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Winchester Primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by heydawg, Aug 31, 2011.

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  1. heydawg

    heydawg Member

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    Question about Winchester small pistol primers. I loaded up a bunch of 380 with a mix of CCI and WSP primers. I was working up a new load so had a range of powder charges. On the higher end of the powder range, I noticed some primers were deep and dimpled after being fired, suggesting over pressure. However, this was just on the WSP. The CCI primers of exact same powder charge didn't show the same overpressure signs or nearly the cratering

    So three possibilities: 1. I am confused and don't know what I see.
    2. The WSP primers are thinner and more prone to reflect the pressure changes.
    3. CCI primers aren't as powerful as WSP and thus don't generate as much pressure.

    Thoughts on which option causes this?

    If you are curious, a CCI primer by itself will launch a 100 grain bullet about 3/4" a 3.7" barrel. Always nice to hear that "pffffft" sound at the range.
     
  2. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    Without seeing pictures I would guess the difference in the fired primers is that CCI tend to be harder than Winchester. The softer Winchester primer will show the mark from the striker,hammer,firing pin more than the CCI
     
  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    "Deep and dimpled" probably doesn't mean overpressure. I know what you mean but deep but what do you mean by dimpled?

    Cratering is a tiny slightly elevated ring of metal that forms around the primer indentation that forms at higher but not necessarily excessive pressures.
     
  4. hvychev77

    hvychev77 Member

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    i've always read that overpressure signs at the primer would appear really flat with the back of the case, and NOT deep. Appearing that the primer is trying to be pushed out backwards............i've also used winchester pistol primers, and i've worked up loads that were at max. and haven't had one to look funny yet.
     
  5. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference. Winchester primers been using them for decades now but last year I purchased a thousand CCI pistol primers. I used the CCI primers in a standard 9mm-Luger load That I’ve employed over the years and didn’t note a difference except for seating. The CCI primers felt different in seating but it’s not a conclusive difference since it may have just been that lot and not in general.
     
  6. calaverasslim

    calaverasslim Member

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    +1 with gunlaw. I noticed that CCI tend to be a little harder than some of the others. My winnie primers are deep but work well as does the Wolf. Some folk have had problems with them but I haven't, at least not yet. I run thru about 3-4K of them.
     
  7. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    CCI primers have the hardest primer cup and Fecderal the softest. Winchester primers havbe a cup of medium hardness. The differences you see will be virtually entirely due to the hardness of the primer cup.
     
  8. bds

    bds Member

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    CCI primer cups seem to be harder than Winchester and I believe Winchester tends to produce larger/hotter primer flash than CCI which may add to higher chamber pressures.

    The Rifleman's Journal did extensive primer comparison studies and they have primer flash pictures posted on the links.

    Small primer comparison - http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/primers-small-rifle-primer-study.html

    Large primer comparison - http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/primers-large-rifle-primer-study.html
     
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I have observed the same thing with those two brands. But I also noticed that Winchester states that the SP primer is for standard and magnum loads, so yes, they must be a bit hotter than CCI which could contribute to some higher pressures. But this too is mis-leading because Win. does make a SP magnum primer as well. I have a bunch of both CCI and Win. but I don't use the Win. and just keep them around for a rainy day. Lately it seems to be getting cloudy with a 50% chance of shower's. Seriously, just re-work up your loads any time you change a component to avoid sudden or unexpected pressures changes.
     
  10. heydawg

    heydawg Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. I think the differences in the primer, as many said, are due to construction differences.

    I find it hard to believe that the 380 even can be loaded to sufficient pressures to manifest as pressure signs prior to descruction of the firearm itself. If a 9mm can be loaded to 35,000 PSI using basically the same size case, projectile, etc.. and NOT show excessive pressures, how can a cartridge that maxes out a 21,500 PSI possibly show it?
     
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    +1

    The primer reading MUST be taken into consideration with other pressure signs, not by themselves.
     
  12. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    I have heard this from multiple sources but have yet to see any substantiation of this.

    These are opinions and are subjective. Can anyone provide a Brinell hardness figure for the CCI vs. Winchester primers so we have documented evidence of this "tend to be harder than Winchester" position?

    Dan
     
  13. bds

    bds Member

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    I think the "primer cup hardness" we use to describe how hard/easy a primer ignites is a generalized approach. Did some reading and found there are several factors that affect "primer cup hardness":

    1. Cup material - Varies with manufacturer
    2. Cup thickness - Varies with manufacturer
    3. Cup diameter - Varies with manufacturer
    4. Cup/anvil height - Varies with manufacturer
    5. Priming compound sensitivity/volatility - Varies with manufacturer

    Combination of these factors will contribute to whether a particular brand/model of primer will ignite easier than another. Even two primers with same cup material "hardness" and thickness but different cup dimensions and priming compound may seat and ignite differently - and one referred to as "harder" than other.


    This link post compared the primer cup hardness using a Lee hardness tester and showed CCI LP primer harder than Winchester LP primer.


    This link post compares primer cup thickness, diameter, and height or rifle primers:
    Primer power comparison done on a DMS (Don't Mean Squat) scale


    Primer ignition flash picture comparison and performance comparison - http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/primers-large-rifle-primer-study.html
     
  14. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    WOW, bds, that is the most authoritative collection of data on primers that I have ever seen. THANKS!

    I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession and data rules the day.

    Excellent!

    Dan
     
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    After I had this happen with a Winchester primer,

    [​IMG]

    and Winchester buried the evidence after I sent it to them, with no shame whatsoever, I refuse to buy Winchester products. I use Remington 9.5s for rifle primers now.
     
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