Finding a primer supplier can be quite a challenge when there’s an ongoing supply shortage in your community. In times like this, though, you can always turn to the internet for assistance, especially now that there are online ammo stores that focus on providing bulk and retail buyers access to high-quality primers. Before you explore your options online, you first need to make sure that you’re purchasing the right product for the firearm that you have. Pistol primers come in diverse types and sizes, and it’s easy to make a mistake when you’re buying from an online store for the first time and you don’t have access to a salesperson who can give you a rundown of all your possible options.
Let’s take a closer look at pistol primers and the things you need to consider so you can make informed decisions while shopping online for this product.
What Are Primers?
The primary purpose of a primer is to initiate the combustion of the propellant powder in a cartridge. The resulting reaction sends a stream of hot air that passes through the flash hole and into the cartridge case. This causes an increase in temperature and pressure within the said case, which then causes the propellant powder to ignite.
Primers are designed to fulfill this specific purpose, and they typically feature a few key components: the cup, the priming mix or compound, and the foil paper. The priming cup is typically made of stamped rolled copper-alloy sheet, and it houses the mix and the foil. These cups can have different sizes depending on the application that they are designed for. Since 1955, military ammunition in the United States have been loaded with non-corrosive primers, but the same can’t be said for primers and ammunition that have been manufactured in other countries.
Before you purchase from an online ammo and primer shop, be sure to know what you need to buy first. Here are some of the considerations you should think about:
Make Sure You Have the Right Size
Pistol primers are not one-size-fits-all. They come in different sizes, are made up of different materials, and are designed for different applications and purposes. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for so you can end up with the right product. Size matters when you’re buying primers. Primers that are made for small rifles and small pistols share the same depth specification. As such, there are times when pistol primers and rifle primers can be used interchangeably.
Reviews are mixed when it comes to interchanging rifle and pistol primers, as some users say that they have a tough time using a different primer for the model they have because the difference in primer mix results in different performances. At the same time, pistol primer cups are constructed slightly differently from rifle primer cups. The latter is slightly thicker than the former, and it may not react or fire when it is hit by a pistol firing pin.
Check the Primer’s Components
Pistol primers are not only different on the outside, but they also have different mixes or compounds. Some primer compounds and design can result in differences in pressure and temperature, for example. Some manufacturers offer primers with different compounds, while others use the same compound no matter the size of the primer they are manufacturing. If you’re just starting out, you can try using different pistol primers from different manufacturers and find products that suit you better and help you improve your performance. Seasoned firearm owners, on the other hand, have taken to testing the primers they buy by using a drop test, which determines the center of the primer. This is done by dropping weighted steel balls from different heights into a fixture that holds the primer.
Take Note of the Price of the Primer
The cost is another primary consideration that online shoppers should consider. Typically, a small rifle primer should cost around $0.04 per piece, though this amount can still vary depending on the specific type and brand that you are trying to purchase. A thousand primers of this price, for example, can cost you around $40, which is a fairly reasonable price for many firearms owners. It’s completely up to you if you want to invest in reloading primers that promise better results and more consistent performance. While deciding on these options, it’s also a good idea to determine if you want to purchase primers by piece or per box.
Ensure That You Can Store the Primers Properly
The primers you purchase online are an investment, and you want to care for them properly once the package is delivered to your address. Excess heat can dry out the priming compound and cause it to disintegrate, and elevated levels of humidity can do the same. When a primer is too wet or too dry, it can cause a misfire. Avoid storing them in damp basements, sheds or even the attic. It’s best to keep the primers in a cool, dry place where they are not in danger of accidentally igniting or getting wet. If you have no option but to store them in a place that is somewhat humid, put the primers in a sealed container with a desiccant. This way, you can ensure that you’ll make the most out of this investment, and you can avoid any accidents and injuries.