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Thread: Reloading primers don't go bang, why?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master bbogue1's Avatar
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    Reloading primers don't go bang, why?

    A why question. My reloaded primers are duds. Mixed Prime All following instruction sheet. The primer cup was full. I tamped the powder down Added a paper disk, tamped, added alcohol and water (50-50 mix) then the anvil. Squeezed it together with my reloading press. Some primer mix was squeezed out. let dry for 24 hrs. Mounted each in a 9mm case. Out of 15 only one fired. Most of the strikes were good, a few light strikes.The primer mix is rock hard, absolutely making the anvil imovable. Most have the edge of the primer cup flush with the legs of the anvil. Could I have had too much primer powder (should the primer powder cake be thin, barely touching the anvil?) How do I know when I have it right? Does the anvil need to flex prior to or during ignition? Powder in primers is good, goes bang when smashed one with a hammer. Any help would be much appreciated.

    First photo is the one that fired and a couple emptied of very hard powder.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	305088 The second photo is what the primers look like about 4 days later. Those, too, are in the batch that did not fire. In the next batch, I plan on using acetone 6:1 shellac. I just don't like the idea of water. I'll start with filling the cup 1/4

    I've included a photo of the primers.
    Last edited by bbogue1; 09-28-2022 at 10:17 PM.
    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE often. In dealing with potential dishonesty or corruption, Something you might keep in mind is a revealing quote by S.W. Erdnase in his book The Expert at the Card Table "Almost every ruse in the game is more or less dependent upon another one."
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Looks like too much mixture.

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    Boolit Master bbogue1's Avatar
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    Yes, Way too much powder. Last night I reloaded 2 primers and let them dry overnight. Before doing that I backed up and looked at the process I'd been using. The Prime All instructions say to fill the small cup 1/3 full. Not completely full. My test primers fired ( I picked one cup with a round dimple and the other cup with a rectangle dimple) The rectangle strike took two tries. To me, that means I need to flatten the cup more than I have been. When both went bang I knew I was on to something.

    I weighed the powder in a full small cup (.8 grains) and then divided by 3. I should have been using 2.66 grains. I thought this would be a tough amount to weigh, so, I made a dipper out of a piece of wire and an empty, clean primer cup. To reduce the volume I cut (with a leather punch) a couple of 4 mm discs out of a soda can and put them in the cup measuring after I reduced the volume with each disc. 4mm is a little big so I used a #27 drill bit blunt end and a hammer to form the disc to the cup which should keep them in. 2 discs reduced the volume so the weight of a full dipper with the extra carded off averaged 3 grains. That is manageable. I have 3 drying now. Tomorrow I'll test them.
    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE often. In dealing with potential dishonesty or corruption, Something you might keep in mind is a revealing quote by S.W. Erdnase in his book The Expert at the Card Table "Almost every ruse in the game is more or less dependent upon another one."
    Politicians are like babies diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. Mark Twain

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    Boolit Buddy ofitg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbogue1 View Post

    Tomorrow I'll test them.
    Please let us know what you discover.
    "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto."

    - Thomas Jefferson


  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    Rather than shellac, Nitrocellulose lacquer Might be a better option. Shellac at one time in history had nitrocellulose, Not any more. Yes 6:1 is the right ratio,
    Last edited by super6; 10-02-2022 at 01:19 PM.
    Give me something to believe in. Poison

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    Boolit Master Handloader109's Avatar
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    Shellac may cause issues. Water is not an issue, all priming compound has water and it evaporates leaving nothing. Shellac will stay and can interfere

    Sent from my SM-S908U using Tapatalk

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    This stuff is corrosive, make sure to clean your bore after having fun.
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    Boolit Master bbogue1's Avatar
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    After quite a few trials and failures I ran across MUstang's post Casting & Reloading/Reloading Equipment/"Reloading Primers using Prime-All Mixture (Testing Results)". Post #25. I tried 99%isopropal alcohol with shellac (10:1) ratio. Loaded 4 primers and all fired (1was just smoke no bang). The one that smoked did not burn all the powder in the primer. Success for now. I'll have to try again in the next day or two. Using the drill press vise to seat the anvil was the best way I found. Only a primer cup of powder was used in each. The paper disk was from cash register tape. Then alcohol/shellac. Made a depression by tamping the paper and powder in the primer cup, added the alcohol mix then added the anvil. Next, I seated the primer cup into a case and let it dry for 24 hours. 3 out of 4 isn't great, but it is good news. Here is a picture of my tools. The primer cup powder measure is on a wire near the middle of the photo. On the right is my alcohol dipper made from a wire and a 380 Auto case.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by bbogue1; 10-11-2022 at 12:06 PM.
    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE often. In dealing with potential dishonesty or corruption, Something you might keep in mind is a revealing quote by S.W. Erdnase in his book The Expert at the Card Table "Almost every ruse in the game is more or less dependent upon another one."
    Politicians are like babies diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Boolit Master bbogue1's Avatar
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    I've reloaded 23 clean cases in a series of tests. Some 3 primers some 4 primers all in clean cases. I tried activating with water, then acetone and water, then acetone and shellac. When none of them worked I found and began using Mustangs process using 99% isopropyl alcohol and shellac. I did make one change. I set the anvil flush with the primer case using a vise. I set 8 primers, 4 right into the case and 4 I let dry 48 hours then set them into the primer pocket. Of those 8 two fired on the second try, and 6 fired the first time. It appears the primer can be set into the pocket while the powder is still wet OR the primer can be stored in a standard primer tray and set into the pocket later.

    There were three major changes I made from those original four that would not go bang. 1) Make a handle to hold a clean primer cup. Punch 3 disks from an aluminum can, 4mm diameter, and put them into the primer cup then tamp them into place. Use only enough powder to fill the primer cup loosely (Use a card to level the excess powder off). 2) Before tamping the powder place a 3.5 mm disk made from cash register receipt paper over the powder then tamp. 3)Use 99% Isopropyl alcohol and shellac (6:1) to dampen the powder and disk then insert the anvil. When setting the anvil the legs should be flush with the mouth of the primer cup (hopefully the depth will place the primer nose near the primer cup thus compressing some of the powder).

    Yes, it is a bit tedious, but using a jig to hold the primer (11/64" hole in 1/8" plastic) and a DIY scoop to measure the powder made it so I can easily load a primer in a minute. Time to mix up some more powder and make a test with AA5 powder and a 124 grain bullet.

    Here are a couple of photos. Reloaded primers in cases ready to test and primers and cases with fired primers after the test. #20 and #22 fired on the second pull of the trigger. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by bbogue1; 10-18-2022 at 12:27 AM.
    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE often. In dealing with potential dishonesty or corruption, Something you might keep in mind is a revealing quote by S.W. Erdnase in his book The Expert at the Card Table "Almost every ruse in the game is more or less dependent upon another one."
    Politicians are like babies diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbogue1 View Post
    After quite a few trials and failures I ran across MUstang's post Casting & Reloading/Reloading Equipment/"Reloading Primers using Prime-All Mixture (Testing Results)". Post #25. I tried 99%isopropal alcohol with shellac (10:1) ratio. Loaded 4 primers and all fired (1was just smoke no bang). The one that smoked did not burn all the powder in the primer. Success for now. I'll have to try again in the next day or two. Using the drill press vise to seat the anvil was the best way I found. Only a primer cup of powder was used in each. The paper disk was from cash register tape. Then alcohol/shellac. Made a depression by tamping the paper and powder in the primer cup, added the alcohol mix then added the anvil. Next, I seated the primer cup into a case and let it dry for 24 hours. 3 out of 4 isn't great, but it is good news. Here is a picture of my tools. The primer cup powder measure is on a wire near the middle of the photo. On the right is my alcohol dipper made from a wire and a 380 Auto case.Click image for larger version. 

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    Interesting set of tools you made came up with. What label printer are you using?
    [B][SIZE=3][FONT=Century Gothic]These men and their hypnotized followers call this a new order. It is not new. It is not order.[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    This guy has some great tips for reloading primer cups.
    [B][SIZE=3][FONT=Century Gothic]These men and their hypnotized followers call this a new order. It is not new. It is not order.[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

  12. #12
    Boolit Master bbogue1's Avatar
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    Thanks, He sure does have some great tips. I'm not sure why yet, but without making the dimple in the carriage bolt head I put an upside-down Lee Universal Expansion die in my press and tried to set the primer using a Lee pushrod and it never set the anvil into the cup enough.... I've gone to using the drill press vise Mustang uses, but no clamp, just the two jaws of the vise. I do, however, size my primers using a .1740 hole in a 1/8" piece of steel (a 11/64" drills bit drills that size) So I do use a DIY push-through sizer, but, It is the blunt end of a number 27 drill bit doing the pushing. Any that have a bulge at the bottom I throw out, haven't figured how to reconfigure that bulge yet.
    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE often. In dealing with potential dishonesty or corruption, Something you might keep in mind is a revealing quote by S.W. Erdnase in his book The Expert at the Card Table "Almost every ruse in the game is more or less dependent upon another one."
    Politicians are like babies diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Boolit Master bbogue1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deces View Post
    Interesting set of tools you made came up with. What label printer are you using?
    That is from my word processor (Libre Document (Like MS Word) I measure the bottle, type the label so it will fit then print it on 8.5X11 paper. Next, I cut it out and cover the label with a piece of 1 1/2" packing tape (from Dollar Tree) then cut the tape to fit the flat of the bottle and align the label and seal down the tape. The tape protects the label. Thanks for asking.
    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE often. In dealing with potential dishonesty or corruption, Something you might keep in mind is a revealing quote by S.W. Erdnase in his book The Expert at the Card Table "Almost every ruse in the game is more or less dependent upon another one."
    Politicians are like babies diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. Mark Twain

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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