How to use 209 primers in .44 Mag shells?


June 20, 2008, 11:37 PM
I know the cowboy action shooters like to practice with wax bullets in their revolver powered only by a primer. Some use 209 shotgun primers, or so I've heard.

I'd like to load up some 209s in my Blackhawk, with nothing else, just for a noise maker to scare off things in the yard. I do not currently have any reloading tools or experience. Can somebody tell me how big of hole I would need to drill for a 209 primer? How do I pop the old ones out? (I only want to convert 6 shells)

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June 21, 2008, 11:21 AM
You can drive spent primers out of the empty cases with a 1/16" pin punch and a hammer.

I have no idea what size hole you would need to drill for 209 shotgun primers.

Your best bet would be to measure some 209 primers and select the proper size drill bit.

If I was just to hazard a guess, I'd try a 15/64" bit to start with.


June 21, 2008, 01:12 PM
Check out:

Might be easier for you to order already made up cases if all you want is six. Scroll down the page for his ready made cases.

Also read the FAQ regarding round dome 209's sticking the cylinder.

June 21, 2008, 02:26 PM
I have a dumb question... why not just use a standard large pistol primer?

June 21, 2008, 02:52 PM

I think the OP was wanting to scare birds with 209 primer "blanks".
Not shoot wax bullets.

And he doesn't have reloading tools to re-prime with standard pistol primers.

As I understood his question, he wanted the 209 primers to be self-contained "blanks" he could stick in his modified cases by hand pressure alone.


June 21, 2008, 04:50 PM
Just measured some Winchester 209 primers and Remington STS 209 primers. The Winchester's were approximately .244 thousandths and Remington Premiers were .242. That's approximate since the diameters are not perfectly true and round. It'd be hard to just use a drill and get the exact hole size. 15/64 (.2344) will get you close as drilled holes tend to come out a few thou. bigger than the drill diameter but drilling with the 15/64 followed by a number 45 drill should get close to fit using Win primers. If the fit were too loose you could use a punch and peen the drilled hole to tighten the fit. Large pistol primers measure about .211 so you can just let your drill push it out if you drill the hole from the inside.

June 21, 2008, 05:25 PM
Perfect...just so I'm clear, all I gotta do is drill the right size hole and pop one in? And this is perfectly safe? I guess I'll just go buy some primers and start drilling some test holes. :)

And yes, I'm just trying to make "blanks", I've heard that 209s can be louder than .22 blanks, does anyone know if this is true?

June 21, 2008, 06:12 PM
How loud are std large pistol magnum primers? They would be cheaper and less trouble.

June 21, 2008, 06:25 PM
loud enough to get you into trouble for touching one off behind your wife while she's doing dishes...

June 21, 2008, 07:25 PM
I can verify that 209's are loud. My brother and I, years back, decided to find out by setting one on top of the muzzle of a red-ryder BB gun held skyward. Sounded about like a 20-gauge going off. I don't recall sitting for a while.

Never tried it, then or since, with any other primers actually.

.38 Special
June 21, 2008, 07:52 PM
I use the shells from Thought about drilling some myself, but for $1.50 each including shipping I just decided it was easier to let them do it. The primers literally fall into the shells and fall back out when done. There isn't even what I'd call "hand pressure" involved. They just sit in their little bevel in the case.

Shotshell primers are very loud. Much louder than magnum primers in a handgun. It's been a few years since I fired .22 blanks, and I don't have any on hand to compare with the shotshell primers, but I'd have to say that the primers seem louder than the .22s, at least as far as I can recall.

June 22, 2008, 02:05 AM
Can't you cut down a .410 bore shotgun hull? Doesn't that fit in your 45 Colt chamber? You won't need fancy press equipment to pop out the old primer and push a new one in. Reprime with simple tools just like the Lee Loader does.
If you drill out 45 Colt brass for a 209 primer, don't you need to countersink the hole so the 209 primer flange fits flush with the base? Otherwise the primer sticks out and the cylinder won't turn.
In my county, it is illegal to discharge a primed case while you're in a residential zone, even if it's just a primer in an empty case. Check your local laws. Out of respect, make sure your neighbors know what you're doing so they don't call 911 when they hear gunshots at your house.

June 22, 2008, 03:13 AM
.44 MAGNUM not .45 COLT And yes it probably is still discharging a firearm , whether there is a bullet in the case or not. I guess it depends where you are , when and what you do with this gun and primer loaded case. Depending on where ,when and what ,you could end in jail or not. It DEPENDS. It is also very hard to hold the round cases while you drill them, they seem to spin before you finish drilling and screw up the finish. I have tried a few methods of holding the case, but none have worked well. I believe a lathe might hold them the best but I don't have one.

June 22, 2008, 08:14 AM
besides, if he used a cut off shotgun shell, the primer would be pressed in. that is what he is trying to get away from.

June 22, 2008, 06:50 PM
Out of respect, make sure your neighbors know what you're doing so they don't call 911 when they hear gunshots at your house.

LOL, my neighbors are all used to loud bangs coming from my house. :D I just looked up the city code last night, and it is legal to shoot blanks as long as you have a good reason. (AKA, skunks in the yard) I bought a box of CCI 209s yesterday, I'll just play around with some drill bits and see what works.

June 22, 2008, 08:06 PM
for blanks i take about 3grs of clays in a case held in by a card cut from card board , talk about a noise!!!!!


June 23, 2008, 12:24 AM
Yeah, I hope to start making 'real' blanks at some point, but I just don't have any reloading tools right now. I think I'm going to switch from .44 to .45 colt so I don't want to invest yet.

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