Reusing primers

I had no idea you can sort of reuse primers. This video, by, explains how to “reload” your primers with the ignition compound found on matches. It is a slow process, not 100% reliable and the priming compound is corrosive.

Part 1

Part 2

Fascinating! Start hoarding your spent primers, you may be needing them.

Hat Tip: Tech, Guns, and Food

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Don

    lets see it ignite a charge.


  • Reuben

    Look for strike anywhere match shortages in the near future.

  • DG

    WOW, ok I might have to try that just for kicks. The Ultimate roll your own cartridge. Now if you can buy the compound and not have to scrape off matches, LOL. Ive heard of people doing that with 22lr shells (but im not that cheap).

  • Matt Groom

    If you want to reuse primers, the best thing to do is to make your own Lead Styphnate, which is a PITA, but not as difficult as shaving match heads I can tell you that. Lead Styphnate is the stuff they use in REAL primers and instructions can be found on the net. They also add powdered glass and a simple adhesive, like Elmer’s Glue, to make it stable when the anvil is added, and reliable when it dries.

    The biggest problem is getting proper lab equipment, like beakers and glass rods, as well as obtaining Stypnic Acid. Other acids will work, but for every substitute you make for proper materials, the more you increase the probability that your efforts are wasted by primers that don’t work.

    Bully for the guy for making a video, but this is probably the worst method for making primers I’ve seen.

  • M’kay13

    Wow, that is tedious. However, it is pretty useful information and a useful skill.

  • Dave

    Straight out of TM 31-210 p. 110-111, good job.

  • Michael

    Has anyone actually tested this method, and if so what rate of success can one expect? I am honestly leaning on the side of excessive considering how cumbersome the process is. I guess if it was absolutly necessary because we didn’t think or prepare for the components becoming unavailable to us, than anything is better than nothing. But my best recomendation is to be sure and stock pile as many reloading components as possible while they are still being made available to us. I keep mine in air tight containers with an oxygen inhibitor so shelf life doesn’t become a serious factor. I have numerous primers I purchased over 30 years ago that still ignite without failure, and I didn’t store them with as much care as I do now.

  • CWR

    What would be the cost per primer to reload? Even as a last resort, you still have to have matches. You might as well just buy more primers and stock up.