ball powders require mag primers?


January 24, 2010, 08:35 PM
These are challenging times for reloaders. I have gotten some ball powders (H-335,H380, BLC-2) to replace my usual powders (IMR stick powders). I know ball powders are harder to ignite, but do they really require magnum primers to give best accuracy? - I have reg LR primers, and ball powders :cuss: can I get good accuracy? Speer manual uses mag primers with ALL ball powders, others Lyman, Hogdon, don't specify.

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January 24, 2010, 09:15 PM
It is the recommended way to do it. If you have a chrony try some and see what kind of efect it has for you.

January 24, 2010, 09:17 PM
Never used mag primers for ball powders, all I use. Might try that just for grins and giggles to see if there is any differance.

January 24, 2010, 09:25 PM
I've used the BLC-2 and H335 with a regular 200 primer. I don't shoot in real cold weather either.

January 25, 2010, 08:02 AM

Rollis R. Karvellis
January 25, 2010, 09:02 AM
I have used regaler WW for ball and stick, with good resaults.

January 25, 2010, 11:12 AM
I use mostly Winchester LRP's for most loads developed using H-380. Seems to work just fine. Also use Federal 210's with H-380.

January 25, 2010, 02:26 PM
nothing but mag primers in all the loads I work up anyone else use the same ?:confused:

January 25, 2010, 02:31 PM
Not to hijack, but I have a question to dovetail on the OP's question. I reload for my 307 WIN using H335 (ball powder) and standard rifle primers. Usually get 1.5" groups 2" high at 100yrds. In August I confirmed zero...cold barrel shot dead on desired POI. Fast forward to NOV in Upstate NY on an early morning deer hunt. Unusually warm morning (around 32 degrees). Looking to fill the freezer I pull the trigger on an unsuspecting doe at 42 yards. I hit that deer way low, just hitting her on the underside, taking out the sternum.:uhoh: Relieved I found her, I just figured I shot low. Went to the range 3 weeks ago, about 25 degrees down here, and sure nuff, 6 inches low.:what:

Now, did my round suffer from insufficient ignition on a cold day with standard primers??? I'm usually really careful and do not remember knocking the scope. All screws tght. Help me diagnose please:confused::confused:.

January 25, 2010, 02:46 PM
For those that do use mag primers with ball powder, is there a charge weight or caliber at which you start using the mag primers? I'm thinking something like .22-250 is small enough to stick with standard primers but .30-06 is big enough to maybe use the mag primers?

January 25, 2010, 02:49 PM
For the 308, I have been using CCI#34 primers, which are supposed to be a magnum primer, and WLR. Winchester standard primers gave higher velocities with the same charge than CCI#34, so what is or is not a magnum primer is confusing.

For the .223 I have been using CCI#41, again a magnum primer, and it ignites AA2520 (a ball powder) in all temperatures.

It may depend on the cartridge. Last year, in 40 to 50 F weather, I was conducting load development with a 35 Whelen and CCI standard primers. I was having long and pronounced hangfires with AA2520. I was also having hangfires with stick powders, but AA2520 was the worst. The dwell and duration was the greatest with AA2520.

I did not have any hangfire problems with IMR3031 and standard primers in the 35 Whelen, so magnum primers may be needed depending on cartridge and powder.

bill in IN
January 25, 2010, 03:02 PM
Are you sure that #34 and #41 are magnum? I thought they were NATO spec meaning harder striking required....

January 25, 2010, 03:24 PM
Here is a chart from CCI with usage indicated.

Please note that most magnum primers mention using ball powders.


January 25, 2010, 03:44 PM
I've used winchester LR with blc-2 in 308 with 155gr a-max bullets. They were well under MOA at the ranges I had available to shoot it.

January 25, 2010, 05:35 PM
Are you sure that #34 and #41 are magnum? I thought they were NATO spec meaning harder striking required....

I don't know if there are levels of magnum primers or not.

When these primers first came out, I called CCI to talk about them. The QA Engineer I talked to pulled out the specs and told me that the military primers were magnum primers. The military want the things to light off in cold weather.

These primers are also less sensitive than the commercial line.

CCI confirmed that these were a separate product line, something they introduced to the public during the Clinton primer scare. After talking to CCI, I got the idea they were surprised by the level of market demand.

January 25, 2010, 10:04 PM
I have used Rem 9.5 and Win LR primers in .22-250 handloads with H-380 and they were just fine. I have used TAC and AA2230 with REM 7.5 and CCI 400 primers in .223 in an AR and they were fine. If I had mag primers I wouldn't hesitate to give them a try.

January 26, 2010, 04:41 AM
I have used Rem 7 1/2 (non magnum) primers to shoot H414, W760 and BL-C(2) in .243 and .30-06 without problems. Ball powders are very dirty though and I think I prefer extruded powders.

January 26, 2010, 06:01 AM
There's a lot of variation in the brisance of primers. Some brands of standard primer are supposed to be as hot as some magnum primers.

I've shot a lot of Ball/Spherical/globular powder with regular primers with no problems. I don't chronograph a lot of loads so I could not tell you if switching gives better accuracy, but I do look for accuracy. The only case I've found where a magnum Winchester primer gave me better groups over regular with ball powder was using really slow surplus WC860 in the 6.5x55.

I shoot a lot of 748 in the .223 during the winter in Service Rifle matches, and standard CCI and Winchester primers is what I use. If I do my part, the groups are a little knot.

January 26, 2010, 08:16 AM primer with ball is the way to go. Large amounts of powder in magnum rifle cases need a mag primer. Shooting a 22-250 H450 cci mag. Powder starting burning and quit. This might be why H450 is discontinued. The coatings on the powder to control the burn make it hard to light.

January 26, 2010, 08:17 AM
I shot BL-C for a number of years using standard primers with no problems that I'm aware of.
My shooting circle of friends, years ago, just for economy's sake shot BL-C in a number of different calibers from the .222 Remington on up.

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