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Old 03-18-2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Decapping LIVE primers?

Is it safe? The general shape of the primer seems to allow the decapping rod to fit right into the center of the primer, and cause no pressure to the explosive elements.

I have a bunch of rounds I miss-loaded, and would like to recycle back into new rounds (with more precise tolerances), but if I can't safely remove the primer, I won't feel safe using them, and will have to discard them.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:02 PM
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Can you pull the bullets and charge and re-load them as primed cases? To re-size the case you may need to pull the de-primer pin out of the de-capping / sizer die. I don't know how easy this would be, but if you can, you won't be touching the live primers and should be able to proceed as usual in the re-loading process.
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Last edited by Shooting Padre; 03-18-2011 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:15 PM
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It has been discussed here before, suggest you do a search. Do it slowly and wear safety glasses. I have done it numerous times and haven't had one pop yet.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:57 PM
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Yes if the primers are good why waste them? I'd pull the projectiles and reclaim the bullets, gun powder & primeed cases.
In fact I recently did pull the bullets on some old and very badly stored(I'm guessing) ammo, but the primers are suspect as suspect as the powder so I do have to remove the primers to reuse the brass and the powder? It went into the compost.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:00 PM
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Yep- put on the glasses, go slow, I've done it many times. Unlike Hovnnes though, I don't re-use them.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:10 AM
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I've done it and never had one pop, but I don't like it. The primer pocket acts like a short barrel and gives the primer some velocity when it goes off. I remember being told of a 50 cal primer: it went four feet in the air, bounced off a pipe and went one inch into a 2X4. A regular primer would probably go at least an inch into flesh, and would be quite uncomfortable.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:30 AM
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if I have any number beyond 1 or 2 that I'm suspicious about and 'need' to deprime, usually I'll just fire the dismounted round to remove any question about the primer.

It is rare the primer fails to fire.

I'm one who doesn't feel safe depriming live primers....and don't really like disassembling loaded rounds in general.

I do use the impact hammer style and have never had any rounds detonate, nor have I even heard of such happening.

Still....
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:03 PM
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Not a problem..

If we look at how a primer is designed and put together we see that there are three parts to a primer.. Cup, Anvil, and Priming Mixture.
If we take a look at the Anvil, we see that it is 'pointed' toward the Cup. This creates a 'pinching' point where the firing pin will 'punch' the relatively soft Cup against the relatively hard Anvil with the Priming Mixture in between, which is what creates the flame to ignite the powder charge.

Now if we use a decapping pin to move the primer from the back, or the opposite direction, we see that there can be no 'pinching' taking place because we are moving the primer by the harder Anvil, especially considering the 'minimal' amount of force required to move the primer out of the pocket, compared with, the amount of force a firing pin exerts in an actual firearm.

The idea of using something (a decapping pin) that looks just like a firing pin to remove a primer does not set well in our minds, but in reality it is relatively safe to do so,.. with minimal force.
Just go slow and wear eye protection and you won't have a problem


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Old 03-19-2011, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDub View Post
Not a problem..

If we look at how a primer is designed and put together we see that there are three parts to a primer.. Cup, Anvil, and Priming Mixture.
If we take a look at the Anvil, we see that it is 'pointed' toward the Cup. This creates a 'pinching' point where the firing pin will 'punch' the relatively soft Cup against the relatively hard Anvil with the Priming Mixture in between, which is what creates the flame to ignite the powder charge.

Now if we use a decapping pin to move the primer from the back, or the opposite direction, we see that there can be no 'pinching' taking place because we are moving the primer by the harder Anvil, especially considering the 'minimal' amount of force required to move the primer out of the pocket, compared with, the amount of force a firing pin exerts in an actual firearm.

The idea of using something (a decapping pin) that looks just like a firing pin to remove a primer does not set well in our minds, but in reality it is relatively safe to do so,.. with minimal force.
Just go slow and wear eye protection and you won't have a problem



Yes, that's why I thought it might be still be somewhat safe, due to the shape of the interior primer. But I was concerned about the ejector pin not lining up with that center, until I remembered that the case has a hole that would force the ejector rod to stay straight.

I am looking to just disassemble the rounds and start from scratch, saving as much of the materials as I can, including the primers, although they are relatively inexpensive.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:21 PM
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I would remove the bullet, put the gun powder in the garden and reload the primed case again.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miata Mike View Post
I would remove the bullet, put the gun powder in the garden and reload the primed case again.
Do you think the powder has been degraded?
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:49 AM
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This comes up so often there should be a "Sticky" post on it...
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:55 AM
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Default Wet the primer?

After pulling the bullet and dumping the powder could you put a little water in the cartridge to wet the primer to "de-activate" it before depriming the case?

I've got a coffee can full of live rounds I've found at the range and would like to recycle the brass. I pick them up because I think it's dangerous, particularly for the grass-mowers. Understandably, scrap metal dealers don't like to recycle brass with live primers (or powder, or bullets!).
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:24 AM
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i have taken apart many live rounds with no problems...no...the powder is fine to reuse as long as you know 100% what type powder it is...i'm not sure why you would want to pull the primer at all
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:49 AM
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Pretty much echoing everyone else's experience on live primers. I've done it for years. Light consistent pressure applied with a decapping die is all it takes. If the anvil seperates or the primer compound crumples apart, cull the primer, but generally they come out without any perceptible damage. Yes, I've reloaded with them and can't recall any failures or misfires.
It's not the ideal method of reloading, but refrain from using them in carry or competition ammo and you get that extra ammo for plinking at the range and safely detonate what would have been an active waste product otherwise.
Truth be told, I've only had one primer light off and that was while priming a case. Seems I barely touched the thing and "Bang!" I wonder if it wasn't a static discharge or something or a hyper-sensitive primer element.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:59 AM
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I had to do a quantity a while ago, I soaked the shells in hot soapy water for a few hours and then decapped as I normal. No problems at all and I didn't have to hold my breath while doing it.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:27 AM
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Just as a precautionary note.... I've had oil-doaked primers that still go "bang", so don't think they are disabled just because you give them a soaking in oil or water or whatever. Now, I'll grant you that I detonated them with a large hammer on an anvil, but the fact remains, they can still have explosive capacity even if treated.
Until the primer is detonated or totally removed of primer element, it can still be live.
On another note, I've fired standard primers (not 50 cal) off of a hotplate and they could hurt if you were standing right over them. They do explode!

Last edited by CTSixshot; 03-25-2011 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:53 PM
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Just a follow up, I removed 50 live primers the other night without any sign of trouble.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanG-M&P View Post
Do you think the powder has been degraded?
No, but I was thinking I would rather throw away pennies worth of powder and save the perfectly OK primed cases. Yes you could save the powder if you would have liked to. I see you are done now so it is a moot point.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miata Mike View Post
No, but I was thinking I would rather throw away pennies worth of powder and save the perfectly OK primed cases. Yes you could save the powder if you would have liked to. I see you are done now so it is a moot point.
I am thrifty! I saved everything, but set it aside, in case I felt it wasn't safe. I accidentally lubed the inside of the shaping die when I did that ill batch, and was afraid that would have effect the powder, but I don't see any powder clumping together or anything, so I am guessing it is still good.
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