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Poppin a cap while reloading!

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by chrislind2, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    Anyone have a primer go off while seating it?
    I recently retired my old RCBS Rock Chucker and bought a new Rock Chucker Supreme. I have pressed several hundred primers large and small with the new press. Something seemed wrong from the beginning. The primer seater would sometimes stick in the shell holder, but just a little. Last night I was seating primers in .40 caliber brass. Suddenly I noticed a primer seated upside down. Then another and then the seater was sticking badly in the shell holder. I replaced the seater assembly with the old one from my old press. The first primer I tried to seat went off. I wear eye protection when seating primers and now I think I will wear ear protection too. I have sent for a Forester Co-Ax® Primer Seater Co-Ax® Primer Seater w/ E-Z-Just Shell Holder Jaws - Forster Products I watched a You Tube video and this primer seater looks like it should work really well.
    I have reloaded thousands of rounds over the years and this is the first time I ever had a primer explode in the press! In my opinion the design of the RCBS primer seater assembly does not really lend itself to efficiency. The result of trying to do multiple jobs with the same tool. I will never seat a primer with the RCBS Rock Chucker again.
     
  2. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    I have read where others have had this happen, but in 30 + years of reloading I have not had this happen to me, and I also use a RCBS Rock Chucker. Glad to here you are okay. ( Hope I don't every have one go bang )
     
  3. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Reloaded for years with MEC (Shotgun) and Dillion (centerfire). Have not had one go off. Coarse now I say this watch....
     
  4. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    RCBS Jr. for 50 years now. Even had to punch a bunch out when the USPS
    wouldn't ship the brass. Mangled a few loading G.I. cases. Have yet to have one pop. I wonder if it's a lack of "Feel" with the more powerful presses.

    Jack...:cool:
     
  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I use a Lee hand primer and while I have had a couple actually go in sideways I have never had one go off. I have had messed up ones go off when being punched out. I use a pin punch and special tubular anvil I made to punch primers with a hand held pin punch and ball pen hammer.
     
  6. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    which brand primer? I hear some have a tendency to pop more than others... but never had it happen, I've had deformed primers from going in sideways but never a pop
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Unless loading on my 650 I hand prime everything. Finally broke my 30 year old Lee hand primer and now use the Hornady Hand Priming tool. Nice, good, feel when seating. If a primer doesn't want to seat with the hand pressure I stop. Problem with press type priming systems is that you have all that "power" available and don't necessarily stop when you should.

    Primers are a strange creature. You can squeeze them, crush them, drop them, and even cut them with a pair of diagonal primers and they won't go off. It takes a solid strike or excessive heat to set them off. That said, NEVER seat primers without eye protection.
     
  8. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how it happened but I had a primer get caught between the shell plate and the primer slide on a Hornady LnL. The slide obviously wouldn't move over the punch so I manually pulled the slide back to see what was happening. My fingers slipped and the slide slammed forward and set the primer off. Scared the heck out of me. I hand prime everything now not so much because of this particular incident but because it's more efficient. I use the new Lee hand prime tool and t has been excellent.
     
  9. pencap

    pencap Oregon Member

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    I had one pop a few years back while reloading with my 650. Considering how many I've put in upside down and sideways I'm surprised it hasn't happened more often.

    Had a friend back in the 90's who had a similar but more 'exciting' event. He was using a 650 as well, the primer going in the case detonated, and subsequently detonated the others in the disc leading to detonation of all the primers in the tube. He said it wasn't loud- he thought something wasn't right but didn't know what happened until he saw the plastic primer stick sticking out of his ceiling. And no he's not a total dumbass.
     
  10. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    I really didn't look close at the primer that went off. You can see it collapsed the primer on one side. I always inspect the primer seating device to make sure there is no foreign material in there and there was not. I know the shell was in the holder correctly. If I did something wrong or something was an obvious cause I could just correct it, but I cannot figure out why this happened and out of frustration I really don't much care to. All I want is the new primer seater that I ordered to get here. I really don't have anything against RCBS, but I sent them a letter telling them what happened. Don't really expect any answers, but that's OK. I will just move on and not look back. No injuries, nothing destroyed but a few primers that I had to punch out because they were backwards. I hope this new primer tool works as good as it appears in the video. Also, I always clean all primer pockets by hand with a primer pocket tool before putting the primers in place.


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  11. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Once for me in my 30 + years of reloading. Pretty scary wasn't it? I cannot remember the caliber it was but I do recall nothing being out of the ordinary, just seating a primer as usual with my Rock Chucker. I have since moved on to a Lee hand priming tool, but not because of the popped primer. I am surprised this is uncommon as it is given the amount of people who reload. Please post any reply you get from RCBS but I suspect if you get something back from them it will not suggest anything conclusive. The reality is a lot of pressure is being placed on a small, explosive device and while rare detonation does occur.
     
  12. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    I hand prime with my RCBS hand priming tool. To me I get better feedback/feel for seating primers then on a press. When and/or if there is a crimp I missed or a primer pocket the is not uniform I feel it right away with the hand tool, and with a press there is so much mechanical advantage it makes it extremely tough to tell when there is something wrong with the case. Plus to me it feels like I can prime way faster by hand than with the press. (Not that I'm going for speed, just saying).

    Just my .02
     
  13. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    I have never liked the "feel" of priming with the RCBS press. At times it would make grinding type noises as the primer was seated and it just never felt right. There is always some stage of reloading that is not as "fun" as others and putting in primers was one of those. Never looked forward to it.
    I once looked into another method, but there isn't a lot of choices. I hope I finally found a good one. I will review it in here, and also tell everyone what RCBS has to say. I did not always wear eye protection when seating primers, but I will now.
     
  14. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    3 times in maybe 100,000 rounds on a Dillon 550. Each time it was just the one primer.
    Surprising how big a "bang" it makes. Definitely gets your attention!
     
  15. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    No, I've loaded a few thousand on my single stage hornady
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    One thing for progressive users to be cautious about and that's the urge to really get "slamming along". When everything's going right and the rounds are just poppin' out of the chute, there is a tendency to be a little "firm" with the handle movement. That often leads to a primer, instead of being "inserted" into the primer pocket, being "slammed" into place. This can lead to enough impact on the anvil when the primer hits the bottom of the pocket to detonate a more sensitive one.

    For those like myself that prefer to hand prime whenever possible, make sure your technique involves pointing the mouth of the case you're priming AWAY from your face. Believe it or not, I've seen some actually look into the case while squeezing a primer into place. Those people should be wearing face shields, not just regular eye protection.
     
  17. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    I have always been paranoid when loading primers. Mostly because I did not trust the way it was done with this press. I once pressed one upside down that was my fault and I started paying a little more attention after that. I always press primers slowly, but "the book" told me that the primer should be just slightly recessed in the brass, so I often push hard on the handle to get them seated "properly". I have pressed thousands of primers over the years and never had one explode. I think it made me mad more than it scared me.
    I used to be paranoid about crimping the brass around the bullet. I bought Lee crimp dies for all my calibers and even though it makes an extra step, it makes me feel so much better about crimping. I seat the bullets with RCBS and then crimp with the Lee die. All that was left was the fear of primer seating, so this should end my last reloading fear.
     
  18. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Another user of a hand primer here (RCBS). bballer's comments about being able to feel what's happening is important. I also share his illusion that it just might be faster. I also like the idea of being able to accomplish it anywhere: not obligated to sit at the bench with the big press.

    Over 40 years of handloading, and never had a primer detonate in the loading process (no credit to me, since I've certainly abused live primers in every way imaginable). I did have one explode in the Hoover as the rotating carpet brush picked it up. Now THAT was a surprise!
     
  19. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    27 years reloading and never had it happen to me
     
  20. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    True, I do love being able to sit inside and watch some TV and prime at the same time. Although, as I right this it's sounding a little reckless to be doing something as distracting as watch TV while priming. Hmm, well what's the worst that could happen? I have a squib while plinking... probably won't pop one that's why I'm hand priming...