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Thread: Primer question

  1. #1
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Default Primer question

    I have some loaded ammo for a rifle I no longer own. If I knock the primers out can I reuse them? I know I will have to be careful handling them, but will this work?
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  2. #2

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    I don't really know the answer to that but I would not try to reuse them.

  3. #3

    Default Not advised

    While a good percentage of the primers might come out in one piece; I wouldn't advise reusing them.
    The process of dislodging them from case may cause the anvils to acheive different levels of seperation from the cup. This might not give consistant ignition. Also many times the primers are slightly flattened when when seated this would also lend itself to problems. They could also now be fifferent sizes do to the difference in primer pocket diameters as primer pockets tend to expand with use, pressure and cleaning.
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  4. #4

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    I tried it in my youth, whenever that was back in the dark ages. Lots of misfires, even in the ones that I managed to seat. Sometimes one experiment is enough. This is on my never again list.

  5. #5
    Member AKbarehunter's Avatar
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    Default Reuse primers

    OMG, that is the least expensive part of reloading. Go work at McDonalds for an hour and you can buy 300!

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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKbarehunter View Post
    OMG, that is the least expensive part of reloading. Go work at McDonalds for an hour and you can buy 300!
    True, but are they readily available?

    But to answer the original question, no I wouldn't try to reuse them. Even if they go 'bang' I'd expect a drop in the accuracy and reliability of the newly loaded rounds. I've found that primers are a major component when striving to attain the very best accuracy in my rifles.

    JMHO of course.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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    It's an interesting thought, but I've not tried doing what you're asking nor am I interested in attempting it. I am glad that you asked the question because we got to hear BrownBear's comments as one who actually tried it. Who knows, maybe some day in the future we might need to actually consider doing something like this...that's a depressing thought.

    Doc

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigswede358 View Post
    I have some loaded ammo for a rifle I no longer own. If I knock the primers out can I reuse them? I know I will have to be careful handling them, but will this work?
    IMO, we live in a society that believes in throwing away everything. Not many years ago we tried to salvage anything that had service left in it, but now it seems easier to replace it. IMO the unfired primers are not yet worthless and can be reused but this is not to say BB's comments are not helpful. I do not doubt his experience, but I have used them with success and had no problems. They were not used to produce BR ammo, but that they fired and performed 'normally' for my ammunition. Most of my rifles (more than likely it's me) cannot discern .25 MOA from field positions and so I'll use them for practice and not worry about any loss in accuracy. I wouldn't use them in load development nor would I use them for hunting ammo, but for plinking/practice ammo I would use them.

    I think that more important than their use is being cautious in removing live primers from the case. I use a universal depriming die, wear safety glasses and I go very slowly keeping both hands on the press handle . It's been awhile since I've done this, but I would do it again, especially considering how hard it is for me to get primers here in Dillingham.

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    Member KRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    IMO, we live in a society that believes in throwing away everything. Not many years ago we tried to salvage anything that had service left in it, but now it seems easier to replace it.
    I would argue that this is partly due to the quality of items available today. So what drove that? Were people wasteful first so then manufacturers began making disposable stuff or was did manufacturers begin making cheap stuff so people just threw it away? I don't know... but we can't reuse everything.

    KRS

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    You can remove and reuse primers (I have) but I would not load them for any use where they really had to go bang. In pushing them out, it is possible to push the anvil back against the cup pushing the primer compound out of the way and they won't go off. Primers seem to be available now and even at 4 cents @ it seems to me to be not worth it and I'm cheap. Powder costs 20/30 cents and bullets are $.30/$1.50 in rifle sizes so why mess with reusing a $.04 primer that might not work. If your really desperate for some primers PM me and I'll see if I can fix you up.

  11. #11
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    You can remove and reuse primers (I have) but I would not load them for any use where they really had to go bang. In pushing them out, it is possible to push the anvil back against the cup pushing the primer compound out of the way and they won't go off. Primers seem to be available now and even at 4 cents @ it seems to me to be not worth it and I'm cheap. Powder costs 20/30 cents and bullets are $.30/$1.50 in rifle sizes so why mess with reusing a $.04 primer that might not work. If your really desperate for some primers PM me and I'll see if I can fix you up.
    I appreciate your concern and offer, but here in Dillingham (read Nowhere, AK) shipping is prohibitively expensive for primers & powder and so when I do get them it is in bulk. Seating and then removing primers is not a normal practice of mine. The point of my post was not to recommend reusing primers as a preferred practice, but that when I have had to remove them I've not experienced misfires or other problems when I did load them. YMMV

    As for crushing the anvil, take it slow when you remove the primers and you'll not destroy them. Again be very cautious depriming live primers; take it slow, wear safety glasses, keep both hands on the press handle and make certain all powder and primers are secure and stored away from the press.

  12. #12
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRS View Post
    I would argue that this is partly due to the quality of items available today. So what drove that? Were people wasteful first so then manufacturers began making disposable stuff or was did manufacturers begin making cheap stuff so people just threw it away? I don't know... but we can't reuse everything.

    KRS
    It's hard to say which came first, but I know that much of what is thrown away today simply needs a good dose of duct tape or epoxy to be made ready for years more service.

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    I hafta agree with 1Cor15:19 again:
    Sorry, 1Cor. Nothing personal.

    I've removed a LOT of live primers without mishap.

    I removed one last night. I was seating bullets on some fireforming loads, and damaged the neck on one of'em. I broke the cartridge down, and reused everything, EVEN the primer. I wouldn't reuse it if I was doing hunting, or competition loads.

    I might be more cautious with a primer in a factory load, since they may be sealed, and come out harder, than one that I recently seated myself.

    Anyway, I SAVED a primer, and it was a good feeling. OR, maybe it was the I B poopin I took.

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  14. #14
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I hafta agree with 1Cor15:19 again:
    Sorry, 1Cor. Nothing personal.

    I've removed a LOT of live primers without mishap.

    Smitty of the North
    No offense taken Smitty. Even my wife and even a few friends agree with me on occasion . Don't worry, I won't let it go to my head.

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    Living where you do, I see your point. I have had good luck going slow and easy but would still be leary using them for hunting something that could eat me if they failed. If I couldn't get primers, I would use them.

  16. #16
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    Never reused them but I can tell ya they sting the leg good when you get in a hurry kicking them out! They come screaming out the bottom of a Rockcrusher like a mini rocket. Then you jump backwards off your stool from the loud pop and leg pain . . . which only adds to your injuries of body and pride.

    Anyone ever try blowing them out with a compressor? If I was going to reuse them I would try blowing them out with clean, dry, compressed air into a PVC pipe with window screen on one end. Never tried it but I think it would work and be less risk of damage to the primer as well as les risk of leg pain.
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  17. #17
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all of the opinions. And no, I'm not hard up for primers. Just thought if it was possible to reuse then why not. If something bad can happen, then it usually will to me, so with that mind set I don't think they will be used again.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    [COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Never reused them but I can tell ya they sting the leg good when you get in a hurry kicking them out! They come screaming out the bottom of a Rockcrusher like a mini rocket. Then you jump backwards off your stool from the loud pop and leg pain . . . which only adds to your injuries of body and pride.
    You can only go around ONCE,

    per PRIMER.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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