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Haven't deprimed live primers before. Any hints?

I guess I should just use eye ear protection throw a rag over the press and use my resizing/depriming dye?


Reason I ask is I just inherited approx 600 .38 special rounds and I want to use the primers out of them for my 9mm as I do not yet own a .38.


Feasible?

J
 

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I'm not sure but it's possible it could deform the primer so that it won't load in the new case,you can try a couple and see,I've had to deprime some brass before and it didn't go bang,or worse kaboom
 

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Just like you deprime dead primers. It takes little pressure to remove a primer and your pushing the opposite side. Just make sure they are not factory crimped in place. This is not likely, but if they are crimped they will probably be damaged beyond use after removal. I do it all the time when I discover a damaged case after priming with both brass and shotgun cases.
 

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My advice to you is sell the .38 ammo and buy new primers for your 9mm. Depriming live primers can be dangerous and isn`t really worth the risk in my humble opinion.
 

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My advice to you is sell the .38 ammo and buy new primers for your 9mm. Depriming live primers can be dangerous and isn`t really worth the risk in my humble opinion.
Ditto. You NEVER screw around in any aspect of reloading. I am sure somebody will be happy to trade your primed brass for fresh primers. I think I may know somebody in your area that might do the trade.
 

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Haven't deprimed live primers before. Any hints?

I guess I should just use eye ear protection throw a rag over the press and use my resizing/depriming dye?


Reason I ask is I just inherited approx 600 .38 special rounds and I want to use the primers out of them for my 9mm as I do not yet own a .38.


Feasible?

J
Ignore those who tell you to have at it. It's not good thing to do. Every reloading manual I have ever read says NOT to do it; even with a rag over the press, it is dangerous.

That said, it's a useless exercise and the removed primers can't be reliably reused. You WILL do one of the following, or both ...

- dislodge the anvil, making the primer useless
- crack the primer cake, making the primer useless

Not to mention having to pull the bullets and dispose of the old powder (since you have no idea what it is, you don't dare use it).

All in all, it's a lousy idea.

SELL THE .38s AND BUY NEW PRIMERS!
 

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Ditto the 3 posts directly above. Bad idea. Buy new primers.

Hoss
 

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Have I removed a live primer before yep, on occasion, but they were primers that got inserted upside down into the case. In thousands and thousands of reloaded rounds, I have only had to do it 3 or 4 times.

Would I attempt to break down 600 rds of .38 to remove the primers so I could then use them in 9mm, nope. You weren't clear as to whether they are complete .38 rounds or just primed brass. Either way, trade, sell, swap, whatever, but like some others have said this isn't a good idea.
 

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Have I removed a live primer before yep, on occasion, but they were primers that got inserted upside down into the case. In thousands and thousands of reloaded rounds, I have only had to do it 3 or 4 times.

Would I attempt to break down 600 rds of .38 to remove the primers so I could then use them in 9mm, nope. You weren't clear as to whether they are complete .38 rounds or just primed brass. Either way, trade, sell, swap, whatever, but like some others have said this isn't a good idea.
+1 If they are complete rounds, removing 600 bullets would be labor intensive and hard on your hammer! I would for sure try and trade. I run across people all the time that are looking for .38 rounds!
 

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Removing live primers is safe enough, although the chance does exist for one to pop. However, they become scrap as soon as you pop them out. Once inserted, they really can not be pulled and re-inserted.

You really have no option on reusing them. Get new primers.
 

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Removing live primers is safe enough, although the chance does exist for one to pop.
No, it's not safe. If it were, the reloading manuals would not strongly recommend against it. I know several folks with pieces of primer in their fingers from doing it back when they were young and stupid - and cheap!

One may get away with it, but that does not make it safe, any more than getting away with drunk driving makes it safe.
 

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No, it's not safe. If it were, the reloading manuals would not strongly recommend against it. I know several folks with pieces of primer in their fingers from doing it back when they were young and stupid - and cheap!

One may get away with it, but that does not make it safe, any more than getting away with drunk driving makes it safe.
Nice argument.
I will concede you are correct, it is not "safe." Neither is reloading, Neither is shooting. But when done with some common sense and precautions, they are safe enough. Decapping is even sometimes necessary (gasp!) , and happens more frequently then you seem to think. You deform one enough seating it, you have to decap it live. It happens.
If you don't feel comfortable doing it, don't do it. No one is saying decapping primers is a mickey-mouse-welcome-to-sesame-street-safety-padded exercise. It's not. The potential is there to end up with an anvil in your thigh, or in the case of your friends, their fingers(?). If you are going to do any of this reloading stuff, you need to be well aware of what you are dealing with, and what the potential for problems is. A healthy respect for the components and the process is an incredibly good thing.

Use some common sense, wear eye protection, and be prepared if it does pop. When they pop, that anvil wants to come out, and it is moving fast. Ask me how I know.

I would not recommend it for legal reasons, just like the manuals, but it can be, and is, done.

Primers, the Sparkplug of Centerfire Cartridges

I repeat though, once a primer has been seated, it is wasted effort to try to decap and reseat it. More often then not the primer is damaged and is no longer functionally reliable after being decapped.
 

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My friend, I have been reloading for about 35 years now and have never had an accident or injury while reloading - for a while, several thousand rounds a month. That record is a result of not doing foolish things like de-priming live primers.

Telling some one it is "safe enough" is irresponsible, as far as I am concerned, but then I prefer to always take the cautious route in reloading.

But when done with some common sense and precautions, they are safe enough. Decapping is even sometimes necessary (gasp!) , and happens more frequently then you seem to think. You deform one enough seating it, you have to decap it live. It happens.
If you don't feel comfortable doing it, don't do it. No one is saying decapping primers is a mickey-mouse-welcome-to-sesame-street-safety-padded exercise. It's not. The potential is there to end up with an anvil in your thigh, or in the case of your friends, their fingers(?). If you are going to do any of this reloading stuff, you need to be well aware of what you are dealing with, and what the potential for problems is. A healthy respect for the components and the process is an incredibly good thing.
If you had told all that to the OP in the first place. Then I would have had no complaint with you.

And, by the way, if I have to remove a live primer, I do it in a firearm, not in a decapping die.

Have a good and safe weekend.
 

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If I need to deprime live primers, I hit 'em with wd-40 first, run them empty through a pistol, pulling the trigger to make sure they are dead, then punch them out. I never ever try to reuse a primer, if I get to the point where I want to punch out a live primer, it is history...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey guys,

Ended up trading the complete rounds for 400 primers. We both won out!


J
 
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I have primed several times on my progressive where the case got messed up in the deprimer and became unusable. I have deprimed probably 50 primers without incident and used them again, without incident. It isn't safe but it does work. This is all completely anecdotal but carries more weight that "I've never done it and that's why I've never had an accident". The question you have to ask yourself is "are you prepared for the consequence if something goes wrong?" That's pretty much the question to all of life's situations. Are you able to accept the consequences?

While I agree that the manuals all say one thing. That doesn't necessarily mean it can't be done that way. Many manuals cover their ass. I do not agree at all that if it was OK the manual would say so. Liability is a *****.

Are you guys actually going to tell me that you do exactly what every manual says for everything you have used or own? Everything?
 

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For crying out loud. Slow, stead pressure when decapping and be done with it. This isn't brain surgery done by a novice, it's a stupid primer.
 

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Just go slow and push it out. If it makes you feel better, wear hearing protection. I push out at least one every loading session due to going in sideways, or some other reason (Lee Safety Prime). Never had one go off.

I always wear eye protection while loading anyway. Toss the primer, don't use it again.
 

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Without going into a long story, I'll just state the fact that depriming live primers is risky and dangerous. Six years or so past, I was depriming a large amount of previously loaded 9mm ammo. Maybe 2-300 successful deprimes, then it happened. To this day, I still have that small pistol primer lodged in my left hand. It went in at the center of my palm, and over the years has worked it's way toward the outer part of my palm below and under my pinkie finger to where you can physically see the bulge under the skin. Every once in a while, it makes it's presence known...I guess depending on the weather or activity. Yes....I did something stupid, but I've learned a lesson, and I'll never do it again.
 
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