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does primer brand matter?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ohihunter2014, Feb 20, 2018.

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  1. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    I am loyal to CCI only because that is what was inherited in the largest supply.Dad had Winchester/Western and old Federal & Remington primers.Also old Staynless No. 7-111. None a FTF! (Storage counts! IMO) Have used all these and Federal and CCI (Recent purchases). As posted in another post, Federal takes up a lot of room to store, so I prefer CCI for reliability & HERITAGE! (ymmv)
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    My revolvers only get Federal, but only one off them really ever needed them. My semi auto pistols get what ever I can get a deal on. I simple chronograph and adjust if needed. I ran about 10k worth of Winchester small rifle in 40S&W in my XD-40. Don't really do much rifle reloading, but I am using Winchester small rifle in 450BM.
     
  3. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    For rifle, I stick to CCI after WLR primers cut up my bolt face. For handgun, I use whatever I find.
     
  4. CLP

    CLP Member

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    Yes- there's a quality of the primers called brisance - the blowin'-up-ness that affects how rapidly the powder burns which can affect the pressure. This is why reloading manuals state which primer they used in their data.

    The differences can be quite significant though I'm unsure if you're following established load data that they could ever be dangerous. Changing them up without reworking your load can affect accuracy- maybe not in my case, but for those who can shoot that well they can tell a difference. Someone once published tabulated load data with primers of various manufacturers being the only difference - including pressures- but I couldn't begin to tell you which were hotter than others or where to even find it. An internet search may be helpful to you.

    All the standard boilerplate language about starting low and working your loads up safely applies.

    As an aside, it'd be great to have a sticky on safe load development, etc., and the things that folks always reference when answering these questions b/c one could just hyperlink it vs. typing it out unnecessarily. I hesitate to bring it up for fear someone suggest I do it. And I honestly would but being on baby duty has me exhausted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  5. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I found the best accuracy with S&B primers. They do show pressure signs with lower charge weights.
    If I don't use them, it's CCI in pistol and WLR in rifle. I'm a creature of habit when it comes to primers.
    Win primers are good.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep and sometimes it shows up when you change primers.
     
  7. Load Master

    Load Master Member

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    If consistence is something you desire this article might help with your selection of primer. I ran a number of test with many different brands and types of primers. My results match these: LINK
     
  8. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I've shot my best groups with Tula primers. What part they played in it I don't know but just saying.
     
  9. spitballer

    spitballer Member

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    I've pretty much stuck with CCI's for my .223 bolt rifle because they're widely available. An article on the subject of primers some years ago in the Hodgdon Annual Reloading Manual (2015? - author: Pearce) suggested regular primers for stick powder and that's what works for me, even though the CCI regular primers have thinner cups.
     
  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    When I started reloading for USPSA matches, I used CCI and Winchester and they have worked reliably without failure to ignite issue for me.

    During the last few shortages, I bought whatever primer I could find (Fiocchi, Magtech, PMC, Tula, Wolf) in addition to CCI/Winchester but found out European metric sized SP/LP primers (Fiocchi/PMC/Tula/Wolf) were slightly larger and did not seat as reliable as CCI/Winchester primers in the Pro 1000. In fact, Magtech SP primer (made in Brazil) is the best feeding/seating primer for the Pro 1000 thus far for me. I helped set up quite a few reloaders new to Pro 1000 over the decades and their complaint of primer feed issues went away when I replaced their primers with CCI/Magtech/Winchester primers. with some 9mm once-fired and brass with tighter primer pockets like S&B/RWS, they won't allow larger primer cups to seat even to flush so now I cull them during sorting and hand prime them separately with different primers.

    Recently, I bought some S&B primers and like other European metric sized primers, S&B primers did not feed as well in the Pro 1000 primer attachment to the point I am thinking about hand priming them separately. As to primer cup hardness, for me CCI/Tula/Wolf primers seem to be harder than Fiocchi/Magtech/Winchester and PMC/S&B seem to be softer. I have one lot of Tula SP primers that has failure to ignite issue due to harder primer cup but found they ignite reliably in small primer 45ACP cases so I am using them up for 45ACP target loads.

    After having reloaded almost 500,000 rounds, CCI/Fiocchi/Magtech/PMC/S&B/Winchester/Wolf primers all fired consistently. BTW, I attempt to seat primers at least slightly below flush (.004"-.008") to ensure anvil tips are properly set against the priming compound for more reliable ignition.

    As to performance/accuracy, I am planning to do a comparison accuracy test with different primers after I finish my thread on neck tension and bullet setback based on headstamp brass. For general purpose range practice and plinking loads, I use the cheapest primers I could buy and use larger diameter primers to extend the life of brass with looser primer pockets.

    But for match shooting, especially long-range rifle loads, different brand and models of primers reportedly produce measurable difference so I would suggest using primers that produce smallest shot groups and meet velocity requirements.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  11. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    +1. Different primers have varying amounts of flash size and duration (And depending on brand, flash size and duration variance from primer to primer can vary as well). For rifle loads, I try to match the primer used for published load data as much as possible. If using different primers, I will work up more carefully monitoring velocities.

    For pistol, this is less noticeable. When I switched from CCI/Winchester primers to Fiocchi/Magtech/S&B/Tula/Wolf primers for my lighter target loads (9mm 115 gr 4.6 gr W231/HP-38 or 4.2 gr Red Dot/Promo, 45ACP 200 gr 4.8 gr W231/HP-38 or 4.0 gr Red Dot/Promo), I did not have to adjust my powder charge but when I used PMC NT (Non-Toxic) primers, I needed to use .2 to .3 gr more of W231/HP-38.
     
  12. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Member

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    I have always used CCI with great success. I did buy about 10K of the S&B SPP primers when they were on sale at Cabela's for $20/K, but have not tried them yet.

    Today, I picked up 5K of Winchester SPP primers as that was all my local shop had in stock.

    These should all be good to go.
     
  13. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    The brand/manufacturer of primer does matter. Since there are several types and many comments are in generalities, here's my experience.

    SRP/M - WSR's are ok, unless you use them in an AR-15. That, dear sir, will get you pierced primers. Any other reasonable SRP I've tried (CCI 400, 450; Wolf-223 (for 5.56- best nomenclature gaffe ever!), Tula SRM (SR primer w/ thicker cup)) has worked well in an AR-15. No functional problems with any of them in rifles that don't have a floating firing pin. However, there are notable accuracy differences, depending on your combo and rifle.

    LRP/M - I was always a CCI 200/250 guy until I tried Wolf. The Wolf is a milder primer. Don't expect great results in a magnum, but in 308-class cartridges, I have found the Russian primers to be more accurate than CCI 200. Obviously, use mag primers with cartridges that have large powder charges, like 300 Win Mag and up. Mag primers are probably a good idea for use when using ball powder in anything that uses a LRP, but let your workup determine that.

    SPP/M - It is hard to beat the CCI 500, unless you have a revolver that will only function with Federal primers. CCI 500 have a great fit for American made brass. During the drought, I had to buy some Wolf/Tula - both in SP and SPM. No problems at all with Wolf/Tula in any DA/SA handgun, but striker-fired handguns did not fire them 100%. I had no problem working up 9/40 loads with SPM's. But, like others have said, the European/Russian primers are sized slightly larger and can be a real pain to seat in certain headstamps. As always, for best results, use the SPM's to light H110 (etc.) in 357mag.

    LPP/M - I don't shoot enough of these calibers to have an opinion that any web searcher should trust!
     
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  14. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    I will speak from my decades of experience, which won't mean a lot to you guys. In two words, "it can"... in answer to the OP's question. :) Generally, I've had NO problems with primers. As Emily Dickinson said, "A primer is a primer, is a primer, is a primer... " Wasn't that what she said?

    Anyway, read my thread (in this forum section) about the problem I've been having with Winchester primers. Yes, they've stood behind their product and been really helpful. In my case, I'm the one that hasn't been helpful because I didn't keep track of lot numbers like I should have been. Totally my problem.

    On the other hand, I have had zero problems with all other primer brands. I did discover that my Dillon Square Deal does not like CCI primers because of their shape, but there's definitely no problem with their function. It may sound surprising, but the primers I buy when I have a choice? S&B. Never a bobble with them.

    As to pressures and accuracy? Personally, I could repeat what Emily said. I can't tell the difference and I couldn't tell when I didn't have 60 year old eyes either.

    Oh... here's one tip that I NOW firmly believe in: KEEP TRACK OF THE PRIMER LOT NUMBER! (see my other primer thread)
     
  15. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    I use a lot of Federal pistol primers as I got a really good deal on several cases few years ago and use a lot Federal brass in 38/357 and 44 magnum. Lost count on how many times those cases have been loaded and no issues with them.
     
  16. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I only load handgun calibers except for .32 Special. Back when I played around a lot with my chrony, I found that primer brand does affect velocities, and that changed accuracy/POI. I also found that when powder charge was adjusted so velocities matched, for the most part, accuracy returned as did POI. While some primers gave slightly better deviation, it was pretty much moot on accuracy. I found that having consistent case length, so one had a consistent crimp(especially with magnum revolver rounds) made more impact on accuracy. Still, many folks that claim primers make a difference, don't trim handgun brass. Guess it a relative thingy.
     
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  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I dunno, but those of us who trim revolver brass are in the minority. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  18. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Member

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    AND a bit nutty!!! :confused:
     
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