What's Your Choice For Large Pistol Primers?


Foto Joe
June 12, 2013, 08:14 AM
Given that gun control is now upon us in the form of "If there are no bullets then guns are nothing more than small clubs", many of us have had to make make concessions on things like primers. Choices like pay up to $75 for a thousand or use something we never even heard of. I'd like to hear from those of you who have done the latter, possibly using what I consider to be "off brand" primers. Since CCI, Remington, Federal etc. have gone the way of the Gooney Bird there are some out there that I have never used and I'd like some input before I plunk down a couple of hundred bucks for 5,000 of an unknown (to me) case of primers off GB or where ever I might find them.

Does anybody have any experience with Sellier & Bellot, Tula, Wolf or any others that might be considered non-mainstream but still somewhat available if you're willing to part with the $$$? The majority of my loading is for 45acp but I also load 45 Colt and 44 Special.

Any input would be appreciated.

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M2 Carbine
June 12, 2013, 08:45 AM
Considering the lack of availability of all primers I'd buy any brand I could find for under $35/1,000.

As far as personal experience I've only used CCI, Remington and Winchester.

I haven't heard that any of the brands are bad.

I like S&B ammo but I have had hard primers in their loaded ammo once in a great while.

June 12, 2013, 08:47 AM
I've used Magtech as well as the usual Federals and CCIs, Win, etc.

Haven't had to pay over $35 for a box yet though.

I do try to stick to Federals for the revolvers, though. They seem a bit softer and tend to light off even with lighter springs.

June 12, 2013, 09:16 AM
Anything I can get.

Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2013, 09:16 AM
Honestly, I can't tell a dimes worth of difference in any of them. They say that Federals are softer, but I've never had any of the others fail to go bang either. Get whatever is cheapest.

And I hate you guys who are still finding primers for $35/1k. They're all $40-$45 here, and I still buy them. Hell, it's still cheaper than buying ammo by a long shot.

June 12, 2013, 10:38 AM
Back when primers were plentiful, I bought CCI only and had excellent results with all sizes and types for decades. But when things began to go haywire a few years ago I began buying Winchester, Federal and Mag Tech. Again, outstanding performance through thousands of each.

I just recently received a case of Tulammo LP standard primers and thus far they too have been flawless. I'll still hold onto a few thousand American made for "critical" uses, but Tulammo may well be getting more of my business. The price is pretty good too.

June 12, 2013, 10:48 AM
I have used Tula primers with no issues.

June 12, 2013, 11:11 AM
They all work. If you have a finely tuned hammer/firing pin then Federals will go bang when others will not. That's why the have such big packaging they are softer.
All the rest work fine, 4 years ago at the last great primer shortage I bought a lot of Wolf cheap and they go bang. For range use anything.

Winchester are my preferred if I can find them, they seat nicely

June 12, 2013, 11:19 AM
Choice? Winchester, due to there suitability for both standard and magnum loads.


June 12, 2013, 11:55 AM
^^^^ This


June 12, 2013, 02:03 PM
Nothing but Federal since 1987. All my guns have light tuned actions and I've never had one fail yet.

Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2013, 03:08 PM
Choice? Winchester, due to there suitability for both standard and magnum loads.

That is a good point. I've often wondered if there really is a difference between them and standard LPP. I wouldn't know how to test them personally.

June 12, 2013, 05:08 PM
USSR has got it right - I try to just use Winchesters for that reason, but I've been reduced to using what I can find.

June 12, 2013, 05:55 PM
I've used S&B, Remington, CCI (including CCI Mag), and Wolf. Every one went bang. I was well stocked before the panic and have a crap load of 45ACP cases primed, mostly with the Remingtons. They seem easiest to seat in most headstamps.

Given that the Wolfs are thus far completely reliable and are (when availability is "normal") less expensive, I'd say I prefer them.

June 12, 2013, 06:53 PM
Same as small, CCI.

June 12, 2013, 07:13 PM
I use Winchester LP mostly,,have had good luck with them,,,have used Remington also-no problem, some friends of mine use Federal in revolvers.

June 12, 2013, 07:25 PM
For 45+ years, it was CCI first, Winchester second, Remington third, with Federal running a distant forth (because of the stupid boxes they come in)

It would be anything I could find on a shelf for sale.


June 12, 2013, 07:40 PM
I've always gone with CCI as my first choice, and have used quite a few Winchester too though. That said, I have never had one fail to detonate in over 30 yrs. of reloading.
But if I couldn't find CCI or Win, I would buy what's available. In this respect, I have had very little trouble finding CCI's locally, even with all this madness going on they are still available. So far, I haven't had to spend more than $35 for 1K of CCI's. But I sure do miss the good old days of $10 per K.


June 12, 2013, 08:57 PM
I typically use CCI for everything....had to buy some Federal the other day because there is nothing else, have not tried them yet though

June 12, 2013, 09:27 PM
Honestly, I can't tell a dimes worth of difference in any of them.


June 13, 2013, 06:00 AM
For a very long time I was using CCI LPP but a few years back there were hard to get by me so I tried Winchester LPP. Since they are rated for both standard and magnum loads I stuck with them.

I have used or tried most primers on the market and while I would rather use the 4 American primers Wolf/Tula, Magtech, PMC, S&B, Fiocchi and probably a few I don't even know of all go bang. When possible use what you like but when you can't use what you find...

Right now I have a mixture of CCI, Winchester, Remington, Federal and Wolf primers on my shelf...

June 13, 2013, 07:43 AM
Historically, CCi and Winchester were my large pistol primer of choice with Federal being a distant third. For some reason, Remington do not show much in my parts in the stores.

In 2009, I bought 1000 TulAmmo large pistol primers and they all have gone bang. There are too many comments about failures with TulAmmo primers, mostly small pistol if I remember correctly, that I will not buy them unless I had no choice. 1/2 to 1 percent failure is just too many in my book regardless of price.

This past weekend, I bought 1000 MagTech small rifle primers. Price was no better than the domestic primers but it was all the vendor had in small rifle. I thought that I would give them a try.

Foto Joe
June 13, 2013, 07:58 AM
Well....last nite I bit the bullet so to speak and put a bid on GB for a max of $220 for 5k S&B primers that had free shipping. They'd been listed previously with no success with a starting bid of $200 and figured after getting the responses to this post that I did that they'd be worth a try. Apparently there was somebody else who was more desperate than I and they went for $225. Oh well, the hunt continues I guess. I just couldn't bring myself to get into a bidding war on primers that would normally sell for around $125 per 5k.

The gun shops in Cody look like cold war era grocery stores in the Soviet Union that we used to see on TV as kids.

June 14, 2013, 01:26 AM
I have used cci, remington, winchester, tula, federal and probably some more than i dont remember. Never had a primer fail. I dont like federal but only because of the packaging.

June 15, 2013, 03:04 AM
I've used CCI & Winchester in pistol ammo. I prefer Winchester in the LPP. The CCI are a bit harder to seat. I have to really lean on my Lee Classic Turret to get them fully seated. The Winchesters slip right in.

Tula/Wolf primers have a very good reputation. Lots of rifle guys prefer them.

June 15, 2013, 07:12 AM
I only use Federal primers in my revolver loads as many of my revolvers have lightened DA triggers. For my semi auto pistols I use Winchester or Remington primers.

Foto Joe
June 15, 2013, 08:49 AM
Well guys I thank you for all the input. As it turns out I was finally able to get my mitts on some primers. A buddy of mine called me from northern Idaho yesterday and asked me if I was still on the hunt because he could pick me up 4k CCI LPP's and I yelled at him YESSS!!

I will NOT let this happen to me again, lesson learned.

Plagiarized from Jay Leno:
Did you know that President Obama has an impeachment insurance policy? His name is Joe Biden.

June 15, 2013, 10:51 AM
Winchester.No need to buy magnum for the rare occasion I need them.:evil:

June 16, 2013, 02:57 PM
I switched to Tula in SP and LP because of price and availability. Very pleased with them.
I've run a few thousand of the LP's so far without complaint.
I will probably stick with them when the 10,000 of each run out.

Hondo 60
June 17, 2013, 09:19 PM
I'm with rcmodel, it used to be CCI, Winchester, Remington & Fed a distant forth.

Lately it's what ever I can find.

(Tula is just the price point buy)

Bongo Boy
June 18, 2013, 12:46 AM
I've had the fewest issues with CCI and that's my preference. I've had consistently bad results with Wolf and won't use them at all even if that were the only brand available. Winchesters have consistently been difficult for me to work with in 45 ACP, with difficulty being in seating properly. Don't know why. I have had several misfires with Federals, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion it was the primer itself that was the problem--could have been any number of things. I'd still buy Federals in a heartbeat, but only if CCI wasn't available. The Federal packaging is the most inconvenient, wasteful and dumb of all brands I know, and it's more than enough to make be buy something else.

I believe I have paid $32/1000 at the gun shows from time to time, but by buying in bulk mail order even with HAZMAT I've kept it to about $29/1000. Moot point right now, of course.

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