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Thread: Primer Low Downs

  1. #1

    Default Primer Low Downs

    One aspect of reloading I do not understand yet is how to choose the right primer for your load. There are many different manufacturer's and many different types of primers for the task at hand. For example, I have been loading for 44 mag. Some loads use large pistol primers and some use large magnum pistol primers. Some people say it doesnt matter and some say it's the difference between a good shooting group and dissapointment.

    I have used Remington, CCI, Winchester, and Federal primers but I do not have enough experience between these brands with each round I load for to tell the difference.

    Is choosing a primer for your load more of a trial and error learning experience or should a reloader stick to the data down to a T? Between the different primer manufacturer's how do you choose the right maker? Is it safe to use a non mangum primer if a magnum rifle or visa versa?

  2. #2
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    I've been wondering this very same thing!
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  3. #3
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    Default Prime the Pump...

    General Rule with Primers;

    For magnum or large capacity handgun rounds, with the slower burning powders such as H110, W296, H4227, N110, Lil'Gun, Use Magnum pistol Primers. The brand is up to you some may prove to be better than others.

    For magnum or large capacity handgun rounds using faster burning powder, as for reduced loads, such as Unique, Blue Dot, N350, 3N37, Universal, SR4756... Use Standard Pistol primers.

    You can use only Magnum primers for all loads in large capacity cases with good results but not use standard primers with any loads with the slower powders. When using the ball powders such as H110, W296, Lil'Gun. Only use magnum primers for best ignition.

    Large capacity handgun rounds are 357 mag, 41 mag, 44 mag, 45 Colt, 480 Ruger, 45 Win mag, 44 auto-mag, 50 DE, etc. The 454 Casull and 500 S&W use small and large rifle primers (respectively)and the pockets are different dimensions.
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    Let the loading manuals be your guide.

    Generally speaking, Magnum primers are for large cases, and/or slower burn rate powders.

    This is true in both Rifle and Handgun cartridges. For example, you might want to use a Magnum Primer in a 357 or 44 Magnum round, especially, if you're using something like 2400.

    I notice that Magnum primers are often recommended for rifle cartridge loads that use Ball Powder.

    Some people switch primer brands as another way of tuning their loads, or to solve ignition problems.

    Reportedly, Magnum primers work more reliably in extremely cold weather.

    I've not had many adventures with primer brands. I normally use CCI, and Standard or Magnum, whichever the loading manual calls for.
    Smitty of the North

  5. #5
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Primers

    For Magnum Guns use Magnum primers........

    rule: when using ball powders use mag primers with W760 I use WLRM primers

    Primer selection plays a big part in accuracy, uaually the milder primers will give the best accuracy.

    I use the Federal Match 210 and 215 alot.

    With Varget powder I use the CCI Br2 primer.

    With my 308 Win target rifle I use Rem 9 1/2 and RWS 5341 primers the mildest primer with 92' Palma Brass.

    And I use RCBS Hand priming tool to seat the primers.
    Alaska

  6. #6

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    I recently ran out of magnum pistol primers, I had 5 rounds to go and thought HMM? maybe rifle primer will work, well a I wlii save you the trouble......5 rounds 2 hang fires on the rifle primers, 20000 rounds 0 hangs on pistol primers.....coincedence, I think not.

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Pistol Primers

    Do not use rifle primers in pistols!!!!!!!!! may cause excessive pressure......exception some of the Large 454 etc.......call for Small Rifle pistol primers
    Alaska

  8. #8

    Default primer primer

    Just a little side note; powder loading density can be a factor, whether in large capacity handgun or rifle cases. The ball powders have very dense loadings, so a hotter primer is better for fuller more reliable ignition. Stick powders don't give the same problems in most cases, unless the quantity is quite high.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Some basic differences between primers, pistol primers are made with softer cups, so they require a gentler striker from the firing pin or stiker to ignite, but that also means that can't hold as much pressure and can be pierced more easily. So don't use pistol primers in a rifle, as you run the risk of piercing the primer and getting a face full of hot high pressure gas and/or damaging your gun. As I recall the height of small pistol and small rifle primers is the same, but large rifle primers are taller than large pistol primers. Military primers are harder still, and guns with weaker springs might not reliably fire them.

    I've personally had very good results with CCI 300 and 350 primers in magnum pistol rounds, I use the 300's with unique for mild/mid range loads and the 350's for H-110.

    For rifles I use Fed 210 and 215. As far as when to go to the magnum primer there is some debate on that. I personally use the std primer on charges up to 70 gr of powder and get reliable ignition and great accuracy, and I use the 215's in the cases burning 80 or more grains of powder. Some powders have detterent coatings and are more difficult to ignite and hence may need a mag primer to get consistant ignition with smaller charges.

    The main thing to remember is, if you change primers, start your load work over and work up to a max load. Personally I've settled on the primers I use and will change powders before messing with primers. If I have a gun that is so finicky as to what load it likes that I have to try every primer under the sun, then I'll dump the gun before spending all that time tweaking loads.

  10. #10

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    Is the Remington 2 1/2 primer a magnum primer? Whats your general though on Remington primers?

  11. #11
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Rem 9.5 primer

    The Rem 9.5 primer is very cool burning, proably the most cooler next too RWS 5341........a real good primer in the 308 Win for target shooting with IMR 4895.

    No the 2 1/2 is not a mag primer

    Elmer Kieth on loading the 44 Mag with 2400.......good reading material...
    Alaska

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    Thank'yew, mauserboy:

    I've always wondered why ball powders would require a Magnum primer.

    Smitty of the North

  13. #13

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    On the can of my H110 it says to use a Rem 2 1/2 primer when loading 44 mags with 280 Sft. JSP and 20.5 gr. of h110. Why not a mag primer?

  14. #14
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Primer

    They make a 280gr for the 44 mag?

    If you are using H110 I like the Fed Match Large Mag Pistol Primers, but reg Large pistol primers will work just fine.

    Get a reloading book.......I prefer Sierra!
    Alaska

  15. #15

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    That's just what it says on the can. I have a couple of reloading manuals a Nosler, a couple of one caliber complete manuals, and a few of those cheesy paper books from the powder mfg companies. The one caliber books have been HUGE in my quest to reload.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    On the can of my H110 it says to use a Rem 2 1/2 primer when loading 44 mags with 280 Sft. JSP and 20.5 gr. of h110. Why not a mag primer?
    How old is that "can" of H110? The 2 1/2 is Remington's 'magnum' large pistol primer. I don't think they are very hot.

    H110 needs a very hot spark and a heavy bullet pull (weight and crimp) to give uniform ignition. The bullet will probably come out the barrel but the load ignition will be irratic.

    The Remington No. 2 1/2 primer is the large pistol standard and magnum primer, they only make one, it isn't very hot. I think the 1 1/2 is the small pistol standard primer. The Remington small rifle standard is No. 6 1/2 and the magnum small rifle is the 7 1/2. It is also their Bench Rest primer for small rifle. The 7 1/2 is also the small pistol magnum primer. The 9 1/2 is standard large rifle and the 9 1/2 m is magnum large rifle.

    I like the 7 1/2 for 454 Casull loads with some powders and like the 9 1/2 for straight cases with fast extruded (not ball) powder. The 45-70 and RL-7 or H322, the 405 WCF and RL-7 with the 9 1/2 works great.

    Isn't it interesting how a primer can be used as a magnum or standard....some times it does not matter. I think that magnum small rifle and magnum small pistol primers made by CCI are also the same primer in different boxes. Also small rifle and small pistol have the exact same pocket dimensions. When large primers are used they are different dimensionally and by the amount of priming and should be used in appropriate places. You can use only magnum primers for all large rifle and large pistol applications but it will change the performance and loads must be adjusted accordingly.

    Also someone brought out following the manuals...great idea. Every handloader should own and use at least three loading manuals. Read them they have good info about a lot of things.
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