View Full Version : How would you deprime 250 cartridges?

07-02-2009, 08:20 PM
I always like to keep a good supply of ammo around,but try to keep the old stuff used up.
About 30 years ago,I loaded my son 300 rounds for his .270,using Jack O'Connor's favorite load of 150 gr spitzers and 58 Grains of Hodgdon's war surplus 4831.(I know this was a stiff load,but case head expansion was okay and it we never saw any signs of excess pressure.)
I still have 2 cans of this powder that I bought at Esman's in Turtle Creek in the early '60's.The stickers on the cans show a price of $1.35 and the cans are cardboard with a metal top and bottom.It has been stored in a dry cool area,but it's getting pretty old.
I checked this powder last summer and it's starting to smell a little acrid and shows some dust when you pour it out.I figured it's time to dump the powder and any loaded ammo.
My son lives in the paranoid state of New York and while visiting him last summer,I checked his ammo supply.He still had about 250 rounds left (up until recently,they weren't allowed to use centerfire rifles for deer - only shotguns,muzzleloaders,and pistols.He mostly used a shotgun or a TC pistol in .35 Remington.),so I brought the old stuff home.
I planned to pull the bullets,dump the powder,deprime the cases,re-anneal them and reload them.
I've gently deprimed cases before,on a press after soaking in water,without problems.However,the recent threads on primer deactivating make me wonder what the safest way is to handle 250 cases.
I don't have a .270 to run them thru.
Anybody had any experience along these lines,I'd appreciate your comments.

07-02-2009, 08:28 PM
I've tried to deactivate primers using acetone, water, WD-40, gasoline, whatever I had on hand. This was 15yrs ago, can't remember the details except that I was doing this to test firing pin fall effect............ I have the paperwork in my files but it's not important.

What IS important is that none of these methods were foolproof!

so here's what I would do (have done.)

Set up the press for depriming and look carefully WHERE the chunks would fly in case of a failure.

Now cover the press with some heavy fabric like towels or a lether mat, don your safety glasses and ear protection and have at it.

I've deprimed hundreds at least, no detonations. In fact it would be quite weird for a primer to detonate from reverse pressure on the anvil. They're not made that way.

Take proper precautions, deprime......

My opinion


07-02-2009, 08:55 PM
How would you deprime 250 cartridges ? Carefully, one at a time, in batches of 25 each. :D

07-03-2009, 12:43 AM
What Al said. Just go easy with the pressure. Should be a non event job.

lefty o
07-03-2009, 01:13 AM
first off, i probably would not in this circumstance. the powder in those cartridges is more than likely perfectly fine. i would take one apart before i jumped the gun. if you really think you need to deprime the brass, just run them thru a sizing die- gently, they wont detonate.

Roger T
07-03-2009, 07:53 AM
If running them through a sizeing die worries you ,then just fire the primed brass in the rifle.

John Kielly
07-03-2009, 08:01 AM
For varying reasons, I've deprimed many cases almost without incident. These days, I use my trusty little priming press (bottom of the line Lee). In the past, I've held them in a shellholder & hammered the primers out with a Lee hand tool depriming rod.

Only one ever went bang, when my mind went into gaga & I hammered one out against a table top, rather than into the chamber I drilled out of a piece of 4x2 softwood.

mike in co
07-03-2009, 08:16 AM
just PUSH then out. no banging. they are IMPACT explosives. no need to "deactivated" them.

07-03-2009, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the posts.
I've deprimed some before but never that many at once.
I'll try Al's advice of putting a piece of carpet or sumpin' over the press.

07-05-2009, 08:19 PM
Are you trashing the cases also? if not why don't you try to reuse the cases with out de/re priming?

Bob Kingsbury
07-05-2009, 09:16 PM
I did make the mistake of driving out a live primer once. This with a soft
Mallet and using a Wilson Neck size die. Very much the same as your lee
punch. I was holding the die in the palm of my hand, The Drs. were able
as all drs can dig this raskel out of my hand. What I want to impress on
you is , that the burn was incredible. Primers are seated by pressure, by hand and assembly machines. They can be removed by the same means.
No harm in doing this gentle though. I have removed many and never had a problem in a press. Because of air pockets in the pocket(no pun intended)
liquids don't always reach the primer compound, so are not reliable.
If there is a time for safety glasses, I would think it would be doing that.
Primers mix contains of fuel , friction components(not just the anvil)
and glass particles or aluminum particles or other substance that can
become incandescent. They require very rapid strikes or heat to fire.
I once saw a fellow fire a cartridge that had a primer put in backwards.
It did in fact go off and did hit the target at 100 yards. It was only 4 inches low. So things do happen. Be careful and remember the safety glasses, but forget the de-activators.

07-05-2009, 09:59 PM
Are you trashing the cases also? if not why don't you try to reuse the cases with out de/re priming?

No,I'm going to reanneal the necks and reload them.
I've got some FA59 '06 Match cases that have been loaded more than 25 times and annealed about every 15 years.

I want to reprime with new primers as these are now 30 years old.
My son is a devoted hunter,but not a gun nut.He doesn't reload and when I pass,he may not use the loads for another 30 years.