How To Get A Primer Out Of A Bullet?

Before attempting to remove a primer from a bullet shell, it is wise to understand the proper safety precautions to take. And today, my writing will provide an introduction to the process of safely removing a primer from a bullet, explain the necessary tools and supplies needed, and provide step-by-step instructions for safely completing the task.


What Is The Primer In A Bullet?

The primer in a bullet is a small metal cup filled with a mixture of sensitive primary explosive material, such as lead styphnate, an oxidizer, and potassium chlorate.

When struck by the firing pin of a gun, the primer is crushed. And it causes a chemical reaction that ignites the primary explosive material and generates a flame which then ignites the propellant charge in the bullet.

  • The primer is an integral component of most types of metallic cartridges.
  • It provides the energy needed to ignite the propellant charge and propel the bullet out of the barrel of the firearm.


How Long Do Bullet Primers Last?

Bullet primers can last for decades if stored properly. But they should be stored in a cool, dry place away from any direct sources of heat and moisture. Primers should also be kept away from any sources of friction or shock, as this can cause them to become unstable and potentially cause an accidental discharge.

  • Properly stored primers have been known to last for over 30 years.


But How To Get A Primer Out Of A Bullet?

  • You can start by making sure your bullet is unloaded and the chamber is empty.
  • Now place the bullet tip-down in a vise and secure it in place.
  • Using a pair of pliers, carefully remove the primer from the bullet by gripping the primer and turning it counterclockwise.
  • If the primer won’t come out, use a small punch and hammer to gently tap the primer out of the bullet.
  • Once the primer has been removed, use a cleaning brush and solvent to remove any residue or debris from the bullet.
  • Carefully inspect the primer for any signs of damage or wear. If the primer is damaged, discard it and replace it with a new one.
  • After that, re-insert the primer into the bullet, making sure it is seated correctly.
  • Finally, use a pair of pliers to crimp the primer in place.

Remove A Live Primer From A Bullet

To remove a live primer from a bullet, you will need a pair of needle-nose pliers and a pair of safety glasses.

  • Put on your safety glasses and hold the bullet with the primer facing up in one of your hands.
  • Take the needle-nose pliers in your other hand and gently grasp the primer with the pliers.
  • Slowly and carefully twist the primer counterclockwise and pull it away from the bullet.
  • If the primer is stuck, try to gently wiggle the pliers back and forth and lightly tap the bullet against a hard surface.
  • When the primer is loose, use the pliers to remove it completely from the bullet.
  • Now discard the primer in a safe place, and keep away from any flammable materials.

And never forget to dispose of the primer in accordance with your local laws and regulations.

Best Way To Remove A Live Primer From The Case

The best way to remove a live primer from a case is to use an inertia hammer and a primer pocket swagger. This method is very safe and is the most effective way to remove a live primer.

      1. The inertia hammer is placed over the primer and a few taps will dislodge it from the case.
      2. The primer pocket swager is then used to push the primer out of the case.

Removing DUD Primer From Loaded Round

Removing a dud primer from a loaded round is not recommended and should not be done. It can be extremely hazardous and can cause serious injury or even death.

  • If you have a dud round, it is best to take it to a qualified gunsmith or reloader who is experienced in safely disposing of dud rounds.

Remove A Flipped Primer

The most effective way to remove a flipped primer is to use a PCR-based method to remove the primer. This method involves performing a PCR reaction with a nested primer pair that is designed to bind outside of the flipped primer.

  • The nested primers will amplify the target region.
  • And then the product can be used in further PCR reactions or other downstream applications.

Removing Unfired Primers

Unfired primers can be removed from a gun or firearm with a cleaning rod, a flat-head screwdriver, and a pair of tweezers.

  • A cleaning rod should be used to push the primer out of the primer pocket.
  • The flat-head screwdriver can be used to pry the primer out of the pocket if the cleaning rod is not enough.
  • Finally, the tweezers can be used to pick the primer out of the pocket.

Best Way To De-prime Fired Shells

The best way to de-prime fired shells is to use a de-priming tool.

These tools come in various sizes to accommodate different kinds of shells. And they allow you to quickly and safely remove the primer from a fired shell. Moreover, they are available at most gun or reloading supply stores.


What Happens If You Hit The Primer On A Bullet?

If you hit the primer on a bullet, it will cause the primer to detonate, which in turn will ignite the propellant inside the cartridge. And this incident will cause the bullet to be propelled out of the firearm at a high velocity. Depending on the type of gun, the bullet could travel up to several thousand feet per second.

  • If the bullet is fired in an enclosed space, it could cause serious injury or death to anyone in the vicinity.

Thus it is a never doing job that hit the primer on a bullet, as it could be very dangerous.



The best way to get a primer out of a bullet is to use a tool specifically designed for this purpose, such as a primer pocket swager or a primer pocket reamer. Because these tools can safely and efficiently remove the primer from the bullet without damaging the cartridge or the primer. It is also essential to follow all safety precautions when using these tools. Finally, don’t neglect to use the proper tool for the type of primer and bullet being used.