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Old September 8, 2002, 07:11 PM   #1
Ed Dixon
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Single primer explosion.

What does a single primer going off do/look like/sound like? Just wondering. What kind of injury would it cause to a hand say? (Not using primer tubes yet. Won't ask same question later re: 100 at a time.)
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Old September 8, 2002, 08:02 PM   #2
C.R.Sam
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Pretty loud pop.
Can get shrapnel into self.
Possible a bit of burn.

Definately worth wearing safety glasses while messin with em.

When sucked into Oreck vacuum cleaner, fan blows primer, primer knocks high speed fan out of ballance, mini earthquake, Oreck done. Makes wife type nervous too. Both times.

Sam
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Old September 8, 2002, 09:00 PM   #3
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Sam... Did you mean both times...or both times, one with my first wife and once with my last wife!!! lol
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Old September 8, 2002, 09:07 PM   #4
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If you want a good demonstration of what them little things can do, mount a new primer in the brass without any powder or bullet. Put it in a gun and aim at a cardboard box or something similar and fire it (wear earplugs and glasses).

I screwed up reloading .357 cartridges a few years back and made a couple without a powder charge (not paying attention). When fired in a Ruger GP100, the primer had enough energy to push the bullet halfway down a 6" barrel.
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Old September 9, 2002, 12:28 AM   #5
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They shrapnel and you won't find a single piece of anything if you hit them with a hammer. It'll also potentially blind you.
VERY LOUD TOO !!
P.S. don't ask me any questions on how I know this stuff.
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Old September 9, 2002, 07:07 AM   #6
moredes
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Very loud in a small room (11x15x8); disintegrates immediately, blowing a ragged 2" hole 3/16" deep in a formica table top.

No questions asked please.
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Old September 9, 2002, 07:17 AM   #7
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HeHe! Sounds like there has been some real scientific research going on here trying to answer your question!
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Old September 9, 2002, 09:37 AM   #8
Mal H
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They are pretty darn loud as anyone who ever used one of the Lee Loaders found out or will eventually find out. If the primer is seated in a case, the danger is from the large volume of hot gas released, more than you might guess. If the primer goes off unseated, it is far more dangerous. The little anvil goes banging around at several thousand feet per second. "It'll put an eye out." (Or ruin a table top. ) If it is in contact with more primers, odds are very high it will set them off.
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Old September 9, 2002, 11:51 AM   #9
Ed Dixon
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The hammer scenario actually skipped through my mind, but I see other braver pioneers got there first. Thought I might take some "flack" for even asking, but I guess I wasn't the only curious one. Felt somewhat like a 10 year old jumping off the garage roof to "see if it'll hurt."
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Old September 9, 2002, 12:15 PM   #10
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I too whacked a primer with a hammer, just to see what would happen.
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Old September 9, 2002, 12:37 PM   #11
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Well now I've got to
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Old September 9, 2002, 01:12 PM   #12
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FWIW:

I launched a WLP ( a primed brass no powder/bullet ) out of glock 21. Sounded like a 22 pistol and the muzzle-flash was about 6 to 8" out of the barrel.

Does anybody who have done this have any explanation on why the primers pull alittle bit out of their pockets?
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Old September 9, 2002, 02:09 PM   #13
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I don't have to whack one with a hammer with the primer sitting on the anvil part of a vise........................


I already have (several times) just out of curiosity
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Old September 9, 2002, 02:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Does anybody who have done this have any explanation on why the primers pull alittle bit out of their pockets?
The primer explosion drives the primer back, and the case forward, as not all of the force goes "exactly" through the flash hole. With no powder to drive the case backwards, the primer protrudes a little bit, rather than being forced flush with the case head.

Primer-powered ammo (like X-Ring rubber bullets) often requires drilling out the flash hole to a larger diameter to relieve the pressure. Of course, you shouldn't load the so-modified cases with "real" ammo afterwards. The bullets must muffle the sound a bit, as the resultant "pop" is much less than one would get from a .22, at least in a 9mm with standard small pistol primers.

Uncontrolled, the detonation of a primer could fling bits of metal about enough to damage one's eyes or, depending on proximity, embed metal into your hand deeply enough that a doctor might be needed to dig it out.
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Old September 9, 2002, 02:15 PM   #15
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lockandrock - primers generate enough gas volume that it can't get through the flash hole fast enough and the pressure causes the primer to back out of the pocket as far as it can. Then the main powder charge builds pressure, pushing the case back and reseating the primer.
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Old September 9, 2002, 02:16 PM   #16
Jamie Young
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Quote:
I too whacked a primer with a hammer, just to see what would happen.
It kind of reminds me of that Bugs Bunny cartoon with the Gremlin and the bomb.
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Old September 9, 2002, 02:18 PM   #17
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lockandrock - The primer backing out is simply due to the high pressure it creates on detonation. The gases can't all get through the small flash hole all at once so it pushes the primer back. Believe it or not, that happens almost everytime you fire a gun. The primer pushes back a little out of the pocket and then the case pushes it back in when the pressure has decreased enough for the case to stop adhering to the chamber walls and press hard against the breech face. The exceptions to this are crimped-in primers and maybe sealed primers or very tight primer pockets.

[added] - Looks like Hank, Chris and I were all posting at the same time.

Last edited by Mal H; September 10, 2002 at 04:37 PM.
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Old September 10, 2002, 12:53 PM   #18
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They don't just go bang in a Lee press. They'll do it in a Dillion (or so one of my "dillion" friends tells me) , or even the presses that Remington, Winchester, ect. use. Another aquaintance of mine has been on tours of several loading plants and can attest to the scars on the ceilings above the priming stations-primer tubes. I've had one go off in a Lee Pro-1000, and set off all the other 90+ in the tray. Only shooting scars I've got !! The biggest problem is from the flying plastic shrapnel from the trays. Very loud but not life threatening as long as you have the lids/covers on the powder cannisters and measures. I always remember the safety glasses now too !!!!
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Old September 13, 2002, 01:15 PM   #19
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I had this happen once using a Lee Loader (which is now gathering dust).

I was in a closet area, 6x8 with 8 foot ceiling.
What was really weird is that I didn't hear it go BANG.

Instead, there was what seemed to be a very muted pop followed by intense ringing and a feeling of cotton in my ears. I also could not hear KQRS anymore, which I normally listen to while reloading.

The radio came back in about ten minutes.
The ringing lasted an hour or two.

Like I said, I don't use the Tap Tap method anymore for seating primers.

-Kframe

ps- I later got a Lee tray-style hand-primer, and I had heard of chain-detonations in this, and to avoid any flying shards of plastic I have always stretched an old sock over the tray. I never had it blow, but I felt better with the cloth over it. Even though the sock blocks out the view of the remaining primers, you can jiggle it and hear if you're running low or not.
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Old September 13, 2002, 02:05 PM   #20
Ed Dixon
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K: sounded like you were talking about a prison break there for a minute; hey, they say hobbies are good therapy.
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Old September 15, 2002, 02:01 PM   #21
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Sounds like time for a new poll - how many have hit primers with a hammer just to see what would happen?

I hit one (standard large rifle), flashed in all directions, about 5" flame, very loud crack. It was a mangled one that had failed to seat properly.

The next one was after a spray with wd40, same result.

Then one after sitting in a wd40 bath for 5 minutes. Dud.

So I guess the wd40 primer killing trick does indeed work.

I used the anvil part of the vise as a base, goggles and ear protection, pets outside, wife shopping. Ball peen hammer.

It could be better therapy than popping plastic bubble-wrap.

Regards.
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Old September 15, 2002, 02:30 PM   #22
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WARNING: PRIMERS WILL EXPLODE

Safety glasses are mandatory.
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Old September 15, 2002, 02:42 PM   #23
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Yes, the WD 40 trick does work. Just don't ever let the primer dry back out.

Several years back, I took a primed .06 case. Killed the primer by a 24 hour soak in WD 40. I then seated a bullet on it, no powder.

I used that "dead" cartridge as a pipe tamper for about 4 months.

Thought it looked kinda cool to tamp my pipe with this shiny .30-06 round.

Anyway, one day I needed to check the firing pin on one of my rifles.

So, I cleaned the base of this case, and chambered it. I started to pull the trigger, and the little still, small voice that prevents us from having an "ohnosecond" stopped me.

I removed the case, and pulled the bullet.

I then rechambered it, pointed in a safe direction, and pulled the trigger. The loud BANG made me crap my pants.

Did I say that I don't use cases for pipe tools anymore?

("Ohnosecond"--the minute fraction of time in which you realize that you just made a REALLY BIG mistake.)
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Old September 15, 2002, 02:54 PM   #24
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Remember discovering years ago that a small pistol primer fits pretty well, albeit a bit loose, in a .177 pellet pistol. Lots of noise firing them into the concrete.

Some of the things we do when we're young, stupid and bulletproof...
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