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Small pistol primers, regular vs magnum

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chhodge69, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Well-Known Member

    Ok so I know the answer to my question is "work your load up from the minimum until you get the performance you want" BUT I'm trying to avoid driving 30 minutes and paying $12 to shoot 10 bullets...repeatedly. If you can help, thank you.

    I am loading .45 ACP small primer brass with 230G jacketed RN over 5.8g Unique. I accidentally bought some Winchester small MAGNUM pistol primers mixed in with my standard ones. Anyone here think it would be dumb to drop-in substitute the magnum primers without working up a new load?

    I'm not going for bullseye precision here, I just don't want an Earth-shattering Kaboom.

  2. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it would most assuredly be dumb. Magnum primers have no place in .45 ACP loads.
  3. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    That's a fairly middle-of-the-road load. Lyman shows something like 4.1 to 6.8gr as the range. You may notice some increase in velocity, but then you have some room to grow anyway.

    You probably won't see any mishaps, but you may ultimately wish to back off 1/10 or 2/10ths to get the same accuracy you found with your original load. Then again it may not even be discernible.

    However, the prudent thing to do would be to load five at 5.0gr, five at 5.3gr, five at 5.6gr. That way you can work back up to your 5.8gr and know what's going to happen when you get there. You can shoot all those in a single visit, starting at the lowest, and watching the spent cases for pressure signs.

    Working up a load shouldn't ever mean multiple visits. And if you have previous experience with the bullets and powder, then it needn't be a long, drawn-out process.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    Yeah I use the process that rfwobbly uses every time I change lots of propellant. I will go to my accurate load and load a couple more above also. then I keep track of the results for future use. Most often I see no variation but one lot of BLC-2 some time ago was a LOT different than all the others. Just expecting the manufacturer to always be super consistent is foolish and irresponsible IMHO. My experience with primers is they all are a little different--between brands as well as between MAG and std. Trying to take a short cut could possibly hurt you or your firearm. IMHO it's not worth it to me or my toys.:cool: YMMV
  5. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    Well , when I want to go to a pay range to develop loads I prep my brass (no matter of caliber) to the point of droppin powder then load it all up in the truck & go to the range .

    Final asm. is done on an old Lee challenger press clamped to the shooting bench.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I don't.

    Your 230/5.8 load is well below max, so I would load them and shoot them.

    If you were already loading 230/6.5 grains Unique, I wouldn't!!!

  7. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    If you don't plan to continue to use magnum primers, just drop the load back 1/2 grain and shoot 'em up. If you want to continue to use magnum primers the only sane thing to do is work up a load!...
  8. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Simply don't do it. Magnum primers have a purpose and that's not it.
  9. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    Assuming you're mid range, load them and shoot them; safe IMHO.

    If you were loading max/near max, then I wouldn't change anything without reducing charge. If you were using a mid range charge of bullseye (or similar), I wouldn't try it.
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I like the way mdi put it. I probably wouldn't even bother droping the charge.

    If they were that hot you wouldn't even need powder.
  11. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the input - So far nobody has said "I did that and it worked fine" so I am not going to be the first... I'll just set those primers aside until I find that magnum revolver I've been searching for.

    Still his makes me wonder...(purely academic at this point... I'm not gonna do it.) The extra energy in the primer itself is likely not enough to increase the pressure, but would the peppy primer cause the powder to ignite faster and could THAT cause a pressure spike?
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    For some reason people seem to think magnum primers are some earth shattering monsters, well they're not. Magnum primers burn slightly hotter for a slightly longer time than standard primers. (and I mean slightly) Like said above, since you load is nowhere near the top end of the pressure range load them up and go shooting without worries...
  13. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    Your not going to see a pressure spike.

    Because you have a .357 Mag. Doesn't mean you need a mag primer.

    Since you need to hear it stated this way:I tried it & didn't see the difference.

    CCI said that there mag primers are needed to light ball powders but I've never had one fail to light with a standrad primer. I haven't had them do any better with mags. I did have 2 boxes of mag primers that about 20 failed to light but there is a good possabilty there was other factors besides them just being magnum.
  14. solvability

    solvability Well-Known Member

    Archangel is correct in my opinion - during the primer drought I subsitituted spm for spp without any other change in 9mm and had no issues - the 45 should be less sensitive since it is lower pressure. There is as much change between primer brands as there is in one brand from regular to magnum. too much hype associated with the word magnum.
  15. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    Magnum primers will work just fine. You could also use small rifle primers in that load.

  16. kelbro

    kelbro Well-Known Member

    Good luck. I couldn't get the small-primer 45 brass to shoot worth a flip. Didn't try mag primers though. Who know, you might be on to something there.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    A few guys I know who use a progressive press just love the 45 Auto brass with small primers because they don't have to change over primer sizes any longer. They are loading a standard SPP in the 45 Auto cases and they tell me they see no difference in performance or accuracy between the two. (there are three of them using the small pistol primer brass 45's.)

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