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What's the "right answer" for .223 primers?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CMV, Dec 23, 2011.

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  1. CMV

    CMV Member

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    I've heard/read that for shooting in an AR that you must use hard primers like CCI #41 or some other brands "magnum" primers or else run the risk of slam fires.

    Sounds like it makes sense at first blush because I do see small firing pin dimples when I unload a chambered, unfired round.

    But then I think of all the commercial .223 that people fire thru ARs every day without issue. If the inertia from the free floating firing pin would cause a regular small rifle primer to detonate in a reload, wouldn't it do the exact same thing in something like WWB, UMC, or American Eagle, etc?

    Not knowing the "right answer" I bought CCI #41 primers. No big deal because its only a few $ more per 1,000, but I'd hate to pass up a sale on regular old small rifle primers that would be perfectly fine/safe for me to use because I have a false notion that I shouldn't use them.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You can bet that all commercial .223 ammo is loaded with primers that are not sensitive enough to be unsafe in AR's & Mini-14's.

    As for me?
    I have used CCI standard SR primers in both gun types since I started reloading for them in 1970.

    Nothing wrong with using CCI #41.
    But CCI Standard or Magnum primers will work just as well & safely.

    rc
     
  3. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

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    I've been using small rifle primers without any slam fire incidents of any kind. I've also used the super soft federal match primers also without any slam fire incidents.

    Anecdotal? Yes. But they work just fine for me.
     
  4. kennedy

    kennedy Member

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    winchester work fine for me
     
  5. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

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    I've used all different brands of primers in my AR's and never had a problem with any of them. The right answer is the primers you have on hand. No need to make it any more complicated than that.
     
  6. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    I like Rem 7 1/2s best.

    I've tried CCI 400s and they seem to flatten at medium-high loads, well before max. Looking online, it appears that Rem 7 1/2 are thicker and are the preferred among precision shooters.
     
  7. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I've used Rem 6 1/2, CCI 400, CCI 450.
    I haven't seen any notable difference.
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I had a slamfire with the AR15. It occurred during the NRA standing slowfire stage of a highpower match. I was using the brass colored WSR primers. Winchester nickle primers used to be the primer I preferred to use, never had an issue, but these brass colored WSR are thin and pierce easy. My AR also slamfired, in battery.

    The bud with whom I was squadded, his AR slamfired with a Federal primer, during his standing relay.

    I talked to him in Nov 2011, he had one more AR15 slamfire with Federals and is no longer using that primer.

    My bud has won the President’s 100 patch a couple of times and the CMP said he was the best vintage rifle shooter in the US. He is not a novice at reloading.

    I use CCI #41 primers as they have thick cups and are hard to pierce. These are excellent primers in the AR and I shoot HM scores (seldom HM standing scores anymore) all the way out to 600 yards with the things.

    When you load these things, you must ensure that nothing is in line with your muzzle that you don't want dead. Just in case.


    Under Fulton Armory FAQ, the article “Slamfire: the M16 story” http://www.fulton-
    armory.com/

    Slamfires happened to the early M16’s because of a heavy firing pin and sensitive primers. If you look in Chapter eight, page 130, of the “Black Rifle” by R. Blake Stevens, there is an entire section on the slamfire problems the Army had with the M16. A number of AR15 slamfire incidents had occurred when cartridges were single loaded and the bolt release pressed.

    If you read the report in the book, dated 1963, based on the tests of two rifles with the firing pin configuration available at the time, the energy during bolt closure of one of the test rifles firing pin always was above the “none fire” specifications of the primer. Which meant that statistically some of the primers would ignite at those energy levels. So the Army did two things. The first was to test alternate firing pin configurations, all pictured in the book, and one has a spring undoubtedly like the current AR-10 design, and the second was to change the ammunition specifications to require a harder primer.


    AR15 Slamfires

     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Any AR ammo I build gets either a Rem 7 1/2 primer of a CCI #41 primer. There's no reason to take a chance if the proper primers are available.

    That said I always used CCI #34 primers for my M1 Garand ammo. During the recent shortage I couldn't get any so I used standard CCI LR primers without incident. If I could have gotten Magnum primers I would have used them over standard primers because they have a thicker cup. I did go back to the NATO rated primers when they became available again.
     
  10. AlliedArmory

    AlliedArmory Member

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    For my AR I load with standard CCI, Remington 7.5 and Wolf 223. All have been perfectly fine.
     
  11. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    I've experienced 1 slam fire in my life and can't definitively blame that one on a soft primer-I honestly don't know WHAT happened. I pressed the bolt stop and chambered a round and the round fired without my finger anywhere NEAR the trigger. That's all I know for sure.

    I have used CCI SR primers for years and only recently changed to military #41 primers. This "slamfire" was WITH a #41 primer. Put a hole in the roof of my shooting bench shed. I was less than pleased to say the least.
     
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have used CCI and Winchester primers in my ARs ans M1s and Remington 7-1/2s in my ARs without issue.

    I see too much conflicting information on the web about primers, soft vs hard cups, thin vs thick cups, etc., that I really wonder what to believe.

    CCI says that their 34 and 41 primers match military sensitivity, but they don't indicate how they obtain that. I would not necessarily expect them to divulge their secrets but it does add to the mystery.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I think CCI is actually supplying primers for the military. That would be one way of them knowing the specs...

    Aren't they the only commercial manufacturer who market primers for the 50 Cal?
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Could be. I will not dispute it one way or the other. You are probably correct on what CCI is manufacturing for whom.

    But like I said, CCI is not saying what they do to meet mil spec vs commercial spec except to say the 34 and 41 primers match military primer sensitivity.

    Does CCI use a harder cup, thicker cup, change the primer compound, all of the above, none of the above, some combination of the above, or something else entirely.

    I cannot say I have seen any reputable reference on the subject from CCI or any of the other primer manufacturers.

    I am interested in the real answer but I really do not expect to see it.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I think you're right. Unless you know someone who works in the primer department of CCI you will never know the answers to all those questions.
     
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