Ammunition - Primers and Initiators

Alternatives to Conventional Primers

2020 has shown reloading components, notably primers, can become difficult to find. I've done a few experiments with alternatives to commercial primers.

Nichrome E-Primers

Resistance wire dipped in nitrocellulose lacquer. Similar in concept to a rocket motor igniter or "e-match". I have a photo gallery and video (more video) exploring this option.


  • Only requires nitrocellulose propellant. No shock-sensitive explosives.
  • Simple operation - can be fired with a 20v battery and switch.
  • Plastic cartridges should be corrosion resistant.
  • No brass drawing tools or dies required
  • Nichrome is readily available in vape shops


  • Lock Time is 10x slower than a conventional primer.
  • Requires power/batteries
  • Requires insulative (plastic) cartridge cases.
  • New loading procedure
  • Must be made by hand

Direct Ignition with Plasma

My experience with this approach is limited, but it's been demonstrated to work.