Thursday, February 6, 2014

Shotgun Primers

I was recently given 900 shotgun primers.

If you have been following the news for the last year, then you are aware of the extreme shortage of reloading components.

These are OLD primers.  How old?  My guess is that they were made in the late 1950s.  Doing a search on Alcan 241 primers pops up this article from 1959.  That would make them as old as I am.

Loose packed in an aluminum can.
NM stands for non-mercurial, NC stands for non-corrosive.

The two halves of the can were taped.  This tape was probably white, 54 years ago.
I wanted some evidence that they would work before I loaded up a whole bunch of them.  I am glad I checked.

Old in the gold based shells.  New Winchester in the silver based shells.  17 grains of Red Dot, 7/8 oz of shot.  chronograph to the right.  Using the trash dumpster as a working surface.  We ain't excessively fancy in Eaton Rapids.

Baseline primers (new Winchester) had a median value of 1080 fps with a spread of 27 fps.
Test primers (old Alcan 241) had a median value of 190 fps with a spread of 229 fps.  You read it right, one hundred, ninety feet-per-second.

The old primers are junk.  It is better to know that before I load up several boxes.  It is much, much better to know that before I count on them in out in the field.

It is tempting to draw too many conclusions from "skinny" data.  Age might not be the cause of their inadequate performance.  These primers may have been wimpy when they left the factory, which could explain why the original buyer only used the first can of primers.  The only conclusion that should be drawn is that this lot of 900 primers is not suitable for ERJ's use.

Would anybody like some "collectors items" for display purposes?  I have eight cans that have not been opened.

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