Small rifle primers in lieu of small pistol primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bulletski, Aug 7, 2022.

  1. Bulletski

    Bulletski Member

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    Hi all:
    Like a lot of you, I wasn't prepared for the primer shortages that's now going on.
    I'm down to my last 100 small pistol primers. I do have a lot more small rifle primers which, as you know are the same diameter as small pistol primers.
    Now, I did run across a post about this subject some time ago and I apologize for bringing up the same subject. As I recall, it said that small rifle primers can be used in lieu of small pistol primers.
    Again, just want to make sure this is OK to do. I would have thought that small rifle primers would be a lot hotter than small rifle primers.

    Thanks for replies
     
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  2. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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  3. Docendo Discimus

    Docendo Discimus Member

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    There is some gray area around this subject. Not all pistols will set off a rifle primer. The pressure curve will be different and you should rework up any loads you use. Stay safe.
     
  4. sisyphus

    sisyphus Member

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    I tried small rifle magnum in a 357 load, because I load more small rifle magnum than anything else and they're always on hand, vs 357 is the only small pistol I load and I hate to buy a brick of primers for one gun.

    The cases showed no signs of overpressure and the loads were fine, but the ignition rate was 50%, with all failures producing a bang on the second try.
    The primer cup in small rifle magnum primers is too thick for my revolver's hammer spring. Oh well, I tried. Small pistol magnum it is.
     
  5. n2omike

    n2omike Member

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    Small Rifle and Small Pistol are dimensionally identical. Either will fit in pistols or rifles. Rifle primers are made for more pressure and are made of thicker metal. LARGE pistol and rifle are almost the same. Pistol primers are a little shorter, and will be below flush when firmly seated in a rifle case, and a rifle primer in a pistol will likely be a tad proud unless seated very firmly.

    As for use, I've used small rifle primers in pistol with zero issue. CCI tend to be made of harder metal, so I used Federal. No issues whatsoever in my semi-auto pistols. If you have a weak firing pin spring, you may have issue with light strikes. If you get nice firm primer strikes, the small rifle primers should work just fine.

    As for loading... If you are shooting MAX loads, it can be wise to back off a tad to be safe. If you are shooting low-mid loads, zero issue.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  6. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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  7. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I had some small rifle not fire in some of my .380's. Second strike they would go off.
     
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  8. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Hammer spur or firing pin with transfer bar? Just curious.
     
  9. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Many USPSA match shooters have used SR primers in their 9mm Major loads for decades without much issue.

    If you are loading at near max/max load data, I would conduct abbreviated powder work up with SR primers.

    Me too. :)
     
  10. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I like many of you bought a brick of Remington 6 1/2 small rifle primers without realizing they were not suitable for loading .223. I ended up loaded the brick as 38spl and 357 mag. No problems at all. Even with the reduced power springs in my gp100 I’ve had no problems setting them off
     
  11. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I use SR all the time especially WSR, but I have not had any problems with CCI 400 or Federal. Stay away from CCI 450's the new ones fail to fire in AR's and Bolt Guns.
     
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  12. dcarr

    dcarr Member

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    small rifle in .357 and 45acp shoot fine in my blackhawks. I loaded some (6) in 9mm and tried unsuccessfully to fire in smith&wesson mp2. Would not fire the second time around either. I put the 9mm cylinder in the blackhawk and the same 9mm shot fine.
     
  13. sisyphus

    sisyphus Member

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    transfer bar
     
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  14. dh1633pm
    • Contributing Member

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    It works for me. Got loads of small rifle. Whenever magnums are called for, out come the small rifles.
     
  15. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    This exactly. Except maybe for the mil-spec and specialty small rifle primers, any time you have a recipe that calls for small pistol magnum you can substitute standard small rifle primers. Start low and work up, of course.
     
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  16. Cliff6

    Cliff6 Member

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    I've used thousands of small rifle in place of small pistol in many pistols with zero problems.
    Zero failure to fire.
     
  17. kalielkslayer

    kalielkslayer Member

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    Before I came into a significant supply of SPP, I was using SRP for my plinking loads. When I loaded hollow points, I used SPP.

    never had a FTF, but didn’t want one when I couldn’t afford one.

    Thise loads were fired in 3 Glocks and 2 Springfields without a single issue.
     
  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    My Ruger Security Six, Rossi M68, Mauser C96, shoot my reloads with small rifle primer.
    I had a .380 Grendel P10 that required double strikes with reloads with SPMP and SRP. It was a double action pistol so double strikes were easy. It also had trouble with S&B factory ammo.
    CCI small rifle primer is very close to their small pistol magnum primer: primer cup thicker and priming charge heavier than small pistol standard primer.
     
  19. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I have run CCI #400, and Federal #205M small rifle primers in my M&P 9mm pistols without problems however I had multiple failures to fire with both CCI #41 and CCI BR4 small rifle primers in those same guns.

    Your results may vary.
     
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  20. dcarr

    dcarr Member

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    This gives me hope, if i run out of small pistol primers I will try ccl#400(have some) in my m&p 9mm . Thanks for the post mmb617
     
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  21. MakBaba

    MakBaba Member

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    My 9mm Gen4 Glocks would only fire about half loaded with REM 7 1/2s. 100% with CCI 400s and Fed. 205s
     
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  22. jebova2301

    jebova2301 Member

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    Copying and pasting what I posted in an old thread on the same topic...

    I have been substituting small rifle magnum(SRM) in place of small pistol primers(SPP) for years with no adverse effects. Some pistols don't have enough force on the hammer or striker to set off SRMs, but I have had no issue with any of mine thus far. Just for kicks, I ran some loads past my chronograph while doing other testing the other day.

    Load was as follows:
    124gr Hornady FMJ
    5.0gr unique
    Once fired(honestly only fired one time) Remington brass
    Fiocchi SRM or SPP
    Fired from a polymer80 "glock 19" build

    SRM Results
    1174
    1175
    1167
    1172
    1149
    Average: 1167.28fps

    SPP Results
    1155
    1164
    1189
    1169
    1159
    Average: 1167.14fps

    Overall difference between the two of 0.14 feet per second. Granted, this wasn't a giant sample, but I feel they are close enough that I don't have any concerns as to substituting.

    Having said that, I WILL NOT substitute SPP in place of SRM, as the SPP has a thinner cup and I would be afraid of primers getting pierced or failing at the higher pressures.
     
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  23. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I’ve used hundreds of small rifle in plain Jane 45ACP loads out of one or more of my government model 1911s. I couldn’t tell any difference. All fired normally and appeared normal after firing.

    But I’ve long since used them all and have an adequate supply of LPP and cases so that’s all I use for 45ACP.

    I do have SPP as well but they are reserved for 9mm (and, NO, I never used SRP in 9mm).

    I note also that this AM several places have SRP in stock.
     
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  24. hard holder

    hard holder Member

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    small rifle primers have less ft lb energy than small pistol magnums as per another page i will try to download the cci chart
     
  25. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    I’ve used CCI SRP in .327FM loads in a number of different Ruger guns without issue. I’d recommend regardless of caliber you ladder up and maybe only make a few and test fire first to ensure your gun reliably ignites the rounds before doing a large production run.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
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