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Thread: can you make priming compound?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Desertbuck's Avatar
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    can you make priming compound?

    Ok so with everything reloading getting so #$%&*-@ expensive would anyone be willing to tell me how one can make some priming compound at home? In real SMALL batches!
    THE GUN
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I am actually doing some reasearch on this now, with some testing when it warms up outside. I have been told repeatedly and read in many sources that you can use the white part of a "strike anywhere" match head to make priming compound as is. Apparently it is corrosive. I have also heard of people using cap gun caps, tho they are apparently corrosive too. The caps are going to be my first try since they are cheap and available at toy stores.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    As a chem major (and dropout) fifty YA, my feculent 68 YO memory is that the fulminates were he first priming compounds. M recollection is that mercury fulminate is made mixing nitric acid with metallic mercury but would suggest googling it. Mercuric primers have a reputation for ruining brass cartridge cases after firing as the mercury released amalgates with the copper in the brass case.
    FWIW
    Over on th crufflers list there was an Iranian engineer named Mehdi that detaiied his efforts to reload berdan primed Makarov brass,
    He used disks shaped like washers to resize the brass and reused the berdan primers by filling them with priming compound from shotgun shells. I haven't heard him for some years.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Skipper's Avatar
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    If you don't mind cleaning, the Frankford Arsenal mix uses Potassium Chlorate, Antimony Sulfide and sulphur. It leaves a corrisive residue

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    As far as I understand it the chlorate primers preceded fulminates. Plain old potassium chlorate and sulphur mixed as powders will detonate with impact if the mix is right.

    Longbow

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    As far as I understand it the chlorate primers preceded fulminates. Plain old potassium chlorate and sulphur mixed as powders will detonate with impact if the mix is right.

    Longbow
    That stuff made with KCLO3(potassium chlorate) is also known in the pyrotechnics circles as "death mix"....a pinch of it on a steel plate will detonate if you smack it with a hammer. Some safer mixes use KCL04 (potassium perchlorate) and sulfur and aluminum powder...but would not work in a primer. Another issue is that some sulfur is acidic (from what I read) and mixes made with it over time will break down and deflagrate(burn) on their own, not a good attribute to a priming mixture hehe.

    From what I have read most primers are made with the mix wet, and they are then dried under controlled conditions before being ready to use.

    Lighting off smokeless is tougher than black, so with a crude primer you might need to use a pinch of black powder back against the primer. Not sure if 209's would be easier to rebuild than boxers or not, they might be, there is more or less a berdan primer built in. The 12 gauge from hell guy says he uses 209's up to I think 35k psi with no issues ?

    Bill
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I guess if one ball is good, there may be room for 2 or more as well .
    Both ends WHAT a player

  8. #8
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    You can make potassium chlorate at home (might not be a good place?). It's a hydrolysis operation like breaking down water. Depending what you mix it in (vaseline is quite stable and provides fuel, other thangs are real scary), it can be properly sensitive. Might need something in the mix (believe it or not finely ground glass has been used in primers for this) to grind against and set it ff when crushed.
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    Boolit Master

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Somehow I don't see the buttheads at the ATF being real excited about this prospect.

  11. #11
    "A General PITA"

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    Then they really don't want to know what strike anywhere matches can be used for....
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  12. #12
    Grouchy Old Curmudgeon

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    There is a book availble on making your own primers......for educational purposes only ofcourse. I have a copy and it is interesting. I'll try and dig it out and post the title. This isn't the matches or caps variety.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Desertbuck's Avatar
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    I have looked high and low for strike anywhere matches no luck. So I looked at the toy caps, it might work if you put a pinch of black powder on top of two disk's but there the Armstrong mixture, from what I understand is that it is very sensitive.
    I plan on doing some simple test to see if a primer made from them can take the shock of re-priming a case, falling to the ground, recoil of firing, etc. before I use them.
    But I would like to have a good old recipe that I can make in small batches at home preferably mixed WET with a marble pastel and mortar.
    As for the ATF They can come to my door and see I making it for what it was meant for. The use in the manufacturing of my own personnel ammo only. I have nothing to hide! Then I will gladly show them I make my own BP as well.
    THE GUN
    The gun has been praised.
    The gun has been denounced.
    The gun has played a critical role in History.
    The gun has been implemented for good.
    The gun has been abused for evil.
    With the gun comes a great moral responsibility!
    To better understand the gun is to better under stand History. And with the gun protect your future.
    D.B

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I think maybe the cap gun caps or match heads would be the safest route to go if they can be made to fire reliably, trying to play chemist and mixing our own compounds may create a mixture that fires too reliably! While thinking this over and researching how to make a priming mix I was naturally thinking more about creating a primer that would fire every time but it occurred to me that maybe a bigger concern would be primers firing when we don't want them too! If a batch of mixture is too sensitive the primer could conceivably fire from temperature change, light shock, in the magazine from recoil or just the shock from the gun firing or they might even just fire spontaneously. I am not saying we should not attempt to make our own priming mix but our main priority should be safety and that means our FIRST goal should be stability of the mix, stability is more important than a first strike ignition.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    the only home remedies i know of are cap guns and corrosive matches. im glad i bought 50k last year before it all disapared

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Here in North Carolina, you can get three boxes of strike anywhere matches bundled together in the barbecue area of the supermarket -- near the charcoal lighter fluid and briquettes, often close to paper plates and napkins. Might be different some other places.

    Match heads are much safer to work with than paper cap mix, and even so should be loaded damp and dried in place. Match heads contain potassium chlorate, sulfur, and a tiny bit of phosphorus in the white striking tip, all stabilized with gelatin glue (the sulfur is present mainly to cover the stink of the gelatin burning). The white tip alone makes a viable primer mix, though it would ignite slow powders more reliably with some finely powdered aluminum or titanium mixed in; it might also ignite more reliably and quickly with a small percentage of ground glass as a friction enhancer.

    If you don't mind getting on all the "government lists" that no one seems to want to be on, and being disowned by your insurance company if you blow yourself up, you can order potassium chlorate, antimony sulfide, and aluminum powder from chemical suppliers (Skylighter may still be in business; they specialized in pyrotechnic chemicals for fireworks, but I haven't looked for them in fifteen years or so). You can make suitable glue (binder and desensitizer) from Knox gelatin from the grocery store (there are recipes online for converting gelatin into glue). Once you have the chemicals and prepared primers (cups reformed and cups and anvils cleaned) you can reload a hundred primers in less than an hour with less than a teaspoon of mixture; the least amount of chemicals you can reasonably purchase will make tens of thousands of primers.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    If there's any interest I can burn up a batch of CD of this:

    $15 delivered U.S. only. Sold a bunch of these in this forum in 2008.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rt-amp-Oelberg

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by I'll Make Mine View Post
    Match heads are much safer to work with than paper cap mix, and even so should be loaded damp and dried in place.
    Do you think maybe it would be possible to dissolve the match heads (just the tips) in a solution in order to make a paste that would be safer and easier to work with? I don't have a clue as to what one might use or even if it could be done but if a paste could be made that would retain the same properties as the match heads after it dried would that not be better than trying to use them dry or maybe just damp? I seem to remember that these matches did not ignite easily after getting wet even when thoroughly dried but I could be wrong about that.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    Do you think maybe it would be possible to dissolve the match heads (just the tips) in a solution in order to make a paste that would be safer and easier to work with? I don't have a clue as to what one might use or even if it could be done but if a paste could be made that would retain the same properties as the match heads after it dried would that not be better than trying to use them dry or maybe just damp? I seem to remember that these matches did not ignite easily after getting wet even when thoroughly dried but I could be wrong about that.
    Matches that have been damp (or especially genuinely wet) are hard or nearly impossible to light because some of the chlorate has been dissolved by the water and either carried off (hence lost from the mixture) or redeposited in a less uniform distribution. The heads are originally applied wet, the combination of chemicals and glue at a consistency approximately like pancake batter.

    To dampen match head mix for loading into primer cups, you'd use the minimum amount of water that will make the powder stick together; it'll be no more than 10% water, at a guess, possibly as little as 3%, and you'll want a non-porous applicator (plastic toothpick, perhaps, rather than a matchstick or cotton bud) so it doesn't take away chlorate solution. That little water, left in the mix as it's applied and dried in place (warmth up to about 120 F with dry air), shouldn't affect ignition under primer conditions. You will want to dry the mix before reinstalling the anvil, if reloading Boxer primers.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    If there's any interest I can burn up a batch of CD of this:

    $15 delivered U.S. only. Sold a bunch of these in this forum in 2008.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rt-amp-Oelberg
    IMO, every member here should have a copy of this. While there are better formulas, these do work well. The guys that wrote this did in it in a very professional way, including pressure testing and that wasn't easy back then.

    There are 2 things that can be improved on what they did. One is if you use a binder with a wet mix the will work better. The other is their mixes aren't exactly perfect in the percentages. But, they did say that one may want to do more testing in this area. Today by using PEP software it was fast to be able to make them better.

    I didn't test everyone of them for various reasons, but their mixes did last for 1 year when stored in a basement that had no dehumidifier.

    Also, there DIY smokeless power works. I will work better if you add a catalysis to increase the burn rate. I was able to get this to work even in .38 special without having any booster charge of BP or NC power.

    Thanks for offering this again Dutchman.

    FWIW, this is just my personal experience with these mixes.


    PS

    These mixes are also safer, I my testing, to load dry than match heads or paper caps. I've reloaded a lot of primers and have had both paper caps and match heads go off. I wasn't able to get any of the A&O mixes I tried to go off while reloading the cup even when I hammer on the packing rod. But they still would fire in the rifle.
    Last edited by perotter; 02-03-2013 at 10:11 PM. Reason: added PS

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check