Primers and Water?

Primers and Water?

This is a discussion on Primers and Water? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Question: Submerging primers in water will neutralize them, right? I ask because I've been tumbling portions of a lot of once-fired 9mm brass that I ...

Results 1 to 13 of 13
Like Tree4Likes
  • 2 Post By Jgriner
  • 1 Post By GH
  • 1 Post By flintlock62

Thread: Primers and Water?

  1. #1
    Member Array Benthic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    330

    Question Primers and Water?

    Question: Submerging primers in water will neutralize them, right?

    I ask because I've been tumbling portions of a lot of once-fired 9mm brass that I recently acquired and I noticed that some of them have what appear to be "unstruck" primers. I find it odd that the brass would have come to me with live primers, and I certainly don't want any unpleasant surprises in my de-capping die. I've tumbled these cases in my rotary tumbler, so they were in there with water and steel pins for upwards of two hours. I would think that would be enough to neutralize the primers, if they were in fact live to begin with.

    What say you all?

    Brian


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,054
    I would not trust any unfired primers I received from someone else. That said, primers and water do not mix.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Exact center of CA
    Posts
    1,920
    Oil will make them safe water will sometimes and sometimes not! DR

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,054
    I've decapped live primers several times and never had one go boom. Just wear some ear plugs and safety glasses if you decide to decap. They will make a big noise, but not powerful enough to harm your equipment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Flippin, AR
    Posts
    927
    Ask me about unstruck primers. I have a small pistol primer lodged in the palm of my left hand. Been there more than ten years due to my stupidity pulling bullets and de-capping some 9mm loads. Live primers are like a pistol. How do you make sure a pistol is unloaded?
    There are only a couple things that I can think of that will ensure that a live primer is no longer a live primer. Throw it into a fire, hit it with a hammer, or chamber the case without powder and bullet and drop the firing pin on it. None of this is actually safe. Over the years I've read forums and suggestions for "killing" live primers. Water is one I've never heard of, soaking in oil or WD-40 seems to be common practice. In reality? A live primer should always be considered a live primer and potentially dangerous.
    Question: Submerging primers in water will neutralize them, right?
    My English teacher would have a field day on that statement! Telling then asking, LOL! Don't always trust what you hear, and the answer to the question part is.......you tell me. Best answer is no. test the theory yourself and let us know for sure. Coke would be a better bet than water, but even then....how can you be sure?
    One more word of advice here. If you are decapping live primers, don't keep too many of them together in the trash or in your bucket of water because what might normally be a small detonation can turn into a rather large explosion, and always keep in mind Newton's laws as well as Murphy's.
    Ask me about live primers.
    How much difference is there between terrorism and tyranny?

  6. #6
    Member Array Jgriner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Paducah, ky
    Posts
    43
    Water is not good to live ammo or primers, but I would not trust that it would not make it go pop.....
    I'm with flint lock, ive had them go off before just a loud pop, and you should wear glasses anyway.
    But jdavis makes an excellent point if you want to be absolutely sure, drop them in a pistol and let the hammer fall

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk
    JDavisArk and ccw9mm like this.
    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."Thomas Jefferson
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
    VIP Member
    Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black.
    Posts
    17,312
    Live primers can be deprimed, but I don't take that chance over a lousy 5-cent component. Oils contaminate the case, which must now be decontaminated prior to use.

    I drop the primed case in a cup of water and wait about 5-10 minutes. The substance in the primer dissolves and runs out when I dump the water. Then while still wet, I punch the primer out. Usually there is little if any of the material left in the primer.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  8. #8
    GH
    GH is offline
    VIP Member Array GH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,484
    Don't think that a water soaking will defuse a primer but there's a better chance of that happening due to the empty case where water can get at it from 2 sides. When I was a Navy SEAL we swam with a full load sometimes for hours & each time when we surfaced & squeezed the trigger it went bang. I really & truly don't know if our ammo was treated with anything but I expect not.

    Always be careful with anything you even suspect is live.
    Eric357 likes this.
    Glenn

    USN Submarine & UDT/SEAL Veteran
    1SG, US Army Retired - Airborne Infantry All the Way!
    Special Warfare Mentor
    M&P40, M&P40C

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,054
    The ammo you used was sealed (SEALed) on both ends. Reloaders can do it themselves, if they want. I have done it, but I thought it was to much trouble. I accidentally ran a couple of untreated cartridges through a washing machine once, and they still fired.

    BTW, thank you for your service to our country.

    Quote Originally Posted by GH View Post
    Don't think that a water soaking will defuse a primer but there's a better chance of that happening due to the empty case where water can get at it from 2 sides. When I was a Navy SEAL we swam with a full load sometimes for hours & each time when we surfaced & squeezed the trigger it went bang. I really & truly don't know if our ammo was treated with anything but I expect not.

    Always be careful with anything you even suspect is live.
    Eric357 likes this.

  10. #10
    Member Array Benthic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    330
    Thanks for the input everyone.

    To be clear these are primers that appear to have never been struck by a firing pin, but are seated in empty 9mm cases. I noticed the first of them *after* they had spent at least two hours in my rotary tumbler. So they've spent more than two hours soaking in water where *both* sides of the primer cup would have gotten wet. If we were talking about loaded ammunition, I would agree that it's probably fine. But since the cases in question had no bullet or powder and allowed water in through the flash hole, I thought that might be enough to neutralize the primers.

    In any event, I've been segregating these cases after tumbling. So far I've found about 20 after tumbling approximately 1000 cases, so it's not a common occurrence. I may just dispose of the cases. We'll see how it goes.

    Brian

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,054
    You have to follow your own thoughts. As for me, I would go ahead and deprime, but that's me. I'm not suggesting you do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benthic View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone.

    To be clear these are primers that appear to have never been struck by a firing pin, but are seated in empty 9mm cases. I noticed the first of them *after* they had spent at least two hours in my rotary tumbler. So they've spent more than two hours soaking in water where *both* sides of the primer cup would have gotten wet. If we were talking about loaded ammunition, I would agree that it's probably fine. But since the cases in question had no bullet or powder and allowed water in through the flash hole, I thought that might be enough to neutralize the primers.

    In any event, I've been segregating these cases after tumbling. So far I've found about 20 after tumbling approximately 1000 cases, so it's not a common occurrence. I may just dispose of the cases. We'll see how it goes.

    Brian

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    601
    You can remove live primers safely. As already noted, wear eye and ear protection (just in case...), plus I throw an old towel over my press as an added precaution.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Parts Unknown
    Posts
    3,869
    you can shoot them. water, wd-40 will sometime work to kill them, or we just think they do. i have wash many of a mag full of ammo before and the washed rounds all went bang. you can de-prime them, just wear eye protection. i have done all three and never had any problems. i would set in the man cave and shoot them in a empty trash can with some towels.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    Red State State of Mind

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

can water neutralize a primer

,

neutralize unfired primers

Click on a term to search for related topics.