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Discussion Starter #1
It just happened to me. I've re-sized, primed, and expanded almost 2,000 9mm cases since last Friday using CCI and Remington primers. Today I ran out of those and started using Federals. About half-way though the second 100 piece box a primer went off when the case came down. Scared the crap out of me. It didn't hurt anything or do any damage - it just went bang.

I looked at the primer and it was smooth with no indentation at all on the shiny side. I'm now a little nervous about using the remaining Federal primers. This ever happen to anyone else? Any opinions about using the rest of that box?
 

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Never happened to me ... yet.
 

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Loaded a Tube of Federals and went to making bullets (Federals)
Started loading and about 4 into the Tube all the Primers Went Off.
Got My Attention-Had a Good Size of Piece of Glass sticking out of my belly. Thought I had Shot myself
Took out 2 Light Tubes above the Reloader ,and Glass went everywhere.
Learned A Lesson, the Light Tubes are protected now and I have a lighter hand with my 650

00
 

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do you clean and true your primer pockets?

any crimped pockets?

I run all my cases thru a set routine including primer pocket tools to clean, true and flash hole clear.. if any are crimped, those get reamed out.

So far 9 knock on wood ) I've never had a primer go off.

I hand prime so I can feel the pressure.. If I get a batch that is taking more pressure to prime than usual.. I inspect the pockets again. I do wear ear plugs when loading.. just in case I pop a primer. and I wear prescription glasses anyway that are ansiZ87 spec.. so am covered there..
 

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do you clean and true your primer pockets?

any crimped pockets?

I run all my cases thru a set routine including primer pocket tools to clean, true and flash hole clear.. if any are crimped, those get reamed out.

So far 9 knock on wood ) I've never had a primer go off.

I hand prime so I can feel the pressure.. If I get a batch that is taking more pressure to prime than usual.. I inspect the pockets again. I do wear ear plugs when loading.. just in case I pop a primer. and I wear prescription glasses anyway that are ansiZ87 spec.. so am covered there..
I use a hand primer as well and so have never had one go off. I usually bring them in the house and sit in my recliner watching TV and prime them. If one ever goes off I am sure I will jump but the wife and dog will S**T themselves:D:D
 

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It just happened to me. I've re-sized, primed, and expanded almost 2,000 9mm cases since last Friday using CCI and Remington primers. Today I ran out of those and started using Federals. About half-way though the second 100 piece box a primer went off when the case came down. Scared the crap out of me. It didn't hurt anything or do any damage - it just went bang.

I looked at the primer and it was smooth with no indentation at all on the shiny side. I'm now a little nervous about using the remaining Federal primers. This ever happen to anyone else? Any opinions about using the rest of that box?
If a federal will go off, they all will go off. I have never had one go off and I use a lot of Fedaral. I use it all, what ever is available and have never had an issue. That is why I always wear safety glasses.
 

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I'm starting to wear safety glasses most of the time now, need to make it all the time.

Saw a dillon that had the whole 100rd primer tube go off, need to clean the primer residue next time I switch calibers. I don't want my eyeballs blasted!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been doing a lot reading in this subject and it seems that Federal primers have by far the highest rate of unintended detonations. Two explanations are given; 1. the primers are softer and it takes less force to set them off, 2. the primers are made with more reactive chemicals that are more sensitive and easier to set off.

I have not found any good data or references to support either theory, but there are far more reports of Federal primers going off than any other brand. According to some forum posts Dillon says that Federal primers should be avoided. Lee also says to avoid Federal.

The incidents seem to be rare and I could not find any references to serious injury resulting from premature detonations, but Federal primers seem to be the main culprit. Here is one of several reports from other web sites.


http://ingunowners.com/forums/ammun...669-anyone_blow_up_their_dillon_reloader.html
 

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I never had a primer go off during reloading in 25 years of reloading. I have crushed a few when they tried to go in sideways. I have de-primed a few live ones in the press with no problems (I do NOT recommend others do this!!!). But I have used Winchester primers exclusively for 99% of those 25 years.

Having all 100 go off in the Dillion primer tube on the press is very hard to believe. Yes, Dillion has guarded against damage to the reloader person by surrounding the primer feed tube with a piece of iron or steel pipe. The way the primer system works is it takes the primer from the tube and moves it more than an inch away to below the shell holder. If the primer goes off with the stroke of the press handle then it is more than an inch away from the stack of primers in the primer feed tube. I suppose a person could invent some other scenario where the entire feed tube could go off but I really think they would have to be reaching for some totally un-safe situation created by a totally dumb reloaded person. But who knows???

I just reviewed my copy of the Dillion RL550B instructions (version 8.1) and I found no reference to any limits on whose primers to use with the press. I would also add that after using the press for some time it becomes natural to notice the seating force required to set a primer and when it starts to becomes excessive I then STOP. Forcing the primer into a bad primer pocket or one that has not had the crimp removed adequately is looking for trouble.

LDBennett
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I came across several references to incidents where a primer in the stack went off blowing the others all over the place. There were others where the entire primer stack detonated. Most of them were using Dillon presses at the time, but there was one using a LNL.

Winchester primers have been out of stock around here since last October. I've been to almost all the stores that sell reloading supplies in the State of Alabama and to several gun shows and they are not available and no one knows when they will get more. Remington and Federal seem to be plentiful and there are a few CCI around, but no Winchester to be had.

I had a competition shooter tell me he uses Federal primers for revolver loads where he has reduced the trigger pull and gets light strikes. The Federals are soft and the only ones that are reliable in this situation, but he does not use them for any other loads.
 

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stev32k:

What made a primer in the middle of the stack go off??? Did the user get one jammed in there and in the process of using a probe to get it it out set it off or????

I just don't see how a primer in the middle of the tube could be made to go off?

When I add a stick of primers to the primer feed tube the entire bunch of primers slithers down the primer feed tube and stops abruptly at the bottom and none in 25 year of reloading has ever gone off. There has to be some extenuating circumstance. Primers are just not that sensitive to go off with no provocation, in my experience.

Knowing the details and not just the results in theses primer explosions is important and without that info the reports are suspect, in my mind.

A couple of years ago a shooter had a kaboom with a 50 BMG bolt gun. The first suspect was the gun but some witnesses reported (??) seeing him forcing the bolt closed with a hammer. So was the gun at fault or his stupidity? The results, by the way, were devastating as there was more than 200 grains of powder inside the cartridge. He survived but not without serious damage to his hands, and who knows what else. Of course, the lawyers got involved and the gun company folded. Even if you are right, the legal costs to defend yourself can be financially devastating. The point: The devil is in the details!

LDBennett
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't know the details and could not find any reliable explanations as to why primers would go off unexpectedly. It could be operator error or manufacturing defects. However, there are enough reports from different individuals that I believe it does happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
There are many ways to set off an unstable compound ie explosives; small electrical discharge like static electricity, or cell phone battery (as in IEDs used in Iraq), sudden pressure shock as in primers, or heat. I also know that these properties can be inhabited or enhanced by changes in the formulation. So it's possible a manufacturing defect was the cause, or maybe a static electricity discharge was involved. So after the fact it may be impossible to determine exactly what caused the problem.

In the case of a whole stack of primers going off it might be the shock wave from one primer setting off the rest. It could also be the heat from one primer going off that starts a chain reaction.
 

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I'm starting to wear safety glasses most of the time now, need to make it all the time.

Saw a dillon that had the whole 100rd primer tube go off, need to clean the primer residue next time I switch calibers. I don't want my eyeballs blasted!
A faceshield and a leather shop apron would be advised too..
 

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I also use almost exclusively winchester primers for most of my reloading including shotgun, narry a detonation in over 15 years or so. But I doubt the brand makes much, if any difference as far as sensitivity? That's just a guess...

supposedly, someone claimed that years of primer dust set off their dillon 650 tube, but I have to agree with LDB, I would bet it more likely to be operator error! (castboolits forum)

I've mushed primers, whacked 'em, beat on them and have done about every stupid thing to be done to a primer and I've only had them go off under a firing pin. (I did get some to go off with a hammer on concrete but even that was tough)

But they still are sensitive and explosive to a degree, handle with care...
 

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HAGEN442:

I did not question your integrity but the validity of those that report primer kabooms. I have on occasion tried to set them off both intentionally and unintentionally (as others here have reported) and they are not easy to set off.

But as someone pointed out, an electrical (static) discharge might do it. In my case the whole of the area in front of my reloading area is on an anti-static mat tied to the house ground so I tend to not think about static discharges. That is still reloader error as guarding against static discharge is super important.

As for Dillion's recommendations for primers (by manufacturer) I could not find it in my RL550B instruction manual or the downloaded RL650 or RL1050 instruction manuals downloaded today. I find it interesting that Dillion would tell customers over the HELP line to not use Federal primers but not spell out that recommendation in their manuals (??).

LDBennett
 

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I do not like Federal primers so much. Unfortunately, during the last several months they are the only primers I can buy locally at $37 per 1K - Uhg!

I'm going to try Tula primers next from Powder Valley at $20 per 1 K.

...setting off a primer during reloading must be scary.

Which reloading press was being used? Was this a rifle or pistol primer?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I do not like Federal primers so much. Unfortunately, during the last several months they are the only primers I can buy locally at $37 per 1K - Uhg!

I'm going to try Tula primers next from Powder Valley at $20 per 1 K.

...setting off a primer during reloading must be scary.

Which reloading press was being used? Was this a rifle or pistol primer?
The press is a Hornady LNL AP and the primers are small pistol. I called the LGS today and still no Winchester small pistol primers and they are out of CCI as well. Guess I won't be doing any priming for awhile.
 
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