Who Makes The Best Pistol Primers?


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Ala Dan
March 17, 2004, 10:13 PM
Greeting's All-

What manufactuer'er makes the best pistol primer's?
In the past, I've used Winchester, CCI, and Federal. Is
there something I'm missing?

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

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P95Carry
March 17, 2004, 10:44 PM
Ala Dan - fellow loader!

True, there are Rem too. I have used those and not had any real probs but not been used that often these days.

I choose Fed over any others .... and this is partly of course simple reliability but also because they are the most reliable re thickness of metal .... I have had way too many FTF's with CCI ... tho Winchester have never let me down I must admit.

Back in compo' days, when many of us had our revo's tuned and lighter on spring ... Feds were the best .. no 2 ways about it. Always stick to them now.

Jeeper
March 17, 2004, 11:48 PM
I chose winchester only because that is what seats the easiest in my 650. Federal seem to stick a little more but I have had better standard deviation with them. I think it is one of those choices you make early and then stick with. I try and stay with the same stuff unless it isnt reliable. There are so many options out there that the combinations are endless. Basically I chose winchester because they are readily availble cheaply at gun show and they seat easy in my dillon. How is that for a reason! :D

"yote"
March 18, 2004, 12:02 AM
I use Win for everything. I have found that they are the most consistant
of the bunch. My second choice is Federal Match. The rest, I won't
even use unless I absolutley have to. Too inconsistant. (lot #'s).

Valkman
March 18, 2004, 01:13 AM
I've used Win Primers only so far for .45ACP, and they've been great. I bought CCI 400 primers to use in .223 and had 2 FTF's in the first 50. The Lee Auto Loader says to use Win or CCI only, so I think I'll go to Win for the .223 also.

racenutz
March 18, 2004, 04:10 AM
I've used only CCI primers in my Lee priming tools & out of ~3K rounds I could count the number of FTF on one hand. This really doesn't bother me as all I load is range ammo & use factory ammo for defense uses (there's a can or worms:D )

The Lee Auto Loader says to use Win or CCI only, so I think I'll go to Win for the .223 also.

Are Federal primers safe to use in any loading tools that hold multiple primers? Seems to me that if they are unsafe in tray based tools they would even worse in tube-fed systems.

Ala Dan
March 18, 2004, 04:29 AM
You know I started out using Federal years ago, with
good success; but over the years I changed suppliers
and that brought on a switch to CCI and Winchester.
I can't recall ever using primers from Remington? But,
I must say that honestly I haven't experienced many
problems with either of the brands that I have used.
Sometimes Winchester's seem a little tight, when used
in S&B or military cases; but they perform well.

Yesterday, I bought a brick of Federal's #100 small
pistol primers; just too see if they are as good as they
used to be?

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Ben Shepherd
March 18, 2004, 08:42 AM
95% federal, even though they are a little bulky to store. I've found they have less deviation than other manufacturers. They also seem to have there sensitivity right where I want it.

5% CCI, for certain "heavy duty" magnum pistol loads. Slightly harder, less tendency to flow when you push things. (And yes, I'm very careful when doing this.)

Bro.-in-law uses winchester exclusively. He loads pistol from 380 to 454 and has no complaints to date.

tbeb
March 18, 2004, 09:09 AM
I voted Winchester because that's what I use. I don't know if one brand is better than another. I have tried Federal and CCI. I don't use Federal because they're not to be used with my Lee priming tool. I prefer Federal because I think they're "softer". I think CCI primers are "harder". (Softer and harder really isn't the right terminology but you know what I mean.)

Razor 10
March 18, 2004, 09:29 AM
I will vote Federal. Like alot of others have said they seem to be the easiest to light up. I have used Winchesters with no ill effects but still like Federal, they also seem to seat easiest as well with less devieation in velocity.



Nick:)

Ktulu
March 18, 2004, 09:56 AM
I voted CCI because they are the only primer I've used. After many many thousands of reloads I haven't had one failure to fire. I understand that when I get my 625 and get it tuned up I'll have to switch to Federal.

Poodleshooter
March 18, 2004, 03:27 PM
Winchester. I've had no primer failures, and the combined large pistol and large pistol magnum primers has worked very well in my .45ACP and .44Mag loads. I've never had the problems seating Winchesters that I had when I used CCI primers. They're also the least expensive primers in my area.

Eskimo Jim
March 18, 2004, 04:11 PM
I have been using Federal Small Pistol primers for 38 special +P and haven't found a reason to try something different.

-Jim

M2HMGHB
March 18, 2004, 05:10 PM
I'll vote Winchester too. When I started loading for my 1911 and my father's Glock the Glock would not reliably fire the CCI primers, switched to Winchester and no more problems.

Lloyd Smale
March 18, 2004, 05:38 PM
I use them all every gun and every load for every gun usually likes a different primer.

Delmar
March 18, 2004, 06:00 PM
Rifles: Federal 210M
Pistols: CCI or Winchester

Had a batch of Winchesters to give me some problems a few years ago, when they went to the brass color, but no problem since. Don't know what that was about, but since I was loading for 45 ACP and all of my 45's have heavy steel hammers and stock main springs, it wasn't that the primer wasn't getting smacked hard enough.....

tc300mag1
March 18, 2004, 06:06 PM
winchester for my taste

Sludge
March 18, 2004, 06:26 PM
I didnt really care about the hardness of the primers when I started reloading. However, when I started looking to shoot the Stock Service Revolver division of IDPA there was too much of an advantage to switching to Federal primers. They are softer, and I can turn back the hammer spring on the wheel gun quite a bit over what it takes to run a Win primer. Makes for a softer trigger pull, and a bit better shooting when im at speed.

I also use Federal Gold Match primers on my rifle shooting and some CCI.

Overall, I run more Federal than anything else.

HSMITH
March 18, 2004, 07:10 PM
I voted Winchester, since that is what I use the most of. I do like Federal primers a lot though too.

I won't use CCI again.

WESHOOT2
March 21, 2004, 09:52 AM
Pun-fu is strong.

I had to consider this very carefully; I voted for CCI. While I've used R-P, CCI, Federal, and Winchester, my notes suggest CCI most often meets my needs.

My 'tuned' wheels need the softer Federal primers for reliable ignition, and R-P primers give certain loads the best accuracy. Winchester's LP is perfect when I need something between 'hot' and 'not', but overall I choose CCI.
A look at my stock shows all four brands.........

Black Snowman
March 21, 2004, 12:16 PM
I started out on Federal and moved to CCI when I got my Load Master. CCI's take a lot to set them off but I don't lighten springs in my guns so they've always gone "bang" when they were supposed to and have never gone "bang" when they weren't. Feds went bang 100% of the time when I wanted to and once when I didn't.

I use Winchesters in my 10mm loads for slightly more ignition "oompf" since they're between magnums and standards for power. I'm sure the CCIs would do the trick but it makes me feel clever to have a differant primer for them ;)

As for the "best" I'd have to say Eley (sp?). Primarily by reputation. Not a ton of direct experiance. Of course, they only make rimfires to my knowlege.

jdkelly
March 21, 2004, 04:32 PM
I like to use W-W for my semi-auto and bolt guns. But I find that my revolvers, with light hammer strikes, like the softer Federal primers.


Respectfully,

jdkelly

Blueduck
March 21, 2004, 10:48 PM
Only real reloading problem I ever had was with primers seating (CCI), called Dillion and they said not to use CCI, problem solved. Other than that Win, Rem or Fed all work fine by me.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
March 21, 2004, 10:58 PM
In my selling a thousand progressive reloaders I advised my customers to use Federal for the 25 yard Bullseye range for their reliability and for the 50 yard Bullseye range I recommended Winchester because they are a little hotter and all the explosions that happened in progressive reloaders that I investigated were caused by CCI primers.
Also when I sold a primer turret holding a thousand primers to set on the reloader primer magazines I required that the customers write me that they agreed to never use CCI primers in them.

Fitz

45crittergitter
March 22, 2004, 02:08 PM
I mostly use Federal. I don't think there is a "best." However, here is what I have compiled from various gun rags:

Federal primers are considered to be slightly more sensitive than other brands, because Federal is the only company to use "basic" lead styphnate. Lead styphnate is the primary explosive agent in centerfire primers. There are two types: basic and normal. The difference between the two is in the chemistry, but basic lead styphnate has a finer grain structure and is, therefore, more sensitive or easy to ignite. All the other manufacturers use normal lead styphnate.

There are also differences among the various manufacturers in the chemistry of their primers and the construction of their cups and anvils. CCI pistol primers are generally assumed to have a slightly thicker cup. Federal primers use a thinner cup than CCI, Winchester and Remington, so Federals can ignite with a lighter blow.

Remington 7½ primers have a thick, soft cup (some say just harder) which makes them easier to light but also very tough. They should eliminate any problem from the cup flowing into the firing pin hole.

Winchester primers are fairly hot. In standard rifle primers, Remington and CCI are normally mildest and Winchester the hottest, acting like a very hot standard primer or a mild magnum, with Federal 210 in the middle. Federal 215s have the reputation of being the hottest magnum rifle primers, but tests indicate that’s not necessarily true anymore.

BluesBear
March 22, 2004, 03:06 PM
Are there actually people in here that carry a handgun that MIGHT NOT be capable of setting off EVERY primer commonly available?

I seem to see a trend of people shying away from CCI because their gun might not make them go BANG!?!?! Yet I see a lot of people on THR that swear by Gold Dot ammo. What primers do you think CCI/Speer use?

I guess I have been lucky. Back when I had my company active I personally loaded over 3,000,000 rounds (you read it right 3 million) and NEVER had anyone report a dud. What primers did I use? I used CCI exclusively. In fact, in over 25 years of loading, I have never seated a primer that wasn't a CCI.

Are there some that are so obsessed with a light trigger pull that they are willing to chance reliability? Is an extra ounce or two worth it?

P95Carry
March 22, 2004, 03:47 PM
Bear - I'll admit that my original pref' for Fed's was based on reliability in a partly ''tuned'' 686 which I used for compo's .... and that gun certainly could fail me with CCI's. It was never a defence weapon.

Nowadays tho .. I guess it matters little as I have no gun set so light that primer ignition should ever be a problem.

Old habits die hard tho and so I know that I have the confidence in the Fed's.. and continue to use them. Anyone who has an SD weapon so tricked out that it wouldn't handle a CCI is risking it all IMO. As you said ... Are there some that are so obsessed with a light trigger pull that they are willing to chance reliability? Is an extra ounce or two worth it?

Poodleshooter
March 22, 2004, 06:17 PM
I seem to see a trend of people shying away from CCI because their gun might not make them go BANG!?!?! Yet I see a lot of people on THR that swear by Gold Dot ammo. What primers do you think CCI/Speer use?

CCI and Federal are both owned by the same parent company now, so it's very possible that CCI ammo uses Federal primers.

BluesBear
March 22, 2004, 09:06 PM
CCI and Federal are both owned by the same parent company now, so it's very possible that CCI ammo uses Federal primers.
To quote my inside sourse at ATK, "Nope".
There is some R&D information sharing but,
"Federal & Speer/CCI are still operated independantly."

craig101
March 24, 2004, 01:41 PM
when i worked at Federal Cartridge, I was told Federal made the CCI primers at their Anoka, MN plant. the same place they made the federal primers. this was when Blount owned federal. I didn't work there when ATk owned them. i remember driving by the primer division daily.

it was a COOL summer job. still have friends who work there.

45auto
March 24, 2004, 02:16 PM
I use Winchester because they "go" off and they are packaged sitting flat, not on their side. :) . Easy to flip and load.

Being an "old" shotshell reloader, what's the purpose of brands like Federal packaging their pistol primers on their side? I never understood that...but I may be missing something.

mtnbkr
March 24, 2004, 02:41 PM
Are there actually people in here that carry a handgun that MIGHT NOT be capable of setting off EVERY primer commonly available?

Yes. My GP100, with lighter springs, won't reliably ignite CCI component primers, but will pop Federal and Winchester 100% of the time (or so far in about 5k rounds). The same gun hasn't had a lick of trouble with any factory ammo I've fired either (including Speer GoldDot). It's just CCI component primers. Therefore, I won't use them. My other guns, even the 36 with lighter springs, don't have this problem, but I still stay away from CCI component primers since I've noticed no benefit from using them over Fed or Win.

Chris

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