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Priming hand tool explosion

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Unread 04-08-2010, 07:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Federal's priming compound is more sensitive than others. That makes them more reliable but also more susceptable to improper handling. That includes seating them high so an auto's bolt can cause a slam-fire or clumsy efforts to seat the primers may set one off. Neither of those are the fault of the primers, handled/used correctly they're great. ??

I've used all brands of primers, including thousands of Federals, in my Lee Auto Primes for well over twenty years without problems. But I also stop and find out why any aren't seating as they should, rather than just leaning on the handle harder.

Clumsy, thoughtless people can injure themselves with a spoon but that's not the spoon's fault.
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Unread 04-08-2010, 07:38 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,189
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

I have heard of this before and I stopped using a hand priming tool with more than one
primer in it when CCI recomended not using it.

Some primers have a softer cup and this is more likely to happen with those primers. Some
primer manufactures will caution against the use of hand priming. (Like CCI).

Primers are the most delicate component used and must be handled with care.

You have to assume that if it can happen it will (Murphy's Law) so all priming should
be done with the utmost caution.

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Unread 04-08-2010, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 478
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

I suppose I'm just contrary, or the only troll under the bridge, or an irrascable old curmudgeon, or the only person on the planet that primes using his reloading press, but I've always primed my brass on the reloading press. I use a Redding BOSS press for rifle ammo. I have noooooooooo problem knowing when I have a loose primer pocket when using it. I can feel exactly what is going on. The design of the priming arm only allows one primer at a time, there is no magazine full of primers, it always looks like the safest way to do it to me, and I've never had a primer go off while priming on the press in thousands and thousands of primers of all kinds.

I've tried hand priming tools that a friend has and was frankly not whelmed.

Quite frankly I can't see any downside to using the primer arm built into my Redding press for the ammo I load on it.

Handgun ammo gets primed on the Dillon 550 using the magazine fed automatic priming feature. I would have more trouble feeling loose primer pockets because of all the processes taking place on each stroke on that progressive press, but I don't load handgun ammo so primer pockets get loose.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Unread 04-08-2010, 01:26 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 26
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

CCI is not one of the primers that are at issue. In fact the claim is only CCI and Winchester primers are safe. See this link:

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Unread 04-08-2010, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 26
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Also to correct more misinformation see this link for cup thinkness on all manufactures primers.

Primers And Pressure
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Unread 04-08-2010, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Primers and Pressures. Interesting and a good read. Thanks for posting.
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Unread 04-11-2010, 02:10 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 175
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

I always wear safety glasses when priming. I guess because when I started reloading the manual said to do so. Sometimes wondered if it wasn't overkill. I guess it's not.

I use an RCBS hand priming tool. I'll load it with anywhere from 10-30 primers when I'm priming. Haven't had any troubles yet.
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