Primer Blast

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Gene Seward, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Batesville, Arkansas
    Well today I had a first. While priming for the .223 I had just pushed the primer in when it went off. It made a nice light show out the top of the brass and about made my wife have a heart attack. LOL I didn't have too much pressure on it and then when the primer was removed the side was loose unlike I have ever seen. Sure am glad I wear glasses when loading. Has this happened to anyone else?
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    Got any pictures? Pics of the primer pocket especially. Possibly seated sideways or seated onto the crimp which somehow crushed the anvil with enough force to ignite?

    What brand of primer and what headstamp case?

  3. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Batesville, Arkansas
    CCI primer and Remington case. Primer was in no way sideways or appeared to be bent or damaged in anyway. It got my attention real quick. LOL
  4. upsguy

    upsguy New Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    CROOK Co. Illinois
    Did that do any damage to you besides scare the crap outta you?

    I'm new to reloading, haven't tried it yet and this is what I'm kinda worried about...:eek:

    How powerful are those little things anyway?
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I have been reloading for over 25 years and have made thousands and thousands of rounds in my Dillon RL550B using mostly Winchester primers. I have never had a primer go off in my press. I have on occasion had a primer get flipped sideways in its RL550B primer cup and pressed into the primer pocket of the case all crunched sideways and pressed flat, but never has one gone off.

    If the primer went off as it was being seated there is problem with that batch of primers, I would guess. What brand? You may want to call the manufacturer and report the problem. A primer should NEVER go off during seating! If it does it may be oversensitive and that is a batch or lot problem the manufacturer wants to know about.

    There is also the possibility that your press is adjusted for primer seating wrong. My Dillon has a factory setup punch that can not over seat the primer. I suppose it is possible that the primer punch over seated the primer and crushed the priming pellet making it go off. That is something to check for.

  6. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

    Dec 11, 2010
    western wyoming
    This happens when residue builds up on the face of the primer seater. This can be hard carbon or metal shavings. Cases that have crimped primer seats that are loaded with out the crimp being removed. These cases leave metal shavings on the primer seat. Cases that are loaded without removing carbon from the flash holes will leave a hard buid up. This build up acts like a firing pin when the seater is forced against the primer. Always wear glasses while reloading.

  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Like LD, I've been loading over 30 years. Put 'em in frontways, backwards and sideways. Never - that's not one single time - have I had one go off. I've heard people warning about how it "might" happen, and recommending wearing safety glasses, but this is maybe the third time I've heard of it "actually" happening.
  8. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I've been reloading for over 35 years, and have never had this happen to me. I can't imagine a primer going off while being seated! Like LDBennett said, I have had them go in sideways, but never fire. As to how powerfull a primer is, well the large pistol primers will blow a hole thru both sides of a lunch size paper bag. I do believe that if you primed a shell for a hand gun with a large pistol/mag primer, put the hand gun to your head, and pulled the trigger, well let's just say that you problaby wouldn't be around any more!
  9. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    I guess I'm one of the old geezer guys - been loading since the early 1970s - and have never had a primer detonate while seating. I popped one once while decapping some primed cases (not really a good or recommended idea). With the many thousands of primers that I have seated, I guess I have loaded them in every way imaginable at one time or another.

    As far as 'how powerful' is a detonated primer? Well, it is loud and will scare the dog stuff out of you when your'e not expecting it. Wearing safety glasses is a great idea. I'm not silly enough to try it, but I imagine that if you loaded a pistol case with only the primer and detonated it pointed at un-protected skin that you might be able to burn yourself, but I certainly doubt that it would kill you.

    It's always a good idea to keep your loading bench clear, your equipment clean and wear safety glasses while reloading.
  10. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Batesville, Arkansas
    I didn't even have time to mess my pants when it went off. LOL It wasn't like it blew anything up, but it did wake me up. Thank goodness it was a small rifle primer. I just checked to see if any damage was done, and tried to see any reason for it happening. Then I went back to loading. As far as being scared about loading, I have been for years and really wanted to reload. Now that I have been doing it for about three or four years I don't get scared or nervous about it even after this. If don't right and pay attention to what you are doing it is less likely to get hurt that mowing your lawn and being hit with debris.
  11. accident

    accident Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    middle GA
    Maybe a stuopid question but you were using your press when installing your primer and not a hand held primer tool right? Joe
  12. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    The only time I have had a primer go off iin the press was when one berdan case got mixed in with the boxer cases. That's in 50+ years of reloading.

  13. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    i've hit primers with a hammer before. just like those cap gun things in a plastic ring. i just blinked when i did it. i seriously doubt a primer could kill. i can see it blinding you. but not killin
  14. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    I too have never had one go off and like the others I have loaded them every which way by accident. As to how powerful, I don't know but I used to shoot plastic cases loaded with a plastic wad cutter powered only by a primer. At 20-25 feet they will go right through a cardboard box. I had to hang a piece of carpet to control them. Also shot many .45 acp cases powered by only a primer and loaded with wax/paraffin bullets. They too would penetrate cardboard. Bet they would raise a good welt if they hit you. Good winter time in the basement fun.
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Like LD and ALPO, never had one go pop. I too have squished em in sideways, upsidedown and rightside up, even deprimed one I pushed in upside down with a punch and hammer... no pop...
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