Flash-Over Incident using Hornady Hand-Primer


Well-Known Member
Hi folks,

Had a small scare the other day whilst reloading that might be a helpful reminder to people to keep safe and follow your procedures not being sloppy. Primer popped when being seated and flashed over into try causing other primers to detonate.

This happened using a Hornady Hand Primer

My set-up post incident


Close-up of hand primer – not sure where rest of pieces are.


Close-up of “flashed” primers (Note empty but dented cups)


And this is the resulting cuts to hand – fortunately they seem superficial. Blast also blew my glasses off my face and they landed ~6 feet away.


Fortunately I was wearing latex gloves so some protection.

Be careful folks and wear your eye protection.

(Just in case people are interested, didn’t notice anything different from usual. Cases were PPU factory on ~4th firing. Primers were Federal Large Pistol. Cases had been sonic cleaned and primer pockets checked prior to priming and I’d primed ~50 that session. This process has served me fine for ~3 years of loading)

Best wishes,



Well-Known Member
Ooogh, I am using the same tool. Never thought that this could happen. I do wear glasses but maybe I should add a leather glove.
Glad you got away so mildly.


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Ooogh, I am using the same tool. Never thought that this could happen. I do wear glasses but maybe I should add a leather glove.
Glad you got away so mildly.
Thinking of using a fine detail mechanics glove in future, that's for sure.

paul o'

Well-Known Member
Hurts like a bugger i know I ended up on the table having my finger opened up and a primer anvil being removed ! now use a fixed bench primer .

Donkey Basher

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Is it true adrenaline is brown then?

Lucky escape by the sound of it, could it possibly have been that you had a primer wrong way up in the tray & seating it made it go off?

A bit worried about the Lee warning as I only ever use Federal large rifle primers for my 308 & use a Lee hand primer with a tray... 😳


Well-Known Member
Hmmm. I am not sure how this happened - how close were you to the tray to enable flashover - never seen it before so really curious.

alberta boy

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Scrumbag is the fourth person I know that has a similiar experience , it does happen . Like Paul o' , I use a bench mounted priming tool . It can still happen , but it won't be in my hand when it does . I know of a few instances when this happened with press mounted primer rams as well . Primers are dangerous , wear safety glasses when priming cases .



Well-Known Member
I use my press for priming and having seen the photos will continue with this method but will wear safety glasses too in future.
Very scary, glad your ok 👍


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Ouch! Glad you’re not too badly injured.
It’s got me wondering though; why, if the primer was in the process of being seated ie inserted into the pocket with enough force to detonate it, was the flash from that primer not directed forward into the case and out of the open case mouth rather than backwards into the shell holder and laterally into the tray?
Was the primer forced back out of the pocket driving back the steel seating piston allowing the flash to spread laterally?
What am I missing here?

crow juice

Well-Known Member
Outstanding post Scrumbag. We all need a reminder about safety every now and then. Thanks as well Firefly I have used an old Lee tool with Federal primers with no issues for 30 years.

I am currently using a bench mounted RCBS Tool these days while sitting at a desk. I have to continually remind myself not to get my head over the case as I am priming.

Safety is numero-uno in this hobby!!!
Everybody be careful and enjoy.

The Juice