Well I've Got a Brick of Federal Magnum Small Pistol Primers


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Eagle103
January 7, 2007, 07:19 PM
And I'll never use them all for what I bought them for (H110 loads). First, would there be any risk in using some for .38 Special loads with Unique, 231, or Power Pistol? Second, do I really need to worry about a detonation with my RCBS hand primer? RCBS makes no mention of a risk but Lee says not to use them at all. :confused:

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Ol` Joe
January 7, 2007, 08:06 PM
1st. I tend to use the primer recommended for the load I`m loading if possible. I doubt you will have much trouble with the mag primers vs std but one never knows.
I wouldn`t worry about the Federal in your RCBS tool. I know Lee doesn`t suggest you use them in theirs , but I am sure I have run at least 5-6K Federal primers of both rifle and pistol persuation through mine without a hic-up. Matter of fact I`ve wore two Lee tools out and they all have seen Federal primers.
My dad did once pop a primer useing the priming arm of his press to seat them in either 38s or 357s. Don`t know the brand, but he did use a lot of Winchesters. Keep the case mouth pointed away from you and you`ll be OK.

JJE
January 7, 2007, 08:17 PM
If you compare .38 Spl load data using standard primers and .357 magnum loads using magnum primers, it appears that the magnum primers can cause significantly higher pressures with the same powder charge (and that's even with the higher capacity of the magnum case!). I would say that using magnum primers in a load that calls for standard primers totally invalidates the load data - I wouldn't do it.

Jim Watson
January 7, 2007, 08:19 PM
What gun?
I would not worry about .38 Specials with Magnum primers in a magnum gun. I would stick with the "starting load" if for a .38 Special revolver, especially a small frame.

Eagle103
January 7, 2007, 09:01 PM
The gun is a Taurus 66 .357. I was thinking about using mid level .38 loads in .357 cases since that's what brass and dies I have.
.357 loads use almost twice as much powder so I'm thinking it would be hard to reach .357 pressures by simply using a magnum primer but I'm asking you guys to be sure it's OK.
I wonder if Lee saying to stay away from Federal has anything to do with the fact that ATK owns both RCBS and Federal.

Sharps Shooter
January 7, 2007, 09:27 PM
"I wonder if Lee saying to stay away from Federal has anything to do with the fact that ATK owns both RCBS and Federal."

Really? What does "ATK" stand for? Just curious. I was under the impression that RCBS, Speer and CCI were all parts of the same corporation. I didn't know Federal was too.

Eagle103
January 7, 2007, 09:32 PM
Yup. Right here in their company profile.
http://www.atk.com/ProductsSolutions/conventionalammo_overview.asp

Steve C
January 7, 2007, 10:04 PM
Nothing wrong with using your magnum primers with either magnum rounds or non-magnum rounds. If you where laoding .38 spl cases and since the magnum primer is a change in component you should work your loads back up starting at 10% less than the max load listed or at the suggested start load in the manual. Since you are downloading .357 mag ammo to be shot in a .357 mag gun you will have no problems with Unique or Win 231. Do not however down load your H110 below the recommended start load as this powder is load density sensitive and will generate squib loads if the load density is dropped much lower than 3% under maximum load. Shooting light loads will not give you any problems as long as you have enough powder to push the bullet out the end of the barrel.

Sharps Shooter
January 7, 2007, 10:06 PM
I'll be darned! I learn something new everytime I visit this forum.:)
It seems kinda unlikely though that Lee would recommend against using Federal primers just because Federal and RCBS are both owned by ATK. I mean it appears that CCI is owned by ATK also, and Lee doesn't recommend against using CCI primers do they?
At any rate, my hand priming tool is an RCBS. I've seated tens of thousands of primers with it, using either CCI, Winchester or Federal primers, (depending on what cartridges I'm loading) and never set a primer off accidentally.

Eagle103
January 7, 2007, 10:09 PM
it appears that CCI is owned by ATK also, and Lee doesn't recommend against using CCI primers do they?
That's a good point. So maybe there is something to it.:confused:

Jim Watson
January 7, 2007, 10:53 PM
Nothing to do with corporate ownership, Federal primers are notably more sensitive than other brands. Lee says if you pop one in the Lee priming tool, Federals are at risk of chain firing, CCI and Winchester not. As I recall, Lee is kind of lukewarm on Remington primers.

I have never popped a primer in any sort of handloading tool or operation, but then I have only been doing it since 1970. I remain careful.

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