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magnum primers with hp38/win231 in 45acp?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by edfardos, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    desperate for primers, I acquired some LP magnum (cci350) primers for my 45acp's. There's lots of anecdotal evidence that they work fine, but I was curious if any of you have used these primers with win231 in a 45acp application?

    I made up some test loads (5, 5.3, 5.6) under 230grain balls. I was going to chrony these and stop at the first one that reaches 800fps. 5.6grains is my standard (800fps) load with standard lpp's.

    45acp is low_pressure, and won't show high pressure signs until it's too late, so I thought I'd ask this group.

    anyone using mag primers with win231/hp38 in 45acp?

  2. Ex

    Ex Well-Known Member

    I don't have anything that I use LPP mags in. Your theory sounds ok, but speculation is an area we can get into trouble with in this hobby.

    If no one that has definitive knowledge on this has answers, I'd call the manufacturer and see if they have pressure specs on the primers. A LPP by itself is a pretty good pop! Proceed with caution!
  3. hueyville

    hueyville Well-Known Member

    Back off 7% on your powder charge and blaze away. Look for pressure signs and if none ease your charge back up 3% at a time. I have substituted magnum primers many times when run out of standards on a Saturday night. If you have a decent modern firearm your not going to have issues.
  4. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Well-Known Member

    Good timing on your topic, as I've been debating this same question in regards to small pistol magnum primers. I'll be using magnum primers with 231 in 9mm. Please keep us posted on your results.

    Most reports I've read say to work up from scratch, but it should be otherwise okay. Maybe just a few feet per second difference, and possibly a tenth or two less powder needed to achieve the same velocity. Some even report better SD and ES.

    There was one report from Brian Enos' Forum that attributed breech face pitting to the use of magnum primers, though, that had me a bit concerned.


    Has anybody had any negative experiences using magnum primers in place of standard primers?
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    IMO you will have less a problem using a magnum primer with W231/HP-38 than other powders because W231 is a Ball Powder and reacts well to magnum primers. Even though W231 isn't hard to ignite a magnum primer will still work well with it. Right now I'm using Winchester LPP which are rated for both standard and magnum loads with W231 and I see no big variation from when I was using a CCI300 primer. Of course drop back a little on the charge weight to be sure but I doubt you will need to reduce the powder charge by more than .1gr or the most .2gr with a magnum primer to see the same velocity when using a standard primer.

    If you're getting 800 fps with a charge of 5.6gr W231 and a standard primer I would bet you will get 800 fps with a charge of 5.5gr W231 using a magnum primer. Please let us know your results...
  6. Ex

    Ex Well-Known Member

    Here's the post I've been waiting for!

    Good info Archangel! Thanks!
  7. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    concernedcitizen - I totally forgot about that thread! Thanks for the link. Now you got me worried about primer leakage with a hard(er) primer and the relatively low pressure of a 45acp :(.

    So I'd like to know if anyone is getting breach face pitting with this load?

    My 44mag can and will use the mag primers if my 1911 can't .

    thanks again!
  8. fallout mike

    fallout mike Well-Known Member

    There are a few of these threads here. I don't have links or remember where I read this but when using magnum primers in non magnum rounds back off 10% on the powder to expect the same results. I have had great success with 9mm and magnum primers and .45acp and magnum primers. I always seem to catch them on sale for half price. I researched this extensively before attempting. I've had no signs of issues from doing so.
  9. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Well-Known Member


    Even after reading the Brian Enos thread, I'm still willing to try it. I have extra magnum primers to use up, and standard primers are hard to find at the moment. My only concern is whether I'll be able to notice any problems before it becomes a serious issue.

    The thread I linked to said that the damage occurred over the course of thousands of rounds. I figure I'll burn through a few thousand, and hopefully component availability will be back to normal by then. I plan to scrub the breech face thoroughly after each session, and will be keeping a close eye out for any pitting that might develop.

    One of the posts in that thread mentioned that the sharp chamfer on the R-P primer pockets might also be contributing to the problem. Perhaps it's the combination of the primer and primer pocket that is to blame. I'm not sure if I want to go to the trouble of sorting brass just yet, but it's an option.

    I'll try to get to the range later this week, and should be able to get some chronograph readings to compare to the standard primers. I'll be sure to post the results once they're available.
  10. hueyville

    hueyville Well-Known Member

    I have several pet pistols I have been shooting whatever primers were in reach for 30 plus years. Specifically a couple of .357's. One small frame another mid size. I run .38& .357's through them in equal numbers and the magnum cases always get magnum primers. I.am sure each pistol has six figures of each ammo through them and no damage from primers...I can tell you the worst thing that can be done to a pistol is to leave it under your truck seat after dropping a quart sized Dr. Pepper in the floor and leave the.whole mess for about a month. My brother did this and the acid in the soft drink total lossed a nice Colt .380.
  11. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    so since I'm loading on the high side, not using rp brass, and not soaking the pistol in dr pepper, it sounds like my breach face might survive.

    I won't use rp brass with winchester LP primers because the primers crack and the shoulder and pit the recoil plate of my ruger redhawk (44mag). I'm gunshy about doing the same to my 1911. :|.

  12. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    fyi, I fired 15, from medium to max w/ mag cci350 primers. All good. Pictures and data soon....

  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Stop .1 or maybe .2 (At most) from max data and call it good.

    5.5 would be all I would go, but 5.6 or 5.7 would probably be fine.

    Looking forward to the data
  14. Nappers

    Nappers Well-Known Member

    Under Archangel's advise, I shoot 5.5 W231 and I use Remington LPP's and they group awesome!!! The gun outshoots the shooter. They shoot better than any factory I've bought in my Colt Commander.

    230gr Hornady Jacketed Round Nose or XTP
    5.5gr W-231
    Remington LPP
    Starline Cases
    1.230 OAL
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Works with SRP as well, just back off the charge a bit and make sure your gun makes firm hammer strikes.
  16. 16in50calNavalRifle

    16in50calNavalRifle Well-Known Member

    As has been for others above, a very timely thread. I have about 800 CCI LP mag primers and was going to use them up before continuing to dig into my large supply of Wolf LPPs. I typically use HP38 in 45ACP (sometimes Silhouette or WSF), mid-range loads, either 230g RN or 200g LSWC. Easy enough to back off 10% on the powder.

    Just to be sure I guess I will not use any R-P brass that is in my stock of 45 brass - not a huge hassle, just set them aside as I load (I always eyeball each case as I put it in the press anyway). And I will closely inspect the breech face of my 1911 now, and after each session with the mag primer reloads.

    Accuracy is not a concern as I typically use these rounds for short-range practice or an informal steels match that is mostly short-range in nature. And as always in my case, the shooter is a source of error that completely drowns out reload consistency in explaining accuracy problems.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    While I appreciate the credit I can't take the credit. That 5.5gr W231 load has been a standard for more years than I've been shooting. I only pass on what I find works well. (but thank you anyway)
  18. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member


    Before reading this, maybe you can tell me if one column looks better/worse than the other? Having said that, these are the test loads under an xtreme plated 230 grain round-nose bullet seated to 1.243" fired from a full size RIA 1911:

    Left col: 5.6 HP38, cci300 (std primer) 784fps (control group, on the shy side of 5.6gr)
    2nd col: 5.0 HP38, cci350 (mag primer) 743fps
    3rd col: 5.3 HP38, cci350 (mag primer) 782fps
    4th col: 5.6 HP38, cci350 (mag primer) 834fps

    I'll probably download .3 grains of HP38 on account of the magnum primers.

    No leaks detected. Breach face is smooth as glass (well, as smooth as RIA makes it). They all look the same to me, with the exception of the 2nd column, which weren't flattened as much as all the others. ignore the "pink" marks on the primers, as I marked them with a sharpie.

    Thanks for all the hints!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  19. DMZ

    DMZ Well-Known Member

    Excellent info edfardos, and most timely.
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Looking at your data it looks like my post above about dropping the charge by only .1gr to .2gr was correct. I don't think you need to drop the charge a full .3gr from your data, unless accuracy is better of course. Remember, it's not only velocity you need to look at because accuracy is very important too. Actually, I'm a little surprised the Magnum primers increased the velocity a full 50 fps, most times I get no more than 20-30 fps, and most times on the lower side. I also had no doubts using a magnum primer would not harm your breach face. I was wondering why everyone was so concerned?

    Thank you for the report but I would really like to see a test done with more than only 5 rounds just to take the human factor out. I usually test 5X 5 round sets when doing important tests like this.

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