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Thread: Interesting Magnum Primer vs Standard Primer experience today

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Interesting Magnum Primer vs Standard Primer experience today

    I was goofing around with some 190 grain Hornady soft point boat-tails in my old Husqvarna 30-06 lightweight rifle. This rifle only has a 20.75 inch barrel.

    These are all with WW plated brass casings.

    I tried the following:

    58.0 grains RL-22 with a standard 210 primer, COL 3.250 with Lee crimp.
    Vel= 2,510 fps 0.67 inch group.

    59.0 grains RL-22 with 210 primer, COL 3.250 with Lee Crimp.
    Vel= 2,572 fps with a huge 2.60 inch group.

    59.0 grains RL-22 with a 215 Magnum primer, COL 3.250 with Lee crimp.
    Vel= 2,549 with a 1.0 inch group. YES IT WENT SLOWER??!!!

    So with RL-22, an extra grain of powder gained me 60 fps and a huge group. Then a magnum primer was added and the group shrunk while the velocity actually went down....


    THEN....I did the same thing with IMR 4350 and the results with the primer change were the opposite as would be expected.

    Same as above but:

    55.0 grains IMR 4350 with standard primer
    Vel= 2,600 fps 0.80 inch group

    55.5 grains IMR 4350 with MAGNUM primer
    Vel= 2,714 fps 1.9 inch group

    56.0 grains IMR 4350 with a STANDARD primer
    Vel= 2,667 fps 0.70 inch group.

    As you can see, in the case of IMR 4350 the magnum primer added more pressure as expected and reduced accuracy as would be expected in a 30-06.
    So what gives with the RL-22 load???
    WEIRD
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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I have to admit I share your confusion. For the last 30 years. I have seen the same thing happen using MRP powder. I have seen this for many years and I've seen it happen in colder weather with mag primers.

    I'm left with a total loss for an explanation? I took some primed brass in the shop, five case each of std and five mag. I had a couple of buddies in the shop to watch. I set off five of each in the dark, one after the other. We all kept are eyes on the same spot, The rifle barrel was clamped in my padded jaw bench vise. All of us agreed that the std primed cases had more flame out of the end of the barrel than the mag primed brass.

    What does all of this mean? I wish I knew, I have not been able to prove that mag primer are all ways the answer for cold weather. I still to this day have more questions about primers than I have answers.
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    Interesting and confusing. Could you contact the manufactor and ask them for an explanation? Please post if they respond. thx. J.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Lighting off a powder to propell a bullet down the barrel is a bit more complex then we might like to admit. It is a chemical reaction that depends on many factors, the power of the primer being just one of them.

    When the primer ligths off the powder, the powder begins to burn with increasing pressure, and that pressure is what propels the bullet. With a magnum primer, the powder charge might build a higher pressure right off the get go, but the peak pressure might be lower, hence reducing velocity.

    Personally I rarely use magnum rifle primers unless I'm burning over 70 grs of powder. The std primers will light of your -06 and smaller magnum cases just fine with medium rate powders. You might also find the accuracy superior with the std primers.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default RL22 and MRP...

    [QUOTE=Big Al;311516]I have to admit I share your confusion. For the last 30 years. I have seen the same thing happen using MRP powder. QUOTE]
    A friend of mine called Alliant with a question about RL22, and in the course of the conversation was told that RL22 IS MRP! Not an answer to what's been observed, but thought that you might like to hear what was related to me.....

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    I forwarded this to my cousin who works R&D at Browning / Winchester. he said they occasionally see the same thing. he said that he cronographed some PROOF loads that are used for pressure testing actions. He went on to say that these super hot, high pressure loads are sometimes slower than the regular factory loads. So a big pressure spike does not mean more velocity.

    I had a HUGE fire-ball while shhoting the RL-22 loads with magnum primers. Maybe the extra zap was helping to blow a bunch of unbruned powder down the barrel more than lighting it off.
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    RL-22 is not current MRP, but the equvalent of "MRP" from days of yore...thats why it is excellent in 6.5x55 as it essentially is swedish military powder....

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    I have seen the same thing, mag primer net lower velocity. Several times with several different powders. I think the pressure is higher but velocity is not in some of these loads. If it happens once I load ten more rounds of each and test again and sometimes it is predictable with some powders. I don't recall if RL-22 is one of the powders but I use a lot of that stuff.

    As for MRP good stuff for sure but it was RL-22 that changed the old RL-22 and MRP were essentially the same powder as for burn rate and usage.

    MRP hasn't been brought into the country but twice (unless there is a recent import) and I think the last time was when I brought it in 1990. The Alliant powders are made in Sweden also. I still have about 80 pounds (.5 kilo) of Norma powder down at the farm, that should get me through a couple of winters.
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    When MRP went off the shelves here in Alaska there was waling an gnashing of teeth. Just about everybody that shot overbore .30 cals was in love with MRP, but with the notice that NORMA was no longer going to bring it into the country, there was many a sad hunter/shooter in Alaska.

    When I first became aware of RL-22 was good old MRP, I was right back on it and have gone through several cases of kegs.

    However for .30-06 and .375H&H I stay with 4350, I'm settled in my mind that it's the top powder for these two mentioned ctgs.

    As to the enigma with mag primers, I seldom use them. I have a case of WINCHESTER LRM on the shelf, with less than a few hundred used from the case. Why I bought it, I can't even remember?
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    Did you try a mag primer from a different lot number? How about a different brand mag primer?
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    Not yet. I could not go to the range this weekend since I was flying.

    I need to try a couple different combinations. Every time I try to start reloading some more rounds, something comes up.


    Plus I want to try these loads in a longer barrel.
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  12. #12
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Did you try a mag primer from a different lot number? How about a different brand mag primer?

    I would like to see if someone would test mag primers V/ standard primers in real cold weather, shoot the same loads in this weather over your chrony and do the same at twenty below. I did this many years ago when I lived in Fairbanks and thought the reading were nuts. That's where I found the standard primers giving more velocity than the mags. I have been confused about that to this day. Of course cold weather is going to give less pressure.
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