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CLT65

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Every beginning reloader knows that primers are incredibly sensitive, right? How if you touch them with a bare finger, the trace amount of oils from your skin can kill them and ruin your reloads?

I'm not going to say that that can't happen, but I have some thoughts and experiences that seem to indicate that they are nowhere near as fragile as that.

My son and I occasionally pick up brass at the range, and inevitably find a decent quantity of live ammo. No, I'm not going to fire random ammo found on the ground, no matter how good it looks, so I pull it down for components when I get home. The bullets get tossed in a container for possible re-use (or melting, depending), the powder is destroyed, and the primed brass gets saved for mild plinking loads if it looks good. If the brass doesn't look good- tarnished badly, dented, etc., I'll pop the primer out and scrap the brass.

I had a couple from our last outing that I was scrapping: dirty, tarnished, cruddy old ammo that had obviously laid in the dirt for a very long time. The wet powder came out in clumps. Then they sat on my desk for a couple days drying out, and curiosity got the best of me. Yes, both primers popped like new ones! It reminded me of a similar incident quite a while ago. Somehow a couple of live primers made it into a batch of brass that went through the wet tumbler for a couple hours. I found them afterwards, and set them aside to dry. After a few days I seated them in some brass and tried them out. They popped quite loudly.

I don't really have any important point in this post, just that primers are tougher than most people think. I'll still be clean and careful when handling them, and I still won't use questionable primers for important ammo. This was just something I found interesting, thought I'd share. :)

IMG_0563[1].jpg
 
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The problem isn't people like you and me. Its the ones who do not know better, get a slow burn or other, then look into the barrel to see whats going on.. Then getting shot in the face. Those are the reasons why you use solid components and procedure..
 

akvc

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I lucked into 12000 SRP for a very good price. They were stored improperly by a ammo remanufacturer and an ac unit nearby corroded them. 75% of them look A OK. The other 25% are heavily tarnished and have green corrosion. Other than being a bear to seat at times, after 500rnds I've had yet to have a hiccup. These are only used for plinking BTW
 

CLT65

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I've used a lot of old primers over the years, a lot of faded, dog-eared boxes and even some obvious moisture damage. Never had a problem until I had a few boxes of SRPs that were just plain bad. The boxes had what looked like moisture damage, but on closer look I'm pretty sure it was something else. They would pop consistently, but simply wouldn't ignite the powder. I ended up tossing the whole works.
 
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[UWSL][/UWSL]
I've used a lot of old primers over the years, a lot of faded, dog-eared boxes and even some obvious moisture damage. Never had a problem until I had a few boxes of SRPs that were just plain bad. The boxes had what looked like moisture damage, but on closer look I'm pretty sure it was something else. They would pop consistently, but simply wouldn't ignite the powder. I ended up tossing the whole works.

I had a batch of old primers that consistently hang fired. They didn’t quite look right. Since then I only use unquestionable primers.

Primer chemicals are mixed with water before mixing together. The wet compound is not impact or friction sensitive until dry. If you don’t mix it with water, you would have a high explosive that is very sensitive to static, friction or impact. Primers can be wetted then dried and still work.
 

CLT65

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Speaking of such things, I need to see if I can find some photos of some old ammo that a friend of my wife found while digging a drainage ditch along her rural driveway. She found the rusted remains of two M1 Carbine magazines, and a few rounds of WWII carbine ammo that was so bad you could barely tell what it was.

I thought it was cool so she gave them to me. The magazines were literally rusted away. It looked like something you might find on the beach of a Japanese island. For kicks, I scraped the crud off of one round. It started cleaning up pretty well, so I worked it over with some steel wool, then some fine sandpaper. By the time it started looking like a real cartridge again, I decided to pull it apart just to see what it looked like inside. They used some amazing sealant on that ammo, because the powder and inside of the round looked pristine.

Here's the part where some of you all are going to cringe and call me an idiot. After looking it all over carefully under a jeweler's loup, and seeing nothing that scared me (other than the fact that it had been buried in the mud and gravel through countless Northwest winters, and the magazine it was in had literally rusted away around it), I decided to reassemble it and see if it would fire. :eek:

I'm here to say that I still have my eyes and fingers, and my beloved old M1 Carbine that I've had for decades is completely undamaged. Yes, it fired just like a brand new round. The 1943 case didn't even split.

Please don't try stuff like that; it's really not advisable. I took an educated risk based on what I know about gunpowder and ammo, and it was fine, but in general I would strongly advise against silly stuff like that. :D
 
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Old stock doesn't scare me either.....a guess to the vintage of these?

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those primers right there have been canceled. once installed in a srp case, they will decide on their own to fire or not. they were the series one production (ai) and no longer available. i do have the decoder ring and code to make them usefull. these things are nothing to mess with. contact me via this site. i CAN safely dispose of them without a trace.
 

cowboykid8

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I had a duck round make it through the wash, curiosity got the best of me and I tried to see if it would shoot... primer went off and sent the wad about 17" down the barrel. I don't think a grain of powder burnt. took forever to get that wad pounded out.
 

CLT65

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I had a duck round make it through the wash, curiosity got the best of me and I tried to see if it would shoot... primer went off and sent the wad about 17" down the barrel. I don't think a grain of powder burnt. took forever to get that wad pounded out.
I learned the hard way about wet shotshells too. They're just not as waterproof as metallic cartridges. :)

Even pistol rounds- of all the live rounds we've picked out of the gravel at the range, if they've been out in the weather very long there's a fair chance they're wet inside. The exception has always been military or factory ammo with sealed primers/bullets. That sealant really works.
 
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