Using magnum primers on lighter 357 loads vs standard primers...


December 13, 2006, 08:58 PM
I have some rounds I loaded with about 6 gr of 231 and a 158 plated at about 1100-1200 fps. I loaded them with mag primer per the winchester site ( they call for them on all 357 loads). I've heard from some people that I should be using standard primers what are your opinions and if i should use standard will these loads cause any problems?

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December 13, 2006, 09:10 PM
I use standard small pistol primers with w-231 , unique and blue dot.

December 13, 2006, 10:52 PM
Any harm?

Steve C
December 14, 2006, 12:15 AM
Its generally a good idea to use the components listed in the load data you are following. The originator of the data may be using magnum primers to standardize on a primer type for a particular cartridge or there may be a more important reason they're using a mag primer ie to avoid squibs or other issues. If you cross reference data from various sources and you find published loads from one source that uses magnum primers and other sources show the same load you are using as valid with standard primers then you can use either one. Take a look at the listed velocites and see if one gives better performance than the other.

If you buy the "ONE BOOK/ONE CALIBER" compiled manuals it makes it a lot easier to compare load data from different sources.

December 14, 2006, 12:44 AM
Why don't you all settle this by contacting Alliant. Their Customer Service Mgr., Ben Ammonette can settle this for the Unique powder. He can be reached at

He just recommended a nice load for 158 gr. plated bullet in .357 Mag with 6.5 gr of Unique, with a standard small pistol primer. He is the authority in this area and is responsible for overseeing their printed loading guide.

As to Win 231, contact Hodgdon and see what they say since they now have the Winchester line of powders.

I think the magnum primers may be required with the slower burning, large particle sized powders but that is only a guess.:confused:

Johnny Guest
December 16, 2006, 03:13 AM
Posts which consist mostly of useless, silly, bickerding will be removed when I see 'em. I hope this is all that is needful.


Ben Shepherd
December 16, 2006, 09:35 AM
Minus, to clear up confusion:

The magnum or standard primer issue is based on the powder used, not the caliber. If you have any questions on which is correct for your chosen powder, contact the manufacturer of the powder in question, and they'll clear it up for you.

As for the load you put together, I don't know if it's safe or not, I've never used that fast of a powder in 357 magnum applications. I do know that regardless of caliber, folks that load 231 seem to use standard primers almost exclusively.

If you used winchester primers, and that load is listed in current manuals you should be fine. Winchester makes "one-size-fits all" primers, for both standard and magnum applications. If that load is at the top of the charts, and you've used a dedicated magnum primer from say, federal, CCI, or remington, I would be a little leary of it, unless you're launching it out of one of the larger framed/stonger 357(N-frame, GP100, redhawk, etc.)

December 19, 2006, 10:00 AM
Great load. Worked fine.

Ben Shepherd
December 19, 2006, 10:18 AM
What gun did you shoot them in?

December 20, 2006, 07:40 PM
Call me crazy, but I have gotten to where I only use Standard small pistol primers in .357mag, using Unique, Blue Dot and 2400 with 158gr SWC'ers.
All my loads just seem to be more accurate this way. Again, call me crazy. :scrutiny:

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