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Old May 6, 2012, 12:21 AM   #1
Join Date: April 29, 2012
Location: KY
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depriming live primers?

Im new to reloading so ive messed up a few cartridges ive managed to save the bullet but i was wondering if i could save the primer. Im using the single stage press by Lee 270 is the cartridge.

Thanks for any and all response
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Old May 6, 2012, 12:52 AM   #2
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Years ago, faced with the same problem, I gently pushed out the live primer with the decapping die.
For safety's sake, I cut both ends off a stout, steel can and ran the press' ram up through the center of the can. It gave me some protection if the primer did blow.
I started reloading with the old Lee Loader, that required you to tap a primer into the case using a metal rod inserted down into the case. This method works, but occasionally I'd set off a primer.
But harmless.
With the can around the ram and die, I felt confident that an ignited primer would be contained in the steel can.
I had about half a dozen cartridges to push out primers, and I never had one go off. I just applied gently increasing pressure until the primer was pushed out. I didn't reuse the primer because I'd read that doing so, the priming compound pellet might be crushed and become unreliable.
Wear eye protection.
Clear your reloading bench of any cans of powder, ammo, primed cases or primers.
Can't be too careful with this. The gods do love to amuse themselves by making improbabilities become realities.
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)
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Old May 6, 2012, 01:05 AM   #3
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Thanks I just tried a few min ago lil jumpy when the first one jus popped out no problem but still was very cautious.
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Old May 6, 2012, 03:48 AM   #4
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Pop em out of the case and discard. Do not load them back into another case.
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:07 AM   #5
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Whenever I find the need to deprime a live primer I just use my universal depriming die. Plenty of room around the case to release the pressure and the primer will be ejected safely down the ram of my LCT press if it goes off. Haven't had one go off yet.

I do empty the collection tube of spent primers first and save the live primers. I check to make sure the anvil is still in place and use them in range fodder. I have never had one fail to go off, but I still wouldn't use a recycled primer for hunting, competition, or self defense.
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Old May 6, 2012, 06:18 AM   #6
Kevin Rohrer
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If the anvil is in-place and the cup not deformed, there is nothing wrong with re-using them again.
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

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Old May 6, 2012, 07:26 AM   #7
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I agree with Kevin Rohrer. I've done it many times with absolutely no problem.
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Old May 6, 2012, 08:40 AM   #8
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Primers run about $30.00 per thousand, that's a 3 cent part, so I wouldn't bother to reuse it. A brass case can be a 2-bit range find or a $2.00 Norma case, so I would de-prime to reuse a good case.

A US penny costs 4.5 cents to make, so a primer is much cheaper!
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:01 AM   #9
Misssissippi Dave
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Slowly popping out the primer works for me using the depriming die. I have used some of them again too. If it looks intact I will put it into another case. I also will use a magic marker to mark the case too. It will be the first round fired in a gun with a magazine and I pay extra attension to how it fires.

Remember to have your safety glasses in place when ever you try doing this. You really should be using them any time you are reloading by the way. It is very hard to enjoy shooting if you injured your eyes while reloading.
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Old May 6, 2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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This comes up quite often. Out of all the diffrerent forums I've read comcerning decapping live primers, none have come forward with actual experience of one detonating while removing a live primer ("I heard over on that Joe-Bob's cousin's uncle had one explode on him"). I guess if you slammed the case up into the sizing/decapping die one might go off, but with common sense, it's totally safe. For me, the only time I had a primer pop when not in a chamber of a gun, was with a Lee Loader and then the only thing that happened was I had to change my skivvies (priming rod nor any shrapnel fly out). I've been reloading with a single stage press since 1970. In that time I've had primers in upside down, sideways, and jes crooked. I've pressed out live primers and reused them with absolutely no problems (jusy like sizing/decapping fired brass but go easy on the handle). If you want to fill the case with oil, smash the brass and discard, decap and throw away the primers, go ahead, but it ain't necessary...
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Last edited by mikld; May 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old May 6, 2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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I de-capped three live LPP primers by accident, grabbed cases from the wrong tray. I wasn't going slow. They didn't go off, but I think I turned white (OK, whiter) when I realized what I did.

I like the idea of the universal de-capper, I have one, haven't used it yet.

Safety glasses
Safety glasses
Safety glasses
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Old May 6, 2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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I have had some that wound up upside down. I slowly decapped them, and flipped them over. Then reseated them. They all went bang with no issues.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old May 6, 2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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Primers run about $30.00 per thousand, that's a 3 cent part, so I wouldn't bother to reuse it. A brass case can be a 2-bit range find or a $2.00 Norma case, so I would de-prime to reuse a good case.
Obviously your not involved in cost cutting with a corporation, whether large or small.

I've recycled many a primer with no problems.
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Old May 6, 2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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I had military surplus IMR 4895 go bad in the case. At first it was just cracked case necks after firing, then it became cracked case necks without firing.

I had 700 cases with excellent LC Match brass and CCI #34 primers from which I dumped the powder but saved the bullets. I did not feel confident in re using the cases, after all, they had been exposed to nitric acid gas.

So I deprimed them. Not a single primer went off. I used those primers for rock busting ammunition and they all went bang. I would not use those for match purposes as it is highly probably the primer cake got busted up a little.

My worst depriming experience was with crimped WWII cases. These were given to me , no powder or bullet. I do not know what caused some primers to be unified to the case, but those primers went bang when the decapping pin punched through them. This of course scared the cats and they went flying for cover. As I was using a Lee Decapping die which is vented on the top, nothing happened outside of noise and a little smoke.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:26 PM   #15
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Deprimed many with Lee Decapper or normal FL sizing dies. Just go slow and wear glasses as with all priming operations.

If its for plinking ammo that I'm gonna shoot soon then I will reuse them.

Hunting ammo or stuff I might put away for years will get only new primers.

I've never had a primer I loaded fail to fire.
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