Learned something about primers

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Learned something about primers

Postby igolfat8 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:27 am

Last summer our electric was out for 6 days. Don't ask me why but I had been storing my primers in a small apartment sized refrigerator in my garage, just below the shoe box sized freezer area (which I no longer do BTW now). I did not give it any thought but the frig defrosted and all the ice melted on about 2K of CCI primers. I was bummed to say t he least and I figured they were history ... but ... I put them in another small room which had a dehumidifier in it. I spread the primers out on a cookie sheet and let them air dry for about a month. Then I loaded up a few to try just for the heck of it. To my surprise most of them are still good. I have since had 2 fail out of about 500 rounds. Naturally I don't use these for rapid fire but they are still good enough for slow fire target shooting.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby Klingon00 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:22 am

I think the manufacturers mix the priming compound with water when handling and applying it to the cups during manufacture. It's safer and easier to manufacture that way. When they dry, they become active. Oil on the other hand, pretty much kills them for good. Glad to hear it worked out for you. It's hard enough to find primers these days as it is.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby Sevens » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:26 pm

Okay... well, FWIW, many folks use old refrigerators or freezer for primer or powder storage, but I'm talking about non-working units or at least those that are not plugged in and being used as cooling devices. People use them because they offer a bit of a barrier to the elements and also provide a non-sealed container which is specified in the fire code for storing these items.

It's never, ever going to be a good idea to put primers, powder or ammo -IN- to a working, operating refrigerator or freezer. I would think that would be easy to figure out -- anything you take from a refrigerator and place out in the normal indoor air will soon have beads of condensation on it -- an obvious clue that it's not ideal for component storage.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby mreising » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:49 pm

As long as we are discussing kitchen appliances, he could put them in the oven to dry them out :wink: . NO, DO NOT TRY THAT I AM JUST KIDDING. Seven's suggestion is good.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby Orochimaru » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:16 pm

Primers are surprisingly tough critters. I was reading a thread on another forum (sorry -- forgot exactly which one) where someone documented his various attempts to intentionally kill primers with various liquids.

They continued to work after fully submerged in water for extended periods of time. Other liquids killed them quicker, but water was highly ineffective at killing them.

That said, I'm not going to become lax about primer storage. I still try to keep them cool and dry.

(Sevens: Insert joke here about how they'll need to be kept for a LONG time due to my slow rate of reloading...)
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby SweetWilliam » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:38 am

I've never heard of using an old fridge for storing primers & powder let alone a working fridge.
My first thought would be condensation either way.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby Old No. 7 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:31 pm

I use a non-working small refrigerator to store air tools and welding rods in. I modified it so a small wattage light bulb (25 watt) stays on all the time. This keeps enough heat in the insulated box to keep moisture away.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby techmike » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:40 pm

SweetWilliam wrote:I've never heard of using an old fridge for storing primers & powder let alone a working fridge.
My first thought would be condensation either way.

My first thought would be shrapnel. I have read that powder storage should be in a container that has has at least one weak wall or joint, that way, if ignited, the gas expansion won't be contained and turn in to an explosion. Most of the powder manufacturers have storage advise somewhere on their websites. I am thinking that a medium amount of powder in an old fridge would be an impressive IED in a fire.....
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby BobK » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:00 pm

techmike wrote:My first thought would be shrapnel. I have read that powder storage should be in a container that has has at least one weak wall or joint, that way, if ignited, the gas expansion won't be contained and turn in to an explosion. Most of the powder manufacturers have storage advise somewhere on their websites. I am thinking that a medium amount of powder in an old fridge would be an impressive IED in a fire.....

I never had to work very hard to open a refrigerator door. maybe 3-4 lbs of force?
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby techmike » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:38 pm

Well, yeah for a new one with magnetic seals, you are correct. For an old Kelvinator with a mechanical latch and lever handle, different story. The OP did specify a small apartment type, but then Sevens brought up OLD ones, and I flashed on my dorm/beer fridge..... :lol:
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby SweetWilliam » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:49 pm

I don't know the answer so I'm asking would smokeless powder in its origanal plastic containers blow up?
Or would they just melt & burn really hot?
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby techmike » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:54 pm

HERE is a good place to start - click on the links for storage considerations and recommendations.
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Re: Learned something about primers

Postby SweetWilliam » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:31 pm

Yea but that just covers them legally.
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