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How do you remove a live primer?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by GlockHead77, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. GlockHead77


    Aug 3, 2009
    Hello Everyone,

    Here's a question for you seasoned reloaders out there. How do you go about removing a live primer from an empty case? What method do you use to ignite the primer before punching it out? I recently started reloading and have had this happen a handful of times. What happens is that the primer won't seat completely (for whatever reason) leaving the primer high and most likely unchamberable, not to mention dangerous to continue the reloading process with.

    Here are the details:

    Ammo is 9mm Luger.
    Primers are Federal Small Pistol.
    Brass has been mixed but the two in the picture are Winchester.
    The press is a Hornady LNL AP.

    Thanks for the help.

    Attached Files:

  2. dsmw5142

    dsmw5142 NRA Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    I have had a problem at times seating primers in Winchester brass myself. I always decap a live primer same way as a spent one. Just go slow and easy with the decapping pin. I have a lee turret, so I remove the tube at the bottom and hold my hand underneath to catch it. Most of the time I just re-use it without issue, unless it has been crushed sideways or something. I always wear safety glasses when reloading and hope you do too.


    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2009
  4. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Unless you use the nuclear primers, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I have just punched them back out in the sizer/deprimer, but more often I just throw the brass/primer in the trash.
  5. Olivers_AR


    Dec 27, 2007
    Dulles, VA
    You might want to caulk it up to experience and put them in the dud box or local ammo disposal method. For a few rounds its not worth it.

    Suggest that some of your rounds maybe military crimped, which needs to be swagged in a different fashion. Check the rim of the primer hole and see if there are any extra metal shavings.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  6. sdelam


    Feb 1, 2007
    I sometimes have priming issues with my LNL too. I find that its usally caused by me ridding the handle a bit to much on the return stroke witch prevents the shell plate from fully indexing. This causes the edge of the primer to catch on the edge of the primer pocket and causes just enough damage to the primer to not allow it to seat right.

    I find if i "let it fly" a bit towards the end of the return stroke than i have fewer problems. Some brass and primer combos tend to be more forgiving than others. I have a issues with mil 223 and CCI primers even after i swage the pocket. On the other hand I picked up some PMC primers and they seem to fall in r-p brass. Good luck.

    Oh and just punch them out like normal, theyre designed to go off by a hard stike to the other side.
  7. I'd just toss those two in the trash.
  8. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Go slow & easy, no big deal.
  9. Orlando Eric

    Orlando Eric

    Aug 6, 2000
    I have read to deactivate a primer squirt some wd40 on it and wait. Personally I just decap them as usal.
  10. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

    Winchester and S&B cases are the worst. :steamed: I separate those from all the rest of mixed headstamps and deal with them after I've popped a valium.

    You can seat them with the LnL, just lean on the handle harder and smack 'em home.
  11. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law

    Nov 1, 2007
    Tampa, FL
    Not worth screwing around for a few primers.....after all, you get 1K in a brick so loosing a few shouldn't make a big difference. Trash them (brass with primer) and continue loading the rest.
  12. AltiDude


    Jan 17, 2009
    Colorado Springs
    9mm brass is cheap. Chuck any questionable loads in the trash.
  13. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    I agree about S&B - they go in the trash, but Winchester are my preferred cases and load really easy for me.
  14. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I would deprime them if possible. Only so I could find out what actually happened.
  15. cyberiad


    Feb 18, 2005
    Near RTP NC
    I find some cases stamped "WIN" can be difficult to prime in my 550. On the other hand most of them are very easy to work with.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  16. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    Same here. Never had one go bang.
  17. GlockHead77


    Aug 3, 2009
    So I successfuly deprimed the two shells shown in the pictures like they were regular spent rounds and the only thing I had to do different was to loosen the shell plate on the LNL AP so that the high primer would fit under the plate. Otherwise the high primer kept me from being able to slide the case onto the shell plate all the way. I worked the lever slowly, bracing myself for a primer detonation, but neither one went off. I just heard the familiar plink of the primer poping out and falling down the tube.

    Thanks again for the help. I think I made this harder than it needed to be.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  18. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    All depends on if you want to reuse the primer or not. If it's all mashed up because you tried to seat in a crimped primer pocket then you won't want to reuse it. You can either deactivate it with a squirt of wd40, Kroil, etc, then push it out with the a decapper (you can use the sizing die in a pinch, I prefer a Universal Decapper (Lee makes one, as do others) because it does not contain the pressure should the primer go offf. Just go slow and easy, and keep your face away from the top of the press. The times I've had to do this I skipped the squirt of oil step (just depends how risk averse you are at the time).

    If you plan to reuse the primer, then use the decapping die and go slow and easy. Avoid sharp movements. Light and steady presure until the primer eases out.

    Get back and find out what the problem is. Save some spend primers and fiddle with the LNL until you can get them seated reliably. (See Jack, there is a use for spent primers!)

    Good decision not to shoot the high primer rounds. Too easy to get a slam fire in that condition.
  19. Bamamedic


    Apr 8, 2010
    Just deprime it as usual. If your concerned about it, you can place the cartidge in a vise and use a automatic center punch to set off the primer. Not a charged case of course.
  20. same here.