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Best primers to use?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Trad Archer, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    I usually load with CCI small pistol and never have problems. However, my wife has both a S@W Bodygaurd and Sig Sauer p238. Both guns seem to have a light strike and dont always ignite those CCI primers. I recently read that CCI makes perhaps the hardest primers. Knowing that, any recommendations on what primers work best for those little light firing mouse guns? Thanks.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Well I would think a S&W Bodyguard would set off any primer.

    *** Make sure you aren't over-crimping and making the case mouth too small to headspace correctly.

    I use CCI in my Kel-Tec P3AT and if the Bodyguard & SIG are weaker then that?
    I would sure hate to own one!!!

    **** Are you sure you are getting them fully seated to the bottom of the primer pocket so the anvil is pre-loaded against the primer pellet?

    Anyway, Federal primers are noted for being the easiest to ignite primers you can buy.
    In my experience that would be followed by Rem, and Win, with CCI bringing up the rear of the parade.

  3. 918v

    918v Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    Well, FC-100 are the softest and easiest to ignite, followed by WSP. But if you are seeing light strikes on CCI-500 with a factory pistol, your gun has mechanical issues.
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Yep, a factory gun should set them all off.

    95% of light firing pin strikes/failure to fire come from primers not being seated fully.

    The other 5% come from weak springs/turned out strain screws/reduced power springs.
  5. Bovice

    Bovice Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    I like using winchester's small pistol primers. I sometimes have trouble seating the CCIs in some cases and they get smushed and ugly or utterly destroyed in the process. It's like they don't fit that well. Winchesters practically jump up into the primer pocket and seat themselves. Plus, they're a brass color. Looks high class :)
  6. Hummer70

    Hummer70 Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    Cradle of the Confederacy
    Primers must have two things for reliable ignition reliability. They must have SPEED AND ENERGY. Remove one or reduce one and you will get misfires.

    The allowable misfire rate on US primers by all manufacturers is 1 in a million.

    Handguns are notorius for not having enough ignition energy and unless you have the gage fixtures and the equipment to measure striker indents your incidence of misfire will most likely occur and you not know why.

    As well if the primer indent is off center over .020 the misfire rate should not be affected. Once you pass .020" offset the chances of misfires starts to rise. This is not measured by looking at overall indent but measuring from the dead center of the primer to the dead center of the firing pin indent.

    Most vendors have an internal tolerance of 1/2 the diameter of the striker offset. Most small pistol strikers run about .060" diameter thusly their tolerance can allow a .030" offset.

    Couple offset of indent with reduced striker energy or velocity and your misfire rate can go out the roof and it is all the fault of the design and not the primers. Just because one primer will go off and another won't doesn't mean it is not the gun, just has a more sensitive primer.

    The hardest primer to ignite in the US inventory is the 50 BMG. Second is the 5.56 MILSPEC primers and the easiest to ignite is the small pistol primers on 38 special.

    Finally all bets are off if you ammo has been exposed to water, oil, high temperature (car trunk, dash of pick up etc) Most commercial ammo is no longer waterproofed (the blue/red/green) sealant around the edge of primers.
    Without this moisture out of the air can kill ammo.
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    In my S&W Bodyguard I shot CCI 500's and WSP in 48 F weather without any misfires.

    However Federal makes the most sensitive pistol primers on the market. If you are concerned about striker energy than buy the Federals.

    I do know they make a difference. I bought a well used M586, the previous owner had shot at least 40K rounds through it. I got misfires, hangfires, and squibs in cold weather with WSP. I replaced the mainspring and had no further problems. Discussing this with the previous owner he had used Federals with the old mainspring and everything worked fine.
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Either your pistols are defective (doubtful) or you are doing something incorrect with your reloads. Make sure you are properly seating the primers before you go changing primer companies. Any properly operating unmodified factory pistol should easily fire off any primer if the primer is installed correctly.
  9. glockky

    glockky Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Webbville, KY
    Well first off i would have to agree that u should check the pistol. But i can tell you federal primers are the softest. They are all i load in 38 special due to the fact that i have an old model 15 smith that wont set off any other brand of primer when shot in double action. I am sure the old smith needs some new springs but its just a range toy and has a great double action trigger so I live with it.
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