9mm and small pistol magnum primers


November 27, 2010, 03:34 PM
In my area I cant find any small pistol primers. I can get small pistol magunms no problem. I am using MB 115 parabellum with 3.8- 3.9 grs of Titegroup. Can I use the spm primers with out going to the next smaller hole, would be .32 hole, in the Lee Auto Disc. I have not droped and weight the charge to see how much below the starting charge it is

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November 27, 2010, 04:49 PM
If you are under max by .1 or more using a fast powder, I seriously doubt you will have a problem.

Jeff H
November 27, 2010, 05:32 PM
Which magnun primer???

I have heard from a few sources that Remington 5 1/2 primers (magnum) don't have a different priming mixture and are in fact the exact same as their 1 1/2 primers except they use thicker metal for the cup to prevent primer flow from 357 mag and 40 S&W.

Remington 5 1/2 primers IMHO can be used interchangably with their normal ones as long as you have a strong enough firing pin spring. Other manufacturers vary.

November 28, 2010, 08:37 AM
I had done research on this before because I was in the same boat.

Magnum primers readily available for small & large pistol, but the normal ones sold out.

Depending on the manufacturer, some can add anywhere from 1000 to 5000 cup
increase in pressure depending on your load.

As stated above, if you are nowhere near max load, and your firing pin will strike them,
you shouldn't have any issues - just a little more FPS.

I think the magnum primers will also burn up all the powder - little cleaner firing.

I had done a batch of .45 acp with some unique and large pistol magnum primers.

If I remember right, I was about 1 gr under max load, so was not going to hit high pressures.

The rounds shot fine, no issues, no light primer strike, etc.

Rounds seemed a bit more 'snappy' for recoil - but that could've been me imagining...

For the most part - in a pistol, your main concern is not running a max load and light primer strikes.


Edit: Found this article and 2nd link is primer pictures - very enlightening!



November 28, 2010, 11:40 AM
1. Yes, just what Walkalong said. And that TG/115g load of yours is VERY light. Hodgdon starting load is 3.9 grains at 1.100" oal. If your OAL is longer, you are well below starting load.

2. Those of us who shoot hot glue & rubber bullets with primer only will attest that mag primers (even Remington) do have more uumph. Manufacturer's reps also tell me that magnum primers typically have powdered metals (aluminum, copper) in them to encourage full ignition of slow magnum powders, especially at 100% case fill.

November 28, 2010, 12:40 PM
There is an adjustable charge bar available for your Lee measure that works well with Titegroup and other finer powders so you could do a custom charge if you wish. I don't recommend it for larger flake powders like Unique or Blue Dot.

Hondo 60
November 28, 2010, 06:17 PM
Last winter during the shortage I was able to get a ton of Federal Small Pistol magnum primers.
I used them for 9mm, 38 spl & 357 mag. Just keep the powder charge on the lower end til you can work it up.

I used Lee's adjustable charge bar with titegroup until about 3 weeks ago.
I don't know what changed, but it just refused to drop consistent charges.
I even ordered a new Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure & filled it with new powder.
That still didn't help, so I went back to the discs & it's doing fine.

November 29, 2010, 02:08 PM
Hondo, the center of the cavity is not lining up with the drop hole from the hopper, you gotta move the cavity rearward. If you wish, send me an email address and I'll send pictures of how I did it.

November 29, 2010, 03:02 PM
Thanks for all the info guys.I know that 3.8-3.9 is at the starting load for tg/115 lrn. If I go to the next hole, .37, it is 4.2-4.3 grns right at the max and it leads real bad the last inch or so of the barrel. There is a star of lead at the outside of the barrel. So I went to the next smaller hole .34. No leading to speak of and the brass is right at my right foot. I also tried Lee's Alox, it seemed to help a little with the leading. Oh ya the bullets are MB's 115 lead round nose. 18 hardness

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