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Primer compound missing


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Here is the situation. I loaded some 45acp too hot (5.0gr of Tight Group) I have a 1911, an 1873 & a derringer all in 45acp and I wanted to be able to load only one cartridge for all.  The 5.0 was ok in the 1911 and the 1873 but the derringer beat me up so bad that I stopped using it after the first stage.  After some experimentation I was able to determine that 3.5 gr. of Tight Group will work in all 3 guns with good accuracy.  I had loaded about 200 with the 5.0 charge and I decided to take them apart so I could reuse the components.  I used an inertia hammer to take apart 100 of them and then re-loaded them with the lower powder charge using the same case, primer and bullet.  I went to the range I tried to shoot about 15 of them and could only get about 3 to go off.  All had nice deep dents in the primer from the firing pins.  When I got home I took them apart again and found that all the ones that didn’t fire were missing the compound in the primer.  The primer cup and anvil were in place but no primer compound.

I loaded up 50 using new primers and fresh cases and went back to the range.  They all fired.  I think that when I was removing the bullet from the case with the inertia hammer the compound in the primer also came out.  I use a Semi-wad cutter bullet so my collate bullet puller will not work because there isn’t enough area for the puller to grab.  Has anyone had this problem with disassembling cartridges with an inertia hammer?

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Well, I have "hammer" disassembled probably 500 centerfire cartridges over the years and have had ZERO failures of the primer to fire after adding back powder and bullet to the primed case.   That includes mostly Winchester primers in .45 auto, and Federal in several other large-primer cases like .45 Colt and .44-40, and bunches of large rifle primed cases of a large assortment of cartridge sizes and primer brands.  Including some tightly crimped FMJ bullets.

Must be a tremendous blow that was applied to the rounds during disassembly.  I try to adjust force so it takes two or three blows to fully move the bullet out of the case, without problems.

Of course, when loading match rounds (or serious social ammo), I make sure to use fresh primers.

But you can proceed with whatever amount of caution that matches your needs.  😄

good luck, GJ

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Posted (edited)

I believe that the primer compound came out of the primer cup when I used the Inertia hammer.  One of the reasons I believe this is because after I removed the bullet from the questionable cases, when I removed the primer from the case a lot of what looked like primer compound came out with it.  I went out today and shot about 100 rounds that I had loaded at the same time as the others and they all fired.

A couple of years ago I took about 200 357 cartridges apart and did not have this problem.  Who knows maybe "they don't make them like they use to"! LOL

Edited by Nickel City Dude
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6 hours ago, Nickel City Dude said:

I believe that the primer compound came out of the primer cup when I used the Inertia hammer.

Just curious, what primer brand did you use?

I was wondering what would happen if you deprime a case but the primer is still live. Googled it and various threads from different forums popped up. There are those reloaders who wouldn't ever take the chance and toss the case and there are the others who carefully deprime in the press with a decapping die. Has anyone here ever had a primer going off or heard of one while decapping?

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5 hours ago, Equanimous Phil said:

Just curious, what primer brand did you use?

I was wondering what would happen if you deprime a case but the primer is still live. Googled it and various threads from different forums popped up. There are those reloaders who wouldn't ever take the chance and toss the case and there are the others who carefully deprime in the press with a decapping die. Has anyone here ever had a primer going off or heard of one while decapping?

I was using Federal large pistol primers.  I have un-primed a lot of cases and have never had one go off, but I  have heard of others that have had one go off.  But I think it is rare and aside from the surprise factor if you are wearing glasses I don't think it is a big deal.

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Thanks!

41 minutes ago, Nickel City Dude said:

But I think it is rare and aside from the surprise factor if you are wearing glasses I don't think it is a big deal.

Safety glasses are always on while reloading, but maybe I'll add earmuffs if I ever remove live primers.

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