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  1. #1
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    Default How much force is needed to ignite a primer?

    I'm curious as to how much force is needed to detonate a hard pistol primer? Either measured as pounds of force loaded into the firing pin spring or actual force hitting the primer. Anyone know?

  2. #2
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    Ask 10 folks here in the internet forums & you'll get 10 different & speculative answers.

    If you want the REAL answer, best go to the source - the guys who make primers for a living definitely have specifications on how much force it takes to deform the cup deep enough to contact the anvil & squeeze the priming compound hard enough & quick enough to activate it.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZshooter View Post
    Ask 10 folks here in the internet forums & you'll get 10 different & speculative answers.

    If you want the REAL answer, best go to the source - the guys who make primers for a living definitely have specifications on how much force it takes to deform the cup deep enough to contact the anvil & squeeze the priming compound hard enough & quick enough to activate it.
    Yep.

  4. #4
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    I tried Federal's website before posting, but not CCI. No luck. Same for the SAAMI site. I guess I'll contact them and ask. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Found it at http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/drop_test.htm for .30-06 anyway, from Hatcher's Notebook:

    "The established primer detonation force is in the range of 12 in./oz. for “no fire” to the upper scale of 60 in./oz. for “all fire.” This was for 30 cal. centerfire rifle ammo."

    The subject at the link is the drop problem of a 1911A1 with the normal inertial firing pin and no firing pin block. The milspec is, I believe, a 6 foot drop but in practice 20 feet is more like it. IMHO the firing pin safety is really mostly for insuring against firing if the sear or hammer notches break or wear.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  6. #6
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    Every problem I've ever had with primer strikes has been unrelated to the force of the hammer or striker. Increasing the force can help overcome other problems but it can damage firing pins and other parts.

    Considering the size of the firing pin that the force is focused on, it doesn't take a tremendous amount to punch a primer.

  7. #7
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    isn't it also a factor of the compression, as in you can crush a primer to detonation without necessarily hitting it with purely a shock loading? I just mean that couldn't firing pin protrusion also affect the force needed to set it off?

  8. #8
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    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portholio View Post
    isn't it also a factor of the compression, as in you can crush a primer to detonation without necessarily hitting it with purely a shock loading? I just mean that couldn't firing pin protrusion also affect the force needed to set it off?
    IF the FP is jammed forward so it protrudes and is fixed (like the "***" on the breech-face of an M1 Thompson), it is apt to set the round off when the bolt/slide closes. Behaves like an auto weapon designed to foire from on bolt. Firing pins should not protrude unless the gun has been fired and not cycled.
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