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Is There a Reason Primer Boxes Have Gotten so Big?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by barnbwt, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. barnbwt

    barnbwt Well-Known Member

    I got lucky yesterday; finally found a 1000pk of large and small pistol primers (not great price, but only ~5-10% over what I payed six months ago). Is it me, or are the primer trays getting bigger? When I first started reloading about 2 years ago, they were 3"x3" trays, now they're 5"x5" trays. A few weeks back a guy at work sold me some old CCIs he had hanging around--tiny at 2"x2"!

    What gives? Are the manufacturers being required to pack them less densely because the primers have gotten more dangerous or something? :rolleyes: Or is it simply the manufacturers are trying to charge more for packaging and a bigger billboard?

  2. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I hear ya, I've been seeing this trend for more than 30 yrs. and can't figure out the manufacture reasoning for the life of me?

  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    It's to provide more airspace between the individual primers. This is done to lessen the possibility of sympathetic explosion while in transport.

    A couple of years ago I gave some old primers in the wooden trays to the reps from Federal at the SHOT Show. They were pretty spooked at handling them that way, so they've evidently had some type of problem in the past.

    Hope this helps.

  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    The federals are the worst! They take up twice the space as everything else!
  5. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Well-Known Member

    The FEDERALS are also BY FAR the most sensitive to sympathtic detonation.
  6. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    I have been told this as well.

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    Why are Federal primers so easy to install ---I can almost push them in with my thumb.
    They measure the same dia. as a CCI
  8. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    Thinner/softer cup material.
  9. cja245

    cja245 Well-Known Member

    I try to avoid Federal primers mainly because they take up so much damn space.
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    No one really knows. What is known is that Federal has been large for quite some time. Rumor has it that they heard that industry-wide packaging mandates were about to be implemented but they never were but had already switched over to satisfy those.. they never switched back because of already sunk costs.
    I've not heard that their packaging is any safer than the much smaller CCI etc.
  11. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info--that's what one of my kids said.
    I always use CCI---I don't like the feel you get on a Fed primer but beggers can't be choosers. That box takes up a lot of space I still have some of the old CCI boxes--- they are very small compared to Fed.
  12. Ken70

    Ken70 Well-Known Member

    Federal is the only company to use "basic" primer compound. Look at it wrong (like the Happy Fun Ball) and they go off. Everybody else uses "normal" compound, that's why Lee says only Winchester and CCI if you're using a LM.
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Besides the safety aspect of the increased space around the primers, the new, larger trays with individual primer pockets may be easier, faster, and cheaper to fill. Also, camera Q/C systems may be able to determine missing primers in the trays easier.

    A theory based on my experience working with high speed consume goods packaging equipment.
  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    I've been working through my stash of 70's era CCI primers and I love the little trays; they're easy to unload into my lee safety prime tray. The newer CCI trays are Juuuuuust small enough to fit, but I have to dump one row at a time and slide the tray along to keep it centered over the round lee safety prime.
  15. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    The Fiocchi primer trays are still pretty compact.

    But yeah, I avoid Federals just because they're such a pain to store.
  16. BruceB

    BruceB Well-Known Member

    Some years ago, Federal actually TESTED their primer packaging (rather than guessing, interpolating, navel-examining etc. etc.).

    They placed a large quantity of their primers , in factory packaging, out in the open and set fire to the pile. The resulting explosion was sufficiently impressive that the packaging was immediately changed, and THAT is why Federal started the trend to larger (and less risky) packages.

    Now, stop complaining and enjoy the increased safety of your primer packages! (Those bigger boxes also don't fit on older 'flipper' trays... I consider that a small price to pay, and bought one of the bigger Dillon trays).
  17. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    So the larger boxes are composed of fireproof paper? :D
  18. CGT80

    CGT80 Well-Known Member

    The Wolf/Tula primers are great. All the primers are flipped the same way. I flip a tray over, onto my big brass dillon primer tray, and push the plastic insert out of the cardboard. That leaves me with ten rows of ten primers lined up neatly to be picked up by the dillon tubes. I can load 100 primers in a tube in 1 minute 8 seconds.

    I have some Federal Large Rifle Mag primers. 5 trays of those take up the same space as 10+ trays of the others. It works ok though. I don't use many of those. I do use akro bins to keep primers in. 8 of the dillon 550 bins will fit in a drawer of my loading bench. Each bin has a type of primer. I keep the cases of primers in a different location. I can't fit everything right at my bench.

    I have some of those old Winchester Staynless (I think that is how it was spelled on the box) primers in the small wood packages. They are pretty cool. I haven't bothered to see if they actually still would ignite.
  19. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Well-Known Member

    I Luke remington's packaging.

    Sent from my CZ85 Combat
  20. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    Federal did it for safety as said above...others do it because bigger box is more attractive to the buyer. Smaller boxes are seen as being less. Marketing.

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