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The History and Evolution of Primers for Different Bullet Types

Primers have a long history, going all the way back to the first use of nitrocellulose in gunpowder. Here is a brief history and evolution of primers for different types of bullets.

In what seems like ancient history now, before the days of YouTube and universal cable television, many hunters didn’t know what it was. The following is a short article on the history of primers for different types of bullets, lead and non-lead alike.

They are the single most important part of the reloading process, serving as the ignition source for each cartridge. However, their history dates back to the inception of gunpowder and their usage has evolved from powder horns to modern metallic casings.

They are important part of the ammunition all shooters should be familiar with. In this article we’ll review the origin, development and evolution of modern primers.

The first iron barrel firearm came around in the 15th century. Around this time, they were loaded with powder, wadding (typically made of wool or hair), and a bullet. Sure, early muskets weren’t as accurate as some of today’s rifles; however, they were able to achieve ranges of up to 250 yards.


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