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Backward Primer Empty Backward Primer

Post by farmboy on Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:25 am

Have reloaded for years using pick up tubes for primers and never had a primer seated backwards.  I was given a Hornady vibra tool for filling primer tubes and now have 3 large pistol primers seated backwards.  Any one have any tips on how to safely remove?   

Thanks
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Post by willnewton on Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:59 am

Yes, remove it by tossing the shell in the trash.  In no way is saving a $0.15 piece of brass worth your eyesight.
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Post by Jeff Porter on Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:34 pm

Since the primer requires the anvil to be compressed against the bottom of the primer pocket to ignite, probably not a huge risk of detonation when decapping on a press with a hole for the spent primer to fall into. But like Will says, it is maybe 20 cents of brass and primer.  Throw it in the burn pile and wait for the pop.

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Post by SteveT on Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:44 pm

This is not a recommendation... but I have pressed out flipped primers. I have also pressed out crushed sideways primers. I use a single stage with universal decapping die, move the handle slowly and gently especially when first making contact with the primer, I wear eye and ear protection and stand as far back as I can. I've probably done a couple hundred over the last 2 decades and have yet to have on go off.
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Post by weber1b on Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:21 pm

Pushing a primer out should not cause anymore of an explosion that pushing one in. There is a big difference between a push and a strike. Like Steve says, go slow and be careful. I have pushed out probably 6-8 over the years with no issue.

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Post by REConley on Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:21 pm

Just put a drop of water on the open face let it sit for a few minutes and press it out. Oil would be better and if you are using a liquid case cleaning process that is the option I would take.
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Post by Wobbley on Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:43 pm

It takes water almost forever to kill a primer and oil takes days.

To the OP.  Take the cases with the backwards primer and run them through a decapping die SLOWLY.  CATCH the primer for either re-use or disposal at your option.  I reuse mine in practice ammo.
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Post by PhotoEscape on Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:59 pm

SteveT wrote:This is not a recommendation... but I have pressed out flipped primers. I have also pressed out crushed sideways primers. I use a single stage with universal decapping die, move the handle slowly and gently especially when first making contact with the primer, I wear eye and ear protection and stand as far back as I can. I've probably done a couple hundred over the last 2 decades and have yet to have on go off.
+1

Just do it very slowly pressing down, like a controlled trigger pull Smile  You also might want to flatten out tip on the decapping rod, so there is no pointed end.  I re-use those primers on training ammo.

AP
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Post by farmboy on Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:14 pm

Thanks guys - took your advise. Ran them thought the depriming re-sizing station of my progressive. I went very slow and careful. They came out with no issues.
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Post by Asa Yam on Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:10 am

REConley wrote:Just put a drop of water on the open face let it sit for a few minutes and press it out. Oil would be better and if you are using a liquid case cleaning process that is the option I would take.
NO!

The only way to kill a primer is with a warm sodium hydroxide solution.  From the book "Ammunition Making", the one sure way of disposing live primer material is by using a hot (50-60* C), strong solution of sodium hydroxide and acetic acid.  (Drain cleaner and vinegar, respectively.)  A safe process, if chemical controls are in place, but not to be done on a whim.

BTW, the book is available for online reading, or for download at https://archive.org/details/AmmunitionMakingNRAByG.Frost1990/page/n3.  Used copies of the book (it is out of print) are available for purchase - about $80 a copy.  (See https://www.amazon.com/Ammunition-making-insiders-George-Frost/dp/0935998578)

Hope this helps.

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Post by CR10X on Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:35 pm

I will pass along some advise given to me by a wise old surgeon in an emergency room many years ago.


"Just because you think you can do something doesn't mean you can.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.  Now shut up and let me finish these stitches."

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Post by sharkdoctor on Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:35 pm

The method Asa noted is intriguing.  I am too lazy to look up the precise solution mix noted, but I would guess it might be difficult for a typical shooter properly to prepare and use.

Others have noted several ways to address the problem, and I will add that the primer (if not the cartridge) will fire even if reversed.  DO NOT try this, and no, I didn't first ask anyone to hold my beer and watch.

Be safe, and heed CR's post, too.

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Post by Caster3845 on Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:30 am

I have found out that the only way to positively KILL a primer is to put on ear muffs, take it out in the garage and hit it with a hammer. That will do it every time and then and only then, you know it is dead!
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Post by rburk on Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:55 am

Chemistry is not my strong suit, but I would be very careful mixing sodium hydroxide (aka caustic soda) with any acid, including vinegar.   Definitely research it first and wear personal protective equipment (PPE)

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Post by SteveT on Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:42 pm

Caster3845 wrote:I have found out that the only way to positively KILL a primer is to put on ear muffs, take it out in the garage and hit it with a hammer. That will do it every time and then and only then, you know it is dead!

Ear muffs AND EYE PROTECTION! I have a divot in one of my safety glasses from doing this. I am glad I was wearing them!

BTW, It does make a pretty good bang. Neighbors (and local cops?) might think you are shooting 22's or lighting firecrackers.
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Post by mpolans on Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:22 pm

Caster3845 wrote:I have found out that the only way to positively KILL a primer is to put on ear muffs, take it out in the garage and hit it with a hammer. That will do it every time and then and only then, you know it is dead!
Careful.  My dad had to get stitches and has a permanent scar in his finger from doing this.  I think shrapnel (maybe the anvil?) of a primer had enough force to cut him pretty badly.

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Post by Surgeonwithagun on Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:41 am

Have decapped and reused "backwards" primers using decapping die. They have worked fine. Do it for target loads. Smile

John

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Post by Ed Hall on Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:05 am

I have also decapped and reused primers, but my suggestion is, "Don't!"  I have also witnessed flipped primers going off in 1911s and all that happens is a "Pop."  My suggestion is to take the cases with flipped primers to the range and fire them through your gun in a safe direction, with eye/ear protection in place.

Of note, the decapping pin provides a smaller point of impact on the primer cup than the punch used to set the primer, which covers the entire surface.  If you do decap live primers, always wear eye/ear protection and keep powder free of the area.  Still, my suggestion is, "Don't!"

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