How do I remove live primers?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by DennisPA, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. DennisPA

    DennisPA Well-Known Member

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    Ok I'm new to reloading and I messed up and need HELP!!! Here's the story I got about 500 pieces of once fired .243 brass from my brother who has since passed. So I don't know the history of the brass or what it was fired in. I picked out 100 pieces of matching head stamp brass, deprimed, FL resized, tumbled, chamfered the primer pocket and cleaned the primer pocket, trimmed to .002 below max and chamfer ID and OD of the neck. Then primed and started loading.
    I have a brand new savage never been shot. Loaded 30 rounds chambered a few every thing looked great. Changed bullets loaded a few more went to chamber a few and had one that I couldn't get the bolt closed. Checked my brass lengths and my cartridge O.A.L everything looked fine .025 off the lands just like I wanted. What the heck??
    So now I chamber the 70 or so pieces of primed brass I have left. 1/3 chamber like butter, 1/3 a little tight, 1/3 can't get the bolt closed. So now what? The only thing I can think of is some of the brass the shoulder pushed forward more then others. I ran my RCBS FL sizing die 1 1/2 turns off the ram just like they said.
    Is it safe to run primed brass thru a FL sizer with the primer pin removed? Sounds like a bomb to me if that primer pops. Or how do you remove a live primer. Long story but I knew you guys would need details, thanks for any help.
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dennis,

    Sounds like you have a sizing issue there, which shouldn't be too hard to sort out. To begin with, nevermind what the RCBS directions said; that's just a starting point that should work in most guns. To do it properly, the dies need to be set for your particular chamber. That means bumping the shoulder back .001" to .002" or just a bit more. Start by lowering the die and trying the sizing process one stroke at a time. Try the newly sized case in your rifle until it chambers easily. Try another case, and see if it, too, sizes properly. Once they are all chambering easily, then lock the die and do the rest of the lot.

    Primers . . . there's another thread going on here right now that should give you some respect for the power in a single primer. That said, yes, you can size cases with the decap pin removed. Not enough in a primer to make a bomb out of the case and die, but they're still not to be taken lightly. If you need to decap these, this can be done, but it needs to be done very, very carefully. Very slowly, and I'd strongly suggest some sort of heavy fabric (like canvas) wrapped around the exit point for the primer, should it pop. I don't like doing this, but have done so many times. I also don't like sizing primed cases with teh decap pin removed, more from concern of contaminating the primer than anything else. Point is, you're already into chosing the lesser of several bad options. This is why we check the sizing set ups (and everything else, for that matter) before we process a larger number of cases.

    Two things I might suggest here; one is a case gage, such as the RCBS Precision Mic, or even a Wilson chamber gage. Either will help you see just how much you are or are not sizing the cases. They'll also give you a better appreciation for the small increments involved here. The second would be a small base die. This is especially important if you're getting or using brass that's been fired in another chamber before it came to you. These will size fired cases back closer to their unfired factory dimensions, which regular full length dies won't. Worth looking into.
     

  3. bbutturff

    bbutturff Well-Known Member

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    I have gently and safely removed primers using my sizing die in the press. I wear gloves, hearing protection and safety goggles just in case but have never had one go off. Also, I never reuse the primers.

    Bruce
     
  4. twiedenh

    twiedenh Well-Known Member

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    Just wear glasses and carefully deprime the cases. I havn't had any issues. I have even reused the primers and had no issue, though I wouldn't do that for any rounds used for hunting. A primer isn't worth a botched opportunity.
     
  5. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    I always just take a little bit of cooking oil and put a few drops in the cases to be deprimed and let the stand over night, the oil will defuse the primers. Then proceed with no worries, rinse the ceses with very hot water, tumble for a few minutes and your good to go.
     
  6. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Camshaft,

    watch it with that one. It's the conventional wisdom advice for deactivating primers, but you'd be amazed at how resiliant and oil resistant the little suckers can be. I've done this using penetrating oil, and even after a few days seen them go off. Hence the warning about using some form of shield. Got down to the point that I just didn't bother, went very slowly on the press, and just accepted the fact that they're damned sensitive.
     
  7. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, Ill definatly start using some form of a barrier.
     
  8. hatfield954

    hatfield954 Well-Known Member

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    I think you would remove them Very, Very carefully but I know nothing about reloading..
     
  9. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    Dont have any experience with taking primers out of a case, but I dont think your eyes or fingers are worth the risk!!! You can save the bullets and powder, and that is a plus. I would just do some new cases and new primers. Maybe I think like that because I am a surgeon, who knows.
     
  10. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    If your that nervous about it, pull the bullet and powder then chamber it in your rifle, light the primer off in a safe direction, and then proceed as normal.
     
  11. DennisPA

    DennisPA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all that have replied so far, great information. But just to make something clear these are not loaded rounds that I am asking about. These are just prepped brass with primers.
     
  12. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about you guys but oil in like a diesel..add water if you are woried about
    an explosion..All I do is roll them in Case lube use your safety glasses and re punch the out In the last 40+year I have never had an explosion or a snap!
     
  13. gunpower

    gunpower Well-Known Member

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    I have never had a problem with removing the primers with my decapping dies.
    I have never had any problem with using the same primers again.
     
  14. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    I made the same mistake when I started reloading and I just punched the primers out with my sizing die; I just made sure to work the lever of my press slowly. I later loaded a bunch of shells for my brothers 22-250 that, for whatever reason, wouldn't chamber in his gun when they were loaded. So we just pulled the bullets and the powder and went out in the backyard at night (7:00 pm in the winter) and fired off 50 shots with just the primers. It was really cool to watch the flame come out the barrel.

    Later I realized he had messed with my seating die and it was actually bulging out the cases at the shoulder because the die was screwed down too far into the press. I backed out the seating die and have never had problems since.