How To Reload Primers with Matches

Learn my technique for reloading “Boxer” primers in emergency or apocalyptic type situations. They work 100% of the time .. so far.

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Project Inspired By: This was an original idea (Original to me anyway) that came to me while working on the “Thunder Caps” project.

WARNING: This project is for educational and entertainment purposes only and not intended to be replicated. These improvised primers work much like standard issue primers, but are not guaranteed, and can be dangerous if misused. The creator of this video is not liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on anything contained in this video. Safety precautions should be in place to mitigate any chance of personal injury. Be safe and have fun, but always remember that any project you try is at your own risk.

Project History & More Info:

While I was experimenting with the powder for my “Thunder Caps” project, I wondered if it would be enough to ignite black powder in a zombie apocalypse type situation, so I began a number of experiments and tests to find out.

It’s important to note that safety precautions were always in place, and all experiments were done in a controlled environment.

I have been curious for years on how a centerfire primer worked, but there hadn’t been much information on it until recently. I finally discovered that most primers were made with a substance called Mercury Fulminate, which is impractical to try to duplicate, especially in an apocalyptic type scenario, so I was hoping for another way.

I knew the “Armstrong’s Mix” from previous experiments was impact sensitive under the right conditions, and began some small experiments to test the validity of it being used in a primer. After-all, Wikipedia stated that Armstrong’s Mix was originally considered as the substance to be used in primers.

Rather than stuffing experimental primers into live rounds of ammunition, I started off very slowly. Testing the mix first .. then moving on to test individual primers to see how they’d react. When I was confident I understood the reactions and what to expect, I moved on to pressing primers into empty cartridge casings, for abuse testing.

I was surprised that the primers were quite resilient and would withstand an impressive amount of abuse with a hammer before going off. That was encouraging.

I next tested the empty cartridge casings on my bench vice to ensure proper firing, and when I was convinced they were perfected, I tried some empty rounds in an actual firearm.

100’s of tests later, and after 100% success rate, I attempted reloading live rounds of ammunition with these homemade primers, and tested the experimental ammo in an isolated and controlled environment at a shooting range.

All rounds fired as expected 100% of the time.

Saying that though, the purpose of this video is not to encourage reloading of primers with matches, but simply to show that it can be done effectively. Experimental ammunition can be extremely dangerous and most likely illegal for good reason, so just save the idea in the back of your mind and just be happy with the knowledge that you could if you needed to.

By the way, my friend Cody with Codyslab tested a way to reload a shotgun primer with homemade Mercury Fulminate. Check it out: