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Thread: Can I safely switch primers?

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Can I safely switch primers?

    I'm new to reloading and my buddy has been helping me out with it, but I have a question.

    First off, I am loading Nosler 240 grain JHP with 23 grains of H110 for BOTH .44 handgun & rifle. Nosler data indicates to use large pistol primers for handgun. Nosler (at least I couldn't find it) didn't have rifle data. Hodgdon powder recommended the same primer in their rifle loading data.

    Speer (and Sierra, I believe) recommended large pistol magnum primers for their 240g jhp's.

    Nosler/Speer/Sierra/Hogdon all recommend loads of about 20.8-24 grains of H110 for handgun/rifle.

    Here's my question: Am I going to kill myself if I go ahead and use magnum primers with Nosler 240g jhp and 23 grains of H110? I actually want to load 10-12 or each (magnum and non-magnum) and chrono them. I'm assuming I'd get better performance from the magnum primers.

    Thanks for reading my long winded post!

    Tim

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Changing ignition is a time-honored method of trying to improve accuracy, and at some point in their reloading career most folks will do it either out of accident, curiosity or necessity.

    That being said; when I intentionally change primers, I always drop the loads back about half-way between where it currently sits and the minimum and then work my way up. In your case that means dropping from your current 23gr to about 21.4gr and building back up. At minimum loads I'll substitue any same-sized primer (LPM for LP, CCI for Federal, etc) and not worry about it, working up the load development like I would with a wildcat cartridge.

    Something to consider: You may not get higher velocity with magnum primers. In fact, you may notice no difference at all except they are sometimes more difficult to ignite reliably. In the big cases where there is empty space between the powder and the bullet, a magnum primer tends to blow the powder around a bit more, causing slightly less-uniform ignition which usually results in larger extreme spread and reduced accuracy.

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Here's my question: Am I going to kill myself if I go ahead and use magnum primers with Nosler 240g jhp and 23 grains of H110?
    In this particular instance, I doubt you'll see any harm come your way. My standard .44 Magnum load is 24.0gr of H110 or W296, 240gr bullets, and a magnum primer. In fact, I never use a standard primer with H110/W296. I only use magnum primers with these powders.

    Another warning that comes with H110/W296 powders is listed on page 16 of Hodgdon's Reloading Data Booklet states, "H110 and W296 loads should not be reduced more than 3% due to inconsistency of velocity at the lower pressure."

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    Were it me, I'd go ahead with the switcheroo but load only five rounds and fire them to confirm all is well before I loaded a gob more.
    It doesn't matter what you miss them with.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Excellent! Thanks, guys. You all gave me some good tidbits. Regarding the load I was looking at, it is a compressed load so the magnum primer should be ok, according to what dieselnut said.

    Dan, my buddy is the same way. He was surprised when I told him that the data recommended a non-magnum primer. I didn't know not to reduce below 3%.

    I'm trying to load cartridges that I can interchangeable shoot in both my Redhawk & .44 levergun. My fear of reducing the load is that the minimum load was 22.8 grains for the rifle. Is it possible that the bullet would lodge in the .44 levergun if I reduced it to 21.4 like dieselnut suggested?

    KClark-you're right too, I don't want to load 300 cartridges and find out I'm pullin' 300 bullets!

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    In this particular instance, I doubt you'll see any harm come your way. My standard .44 Magnum load is 24.0gr of H110 or W296, 240gr bullets, and a magnum primer. In fact, I never use a standard primer with H110/W296. I only use magnum primers with these powders.

    Another warning that comes with H110/W296 powders is listed on page 16 of Hodgdon's Reloading Data Booklet states, "H110 and W296 loads should not be reduced more than 3% due to inconsistency of velocity at the lower pressure."
    Yup, what he said. Mag primers with H110/W296 and don't light load these powders. I have replaced H110/W296 with LilGun due to it being much cleaner and giving the same or better velocity at less pressure.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    I'm trying to load cartridges that I can interchangeable shoot in both my Redhawk & .44 levergun. My fear of reducing the load is that the minimum load was 22.8 grains for the rifle. Is it possible that the bullet would lodge in the .44 levergun if I reduced it to 21.4 like dieselnut suggested?
    Tim
    Diesel nut said drop halfway between your load and the minimum data. You should never go under min data with H110/W296, he is likely looking at different data than you so use his formula not his actual numbers.


    H110/W296 and LilGun are all on the slow end of handgun powders in burn rate so will all perform well in a longer barrel of a rifle even at min data loads.
    Andy
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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Yup, what he said. Mag primers with H110/W296 and don't light load these powders. I have replaced H110/W296 with LilGun due to it being much cleaner and giving the same or better velocity at less pressure.
    Which company makes LilGun or where do I get info for it?

    Tim

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    It's a Hodgdon powder also, most newer books have data for it.
    Andy
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