Index Home About Blog
Subject: Re: Reloading Question (Live Primer removal)
From: (Kirk Hays)
Date: May 21 1996
Newsgroups: rec.guns

In article <4n8ano$>,
 <> wrote:

#Quoting jos from a message in rec.guns
# jo># On 9 May 1996 10:05:49 -0400, wrote:
# jo>#
# jo># #Need help with removal of live primers that have been seated
# jo>improerly?? # #

I usually throw the affected case into my recycle bin after dosing 
the primer with WD-40.

When I used to salvage cases with this problem, I'd wear goggles,
clear any observers out of the area, pack the "firing path" out of the
bottom of my RCBS rockchucker's ram with an old towel, and throw an old
rug over the press prior to *slowly* decapping the case in question.

More trouble than it's worth.  Really.

# jo>Not sure where, but remember reading something about this. Believe
# jo>they said is ok to do but do not allow live primers to accumulate.
# jo>If one ever went off the others would go off also; turning a minor
# jo>event into a major one.

I once saw a basement where a glass jar full of primers detonated
spontaneously one day.  No injuries, but the entire basement was speckled 
with tiny glass shards and primer cups and anvils.

Anyone down there would have been hurtin' fer certin'.

Keep primers in their original packaging, and treat them with

#It is advisable to NEVER use a depriming tool to remove a live
#primer...there is basically no difference between moving the primer cup into
#the anvil and moving the anvil into the primer cup.  Either will cause the
#primer to ignite.
#It is best to remove the bullet and powder and "fire" the cartridge in the
#firearm it was designed to fit.

Never do this in a revolver, as it is an excellent way to lock up
the cylinder.

Seems like I give out this warning every 3 years or so in rec.guns.

What happens is this:

   1.  firing pin drives primer and case forward.

   2.  case seats against cylinder

   3.  primer fires, and backs out of primer pocket, as well 
       as forming against recoil plate

   4.  gun is locked up.

Now, in the usual case of live ammo, the case would be driven back
over the primer by the ignition of the powder charge, and
the gun is "unlocked" by the normal operation.

This won't happen in every gun, nor will it happen every time, but
it's bound to happen in front of witnesses ;-)

Revolvers don't have much mechanical advantage, so it only takes 
a small amount of "wedging" by the backed out primer to lock up
the cylinder.

Disbelievers are welcome to try it for themselves.

To unlock a revolver that's been locked up by this foolishness,
simply pass a wooden dowel down the revolver barrel, and push
the case back over the primer with a light tap on the dowel.

Been there, done that, about thirty years ago.  I've seen others
do it about six or seven times since then.

Kirk Hays
[I don't speak for Sequent.]

Index Home About Blog