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Old October 8, 2013, 08:40 PM   #1
Jeff2131
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Old Primers

Found someone cleaning out dads reloading closet....selling 3,400 small pistol primers for $40....heres the catch....they look pretty damn old....old school cci boxes...etc. what are the odds that these primers are still usable?
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Old October 8, 2013, 08:46 PM   #2
Cowboy_mo
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I am not an expert, but my guess would be that as long as they have been kept dry, most if not all will probably be good.

For the price you quoted, I would definitely take the gamble.
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Old October 8, 2013, 08:52 PM   #3
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Yep, I'd go for it also. It's awfully hard to kill a primer just sitting around in their box.
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Old October 8, 2013, 08:54 PM   #4
Jeff2131
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Ok, im assuming they were dry, says they were kept in there original boxes and all in a metal container.
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Old October 8, 2013, 08:54 PM   #5
4719dave
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primers

Buy them for that price
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Old October 8, 2013, 08:56 PM   #6
Jeff2131
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Take a look and see what u think...http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/spo/4077131328.html
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Old October 8, 2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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For $40 why are you even thinking about it.
Do some testing then have fun.
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Old October 8, 2013, 09:12 PM   #8
Jeff2131
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Well, just thought id ask, i really have no idea how long they stay good for. And $40 is cheap but itll cost me $20 in gas and $10 in tolls to drive there and back...lol. just dont wanna buy something that everyone else knows wont work right out of the gate. But i guess ill contact the guy and get them.
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Old October 8, 2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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I would take that deal if I ran across it.
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:23 AM   #10
schmellba99
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I've shot loads that I made with primers that were from the 70's. Some may have been from the 60's.

All went bang without a hitch. Primers don't go bad unless they are put in an environment that induces them to go bad. Take a look at them - if there is no corrosion and the boxes don't appear to have been wet at any point, odds are extremely high they are perfectly fine and you came across a great deal.
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Old October 9, 2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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I'm still using primers from the 1940's/50's, I have no issues with any of them.
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Old October 9, 2013, 03:59 PM   #12
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Last September (2012), I found a group of my old CCI primers hiding at my father's house, from back when I lived there - no later than 1987. All four pistol types 500, 550, 300, 350.

Over the last 13 months, I've been loading and using them. There were close to 2000 total. I have shot off almost all of them now. And I had one - one - that was slow: "Click - wait - wait - bang." That was it. All others performed normally.

Now they were stored in near-ideal conditions for the last quarter century: in a linen closet, cool, dark, dry (California), and little temperature variation.
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Old October 10, 2013, 11:41 AM   #13
BigJimP
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Condensation - or moisture in general - is about the only thing that might cause the primers not to fire....and you can inspect the cardboard in the sleeves and it should show any moisture in terms of their condition...

I've used and fired old primers - that came out of a family members collection from the 60's with no issues ( they were dry ) kept in a closet in a spare room / hobby room in the house. No big deal..

But if you do buy them, I'd probably load 100 or so ( in random ) from some of the boxes --- and testfire them / see if you can detect any variation in them from round to round ...or if you get any misfires. If all you use them for is range slow fire...your risk is pretty minimal.
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Old October 11, 2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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As long as they aren't wet they should be just fine. I've used primers that had gotten dumped into the cats water dish, let them dry out and they worked just fine.

After all the priming pellet is put into the cup wet.
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Old October 11, 2013, 09:42 AM   #15
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I asked a Naval Insensitive Munitions expert about the lifetime of primers, and he said “indefinite”. Since then I have conducted my own studies on primers and have come to the conclusion that the lifetime of primers is much longer than the lifetime of gunpowder. So from an insensitive munitions viewpoint, “indefinite” is a reasonable answer. A rule of thumb for a safe storage lifetime for gunpowder is 20 years for double based, and 45 years for single based. Lead styphnate primers have a lifetime exceeding this as long as they are not exposed to humidity and heat. Heat evidentially degrades primers. I don’t remember what temperatures dud out primers, but assume it is bad to expose primers to a constant exposure to temperatures above 150 F. Primer mix is made wet and the water baked out. Once dry it is very dangerous. A sealant is put above the primer cake to keep it dry and sealants are very good. I have never tried this, but I don’t see a reason why wet primers won’t dry out.

Chlorate primers, the old corrosive primers, had a finite shelf life, but it had to be as long as lead styphnate.
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Old October 11, 2013, 10:31 AM   #16
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I got several boxes of "Cascade" ( earliest form of CCI ) primers in my FIL's stuff when he died... several 1000 primer boxes, they were stored in the basement the whole time, & I've yet to have one fail to go bang... just buy them already
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Old October 12, 2013, 06:53 PM   #17
Jeff2131
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Sorry for the delayed response...i never got a response from the person who posted the ad on CL. No primers :'(
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Old October 13, 2013, 10:09 AM   #18
SL1
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My only problem with really old primers is that the cups occassionally crack axially and leak a little gas. Since I am only using them for low pressure loads, that doesn't seem to have caused any damage to cases or guns. But I would not use them on hot loads.

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