Making Reloads On A Press

Reloading Ammunition
 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

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EVEN GLOCKS CAN GO KABOOM!

 
 

What Is A Small Pistol Primer?

  
  

A modern pistol primer is a small metal container (cup) that is open on one end and rounded on the other. This cup is usually made from a soft metal such as brass or copper.

 

Small Pistol Primer
Small Pistol Primer

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Here is a brief pictorial explanation of what a primer is and how it works.

Wolf Small Pistol Primer

Wolf Small Pistol Primer

This is a picture of a Wolf Small Pistol Primer used for reloading small pistol caliber ammunitions. Tweezers are used to handle the primers. You are not suppose to touch them with your fingers or hands as contamination with body oils may degrade the primers and cause a malfunction.

Small Pistol Primer

Components

A primer is made up of 3 major components, the anvil, the case and the impact sensitive explosive.

The anvil is the brass colored triangular insert. The pink color is the explosive, and the case is the silver colored outer shell.

Small Pistol Primer Anvil

Anvil

The anvil (inverted view) holds the shock sensitive explosive against the bottom of the primer and also provide a "flash hole" for the flame to ignite the gun powder.

Small Pistol Primer Case

Case

This picture shows a used empty case (cup). Note the indentation in the bottom caused by the striking of a firing pin.

Shock Sensitive Explosive

Shock Sensitive Explosive

Lead Styphnate is commonly used in primers. It is classified as an extremely sensitive initiating explosive.

Bottom of a primer

Impact Point

Bottom view of a primer. This is where the firing pin of the gun hits the primer.

Factory Installed (Blazer Brass) Primer

Factory Installed (Blazer Brass) Primer

This picture shows unfired primers installed in Blazer Brass factory 9mm Luger ammunition.

9mm Luger Ammo

9mm Luger Ammo

This picture shows a variety of used primers in 9mm Luger cases. Note the different shapes and indents caused by the firing pins.

Fired Primers

Fired Primers 2

Fired Primers

These pictures show an assortment of used primers (face up and face down) after they have been removed from 9mm Luger cases.

What Is A Primer?

With regard to firearms, it is a device used for containing an explosive shock sensitive compound that may be exploded by percussion or other means for the purpose of igniting a charge of gun powder.

How Does A Modern Pistol Primer Work?

A modern pistol primer is a small metal container (cup) that is open on one end and rounded on the other. This cup is usually made from a soft metal such as brass or copper. A small amount of an impact sensitive explosive compound (commonly lead styphnate) is placed in the cup and is held against the back of the cup by a three legged metal "anvil". A sealant may be applied to the anvil and explosive compound to guard against moisture and exposure from oils and chemicals (contamination). The sudden impact of a firing pin on the back of the primer dents the back of the cup inward and squeezes the explosive between the anvil and the wall of the cup. This impact causes the explosive to detonate shooting a small flame forward through the flash hole igniting the gun powder inside the bullet casing. The rapidly burning gun powder (smokeless powder) increases the pressure in the casing and forces the bullet down the barrel of the gun.

What is Lead Styphnate?

Lead Styphnate is classified as an extremely sensitive initiating explosive. According the MSDS it is not flammable or combustible. It will explode at high temperatures (626 Deg. F) and becomes unstable with mechanical shock, impact or electrical (static) discharge.

Lead Styphnate MSDS
http://www.design.caltech.edu/micropropulsion/msds_w79.pdf

 

Can you safely "pop" a primer by shooting it (primer In empty case) in a gun?

Yes, but use care and under supervision. I shot one in a Glock 19 and it caused a jam because it did not have enough force to cycle the slide.

 

Have you ever removed a live primer using the press? Any danger involved?

Using a press is the proper way to remove it for reuse or discard. When doing so, wear eye/face protection and try to keep your face and body as far away as possible when operating the press.

 

Is it OK to stack primer boxes on one another?

It is not recommended. In theory if one box somehow ignited it may ignite all below it.

 

 

See also..

Wolf Primers Review

Tulammo (Tula) Primers Review

Wolf Verses Tula (Tulammo) Primers

Shipping Primers And Powder Together

 

 

Feedback & Comments

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August 28, 2012
Can you provide me with the drawings for the 9mm, primer?
Will

Response - Will
Sorry, I don't have drawings or specifications for 9mm primers.
Tanner

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August 16, 2012
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF THE PRIMER IS TOO LOOSE ?
Bill

 

Response - Bill,
I never had one that was too loose. Usually it's the other way around. It typically takes a lot of force to press it into the pocket. If you think it is too loose the first thing I would do is to check to make sure it's the correct primer for the casing (large verses small for example). If it can move within the pocket after it is installed, something isn't right.
Tanner

 

Reply
THANK YOU FOR THE VERY QUICK RESPONSE. THE REASON FOR MY QUESTION, IS THAT I'M RELOADING ON A POOR MANS BUDGET, AND I HAVE SOME AMERICAN EAGLE AMMO WITH A PRIMER CRIMP, SO I REMOVED THE CRIMP WITH A KNIFE AND TRIMMED ENOUGH OF IT OFF SO I COULD PRIME THE CASE. MY CONCERN WAS, I MIGHT HAVE TRIMMED TOO MUCH. I'M USING A LEE AUTO PRIME AND EXCEPT FOR A FEW ROUNDS, THE PRIMING FELT NORMAL, AND A FEW WERE TIGHT, IT SEEMED, BUT ALL SEATED CORRECTLY. AGAIN, THANK YOU
BILL

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Coviello is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.
 


 

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RELOADING AMMUNITION

Reloading Equipment
1. Equipment
The Components Of Ammunition
2. Components
Cleaning Brass Cases For Reloading
3. Brass Cases
Making Reloads On A Press
4. Know How