Making Primers?

KSAv8r

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OK......how about our legal experts and engineers weigh in on this? First, would it be legal or what regulations would govern making primers for one's own use? Secondly, would it be possible to engineer a small, rather inexpensive device/machine that could fit on your reloading bench to make primers? What would be the design considerations?

If the new Administrations has their way there could be a shortage of reloading components for a long time so looking for alternatives to keep everyone shooting. Thanks for taking your time to consider this and respond.
 

Mrvmax

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I’m no expert but here are some considerations. First, Mercury fulminate, lead styphenate, PETN are all high explosives and very sensitive compared to smokeless powder. I don’t think the average person should be messing with them. It’s been almost three decades since I got out of the military but being EOD I’ve seen plenty of pictures of amateurs who blew their fingers off and worse.
Second, I’d check with your homeowners insurance. Chances are they will not cover accidents caused by playing with explosives. I’m sure there are some insurance guys here that can chime in.
Third, without having an explosives license how are you going to by these components?
Fourth, the machinery would need to be designed with safety features to deflect an initiation away from the user.
I’d say the idea is not practical. I know, there are guys on YouTube making them with match heads. Maybe that’s a more realistic solution
 

Mrvmax

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It sounds dangerous...count me in! Lol. But I suppose directing a 64,000psi somewhat controlled explosion 8 inches from my face fairly regularly counts as a wee bit dangerous as well.

They blocked the download of that link when I tried it.
Not apples to apples, your firearm is designed to work that way. Actual explosives are unforgiving. Screw up and set them off and you will get hurt. But it’s your life, go ahead and make them and save a few dollars. Now saving this info for a last ditch resort is a good idea. Playing with explosives when you don’t know what you are doing is not.
 

John Klingenberg

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Not apples to apples, your firearm is designed to work that way. Actual explosives are unforgiving. Screw up and set them off and you will get hurt. But it’s your life, go ahead and make them and save a few dollars. Now saving this info for a last ditch resort is a good idea. Playing with explosives when you don’t know what you are doing is not.
I was being facetious. I wouldn't fool with it unless I had the skills to do so. I'm 24 years milspec so I know full well the consequences.
 

Ckleeves

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From what I know (not much) the initial investment on manufacturing primers is extremely expensive. Like 7 figures expensive. Even the equipment to manufacture cups and anvils would be a pretty big investment, and that’s before you even get into the dangerous part.

It tells me something that with as many new companies that have jumped into the brass and bullet game in the last few years but there isn’t one new primer manufacture that the expense and difficulty must not be worth it. As far as I know even companies like Hornady and Nosler aren’t making there own primers and that says a lot to me if they don’t want to jump in.
 

Gunpowder

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So I've read up a bit on this, making them from scratch isn't feasible at all of course, but it is possible to re-use primers. Knock the dimple out, re-use the anvil. There is info floating around about the chemicals needed, but I don't remember where atm.

I came out of it thinking it's not worth the trouble, even if primers end up 10 cents apiece after all this. One thing I do know, if we get out of this shortage, and still have freedom to shoot and reload (not sure about that), I will make sure that I never have to think about primer shortages again.
 

SavageHunter11

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OK......how about our legal experts and engineers weigh in on this? First, would it be legal or what regulations would govern making primers for one's own use? Secondly, would it be possible to engineer a small, rather inexpensive device/machine that could fit on your reloading bench to make primers? What would be the design considerations?

If the new Administrations has their way there could be a shortage of reloading components for a long time so looking for alternatives to keep everyone shooting. Thanks for taking your time to consider this and respond.
The "We Like Shooting" podcast just had a guest on who has a company that allows you to reload your primers. I believe it was episode number 383 titled Honky Dory. Give it a listen because primer reloading is going to be a thing very soon. Fair warning, they're a little raw on this podcast, probably best to not listen to it with small children around.
 

KSAv8r

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Everyone......thanks for your insights. Ty.338 showed us a link to really good posting that outlines several alternatives plus the risks to one's well-being, which are substantial. Definitely worth reading.

SavageHunter11.....do you have a link to the "We Like Shooting" podcast you could post here?

With the NRA filing for Chapter 11 in New York yesterday, I would suggest we continue to collectively pool our intellectual capital to see if we can come up with a solution that is SAFE, reliable and reasonably cost effective than what is out there today. We have several good smiths and machinist on this site. How about weighing-in on your thoughts/ideas? I can understand the liability of someone not wanting to make/sell such a device, but maybe we could come up with something that isn't too complicated where instructions/blueprints might be available for "use at your own risk"?

Nothing is without risk but if things really get bad we may need to resort to accepting a risk we normally would not take to continue to feed/protect our family. Sure hope and pray it doesn't come to this but we may need a Plan B in our back pocket. Whatever we come up with, SAFETY needs to be the first priority. It isn't going to help our family if we are missing some fingers, an eye or worse.

What other items/areas should be considered if SHTF?
 

redneckdan

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MN Iron Range
You can pop out the anvil, pound the firing pin dimple flat, put in a cap from a roll of strip caps and reseat the anvil.

It does work. Its not match grade. I wouldn't use it for a high pressure rifle.

I experimented with this in the late 00s during that primer crisis. I was using Promo in 38spl and boosted loads of WC860 in the 45-70. I tried Promo in 30-30 with inconsistent results. I believe the low brisenance won't reliably light a cartridge with low case fill. Stepping up charges to something with higher fill meant changing to powders that were harder to ignite, low brisanence again being a problem. Boosting might have helped with this.

I still have rolls of strip cap put away from that era.

As some one else up thread said, I took that experience to heart and did my darned-est. Not to have to worry about primer shortages again. Id gotten complacent in the last few years and I'm a little short on small pistol and magnum small rifle for my high use stuff. But this time I'm at least well enough set that I'm not reduced to playing with strip caps and ammonpulver because I'm bored.

As someone else said, primers are the bottleneck. The machinery is expensive. Its a highly skilled craft. The C suite is very skiddish about sinking capital into a highly volatile market. If trump had won, covid ended in the next year, and the bacon lettuce mayo crowd chilled out...we would have been looking at a market crash in about mid to late 2022. Just like the mid-trump years. That's part of what killed the NRA, the leftist threat had been reduced and the money wasn't coming in.
 
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