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Thread: Pistol primers in rifle cartridges?

  1. #1

    Default Pistol primers in rifle cartridges?

    I am loading up a bunch of 30-30s with a 118 gr gas checked lead bullets on top of 10 grains of Bule Dot with a little pillow stuffing to keep the powder next to the primer.

    I just got all set up and realized that I was fresh out of large rifle primers. However I have 2000 large pistol primers that were in the wrong place on the shelf making me think they were large rifle primers until I read the box. My question is since these are very much reduced loads and I am using pistol powder. Will it hurt anything to use the large pistol primers in this application? They are magnum large pistol primers if that makes a difference.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I am loading up a bunch of 30-30s with a 118 gr gas checked lead bullets on top of 10 grains of Bule Dot with a little pillow stuffing to keep the powder next to the primer.

    I just got all set up and realized that I was fresh out of large rifle primers. However I have 2000 large pistol primers that were in the wrong place on the shelf making me think they were large rifle primers until I read the box. My question is since these are very much reduced loads and I am using pistol powder. Will it hurt anything to use the large pistol primers in this application? They are magnum large pistol primers if that makes a difference.
    I've no actual experience in using Pistol Primers in Rifle Cases.

    I don't see any safety issues, as far as pressure is concerned.

    I can think of a couple of other issues.

    Reportedly, Pistol Primers have a softer cup, than Rifle Primers, so you could POSSIBLY pierce a primer. (Rifles hit primers harder. ???)

    Also, Large Pistol Primers are smaller in heigth than Large Rifle Primers, although they are they are the same diameter. They would seat a little deeper in the pocket of a Rifle case. Since the primer would then be slightly further from the firing pin, that could POSSIBLY effect ignition.

    I think it would depend on the gun, as to whether this will make a difference.

    I wouldn't be afraid to try it.

    Smitty of the North
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  3. #3
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    I suppose that the shorter primer moving to the rear as it's fired could cause a pierced primer. I would load and shoot a couple before loading a bunch but I doubt there will be a problem. See if it leaves a really deep primer dent or not.

  4. #4

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    I agree with Smitty: shouldn't cause a problem, not with that load. Not at the low pressures you would be dealing with. I have on several occasions used magnum pistol primers in my 45/70 without any issues, no pierced primers, etc. The slightly deeper seating of the pistol primers did not seem to cause any problems. Accuracy and function did not seem to be affected at all. (with a recent Marlin 1895) But we are not dealing with high pressures either. I wouldn't try this in any cartridge/load generating over about 40K-45K of pressure...pistol primers are just not designed for the higher levels. Just IMO...

    Marshall/Ak
    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

  5. #5

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    EKC - Go to the sporting goods store and get some rifle primers. Winter, cold snow - go to the sporting goods store. . . Come back, get warm, maybe some coffee with a tiny additive, just one, then load those rifle primers. hee, hee

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    EKC - Go to the sporting goods store and get some rifle primers. Winter, cold snow - go to the sporting goods store. . . Come back, get warm, maybe some coffee with a tiny additive, just one, then load those rifle primers. hee, hee
    Yeah, but dang it, I wanna use those pistola primers....just cuz!

    I mean a Marlin 1894 hammers on pistol primers all the time...same hammer same springs as a 336. What makes the difference other than them pistol primers being a bit shorter. If the firing pin still gets to them than I can't see the harm. See there I just talked myself into it!

  7. #7

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    Well, then stay warm, forget the Toddy and get to it, O mighty Hunter of tasty venison!

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Go to the sporting goods store, buy a pistol to use up the pistom primers, and a case of rifle primers

    You've been informed of the caveats and risks. I can't recomend it, but as I recall I have done it on occasion in similar scenarios and didn't have any problems. Caveat emptor.

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    Evil Knievil was always up for trying new things - right???
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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