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Primer sealer

Do any of you apply primer sealer to your hunting handloads or to factory ammunition?



  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    Nope.  But the stuff the military uses on bullets and primers work.  Back in the 70's I picked up and shot lots of military ammo that had laid out on the ground in the sun, rain and snow sometimes for years - most all of it shot.
  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 970 ✭✭✭
    It has not seemed necessary here in Michigan and I have hunted in rain and slushy, wet snow in the old days when we sat on a stump in the woods.  Now most people hunt from a blind, i.e., dry.  However, if I was going on an expensive hunt in an area known for wet conditions I would use it on handloads, sealing both the primer and case mouth.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,935 ✭✭✭✭
    In general, under 'normal' circumstances, sealing primers is not necessary. The fit of components is tight enough to keep most forms of moisture from doing any harm in the short term.
    The military seals ammunition for reasons of storage and more radical conditions than we are used to. The hundreds of millions of rounds can be stored sometimes for years up through decades as we know from buying surplus ammunition. There has never been a guarantee of the storage conditions either. So, to prevent any chance of a misfire, the bullets and primers are sealed at the point of manufacture.
    Being submerged in water such as the beach landings in France or the river crossings in Viet Nam, were always a concern for the ammunition manufacturers. Wood crates sitting in ammo dumps in rain, sleet and snow needed the same consideration. The answer is to seal the bullets and primers.
    The rest of us as casual hunters and shooters rarely encounter anything even remotely close to these conditions. Yes, we endure rain and snow but not for the length of time which would have an adverse effect on the ammunition.
    Sealing ammunition will not hurt anything but for most situations it's unnecessary.


  • OkieOkie Member Posts: 902 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I used primer sealer when reloading few years ago when I was younger and hunted in all kinds of weather, rain snow, wading creeks, no rain gear, and subjecting both the gun and extra ammo to very wet conditions, but now days I stay dry so I do not seal the primers. Only ammo I have ever had very bad dangerous failures was ammo reloaded with Hodgdons H4831 powder that at first appeared as though the cases needed sealed or ?????.
    The powder would actually draw moisture inside a brass case, corrode the case enough to eat holes in the brass, some of the reloads would not even snap, some delay ignition, some of the case necks would crack leaving the bullet in the chamber. I wondered at first how moisture was getting inside the case. the powder itself was actually generating (making) the moisture.
    This was using this powder in the late 80's through the 90's. I quit using this powder when I seen other reloaded ammo that was stored inside house and not subjected to any exterior temp changes, etc do the same.
    It appeared that maybe the powder's stabilizers went bad. Seen where another reloader had same experience with the same powder and he indicated that Hodgdon's sent him some H4831 replacement powder and indicated they had issues with stabilizers for that powder.  I tried to contact Hodgdons tech service (CS) about such and no return response. (I did not want any refunds, etc, I was just going to inform them of my experience with the recorded lot numbers. I've since quit using the H4831 and moved on to other powders and no issues since.

    I take care to not subject any ammo to WD40.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,944 ✭✭✭✭
    Powder will deteriorate, period.  Drawing moisture is not the issue your have as powder has all it needs to ignite and burn.  All the symptoms you describe are from powder that has gone bad.  I am still shooting ammo loaded with H4831 loaded in the early 1980's, the powder from the 1960's.  Storage has been proper, cool, sealed, and stable.  The powder you have used that caused issues may have been stored improperly or a bad lot (rare).  WD-40 and water are bad for guns and powder but is not your issue you face....
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