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Thread: Shelf life of primers?

  1. #41
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Primers will last longer than your life time
    Regards
    John

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    Primers will last longer than your life time
    Truly said. And they don't need any special care between hot and cold to do it. Any heat or cold that man can survive in won't hurt them nor will humidity do much. Infact, a friend once had a "flood" in his basement loading room and his primer stash got submerged. He took the trays out of the covers and let them set in his (dry) house for a few weeks. They dried of course and they worked fine afterwards.

    I still have a few boxes of WW 2 surplus small pistol caps that are now some 75+ years old; they work the same as new ones. And I have some 1920's .30-30 ammo that shoots quite well.

  3. #43
    Thanks! Good information. Now I have 1200+ usable primers to use.

  4. #44
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Like the others have said, they have a very long shelf life if stored in a stable environment. One of my older friends actually scrounges through gunshows looking for old primers. Now if I was going on an expensive hunt, shooting in a big match or something of the kind I would use the newest and freshest that I had. But I doubt that there would be any difference from my older ones.

  5. #45
    Boolit Man GasGuzzler's Avatar
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    They're pretty hard to ruin really.

  6. #46
    Boolit Mold
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    I have shot some primers from 20 year old plus lots, no issues at all, as has been said I think they last a long time.

  7. #47
    they sure last long.
    I am just now using up the last of the primers I got from my dad's cousin when he quit reloading a couple of years ago, they were bought by him in the sixties.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master
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  9. #49
    Boolit Master
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    If they look okay I would say they are good to use. I bought some that were old, 50's maybe older. I thought the boxes were cool, the wood between them. Different numbers then used today. I was going to make a primer box collection. I think it would be cool to have. Also try hold one to bullet boxes.

  10. #50
    Boolit Mold Sleeping Dog's Avatar
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    Primers have been designed to last a long time. The age that the primers can last depend on what they are made from. The old corrosive style (H-48 compound) that went out of use around WWII is very stable -- so they can last almost indefinitely. The next major style is non-corrosive, Lead Nitratohypophosphite. They came around the 1900's are also very stable (if you consider something you hit that explodes stable) and are much of what is used today. There are new compounds coming out that do not have lead in them made with Tetrazene, Styphnic Acid or Picric Acid. These are much less toxic than the current lead-based ones and appear to be stable.

    There are a variety of green primers, such as a red-phosphorus based ones developed by ATK, but there is concern about their shelf life. To deal with that, they coated the phosphorus to keep it degrading. Time will tell how good this new formula is.

    In general, if the formula doesn't last a good long while, it doesn't make it commercially. The biggest driver for primers is the military and they need stuff that is super stable in very crummy conditions. Thus, civilian shooters get the benefit of all of the military R&D.

  11. #51
    Boolit Mold
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    someone was selling guns scopes primers all sorts of stuff from a house in oregon. I bought 20 boxes of small rifle. 1000 primers per box made by CCI. I assume they where somewhat old because they were in a white box with red lettering. Todays CCI boxes are blue. But they where dry and looked brand new. Paid 10.00 per box. they sat around for about a year. recently i loaded some 9mm pistol rounds using these rifle primers. The pistol is a Taurs G2c. 1 out of every 5 would not fire. Now i never really thought there was much of a difference between a pistol primer and a rifle primer. And I have always preferred to use Winchester primers. Someone suggested that the pistol firing pin spring was not strong enough for a rifle primer. So i loaded up some of my .223 rounds and used the same older primers. Shure as ****. 10 out of 10 fired.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
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    I'd always been told that rifle primers are harder than pistol. AAMOF, back in the day, a fair number of the potentially high pressure loads meeting the old higher major power for USPSA shooting used srp's to prevent primer piercing. Less common now, with the power factor being lower.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master Bayou52's Avatar
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    Shelf life of properly stored primers is longer than the life of the OP.

    I shot a 45 acp cartridge of WW I vintage, marked 1916. Went bang... (should've kept it rather than shoot it, though!)
    Bayou52
    NRA Life Member
    "Keep Calm and Reload"

  14. #54
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by toallmy View Post
    If I'm not mistaken several years ago there was a push to change the priming compound to a new improved environmental friendly compound - that had me concerned . But I suppose we won't know for years if it matters , and primers don't last long in my cabinet anyway .
    Thats not a bad point. I dont have anything the over 10 years old so I'll probably be keeping them climate controlled

  15. #55
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by beshears View Post
    Stored in original packing in a cool dry basement?
    Approximately your children’s lifetime plus 50 years.
    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  16. #56
    Boolit Bub
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    Loaded some 38 special with old herters primers from the wooden tray era(probably 1950's) All went and actually were pretty accurate but, the ES was over 105 fps for 6 shots. The same loads with new CCI's run about 20to30 fps ES.

  17. #57
    Boolit Bub
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    If stored correctly a very long time. I've personally fired many thousands of rounds from the 1930's in various military calibers.

    Thanks,
    Stephen

  18. #58
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Only about a month, but I will take all the expired ones off your hands.

  19. #59
    Boolit Man GT1's Avatar
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    Longer than the average American's life span.
    A century, probably a lot longer as long as corrosion free and the sealer is intact. Primers are a lot harder to kill than folks realize.
    _____

    It is a bullet, stop using a cartoon name for it.

  20. #60
    Boolit Bub
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    I've got a few boxes that I got from Jesus when he and I used to shoot squeaks together.

    Seriously, I've gotta believe that they will durned near last forever. Another thing, water doesn't seem to kill them. jd

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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