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Rifle vs Pistol Primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rightside, Sep 22, 2011.

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  1. rightside

    rightside Member

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    Small or Large, anyone ever used rifle primers for pistol loads? I have lots of rifle primers that need to go as I do not load for my rifle much anymore.

    Thanks
     
  2. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    I use started using small rifle primers in place of small pistol primers during the not-so-distant shortage. There are two drawbacks. One, is that they may require a harder strike from the firing pin/striker/hammer than is normal from a pistol. Two is that they may ignite a bit hotter (not sure about either one).

    To be safe, i started my loads at the minimum and worked up.

    NEVER USE PISTOL PRIMERS IN PLACE OF RIFLE PRIMERS. <------------!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    Small, yes. They are the same dimensions and work fine, they are similar or the same as small pistol magnum primers. Large rifle primers are deeper than large pistol primers, so you probalby couldn't fully seat them in pistol brass.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Lots of IPSC shooters use small rifle primers in their overloaded .38 Supers to light off the large powder charge and not perforate at the high pressures.
    I used SR in standard 9mm during the Obama Primer Panic. They all fired.

    Large rifle primers are taller than large pistol and may not seat flush in a pistol primer pocket. Not recommended.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    looks like there's nothing left here to do. Small rifle yes, large rifle no...
     
  6. rightside

    rightside Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Small yes, Large No......
     
  7. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    It depends on the primer. I bought some wolf 5.56 primers that are too hard to go off in most any pistol that I have shot them through. Now I'm thinking I need to buy a 9mm AR to shoot off the 800 rounds I made.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    As posted, large rifle primers are too tall for large pistol primer pockets.
     
  9. rightside

    rightside Member

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    Well...umm.....hmmm.....I did load around 20 large rifle primers into 45 casings (before I ask the question) and they seem to fit flush, or did my press crush the primer/case?
     
  10. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I tried 1 small rifle primer & my S&W Model 10 refused to set it off.
     
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    During the little shortage, I tried substituting standard primers for magnum and didn't get very good results. But so far as pistol v.s. rifle, I've never tried it before. I've since stocked up well so I won't find myself running out when the next panic induced shortage happens.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Primers are supposed to seat slightly below flush with the case, not completely flush. You might have crushed the primer slightly but they will probably fire fine anyway.
     
  13. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I have used large rifle primers in handgun loads with no issues except the powder charge may need to be reduced a bit with large rifle primers and WILL need to be reduced with large rifle magnum primers.
     
  14. rightside

    rightside Member

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    I'll try to get out and give the few I made a go and report back.
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I use the small rifle in my Ruger BH 357 loads as the hammer strike is good enough to light them off. I also use them in my 9MM loads for the BH with 9MM cylinder, also the 9MM rounds that are loaded hot for my MP40 ammo. The regular 9MM pistols need pistol primers as they will not light off with rifle primers. Pistol primers will not handle the pressures of rifle rounds without rupturing. I have a 500 S&W and the brass has both LR and LP primer type. The LR primers will not seat properly in the cases that need the LP primers. They sit proud and might fire upon loading so my advice is to not use large size primers for the wrong application either way. As noted some substitutions are able to be done but it is always better to use the intended component for the round as that will always produce safe ammo. YMMV
     
  16. rightside

    rightside Member

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    After a closer look and comparing the rifle primers to pistol primers I loaded, the rifle primers do (as some mentioned) sit just a hair high.

    I did shoot the few loads I had made using rifle primers and they all fired fine 100%. I did inspect the cases after using both rifle/pistol primers and the only difference I can see is the depth of the firing pin strike. ;)

    With a boat load of rifle primers I am glad to use some of them up on my pistol loads.

    Thanks
     
  17. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Large rifle primers are taller than large pistol primers. This is a bad thing in both directions. Don't substitute them.

    Small primers are all the same size. I use SR primers in .357 Magnum and 9mm if I'm low on SP primers or just bought a bunch of SR's cheap -- save my SP primers for .38, .380, etc.
     
  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Other than size that has allready been covered her is a interesting chart on the energy produced by the different primer.

    Hit ctrl and + to zoom it bigger
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    rightside,
    Don't you know anyone who might want to trade primers with you?
     
  20. splithoof

    splithoof Member

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    Say what you will. I had a supply of .45ACP brass that was imported, and featured deeper primer pockets that when loaded with LP primers would often not fire, no matter what gun they were shot through. I solved the issue by using large rifle primers, and never had any trouble. Most of those reloads were shot in a carbine that had a blow-back action, and the brass was usually beat pretty hard. A few 1911's also ate it up with no problems, and it was perfect ammo to take to classes and events where the brass was not easily recovered.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    What head stamp brass?
     
  22. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I use LPP in place of LRP often. I use them when working up loads with no data. They show pressure signs sooner. They work fine for my reduced recoil loads also.
     
  23. splithoof

    splithoof Member

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    The headstamp was "nny", and imported under the banner of Hansen Cartridge Company. As I have mentioned in another post, some also had small primer pockets.
     
  24. rightside

    rightside Member

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    I will probably end up trading or keeping for future use the LRP and getting LPP for my pistols. Just to be sure......

    Thanks
     
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