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Handloads.Com ForumHandgunsdeactivating primers - an experiment
I just took 8 CCI SP primers & soaked 2 each in Hoppes #9, Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber, WD-40, & Ed's Red (ATF, K1, Mineral Spirits, but without Acetone). I then put on my eyes & ears, took one of each & smacked it with a hammer after they had been soaking for about 5 min. They all went pop. I will go pop the other 4 after a couple hours & let you know what I find. I have checked, and am not injured.
--JJK (the debunker)

Edited on 12/10/2003 6:38:49 PM.
Interesting. Another thing you might want to try after you find how long it takes to deactivate the primer is if they will "reactivate" after being left alone for several days and fire again.

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
Interesting. I was convinced (been told many times) that WD40 will deactivate primers immediately. Guess I have to re-think!
Just popped the other four. All of them went off. As before, I am unhurt. I am going to go out on a limb and say that you can't deactivate primers with WD-40, Hoppes #9, Gun Scrubber, or Ed's Red.

I looked, and found the article that I mentioned in another thread.
May 2003 American Rifleman p42

"Killing" Primers
Q: Can you suggest something to chemically "kill" primers...
A: I checked with the CCI Chemical Department and their reply was that there is no way to "kill" unused primers. Many checmicals, oils, solvents, etc. will temporarily kill modern primer mixes, but when the primer mix dries out or the solvent evaporates, the explosive mix returns to its original sensitivity. --David Andrews

I would argue that you can't even temporarily kill them, at least not with the aforementioned chemicals.


Edited on 12/10/2003 7:54:08 PM.
You may be able to inhibit them for a time but to deactivate them you will have to chemically change the primer compound or remove it. You did discover one sure fire way to deactivate them. Hit em with a hammer! Having one go off is a lot harder on the nerves than the fingers. Gloves and glasses are just common sense. Try oneof the ones that have already been hit. I bet that one doesn't go off

Nothing like experience to check out the old saws.
malon labe
Yes, hitting them with a hammer definately deactivates them. Well, more accurately it activates them, & they are left inert thereafter. I will say that the chemicals did seem to have an affect on the primers. The one with Hoppes on it seemed to be closer to deactivated than the others, but it still popped. When it did, it seemed to have reduced force. Most of them flattened some & blew the anvil out, but the Hoppes one popped & looked totally unchanged. I hit it several times more & flattened it, but it didn't pop any more.
When you have ears on & are prepared for the pop, it's not a big deal - like a cap gun. But if I had one go off in a tray full in my auto-prime I am sure it'd scare the piss outta me.

Edited on 12/11/2003 7:55:38 AM.
When you have ears on & are prepared for the pop, it's not a big deal - like a cap gun. But if I had one go off in a tray full in my auto-prime I am sure it'd scare the piss outta me.

From what I've been reading recently about primers, if you ever had one go off in that tray, chances are decent you'd have a chain reaction. Here's a quote from the Lee products site from the FAQ section on primers:

"Primer Brand Warning - We recommend only Winchester and CCI primers be used in the Auto Prime because Federal and Remington primers pose a potential danger to the operator. In testing, we found that the latter two brands of primers almost always chain detonated if the primer being seated was accidentally set off. A primer going off near your hand can be compared to an M-80 firecracker. When a full tray of primers explode, it does so with enough force to cause injury to the operator and anyone else standing within a ten foot radius. The older Improved priming tool and our current production Ram-Prime only accept one primer at a time, so this hazard did not apply. We take no position as to the quality of primers and mention this only because of the increased danger of chain detonation with some brands only."

Read some other things recently too about how much force can be exhibited from a few stacks of 100-count primer packs rubber banded together. Accidentally drop something heavy onto a package like that and set off just one primer and you could be in trouble.
Tom Norton
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