Priming hand tool explosion

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by beauman, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. beauman

    beauman Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    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.
  2. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2005
    Perhaps an upside down primer?

    Pushing up on the anvil instead of the cup might do that???????

  3. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    I never used a tray and never will. I seat 1 primer at a time with a my hand held tool with the rest of the primer several feet away. Maybe overkill but, IMHO safer. I have heard some says you can get a primer dust buildup on the tray and so they wash the tray with soapy water and let dry. I'm sure others will comment on what techniques they employ with trays in order to lesson any risk. Your friends lucky he didn't get hit in the eye or sinuses with something or worse yet set off some powder nearby...which by the way my powder is never in the same area when I seat primers.

    ROBSTER Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    could be military brass and did not remove the crimp.
  5. SomeRumbum

    SomeRumbum Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2010
    I concur. Must have been military brass. Never had it happen.
  6. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I have had this happen.............ONCE!

    I was using an RCBS hand priming tool, and after the incident I discovered there were 2 primers in the seating area under the case, both were detonated, luckily for me none of the primers in the tray detonated and I escaped with ringing ears only!

    It is quite possible that 2 primers were on the seating stem and the compression moved the anvil of one of them enough to set them off.

    Primers are VERY sensitive to concussion, that's why the whole tray can detonate!
  7. CA48

    CA48 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    It has happened a few times with my Lee hand priming tool where two primers went under the case. I have never set any off but this is why I watch closely and stop if there is ever any unusual pressure while seating.
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    ".. I watch closely and stop if there is ever any unusual pressure while seating. "

    And therein lies the only needed wisdom for repriming with any tools.

    Using the "Tim Taylor MORE POWER" method is rarely the answer to anything but seems a certain number of folks just gotta try it. (Witness the number of people who say they've broken off the handles on Lee's Autoprime tools; they are plenty strong enough IF the user pays attention to what's happening!)
  9. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    50 primers in the tray, woow something was waiting to happen... I never put more then 5 primers at the time... Crimped primer pockets on LC brass can give an explosive result when someone tries to stick primer in it :rolleyes:
  10. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    i concur with chas 1.
    ive been using a lee hand seater for many years, but only 1 at a time.
    my main reason for using it isnt speed.
    but rather to give me a feel for the condition of the primer pockets.
  11. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    private playing with mk-2 trying to yank out pin, corporal to private: what are you doing dumb ... it will explode!!! private replied: don't worry i got 10 more and pulls out the pin :cool:
  12. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    As far as I know, Redding does not make a hand priming tool. Only Lee, RCBS and Hornady make them with trays. RCBS has a steel gate that separates the primer being seated from the rest of the tray to help prevent this. I can imagine an upside down primer detonating when you try to seat it, then the blast sets off the rest of the tray, perhaps on any hand primer, but maybe less likely on the RCBS. This would be more likely if large rifle primers were being seated with a small primer punch, and one was upside down.

  13. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    We just had a long discussion of this a short time ago. Concensus was that a build up of priming dust might cause detonation, but it still needs a spark. If primer is upside down, pushing the anvil down should not detonate.

    I have Lee Autoprimes, used them for years with no problem. Then heard several stories like this involving tray primers. I bought a K&M single load primer tool, and feel perfectly safe now, but still wear glasses when priming. Any other single stage primer seater is just as good.
  14. spiaailtli

    spiaailtli Active Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    There is a warning that comes with the Lee AutoPrime. It says never to be used with Federal primers. It list all of the other brands that it can be safely used with. I would be interested in knowing if it was a federal primer. I've also seen warning about never using Federal primers in any autoloading rifle. Must be something going on with them.