wash your hands after handling them. Use Proper ventilation when FIRING a firearm etc.

    AGAIN, NO WARNING ABOUT MANUALLY HANDLING THEM OTHER THAN WASHING AFTER USE.
    Wolf, Federal, CCI and Winchester brands.
     
  24. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    You mean I'm not supposed to touch primers with my bare fingers? Now I have to go out and buy some tweezers. Won't be long and I'll have so much reloading equipment that I won't be able to get into my man cave...
     
  25. crimsoncomet

    crimsoncomet Member

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    I handle primers all the time. All of my rifle rounds are primed with the ram of the press. I don't think you need to worry about static charge. Just touch the bare metal of your press before handling the primers. I don't worry about this. I don't sit down while priming, nor do i have carpet in front of my bench. Like someone said up top, the companies have to cover there butts. Probably not from static charge and blowing up, but from primer dust getting on your hands. Then you can carry it to somewhere else in the house and it could ignite. Not probable, but built up primer dust can ignite. That is the only reason i could see the companies not wanting you to handle the primers.
     
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