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Magnum pistol primer substitution

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ATLDave, Sep 27, 2012.

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  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Like some others, I have recently found non-magnum pistol primers hard to come by, especially small CCI pistol primers. I have some magnum pistol primers on hand. I understand that magnum primers generate a more ferocious flame at ignition and can increase pressures.

    My question is whether there is a safe way to use them as a substitute. I generally do not load anywhere near max, prefering to load either a midrange round or the softest load that will operate a gun reliably. Since I am not near the limit, would it be prudent to try a small run of magnum-primered loads and check for pressure signs? Or is even that too risky?

    If it makes a difference to your answer, 9mm and .38 spl are what I load with small pistol primers. Both of them get shot out of full size guns with slides and frames originally engineered for more powerful rounds (an S&W M&P 9mm and a S&W Model 19 .357, respectively).
     
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Ok to use the magnum primers as long as you work up the powder charge. I use cci mags for 38 & 357.
     
  3. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Yes they work and for low to mid pressure loads, they will hardly make a difference. Obviously you don't want to blindly substitute them in a max load. I buy small rifle primers for both rifles and pistols in order to cut down on inventory and have no problems using them in pistols. I don't have any ancient pistols with weak hammer springs so there is no problem setting them off.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If you are not close to max, as you say most of your loads are not, you will be fine. You will get a little more pressure and a bit more velocity with the Mag primers.
     
  5. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    During the obamanation scare the only primers I could find were Fed Small Pistol Magnum.
    I probably used 10,000 of them.

    Just stay off of max load & work your load up again.
     
  6. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    We need to trade gun shops. Advanced Bullets in Temple (West of Atl) keeps plenty of standard SP primers in stock, but I have to ask them to keep a few Mag primers on hand for me.
     
  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Wild West Traders and Adventure Outdoors (both in Smyrna) had ample small magnum primers yesterday if you're looking. I guess us city slickers don't shoot/load as many magnum rounds as y'all do out in the country! ;)
     
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