Static electricity and reloading

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Static electricity and reloading

Post by Sa-tevp on 1/8/2014, 7:03 pm

In the near future I expect to set up a bench in my workshop to reload on. Are there any guidelines for grounding everything to dissipate static electricity? Is this a concern when reloading and handling components?

Between working on electronics, handling solvents/chemicals and climbing into fuel tanks it's on my mind a lot, which is why I ask.
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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by james r chapman on 1/8/2014, 7:14 pm

I believe its generally been
Debunked.

Controlling your humidity is the answer.
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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Guest on 1/8/2014, 7:25 pm

The only static issue I have run into is powder bridging, so not all the power gets in the case.  I solved that by wiping inside of powder dispenser with an anti-static dryer cloth like you put in cloths dryer.  No problems.

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Rob Kovach on 1/8/2014, 7:35 pm

Unless you have unusually dry conditions in the room with your reloading bench, carpet in the room, and you are zapping the crap out of your pets and the doorknob every time you touch it, then you are going to be just fine.
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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Brian Mason on 1/9/2014, 6:10 pm

I have never had a problem with electrostatic discharge with reloading, but the general rule regarding raw primary explosives (like the lead styphnate in primers), or ESD-sensitive secondary explosives, is to keep the relative humidity above 40%. Modern laboratories have "misters" in the ceiling to drive up humidity.

Less modern laboratories have milk jugs of water to empty on the floor.

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by noylj on 1/15/2014, 10:58 am

If you want to ground your press, go ahead. Since presses do not come with ground wires and there has never been a need for such, it must not be big problem.
Most areas probably only have a problem during the winter, in which case, I would assume, a humidifier would be a good thing to have.

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Ed Hall on 1/15/2014, 1:39 pm

I hate to be the bearer of such news, but I personally know of a shooter who had to have his fingers reattached due to static and primers.  This is his story as told through me, so my memory may have changed the details slightly, but my version is this:

He was holding a Dillon primer pickup tube in one hand and, using a metal device (possibly a screwdriver), he tried to push the one primer that is always stuck (by design) in the plastic end into the tube to free them all up.  He saw the static discharge between the primer and the pushing device.  The whole tube went off!

I must confess to doing this very thing with my tubes, but I ground the device (in my case an Allen wrench) against the outside of the tube first, prior to contacting the primer.

The powder hopper bridging can be a nuisance, but the primers can be great trouble.  As for grounding the entire system, I have seen it done, but don't think it would have changed anything in the above incident.  Being aware of the volatility of the primers is important. Of all the shooters I know that have had things "go off" unintentionally while reloading, the primers were the central theme - I know more than one shooter whose primer tube went off in their press - Always keep the secondary tube in place!

I have personally seen the scars and the holes in ceiling tiles.  Again, keep the secondary tube in place and handle the primers with awareness of their potential.

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by igolfat8 on 1/17/2014, 9:30 pm

I was recently told by a safety manager of a large ammunition OEM that static discharge initiating primers is a myth. They have used cattle prods to test this. The static will discharge from the case to the anvil without initiation. Impact, friction and heat are far more likely to initiate a primer with static being the least likely.

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by james r chapman on 1/18/2014, 5:19 am

yep.
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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Ed Hall on 1/19/2014, 1:31 pm

igolfat8 wrote:I was recently told by a safety manager of a large ammunition OEM that static discharge initiating primers is a myth. They have used cattle prods to test this. The static will discharge from the case to the anvil without initiation. Impact, friction and heat are far more likely to initiate a primer with static being the least likely.
I'll pass that on to my friend next time I see him...

Actually, he hasn't been to any of the matches I've been attending in the last couple years...

The last time I saw him, he told me he has been giving safety briefings on his incident.  I'll let him know he doesn't need to...

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by 243winxb on 1/20/2014, 9:03 am

Clean the primer tubes. Primer dust may build up in the tubes.    Impact, friction and heat are far more likely to  set off  a primer.  Seen 2 online. One forced the primer feed. The other said to be from static electricity. 
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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Schaumannk on 1/20/2014, 9:05 pm

Ed Hall wrote:
igolfat8 wrote:I was recently told by a safety manager of a large ammunition OEM that static discharge initiating primers is a myth. They have used cattle prods to test this. The static will discharge from the case to the anvil without initiation. Impact, friction and heat are far more likely to initiate a primer with static being the least likely.
I'll pass that on to my friend next time I see him...

Actually, he hasn't been to any of the matches I've been attending in the last couple years...

The last time I saw him, he told me he has been giving safety briefings on his incident.  I'll let him know he doesn't need to...
I am absolutely sure, this is what he told you, but when I consider that he was poking at a live primer with a metal screwdriver, I am not totally convinced that the "arc" that he experienced wasn't the primer ignition itself.  They can explode when they hit the metal insides of a vacuum cleaner.   I have an acquaintance that did this.

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Re: Static electricity and reloading

Post by Ed Hall on 1/21/2014, 8:47 am

Schaumannk wrote:I am absolutely sure, this is what he told you, but when I consider that he was poking at a live primer with a metal screwdriver, I am not totally convinced that the "arc" that he experienced wasn't the primer ignition itself.  They can explode when they hit the metal insides of a vacuum cleaner.   I have an acquaintance that did this.
Thanks, I'll discuss this all with him if/when I see him next.

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