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Priming hand tool explosion

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Unread 04-14-2010, 02:55 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 19
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Originally Posted by beauman View Post
My buddy was priming his 223 brass, with a redding hand priming tool. He said he had about 50 primers left in the plastic tray, when the thing blew up. Has anyone had this happen? He had a cut on his face, and lots of cuts on his hand and arm. I told him to call the company, to see what caused this to happen. I'm not sure if he's not telling me the whole story.
I had one primer blow in a LEE hand priming tool and it was my fault. The primer was not going in and instead of quiting and starting over I forced it and it blew. One in over 35 years of handloading and I knew I should have quit and started over.
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Unread 04-14-2010, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Sandwarrior, good point on keeping the case pointed away from you.
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Unread 04-14-2010, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 51
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

It would be very difficult for a conductive metal primer to GENERATE static electricity. It could conduct static electricity, but not generate it. The static charge would have to come from two insulative materials rubbing or quickly separated. Generating static charges takes an environment where charge can build up in a very small area. A conductor will not let the charge build in a small area because the charge will always spread out on the conductor.

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Unread 04-15-2010, 05:48 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tokoroa, New Zealand
Posts: 5
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Hi Festus.

I would doubt that static electricity would cause a problem as the metal primers would not generate static electricity with the plastic. This may be a problem if the primers had plastic cases but that is probably not likely with the temperatures involved.

All the Best Steve
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Unread 04-15-2010, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 330
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

I work in the field of EMC Compliance testing and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Compliance is a normal part of product's certification process. The only "ESD" transfer of energy (charge) that could possibly occur is when the primer seating device is picked-up off the bench at the moment of touching the primer seating tool. It is pretty safe to say with 99.9999999% certianty that ESD is not the "issue" with this incident.

Once again it would be nice if the guy who started this thread would respond and identify the manufacture of the primiers that exploded. Based upon what has happened with Dillon Reloading presses and Federal primers, I still suspect the primers and force fit handling as the cause of the discharge.

Snohomish Co. Washington
NRA Life Member

Last edited by Chopaka81; 04-15-2010 at 09:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Unread 04-15-2010, 06:59 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 213
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Thanks for all the good info. Good to be educated and glad to know the esd is not a significant risk. Still, eye protection cannot be overstressed.

"Fenced yards ain't hole cards and like as not never will be, reason for rhymers and old five and dimers like me."
Willie Nelson
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Unread 04-22-2010, 07:52 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,193
Re: Priming hand tool explosion

Originally Posted by spiaailtli View Post
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:

Primers have changed over the years and probably because of the consumer.

When I first heard of this problem It was a bulletin from CCI that recommended that
due to the softer cups of there primers (For better ignition) that they not be used in a hand
Priming tool that held more than one primer.

This was from CCI and I used/use a lot of CCI primers so I quit using my hand priming tool
And never had a problem.

Federal has always been known for thicker cups on there primers so they must have changed
To a softer/thiner cup if this is a problem.

In my opinion if it has happened more than once then it is problem that should be avoided
For safety reasons no mater what type of primer you are using.

There are plenty of good tools for priming and the risk is just not worth the convenience.

Also pistol primers are different than rifle primers so softer/thiner cups (Lower pressures)
they would be even more likely to cause a problem.

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