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CCI 550 Magnum in .38 Special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by utbrowningman, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. utbrowningman

    utbrowningman Well-Known Member

    Give me your thoughts on using this primer in a Colt Officers Model .38 (1912-1913) Special with Universal powder and once fired brass. I did not realize I picked up the 550 primer. I don't think I should have issues but want your thoughts. Also, using 158 grains Hornady lead swagged bullets.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    You only need magnum primers to ignite hard to ignite ball powders like HS-6, HS-7 and W296/H110. If you don't have a use for those magnum primers try to trade them off to another reloader or just go ahead and use them in the .38 Special. Remember to drop back your powder charge and work back up just like when you change any component in a recipe.

    (use them with HS-6 and build FBI replica loads)
  3. 7mmb

    7mmb Well-Known Member

    I've done testing over the chronograph using different primers with the same bullets and powder charges in 357 Magnum. The CCI550 doesn't generate a whole lot more velocity than the CCI500, probably less than a .2gr difference in powder would make. You can use them with Universal in 38 Special but just stay below max. Chronograph them if you can to make sure you're on the safe side. I was in Gallenson's in downtown SLC last Saturday and they had boatloads of CCI500s in stock. They had Remington 1 1/2s and I think they had WSPs too. A good sign because Scheels in Sandy is out of all brands of small pistol standard primers and Sportsman's has been spotty having them in stock too. If you don't want them I could take them off your hands for what you paid for them. I will make sure they are put to good use. :D
  4. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    ditto to what 7mmb.
    Magnum primers make almost no measurable difference and no felt difference in mid range loads. I never push the limits in my loads so I've not measured the difference in max loads. Same goes for using small rifle primers in SPP applications so long as you don't have weak hammer or striker springs.
  5. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    I have a similar pistol and although it's built pretty heavy, I always worried about loading anything too stout for it.

    If you lived near me I would gladly trade you standards for your mags; may want to ask around to see if someone locally would want to trade.

    My little pistol is about the best shooting .38 I have. I bet yours is a shooter too.
  6. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I've used them in 38 spcl. when in a pinch for 500's, but I dropped my powder charge a tad. The only real problems I've ever experienced with this is when going the other way, substituting a 500 for 550.

    I also tried using 550's in 9mm and .40 cal and didn't like the pressure increases they caused with those cartridges. And although I decreased my powder charge in those applications a bit, I ended up with rounds that consistently went bang, but velocity and pressures were not as consistent.

  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    You can not equate substituting a magnum pistol primer for a SPP and a small rifle primer for a SPP, it's just not the same. Even though the magnum pistol primer will burn a little longer and a little hotter it's still a pistol primer and most handguns will reliably set them off. The same can't be said about a small rifle primer...
  8. utbrowningman

    utbrowningman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies. Contacted a co-worker to make a trade. I'm sure everything would be fine, I just don't want to take any unecessary risks with this revolver.
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you are going to be able to make the trade but I would not have worried about ruining your revolver. Like I said above, magnum pistol primers will burn slightly hotter and slightly longer than standard primers. They will not produce a nuclear explosion, really...

    I suggested the trade because it makes things easier so that you didn't have to work up a new load, not because the magnum primers are dangerous in any way...

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