can i use magnum primers?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by matty, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. matty

    matty New Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    i currently load 30-06. i use 54 grs of imr 4064 with win brass and cci primers to push a 130 gr speer hollow point. will magnum primers help increase velocity?

    i have also heard that magnum primers help with keeping balistics close in cold weather. is this true?
  2. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    Maybe. Maybe increase pressure past safe limits and make your gun go boom in your face.

    If you decide to try magnum primers in your .30-06 loads, first find a reputable load recipe that uses magnum primers. Once you've managed that, drop it by 10% and start working your way up, following normal, safe reloading practices.

    Personally, I don't think a magnum primer will help your velocity all that much. Besides, velocity alone doesn't make your gun more accurate. You'd better spend your time working towards tightening up your groups through reloading than trying to squeeze the last fps out of the bullet.

  3. matty

    matty New Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    thanks for the info.

    what are some things i can do to improve acuracy?

    i am on a strict budget so the whole 'cryogenic freezing' thing is deffinently out.
  4. There are many things that you can do to improve accuracy - far too many to list here.

    Reloaded ammo is most accurate below maximum loading. Try recipes that are a few grains below max and work from there.

    Most rifles shoot better with a free-floated barrel - but not all. Try free-floating and shoot a few groups. If they aren't as accurate as you would like take a business card and tear it into about 4 or 5 strips top to bottom. loosen the forearm screw and slide a strip under the barrel and back about 2 inches. Tighten the screw and fire a few groups. Repeat by stacking strips until the groups get worse then back off to the best.

    Make sure ALL screws on the rifle and scope are tight.

    Squeeze the trigger, don't yank.

    Make sure the stock fits you.

    There are 100's more but this will get you started.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    When a gun fires the explosion (or burning of the powder) causes the barrel to whip in an oscillatory manner, both up and down and left to right. Changing the explosion can change the whipping action. If you can get it so that the bullet leaves the barrel when the barrel is at an extreme in movement range (barrel is going one direction and has to stop to change direction) you can get close to the best accuracy possible out of your gun.

    The method is to change the load powder levels to try to get to that point. Never exceed the max, start at the starting powder weights, and try several loads from the starting level to max in perhaps 0.5 grain increments. You may find the best level.

    Different barrels like different bullets. Try several different bullets (different manufacturers, different weights) at different powder levels.

    Different bullets like to be spaced off the rifling lands and grooves by different amounts. Bench rest shooters almost always put the bullet barely touching the start of the lands and grooves and others find that a little free bore (space for the bullet to jump to the rifling) makes accuracy increase. The only way to determine what your gun likes is to try all seating depths up to about 1/16 inch off the rifling in perhaps 0.005 inch increments.

    Some guns shoot better when the cases are minimally sized or only neck sized. Some guns like one particular brand of primer and not others.

    As you can see the combinations are endless and the testing can go on forever searching out the exact load your gun likes best. Accuracy can usually be increased through searching out the load combination your particular gun likes. And guess what? It is probably not the same load as your buddies exact same gun!

  6. Icon-oclast

    Icon-oclast New Member

    Aug 19, 2004

    The above suggestions are all well within the X-ring. I have a few things to add.

    Is there some reason you settled on the 130gr pills? Typically the '06 has its best accuracy with projectiles in the 150 - 170gr range. If accuracy were my chief concern, I'd start with one of the quality bullets in this weight range.

    Other cheap factors to consider - are the case volumes / flash holes uniform? By selecting brass which is uniform out of the starting gate, one eliminates / minimizes several factors which affect burning rates which, as LDB noted, affect timing of the bullet exit / barrel movement. Brass which is outside of your chosen norm can be used for casual shooting.

    You may also wish to consider changing primer brands. Like you, I use CCI and prefer them, but many swear by Federal and undoubtedly in their rifles / loads the Federals are better.

    You may wish to look at other powders, as well. The burning rates vary and some rifles which shoot like crap with IMR sticks will punch black all day with ball or flake types.

    If you get down to nit picking details, you can go to Bench Rest primers, neck turning brass, etc.

    As LDB noted, the possible variables are practically infinite. I would seriously recommend you start with the heavier bullets and uniform brass then apply the variations noted above. Work with one factor at a time, though, because if you see an improvement / degradation with multiple changes in a load, you will not know which caused the effect. Once you have cycled through the factors discussed, then you can do it again (ad infinitum), narrowing the range down.

    To address your original question, however, I would bet a large sum of money you would see either no improvement or a loss of accuracy with the magnum primers. My personal experience is that their advantage is only seen with heavy dense loads of slow burning powder, not in casings with the volumes of the '06.
  7. danurve

    danurve New Member

    I was under the impression that mag primers largely help with slower burning powders that are harder to ignite. Could be wrong ..
    I use imr-4350, which isn't realy slow burning compared to h-414, but with winchester mag or reg lr primers got the same results.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    It is most important to follow the loads as listed in the manuals. If the manual says use a magnum primer then do it. If it doesn't say to use them then don't. Each load as developed in reloading manuals is tested for maximum pressure. You start exchanging things and the max is now questionable and you may end up in an over pressure load. Guns are hurt by such loads and so can you be hurt. Don't second guess the factory manuals! A magnum primer and a max load is the road to trouble!

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