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Thread: primer question

  1. #1
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    Default primer question

    I'm not a novice handloader but not an expert either. I'm planning to work up some new loads for my 7mm Rem Mag and my new Kimber 7mm-08 and found myself wondering about primers.

    My question is this: Is there much difference in primers? That is to say will it make noticeable difference whether one uses Fed 215, Rem 9 1/2M, or CCI 250 primers in a magnum rifle load, or Fed 210, Rem 9 1/2, or CCI 200 primers in a large rifle load? Looking through the reloading manuals the primer choice seems fairly random beyond using magnum primers for magnum loads, etc. Am I missing something?

    If so, is there some logic, science, or rule of thumb in how to choose a brand of primer for a given case/load?

    Is there ever reason to use a magnum primer in a non-magnum cartridge, or vice-versa?

    I'm not a competition rifle shooter, but I'm a technical tinkerer and would love to learn more. Thanks in advance!

    Markus

  2. #2
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    Default

    There's others more knowledgeable but I can try to answer some from personal experience.
    In my 7mm rem mag, the choice of primer makes a difference. It likes Rem mag rifle primers in the load I use. I tried CCI large rifle primers and the groups opened up. I went back to the Remington primer and the groups improved.
    Magnum rifle primers burn hotter to ignite the bigger magnum powder loads. In some magnum loads you could use a regular rifle primer. Depending on load, your 7mm mag might like it better. Spread a clean newspaper on the ground in front of your muzzle. If there is a lot of unburned powder on the paper after the shot, then a magnum primer might be needed. I wouldn't use a magnum primer in a regular load. Its not needed.

  3. #3

    Default Rule of thumb

    If it says MAGNUM on the case you should probably use a magnum primer. But be sure your loading manual is in agreement with this rule.
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    Default

    Your question is not a simple and direct one to answer. But here goes.

    The magnum case (7mmRem, 300Win, 338Win, etc) generally will use a magnum primer and whether that primer is a CCI-250 or a FED-215, or a REM 9 1/2M, or the not will depend on the load combo. Generally there isn't any one better but with some powders, certain primers work better. (No help I know).

    The FED-215 has a reputation for being the hottest spark. (Actually the magnum primer spark lasts longer {brissiance} rather than be hotter but same effect) Some powders are more difficult to ignite and benefit from a Magnum or a hotter magnum primer.

    I have used magnum primers in standard cases and vice versa. Just depends. I really can't educate you on what to look for with each but it isn't necessarily accuracy. A chronograph helps a lot.

    I'll tell you I use thousands of the CCI-250 and CCI-200 primers every year. Some say that FED-210/215 are better but I don't really see that. For a big case with a small bore and lots of very slow burning powder, I use the Federal 215, but other than that, I'm pretty much a CCI guy. I will sometimes use the FED 210M (match) or the FED-215M primer as appropriate if I can't get a rifle to group the way I wantand sometimes this helps. I guess what I'm saying is that my bench is cluttered with 1000 piece boxes of CCI's and only a couple of thousand FED's and they are the M version. I use the 9 1/2 Remington for all my rimmed cases that use fast powder, the 45-70, 405 WIN, 38-55, 40-70 Sharps straight, 30-40 Krag, 30-30. I have found these to be a mild spark with low brissiance (how long the spark lasts) and this is good for faster rifle powders.

    Generally:
    Magnum primers are used if the case holds 65 grains of powder. For the biggest cases RUM and 378 WBY use FED 215 or 215 M. For high expansion ratio (large bore small, powder capacity) cases use REM 9 1/2. CCI-200 or FED 210 for standard calibers or just 65 grains capacity and less.

    Your 7-08 will love H4895 or H4350 and FED-210M. The 7mmMag will use just about any primer unless you use the slowest powder or ball powder, then a Mag FED-215.
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  5. #5
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Primer is just another variable.

    I use magnum primers for ultra mags and only use regular primers for most everything else depending on manufacturers recommendations.

    I bought a bunch of federal primers casue they say "match" on them. I have never checked to see if they actually shot any better than other primers.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  6. #6
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    I asked the question of federal some years ago. What makes for a match primer? The reply I got from the tech rep, was as follows. "Every batch of primers is tested for a number of different areas. If a batch shows to be closer by statistical analyst, it is designated as a match lot".

    The question of where to use a mag primer and under what conditions is usually answered as to the type of powder used, such as ball powder, and at low temperatures.

    The rub comes when we use published loading data. If a load uses a particular primer, then it is not unreasonable to use the same primer as what the load information requires, in hopes of achieving the same or similar results.

    Substituting any part of the recipe given, means a start over with testing required, on the part of the loader. Just like the testing you had better be doing as a loader anyway.

    Testing for standard deviation among loads by the use of a chronograph while testing primers is just the most common method.

    Spark photograph was the method used to test for brissance. I'm unsure if this method is still in use today. Never the less, testing using a chronograph in cold weather testing here in our Alaska, does not always prove that the use of mag primers and standard primers to show much if any difference in instrumental velocity between the two. (at least in my personal testing).

    The common theme that runs through primers, is testing. If you are not equipped with the tools or have the time, then we are pretty much stuck, and have to fall back on the old way of doing things. Start low of a published load, working up looking for pressure signs.

    A few of the ideas that have been mentioned here are thoughts that are (in some cases) not current today, (big surprice).
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  7. #7

    Default My experience

    I can give you my experience for my 300win mag which comes close to the 7mm. I have settled on the Fed 210M primer in my all out long range loads. I did a lot of testing on this load, to include the afore mentioned primer test. I do all of my load testing over a chronograph, which gives a great deal of info. Once I settled on the powder charge and seating depth, I did a bit of a primer test using the fed 215, 210, and 210M primers. The 215 gave me a little bit better velocities, but a lot larger extreme velocity spread and standard deviation. The groups on paper were about the same size, so I pretty much disregarded that, (about 1.0 to .75 inches respectively. The 210M primer seemed to produce the most stable velocity and the best group. The load in quetion is up near max as is, so I figure that by stepping down to a 210 it may reduce the pressure spike as well.

    With this load in a magnum cartridge I should by all rights be using a magnum primer, but I figure my chrony is smarter than me...

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    Default great!

    Hey all, thanks for the info!

    I do plan on using magnum primers for magnum loads and regular primers for regular loads. I just couldn't resist asking the question about whether mixing ever made any sense.

    Mostly I was looking for information concerning the difference in primers from different manufacturers within each category.

    Basically, I was looking at the reloading manuals and saw that (for example), it might list a Fed 215 for the 7mm Rem Mag test data (all loads and powders) but a Rem 9 1/2M for the 375 H&H test data. I got to wondering if there was any logic or reason to which primer they chose for a given caliber/casing when load testing, or if they just chose any ol' magnum primer for a magnum load, and any ol'regualr primer for a regular load. It makes sense to me to use the same primer that they use in the test data, but when I went primer shopping at Sportsman's Warehouse they only had about half of the primers listed.

    So...it looks like at least in some cases I will have to substitute. I intend to use magnum primers for magnum loads, but that's why I was wondering if there might be one primer choice that would make more sense than others.

    Thanks to everyone, especially to Murphy, who saw through the murk of my many questions and hit it on the head. Anyone else have anything to add?

    Thanks also for the hints on the 7-08 loads Murphy! I had actually settled on H4895 as my powder. Out of the loads listed the H4895 was the fastest burning powder that gave good velocity out of the 24" test barrel, using less than a 100% case capacity. My thinking was that because of that I wouldn't lose as much velocity out of my Kimber's shorter 22" barrel using H4895 as I might with a slower burning powder. Is this cracked logic, or does it make sense?

    Sportsmans's Warehouse does not have (does not carry?) the Fed210M primer. Anyone know where I can get some? For that matter, what IS the best place in Anchorage (selection & value) to get reloading stuff. Or should I go on-line?

    Thanks everybody!

  9. #9

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    Good thread, interesting reading.


    Quote Originally Posted by AKFshrmn View Post
    The 215 gave me a little bit better velocities, but a lot larger extreme velocity spread and standard deviation. The groups on paper were about the same size, so I pretty much disregarded that, (about 1.0 to .75 inches respectively. The 210M primer seemed to produce the most stable velocity and the best group. The load in quetion is up near max as is, so I figure that by stepping down to a 210 it may reduce the pressure spike as well.
    Interesting observation.

  10. #10
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcherdaddy View Post
    Sportsmans's Warehouse does not have (does not carry?) the Fed210M primer. Anyone know where I can get some? For that matter, what IS the best place in Anchorage (selection & value) to get reloading stuff. Or should I go on-line?
    Sporty's has been out of stock of rifle primers for a while. Every now and then they get a shipment, and they're sold out in a week or so. Great Northern Guns usually has some primers, and they carry Federals.

    Sporty's is probably the cheapest place in town to buy reloading components, but their stock on hand can be rather inconsistant. They've still got the best selection and prices, though.

    For bullets, I usually order larger quantities from Midsouth Shooters Supply. They have excellent prices, and they're willing to ship via USPS Flat-Rate boxes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFshrmn View Post
    I can give you my experience for my 300win mag which comes close to the 7mm. I have settled on the Fed 210M primer in my all out long range loads. I did a lot of testing on this load, to include the afore mentioned primer test. I do all of my load testing over a chronograph, which gives a great deal of info. Once I settled on the powder charge and seating depth, I did a bit of a primer test using the fed 215, 210, and 210M primers. The 215 gave me a little bit better velocities, but a lot larger extreme velocity spread and standard deviation. The groups on paper were about the same size, so I pretty much disregarded that, (about 1.0 to .75 inches respectively. The 210M primer seemed to produce the most stable velocity and the best group. The load in quetion is up near max as is, so I figure that by stepping down to a 210 it may reduce the pressure spike as well.

    With this load in a magnum cartridge I should by all rights be using a magnum primer, but I figure my chrony is smarter than me...
    Yep! Almost always with a magnum primer ES and SD numbers will be greater and to the point of being irratic if "over primed" too much by using a mag or a hotter mag when a std will do. Velocity will be higher along with higher ES and SD, with mags.
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  12. #12

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    Any recommended primers for the 300 WSM, about 65 gr H4350?

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    Default 7mm Rem Mag

    I was planning on going with RL-19 (maybe RL-22) behind 160gr Accubonds on my 7mm Mag, (Ruger M77 MkII) and from what I've learned here today I'll probably pass on the Fed 215 and go with the CCI 250's for that load. Sounds like the CCI 200 or Fed 210 would probably work too, but since I plan on working at or near max loads and RL-19 (or RL-22) is on the slower burning side it sounds like good reason to stick with magnum primers.

    I do have a chronograph, but at the moment it has had only arrows run through it. Looks like it might see some bullets soon.

    Since I can't find any Fed 210M primers at the moment I'll probably stoke my first 7mm-08 loads with H4895 behind 140 gr Accubonds, and light it with a CCI 200 primer.

  14. #14
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    Any recommended primers for the 300 WSM, about 65 gr H4350?

    If it's a published load, stick with the recommended primer.

    Unless you are a commercial loader, it should not break the bank to lay in a carton of each primer offerd for sell. That way when you thumb accross a published load, that you want to work with, you don't have to do the "Alaskan two step".
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  15. #15
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    Default A good read!

    I hope the following link will help give a more in depth understanding of primers.

    http://www.jamescalhoon.com/primers_and_pressure.php

    Hope the above will answer your questions.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  16. #16
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Primer

    In the 7/08 the Fed 210 match or CCI Br 2 would be excellent.

    U might experice higher pressure with the Mag primers......since this is a 308 case what works good in the 308 win should work good in the 7/08. Varget and Reloader 15 would be my first two powders along with H4895 or IMR 4895.
    Alaska

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcherdaddy View Post
    I'm not a novice handloader but not an expert either. I'm planning to work up some new loads for my 7mm Rem Mag and my new Kimber 7mm-08 and found myself wondering about primers.

    My question is this: Is there much difference in primers? That is to say will it make noticeable difference whether one uses Fed 215, Rem 9 1/2M, or CCI 250 primers in a magnum rifle load, or Fed 210, Rem 9 1/2, or CCI 200 primers in a large rifle load? Looking through the reloading manuals the primer choice seems fairly random beyond using magnum primers for magnum loads, etc. Am I missing something?

    If so, is there some logic, science, or rule of thumb in how to choose a brand of primer for a given case/load?

    Is there ever reason to use a magnum primer in a non-magnum cartridge, or vice-versa?

    I'm not a competition rifle shooter, but I'm a technical tinkerer and would love to learn more. Thanks in advance!

    Markus
    All of the tight groups I have posted over the last two years with tight groups in my 22-250, 257-300Wby, 7mmRem mag7mmSTW, three 300Wby Mags, 350 Rem Mag, and 416Wby mag, have been CCI 250 Mag primers even though I tried Fed 210 and 215 and Rem 9 1/2. In my standard 260, 30-06, and 35 Whelen my tightest groups were with Fed. 210
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    All of the tight groups I have posted over the last two years with tight groups in my 22-250, 257-300Wby, 7mmRem mag7mmSTW, three 300Wby Mags, 350 Rem Mag, and 416Wby mag, have been CCI 250 Mag primers even though I tried Fed 210 and 215 and Rem 9 1/2. In my standard 260, 30-06, and 35 Whelen my tightest groups were with Fed. 210

    Al, I would agree with those findings except for the 22-250. My best with it were with the 210's or 91/2 and I haven't shot the 257-300 but would expect similar results.

    I don't agree with much of that Varmint Hunter article.
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  19. #19

    Default 7mm-08 load

    Give this 7mm-08 load a try, work up to it of course.

    RL-19 48.5 grains
    Nosler Accubond 160gr
    CCI 200 primer
    OAL 2.900"
    shooting 2620fps avg out of my rifle

  20. #20

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    I have read in reloader mag and a couple of other articles that pressure can rise significantly when simply changing from a standard primer to a mag primer (all other things being equal) a primer is an important component and if nothing else i would suggest the need to work up loads when considering a different primer. I have no ability to test pressure and hence couldn't make a definative statement, but from all I have read, and seen data that suggests that different primers can significantly increase pressure to a potentially dangerous level. When i started reloading some older fellow stated that one should use magnum primers when temps drop because a hotter ignition is required. This is likely not true. But I have used magnum primers with spherical powders in standard cases as they are reportedly harder to ignite. I don't know if this is true and i typically avoid spherical powder these days for a couple of reasons so i don't have to think about that anymore.

    Long winded but I use standard primers in standard cases and magnum in magnum (large capacity) cases , Murphy's 65 grains is likely derived from more experience than I have. I can't imagine that you would need a mag primer in a 7-08 but would always use them in a 7-mag

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