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The power of primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by longdayjake, Oct 5, 2011.

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  1. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    So, last night I was loading some .40 for a buddy of mine and accidentally had a primer put in a case that was no good. So, just screwing around I put the case on the floor and smacked it with a hammer. The primer popped and flew about ten feet across the garage and punctured my completely full gallon of bar chain oil. Sadly, I didn't notice it until half of the oil had drained out onto the garage floor. Primers are more powerful than you would think. :(

    Be careful guys!
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yep!
    Many folks don't believe it though, until something bad happens.

    I had a friend have to go to the ER and have one cut out from between the bones in the top of his foot.

    Some foolishness with drying empty cases in his oven and one of them was primed.
    It made it clear across the kitchen and buried itself in his foot while he was setting at the breakfast table reading the morning paper in only his shorts!

    rc
     
  3. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Umm, what would possess you to hit a primer with a hammer to see how powerful it was? :confused:
     
  4. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Well, just think about it.
    In a squib, the primer is powerful enough to overcome the neck tension & crimp to shove the bullet atleast part way into the barrel.

    So I agree with longdayjake, please be careful (guys & ladies)
     
  5. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    For the heck of it. Sometimes I wonder if curiosity will kill this cat.
     
  6. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    Just hearsay, but the rumor at my local gun shop is one of the locals that frequents that shop has a primer stuck in his belly. He was doing something stupid with primers and one launched into his stomach area and remains there to this day.
     
  7. daorhgih

    daorhgih member

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    "Good things come to those who wait"

    Anyone know of Don @ Phoenix Arms in Daleville, IN? I started hand-loading on his single-arm presses, many years ago when he was winding down. I knew very little, but did understand his "inch by inch, anything's a cinch" method, and I also bought EVERYTHING he had for sale in .45ACP. There were two boxes of 100-ea black plastic tubes that just perfectly fit inside the .45ACP hull, used with a primer. Now I need not Pee-&-Moan about no .22-conversion being made for my GLOCK. These black-caps work just fine, although they don't cycle. Just a primer will shoot that black-cap with serious force. Not much noise, but OUCH! a nasty smack. WAY BEYOND paint-ball velocities. Yup, primers ae not toys.
     
  8. Lazerbeans

    Lazerbeans Member

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    When I primed my brass, I measured the depth of the primers. They were measuring at around .009"-.011". Because most recommendations’ were to have your primer depth around .005", I got to wondering late at night if my bolt action would fire them. I figured surely it will, but I just couldn’t help finding out for sure. So I loaded a primed case into the Remmy and stuck the muzzle into to the carpet to quiet down a bit. Left a perfect black, burnt to the base, circle the size of my barrel. So yea there is some real energy there.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You haven't done it? I know I sure have.
    Although it was curiosity that killed the cat, I was suspect for awhile. :uhoh:
     
  10. donny640

    donny640 Member

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    Father inlaw taught me to be very careful with primers. I do wear safety glasses and keep the priming tool pointed in a safe direction. Heard a story on here that a primer went off and embedded into the persons leg or arm bone.
     
  11. Tom488

    Tom488 Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I posted a similar thread some time back.
    To get rid of a damaged primer, I do smack them with a 5# hammer. Live primers are too dangerous to 'throw in the trash' or add to my salvage container.

    In my original thread, I posted that out of curiosity I put a spp in a metal container and added a touch of flame. The pop was startlingly significant.

    I believe primers are the most dangerous component reloaders handle.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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  14. CHALK22

    CHALK22 Member

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    I surprised myself one night, by shooting off a primer in the barrel of my XDm. Figured that I shouldn't put a live primer in the brass recycle bin, so I chambered it. Pulled the trigger and bang! I had to run into the house and tell the wife that nobody got hurt. Definitly more than I thought it would be.
     
  15. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Everyone should do it once.

    I fired off a primer because I was curious how powerful/noisy they are. I did it carefully and intentionally. But I did leave a scorch mark on a piece of cloth I did not intend.

    I have a box of Speer plastic bullets. Powered by large pistol primers, these 38 special lightweight slugs travel pretty fast and punch through heavy cardboard very well.

    I have see pictures of a steel door noticeably dented by wax bullets powered by only a primer.

    Food for thought: The wise learn from their experiences. The wisest learn from the experiences of others.

    More food. Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

    Good luck (or, better yet, don't just trust to luck.)

    Lost Sheep
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep.
     
  17. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    That made me remember my first experience with primers. My wife and I were cooking out, and while the mesquite was still burning down I tossed a 209 primer in the fire thinking it would just go pop. It went pop alright, but blew through the side of the metal grill leaving a hole that looked like a bullet hole. That was 30 something years ago and thankfully was no more eventful than a hole in my grill. So yes, primers punch a good blast and could certainly mame or kill someone.
     
  18. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    They say, the manufacturers, that a 1000ct. brick of primers is equivalent to a hand grenade in power.
     
  19. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    A long time ago, working security, we conducted our room clearing, patrol, etc, force on force training using our old 38 Revolvers with special primed plastic cases. No powder, projectile, etc. But it was still loud and powerful enough to injure if you didn't pay attention to what you were doing. Safety rules included, eye and ear pro, and no shooting at people within 5 feet. To demonstrate the power of just the primer, instructors would shoot through sheets of paper. Nasty ragged, burn/blast holes were the result. We had many scorch marks on the walls and furniture of our training facilities from continued use throughout the year.
    Of course this was way before Sim-Munitions and other esoteric tools we have today. It was a lot of fun and provided real weapons handling practice as opposed to paintball guns we used some other times. Even though, those were fun too!
    /EM
     
  20. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    and its creative thinking like that that helped develop gluelets. The most fun you can have with a primer, a 45 handgun and a stick of hot glue in your basement.
     
  21. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Just think for a sec.

    A Super Colibri is just a 22LR with nothing but primer, and it shoots a 20 grain projectile 500 fps.
    Do you really need more evidence?
     
  22. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I had two 9mm cases like that. I hand fed and fired them in my CZ75B. 2/3 of a pistol match later my extractor claw broke off.
    Live and learn.
     
  23. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    I guess I don't see a connection between a broken extractor and firing primed cases. Am I missing something?
     
  24. MoreIsLess

    MoreIsLess Member

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    So, what's the answer.

    Now that we've read everyones story about what can happen when abusing a live primer, the question is what to do if you have one. I have one that is wedged in the primer pocket sideways because it went down the shute of the Lee AUto Primer feeder the wrong way.

    Still trying to decide what to do with it
     
  25. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Yeah, me either. Are you saying it's because you hand fed them?

    the extractor claw on a CZ is pretty beefy. I'd say you had a bad extractor, rather than that it had anything to do with the primer firing. they get a lot more stress firing live ammo than primer-only cartridges.
     
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