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Primers to use?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KelTecGuy, Jan 1, 2009.

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  1. KelTecGuy

    KelTecGuy Member

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    Does it make any difference what make primer make you use as long as you use the proper size - i.e. small or large pistol or rifle. As an example, if the load data says use a CCI small pistol primer, can you safely use a Federal small pistol primer? These are probably dumb guestions, but not to us newbies. Thanks for any light you can shed my way.
     
  2. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    Most people use whatever brand they get the best buy on. Make sure that when starting out you work up from the botton charge towards the top. Any time you change a component, be it a brand, lot, profile, etc. start back down and work back up just in case. There will be slight variances in everything from lot to lot or batch to batch, and if you are near the top of the load, a slight change in anything could be bad. :what:
     
  3. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    There are no dumb questions, and if you get hassled about them, remind us that we were where you are at one time. :rolleyes: The books only cover so much, then experience covers some, that leaves us for the rest.
     
  4. possum

    possum Member

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    i get what ever i can get the best deal on. i used to get wsp, then i went to CCI, and then i found an awesome deal on wolf i haven't had an issue with using any of them.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    It is always a good idea to step your charge down a hair (5% is probably good) and work up the load again with any change of components.

    Having said that, there is little difference between the performance of most primers on the market today. So, yes, a CCI large pistol primer is going to work just like a Winchester large pistol primer, just like a Federal large pistol primer, etc.

    Aside from fairly minute differences in "hotness" between brands (which some folks do notice in comparing HIGH precision loads) the only other difference is that some primers are known to have a harder metal cup than others. A lot of military semi-autos and automatics (like SKSs, AKs, etc) that use a floating firing pin might call for a hard primer to prevent slam fires. Some revolver shooters looking for better reliability with lightened mainsprings in their guns may want a "softer" primer (Federals) so that they don't get misfires.

    If those conditions don't apply to you, don't stress too much about the brand of primer.

    HOWEVER: Don't screw up and try to exchange pistol and rifle primers (the dimensions are different) or use a Magnum primer when a standard one is called for (until and unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing).

    Good luck!

    -Sam
     
  6. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    pretty much doesnt matter as long as you work your loads around them. unless you are a competition shooter. f.w.i.w., i always try a small anount of something before i buy a large lot. so if you are just starting out, you may want to buy several boxes of 100 to try different brands to see if you (or your guns)like one better than the other. personally, i like cci's. for me it is about availability first, price second. i do not buy in large enough quanities to justify the $20.00 haz mat fee added to mail order shipping charges. so i buy locally.
     
  7. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I would think the only caveat is if it says small pistol primer, don't use small pistol magnum primers.
     
  8. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Just pick any American made primer and go for it!

    When I load nickel plated brass, I prefer CCI, but it's simply a cosmetic thing. Most of the time I use plain old Winchester.
     
  9. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    Which primers are known to be harder?
     
  10. bluewater

    bluewater Member

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    CCI are the hardest primers and my favorite.
     
  11. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

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    Best Buy

    I haven't seen any measurable difference in primers in the past 38 years of handloading. I load 10-15 thousand rounds a year, so that's half a million reloads, more or less.

    Mind you - I'm not a precision match shooter. For those of us who shoot plates, tin cans, targets at 50 yards or less (pistol) and hunting rifles at 200 yards or less, there doesn't seem to be a difference. As noted, some primers are harder - certainly the 'military' primers are hard. If you're a handgun loader, I doubt you'd ever see a difference.

    The last 5,000 Wolf Small Pistol Primers EACH fired on the first try. I'm buying more, since I get them for nearly $10 less per thousand than Rem/Win/CCI.

    If you're shooting precision match, forget what I said. I don't measure concentricity on 9mm Luger ammo :scrutiny: that I shoot tin cans with, either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
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