Small Pistol/Rifle/Magnum/NATO Primers, How interchangeable?


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sumaskid
February 9, 2013, 06:01 AM
What are your thoughts on useing small rifle primers instead of small pistol primers?

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Reloadron
February 9, 2013, 07:19 AM
Welcome to THR.

Small rifle primers require a harder hit to detonate, in some cases this is not a problem while in other cases it is a problem depending on the handgun. Small rifle primers are also a hotter primer which depending on the powder used may or may not result in higher pressures. The list goes on...

There are pages and pages written on this subject but a general rule is if you are going to substitute small rifle for small pistol primers reduce the loads. Start low and work up observing the spent brass and primers for pressure signs and any damage.

Will they work? Likely just fine in most applications. Will I tell you go ahead and do it? Nope, I suggest you continue to read up on the differences and make your own decision based on all the data out there and your particular situation.

Just My Take
Ron

luvit
February 9, 2013, 10:20 AM
.
I've found threads similar to this question, but some of the answers were obviously guesses.
I use small pistol primers, but I don't have detailed answers on the real differences of potential substitute primers.

I use .38, .357, & 9mm handguns. I don't know the physical size/shape/operation difference in the primers.
Again, if I had to substitute, would any of the following not fit or damage my casings or damage my firing pins?

1) Small Pistol Primers Magnum
2) Small Rifle Primers
3) Small Rifle Primers Magnum
4) Small Rifle Primers 223
5) Small Rifle Primers 223 Magnum

I hope I didn't overlook a great thread which covers all of this very well.
.

KansasSasquatch
February 9, 2013, 10:41 AM
The magnum and rifle primers will burn a little hotter and may increase your pressure enough to matter if you at near MAX loads. The cups of the rifle primers are harder and your pistols may not set them off. My dad's XD .45 won't set off Tula .223 primers but my XD will. As long as your guns will set them off, you shouldn't have a problem using them. Just reduce your loads to start. I stay .3gr or lower of max loads when I substitute a magnum or rifle primer for a SPP. Just use caution.

Reloadron
February 9, 2013, 10:53 AM
This link (http://www.handloads.com/misc/primers.asp) is a link to a chart showing a good cross reference of primers by manufacturer.

This link (http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh481/gsparesa/guns/PrimersandPrimerPocketDimensions.png) covers primer and primer pocket dimensions.

While I will not be the one to suggest doing it, there are loads where some primers can be interchanged without things really going wrong. Keep in mind that primers are designed and manufactured for a specific application and loading manuals call out specific primers for reasons. Obviously there is no one size fits all.

For example while small rifle and small pistol primers share the same outside dimensions the small rifle primers are less sensitive to the strike and hotter in nature. Can I use small rifle primers (or interchange) them with small pistol? In many cases yes but with considerations and if the pistol firing pin strikes are light the rifle primers may not detonate. Using the hotter rifle primers in pistol can create higher pressures and while this in most cases amounts to next to nothing it can vary depending on the powder the primer is igniting. There is more to swapping primers than just will they fit.

Anytime this swap is done I advise starting low and working loads up and actually I don't recommend the practice for the new and inexperienced hand loader. Use the primer the manual you are working from calls out for what you are loading.

Just My Take...
Ron

salpal48
February 9, 2013, 12:10 PM
I found there is no difference between small pistol and small rifle . or large pistol and large rifle . I,v used them in both cases . I,v never used a mag primer in all my reloading years.

It,s true that rifle primers are a bit hotter But the difference is not drastic. The myth of Primers I feel have been created by the manufacturers to have reloaders spend more money.
At one time weather you were shooting a 243 or a 375 H&H you used a large rifle .
Several years ago there only 4 primers
What really has changed.
All manufacturers have made a science out of everything in order to grab more of your $$$$$$$$$$.

luvit
February 9, 2013, 12:17 PM
yeah, i get that there's more to it than fitting. -- i think you both made some great posts.
i believe the 2nd link you provided is actually great information.

Queen_of_Thunder
February 9, 2013, 12:33 PM
So are we saying I can use Large Pistol Magnum primers in place of Large Pistol primers as long as reduce the powder charge to account for the hotter primer.

FROGO207
February 9, 2013, 01:02 PM
To go along with the info in post #2 If needed I choose to substitute between the types of SMALL primers and find that the rifle are harder and a bit stronger in the ignition department.
IN DISAGREEMENT with post #6 some. Large Rifle primers are taller/longer than Large Pistol primers and when LR primers are subbed for LP primers they do not seat below the case head and possibly Could cause the round to ignite before fully in battery or outside the chamber completely so this is to be avoided at all costs. If they were below flush for the reloader then they were crushing the primer and that will cause problems itself. They also are harder to contain the pressures that rifles operate at also.
Additionally there ARE differences between the regular and MAG primers in ignition strength in SOME brands and NOT in some (WIN for example use the same primer for both) brands. It is up to you to look at what we post and decide what is the safe way to reload. You can bank on what the company selling the product gives for instructions as they will be in court if they advise you to do something unsafe. Others on the internet have " no horse in this race" and may advise you to do something dangerous because they did it without harm this time and were good with the results (read that to be lucky!). YMMV

Sam1911
February 9, 2013, 01:16 PM
(Two nearly identical threads merged.)

Sam1911
February 9, 2013, 01:18 PM
And we just had another thread that delved pretty deeply into this question: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=699259

luvit
February 9, 2013, 03:14 PM
i really dislike merged threads.. i know why you did it, but it's not seamless.
i'll further hesitate to start another thread.

Sam1911
February 9, 2013, 04:37 PM
i really dislike merged threads.. i know why you did it, but it's not seamless.Understood. However, we work pretty hard to keep the place as coordinated and sensible as possible and having two threads on exactly the same topic on the same day means we're really not doing our best to focus our efforts. While we often ask folks to use the search function and see if the same topic has been addressed at any length previously, when that topic is the subject of a thread still visible on the first page within the forum a search isn't even necessary. The more people interested in a subject that we can get talking together about that subject the better, and on the flip side, we really don't want folks to have to repeat themselves in order to contribute to the group's discussion of a topic.


i'll further hesitate to start another thread.Oh, we don't discourage folks from starting threads -- just to look around a bit and see if the conversation they want to have is already going on.

luvit
February 9, 2013, 05:32 PM
sam,
you don't get it.. and i understand that too.
i actually did use search, as stated in my op and was not pleased with any previous thread and replies, therefore i started a very detailed thread which i could steer the direction i wished.
i wish no disrespect, but i won't elaborate further how your links, posts, and merge were not really a match to where i was guiding this. -- i know you're doing what you think is right and i'm leaving as what it is.

NWcityguy2
February 9, 2013, 08:40 PM
You've got your answer. All small boxer primers, rifle or pistol of all brands and kinds, will fit into any boxer primed brass that has a small primer hole.

Lots of us use SR primers in handgun loads. I do. Virtually none of us have pressure measuring equipment to actually tell you if pressure is increasing. We watch for pressure signs in the exact same way everyone else does. What else do you want, someone to do the experimenting for you on your reloading press and use your gun while they are at it?

zxcvbob
February 9, 2013, 08:54 PM
I use SR primers in .357 Mag and 9mm, not because they work better but because I have a bunch of them. Those are high pressure cartridges.
People who seem to know what they are talking about say you can get leakage around the primer in low-pressure cartridges (.38 Special, .380, etc) and erode the bolt face or back of the frame. I don't know if it's true or not, just passing the info along so you can watch for it.

luvit
February 10, 2013, 12:06 AM
You've got your answer. All small boxer primers, rifle or pistol of all brands and kinds, will fit into any boxer primed brass that has a small primer hole...
...What else do you want, someone to do the experimenting for you on your reloading press and use your gun while they are at it?
well obviously they "fit" & thanks for a great example of a poor response on the 2nd half of your post.

I use SR primers in .357 Mag and 9mm, not because they work better but because I have a bunch of them. Those are high pressure cartridges.
People who seem to know what they are talking about say you can get leakage around the primer in low-pressure cartridges (.38 Special, .380, etc) and erode the bolt face or back of the frame. I don't know if it's true or not, just passing the info along so you can watch for it.
cool.. that's really good to know. I was hoping for these kind of details.
I don't have any magnum guns or cartridges to compare. -- Thanks!

savanahsdad
February 10, 2013, 12:43 AM
So are we saying I can use Large Pistol Magnum primers in place of Large Pistol primers as long as reduce the powder charge to account for the hotter primer.
you can with some powders , here is a good article http://www.loaddata.com/articles/detail.cfm?articleID=149
'Primers for Magnum handguns" and if your not loading for a mag , there is still some good info there

savanahsdad
February 10, 2013, 12:50 AM
And we just had another thread that delved pretty deeply into this question: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=699259
Sam1911: thanks for the merge,
I didn't want to type all that info again, (without the caplock .bold or head-banging of course.) I didn't know that was not aloud on THR , sorry,

ArchAngelCD
February 10, 2013, 12:52 AM
According to CCI their CCI #41 primers are equal to their SRM primers with a slightly thicker cup. The same holds true for their #34 primers ant their LRM primers. Both NATO primers are magnum strength primers.

luvit
February 10, 2013, 10:01 AM
According to CCI their CCI #41 primers are equal to their SRM primers with a slightly thicker cup. The same holds true for their #34 primers ant their LRM primers. Both NATO primers are magnum strength primers.
OK so... small pistol primers labeled as 9x19 NATO may typically be equivalent to SPM primers?
I have never so many options since I've had to scrounge for primers.. the 9x19 threw me off... magnum wasn't on the label.

savanahsdad
February 10, 2013, 08:17 PM
OK so... small pistol primers labeled as 9x19 NATO may typically be equivalent to SPM primers?
I have never so many options since I've had to scrounge for primers.. the 9x19 threw me off... magnum wasn't on the label.
what brand are they ?

luvit
February 10, 2013, 09:12 PM
yeah, man.. I think they were TulAmmo 9x19 Nato.
I handload with lee classic loader. I've only used CCI SPPs.

savanahsdad
February 10, 2013, 09:43 PM
yeah, man.. I think they were TulAmmo 9x19 Nato.
I handload with lee classic loader. I've only used CCI SPPs.
sorry I only use Rem, Win, CCI and Fed's , have you check there web.site ? I would think yes , but not sure

ArchAngelCD
February 10, 2013, 09:44 PM
OK so... small pistol primers labeled as 9x19 NATO may typically be equivalent to SPM primers?
I have never so many options since I've had to scrounge for primers.. the 9x19 threw me off... magnum wasn't on the label.
It's possible but I'm not sure. My statement was only about CCI #34 NATO and CCI #41 NATO and their corresponding Magnum Rifle Primers.

1KPerDay
May 1, 2013, 05:43 PM
Bumping this....

I can only find Winchester small pistol magnum primers. Can I load 9mm with these or not? I've read the thread and it only confused me.

Winchester large pistol primers say for large pistol, standard or magnum, but the small primers they make a "standard" and a "magnum".

1KPerDay
May 1, 2013, 05:48 PM
BTW I usually load low-to-midrange data, never max.

Walkalong
May 1, 2013, 06:27 PM
You'll be fine with midrange loads in 9MM with SPM primers, or small rifle primers for that matter if your gun will set them off OK. Accuracy is another story, and you'll just have to test that, but it will probably be just fine as well.

bigdaa
May 1, 2013, 06:33 PM
What are your thoughts on useing small rifle primers instead of small pistol primers?
My thoughts are I won't do it.

Period.

Walkalong
May 1, 2013, 06:38 PM
Llike many others, I use small rifle primers in hot .38 Super loads.

bigdaa
May 1, 2013, 07:08 PM
Llike many others, I use small rifle primers in hot .38 Super loads.
Now why would you not settle on small pistol magnum primers for the application?

Walkalong
May 1, 2013, 07:31 PM
Pressures. Using small rifle primers is pretty standard when going over normal .38 Super pressures.

There are reports of small rifle primers leaking and causing breechface damage with low pressure loads. I have not experienced it, but have not used SR primers in anything but full pressure .38 Super loads.

What pressure is needed to keep this from happening? Does it always happen? I don't know.

The question was:
I can only find Winchester small pistol magnum primers. Can I load 9mm with these or not? I've read the thread and it only confused me.

BTW I usually load low-to-midrange data, never max

And the answer is yes.

USSR
May 1, 2013, 09:30 PM
Worse case scenario with using small rifle primers in a handgun case: they won't go off. I use small rifle primers in my S&W 686 .357 Magnum loads, and they work fine. According to reports, they are less hot than small pistol magnum primers.

Don

1KPerDay
May 1, 2013, 09:55 PM
thanks walk.

1KPerDay
May 6, 2013, 01:41 PM
Follow up; I tried a couple loads with Bullseye and 115 grain Berry's plated as well as MBC smallball. The P226 liked both of the BE 115 loads, the Beretta 92 liked one. Both pistols liked a smallball load (one hole groups at 10 yards) but they didn't like the same one. Interesting, that. I wouldn't imagine there'd be such obvious preferences among similar pistols.

Thanks for the input.

HOODLUM
July 11, 2013, 09:37 PM
Ok, I think I have finally had my question answered with research. I want to use the #41 and m34 CCI primers for my AR weapons. They are magnum primers as stated by CCI. I can't find load data for .223/5.56 with magnum primers. If I have this right, I can safely do this as long as I back the charge off a little and work up to my accuracy node while watching for pressure signs...... right?

zxcvbob
July 11, 2013, 09:49 PM
@hoodlum: That should be fine. But you might want to back off the powder quite a bit (back to a starting load) and work up again -- not because of the pressure, but because the accuracy load might have totally changed. [theoretically, anyway. I'm not a good enough rifle shooter yet to where it makes any difference :o ]

GLOOB
July 11, 2013, 10:55 PM
http://www.sellier-bellot.cz/ammo-components-primers.php

Check out Sellier and Bellot's chart. Between 9mm, 40SW, and .357 mag, they specify 3 different primers.

The difference is partly in the hardness of the cup. If the cup is too hard for the application, it might not seal gases effectively. If the cup is too soft, it might blow out. It's not all about brisance and sensitivity.

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2013, 09:10 PM
I'm another one who uses small rifle primers in high pressure handgun rounds, specifically 38 Super and 9x23.


Hoodlum, yes. Simply back off your charge and work up a new load for the different primer.

If you enjoyed reading about "Small Pistol/Rifle/Magnum/NATO Primers, How interchangeable?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!