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I finally got around to that primer test.....

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by PCJim, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
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    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    Some months ago I made a comment that I was going to run my own test on the methodology of neutralizing a live primer. I know that some of you may think I've gone mad, wasting primers in an effort to determine whether the old standby, WD-40, will effectively neutralize them.

    I used six Winchester primers, small pistol (i'm not that wasteful a person). Two groups of three primers. Each group was kept submersed in either plain Florida tap water or WD-40. The immersion began on Aug 6th and continued until Aug 23rd, when they were removed from the water and WD-40. The two groups were set on paper towels to dry out.

    I left them on the reloading bench, in the garage in this absurd Florida heat and humidity, until this evening. I had been putting off testing them until I had an already dirty firearm in which to test the results. Every time saw them on the bench, I didn't feel like dirtying a firearm just for the test. So after making a range trip today for chrony testing some new loads, I got around to concluding this little test.

    After immersion for 17 days and a drying period of 48 days, I loaded the primers into some 9mm brass for testing. The test was using the primer only - no powder charge or bullet. I did not feel like banging squibs out of a barrel this evening. I did NOT use ear muffs, as I wanted to be able to adequately hear the results.

    First tested were those immersed in the WD-40. Two of the primers barely made enough of a noise to say they were not duds, the third was definitely a dud.

    Then to those immersed in water. All three primers detonated with the same forceand sound as a regular primer used as a control.

    Conculsion: the WD-40 does work. Does it require LESS than 2 weeks immersion to insure it will not fire, maybe someone else might want to test that theory. As for the water immersion, it will not neutralize a primer once the primer has dried out.

    Hope you all can find some usefulness of this little test.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010

  2. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Moral of the story... if you're going to get in a gunfight in a WD-40 factory bring a bow and arrow as your back-up.

    (Or make sure the fight lasts less than two weeks. :whistling:)


    Jack
     
  3. sig2009

    sig2009

    938
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    May 3, 2005
    I use a hammer and concrete to neutralize mine!
     
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    NO!!! I have chipped a concrete floor and a hammer playing like that. Those chips could put your eye out and the noise will damage your hearing.
     
  5. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    The two near duds could have still set off a fast powder if you were dealing with loaded rounds. I say "could" not would since I haven't tried it.
     
  6. sig2009

    sig2009

    938
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    May 3, 2005
    I use eye and ear protection!
     
  7. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Good, I just don't want to see anyone get hurt like I almost did:thumbsup:
     
  8. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,933
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Wait till a peice comes out with enough force to imbed in your hand. I had to pay someones medical bills for doing just that type of thing. :crying:
     
  9. Pat T

    Pat T

    32
    0
    Nov 6, 2004
    NW PA
    This may help some folks feel better about long term primer storage in less than ideal humidity conditions, thanks Jim!

    Sig-

    I once when I was a youngun' had the bright idea of taking a roll of caps from a cap gun and whacking it on the sidewalk with a rock -- thought I had blown out my ear drums! (I never repeated the test.):shocked:
     
  10. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
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    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    I've had my share of eye injuries - don't mess around with crushing primers on concrete. For that matter, don't try to use a propane torch to burn paint off of wet concrete. Who knew, at age 16, that concrete was porous?

    Anyway, the primer test made me wonder about the sealant used on the primer pockets of some military ammo. If the ammo was exposed to water either thru casual contact or immersion, as long as the powder didn't get wet, the round should still fire if adequate time lapsed to allow the primer to dry out. Can't say how once wet powder would react, after it dried out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  11. hagar

    hagar Millennium Member

    1,143
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    Sep 7, 1999
    Columbia, SC
    I had a can of Kroil leak all over some primers I had in a box. Figured they were useless, and put them aside for a couple of years, then loaded a few and tested them. They all fired, so I been loading with them since, and never had a dud or a squib. It's really HARD to kill a primer!
     
  12. Reviving this old thread...

    I wonder how sensitive primers are to light (namely, ultraviolet)? For instance, would it be a bad idea to store primed brass in a transparent plastic jug?
     
  13. I probably would have used some sort of oil to do the test with instead of WD-40.
     
  14. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    8,728
    952
    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Were the primers in a finished round or just loose? Because if they were lose I don't see the point.
     
  15. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    Shotgun, the primers were loose. Whether loose or seated, the results would be the same unless an airlock prevented the liquid from reaching the compound. They were seated into a 9mm sized case and manually fed for testing purposes.

    Chris, I used WD-40 for two reasons. First, it seems to be the most widely referred to oil to neutralize a primer. It also is much lighter in viscosity than regular oil which should have a better reaction with the primer compound.