WD40 killing primers


#1

On another post the discussion about killing primers was locked . I just want to add my experience. Some months ago I withdrew ten primed cases in 38 special from my reloading stock and gave them a squirt of WD40. Last week I put them through my Winchester 94 in .38 /357. Eight out of the ten went off.Of the other two one went off on second hit.
The primers were either PPU or S&B i know not which but they resisted the effects of WD40. Old primers may have succumed but modern primers are better sealed. I intend to persue this by boiling when I get the time but don’t think that a drop of oil will kill a modern primer because it wont.

I would welcome similar experimentation from some of the other serious members with a vested interest to reach a concensus. This is something we need to get wrapped up tight. For all sorts of reasons but self protection primarily.


#2

You very long waited. WD40 dries up for some months and primers become again live. Effect WD40 is based on dilution of a filler of an primer. Try once again, but wait one week only.


#3

I’d be willing to prime some 9x19 cases and try to kill them, some with oil and some with acetone. I could do a fairly large batch and test a few each week to establish how long it takes for oiled primers to dry out and reactivate.

If the results of such an experiment are inappropriate for the forum and/or Journal due to liability concerns, I could post the results on my web site.


#4

I wouldn’t have thought any serious experimentation with good intent would be seen by the moderators as inappropriate.

Its one of those little details that we need to get a handle on because when we send out inert rounds we need to be sure there are no come backs. All knowledge is strength and we have to be sure we are doing what is required of us.
We are after all, responsible members of society and keen to keep it that way. And be able to demonstrate the fact. That is my only intention in raising the question.


#5

I use a very light penetrating oil like Sheath or Kroil. In fact, if I want to completely inert a primer by removing the mixture, I put a drop of Sheath on it, let it soak for a few minutes, and the mixture will become mushy. Then, it’s easy to pop out the anvil and remove the mixture with a toothpick.

Unless there are reasons why you cannot boil the cases, I have found that boiling for a few minutes in a strong solution of Cascade dishwashing powder will usually dissolve the mixture.

Ray


#6

My only experience with was some WWII-era .30 M2 rounds I inerted years ago for display purposes. I used something like 3-in-1 oil, and it did work, as I tested them several months later. But those used the old chlorate priming mixture, not lead styphnate.

WD-40 is really not an oil, as it is principally mineral spirits with some additives, and mineral spirits is volatile and will evaporate quickly. Acetone will evaporate much more quickly than mineral spirits, so it probably would not be suitable either. Light oil will not evaporate to any extent.

So if anyone wants to do a test on primer-killing efficacy, I would recommend including a light machine oil, such as 3-in-1, sewing machine oil, gun oil, etc., into your list of concoctions to try.


#7

It seems to me that modern primers have a sealing lacquer that resists some oils and solvents. Possibly because its acrylic based. Not like the old ones of yesteryear. This is something that requires more investigation. like with car paints, things have moved on. Maybe a form of paint stripper might be more appropriate. Who knows? But I do think it needs to be brought up and discussed.


#8

I don’t know that basic primer manufacture has changed much for many years, other than for the transition to lead styphnate-based priming compounds many years ago.

My experience with primer manufacturing (at least in the USA) was that there is a tiny drop of nitrocellulose lacquer placed over the paper disc-covered priming mix in the primer cup. I doubt that practice has changed, but it could have. For primer-sealing compounds (to waterproof the primer cup’s fit in the case’s primer pocket), they could be using all sorts of newer materials, but that’s not really germane.

The primer killing material should be able to penetrate through the paper and lacquer covering to reach the primer mixture itself. I don’t know how difficult that is to do or what material would be best, as I do not know what kind of solvent would attack the nitrocellulose lacquer. An acetate-alcohol solvent mixture could work, or possibly acetone or MEK, in addition to a light oil. I think some testing is definitely in order. Might also try something like good old Hoppe’s #9.


#9

I don’t know what primers you guys use, but mine, mostly Match primers, do not have any sort of paper disc between the mixture and the anvil. At best, there is a tiny drop of some sort of sealer over the mixture. It is usually a purple color, and the mixture is usually a yellowish. A drop of penetrating oil usually dissolves the sealer and softens the mixture.

I think that the paper discs went out of style years ago.

That’s my experience.

Ray


#10

[quote=“DennisK”]I don’t know that basic primer manufacture has changed much for many years, other than for the transition to lead styphnate-based priming compounds many years ago.

My experience with primer manufacturing (at least in the USA) was that there is a tiny drop of nitrocellulose lacquer placed over the paper disc-covered priming mix in the primer cup. I doubt that practice has changed, but it could have. For primer-sealing compounds (to waterproof the primer cup’s fit in the case’s primer pocket), they could be using all sorts of newer materials, but that’s not really germane.

The primer killing material should be able to penetrate through the paper and lacquer covering to reach the primer mixture itself. I don’t know how difficult that is to do or what material would be best, as I do not know what kind of solvent would attack the nitrocellulose lacquer. An acetate-alcohol solvent mixture could work, or possibly acetone or MEK, in addition to a light oil. I think some testing is definitely in order. Might also try something like good old Hoppe’s #9.[/quote]
MEK is banned over here but Hoppes sounds good


#11

Vince
On another forum, there is an ongoing test on this topic.
You might want to refer to the preliminary results, esp as they relate to WD-40
forums.accuratereloading.com/eve … 2241051161


#12

Obvious conclusion to all this is that, at least from the information presented, soaking primers in anything to deactivate them is an iffy proposition. Also, different primer brands may respond differently. If someone is counting on using (fill in substance) to kill a primer so a primed case or dummy round can be shipped legally, it ain’t necessarily so.

One could always heat up the primer with a propane torch and pop it, but, in addition to the obvious potential hazard, the primer may or may not blow out of the pocket (it probably would not were it staked or crimped in place).

I don’t plan to do any experimentation, but it would seem necessary to include solvents like acetone, MEK, alcohol, and ethyl acetate (singly or in some combination) to dissolve the NC lacquer seal, along with something non volatile, like a light oil, as I believe it would have a better chance of working.

One can’t count on age to deactivate primers either. I have fired a number of ancient and cruddy rounds (even from the turn of the 20th Century) in which a surprisingly high percentage of primers fired.


#13

Dear members, to Deactivate a priming cup composition, one must rely on knowledge of the chemical composition of the various components of a primer cup. (Lacquer, lead foil or card foil, primer compound.

The surest manner is to attack each of these in turn. That means a Chemical attack, NOT a Physical attack.

The ideal Chemical is Hot Vinegar ( acetic acid in water, 4-8%, depending on the type of vinegar).
The Organic solvent ( acetic acid in water) will dissolve the lacquer, then the acid will eat thru the lead foil , the water thru the paper, and then again the acid will change the nature of the lead compounds within the Priming ( Lead Resorcinate etc). If the primer contains Potassium Chlorate, it will convert this to Potassium Acetate ( non-deflagrant); it will also degrade Mercury Fulminate (very old primers, and German ZdH 88 up to 1945).

I have been using Vinegar (Both “Household White” and Industrial “Essence” ( 25% Acid, synthetic) for many years, with complete success. Usually three to four days is sufficient.
Then wash out the case with Hot water, dry (drip dry or Sun dry), and your Case is “Inert.” Subsequent tests with a Firing Pin have been 100% “NO Fire”…Larger cases ( say .50BMG etc) take longer to “kill”, but the effect is the same.

Just to show how resistant Pirmers can be, I have found Japanese 12,7mm (Breda Type) M-Cannon rounds which were still intact and fireable after over 60 years encrusted by (Black) Volcanic Coral sand from a Pacific Island beach…says something for Japanese WW II Primers…

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#14

Doc AV,
Vinegar leaves divorces on brass cases and destroys color marking. Appearance of a cartridge hopelessly spoils. I understand that chemical neutralization of an primer more preferably a softening, but to lose appearance of a cartridge it would not be desirable. Laws of any countries don’t prohibit to us to have a primers. The author of a theme speaks about a rule of postal services. But the rule of postal services is not federal law and I don’t consider as slyness if you neutralize examples only for a while cartridges are in a parcel. Especially if this neutralization supplements an aperture in a case.


#15

WD 40, is not an oil. It is a Water Dispersant that lasts 40 days.


#16

About 3 months ago, I did some testing on 20 different makes of modern 9x19mm cases (Boxer and Berdan primed). The included the major US, European and Russian manufacturers. I used various combinations of acetone, penetrating oil, paint thinner and Teak oil (which I have had great success with in the past). Some had only one of these and some had combinations of two or three of these. In combinations, I used the acetone and paint thinner first to attempt to dissolve the primer sealer before using the teak or penetrating oil. All soakings were for at least 2 days with each and with the acetone, I plugged the case so it wouldn’t evaporate. I used each combination on three cases.

The best combination (acetone and teak oil) inerted about 20% of the cases and significantly weakened the ignition on about 50%. In this last catagory some were a very weak smoke ring from the barrel up to a distinctly weaker report. The remainder seemed uneffected. Some brands like Winchester seemed very resistant to this process and some like Wolf were consistently easy to inert.

I am convinced that the old methods of soaking primers just doesn’t work consistently with modern primers.

I also tried boiling the cases for 10 minutes (at a rolling boil) and then when dry I put a drop of teak oil into the case. I have had 100% success with this approach with all the 20 brands I have tested and with some other others since (including M882 by both FC and WCC).

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Lew


#17

This is from WD-40 web site:
In 1953, a fledgling company called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry, in a small lab in San Diego, California.

It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40®—which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try—is still in use today.

Convair, an aerospace contractor, first used WD-40 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. The product actually worked so well that several employees snuck some WD-40 cans out of the plant to use at home.
A few years following WD-40’s first industrial use, Rocket Chemical Company founder Norm Larsen experimented with putting WD-40 into aerosol cans, reasoning that consumers might find a use for the product at home as some of the employees had. The product made its first appearance on store shelves in San Diego in 1958
end quote

It is not now or ever was a oil, and IMHO does not work to kill primers and is a waste of time to try it. And yes I have wasted my time too in trying.
BUT the other tricks listed here on IAA are interesting and I will try some of them.


#18

Dear 2moutrage,
You have mis-understood my process for neutralising Primers with Vinegar.

The Warm vinegar is introduced into the primer internally, via the flash holes.( of the dismantled Cartridge) There is NO “immersion” of a cartridge or cartridge case into Vinegar, so there is no destruction of any external brass or colour codes on the bullet.
(A small syringe is suitable for injecting the vinegar into the primer.).

As to rules, the International Postal Association ( “Societe’ Internationale des Postes”) which controls all the relevant rules for International Postage (incl. exchange for postal charges etc), prohibits the Postage by Air of any explosive or inflammable substances.

This is irrespective of what any individual countries may allow in Surface(Domestic) Postage. The International Postal Convention has a legal status equivalent to an International Treaty…it binds all signatories.

The only time I “Immerse” Cartridge/cartridge cases wholly in Vinegar is as a cleaning process for coral-encrusted relics of the Pacific War ( 41-45) where the Vinegar dissolves the Calcium Carbonate encrustations leaving a clean ( if “Pink” ) brass remaining. It also reveals any “Pinholes” due to corrosion in the case walls, and deactivates any explosive charges in the HE Projectiles ( 12,7 and 20mm etc). It may also deactivate the Powder charge and primer as well, if there is sufficient Vinegar entering the case thru the corrosion “pinholes”.

This allows for safe dismantling of Japanese MG and MK ammo, which later in the war, had HE made of unstable (Picric Acid) compounds.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.