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sarge_257 01-27-2011 05:03 AM

Shooting down gun myths. Killing primers with skin oil
Shooting down more gun myths:

If you handle primers with your fingers the oil from your skin will kill the primers.

NOPE, Have you ever tried to kill a primer? Now first I will admit that a L O N G time ago this may have happened. As a matter of fact I had a cousin that had the wettest hands in the universe. He sweat in the winter even. Good thing he never took up reloading. But now it would not happen. Why? Because of the modern methods used to manufacture primers. For those of you who do not reload I will describe the last two operations in manufacturing primers. After the priming compound is filled in the cup and dried, then a film of plastic or celloid is pressed into the cup and then the anvil is pressed into the cup to hold it secure. These plastic/celloid caps are color coded per the buyer and the type of primer. It is this cover that keep sweat and skin oil from reaching the priming mixture. But even if it does the priming mixture is not easily killed (made inactive) After it drys it has a hard surface that will hold off most types of liquid. The reason I know that is because I tested them.
I was making some dummy rounds to use testing pistols and revolvers for functioning. I wanted real looking primers in them and then I would drill a hole in the side of the round to identify that it was a dummy. So before I seated a bullet in the case I sprayed WD-40 in all the cases and let them set over night. The next day just to test the primers I put one in a revolver and snapped the hammer. And the dang thing went off. Like to scared me silly. Over night with WD-40?? I will never believe a hardware store commercial again in my life. I tried motor oil, then water, then gasoline, then alcohol. The alcohol killed two out of six of the primers but the others were still live. I finally put them in my wife's broiler oven covered with a piece of sheet metal to contain the blast and keep my wife from demanding a new oven and that did them all in. The cups were a little rounded but when I seated them in the cases the press flattened out the primer almost like new.

willfully armed 01-27-2011 05:28 AM

my dead round bucket has a mix of 30% nitromethane fuel and 90w gear oil, takes a while for the two liquids to converge, but kills em.

sarge_257 01-28-2011 01:52 AM


Originally Posted by willfully armed (Post 430682)
my dead round bucket has a mix of 30% nitromethane fuel and 90w gear oil, takes a while for the two liquids to converge, but kills em.

I am not familiar with the nitromethane fuel. Is it something that the car racers use? And if it is where do you buy some of it. I don't remember seeing that option on the gas pump where I fill up. LOL

lonyaeger 01-28-2011 12:28 PM

Nice post, I'm glad you dispelled that rumor.

rifleman55 01-29-2011 01:01 AM

Go to a drag race where fuelers are running. Someone should sell you a gallon or two. They usually get it in 55 gallon drums. Cost quite a bit more than regular unleaded. Love the smell. Too many years as a youth spent drag racing. In the old days, bracket one cars would sometimes run on the track after the funny cars or fuelers had made their runs.

John K

Fuzzball 01-29-2011 01:46 AM

Prior to maybe the late 60s primers had no protection from skin oils and it was pretty easy to kill them. That's not been so since they have been well protected by what appears to be a lacquer coating. As mentioned, it's not real easy or quick to kill 'em with an oil soak.

willfully armed 01-29-2011 08:32 AM

I used to have a 4wd remote control traxxas tmax (truck) and it had a 2hp engine that ran on nitro. Sold the truck, but didn't wanna pay hazmat to shoot the fuel with it, so I've got about a quart in the garage.

Hobby stores have it, usually $15 a quart.

sarge_257 02-01-2011 04:31 AM

What you guys have done is jog my memory. I have a old friend that lives not far from me that has a race car in his garage. He would be the one to get me a quart of the stuff. Heck he might have some in his garage. Thanks Guys. I bet I can find a lot of uses for that stuff in my gunsmith shop.

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