Need help identifying rogue primers


October 1, 2003, 07:44 PM
I'm cleaning up around the press and noticed a few primers laying around. How can I tell the difference between a LARGE PISTOL and LARGE RIFLE primer? Same goes for SMALL RIFLE and SMALL PISTOL primers? I opened up a box of primers and tried to figure out which ones were which but they all look the same???:confused:

Just out of curiosity, what would happen if a small pistol primer was fired in a rifle shell? They look like they would fit?

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October 1, 2003, 11:09 PM
I'd trash em and move on.
Even if identified, I wouldn't load em due to high likelyhood of contamination.

Tip....don't pick em off the floor with wife's new Orek vacuum.:D
Tank vacuum works fine as long as it SUCKS THROUGH the bag.


October 1, 2003, 11:17 PM
I had heard (but can't verify) that large pistol and large rifle are similar enough to interchange. Major difference is said to be the hardness rather than the charge.

Again, I can't verify this, but I seem to remember a discussion from some time ago on the subject.

October 1, 2003, 11:19 PM
Soda .. I have had same dilemma .. and I abhor waste!

Small pistol in rifle however might allow perforation because rifle primers generally thick gauge metal tho dimentionally same IIRC. Small rifle in handgun round may give FTF cos of the increased harness.

If it's not too many laying about then .... trash em! Or ... put on your safety glasses and enjoy whacking em under a hammer on a hard surface ... at least you get a bang!!:D

Black Snowman
October 2, 2003, 12:09 AM
A really loud bang. I had one go off in my progressive press and it made my ears ring for a few minutes. Not good. Whacking isn't particularly safe.

I'd load them up in empty cases and shoot them. That would let you do some hardness experimentation with them, get the bang, and be somewhat safer than smacking them with a hammer :)

October 2, 2003, 12:13 PM
Ah, so you're not using CCI (yellow or tan-color paper/laquer inside large primers) for one and Winchester (red) for the others?

IIRC (all appropriate cautions), the Large Rifle primers are a bit taller and won't fully seat in large pistol primer pockets. The small size are all the same size, rifle and pistol.

Treat small rifle like small pistol magnum primers, and fire away. The .38 Stupid shooters in the days of single-stack guns did it all the time and I heard of no reliability problems related to the primers not lighting. :fire: If your pistol won't light rifle primers, take that as a hint that maybe you've messed with the springs a bit too much :fire: Treat them as practice rounds and consider it reliability testing.

Banging primers on an anvil or vise is okay with SMALLER than-.50 BMG primers, with full-wrap eye protection for the fairly rare flying cup fragment or renegade escaped primer anvil. The only real risk is mere flesh wounds, so wear long sleeves and gloves if your appearance is really important to you (any lingerie models in the group?:uhoh: Didn't think so!).

They ARE loud.

Steve Smith
October 2, 2003, 05:34 PM
I agree with Sam. Toss em.

Art Eatman
October 2, 2003, 06:02 PM
Save'em for entertainment at a later date!

A gunsmith buddy of mine gave me a 1/2-pint milk carton full of "stray" primers. I decided they'd make a good target, out at my 100-yard backstop, "testing" my .243.

Interesting crater, and the backstop had a multitude of pockmarks.

:), Art

October 2, 2003, 06:33 PM
I waste quite a few primers. If they just hit the table I flip em and use em (I always start with a clean table), but if they hit the floor I trash em. Ditto if I have to touch them with my fingers like when the Dillon spits em out once in a while.

When in doubt throw them out.

October 2, 2003, 06:43 PM
A final ''fun'' thought for unidentified primers ... small pistol/rifle size ......

Take a .177 pellet, preferably one of those flat nose ones. Using fast epoxy or similar .... add to pellet nose a suitable size lead shot, on center ... probably a #8 adequate .... and then atop that a dap of epoxy to hold primer, by the anvil.. again centered and reasonably square to pellet nose.

When fired at a hard object thru pellet rifle, they do make rather a nice crack!!:evil: :D

October 3, 2003, 01:34 AM
Interesting crater, and the backstop had a multitude of pockmarks. Hmmmmm, bout out of microwaves.
Maby time to try primer excavations.:)

Sam one sick puppy. You made me think of a whole sleeve of primers, some elmers glue and a few tubes of BBs. Semi claymore.

October 3, 2003, 12:51 PM
I'm not even going to talk about field-expedient grenades. Expensive but nasty.

Art Eatman
October 3, 2003, 05:59 PM
Sick? Nahhh...There are just those times when I feel compelled to make noises or disassemble things. You know how it is when you get "tempted".

True temptation = a bunch of leftover dynamite. :D


October 3, 2003, 10:49 PM
You guys must have a ball on the 4th of July and New Years. I wonder how much of your reloading supplies you detonate.:evil:

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