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Primer Question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by .41 magnum man, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    Well, I know what my answer is, but I want some advice from you guys. I have everything I need to start reloading except primers. No one around here has any at the moment, but will next week. I happen to find this guy who has a bunch of primers. I tell him I am reloading for a .41 mag and I need some large pistol primers, and he tells me he will give me a box. So I get them and instead of large pistol primers they are large magnum pistol primers. I brought that to his attention, and he says, "Oh that is what you want. I use them all the time in my .44 magnum. If there is one thing I know about, that is reloading. Just use them and you will be fine."

    Well, maybe he is right, but since none of my books mention a magnum primer with my hornady .210 xtp's, I am not going to do it. He might know enough, but I don't. I am very anxious to get started in reloading, but not that much! Anyway, if some of you can give me your thoughts on the magnum primers. Now, I notice that Speer says to use the magnum primers with their bullets, but like I said I have the Horndady bullets. If the bullet weight is the same can I start out with the minimum load and see how they do? The one thing though that I wonder is: Don't different brand bullets go into the case at different depths? If so, then wouldn't that cause primers to give different pressures that would not work for every bullet? I am asking this for the information only. I still don't plan to start off this way. I have yet to reload anything, and until I get some experience, all my loads are going to be by the book. I appreciate your comments.
  2. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    What powder are you using?

    If you're looking at Lyman 3, they're running WLPs which are pretty much large pistol magnum.
    More or less.

    W296 and H-110 pretty much need magnum OR WLP.
    Pretty much.

    I'm new too, but as noted in your other thread, if you're running H-110 or W296 the rules are the teensiest bit off. In general, running mags won't hurt with powders that don't need it as you'll be starting off with reduced loads... something not recommended with H-110 which tends to spit up with reduced loads.

    I've just swapped my toolhead to .41 and I'm running Hornady 210 XTPs with H-110 and WLPs. So far, so good.
  3. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    Alliance 2400
  4. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    I may be a little extra leery, but my Lee reloading book does say to never use the magnum primers unless the data says to.
  5. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    I'll defer to the more experienced here, but if you start at 10% under 17.5 (from Alliant's web site), you should be good to go.

    Lyman 3 shows 16.0 to 17.8 with WLPs.

    Using the mag primers with 16.0 2400 should be a good starting load. I gather that WLPs are not terribly far removed from mag large pistol primers from whoever else.

    It appears Lyman 3 is running WLP "near magnum" primers for everything in .41 Mag.

    Manuals conflict. I didn't like it either, but they do.
  6. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

  7. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    I have even used CCI 250 (large rifle magnum primers) in a 44 Rem. Mag. As I recall, I had to keep the load 1 or 2 grains lower than when using large pistol primers. There should be no problem using large pistol magnum primers as long as you carefully work the load up as you should when making any significant changes to a load. Accuracy may be better, the same or worse with large pistol magnum primers.
  8. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    Okay, I have one more question. When you start with a lower charge because of any changes to a load, how do you know when to quit working your way up? If I start out at say, 10% below the lowest given grains, does that mean I can go up to within 10% of the maximum load listed? How do you figure what is the maximum load in a new situation using my situation with the different primer as an example?

    Hopefully, these questions will be helpful to anyother beginners out there too.
    Oh, and thank you, kind fellow members for input. I really do appreciate it!
  9. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    The 10% low figure is for max.loads.Some data only shows one powder charge,this is a maximum load and you reduce it 10% for a start load and work your way up to that max.listing.I have personally never needed to load this hot,but to each his own.
    Alliant claims none of there powders need a mag.primer and I have found this to be true in the .357 mag. with 2400.Better accuracy and cleaner burn.
  10. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    .41MM - I tend to agree with the guy giving you the freebies. All of the cautions you find and hear are very good advice. You don't need a magnum primer for 2400, but can you use one? Yes. As almost everyone has stated, including me, you will/should start off at the minimum load anyway.

    The .41 magnum is fully capable of using a magnum primer for all loads. In other words, if that's all you've got, that's what you need to use. It only means you need to be careful as you check your loads by firing (not more careful - because you should always be careful when doing this.)

    That isn't true of all calibers. For example, you wouldn't want to use a small pistol magnum in a 9mm load where it isn't called for. Could you? Again, yes - in a pinch, but there is far less margin for error in a small case with the possibility of extreme pressures. Not to mention that the revolver you're using is much more forgiving of small errors on the high side than a 9mm pistol.

    Your other question is "when do I stop". Excellent question, and there is no single answer. All I can tell you is when I stop adding powder. I will stop when: a) I've achieved the accuracy I feel is intrinsic in the caliber and firearm; b) I like the feel of the load, recoil, etc.; or c) at the published max; whichever comes first. In my experience, the first two are almost always found before I hit the published max.

    You should also look for signs of too high a pressure:
    • The cases will be more difficult to extract from the cylinder.
    • The primers will be flattened, cratered, or even flow into the firing pin hole. But, it should be pointed out that the look of the primer is not a very good guide to the pressure that occurred in the chamber. A primer might look just a little bent out of shape and the chamber pressure was 20% over the SAAMI established limits, or the primer might be completely flattened and the pressure was just fine. Over time, you begin to recognize what is a high pressure sign and what is normal.
    • The best method is to measure the increase in diameter at the web of the case just above the extraction groove. If that particular dimension increases more than .001", you need to reexamine your load. Of course, that implies that you measured the web diameter before firing. (Actually, it's a little better to measure after the first firing using a medium load since the web will expand just a little on the first firing of a new case.)

  11. ClarkEMyers

    ClarkEMyers Well-Known Member

    Notice that older Speer manuals DO use magnum primers with 2400 powder. It is true that in Speer - and some other - tests 2400 powder did not need magnum primers and loads performed better - more uniformly - without magnum primers - hence the change.

    There was some discussion of this precise point and how it led to changing the Speer manual in one of the issues of Handloader magazine. If I recall correctly Alliant (was Hercules was DuPont was...) suggest standard primers do just fine with 2400. Likely enough 2400 was developed before the magnum craze smiley - actually for corrosive primers..

    I would not hesitate to use the older - but not too old, I'd want a manual in at least the double digits - Speer data as tested data giving reasonably safe loads. I would hesitate to extrapolate loads when I had no need to and certainly for magnum pistols and full power rifle loads.

    I like my loads from a ballistics lab that tests at different temperatures and with different powder positions by pointing the case up and by pointing the case down and so on and so forth.

    On the other hand my own preference is strictly magnum primers and stout loads of 296 with a tight case neck and good crimp (I consider the tight case neck more important than the crimp for good ignition with 296/H110) for the .41 Magnum with 210 grain bullets. I get excellent external ballistics which I believe to indicate good internal ballistics although with a substantial muzzle flash.

    Although I have a fixture and indicator for measuring case expansion as sold by one of the major bullet makers - and written up in their manual - from the days when people improvised more I do not believe coomon pressure signs are reliable at all in revolvers for judging actual pressure and more recent research has shown many issues with judging pressure by case expansion in a rifle.

    I suggest the technique of chronographing loads and figuring a load that matches the manual shows pressures AT LEAST as high as the manual is the best that can be done and that's none too good.
  12. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Well-Known Member

    large pistol primers and magnum large pistol, primers are not interchangeable. Use the primer specified for the powder you are using.
  13. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    >41 magnum man

    It should be noted here that if you choose to use H110 it can only be reduced 3% from it's max. load listing.This powder needs pressure to burn properly.I believe W296 is the same but I'm not sure ,maybe someone else can enlighten us on this.
    I can't stress enough that an undercharged load can be a bad thing.
  14. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Magnum primers can be used with any load. Winchester doesn't make a magnum large pistol primer any more and prints on their large pistol primer boxes that they're good for standard and magnum loads.

    The 10% reduction for a start load is a standard reduction from the maximum load listed but as data varies for the same bullet weight from different sources I personally use the lowest maximum charge as the basis for determining a start load. With the 210gr Hornady the 17.5gr max load of 2400 listed on Alliants website would be the basis so use a start load of 15.8grs to start.

    The goal in working up a load is to achieve the best accuracy from your pistol at a velocity level you're comfortable with.

    You will know when you reach the maximum or best load when you either see pressure signs (read your manual and its illustrations) OR the accuracy begins to deteriorate and groups get larger. For the typical box of 50 I load 6 rounds at each level from start to near max, this gives you 7 batches of 6 rounds with differeing charges to test on targets. make sure to label the charge level you are testing, putting each batch in sandwich bags with a note on charge information works for me. Then take them to the range and shoot them off a rest. IF you start to see pressure signs before reaching maximum published loads STOP as you have reached the maximum for your component mix. Disassemble any heavier charges and reuse the components.
  15. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Well-Known Member

    What most said, if you are starting up from the bottom no problem with the Magnum primers. When you are load developing you should load no more than 20 rounds of each formulation this way if the load show signs of pressure you have not wasted too many components. What I do is this. I will load 10 rounds of five different formulations from the lowest to just under the highest. Example if the book shows me a 2 grain spread from lowest to highest I will divide 2 by 5 and get .4 grains. So the first batch of 10 will be the lowest published forumulation, then .4 grains more and so on till I have 40 or 50 rounds to try at the range. I will shoot each batch together, carefully to determine which is the most accurate, recording the whole process and shoot no more than 10 rounds on each target. On the first round of every batch I check for signs of pressure, primer flattening, primer blowby, bulging cases, etc. I also check all of them again after I empty the cylinder. I then will go the next batch, doing the same checks and looking for decreasing and increasing group size. After I have fired them all and have found the most accurate I will then go back to the loading bench and then divide the .4 grains up by .10 to try to get the really sweet spot. Rarely is this the max load in most combinations. After all this is done and I have found the most accurate combination I go back and load them by the hundreds. If I am still not satisified with the accuracy I will re-evalute my components and maybe try a different powder or powder/primer combination. You can also avoid all this by using the exact same components and choosing the accuracy or hunting load listed in the manuals. LOL, finding the right combo is the fun part for me. Once you do that combination will be with you forever and now you can concentrate on buying in bulk to save a few bucks. Bill
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2007
  16. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys! And one thing I did at the beginning of this post, I might have made it sound like I thought the guy who gave me the magnum primers was a bad guy or something. At least as I re read it I see it could be taken that way, and I just wanted to say I didn't have that intention at all. I figured he probably did know, but I he didn't have time to give me any specifics, and, well, it doesn't hurt to get other opinions anyway! :) But I actually appreciate he took the time to help me best he could. And I really, really appreciate all you guys too.

    You all have explained everything very well, and I see now what I can do. However, I found a store about an hour away that had the large pistol primers and I drove there today and got a few packs of them. So, that is what I will start out with, but will keep the others on hand to play with later as I feel more comfortable with what I am doing. Or if I am sastified with how things are going, I'll give them to someone else. But I sure have learned a lot from all of you, and again I appreciate it.

    Anyway, I set my turret press to where it is like a single stage press for now, and I primed up ten cases. Five of them were Winchester casings that had been 170 or 175 factory loads. The other five are Remington cases. Thought I'd see if there is any difference in that. Well, I am going to go down in a few minutes and finish loading those cases and I'll be back after while to let you know if my gun still works or not. :)
  17. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    H110 and Win. 296 are the same powder. H414 and Win. 760 are the same powder. If you peruse the 2007 issue of Hodgdon's reloading magazine, you will find that when H110 is listed for a load Win. 296 will also be listed for that load and all the numbers are EXACTLY the same. The same applies to H414/Win. 760. I've also confirmed this via an e-mail to Hodgdon.

    Maybe this has been mentioned in the above posts; if so excuse me. How much you push a load also depends on what gun you're shooting it in. I would never exceed maximum suggested loads in autoloaders, lever action guns, most revolvers, etc. Bolt action firearms are a bit more forgiving in tolerating high pressure (I'm not advocating overloads). In only one case have I found a load that worked best slightly over the maximum listed in the manual but that load is only a tiny bit over, I've shot the gun a lot and know its pressure signs (there are no signs of excess pressure) and the gun is strong.
  18. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    Thanks Grumulkin, I wasn't sure enough to post that as I don't use either of those powders anymore.
  19. rc109a

    rc109a Well-Known Member

    I have been using the Win primers with H110 and the Hornady XTP with great results. My groups at 25 yds are all touching when I am shooting supported. At 50yds they are within 2inch supported. Unsupported they are at least within the black (providing I am having a good day...lol). I don't know if I even want to chance going to the 2400.
  20. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    howdy rc109a. I will probably try out some h110 at some point. I almost bought some 200 gr. remington ammo. I figured it would be a good plinking bullet and it is a little less expensive.

    I am going to reload some more this evening and do some shooting. By the way, (I mentioned this in another topic) have any of you ever put primers in a case and seen they were fine, but after putting in the powder and the bullet, you notice the primers are sticking out. That is happening to me with Rem. cases. They stick out enough to stop the cylinder from turning. Any ideas why?

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