The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 24, 2013, 02:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: March 22, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 4
Can primers out of original package be identified?

I bought some used reloading equipment and materials a couple years ago, but only recently started reloading. The equipment included 9mm dies, so the guy threw in a good number of Federal small pistol primers in the original boxes. However, he also threw in a baggie full of loose primers, probably 500 or more. They are the same size as the Federal small pistol primers and have the same silver color, and when I look closely at the back side, I see there are 3 holes with a pale green color showing through. Everything looks the same as my packaged Federal small pistol primers. I opened a box of Federal small pistol magnum primers, and look at the back side, and it also has the 3 holes with a pale green showing through, but has a reddish color in the middle of the back side.
The guy I bought them from probably told me what they were, but since that was 2 years ago, I don't remember. Is there a way to determine what kind of primer it is based on its visual characteristics?
Defender38SW is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 02:07 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 6,217
Honestly? No.

But if it were me I'd go ahead and shoot them. With a low pressure starting load I wouldn't worry about a small rifle magnum primer getting into the mix and spiking pressure. This is bad advice but it is honestly what I would do.

The right advice is to dispose of any components that go "bang" that you don't know the complete history.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
Jimro is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 02:19 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2013
Location: NC
Posts: 545
Manufacturers do use color codes, but the bad news is they change them. You don't know who manufactured them or when so unless the original owner knows the answer you can stop looking for it.

Would I use them in a light target load? Yes
eldermike is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 02:26 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: March 22, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 4
Picture of primers

I'm not sure how clear the picture will show, but here is a picture comparing the loose primers to the Federal small pistol and small pistol magnums.

Defender38SW is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 03:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,153
Can primers out of original package be identified?

In most situations I would say "When in doubt, throw it out." However, if you only reload them in a handgun cartridge and do not load near max powder charges you should be ok. You would not want to risk getting pistol primers in a rifle cartridge due to the much higher pressures.

But the only risk with medium loads in pistol is that if they are small rifle primers they may be too hard and not ignite reliably with the weaker strike from a pistol. Rifle primers do burn hotter or longer so do not load to max charges shown for handgun primers.
NWPilgrim is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 03:46 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Rittman, Ohio
Posts: 1,549
Official correct answer - dispose of them.

Realistic answer - Use them in light - medium target loads, preferably revolver loads.
TimSr is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 05:06 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 4,409
No, color changes and there is no requirement that any primer be any color.
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
Slamfire is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 05:47 PM   #8
5R milspec
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 360
CCI yellow or light orangey

Fed purpleish

win red

I know this really doesn't help,but this has been the colors I have always seen since I have been realoding.And when in dout throw away,not nothing to really get your undeee's in a knot for
life is great but its better when you can own as many guns you wish to own.for me I haven't bought enough yet.
5R milspec is offline  
Old April 9, 2013, 10:44 PM   #9
Join Date: February 19, 2013
Location: Va
Posts: 39

trapper300RUM is offline  

identification , loose , primer

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 07:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11384 seconds with 8 queries