touching primers

touching primers

This is a discussion on touching primers within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; can handling primers make them less likely to fire? i ask because of everyone i know, nobody has ever had problems with winchester primers. just ...

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Thread: touching primers

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    touching primers

    can handling primers make them less likely to fire?
    i ask because of everyone i know, nobody has ever had problems with winchester primers. just recently got out first press and my fiance had some problems with a few not going off
    im thinking it may be because he had to handle each and every one (left my lee safety prime at school)
    any ideas?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Nope, I have never had a problem from touching them, I touch each and every one of my primers that I put into the rounds, and have never had any problem. I have used CCI, Federal and Remington, but never Winchester.

    Maybe he is keeping his hands too clean when reloading. He should have a nice layer of powder residue,lube if using lead, and fresh powder, etc, basically his fingers should be a nice grey color. That is what mine usually end up looking like and I have had no problems.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Too many possibilities...

    It's rare, but you could have just gotten a bad batch of primers.

    Maybe they're not seated properly.

    Maybe that brass has some burring or something in the primer pocket - is it new brass?

    Maybe the primers got damp somehow, or were stored in an area with high humidity.

    And yes, maybe just maybe the oils off your fingers were enough but I kind of doubt it.

    Just my opinion, from my limited knowledge of reloading :-p

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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    hmm.
    maybe he just needs a new firing pin?
    although he has never had problems with store bought ammo

  5. #5
    Member Array 1911NM's Avatar
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    Just don't lick 'em. Unless one's fingers are unusually oily, would look more at light strikes due to not seating deep enough, dirty firing pin channel, etc.
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  6. #6
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    True - handling really should not be an issue - oil of course, big potential enemy but the usual hand soiling is no biggie IMO. I cannot blame handling ever as I recall for any misfires.

    Light seating and poor FP strike certainly as a combo can cause trouble - tho with revo ammo you'll usually know because cylinder won't close!
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    primer should be perfectly flush correct?
    i dont think thats a problem. they look good to me

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I only touch one if they mis-feed.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

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    Oil from the finger can ruin a primer.
    Its best not to touch them unless you have to.

    Like others here,I think that more than a couple of primers not going off is a sign of something else.

    Winchester primers are about the easiest primers to set off. Have you tumbled the rounds?

    Its possible that a grain of walnut or corncob was in the primer pocket, in effect cushioning the primer strike. You need to check that.
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    Proper seating is supposed to set up the anvil of the primer if I recall correctly. I have CCI small primers that give me a lot of headaches, yet their large primers are fine. Also check how well you are getting sticks from the firing pin.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    primer should be perfectly flush correct?
    Actually the primer will be slightly below the case head. At least for rifle loadings. Tumbling media in the flash hole could be a possibility also. I inspect every case and use a straightened paper clip to push out tiny nuggets. Personally---I never touch a primer with my bare hands. If a primer needs flipping in my hand priming tool tray, I'll do it with a pencil eraser. Primer storage is essential. Dark and dry.

  12. #12
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    I had issues with Win primers not firing. Never experienced it before with 2,000 + rounds of CCI's. So I am sure its not the gun. Maybe some QC is slipping at Win?
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Primers should be .003-.005" below flush.

    Clean or at least dry hands are good. Is this just for pistol? If you are using lube, some may contaminate the powder. I use HOS (Hornady One Shot) on both pistol (even with carbide dies) and rifle and it won't contaminate the primer or powder. I've gone through tens of thousands of CCI and Winchester primers and never really had issues.

    My large primer feed is broke on my LCT so I just set them in the primer arm cup by hand but I wiped my finger off on my pants every 10-12 primers. They all went bang.

    It is possible to have a bad batch of primers.

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