Which primer for .223?


February 7, 2012, 11:05 PM
I am new to reloading the .223. Looking at various reloading manuals, I see both small rifle and small rifle magnum primers used. Which primers do you guys recommend who have been reloading this cartridge for awhile?

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February 7, 2012, 11:18 PM
For 223 Remington, I generally use standard small rifle primers such as CCi or Winchester small rifle.

Sometimes I use CCI#41 or Remington 7-1/2.

February 7, 2012, 11:23 PM
It depends on the powder used. In general, the slower burning ball powders need a magnum primer. Check published load data to see what primer is recommended.

Steve in PA
February 8, 2012, 12:21 AM
Many, many thousands of rounds loaded using CCI 400's.

Miata Mike
February 8, 2012, 12:44 AM
I have used both CCI 400's and CCI #41's. I might also consider trying wolf small rifle magnum primers if I could find them cheap enough.

Tim the student
February 8, 2012, 01:06 AM
I'm partial to 7 1/2s myself.

Be aware that Remington (http://remington.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/167/kw/primer/session/L3RpbWUvMTMyODY4MTA3MC9zaWQvZ2hCc2g5UWs%3D) advises not to use 6 1/2s in .223. My wife thought she was doing me a great favor of getting me some when she saw some for sale during the great primer shortage. God bless her, but I'm still trying to trade those away.

February 8, 2012, 03:49 AM
When I load for a bolt action rifle and use mostly CCI-400 primers.

When I load for a semi-auto it's usually a CCI #41 primer. According to CCI their #41 and #34 primers are magnum strength primers.

February 8, 2012, 04:27 AM
Heck, I've loaded them with small pistol primers before.

February 8, 2012, 05:46 AM
I've use CCI 400, CCI #41, Winchester small rifle, Federal 205M small rifle match, Fiocchi small rifle and Wolf small rifle magnum. All have worked just fine with either ball or extruded powders. The recommendation of using a mag. primer with ball powder is mostly for reliability in cold weather. The ball powder can be a little hard to reliably ignite when it's very cold out.

February 8, 2012, 05:48 AM
CCI 400's. It should say in the data which powders require magnum primers.

February 8, 2012, 06:21 AM
The primers used are according to the powder used, not the caliber. At the beginning of each caliber in the manuals, the correct primer used is listed. Sometimes there maybe an asterisk by a particular powder which means use magnum primers. Read all the notes in the manual for the caliber you're reloading for.

February 8, 2012, 06:36 AM
If it's ball powder -- magnum primer
If it's stick powder - regular primer

And if it's an autoloader -- CCI/not Federal as a general rule

February 8, 2012, 08:07 AM
Note the CCI 400 and the Fed 200 have the thinnest cup. I do not use these in my AR's.


February 8, 2012, 08:49 AM
I've used CCI Small Rifle primers in 5.56/223 since 1975 with H335 and other ball powders. Never had a problem. Even small pistol primers worked fine when I made a mistake a few years ago.

February 8, 2012, 12:16 PM
In the past I have used CCI #41s and some standard small rifle ones. I picked up a box of Wolf Small Rifle Primer made expecealy for 223 Rem. I don't know if they do anything differant but I thought that I would give them a try. The price was right.

Normaly I would say I am trying to stick with the CCI #41 though. I am using Win 748, WC 846 (Surplus Pull down powder) and AA 2230.


February 8, 2012, 12:35 PM
i have just been using CCI small rifle primers. but honestly, the only thing i use them in is this one cartridge, in a single shot rifle. so 1000 primers last a long time. when these run out, since i have been bitten by the accuracy bug, i am going to buy bench rest small rifle primers next time. the 223 is a small volume case, filled very full (90% or better) most of the time. so any little thing can affect the end results. magnum rifle primers are typically used for large volume, slow burning powders. i am not really sure what cartridge uses the small rifle magnum primers. my experience with large capacity, slow burning powder says most times, a standard rifle primer will set it off just fine. but i have had a few hang fires using that practice. cold weather will sometimes aggravate that as well. at least that is what i have read. i have not had that experience. but, i have not hunted in any sub zero weather in years. due exclusively because of the weather here. trust me, i am NOT complaining about that one bit!

February 8, 2012, 03:00 PM
I have used Win, CCI and Magtech and all have worked fine. I have even used standard primers with the ball powders with no problems.

February 8, 2012, 06:21 PM
I started with CCI #41 because being new I was afraid not to for an AR. After using all of those, I switched to CCI #450 (small rifle mag) which are the same $30/box as everything else (at LGS) & $11 less than the CCI #41.

Didn't notice any difference in the load with H335 using either CCI #41 or #450 primers.

I will most likely switch to Tula or Wolf at some point. An important goal for me with reloading was to save money so as soon as I see someone who has WC844 and Tula or Wolf primers in stock I will probably use those to lower costs more.

February 8, 2012, 07:00 PM
as soon as I see someone who has WC844

WC-844 is the way to go. I was using H-335 and bought 8 pounds of WC-844 and have been very happy with it. You can find it in stock at http://patsreloading.com/patsrel/prices.aspx and http://hi-techammo.com/ for $85 for 8 pounds.

February 8, 2012, 07:28 PM
I've used cci400 and cci450(magnum) primers with h335. Speer says to use magnum primers, while hornady says to use standard primers. The cci450 primers actually dropped my muzzle velocity by 100fps, so who knows. I'm sticking to cci450 however since I use an ar15 an feel safer with a thicker cup.

February 8, 2012, 07:31 PM
Heck, I've loaded them with small pistol primers before.
LOL.. What the hey right!!!

February 9, 2012, 03:36 AM
Heck, I've loaded them with small pistol primers before.
Not a good thing to post in a thread especially with a new reloader. That is dangerous and should not be recommended. :rolleyes:

February 9, 2012, 07:33 AM
I recently bought Tulammo small rifle magnums primers at a great price. They are difficult to seat. I have not shot any of them yet. As a new reloader, avoid them.

Stick with Rem, CCI, and Win. And in case you've missed this advice, avoid buying Remington 6 1/2 for .223.

February 9, 2012, 09:04 PM
I've use a few thousand CCI #400 in 223 never an issue

February 9, 2012, 11:00 PM
I believe the original question was large or small primers//

223 requires a small rifle primer. You would never seat a large in a 223.

February 9, 2012, 11:03 PM
^no, the OP says that he sees data using small rifle and small rifle magnum primers. these primers are the same size and either one will seat in .223.

February 10, 2012, 08:04 PM
Original question was small rifle or small rifle magnum. Unless OP edited post...

February 10, 2012, 08:13 PM
As 454PB mentioned in post #3, it will depend on the powder used. Pay attention to your manual's primer requirements for loads listed, it's just that easy.


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