The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 19, 2013, 10:35 PM   #1
Metal god
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 2,056
Shelf life of primers

I have not started reloading yet but I am starting to buy stuff .It's been hard to find stuff in stock right now so when I found some primers I bought them . Now I have 4k primers and plan to buy 10k more as they come available and maybe alot more .

Assuming they are stored in a cool dry bla bla bla . How long will they last ? I here the newer primers don't have as long a shelf life as the older ones . Is this true ? If so is it less like instead of 50 year it's a 30 year shelf life ?

I here powder last like 50 years in a unopened container . is this correct ?

I'm willing to drop a good amount of money for this stuff right now but don,t want to be throwing it out in 10 years .

My point is I want to stock up cus Im in CA and they are talking about ammo restrictions and I like to shoot a lot . The way this state is going I can see it being almost impossible to get ammo in 10 years .

EDIT:
Whats a good all around rifle powder I can load 223 and 308 with ? Just want to have some to stock up with and keep for a just in case . No real plan to use it right now just want to keep someting on hand not to be used unless . Im going to get some powder soon and I have some ideas of what I want to reload for match and long range shooting with but I'd like some ideas for some all purpose powder if there is such a thing .
__________________
As of this date 8-18-14 at 6:42am I became a proud grandfather I guess I'm officially old

Last edited by Metal god; January 20, 2013 at 01:17 AM.
Metal god is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 10:38 PM   #2
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,596
It'll last a lot longer than 10 years.

Think about it. Loaded cartridges can be reliable for what...70 years? That primer is in contact with degrading powder fumes the whole time. 10 years is nothing.
chris in va is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 11:21 PM   #3
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
How long do they last? No idea, but I've shot ammo headstamped in the 1930's with no ill effects. I've used primers from the 1940's in reloads, I still have Remington primers Large Rifle from the 1940's.

So far they all go BANG!
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 12:22 AM   #4
david_r
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2013
Posts: 131
They only last about a year. So it'd be a really bad idea to buy primers now when you can get fresh ones in a year.
david_r is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 12:27 AM   #5
okiefarmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 381
Some of mine only last a few months, others last, well, I don't really know, I haven't shot them yet. But david_r is smoking some heavy stuff, He's as full of it as a Christmas turkey. They will last F-o-r-e-v-e-r if you keep them cool and dry. Heat and moisture is the killer of primers. Heat is the killer of everything, that's why they always tell you to keep your ammo in a cool dry place. If you can find them now, and not at a high jack price, buy them. Try to build you up a three year supply, then put them in those vaccuum bags, or just ammo cans. Then buy what you need as time passes. I think interesting times are coming. Be a good boy scout and be prepared.
okiefarmer is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 12:35 AM   #6
hammered54
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2010
Location: Pinckney,Michigan
Posts: 107
as far as powder for those two rounds I would think IMR 4895 would fill the bill......that's what I stock for use in my own 30.06 , 8mm, 30/30 win.and is good for 223 also.
hammered54 is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 01:23 AM   #7
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,674
Quote:
Assuming they are stored in a cool dry bla bla bla . How long will they last ? I here the newer primers don't have as long a shelf life as the older ones . Is this true ? If so is it less like instead of 50 year it's a 30 year shelf life ?

I here powder last like 50 years in a unopened container . is this correct ?

I'm willing to drop a good amount of money for this stuff right now but don,t want to be throwing it out in 10 years .
You heard correct on the primers. The old corrosive perchlorate formulas were longer lasting. That being said I have used milspec non corrosive ammunition manufactured in the 1950s and 60s without any ill effects noted on the ammo. Both lake city and radway green when I was in Iraq.

Powder does not last 50 years. Even in a cool dry storage unit nitrocellulose will slowly off gas nitric acid. Once the stabilizers in the powder are used up the powder will get "rust colored" and start smelling acidic. Throw it out. DTIC has a powder testing regime to test for percentage of stabilizer still in the powder, and a grading system that tells the tester how long the powder has left before it is unuseable. Estimate 20 years for ball powder and 40 for stick powder.

So even if you don't use your components, ever, you could probably sell them to another reloader in a decade and make a decent profit.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 01:29 AM   #8
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 9,108
Quote:
I'm willing to drop a good amount of money for this stuff right now but don,t want to be throwing it out in 10 years .
Well, if you are considering spending the kind of money that sets you up to have shooting ammo for many, many years... the next step in your reasearch & decision making process needs to be safe & legal storage.

Most places have limits set by state fire codes. Something tells me () that California might have some such restrictions on the volume of stuff you can have at a residence and how it needs to be stored. Look in to that.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 04:17 AM   #9
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,231
Most primers do degrade over time, just like most other chemicals. Unless you've got a rifle and ammo that's a tack-driver at long ranges, you'll probably not notice their issues. Probably will never notice it with pistol primers.

The Murom Apparatus Producing Plant near Moscow in Russia first came out with primers that don't degrade and were sold in the USA by PMC. Then Wolf got the contract and now Tula is believed to also come from the same plant. Murom also made/makes lead-free primers. They used to have a web site but it's not showing up any more.

PMC and later Wolf, are highly regarded by top competitive shooters.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is online now  
Old January 20, 2013, 01:36 PM   #10
grunt67
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2011
Location: Northwest Wisconsin
Posts: 1
I unloaded some ammo a while back. Heard about how you shouldn't touch primers with all the oils, etc., on your skin. I soaked these primers in penetrating oil for a month! When I put them on the anvil and smacked them with a hammer, every one of them went bang. My guess is that any kind of decent storage for primers should be sufficient.

"I know, I know....safety first and all like that. Having spent some time around real explosives, I made the call to continue with my experiment based on the volume of percieved explosive." One REALLY should leave all this to trained professionals.
grunt67 is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 02:01 PM   #11
Metal god
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 2,056
Cool thanks for the info . Sounds like I'm good to go buy a bunch of stuff .

Does any body else have any ideas on all purpose rifle powders just to have on hand ?

Hey Bart if I understand you right . the new production PMC , Wolf and Tula primers are made in the same plant and have great shelf life ?

Right now I have 2k winchester large rifle primers and 2k wolf small rifle primers . they both cost right around $30 per 1k . Thats a good price , yes ?

EDIT : just looked at my invoice . The wolf small rifle primers were $20 per 1k the others were $30 per 1k
__________________
As of this date 8-18-14 at 6:42am I became a proud grandfather I guess I'm officially old

Last edited by Metal god; January 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
Metal god is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 03:25 PM   #12
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 9,108
Some folks are putting too much emphasis on the possible damage that can occur from exploding primers. I totally agree--no primer has the capability to grenade a loading die made of tool steel.

On the other hand, some folks are seriously discounting the potential damage from even a single primer explosion. No, it won't lift the roof off your house, but if one explodes, the potential for small bits of sharp metal flying is somewhere near 100%. If you end up with one of these bits in your eye, that's a catastrophic event.

As for attempting to make primers inert without actual detonation -- good luck. Folks have done informal testing for decades. Left in a jar of oil, squirted with WD40 or some solvent, it's all been tried and the results are similar. It kills primers SOME TIMES, and some times it does not.

You want to dispose of primers? Here's a few suggestions.
--drive way or sidewalk with a hammer and safety glasses.
You should pick up the bits so they don't end up in your car's tire.

--camp fire or bonfire, somewhere out in the sticks where possible flying metal bits aren't a problem. To store them before the trip to the campfire, put them in to original primer boxes...not loosely collected in a jar.

--pull a trigger on them in primed cases
They often will back themselves OUT of the brass you detonate them in, which can tie up a revolver or make them a minor annoyance to slide in to a press shell holder or shellplate to properly de-prime.

Also, the fumes and by product of doing this is hazardous and doing it routinely indoors is like hanging out in a poorly ventilated shooting range and isn't advised, though a few of them is not a big deal.

Also, it can be loud. Everyone has their own definition of loud. Cheap bulk rimfire can sometimes barely be heard. A good rifle primer or magnum primer will make your ears ring in a small room. And a standard CCI-400 rifle primer, non-magnum will -EASILY- sent a .22cal airgun pellet cleanly out of my Super-14" .223 Contender, across a basement and punch a hole in a paper target.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 07:36 PM   #13
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
On the other hand, some folks are seriously discounting the potential damage from even a single primer explosion. No, it won't lift the roof off your house, but if one explodes, the potential for small bits of sharp metal flying is somewhere near 100%. If you end up with one of these bits in your eye, that's a catastrophic event.
Ever reload with a Lee Loader and have a primer pop?
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 07:40 PM   #14
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 9,108
I have not ever loaded with an old school Lee Loader. In a couple decades at a bench, I've had three unintended primer discharges, all three with progressive presses. One with a Dillon 650, the other two with a Lee Pro-1000.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old January 20, 2013, 08:33 PM   #15
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
Primers if stored in a not too harsh enviroment they are good for longer than most of us will live.

Smokeless powder it varries.

Black Powder in its original tin when kept dry, in a cool place will be good for a few hundred years. (I have read the article by a guy that shot some powder from the 1780's, and several samples from the 1800's, and early 1900's. He chronoed them. All were very close.) I have shot some FFG that was from the late 1890's in a match lock rifle. It shot just like it should. I still have over half of that tin stored in a safe place.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 12:06 AM   #16
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
I have not ever loaded with an old school Lee Loader. In a couple decades at a bench, I've had three unintended primer discharges, all three with progressive presses. One with a Dillon 650, the other two with a Lee Pro-1000
I have and still take the Lee Loaders to the range to work up loads at times. Yes I have had primers go off. The Primer seater rod is held in the hand, the shell casing is inside the sizing die. While I do not recommend not wearing safety glasses, I seldom think about it as I have worn glasses since before my memory. A primer going POP, is a non issue other than the fact it wakes one up.
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 12:49 AM   #17
hk33ka1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2010
Posts: 275
I had a bunch of 70's to 90's Winchester primers spend 15 or more years on a shelf in a basement that was damp enough to cause blued guns to rust and had flooded a couple times. They all loaded and shot fine. Also picked up a bunch of 1950's-early 60's primers at a shop with unknown storage and they all shot normal too.
hk33ka1 is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 09:11 PM   #18
GeauxTide
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Helena, AL
Posts: 3,089
The primers don't last is malarky. I've got some back to the 70s (and powder, too) that still pop. For grins, I loaded a bunch of 41s with a 1971 can of 4756 and some 70's LP Primers. Not. One. Misfire. Keep them out of high heat and they'll be fine.
GeauxTide is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 11:30 PM   #19
bluetopper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2005
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 1,104
Your grandchildren will thoroughly enjoy them.
__________________
I use Liberal tears as gun lubricant.
bluetopper is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 04:26 AM   #20
iraiam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2012
Location: Lakewood, CO
Posts: 875
They will last for a many many years if stored properly, decades. I store mine in ammo boxes.
__________________
NRA Lifetime Member Since 1999

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials." George Mason
iraiam is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 08:50 AM   #21
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,446
I just loaded a 1000 small pistol Cascade primers ( CCI before they became CCI... what's that??? 1960's ??? ) last summer, they'd been sitting on a shelf in a basement the whole time... house is air conditioned, but it's an old farm house that sometimes gets water on the floor... not one failure to fire from the entire box...

AFAIK, powders varry a little in life, but most / all turn that rusty color & smell "off" if bad... I have an extensive powder library I inherited from my FIL... some are at least as old as the Cascade primers listed above, I've never had to throw out a powder yet... he stored all his powders in an old refridgerator ( non running ) in that same wet basement
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 09:47 AM   #22
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,231
Metal god asks if the new production PMC , Wolf and Tula primers are made in the same plant and have great shelf life.

I don't know for sure. My Wolf primers are made there. If the carton's marked with "Made in Russia" they probably are. Contact the companies then ask them; I've been known to be misinformed a few times.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is online now  
Old January 22, 2013, 10:31 AM   #23
darkgael
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2006
Location: Homes in Brooklyn, NY and in Pennsylvania.
Posts: 4,334
Shelf life

Quote:
They only last about a year. So it'd be a really bad idea to buy primers now when you can get fresh ones in a year.
I am loading primers now that were bought in 1989. They work just fine. No duds at all.
Pete
__________________
"Only hunting and mountain climbing are sports. The rest are just games." - R.Ruark
NRA Life Member
darkgael is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 10:41 AM   #24
yetavon
Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2012
Posts: 22
I have some federal small pistol primers and green dot powder from 94 that shot just fine yesterday...
yetavon is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 12:44 PM   #25
Revolver1
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2013
Location: NY
Posts: 150
I'm currently loading CCI large pistol primers that are appx. 25-30 yrs old. Work like a charm!
Revolver1 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13169 seconds with 9 queries