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What metal are primers made out of, and can it be recycled?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lone_Gunman, Apr 8, 2007.

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  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Should I just throw old primers away?
    Or should I drop them into the recycle bucket?
     
  2. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Brass. They go away with all my used up cases, to china:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  3. swabjocky

    swabjocky Member

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    The active ingredient is fulminate of mercury. one of those, be real careful with, things.
     
  4. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I believe that has not been used in a very long time.
     
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Metallic rifle and pistol primers are made from brass, and can (should) be recycled, along with all brass that's not reloadable.

    Shotgun primers are made from steel, and can still be recycled, but you won't get much from them. I recycle them, just because I hate to see things wasted, which is why I started reloading in the first place in 1963.

    The main ingredient of the priming compound is lead styphnate. Fulminate of mercury was phased out in 1898 in military primers. Commercial primers were non-corrosive/non-mercuric before World War II.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The US Army quit using mercuric primers in 1898.

    They stayed with chlorate ("corrosive") primers until the early 1950s, but KCl is not toxic, just a rust accellerator.
     
  7. layusn1

    layusn1 Member

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    When I take my junk brass to the recycling center they require that cases be deprimed before they will accept them. Is there a market for used primers somewhere? I imagine a 5 gal bucket would weigh a ton but for some reason I have kept the ones from the last couple thousand I deprimed.
     
  8. cdrt

    cdrt Member

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    I guess you just have to look around for recycling centers. I take my primers, bad cases, etc. to a outfit in Wichita Falls and they don't seem to have a problem with any of it. Of course, it has to be sorted; aluminum Blazer cases in one bucket, brass and old primers in another, etc. I got a whole 2 cents a pound for some Wolff steel cases....hardly worth the trouble, but it's better than just chucking them in the trash.

    Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC
     
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    It depends on the individual recycler, and how "gun savvy" they are. I've never had a problem taking brass or primers and selling them for scrap. I keep the primers separate, just so they can run a magnet through them and see what they are, but they just dump them in the bin with the brass after weighing them.

    Some unscrupulous scrap dealers will try to tell you cartridge brass isn't salvageable, and tell you they'll take it off your hands for a few cents a pound, but it's ploy to make a huge profit off the brass. The market is down a little bit right now, but still hanging around $1.00 a pound for yellow brass, which is what cartridge brass is.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  10. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I keep all of my spent primers in a one gallon paint bucket. I haven't recycled any yet but have heard you can get $35 for a full one gallon bucket.
    Rusty
     
  11. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    I have a 5lb coffee can I'm striving to fill. I wasn't sure if all primers (CCI?) were brass or not, but I guess it makes sense for them to be. A thin brass piece is flexible but can still avoid puncture
     
  12. layusn1

    layusn1 Member

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    So if I run a magnet through the primer and it doesn't stick its brass and recyclable? Is there a site that says what they are made of that I could print and take to the recycling center? Kinda stupid that I don't know what primers are made of huh?
     
  13. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Only shotgun primers are made of steel. All U. S. made rifle and pistol primers are made of brass. You don't need a site to look it up, if you have a loading manual. I'm looking in my Sierra Manual and it says the primer cups are made of 70/30 cartridge brass.

    I've been recycling my primers for years and have never gotten an argument from the scrap dealer, once he satisfied himself by running his magnet through them.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
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