The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 16, 2013, 10:04 PM   #1
cdbeagle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2012
Location: Justin Texas
Posts: 276
Is it safe to decap hot primers?

New to handloading and have loaded 6.5x55. .38 Special and .380 with very good results. Then I tried .223 for our two AR's. Used once fired brass I bought. Loaded 100 rounds and they won't feed. A rookie mistake to load that many. I finally started over by readjusting the full length resizing die and loading 10 rounds. They shot great. So what do I do with the original 100 rounds? I am going to remove the bullets and powder to reuse but what about the primers. I don't think it is a good idea to try and use the brass again so I will trash it. Should I decap the brass for safety sake? I will use my Lee Universal Decapper if I do.
__________________
I comprehend how a projectile can, “lose velocity", but don't understand how a projectile can, "loose velocity".
cdbeagle is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 10:13 PM   #2
nhbmaing
Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 15
I WOULD NOT attempt to decap live primers. I've always been told its unsafe and I've never attempted it as a result. The force behind a primer going off is surprisingly powerful. Sucks to lose the brass, but it's better than losing fingers.
__________________
The pen is mightier than the sword. I keep the sword for the day I run out of ink.
nhbmaing is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 10:19 PM   #3
boondocker385
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2013
Posts: 343
I have deprimed live brass. Goggles and gloves and a slow pressure applied. Never had one go off. Then resize the brass and use it.
boondocker385 is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 10:23 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,350
I've done it a bunch of times. Go slow and gentle.earplugs and safety glasses would be prudent. I've done it several times "full force", not realizing that it was a live primer, and never had one go off.

That said, there's no need to decap them just so you can load them again. Just adjust your decapping pin so it's high enough to not punch the primers and they'll be happily resized with primers intact.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 10:26 PM   #5
Blindstitch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 14, 2013
Posts: 352
I thought I caught somewhere that if primers are exposed to oil they will not work.

I don't have an AR but if I had to bump off some primers in my rifles I would just shoot them off.

Here's a similar thread to yours.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=400028
Blindstitch is online now  
Old May 16, 2013, 11:44 PM   #6
oldpapps
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2011
Location: Middle America
Posts: 426
I agree with Brian Pfleuger. Pull the bullets, dump the powder (no reason you can't re-use it, you know what it is, you loaded it to begin with), screw the depriming rod back, resize. I don't know what you lube with, I use the old fashioned grease stuff and would use my fingers to put it on the case body only and wipe the cases clean after sizing. Go for it.

Enjoy,

OSOK
oldpapps is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 12:01 AM   #7
cdbeagle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2012
Location: Justin Texas
Posts: 276
Quote:
put it on the case body only
So don't put any on the neck?
__________________
I comprehend how a projectile can, “lose velocity", but don't understand how a projectile can, "loose velocity".
cdbeagle is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 03:50 AM   #8
jeffreyulatan
Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2012
Location: Guam
Posts: 47
I've deprimed a lot of live primers. It's totally fine.

If I were you I would just throw away the brass
__________________
Delta Firearms Mfg Co. 07/08 FFL SOT 2, Hobby Shop Owner
jeffreyulatan is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 05:26 AM   #9
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 1,979
If it were a primer you previously installed. I don't see why you couldn't resize & de-prime to save your primer. Probably everyone who has done so are still waiting to hear their first pop happen. (its always in the back of your mind it may happen but never seems too.) I guess you could call it one of those yes / no procedures in reloading. Yes. every reloader I know has done it one time or another. No. its not advisable some reloading authors write.
A little advice though: afterwards. Inspect those primers you de-primed and make sure they haven't lost their cup anvil. Flexing their cup back and forth. It is possible to loosen their anvil.
S/S
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 05:36 AM   #10
Gster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2012
Location: N.central Pa.
Posts: 214
I've done it a few times. Just go slow and easy.
__________________
Gun control means: Being able to hit what you are shooting at.
Gster is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 07:20 AM   #11
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 2,942
Theres no need to remove the primers at all. Remove the decapping pin from the sizing die & back off the expander ball 1 full turn. You'll rescue the brass & not even touch the primers.

For lubing the cases just hand apply a thin layer as you would normally. If you're concerned about the case lube killing the primers put a wad of tissue in the case neck when lubing & remove before resizing.
__________________
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”
wogpotter is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 07:52 AM   #12
Shootest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Just outside Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 605
I have done it many times, if you are careful you’ll have no problems. If no one did anything that was said to be dangerous then there would be no bungee jumping, sky diving, motorcycle riding, water skiing, automobile racing, or mountain climbing just to name a few.
__________________
The private ownership of firearms is an American Heritage. Anyone who disputes that is Anti-American and unpatriotic.
NRA Life Member
http://s1096.photobucket.com/albums/g327/Wynn3/
Shootest is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 07:57 AM   #13
David Bachelder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2011
Location: Trinity, Texas
Posts: 619
+ on do not remove primers.

Remove your decapping pin or adjust it up and out of the way as described above. Pull the bullets, dump the powder back into your jar, resize, reload and your good to go.

If you do push the live primers out, cover your press with a towell, wear earplugs and safety glasses, go slow meaning don't slam things around. I've pulled many of them with out any problem at all.

That crap about not touching primers is a old wives tale too. I've touched thousands of them, never hurt a one. Just be aware of what you're doing. Try not to touch the anvils, if you do so what? It'll still work.
__________________
David Bachelder
Trinity, Texas
I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 243 and 30-06
David Bachelder is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 07:57 AM   #14
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,284
Remove decapping pin, resize and reload.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 08:45 AM   #15
hunter52
Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 99
You did not say what type of damage you had on the cases, if your dies were not adjusted right , maybe the shoulder was pushed back too far leaving a bulge right at the shoulder/body ? In my experience , if the bulge is not too severe the brass can be resized enough to make it shootable, if it is bad enough that you can still feel or see a bump after resizing, IMO, the brass should be discarded.
When you lube cases the neck and shoulder should be untouched, lube on the neck and shoulder can cause build up in the die resulting in hydraulic dents, which are not necessarily bad, the dents will be pushed back out when the cartridge is fired, but they sure don't look good.
I use a pad and RCBS lube, placing the cases in a row on the edge of the pad with the shoulder and neck hanging off ,then roll the whole line at once.
this keeps the lube only where it is needed.
hunter52 is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 09:21 AM   #16
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Quote:
I WOULD NOT attempt to decap live primers. I've always been told its unsafe and I've never attempted it as a result. The force behind a primer going off is surprisingly powerful. Sucks to lose the brass, but it's better than losing fingers.
WOW, not even CLOSE to having any truth to it, but it does have a lot false hoopla.

Folks have inadvertently crushed primers while seating them and they do not go off. You have never done it, yet you speak as a voice of experience.....

'Tis no big deal, decap the live primer, and if it is in good condition, reuse it and the brass
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 09:24 AM   #17
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,757
Quote:
Never attempt to deprime live primers, eventually one will go off, when it does it will detonate the others in the spent primer cup. Decapping live primers is the single most dangerous thing you can do while reloading.

Just because a person has done this practice for 50 years or thousands of times it is not safe. It only takes one accident to create a a possible injury or worse.
Whoever wrote that did so with an ambulance chaser,(lawyer), right at his side.

Take a good long look at a cartridge loaded in any gun. What is present? A chamber, a bolt or a receiver, or a recoil shield, and a firing pin poised above a primer held in a brass case. The firing pin is either spring loaded or has a hammer hit it,,,,HARD! The brass can't move it's being held by the chamber. The primer can't move, it's being held by the brass. Now it gets hit by a firing pin that has a 60# spring behind it. It detonates like it is supposed to.

Now how does a brass case with a primer SITTING in it relate to the above description? Nothing is holding that primer from being PUSHED out of that pocket. The decapping pin may look like a firing pin, but none of the conditions are present to detonate the primer. Now I suppose if some ham handed gorilla was to slam the press lever into enough primers, one could go off.

Primers have been crushed, pushed in sideways and smashed without going off. Whats missing? The quick slap of the firing pin as apposed to the slow force of an errant priming device. In other words, done slowly in a normal FL die or universal decapping die, nothing will happen,,,,other than the primer being pushed out of the brass case. And YES you can re-use them!

If the above caused you to think, instead of believing internet myth, then I apologize for ruining your morning.
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 09:31 AM   #18
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Quote:
Just because a person has done this practice for 50 years or thousands of times it is not safe.
So, when does doing something become "safe" in your mind? 100% nothing goes wrong, ever? Name ANYTHING in that regard - there isn't any. If someone has been doing it for 50 years and thousands of times - then I think they ave that aspect down pretty safe - of course they might want to review their process to see why they have so many they need to do, but that is something else........
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 09:32 AM   #19
Barbicatter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2009
Location: Clay, AL
Posts: 223
Deprimed live primers many many times. Never had I primer go off.
Like stated above wear your PPE and smooth stroke of the handle.

I've even removed stuck live primers from pick up tube. It was so stuck that I needed wack a steel rod with a hammer. I was in my backyard with my safety glasses, welding gloves, hearing protection and steel boots. I was ready for the bang, nothing nada. This I would not reccommend to anyone, I was in a real pinch it was my only small primer pickup tube, and I wasn't able to feed my dillon. I have spares now so if this happens again I won't have to reinact the "Hey y'all watch this" momment.

If you proceed with caution and wear the proper protection, removal will be no problem.
Barbicatter is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 09:50 AM   #20
cdbeagle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2012
Location: Justin Texas
Posts: 276
My resizing die is a Lee and if I back out the decapping pin the die crushes the neck down into the case. So I decapped, sized, checked case length and then primed with the ones I took out. I then finished reloading 10 cases and just fired them out of my AR. They were fine. Thanks for all of the advice.
__________________
I comprehend how a projectile can, “lose velocity", but don't understand how a projectile can, "loose velocity".
cdbeagle is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 09:52 AM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,350
You don't have to back it out THAT far!

It's only got to go up far enough so it doesn't punch out the primer. I'd guess 1/4" is plenty.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 10:34 AM   #22
marcodo
Member
 
Join Date: March 27, 2007
Posts: 29
Unfortunately I have had to deprime Live primers. Never an issue if you do it cautiously
marcodo is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 10:43 AM   #23
praetorian97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2011
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 455
I decap primers both sides all the time. I use the Vibra Prime and I always get a small amount that feed backwards. Decap them and them soak them in liquid for about a week.

Eye pro and hearing protection are a must.
praetorian97 is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 10:54 AM   #24
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 2,942
I didn't realize this could become such a heated topic!

Quote:
it will detonate the others in the spent primer cup
I want those multi-use primers too, mine only go bang once!

I've actually had a primer detonate while decapping just once in over 18,000 rounds. It fired because I didn't realize the one round was primed & the primer was crimped in. If it wasn't crimped & I had realized it was there I wouldn't have tried to muscle it out & it probably wouldn't have fired at all anyway.

Let me relate the actual experience for you all.

The case is inserted in a big, strong steel or carbide die, the case mouth is only partially obstructed by the decapping rod's stem if the decapping pin is contacting the primers anvil from inside, so any pressure can immediately release past the gap up into the die body. This is in turn screwed into a bigger & stronger metal "C" or "O" made of heavy duty metal & designed to handle the stresses of forcing metal back into a smaller shape thousands of times, its not a "wimpy" tool kit. The bottom is a large metal ram, held in place by thousands of pounds of compund leverage & having a small opening in its center only.

So what exactly happens?

A very loud & totally ujnexpected BANG! followed by a little smoke & a few fragments that are directed down through the priming feed. The inside of the die is covered in black soot & crud, so you have to clean it out, the press ram is equally filthy as the dried grease lube & other crud is flung everywhere, thats it, done deal. Press designers plan for such things & so seperate primer feed systems from direct intrusion into the priming station, so "whole tubes of primers going off like atomic bombs" is pretty unlikely.

Well, apart from having to let the shakes stop, the heart return to normal & getting fresh shorts.

No fingers were blown clean off in the production of this post.
__________________
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”

Last edited by wogpotter; May 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM.
wogpotter is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 11:05 AM   #25
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,028
No need to deprime them. Just move the decapping pin (either remove it or adjust it out of the way so it doesn't hit the primer) and run them through the sizer.

Depending on how fearful you are, live primers can be removed simply by running the case through the sizer/decapping die or as complex as calling out the HazMat team or bomb squad. No offence intended, just look at a primer and how it works. It needs a blow to crush the priming compound between the cup and the anvil (and we've seen a lot of posts about primers not seated correctly failing to fire because the firing pin moved the primer deeper in the pocket and didn't have the "crush", not igniting it). It is easy and safe to push the live primers back out of the pocket.

Of course be safe but also use common sense...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld 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 02:12 AM.


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 0.12333 seconds with 7 queries