How to tell what size primer for new brass


October 7, 2011, 01:27 PM
Hey guys,

I just started getting all my equipment for reloading in the mail. I am really stoked to start! :) I'm going to be limiting myself to .45 ACP for now. My question is, how can I tell what size primer new brass from an online catalog takes? I've ordered all my stuff from MidwayUSA (, and when I looked at brass, there's no info on primer size. For instance, let's say I go with Hornady brass. Hornady Brass ( I don't see primer size. Do I assume it's all LPP? :confused:

Thanks for any help!!!


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October 7, 2011, 01:33 PM
I'd guess it is gonna be LPP...I'd give Starline a look if I were shopping for new brass... ...However, if I werel ooking for .45ACP brass, I'd just go shopping for used brass. There's plenty of it out there for sale.

October 7, 2011, 01:41 PM
I would always assume all new brass uses the normally standard primer size for the caliber unless told otherwise in the sales description.

But it doesn't make economical sense to buy new .45 ACP pistol brass.

You can buy loaded Win white-box or Fed American Eagle ammo at wally-world or somewhere and shoot it for the brass cheaper then you can buy new .45 pistol brass and load it the first time.

I would only buy new pistol brass if it was an odd caliber they don't sell cheaper then I can load it.
Or if I wanted new Starline brass for a special project or something.


October 7, 2011, 01:50 PM
Your reloading manual will tell you what primer to use for each round listed. Most cartridges use a standard size for the round ie; .38 Special/.357 magnum, 9mm, 32 ACP uses small pistol primers. .44 Special/Magnum, 44-40, 45 ACP use large pistol primers (except some 45 ACP "green" non-toxic use small pistol). Your reloading manual has all this info...

October 7, 2011, 01:53 PM
There's a lot of SPP .45 brass out there now. I know Speer is at least one maker.

October 7, 2011, 01:58 PM
Federal also makes SPP .45 ACP brass.

SPP and LPP primer pockets are rather easy to tell the differnce between.

I also heartily agree with buying .45 ACP and shooting it for the brass. It's more fun than paying the same amount for virgin brass. ;)

October 7, 2011, 02:12 PM
Have you referenced a reloading manual?

October 7, 2011, 02:52 PM
Have you referenced a reloading manual?
Ooh! Excellent point, don't go using internet search findings as 'a priori' info, use the manuals that have hundreds of hours of testing behind them. Also, don't just get one book, unless you only plan on using one specific bullet and powder.

Besides, there's a ton of information in each of the manuals that will definately help you stay safe and have fun with reloading, they are worth the money.

Hondo 60
October 7, 2011, 07:49 PM
All my 45 acp brass started out as factory ammo.
It's cheap enough that you're not saving by buying new brass.

If you don't want factory ammo, try once-fired brass.
Just do a search on the internet. is one place, or check the For-Sale area on this site.

October 8, 2011, 07:11 AM
Hey everyone! Thanks for the info.

Yup, I did reference 3 manuals. My Hornady manual just lists their own case of course with Winchester LP. And I didn't see primer info in my Lyman I probably just missed it. And my "One Book/One Caliber" didn't seem to have brass or primer info in it either. So, from what you're saying, is it LPP that are standard for .45 ACP?

Thanks again,


October 8, 2011, 07:39 AM
you have a primer seater yes?? When the brass comes in, see if the LPP rod will fit in the bottom of the case. If it doesn't, then you have SPP. I'll try this on some of my fed cases when I get home to make sure that it works, but it seems like a good place to start.

Hornady is probably going to be LPP, but like everyone else said, it's easier and probably cheaper in the long run to just buy some WWB from wally world, shoot, reload, repeat.


October 8, 2011, 08:22 AM
If buying once fired brass there might possibly be a mix of primer sizes in there. This is what I always do, as new brass is overly expensive IMHO. Well it is no sweat either way. The load is the same just the primer size is different, I load them both ways. I might buy a couple hundred SPP for the chance of getting some of that brass if buying used, unless the seller has specifically said that they would remove the SPP brass for you. The natural thing to assume is it would be LP when buying new brass but if not stated a quick email to the vendor or manufacturer would answer your question. Happy reloading.:D

October 8, 2011, 09:20 AM
Davers, I assume your question was, "If I buy 45 ACP brass, is it going to be LPP or SPP?"
I have never seen NEW 45 brass with the SPP. Not saying it is not availiable, but it would state if it were for SPP. The LPP has been the standard for more than 100 years.
I don't agree that it is cheaper to buy WWB for your brass. Midway has the WWB for $.54 each ($27 per 50) and Starline has the brass for $.17 each. Your bullet, powder, and primer is not going to cost $.37 for each cartridge. And a bag of new brass from Starline is really nice and shiny!!!

October 8, 2011, 09:27 AM
Thanks again guys!! dickttx, yes, that's what I meant! :o I found bulk ammo for about $169 for 500 rounds. That's just a bit more than just the brass! I think you guys are right, that may be the way to go!

Thanks again!!


October 8, 2011, 10:56 AM
For .45 ACP if your are not sure, take a primer pocket cleaning tool to see what size it is. After a cleaning/ sorting session, I start getting cross-eyed looking at brass.

I've caught several .45 GAP & and Federal NT (non-toxic) brass in the sorted pile, both of which use SPP.

The cleaner I use is a little Lee or Hornady device, and I think that it coat me < $10, but has saved me from what would have been a stoppage on my press due to an SPP 45 case being put in there, while the press is setup for LPP.

I just use those for dummy rounds when setting up the dies for different types of bullets, like when I change from 185 gr. XTP over to 230 Gr. FMJ.

October 9, 2011, 07:45 AM
By buying new brass, you will get consistent loads if working up loads. Once you get a load that's the speed, accuracy you want, then you can use used brass knowing that the occasional flier is possibly from the brass.

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