Winchester 3W primers

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Buhler50 posted this 4 weeks ago

I found these primers In the reloading stuff I got from my father. I have memories of him reloading in the early 1950's so I'm not surprised he had some very old stuff.  I have 9 or ten of these 100 round packs.  I found reference to Winchester 3 W primers in a hand loading book by Mattern published in 1926.  Ideal handbook #30 has them listed for 44 S&W, 45 colt and 45 ACP.  Later #34 and #36 list them only which shotgun shells.  

I wonder if these large primers are practical to use?  Would they be safe from mercury.  I read that early primers were made of mercury fulminate.  I also have some 12 gauge brass shells that accept boxer primers.  Is there a way to determine if they are non-corrosive?  If they are corrosive what precautions are necessary?   If any of you had them would you use them?

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 4 weeks ago

These are corrosive, I think?. Keep them on display as a collectable. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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RicinYakima posted this 4 weeks ago

I think they are corrosive and maybe mercuric. Find a case they fit and clean and polish and degrease the case. Fire the primer and let it sit for a month or so. Then you will have you answer. HTH

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max503 posted this 4 weeks ago

They could have been old when he got them.

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Eddie Southgate posted this 3 weeks ago

Guaranteed Corrosive . More likely from the 30's than the 50's . Just as likely dead as not . Cool for display but I wouldn't use them .

Grumpy Old Man With A Gun......Do Not Touch .

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Buhler50 posted this 3 weeks ago

I appreciate the responses.  More or less what I expected.  I do have an additional question.  The label mentions adaptable for use with paper shot shells.  I have brass shells that are boxer primed and some which have been drilled out for 209 style shotgun shell primers.

Were there paper shells, in the 1930's or before, which directly used boxer primers or was there a cup that the boxer primer was set into which then was used to prime paper shells as we know them now?

BCB

 

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ten-mile posted this 3 weeks ago

I have quite a few boxer primed paper shells in my collection of shotgun shells.  Some are black powder, some are smokeless.

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