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Thread: Rifle primers ?? is there one better than any other

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    Default Rifle primers ?? is there one better than any other

    There is a lot very good custom load data in this forum with actual photo's.
    Always have been courious as to which large rifle, or large rifle magnum primer is best for up here in Alaska and why.

    Used Winchester for years when i loaded shot shells but only recently started loading for rifle.
    So which brand has best results. I realize they all go boom but which is best prefrence and why.
    I would be interested in what you would suggest.. Presently i am using Winchester LRM, for loading 300,325,338,and 375Ruger.
    Thanks for any help.
    Vic

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    You're going to get as many opinions as there are folks on this forum....
    Here's an interesting read on the subject: http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...mer-study.html
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    You might as well ask whether a Ruger or a S&W is the better handgun. I usually use whats available at the best price as I haven't seen any noticable differences.

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    I've been using only Federal match 210 & 215 for a long while with no issues - I started with them back when I began elk hunting in the cold weather (Alaska should certainly qualify there)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    You might as well ask whether a Ruger or a S&W is the better handgun. I usually use whats available at the best price as I haven't seen any noticable differences.
    Yea I used to also, it doesn’t matter what brand really, they all work fine. But they do change a bunch between brands which means if changing brands you should re-work the load to that primer.

    I got discussed with re-working known loads just because I grabbed this or that primer, too much to remember what I need when at a shop with a shelf full of primers in front of me. So now just buy CCI brand only to save some headache, I keep a good stock of all CCI then I only need remember LR, SR, LP, SP and magnum or not.

    CCI is no better or worse than Federal, Winchester, or whatever but I went CCI because I think they are easier to find all the time is all.
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    Yea there's deffinately a difference from brand to brand as far as a given load goes. I usually keep several thousand of each type on hand and usually go with CCI or Rem as those usually available where I shop. Once I find a load, I don't like to switch anything so I stick with which ever primer I was using for that load.

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    I believe the Federal 215 magnum rifle primer is the hottest one on the market. If I was loading for Alaska with your calibers, I would work up loads with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    You're going to get as many opinions as there are folks on this forum....
    Here's an interesting read on the subject: http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...mer-study.html
    That's an interesting article...thanks for posting the link Taiga.

    I personally have not gone so far in my reloading over the years to test one primer over the other. With rifles I've typically just used CCI's, much for the same reason as Andy stated. I've had no problems with them in the past dozen plus years that I have been reloading up here. I'll also add that I do seal the primers on the rounds that I take into the field.

    Pistol is another story, I've got lots of different primers that I have used with my Dillon progressive press. I'm not that great of a pistol shot to notice any difference from one primer to the next. They all have gone bang.

    Chuck

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    IMO the choice of primers is determined by the cartridge and powder you choose to use. The bigger and bulkier the charge the hotter the primer should be. Cartridges that use less powder have no need to be ignited by a super hot primer.
    For example, most of my latest projects are big bore double rifles and for these just about every reloading manual in existence recommends Fed 215's.
    I have settled on 215's for almost every magnum caliber I own and Rem 9 1/2's for most everything else The only reason I choose Remingtons is because that is what Boondocks sells and they always seem to have them in stock.

    The only primer related issue experienced was with a Ruger 375. Loaded up the cases full with H4831 and CCI standard primers for some off hand practice and experienced about 25% hangfires, which is pretty scary. Stopped for the day, pulled the remaining bullets, punched out the primers and replaced them with 215's and all was well.

    For my centerfire bolt rifles .27 caliber or above I demand very little from them so choose not to experiment with primers. 3 shots into a consistent 1.5 MOA or better and I call it quits with load developement.

    On a side note been told Federal makes a hotter version of the 215 but they do not release it for sale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    IMO the choice of primers is determined by the cartridge and powder you choose to use. The bigger and bulkier the charge the hotter the primer should be. Cartridges that use less powder have no need to be ignited by a super hot primer.
    For example, most of my latest projects are big bore double rifles and for these just about every reloading manual in existence recommends Fed 215's.
    I have settled on 215's for almost every magnum caliber I own and Rem 9 1/2's for most everything else The only reason I choose Remingtons is because that is what Boondocks sells and they always seem to have them in stock.

    The only primer related issue experienced was with a Ruger 375. Loaded up the cases full with H4831 and CCI standard primers for some off hand practice and experienced about 25% hangfires, which is pretty scary. Stopped for the day, pulled the remaining bullets, punched out the primers and replaced them with 215's and all was well.

    For my centerfire bolt rifles .27 caliber or above I demand very little from them so choose not to experiment with primers. 3 shots into a consistent 1.5 MOA or better and I call it quits with load developement.

    On a side note been told Federal makes a hotter version of the 215 but they do not release it for sale.
    Your described incident with CCI primers is interesting. Lots of guys swear by them, but I've experienced FTF's with them. I stopped using them after my experience, and have never had another problem in 15+ years.
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    So, isn't it true,...that there are some, the Fed 215, for example, that are known to burn a little hotter,...

    and thus, are recommended for areas that are a little cooler, more humid?
    (Kodiak Island is a good example, of hunting in conditions that could be somewhat less than ideal for ignition)

    that's just what I've heard/read somewhere, that for Alaskans, who do a lot of nasty weather hunting, they should work up their loads with the hotter primers,...??

    As for myself, with admittedly much limited experience compared to others here, for sure, but I have had only a little trouble with primers,...
    and those were CCI 200's that were recommended in the manual I was using, for a .270wsm
    I started getting just a few hangfires, (could have been a shady manual recommendation as that is not seen in any other manual and is not a magnum primer?)

    Have switched over to mostly Fed 215's for that short magnum, no issues whatsoever,
    Have had no troubles with the CCI 250 either, so not necessarily the brand but the manual rec. that was wrong ??

    (pretty sure it was the Speer manual that came with my RCBS kit that had CCi 200's for the Wsm)

    What is the opinion/experience of the old school AK loaders, on that question?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Note that article quoted Precision Shooting and Highpower magazine. Both of those are far beyond the skill level of the average reader here. Note also the use of pressure testing equipment.

    You could ask that question over on 6mmbr.com, and longrangehunting.com and see what kind of answers you get.

    I used to use CCI but couldn't get any consistency from them. I use Federal Match exclusively now.
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    well, showing my inexperience there, I should adjust my post of the CCI 200 for WSM issue, right?

    a Hangfire is a Hangfire, regardless of what it is trying to set off, right?

    I was just confusing my two issues with those, that a manual recommended 200's for a short mag,
    and also that I have had issues with CCI, could have been a bad batch, but compared to Fed or Rem's, I've only had trouble with CCI
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Note that article quoted Precision Shooting and Highpower magazine. Both of those are far beyond the skill level of the average reader here. Note also the use of pressure testing equipment.
    I find this a really odd statement. Might you kindly elaborate for clarity? Are you saying that the average reader here is incapable of understanding and benefiting from comprehensive information, derived from careful testing with proper equipment, and presented without bias and hearsay?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    well, showing my inexperience there, I should adjust my post of the CCI 200 for WSM issue, right?

    a Hangfire is a Hangfire, regardless of what it is trying to set off, right?

    I was just confusing my two issues with those, that a manual recommended 200's for a short mag,
    and also that I have had issues with CCI, could have been a bad batch, but compared to Fed or Rem's, I've only had trouble with CCI
    Is this directed to me KR? If so, I was only picking up on the fact that you've had trouble with CCI's too, and I found that interesting. Didn't intend to imply any statement beyond that.

    In my case all the FTF's were definitive; no ignition (as opposed to a delayed ignition). Edit/addendum: Yes, all the primers in question were fully seated firmly to the bottom of clean primer pockets. And CCI are the only primers I've ever had issues with....
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    Sure greatful for the responce.
    Have learned a little about other primers being used up here.
    So im probably going to experiment with Winchester primers, might change to CCI in my test loads to see if results differ.
    I was told to stick with magnum primers in any powder load over 60gr.
    I read somewhere that CCi has a primer that needs to be seated deeper than most. Is this something that i should keep in mind if i go to CCi primers??
    Federal was on my list for a few years, until they choked when 325 caliber was introduce.
    They wouldnt load it and mostlikely never will because they want you to chose a 338 federal. (imagine that)
    Not going to happen in this lifetime, at least from what im reading in this forum.

    Thanks again for you help.
    vic
    Last edited by furbearer; 12-18-2011 at 15:01. Reason: missed a few letters

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Is this directed to me KR? If so, I was only picking up on the fact that you've had trouble with CCI's too, and I found that interesting. Didn't intend to imply any statement beyond that.
    .
    No, Taiga, not directed at all, just correcting my own question post

    I had just re-read my own post and thought, "whoops, that doesn't make sense,"....

    What I had said about hangfires, and the fact I was wondering maybe they were not the correct primer for the Wsm
    those two issues, don't relate to each other, so I was calling myself on that, (too late to edit, so had to repost)

    Still curious about my question about Primers and Shooting Climate, figured if I didn't correct myself there it would mess with the answer I'm looking for.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by furbearer View Post
    I read somewhere that CCi has a primer that needs to be seated deeper than most. Is this something that i should keep in mind if i go to CCi primers??
    NO! Don't mean to sound impolite, but we covered this in your other thread. ALL primers must be seated FIRMLY all the way down against the bottom of the primer pocket. Seating primers is not like seating bullets. All primers are seated firmly, as deeply as they will go, to the bottom of the primer pocket. Always. No exceptions. Doesn't matter what brand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    No, Taiga, not directed at all, just correcting my own question post
    .
    I had just re-read my own post and thought, "whoops, that doesn't make sense," ...
    what I had said about hangfires and the fact I thought maybe they were not the correct primer for the Wsm
    Gotcha. I thought it made sense the first time around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    All primers are seated firmly, as deeply as they will go, to the bottom of the primer pocket. Always. No exceptions. Doesn't matter what brand.
    This for Boxer type primers. With Boxer type primers (the kind you're using) the bottom of the primer pocket is flat, and the anvil is integral to the primer assembly itself.

    A second type primer design is the Berdan primer. (Berdan's are rarely used anymore, but you might encounter them if you're reloading older, especially foreign, military ammunition). With Berdan's, the anvil is integral to the cartridge case (it looks like a little pedestal in the middle of the primer pocket). Loading Berdans is a whole different animal from Boxers.

    A boxer primer is composed of three primary components: cup, compound, and anvil. This type of primer is designed such that the primer must be installed firmly against the bottom of the cartridge pocket. Doing so provides the anvil with a firm foundation (the bottom of the pocket) and compresses the primer compound between the anvil and the primer cup. This bit of compression is necessary for proper functioning. Not seating Boxer primers fully, may result in delayed or no ignition. No measuring is necessary; just squeeze the primer firmly into the primer pocket as deeply as it will go. That's all there is to it.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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