New reloader primer safety advice please...

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
So I'm about to begin reloading for .308 and .223 calibres.

I have read a HUGE amount on the subject including articles on here, other websites, powder manufacturers info, reloading manuals, bullet manufactureres advice and YouTube vids.

The only part I've ever felt in the slightest bit uneasy about is the priming. I will be using a Lee Auto prime XR or Lee bench prime (most likely) and CCI LR and SR primers (simply because they're the most easy to find down this way).

Having ill-advisedly watched in horror a string of youtube videos of primers going off (both deliberately and accidentally) I'm not particularly excited about using them (especially in the house or garage...ie fire risk). Seems, according to some, that if you look at a rifle primer the wrong way it will choose to go off!

So I know to take it steady, not handle them, wear ear & eye protection, seat them flush or just below and not to hit them with a hammer ;) But is there anything else I should be aware of please? How do most on here store trays of them? And most importantly, if I follow all your advice, tell me I'm freaking out unnecessarily!

Many thanks, Shep
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
Right, Firstly chill out!, primers are not monsters waiting to bite you!, Handle with care Yes!, store properly yes!, first lesson with Lee hand primer tool, keep the thing canted at an angle that allows primers to follow each other whilst seating the previous one, when filling the primer tray gently shuffle side to side to turn them all anvil side up, use the correct cartridge base / shell holder, that's it.!
If you are really worried about this operation wear safety specs & keep your fingers off the case necks when seating.:cool:
 
Last edited:

dully1963

Well-Known Member
Yes You're freaking out unnecessarily Yes give them a healthy respect but the procedure you have mentioned is fine plus it's a lot harder to set one of in a hand primer than you think they are pretty robust if you're careful so start reloading and enjoy your shooting.
hope this helps to put your mind at ease a bit
happy shooting
Andy (dully1963)
 

Highlandsjohn

Well-Known Member
So I'm about to begin reloading for .308 and .223 calibres.

I have read a HUGE amount on the subject including articles on here, other websites, powder manufacturers info, reloading manuals, bullet manufactureres advice and YouTube vids.

The only part I've ever felt in the slightest bit uneasy about is the priming. I will be using a Lee Auto prime XR or Lee bench prime (most likely) and CCI LR and SR primers (simply because they're the most easy to find down this way).

Having ill-advisedly watched in horror a string of youtube videos of primers going off (both deliberately and accidentally) I'm not particularly excited about using them (especially in the house or garage...ie fire risk). Seems, according to some, that if you look at a rifle primer the wrong way it will choose to go off!

So I know to take it steady, not handle them, wear ear & eye protection, seat them flush or just below and not to hit them with a hammer ;) But is there anything else I should be aware of please? How do most on here store trays of them? And most importantly, if I follow all your advice, tell me I'm freaking out unnecessarily!

Many thanks, Shep

I can understand your anxiety Shep, but I have never had any mishaps with primers. Make sure it is the right one for the job and are the right way up. If the primer pockets are kept clean they should press home without too much effort,if not check there isn't a blockage. I use a simple Lee hand primer. Take it slowly and you will soon get the hang of it.john
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Thank you guys. Points taken.

Its funny as I'm not a particularly careful person normally. I just think there are so many horror stories out in the media about gun/reloading mishaps. Can only imagine the posters get a thrill from trying to shock people.

Nearly over my Primeritis thanks...ready to move on to excessive pressure forcing the rifle bolt back into my face! ;)
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
Chill and relax they are part of reloading just treat them safe, In some 40 yrs i'v only been bitten by one primer :eek: that forced me into the hospital and ended up on the operating table last year bit of a primer lodged it self deep in my finger and had to be cut out after I left it fester for a few weeks as it was too deep to cut out myself :doh: pay no mind to the last :scared: it was a 1- 100000000000 event the lee hand primers are ok I use the and have done for many years , the problems start if you primer pockets are to tight and have not been cleaned out of crud or been cut to take the new primer this can result in you crushing it and it may go bang ?? so never look directly down the case as you are priming your cases :idea: or in my case have your finger above the case get a good primer pocket cutter and a flash hole cleaner ?
 

ashray

Well-Known Member
make sure the primer is seated just below the case head to avoid slam fired cartridges.if you cant see the primer protruding above the case you are good to go .look at a few factory rounds to give you an idea. you will be fine .
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Thank you guys. Points taken.

Its funny as I'm not a particularly careful person normally. I just think there are so many horror stories out in the media about gun/reloading mishaps. Can only imagine the posters get a thrill from trying to shock people.

Nearly over my Primeritis thanks...ready to move on to excessive pressure forcing the rifle bolt back into my face! ;)
I use Lee Classic loaders. To seat a primer you tap the unprimed case down onto the primer with a steel rod. I had one go off once: It went 'bang' and that was it. Storage and handling of primers is far more risky than the actual seating of primers. I once saw a photo taken in the reloading room and above the bench was a jumbled slag pile of loosely stacked boxes of primers. That was frightening.

I have never had a primer ignite using the Lee hand priming tools. A better, albeit slower, priming unit is the oft-overlooked Lee Ram Prime unit. Makes for very accurate priming, much like the excellent priming units on the Forster Coaxial Presses.~Muir
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
Not wanting to hijack the thread, but what is the correct way to store primers? I've got a bagful in a pigeon hole of my office desk, but perhaps I should be taking greater precautions?
 

Jon Smith

Well-Known Member
Not wanting to hijack the thread, but what is the correct way to store primers? I've got a bagful in a pigeon hole of my office desk, but perhaps I should be taking greater precautions?

In original packaging.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Not wanting to hijack the thread, but what is the correct way to store primers? I've got a bagful in a pigeon hole of my office desk, but perhaps I should be taking greater precautions?

What a bag of loose live primers! :scared: :cuckoo:

If so definitely not a good idea. The original packaging is designed to limit or prevent sympathetic explosions i.e. mass detonation should the box be dropped or subjected to a sharp blow. Not storing primers in their original packaging until you use them is pretty risky hence the warnings in every reloading manual I have ever read. I also think that this advise is marked on most primer packaging.
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
What a bag of loose live primers! :scared: :cuckoo:

If so definitely not a good idea. The original packaging is designed to limit or prevent sympathetic explosions i.e. mass detonation should the box be dropped or subjected to a sharp blow. Not storing primers in their original packaging until you use them is pretty risky hence the warnings in every reloading manual I have ever read. I also think that this advise is marked on most primer packaging.

Yes, a bag of loose live primers.
I thought it wasn't ideal, hence my asking the question. Always willing to learn!
(I never had the original packaging, btw).
I'm not too bothered about them, to be honest. Quite safe and out of harm's way in my desk. Nothing's going to hit them there, or shake them up in any way. Was just wondering what the proper guidelines for primer storage are - like are they supposed to be locked up? Away from other components? Temperature / humidity sensitive? etc etc.
 
Last edited:

8x57

Distinguished Member
I am curious as to how you got in the situation where you have a bag of loose live primers and you have never had the original packaging. Presumably someone passed them to you in this way if so very irresponsible and down right dangerous. Just take great care not to drop the bag and take up Boydy's kind offer and get them back into suitable packaging asap.

Regarding storage obviously you need to prevent unauthorised access to the primers though there's no actual requirement to lock them up. You certainly wouldn't want to contain them in a small steel cabinet for instance, because what you would be creating is potentially a small bomb in a fire situation. Just the same as with powders you need to store primers in a cool dry place where they won't be subject to large temperature fluctuations.

:oops::oops: Rather embarrassingly I take back everything I said previously about primer safety being in every reloading manual because having just checked in a couple of manuals I find that rather surprisingly very little is or nothing is written on the subject in some reloading manuals. :oops::oops: Definitely remiss on their part I think.[SUB][SUP]
[/SUP][/SUB]
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
Not wanting to hijack the thread, but what is the correct way to store primers? I've got a bagful in a pigeon hole of my office desk, but perhaps I should be taking greater precautions?

How do you know what the primers are?
Manufacturer?
Large rifle? Large rifle Magnum? Large Pistol? Large Pistol Magnum?
or Small primers of the various orientations?

or is the reason they’re there rather than being used because you don’t know their history or indeed exactly what they are?
 
Last edited:

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
I used to use the Lee hand primer and do 100 cases in one go and either reload them straight away or the following eve. What I found was that after about 50 my hands would be a little sore so I'd inadvertently start slacking off when pressing them home and so some would be sitting proud of the case head. Not only could this have lead to a slam fire it was definitely playing havoc with measuring the OAL of made up rounds. Now I use the primer tool on my turret press and do each case as I go reloading. This for me keeps it more consistent and as part of the routine to check each case and primer properly. So what ever you decide to do remember be consistent and check each one as it's very easy to miss a small error or difference.
 

20-250

Well-Known Member
How do you know what the primers are?
Manufacturer?
Large rifle? Large rifle Magnum? Large Pistol? Large Pistol Magnum?
or Small primers of the various orientations?

or is the reason they’re there rather than being used because you don’t know their history or indeed exactly what they are?

That would be my concern. Please dispose of these, VSS. They make new primers every day.
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
. Just take great care not to drop the bag

You certainly wouldn't want to contain them in a small steel cabinet for instance, because what you would be creating is potentially a small bomb in a fire situation. Just the same as with powders you need to store primers in a cool dry place where they won't be subject to large temperature fluctuations

OK, so maybe I'm just a bit thick, but why is it alright to store made up rounds in a steel box (eg, the lockable top section of a gun cabinet), and not primers? Why are they so much more dangerous before they're combined with powder?
Also, why the risk associated with dropping them? Judging by the responses to a recent thread about how to unload a rifle it seems that people fairly regularly drop ammunition on the ground, but no-one had the heebie jeebies about that. Again, what makes the primers on their own so much more volatile than when combined with powder in a round? Genuinely puzzled here. There's obviously something I don't understand about the way these things work.

Anyway, from the rest of the info provided here it would seem that the pigeon hole in my desk actually provides ideal storage conditions. I just need to put them into a cardboard box instead of a plastic bag. Thanks. My original question has been answered. I'll stop hijacking now!
 
Top