Using old primers?

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
1,254
236
I have some OLD rifle (and pistol) primers from the 1980's and maybe even from the late 1970's. Would they be safe to use in fireforming brass? Is there any way to test them? I suppose they either fire or don't, but I really wouldn't want to have an issue. Dan
 
Apr 17, 2020
212
181
Hmmm, that is a good question. I'm clueless whether old primers could cause reliability issues, hopefully someone else here has some input. My only thought is that in another topic someone mentioned you could re-prime primers using some priming compound, then you would know they should be good to go, but of course you would have to get the old priming compound out, and you would be doing all that work without even knowing if they are bad. 🤷‍♂️
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,203
1,763
So long as the primers haven't been stored in a damp environment or allowed to be in an environment that is excessively hot, they will be just fine. Modern priming compound is surprisingly stable provided it is maintained in a temperate and dry environment. Now, if you're really worried, just hang onto them and I'll take them off your hands the next time I'm down below the line.:D
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,806
341
"So long as the primers haven't been stored in a damp environment or allowed to be in an environment that is excessively hot, they will be just fine."

I have to question that. About 6 month ago I found some primers in my shed that had to be from sometime in the 70s. Sometime, probably in the early 80's they went from the house to the shed and forgotten, most likely because when I found them they were behind some stuff. These were large pistol primers by CCI in the green, white and black packaging. I primed a few cases and they all went bang. Primed a few more cases and loaded them with my pet loads in .44 mag. and .45 Colt. Took the, to the range and again they all went bang and groups were about my normal average.
Conditions in that shed are hotter'n hell in the summer, muggy during the monsoon season and can freeze come winter. Thinking that it was probably about 1980 or maybe 1981 was when I took them to the shed and it was mid 2021 when I found and tested them. That's a conservative estimate of 40 years bases on using 1981 to 2021. Methinks primer may be a lot tougher than we give them credit for. I have recorded temps as hig as 115+ in that shed and it takes the A/C about a half hour, sometimes longer to get it to where it's comfortable in the shed. Reloading in the summer can be fun as you can't use a fan or the A/C when chargining cases with powder. Scales go bonkers in the breeze.
I guess one could call it an unplanned experiment that turned out to have positive results. Still, ammo loaded with those primers will be restricted to range and plinking purposes only.
Paul B.
 

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
1,403
471
I posted pictures of old Winchester and CCI primers on here and asked the same question. Primers were kept indoors when I got them and so have I. Had 4 Winchesters not go off. So far, no misfires with the CCI which are in the green, black and white packages. Groups were about same as normal suspect to the nut behind the bolt, lol. Dan.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,203
1,763
Paul, without question the moisture is detrimental. I've always treated the heat issue much like the effect of heat on powder. I suppose that raises the question of how hot is too hot. Glad to have your experience on this matter. Candidly, it doesn't get that hot and certainly not for long periods here in the Great White North.;)
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
439
394
I have some OLD rifle (and pistol) primers from the 1980's and maybe even from the late 1970's. Would they be safe to use in fireforming brass? Is there any way to test them? I suppose they either fire or don't, but I really wouldn't want to have an issue. Dan
You should in now way use them. Instead, ship them all directly to me and I will ensure they are disposed of properly :D
 

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
1,254
236
It is always humbling to witness the degree of sacrifice people on this forum are willing to make.:whistle::rolleyes:
It is very comforting to know that there are all of these good folks here who are looking out me and my interests. My hope is that I will able to return all of the kindness in like fashion. :rolleyes:

Sounds like I am going to use these old primers for fire forming. I am getting a chance to use up some old powders (not as old as the primers) and non-hunting bullets in the process. I wouldn't be surprised if I stumble on a combination that yields good accuracy even while fire forming. Well, one can dream, can't one? Dan
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,203
1,763
The old powders worked quite well in many instances. And while newer propellants offer some advantages in some instances, the old powders are still available for a reason.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,203
1,763
It is very comforting to know that there are all of these good folks here who are looking out me and my interests. My hope is that I will able to return all of the kindness in like fashion. :rolleyes:
Dan
By all means, I hope you get the opportunity to assist all those generous souls who rushed to assist you in your quest for perfection, Dan. Couldn't happen to a nicer crowd.:unsure:
 

Rol-P

Beginner
Jun 7, 2022
6
17
Recently saw a post on the forum about safety to pull loaded cases and the last post to the question that I saw was by Guy Miner, paraphrased here, remember personal safety.. safety glasses and go slow. I have personally been pulling bullets to obtain a supply to reload for this upcoming hunt that NYDan and I hope to venture out on this fall. It was an old mix of various combinations since 2013 when I started loading for my 30-06. Old powder was spread on the edge of our lawn. I will not try to reuse the old primers other than creating a little noise with a few buried in our brush pile that will be burned when I am sure the local birds are done nesting there for the season. Stay safe. Rol
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
439
394
Recently saw a post on the forum about safety to pull loaded cases and the last post to the question that I saw was by Guy Miner, paraphrased here, remember personal safety.. safety glasses and go slow. I have personally been pulling bullets to obtain a supply to reload for this upcoming hunt that NYDan and I hope to venture out on this fall. It was an old mix of various combinations since 2013 when I started loading for my 30-06. Old powder was spread on the edge of our lawn. I will not try to reuse the old primers other than creating a little noise with a few buried in our brush pile that will be burned when I am sure the local birds are done nesting there for the season. Stay safe. Rol
Is this truly your first post? Welcome!
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,881
1,306
Dan,
The question is more about how they have been stored.Ive got Remington and Winchester primers from the 1970's and Federal from the 1980's and they work just fine. Look at the primers on the bottom far left side.

JD338
 

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Rol-P

Beginner
Jun 7, 2022
6
17
Is this truly your first post? Welcome!
HI, I have been absent from the forum due to computer issues, lost password during an earlier upgrade, then personal circumstances, health and relocation. I think my first post was not long after I started loading for my 30-06 in 2013. I found that NYDan resided about an hours drive from where I was living then and our friendship grew.. to our mutual benefit. I have now resettled about 50 miles south of Albany NY with my wonderful wife of 53 years. Looking forward to posting occasionally on the forum. Rol
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,203
1,763
Recently saw a post on the forum about safety to pull loaded cases and the last post to the question that I saw was by Guy Miner, paraphrased here, remember personal safety.. safety glasses and go slow. I have personally been pulling bullets to obtain a supply to reload for this upcoming hunt that NYDan and I hope to venture out on this fall. It was an old mix of various combinations since 2013 when I started loading for my 30-06. Old powder was spread on the edge of our lawn. I will not try to reuse the old primers other than creating a little noise with a few buried in our brush pile that will be burned when I am sure the local birds are done nesting there for the season. Stay safe. Rol
Welcome aboard, Rol. Glad to see you posting.:oops::ROFLMAO:

Looks as if you've joined the "Beginner" club.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,881
1,306
Recently saw a post on the forum about safety to pull loaded cases and the last post to the question that I saw was by Guy Miner, paraphrased here, remember personal safety.. safety glasses and go slow. I have personally been pulling bullets to obtain a supply to reload for this upcoming hunt that NYDan and I hope to venture out on this fall. It was an old mix of various combinations since 2013 when I started loading for my 30-06. Old powder was spread on the edge of our lawn. I will not try to reuse the old primers other than creating a little noise with a few buried in our brush pile that will be burned when I am sure the local birds are done nesting there for the season. Stay safe. Rol
Welcome back Rol! Glad to see you here my friend.

JD338
 
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