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Old March 28, 2006, 12:15 PM   #1
drdirk
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touching primer by hand? ok?

Question: Is it ok to touch a primer by hand? I have been loading my rifle ammo on a RCBS single stage press. I put a primer manually in the little spring loaded cup by hand. Then I just read a bunch of stuff that said you should NOT touch primers by hand but use a priming tool Did not give a reason. I can see that one would not want to touch a primer with very oily or dirty hands but if your hands are reasonably clean and dry, what is the big deal? Can anybody enlighten me?

For my Pistol priming I use a RCBS hand priming tool or prime in my Dillon with the auto primer. For the few rifle (hunting) rounds I load it seems too much work to set up the hand priming tool.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old March 28, 2006, 12:38 PM   #2
Mal H
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It's really not that big of a deal as long as you do keep your hands free of oil, solvents, etc. Primers aren't as sensitive to foreign materials as some would have you think. If they were, we would see far more "squib" loads than we do.

I have touched thousands of primers over my reloading lifetime with no problems, and I didn't go wash my hands just because I was going to [** shudder **] pick up a primer.

Having said that, it is still best to try not to touch them when you don't have to. Placing a primer in the RCBS primer cup is one of those instances when you have to.

Fiseyou, I would still take the time to set up the RCBS hand priming tool for rifle rounds. The hand priming tool does a better job of seating a primer than does the press itself. It gives you a much better "feel" of the process than the overpowered (for that operation) press does. That's not true of all presses, but the RCBS press priming system, IMO, leaves a lot to be desired. Their hand priming tool, OTOH, is excellent.
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Old March 28, 2006, 01:01 PM   #3
TATER
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Even the smallest amount of oil creeps over time, use some cheap tweezers.
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Old March 28, 2006, 01:50 PM   #4
918v
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That is just silly.
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Old March 28, 2006, 02:00 PM   #5
AlaskaMike
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When I first started I primed using the little primer arm on my RCBS press, and I put them in there by hand. I loaded up over a thousand rounds of various handgun calibers before going to my hand priming tool, and I never had a single squib. I think if you use common sense and make sure your fingers are reasonably free of oil/grease, you'll have no trouble at all.

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Old March 28, 2006, 06:59 PM   #6
drdirk
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touching primer by hand? ok?

I load all my pistol ammo with my Dillon and prime with it or use the RCBS hand prime tool. When I do rifle rounds, I load them on my RCBS single stage press and prime by just putting a primer by hand in the little spring loaded cup. I heard and read that it is not a good idea to touch the primer by hand. Is this true? Why is this? I can see that if your hands are really dirty it would be bad and could cause deposits, but if your hands are reasonably clean, what is the big deal?? Never had a missfire but just curious if this "don't touch primer" thing is a marketing ploy for the hand priming units on the market or if there is some truth to it? For a limited number of (hunting) rounds I load, setting up the handpriming tool with the right shell holder is just too much of a pain!

Any comments? Thanks to all!
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Old March 28, 2006, 07:15 PM   #7
J.D.B.
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I was taught not to handle the primers with bare hands as there is a possibility that oils might be transferred to the primer, possibly causing poor or no ignition. I have handled them occasionally with clean hands and haven't had any trouble.
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Old March 28, 2006, 07:28 PM   #8
Rivers
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Occasionally, I'll pick up a few primers from my 650's "bypass trough" and insert them one-at-a-time into the primer tube. So far, no problems.
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Old March 28, 2006, 07:45 PM   #9
Rimrock
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Purists never touch!
Contaminates on hands especially skin oils can zap a primer!

Rimrock
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Old March 28, 2006, 07:46 PM   #10
KC135
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Dependent on individual body chemistry.

I am fortunate and have never had a problem, but I can put a fingerprint on a piece of unprotected steel and come back a week later and wipe it off, leaving a clean surface. One of my sons just has to look at a blue gun in order for it to rust.
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Old March 28, 2006, 08:13 PM   #11
JoeHatley
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I've been handling each and every primer (I use the single stage press option) for over 25 years. Never had a problem.

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Old March 28, 2006, 08:30 PM   #12
Mal H
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drdirk - Why ask the same question again?

Threads merged. (Post #6 was a new thread on the same topic.)
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Old March 28, 2006, 08:49 PM   #13
drdirk
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thanks for the response

And sorry for double posting. After I posted I checked and it was not there so I thought I messed up somehow.

Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions. I have probably loaded 300+ rifle loads by handling the primer and never had a problem with a squib load either.

I feel better now that I know that it is considered not a big deal. I would hate to have one day look at a 7 pointer and have a load not go off because of my primer! From the sound of it this does not seem to be such a huge issue. The twesers idea is a good one! I will see if I find a pair that is easy to handle.
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Old March 29, 2006, 12:18 AM   #14
rwilson452
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handling primers

If your hands are clean and DRY you shold not have a problem. I never had a problem in that regard.
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Old March 29, 2006, 02:31 AM   #15
T. O'Heir
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Your hands would have to be oozing oil to bother a primer. Putting primers in the primer seater by hand is slow, but it won't do anything to the primer. Mind you, if I was selling priming tools, I'd be telling you to never prime with anything but what I was selling.
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Old March 29, 2006, 05:09 AM   #16
gary2905
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I,Like many of the others who responded, have handled the primers with my fingers well over 10,000times over the last 25 years with nary a mis-fire(not counting lack of powder due to brain lapse).
Until I went to a progressive press recently, I loaded most all rifle ammo one at a time hand feeding the primer into the little RCBS spring loaded cup on the press.
Still do single re-load when doing small batches of hunting ammo.

As a side note, I have found it quite difficult to totally inactivate primers just using WD 40 or kerosene.
Just my observations over a lifetime of reloading.
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Old March 29, 2006, 09:49 AM   #17
NoahFN
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I've loaded probably 500 rounds using a lee ram prime system (before I got my auto prime) and handled each primer with my fingers. This isn't alot, but I've never had a problem.
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Old March 29, 2006, 10:07 AM   #18
MADISON
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Handling primers by hand

It's ok provided you have no grease or oil on your hands.
You need to up grade your priming system to rid yourself of that possibility.
I have used:
RCBS
Bench mounted
Auto priming system
Part # 90460
There are many systems out there LOOK!
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Old March 29, 2006, 11:31 AM   #19
Sport45
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Quote:
Contaminates on hands especially skin oils can zap a primer!
Urban legend or Old Wive's Tale!

Quote:
As a side note, I have found it quite difficult to totally inactivate primers just using WD 40 or kerosene.
Me too. Try this (I did). Take a few primers and lay them out upside-down on your workbench. Give them a good spray with WD-40. Go back the next day and dry them off with a paper towel. Lay them on a paper towel and allow them to drain overnight (don't want the WD-40 contaminating the powder). The next day load as usual and try to fire the rounds. When I did this not a single round failed to fire on the first strike. This was using WLP primers. YMMV.

There's no way your hands could be oily enough to damage primers without being too oily to grip the handle of the press. (Just my humble opinion)
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