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Primer tube kaboom...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by XDRoX, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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  2. Travclem

    Travclem Badass Member Lifetime Member

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    Looks to me like a good run of bad luck... I've loaded thousands of rounds on my XL650 and haven't blown up anything yet. (knocks on wooden table)
     

  3. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    That's what I think as well.

    Any chance you think static electricity could actually set off a primer?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  4. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Although primer detonation is a rather common occurrence in the primer assembly itself, (I think most everyone here has seen the picture of my primer magazine that blew up in the early 70's and stuck in the ceiling), I've never heard of a detonation in a pick-up tube.

    With all the pick-up tubes that are loaded everyday without incident I'm not sure it's going to rate high on my list of things to worry about.


    Jack
     
  5. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    What do you think caused it Jack? A bad primer? The story just doesn't seem plausible:dunno:
     
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Bearing in my that I need help flipping on the lights I don't really know about the static electricity theory. I guess it's possible but then again it's possible that space aliens who eat terrorists and piddle gasoline might land tomorrow... but how probable is it?

    I know that there have been countless tests done trying to ignite black powder with static electricity and the last that I've read they've yet to be successful.

    Maybe primers are more susceptible to SE but I've had wall to wall carpeting in almost every one of my loading rooms and have never had that problem nor have any of my loading buddies over the years ever mentioned anything like that.

    Then again, I can't figure out why women go out with me so I guess anything is possible. :dunno:


    Jack
     
  7. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    My bet goes with static electricity. Even though the tube is aluminum the pin is steel. My biggest fear has always been when the primers are going down the primer fill tube to the primer magazine tube that they would go off then. Once they are in the primer magazine and my hand is away I don’t really worry if they should go off.
    Just touching the press to discharge any static electricity is not going to do anything unless the press itself is grounded. Always pointing both ends of the primer magazine tube in a direction that is not going to hurt anything or destroy anything is a good idea. Wearing a Kevlar gloves or even a welder’s glove might not be a bad idea. Wearing safety glass whenever working with primers is a must. If you leave in an area that has very low humidity I would think seriously about grounding the press. Grabbing the press before touching any primers. And grabbing the press again before filling the magazine tube with primers would not be a bad idea also.
     
  8. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    There are millions of people that fill their cars with gas every day and nothing happens. But every once in a while static electric from a spark from their finger sets the car on fire.
    As some one that spent about 5 years dealing with bombs, rockets and missiles every day. Static electricity can if you get complaisant in what you are doing can bite you on you know what. That was one thing we never forgot to check for was static electricity before carting or connecting any missiles or rockets. And then 19 years of dealing with electric primed 20mm ammo when I got on the gunships.
    So yes static electricity is real.
     
  9. ChrisJn

    ChrisJn "Old Bill"

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    I'm with Unclebob on this one. Just switching on a light switch near a safebreaking/bomb scene was always a big no, no.
     
  10. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    The most common way to get a tube to explode is to tap it. He doesn't describe doing that but it's still a possibility that he just doesn't remember doing it.

    I have thought about getting a metal shield for primer tubes. Then if they exploded the direction of damage would be upward and downward, not sideways.
     
  11. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I have never seen it before or heard of anyone having primers detonate in the pickup tube, wierd & scarey. My bet would be he was tapping the pickup tube on top of the primer mag tube & freak accident, they went off. I didn;t see primer type, I would bet Federal????
     
  12. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    CCI 500.

    I feel bad for the guy. He's new at reloading and now is going to worry about this happening again unless he figures out what caused it. And that's probably going to be impossible.

    Really nice guy, he's a fireman. Just one of those things I guess :dunno:
     
  13. njl

    njl

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    Perhaps someone from here registered there could post the question "What were you wearing?"
    I know that may sound a little weird, but I used to have a coworker who'd wear corduroy and walk around the office building up static, then touch people to static shock them. He mentioned it's been cold, so I wonder if he was wearing corduroy pants or shirt.

    Also, the pick up tube pin looks undamaged and not covered in soot. That makes me wonder if the explosion was after the pin had been pulled out, and maybe he wasn't quite lined up, and the stack of primers fell against the primer magazine, and the force of the entire stack falling on the first one against the edge of the magazine was enough to set it off, starting the chain reaction?
     
  14. njl

    njl

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    He mentioned they were CCI small pistol. Aren't CCI's reputed to be on the harder side?
     
  15. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    My father worked at the Twin Cities Arsenal during WW2 and they used to have bunkers outside where the primers were handled (I don't know more then I'm telling). They used to be in "trays" and There were two people to a bunker. He said one day a bunker blew up and they spent the rest of the day watching the crows circle and raced them to body parts.

    I don't know specifically why or how these were handled, but it suffices to say that it is a very delicate part.

    They made 50 cal because he had a set made into steak knives.
     
  16. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    They are on the harder side. Interesting theory about the primers weight falling on one to cause the detention.

    I'm not sure what he was wearing, but it was extremely dry and although he was not on carpet, SE is still a viable explanation worth exploring.
     
  17. noylj

    noylj

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    Primers need a minimum impact force and static is not going to set them off. Even with out that, any static would pass through the metal cup and anvil and into the primer tube and into the operator. There is no way to have static build-up on the priming compound.
    A very minor possibility is that there was primer powder and the shear between the aluminum tube and steel pin set off some powder between the two. However, that should have been too small to chain fire.
    I keep reading these very hard-to-understand accidents and shake my head in wonder at what some people can achieve.
     
  18. GhettoSmack

    GhettoSmack

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    Sounds like a job for Myth Busters!
     
  19. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Seriously.
     
  20. njl

    njl

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    I think any theories on static electricity would be that it built up on the guy, not the primers, and that when he/the primer tube touched something that gave the charge somewhere else to go, the spark of the static electricity jumping from him to that thing (the press?) was enough to ignite a primer or some priming compound dust, and start the chain reaction that set off the whole tube.

    The bottom of the primer tube (on Dillon tubes) when dumping primers into the magazine is plastic. I'd have to look closely at one of my tubes to see if the pin can even contact the metal part of the tube.

    I still think the pin must have been out before the boom, or it would have been mangled and covered in soot.

    The build-up of primer residue is an interesting issue. How often do you / should we be cleaning out things like the primer pickup tubes, primer magazine tubes, and primer flip trays...and what do you use? 90% isopropyl and paper towels, cotton cleaning patches?