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Thread: Catching "spent" primers, check your brass before processing

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Catching "spent" primers, check your brass before processing

    Was trying to come up with a way to improve depriming on my RS press that often drops primers on the floor. Noticed something while looking at the press, a live primer in the catch tray. Looking further, found a total of 15 live primers in the tray and on the floor. Could easily be more on the floor.

    The last brass processed was "once fired" 30/30 purchased from a forum post, here or Graybeard Outdoors. Did not inspect it closely before depriming. Will try to remember to do that from now on.

    Did not find a proper section for safety tips.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The only person that can protect you from mishaps is you.
    Assuming all brass is good brass or all brass is fired brass is with fired primers is just a bad habit due to bad assumptions.

    It is common to hear volume pistol shooters griping about finding small primer .45 ACP brass causing jams in their progressive loaders. Whose fault do you think that is?
    Last edited by EDG; 03-29-2020 at 01:35 AM.
    EDG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    In my process, I'll wash, let them dry, then tumble, and wash & dry again before going on to sizing/deprime.

    As they come out of the polisher, I shake them in a colander to separate the media.
    Then pick them out of the colander 5-10 at a time, orientate them in my hand some up, some facing down.
    I'll dump the remaining media inside them, then flip 'em, do the ones facing the other way, and look inside to see if it all came out.
    In doing that, I'll also be be looking at the base of each one.
    If I ever had a live primer-- that will catch it.

    That might work for you too.

    I've never had one pop, but I set my de-cap pin down low enough so when it pushes out the primer,
    there is still plenty of space around the case in the sizer die for one to vent if I do have one go off.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-30-2020 at 03:38 PM.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy bazzer485's Avatar
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    I never have had a problem with live primers going through the deprime/resize die on my dillon press. Maybe Iím lucky.. I do wet tumble all my brass before reusing it, but I honestly donít think that deactives the primers. I did buy a lot of 45 cases that were supposed to be large primers and of course when they are going through my press every now and then I find one that wonít seat a new primer which is because itís a small primer case. Despite this Iíve never had one explode in the press.
    Barry


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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have developed the habit of looking at the base of the case before putting in in my 550, this solves a lot of problems before they happen.

  6. #6
    I donít run huge batches. I shoot a match and then reload them again. A usual cas match=60 rifle and 60 pistol unless a wb and then maybe another 30 pistol. Itís not hard to keep up with them. I look, feel the case mouth and pay close attention when I resize the brass. Brass that resize too easily might be split. I do this on a Lyman T2. I store loads in plastic flip top boxes so I can easily inspect primers. I color code as much as I can. Smoke=45lc rifle, lt blue=45lc pistol, red/green=45acp/ar, dk blue=38spcl. I donít preprime because I prime on the press.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    With the exception of just a couple of calibers, I have usually use range brass. I also have gotten into the habit of taking a look at the primer end before putting in the press to deprime. I have found live primed brass mixed in with "lots" of brass - usually purchased from individuals. I ran in to it with a batch of 8 X 57 once as well as a LFRB of 38 special I purchased when I first started reloading. In that brass, I'm sure the fellow was done loading 38 secial and moving on to other calibers and probably he dumped everything he had in his coffers into the box - whether it was primed or not. Moral to the story is to check each one if you can.

  8. #8
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    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    I deprime on a SDB that just has the depriming pin, no resizer

    off to wet tumble and dry

    then through another machine that has both the depriming pin and resizing die. This way can catch any primers that somehow got through first operation

    also never had a primer go off in machine but then I never FORCE the handle either
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    I've never had a primer go off in the decapping phase. Live and upside down etc.

    I've had two bangs In my loadmaster. After the second one I stopped priming on that press.

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Will not wash brass before depriming. Got some 9mm brass that had been washed, many of the primers were very hard to remove. They came out cone shaped, nearly doubling their height. I will deprime with a Lee die, then wash/polish if necessary.

    One seated a primer sideways in my Rockchucker, removed it with no issue. The main possible problem I see is disposal with spent primers and handling they might get after that.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    The only person that can protect you from mishaps is you.
    Assuming all brass is good brass or all brass is fired brass is with fired primers is just a bad habit due to bad assumptions.

    It is common to hear volume pistol shooters griping about finding small primer .45 ACP brass causing jams in their progressive loaders. Whose fault do you think that is?
    Uh, the engineers that thought it was a good idea? I know it's my fault but if you aren't a volume pistol shooter it's unlikely you would truly understand. If you are, you already know why it happens. I have NEVER had it cause a jam; it just stops the press dead on the primer stroke. Replace the case and keep on going.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have decapped hundreds of live primers with no issue, that said, NONE were factory crimped in place. I wouldn't expect a good outcome there. I do have glasses on and no hands etc near the potential ejecta trajectory. I have had primers safely crush, like when the fired one sticks to the decap pin and sucks back into the pocket before a new one is seated. Never had a bang. Crushed them sideways occasionally and I can feel after it happened. But again they need shock to detonate. Only incident l heard was when a noob used a dental pick in a feed slot. Sideways primers are easily decapped with little effort. Friends who were commercial reloaders said similar things. Your choice do or not do. Thanks

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    I pick-up spent .22lr cases & run them through a de-rimming die to convert them into bullet jackets. I've had a couple go BANG & scare the holy H out of me! For some reason some folks will pull a bullet out of a live .22 & discard. No damage to anything except my nerves!
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pertnear View Post
    For some reason some folks will pull a bullet out of a live .22 & discard. No damage to anything except my nerves!
    And I promise to never do that again.

    I've been shooting .22s and have sometimes noticed one that the bullet was loose, and would spin if you turned it.
    So,,, on a few, I'd bend it, and see if the bullet came off.
    If it did separate, I just tossed both parts on the ground.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

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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