All You Need to Know About Reloading Primers

Among all the components that play a role in reloading guns – primers are the most essential.

Gun owners need to be always conscious about the cleaning, maintenance, and keeping of the right type of primer.

This component is something that gun owners will not want to casually switch and swap around.

It’s because reloading primers vary from one ammunition brand to the other, and they influence gun loading a lot.

Components and Function of a Primer

Structurally, a reloading primer is made up of a brass cup.

Inside this cup, lead styphnate, which is an explosive compound, is filled.

When a shooter fires, primers are not burned, they actually explode.

The lead styphnate compound is pre-laid with a triangular piece of metal which is called the ‘anvil’.

When a shooter fires the gun, what happens inside is that: 

  • The brass cup’s surface gets struck by the firing pin.
  • The mid or center collapses.
  • The generated vibration then squeezes the explosive compound filled between the cup and anvil.
  • All this finally ignites the compound, and produces a flame, which ends by lighting up the propellant.

The above points show us how primers of pistols or larger guns perform their function.

The Danger of Using Primers

Gun owners need to be well aware about the right way of dealing with such components. 

A little negligence can result in a mishap. And the danger is always from the reservoirs of primers.

So, to be safe from any danger, you need to be cautious while charging up a reservoir.

Also, pay close attention to the placement of the primers. You need to make sure that all the primers should face the right direction, and that you’re not putting in more, when the reservoir or tube is full.

And in case you don’t pay close attention, then what may happen can be compared with the impact of a small sized grenade.

Various Types of Primers

Reloading primers that are available in the market are of four types.

Whereas, the sizes are two.

One type of primers are meant for pistols, and the others are used in rifles. It’s because there exists a difference between rifle and pistol primers.

Due to such differences, shooters are not recommended to swap rifle primers for pistol primers. Just because a rifle primer has the same diameter as that of a pistol primer, does not mean a gun owner can use any single primer interchangeably.

In comparison with the large pistol primer, a rifle primer has a tougher brass cup, and its flash is hotter.

Bonus Point

We would like to share with you one aspect of reloading primers as a bonus in this post. It’s about whether you should reload used pistol primers?

If you want to reload used pistol primers, then technically, the answer is, yes! 

But that comes with its costs. Where on one hand it’s possible to reuse primers, on the other hand, it can turn into a dangerous undertaking.

Many people have ended up hurting themselves by reusing pistol primers. 

Now it’s up to your discretion whether you should do this or not.

Wrapping Up the Discussion

The above-discussed structural makeup of a reloading primer gives us insight into what makes it such an important component. 

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By Michael Caine

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