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Large pistol primers in rifle cartridges?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by EMT_stuart, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. EMT_stuart

    EMT_stuart Active Member

    I just got into reloading, and currently the only primers I have are large pistol primers (and some BP percussion caps). I was just wondering if I could use them in place of large rifle primers for my 8mm Mauser or my 6.5 Carcano.

    Noob-ish question, I know, but I was wondering if anyone had success with this.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    Large Pistol primers are a different cup height then Large rifle primers.
    As are the primer pockets in the cases.
    And softer & thinner then rifle primers.

    (Sm rifle & Sm pistol are the same height, but not the hardness or pressure levels they are designed to handle)

    Best advice is, Don't even think about it.

  3. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    I'd do it with significantly reduced loads. I use LPP interchangeably for cast loads.
  4. bigdaa

    bigdaa member


    Hang on the rifle reloading until you get the proper components.

    You ain't in a hurry............
  5. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    Me too. In fact with cast bullet loads, LPP's are all I use, and I've used them in this way by the 1000's. Don't think I'd try them with full power loads though.

  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    BUT, under normal circumstances it's a very bad idea to use a LPP in place of a LRP when loading to normal pressures. rcmodel gave you some good advice, use what he said.

    Remember guys, this is a new reloader so we really should tell him not to do anything out of the normal, at least until he gains some experience. It's obvious by the question he's very new...
  7. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Well-Known Member

    Sticking with the Saami spec pressure loads your large pistol primers will work alright in the two cartridges you listed. They will work best if shooting cast bullets and using the typical cast bullet data.
  8. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    Edited to add the fourth source, and an on-line source from CCI.

    Checking four of my reloading manuals, I see the following listed as acceptable:

    8mm Mauser
    1) Modern Reloading, Second Edition: CCI 200, 250 primers
    2) Speer Reloading Manual Rifle & Pistol, Number 13: Large rifle primer
    3) Hodgdon Data Manual No. 26: Large rifle primer
    4) Accurate Load Guide for Rifle and Handgun, Edition 3.4: Win WLR
    5) CCI Online Primer Use Chart: http://www.cci-ammunition.com/products/primers/primer_chart.htm

    I did not check the second cartridge you had listed. My point is this, unless you see it in print, in a reputable, professional source, do not do it. God, or mother nature gave you one pair of hands, 8 fingers, 2 thumbs and 2 eyes. Do you really want to risk them?! Editing to add, CCI does not provide any information for substituting primers.


    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  9. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    I think it would problematic; misfires due to primer height. Large Rifle Primers are .008" taller than Large Pistol Primers. Pistol primers are made of softer material and might rupture from rifle pressures...

    Attached Files:

  10. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Well-Known Member

    I use them all the time in gallery rifle type loads and reduced loads with cast bullets and fast powders. Don't use them with full power loads for all the reasons mentioned already.
  11. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Well-Known Member

    Guys before you get real wound up with the tar and feathers and the big lengthy safety speeches. I would suggest you compare the saami spec pressures of the two cartridges the OP asked about, and a few things like the 41 and 44 mags, 480 ruger,454 casull and 500 S&W.
    I'll also point out that using large pistol primers in the big bpcr cartridges is pretty common practice.
  12. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    I'd be careful reading too much into the max pressure of the cartridges. A max pressure of 50k psi in a rifle vs 50k psi in a pistol both have the same peak pressure, but the overall impulse in the rifle could be much higher. Slower powder, more overbore, and longer barrel. Also, I thought rifle primers were used in 500 S&W, anyhow??

    As an example, both Remington and S&B have the same thing to say, here:

    Remington says to use 1 1/2's for 9mm. But 5 1/2's for 40SW.
    S&B says to use SPP for 9mm, and SMPP for 40SW.

    Max SAAMI pressure for 40SW is exactly the same as standard pressure 9mm. And both 9mm NATO and 9mm +P are higher than 40SW. So go figure. I'm sure S&B and Remington both know how to compare max pressures.

    So if you're gonna do it, just be careful. Use a little common sense. Check the primers for cracks. Check breechface and firing pin for erosion.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  13. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member

    223 Remington

    My son several years ago aquired a large amount of mostly military primed 223/556x45 cases. I have just got around to testing proven handloads in said primed cases.In almost every case using the same lot of powder,I am getting flattened primers firing them im my M 11 Savage.I have suspected that since the only variable is the primers,perhaps I am dealing with pistol primers.Anyone have any thoughts on that?The package deal he bought was from a person who was getting out of loading and included a press,dies,thousands of assorted primers and around 2000 of the primed cases in 223 Remington.I need to load some loads with known good CCI SRP and see if I still get flattened primers
  14. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Well-Known Member

    Small rifle and Small pistol primer cups are exactly the same. You're problem is likely from to much powder, or seating depth or any number of other factors. The 223 can be a bit finicky and pressure sensitive in some rifles.
  15. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I use LPP in my 30-06 to work up unknown powders. Why? Because I can see when the pressure starts to build way before I have anything to worry about. I also do it to tell me which ones have fast prefer in them. I have kids so you never know when something will get mixed up.
  16. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    You're right.

    Another thing many may not know is that originally the 460 S&W Magnum, which has a SAAMI maximum pressure of 60,000 psi used, gasp, large pistol primers.

    In addition, though I've never tried it, I doubt that cup height is going to cause misfires.
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    But the bottom line still is:

    Telling a new reloader it's O'K. to use Lg pistol primers in centerfire rifle loads is still the wrong answer!

  18. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Well-Known Member

    I would agree that a blanket it's ok to use large pistol primers in rifle cartridges is not a prudent thing to do. But you also have to look at the specific cartridges he asked about, and then answer in the affirmative for those cartridges, they operate at the same or less pressure than many pistol cartridges .
    If the OP happens to get some pierced primers then he needs to reconsider, but otherwise there really should be no problem.
  19. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    RTFM - what is so hard to follow?
  20. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    So we should lie to him because he is new?

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