What primers are really needed for 223/5.56 NATO??


November 5, 2009, 12:04 PM
I just picked up a Spikes tactical St-15 223/5.56 NATO and I would like to strart reloading for it and came across a question that I tried to answer by useing the search opition but I found so many threads that said to do two diffrent things it made my head hurt, so I'm just going to ask

What I have to start with is hornady 55 grain fmj bullets remington brass and h335 powder. The starting load that I found on hodgdon's web site is 23.0 grains of h335. (practice ammo)

Now to the real question do I need to find primers that are made just for the 223/5.56 or can I just use small rifle primers??

I don't want any so called slam fires I like to be as safe as possible while I'm at the firing range.

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November 5, 2009, 12:40 PM
99.99% of us find that if the gun is in good condition and a Small Rifle primer is seated correctly in its pocket, we don't experience slam fire. Millions upon millions upon millions of 223/556 rounds are fired every year, and slam fires are extremely rare.

There are always a few that have failures and blame the components. That will always happen.

As you know, none of us cannot make your reloading decisions for you. There are excellent primers made for semi-auto rifles, and you made elect to employ those. Ultimately the choice is yours, not ours.

November 5, 2009, 12:43 PM
Most commercial manufacturers use the CCI #41 primer in .223 ammunition to prevent slam fires. It's more of a failsafe than anything as millions of rounds are shot in the AR15 rifles with other than #41 primers and there are no concerns or issues.

November 5, 2009, 12:47 PM
Right now, if you can find any small rifle primers, you better use them.
(Except Rem 6 1/2)

CCI does make a mil-spec primer called the #41.

However, I have used nothing but standard Winchester & CCI SM Rifle primers in AR-15's and Mini-14's for about 40 years now with no problems.

(After I found out in 1970 that smashing them into GI cases with an RCBS press caused doubling!)


November 5, 2009, 12:47 PM
CCI 450's seem to do the trick for me making up my M193 clone using H335 as well.

November 5, 2009, 12:49 PM
Remington 7 1/2's are often recommended as well as CCI 41's which are a military equivalent primer. I've used RP 7 1/2's for years with no problems. Some of the small rifle primers have a thinner cup and are not recommended. Notice in this article that some of the small rifle primers have .025" cups and others are thinner. I'd start at your 23 grains of H335 and work up to 25 grains with RP 7 1/2's in various cases. 24.5-25 grains works well. Others use Win SR or CCI450's but I only have experience with RP 7 1/2's. Do NOT buy Remington 6 1/2's as they are for a few low pressure cartridges and not .223/5.56!!

November 5, 2009, 01:37 PM
WOL223 * WOLF 223 PRIMERS - per 1000 Yes $25.50
WOLLP * WOLF LARGE PISTOL PRIMERS - per 1000 Out of Stock $25.50
WOLLR * WOLF LARGE RIFLE PRIMERS - per 1000 Yes $25.50
WOLLRM * WOLF LARGE RIFLE MAGNUM PRIMERS - per 1000 Out of Stock $25.50
WOLSP * WOLF SMALL PISTOL PRIMERS - per 1000 Out of Stock $25.50
WOLSPM * WOLF SMALL PISTOL MAGNUM PRIMERS - per 1000 Out of Stock $25.50
WOLSR * WOLF SMALL RIFLE PRIMERS - per 1000 Out of Stock $25.50

http://powdervalleyinc.com/ has Wolf primers in stock,,, you can use the sr magnum or the 223

November 5, 2009, 01:54 PM
"What primers are really needed for 223/5.56 NATO?? "

Don't use pistol primers, and large rifle primers won't fit. ??

November 5, 2009, 02:40 PM
I have been using Remington 6 1/2 for sometime now.I called Remington and advised I was loading 223 with Olin 748.They said no problem.I know a man in his 70's that has always used 6 1/2 in 222 and 223. I have fired several hundred rounds of 223 with 748 and 6 1/2 and inspected many of the fired primers. II see no difference in the primer crater. Byron

November 5, 2009, 02:49 PM
I've shot hundreds of Fed 205 with no issues in AR .223 Rem.

I picked up some Rem 7.5, because it was the only 1000cnt I could find.

November 5, 2009, 06:33 PM
I've gone to the cci #41 for all my small rifle primer needs

not only are they reccomended for autoloaders but the also happen to be damn good primers that produce excellent ES figures in my guns. For me that's reason enough to use em

November 6, 2009, 08:52 AM
I will be going to the gun show this weekend and if I can't find any 223 primer s I'll get small rifle primers. I have not shot this rifle and am excited to go out and put some rounds though it thanks for all the info. I feel better if I can't find any 223 primers that I can still be safe with small rifle primers.

November 6, 2009, 10:48 AM
the way things are going these days... whatever small rifle primers you can get your hands on.

Redneck with a 40
November 6, 2009, 06:58 PM
I use small rifle magnum, I ordered 5 bricks from Wideners, Wolf SRM.:)

November 6, 2009, 08:18 PM
As I understand it, Wolf's small rifle primer designations are a bit off. From reading the descriptions on the Widener site, it appears that:
WOLSR is a normal small rifle primer; not extra hot, not extra hard
WOL223 is a hotter small rifle primer, similar to other manufacturers small rifle magnum
WOLSRM is a harder small rifle primer; it has a thicker cup. Even though called a 'magnum' primer, it isn't any hotter than normal.

All I know is what I read. If it was wrong, then the information above is wrong.

If it's right, the WOLSRM might be a good choice for someone concerned about slamfires.

November 6, 2009, 11:08 PM
I haven't loaded 5.56 ammo for a semi-auto but I have loaded a lot of 30-06 ammo for a Garand. I used mostly CCI #34 NATO primers but during the recent "shortage" I was unable to find any. Over the past year I've been using standard CCI large rifle primers without a single slam-fire. Considering I have had good success I doubt I'll be going back to the NATO primers since the price is so much higher now.

A friend who does load for his AR-15 has used both CCI and Remington small rifle primers without a problem.

November 9, 2009, 01:32 AM
wolf srm's are good for the 5.56 and generally a little cheaper than the others. usually, they are more available also.

November 9, 2009, 07:41 AM
I have been using Remington 6 1/2 for sometime now.I called Remington and advised I was loading 223 with Olin 748.They said no problem.

This is in complete contrast to what Remington has on their web site.

In rifle cartridges, the 6-1/2 small rifle primer should not be used in the 17 Remington, 222 Remington or the 223 Remington. The 7-1/2 BR is the proper small rifle primer for these rounds.

November 9, 2009, 11:34 AM
I went to the gun show yesterday and did not find any cci #41 or the wolf's made for 223 but I did find some Winchester small rifle primers for $35 a 1000, so I picked up 2 boxes and the seller gave me 5 dollars off for some reason I don't know I just agreed

November 9, 2009, 08:02 PM
Over 30 plus years, I've used thousands of every common primer (except CCI41s) in ARs. Even Fed 205 standard and match, which are rumored to be soft. Used probably 6K of feds last year. No slam fires to date (knock on wood). Presently using standard Wolf copper primers that "feel" softer than Feds.

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