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Which Small Rifle Primer?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tkcomer, Dec 29, 2006.

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  1. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Ok. Gearing up to reload the 223 but I'm getting confused. I'm going to be using the Sierra 52gr Matchking bullets and Winchester 748 powder. That I have on hand but I haven't bought primers yet. I bought that One Book/One Caliber manual and here is the confusion. Out of 8 loads listed for this combo, 4 use standard small rifle primers, 3 use magnum primers and one uses standard bench rest primers. I'll be attempting to work up a load for an AR-15 with a 24” heavy barrel. In your opinion, which would be the best primer to use? Thanks.
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    TK, The manuals I use show small rifle magnum for 748.I have loaded 223 for about 25 years and have always used the magnum primers with 748 in my 223 and 222. Byron
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I'd use Winchesters. They are near-magnums to light the deterrent coated Ball powders.
     
  4. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    The Sierra load data is the one that used the Remington bench rest primers. Powder loads are all over the map with 748, but being this is an autoloader, I'll probably stick to the mid loads that the new Sierra data lists. And that is a full grain less that the 2nd edition shows. They used the bench rest primers back then. Are bench rest primers hotter or just more consistent?
     
  5. langenc

    langenc Member

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    I dont use 748 and do use CCI 400s. Have to get some soon.

    Have used for Lg Rifle -210Ms (federal) M=match-not magnum) but will probably just get CCIs there also.
     
  6. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    I highly recommend you stay away from Winchester Small Rifle primers in the AR.

    I use CCI BR4s for my competition loads, but was using Winchester SR for practice and non-comp ammo. I've had the primers pop out and the cups go into the action on hotter NATO loads (ie: 25.3gr Varget + 77 SMK). Most recently, about one in every 50 round batch of practice ammo I made would pierce a primer. Not a serious piercing causing any bolt damage, but you can tell the primer indentation has a hole that goes through the surface. And this wasn't even anywhere close to a hot load: 24.0gr Varget + 75gr Hornady BTHP. Granted, I didn't chrono it, but it should only be moving at 2650-2700fps.

    Try CCI or Remington primers. They are the most commonly used primers for AR high power loads, specifically the Remington 7 1/2. I use CCI BR4s because it's easier for me to get locally.
     
  7. hagar

    hagar member

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    I agree with not using Winchester in the AR15. They pierce easily and can cause slamfires. I have seen several on the highpower ranges over the years, and it's always a Winchester causing it. Just because you shot 10000 rounds without any problems does not mean the next one will not destroy your rifle or your eyes. Use Remington 7 1/2 or CCI.
     
  8. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    I've been using CCI for years. I used to load for the 223 years ago, back when you could get Winchester 55gr FMJ bullets for $28 a thousand. But they dried up and I quit as surplus was cheaper. But I couldn't remember which primer I used back then. Trying to load for accuracy right now. Guess I'll try the CCI 450. I'll start at 26grs of powder. That's just a tad less then the 26.2grs that I used years ago with the 55gr FMJ. Max in both books is 27.5grs for the 52gr, so I should be fine with the magnum primers.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I've always used Fed. Std. or Rem 7 1/2 with my .223 blasting loads.

    Those were the days, weren't they.
     
  10. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    That was a long time ago.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Gee, I've never had any trouble with Winchester primers in .223. Maybe I should increase my loads so as to be forced to another brand. I use Federals in my AR Match Rifle and they do OK, too.
     
  12. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Member

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    "I bought that One Book/One Caliber manual"

    Huh?

    I'm tired of reading this sort of thing with new reloaders here on THR. There's no substitute for documentation from multiple sources so you can make your own decisions based data in black and white.

    "and here is the confusion."

    Duh.

    Other than asking us here for information, (Which, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage you from asking,) But please purchase more than just a couple reloading manuals. If you're going to use Sierra's bullets, then buy thier manual with all the reloading data you'll need. (paper or digital media)

    I haven't reloaded .223 for ages. But, you should't need a magnum primer. Personally, CCI primers work for everything I reload and have been very very reliable.

    -Steve
     
  13. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    Are you using W748 in an autoloader? Tends to be a dirty burning powder.

    Stick with the magnum primer for the W748 as previously mentioned by others.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Does this mean we are getting old? :what: :)
     
  15. esheato

    esheato Member

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    The One Book / One Caliber books are a compilation of all the different load manuals. Half the book is from bullet manufacturers and the other half is from the propellant manufacturers. All the data for the caliber you're loading for about five bucks.

    Uh huh...I'm half tempted to tell you to look up the manual he's using before talking out your.....but I won't.

    Ed

    [​IMG]
     
  16. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    I don't have any issues with WSP primers in the AR. I did have an AR that would slam fire occasionally with military surplus ammo, so I replaced the trigger group and that fixed the problem.

    But if the the firing pin is making enough of a dent in the primer to set it off, I'd get the mechanical problem fixed first.
     
  17. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    The one thing that was throwing me was the the fact that some manufacturer's load data used regular primers and then specified the magnum for 748. Then there was Sierra using Remington benchrest primers in the 223. Even my 20 year old Sierra 2nd edition book uses the Remington benchrest primers. They even use the benchrest primers in 243 and 308. I used standard primers for them because “back then”, I was “told” the benchrest primers had the same flame, but were more consistent and not a “magnum” primer. Way before the 'net. As far as powders go, I've only used 748. Back then it seemed to be the ticket for all three calibers. But I bought these books to see if anything new was better. Then the confusion set in. In all three calibers.
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    If you are developing loads in a 24" heavy barrel AR, then you are using something very close to what I use in Highpower competition. I have a krieger on my space gun.

    Primer choice is not that critical for accuracy, but as mentioned thin primers will pierce. I used sheaves of WSR primers when they were nickel plated. They were excellent. And then Winchester removed the nickel and made the cup thinner. I talked with Winchester and they told me that they had made the primers “more sensitive”. Which is something you do not need in a military action or a gas gun. The result of making the cups thinner is of course pierced primers at levels the old nickel primer functioned fine .

    I had one slamfire in the AR, I dropped a round in the chamber, during the standing stage, and released the bolt. The round took a divot of dirt out in front of the firing line. It was a new brass WSR primer in the case. The next shooter on my point did the same thing, dropped a .223 round in with a Fed Match primer and also got a slamfire. Something to remember about AR’s, if you can, single load through the magazine. Another way is to trip the bolt release while holding the bolt back using the charging rod. Lower the bolt about half way then let go of the charging rod and bump the forward assist. It is always good practice to bump the forward assist on the first round, mag fed or port fed.

    I do not shoot 52 matchkings. At least I have not loaded the bunch I have which I would only use at 100 yard matches. I shoot 69’s, 75’s, out to 300 yards, and 80’s at 500 or 600 yards. I test my loads with a chronograph and have found that in my AR’s I get ammunition that will not blow primers in 100 F weather at measured velocities ranges of 2800 fps with a 69, 2700 fps with a 75, and 2625 fps with an 80. Many folks push them faster, I don’t. You will get good accuracy and function with any brand of primer, you just have to test them on paper.

    W748 was a very popular powder with the .223 and 308, but the market has moved on to other choices. I prefer stick powders to the ball, ball powders don’t seem to give much warning before they blow primers. Stick powders seem to have broader sweet spots. This is of course subjective. If you are considering other powders I recommend those in the 4895 burning range, such as IMR 4895, H4895, AA2495, AA2520 (ball) and N140.

    My current primer choice in my match rifles is the CCI #41. I talked with a CCI representative, these are magnum primers and are mil spec. Which basically means they are “less sensitive”. This is great because I do not want the risk of another slamfire. Next time it could be out of battery, though that is unlikely. A military action, such as the AR, has lots of firing pin energy so misfires due to light firing pin strikes are not an issue. I have shot perfect long range scores with these primers, and my best Camp Perry Long Range scores with them. I am only concerned with on paper performance, not with theoretical issues of magnum primers and accuracy.
     
  19. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    The more research I do for the AR-15, the more I run into reports of slamfires and pierced primers. I had never heard of the CCI 41 until you mentioned it. I looked it up and THAT looks like the primer I should go with. Thanks for the heads up. As far as powders go, the 243 is the odd duck. A lot of the same powders for the 223 and the 308. Sierra doesn't even list 748 for the 70gr Matchking for the 243 anymore. Of the powders you mentioned, I think only in the Sierra loadings, H4895 is the only one mentioned in all three of the bullets I use. IMR-4064 and Varget are two others. Because of the hazardous shipping charges, trying to get every little detail straight so I can do a bulk buy.
     
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