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Magnum primers in 38 spc?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by altitude_19, Jul 30, 2010.

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  1. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Anybody use magnum primers in 38 specials? I'm not hurting right now, but I was wondering if it could be done if standard small pistol primers couldn't be found.
  2. lwknight

    lwknight Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Fort Worth Texas
    Yes it can be and has often been done.
    Typically , most 38spl loads with 150 grain range of bullets use about 5 grains of most powders. If in this range IIRC reduce the load by .5 grains to keep the same velocity.

    If you are shooting them in a 357 magnum then don't worry about it at all.
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    They work just fine. Just be on the safe side and drop your load a grain or two and work back up watching for pressure signs.
  4. badbart

    badbart Member

    Jan 21, 2010
    All i use is magnum primers and have never had a problem. But I only shoot 38's in .357 magnum revolvers.
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Like said above, they can be used if need be.
    I have to disagree with that statement. The use of a magnum primer is dictated by the powder you are using, not just because the word magnum is in the caliber name. When loading a hard to ignite ball powder a magnum primer should always be used. When loading powders like 2400 even though you are using it in a magnum round a standard primer is best used. If you are loading a powder like AA#2 or Clays to .38 Special pressures in a .357 Magnum case there's no reason at all to use a magnum primer just because the brass says .357 Mag on the bottom. It's all about the powder...

    In a pinch you can use magnum primers but like said above, drop the charge slightly and work up especially if your original load is bumping up against the SAAMI pressure limits...
  6. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    Central Indiana
    Small Mag. OK in most all loads.
    Not to hijack thread-but-Last year, while I was in a Small Primer shortage, I used Small Rifle primers for several of my .38Spl, .357Mag. and 9MM loads. Not one failure to fire, or any other problems with them.
    If your springs are strong, back down the charge around 10% and shoot away==Works for Me!! Bill...
  7. frankt

    frankt Member

    Jun 20, 2004
    During the worst of the Great Primer Famine, I was able to find 10,000 Federal SP magnum primers and I jumped on them.
    I did initially reduce my loads in 9mm and .38 spl and fired a lot of the rounds over the Chrony.
    With my normal powders of W231 and Clays, increase in velocity was barely noticeable and in the range of normal standard deviation.
    I will buy all I can find if that is all I can get.
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