Primer comparison


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NC-Mike
December 3, 2008, 10:40 PM
I said I was going to do this because of my concern of Federal primers that appear flattened. As I just started reloading, this was mainly for my own education but I'll share it anyway. All these were fired with a 5.4gr charge of Widener's CPP powder with a 9mm FMJ 115gr bullet.

Here are 40 loaded rounds. The first two vertical rows on the left are CCI, then Federal, Remington and then Winchester.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/Primercomparisonloaded.jpg

Here they are fired. Again starting from the left vertical stack; CCI, Federal, Remington, Winchester.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/Primercomparisonfired.jpg


The Federal primers still appear to take on the most prominent flattening and imprinting of the breechface. The rest of the primers do have some slight breechface imprinting but not near as distinct. The Federal primers also seemed to take the least effort to seat. Are Federal primers "soft"? I would think that is a true statement. When The Federal primers I have are used up, I don't think I will be buying them again. I don't have a preference for the others. Either CCI, Remington or Winchester would be fine. Federal, not so much...






As a side note. When I was at the range I was looking around for some brass and found 34- 45 ACP reloads someone tossed in the trash. They looked OK so I took them home and broke them down. That inertia puller I bought came in handy. These rounds came apart with very little effort. One good tap and the bullet was out. They didn't seem to be crimped at all. One good push against the bench would set the bullet back .025 or more. A couple of the wad-cutters were severely set-back and one had a nice dent where it was dropped or didn't feed. I guess he got fed up and tossed the live rounds in the trash.

When I got them home and started pulling them, I swear the first one had less than a grain of powder in it. :)

I started weighing some of the charges and they varied from 4.4 to 4.8 grains. I don't know what kind of powder he used but it is distinctive as one side appears dull the other shiny. It looks like a ball powder.

He also screwed up a primer pretty good. It was so bad, the round wouldn't even stand up without falling over cause he smashed in the primer so bad on one side. I found several others with high primers. I'm going to Deprime these rounds and prime them myself just to make sure the primer pocket is OK.

I got a little more education and 4- 200 grain semi-wad cutters, 13- 230 grain round nose, 17- 185 grain flat nose bullets and some brass for my trouble. I just started reloading but even I know the guy that loaded these rounds should stop reloading. The bullets look like they are plated and they still measure out at .452

Here's a pic of the the powder. Maybe someone can ID it.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/Found.jpg

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1858rem
December 3, 2008, 11:46 PM
i have used fed for the last 400 rds because they are cheap, 7.5 gr of unique flattened an imprinted them ...... in 45 colt(long) at less than 13000 psi! what a joke:neener:. i dont use them to work new loads, just run existing target loads i have, omg those were SOOOO flat with 8.5gr unique, 255g rnfp. i have cci and win also but cost about a dollar more than fed so i use fed. i actually bought the store out of all the large pistol primers, not much really just 2300, i need a few more cases at the 500+/month im at currently(casting makes it sooooo cheap and im going to get 400+ free lbs of lead off my uncle too!)

1858rem
December 3, 2008, 11:48 PM
i just got some universal yesterday and fired off a few 7.3 gr 255g rnfp loads and residue was stringy and yellow:barf:, im gonna up the load after trying a firmer crimp, if that doesnt work, ill have to see if the cci or win light it off better, good load currently, 2.5" at 50ft freehand:cool:

The Bushmaster
December 3, 2008, 11:58 PM
I'm sorry, but I see nothing wrong with any of the above primers. They are not flattened as much as mine are. And I use predominantly CCI and Winchester.

Do not try to identify what powder someone else has used. Powders from different times and even today are just plain too similar. Save the bullets. Save the brass. Deprime/resize the cases. And discard the powder on the front lawn...

NC-Mike
December 4, 2008, 12:08 AM
I'm sorry, but I see nothing wrong with any of the above primers. They are not flattened as much as mine are. And I use predominantly CCI and Winchester.

Do not try to identify what powder someone else has used. Powders from different times and even today are just plain too similar. Save the bullets. Save the brass. Deprime/resize the cases. And discard the powder on the front lawn...

I didn't say anything was wrong, that was cleared up before. I was just curious how Federal looked alongside other primers.

And yes BM, I already discarded the powder. I only wondered if someone recognized it in the picture and would know if the charge the guy was using was OK.

.38 Special
December 4, 2008, 01:46 AM
Very good experiment; thanks for sharing the results.

Federal does have the reputation of being the easiest-to-ignite. Those of us with competition guns with extremely light triggers know to stick with Federal as they are often the only things our silly guns will reliably ignite. Recently, there was a bit of an argument here at THR about whether Federals had thinner/more malleable cups or more sensitive priming compounds. The primer compound camp seemed to have won, or were at least the loudest, but your test seems to make the case for thinner cups as well.

Galil5.56
December 4, 2008, 08:36 AM
Looks good, and imprinting of the primer with breechface marks is absolutely normal. Using primers to determine too high of pressures can at times cause false alarms not only because of varying hardness, but by the weapon used.

Many folks will see a "cratered" primer from firearm that uses a chamfered firing pin hole, and instantly say high pressure... Not so. Here are a few hodge podge plinker cases from my Beretta M9 demonstrating the condition.

88679

Even when loaded at barely able to function the slide energy, they show the distinctive mark which is more pronounced with full pressure ammo. Pressure with these loads is extremely low, yet some would say "look at that high pressure cratering"...

As far as the propellant, I'm seeing hell of a mix (blend) going on. I'm sure not fool enough to try to nail a definitive ID, but will say it looks a lot like some 32 year old discontinued HS-5 I have. Both show a very wide range of similar particle size, but so do others.

88680

Walkalong
December 4, 2008, 09:00 AM
That is some interesting looking powder.

You can have overpressure and still not have enough velocity for a given bullet weight to cycle the gun well. If we use too much of a too fast powder we can still get over pressure without good function. A lot of folks are looking for "economy", which is fine, but it usually means little charges of fast powder, which can get folks in trouble much more quickly than medium burning powders, which is what the 9MM really needs anyway.

NC-Mike, your primers look fine, and that surplus powder is around medium speed, so unless you just get carried away I don't see you getting into trouble with it.

LAH
December 4, 2008, 09:21 AM
Nice pictures Mike........Creeker

NC-Mike
December 4, 2008, 11:30 AM
The primer compound camp seemed to have won, or were at least the loudest, but your test seems to make the case for thinner cups as well.

Well those were fired by the same gun with same load. The only variable was any anomaly in the charge being thrown and the mixed head-stamp bass I was using and those are barely significant. The Federals most definitely primed with the least effort and they expanded and flattened significantly more than the other primers, most of which don't even show a sign of flattening.

Softer metal on Federals? Absolutely.

Many folks will see a "cratered" primer from firearm that uses a chamfered firing pin hole, and instantly say high pressure... Not so. Here are a few hodge podge plinker cases from my Beretta M9 demonstrating the condition.


My Remington primers displayed that pattern. They were the only ones that did.

Galil5.56
December 4, 2008, 12:52 PM
Quote:
Many folks will see a "cratered" primer from firearm that uses a chamfered firing pin hole, and instantly say high pressure... Not so. Here are a few hodge podge plinker cases from my Beretta M9 demonstrating the condition.

My Remington primers displayed that pattern. They were the only ones that did.

In your case, who knows why only Rems with your loading. In my situation, Beretta 92 series pistols and some other makes that have a chamfered firing pin hole made that way during manufacture, will display this tell tale "cratering" mark using commercial ammo, or commercial primers in reloads. Kinda like HK fluted chambers... Regardless of ammo used, your gonna get flute marks on the spent case... nature of the beast.

.38 Special
December 4, 2008, 09:28 PM
Galil makes a very good point: primers are a lousy way of determining chamber pressure, no matter who tells you otherwise. You can have a perfectly safe load that shows "pressure signs" according to the primers -- and you can blow right past maximum pressures and have primers that look just fine.

ReloaderFred
December 4, 2008, 11:15 PM
Federal primers are my primer of choice in several calibers, since they are so easy to ignite. When I can find them, I buy them in 5,000 primer cases, minimum.

As noted, looking at primers and expecting to get answers to pressure questions isn't the best way to go. Mixed brass can have different internal volume, which can give you false indications when looking at just the primers. For a diffinitive test, you would need to use all the same brand of brass, preferably from the same lot, weighed charges of powder and the same bullets.

Hope this helps.

Fred

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