What difference do primers make?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dave3
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    (4/5/02 8:01:47 pm)
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    I'm fairly new to reloading and precision shooting. I see guys post recipes that state a specific primer. I use Winchester for shotgun, pistol and rifle. I do this because that's what the gun club sells. Do you think the primer effects accuracy enough to matter. If so what are we talking, 1/16 of an inch at 200 yards? Thanks for your advice.

    velvetnsteel
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    (4/5/02 8:30:50 pm)
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    I have had a couple rifles that primers made a big difference - like half inch difference in size groups at 100 yards. My Swedish Mausers love Remington primers over CCI, but with the Enfields and Model 98 Mausers, there doesn't seem to be a noticable difference.
    Long live the Swedish Mauser!!

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
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    (4/5/02 9:10:14 pm)
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    I too use Winchester and CCI...why...that's about all I can get locally. They do just fine for me in my pistol loading.

    Gunguy

    Dave3
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    (4/5/02 9:43:59 pm)
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    It seems that it would take FOREVER to try all the different primers and powder combinations to find the perfect round. The Nosler book I have next to me list eleven different powders. That would be over $200 in powder to try them all. then you got 10 pounds of powder that you don't want. The nosler book does list most accurate powder tested (that of course is one I can not find). Where is the money saving part of this.

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 458
    (4/5/02 9:47:04 pm)
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    Other than magnum primers (Federal rules!), I use a polygot of standard primers. Example, just finished loading up some 45-70's. Of thirtyfive rounds, 5 are primed with CCI BR2, 10 with Winchester WLR and 20 with Federal 210's.

    If I were loading benchrest and weighed cases, sorted bullets, measured powder to the 1/10th of a grain and used microadjustable seating dies, I'd probably go ahead and use benchrest quality primers just to finish the customized round.

    For everyday shooting and not getting all scientific using a magnifying glass on each load, any of the standard primers will suffice to make the cartridge go "bang".

    Have to admit to running into a bad batch of Remington 9 1/2M's not long ago, tho.

    shooter22
    *TFF Staff*
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    (4/5/02 10:17:28 pm)
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    I recently read an article on precision reloading and the author was specifically talking about primers. He mentioned that most primers are still made by hand at some point in manufacturing. The primers that get designated as Benchrest or premier are primers put together and inspected to make sure that the anvil is first of all, in place , then in place properly. If I can, I'll find the article and put the information up here.


    jeeper1
    V.I.P. Member
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    (4/5/02 10:28:44 pm)
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    Different primers do make a difference when you are trying for the smallest group or the fastest load. But for just having fun with moderate loads I don't see as it matters much.
    The Curio and Relic Firearms Forum
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    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1949
    (4/6/02 11:51:05 am)
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    Yes, different primers can make a considerable difference. Same bullet, same powder, same load, but different primer can change the point of impact and the group size by a fair amount. Even a different lot number of the same primer can make a difference if you're trying to be super-accurate.

    If you take into consideration all of the variables....primer, brass, powder, load, bullet size, composition, weight, shape, plus the differences between individual guns (even of the same make and model)......the possibilities are infinite!

    Don't worry about it. Find a good primer that works for you, work up your loads using it, and have fun. Just be aware that if, down the road, you decide to change primers, you'll probably have to go back to square one in working up your loads again.



    If you're not totally confused now......you just don't understand the situation!

    velvetnsteel
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    (4/6/02 7:39:29 pm)
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    I just took another look at this, and realized there is another important factor involved here - chamber pressure. The load books list the primer used not just for accuracy purposes, but for chamber pressure. Chamber pressures are affected by a whole bunch of things, but the load books want you to know which primer was used to find a maximum load in a specific combination of components.

    Any component change will affect chamber pressure, and as some primers are hotter than others, if you work up a load with one primer and switch to another you should back down and work up again to find your max load.
    Long live the Swedish Mauser!!

    Dave3
    V.I.P. Member
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    (4/6/02 9:19:14 pm)
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    Thanks guys that is alot of info, It looks to me that for what I'm doing varmit and target shooting I'm all right. Maybe one day I'll have more time to work on things like weighing cases and bullet and the finished bullets. I just want them to go bang and send the bullet down range. I was able to kill a coyote at 300+ yards so I'm very contet for now. Thanks again for your time and knowledge.

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 461
    (4/6/02 9:33:44 pm)
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    Velvetnsteel-

    You are correct in that some primers will increase pressures more so than others. The difference primarily lies between standard and magnum primers. That's the thing the manuals will list. Some time back on another board, someone had carefully test fired empty cases with soft plastic slugs and various primers in an attempt to determine which provided the most "bang" and driving the slugs the furtherest. Very unscientific, but revealing. He found that magnum primers did, indeed, boost pressures. When trying to detect variances with standard primer brands, he found them all generally the same in power levels. From highest to lowest in propelling the plastic slugs, he said he ranked them Winchester, Federal, CCI and Remington. Federals were most consistent, CCI the most erratic.

    SW Man
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    (4/10/02 12:34:06 am)
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    I use nothing but Winchester primers. I found Federal to bee too hard for some handguns as well as Remington. I found CCI to be very inconsistent is shape and had a lot of trouble seating them. I have never had a problem with Winchester and they work well with light hammers as well as heavy.

    Well, I do use S&W primers for some of my restoration work, but then again Winchester bought the S&W/Alcan primer plant in Alton and that is where they make theirs now.
    The second admendment GUARANTEES the Constitution and the other nine.

    Edited by: SW Man at: 4/10/02 1:35:41 am
  2. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Dave, Reloading is a very serious business, when you are putting 50,000 psi, or more, up next to your braincase; to me, anyhow.
    A primer is an explosive device, and like all explosives, may vary in brisance, from lot to lot, and between brands.
    When working up a load for a particular weapon, the smart money is on changing only one thing at a time, in order to measure it's affect on the 'big picture'.
    Most published load data will include the warning "safe in THIS arm; your mileage may vary" or words to that effect, and advice to reduce the load by 10%, and work back up, carefully. This is about liability.
    In any given load, a primer change can alter accuracy, pressure, and case life by 10% or more, so it is a major factor; my personal approach is based on frugality, since I pay less for Winchester primers, all my loads start with them, and I work up an accuracy load around the primer/ case combination.
    If I have to use a different primer, we go back to 'jump street', with load development, in the interest of safety.
    Hope this helps,
  3. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob New Member

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    S&W Man,
    I sure wish I would not have read your post.:(. Just kidding, but there is a bit of disappointment in finding out about CCI primers. I am not new to reloading, but new to reloading forums where you can get a lot of ideas, help, and "food for thought", (good and bad)!.
    I have just got re-started in shooting and reloading, (3rd time in my 71 years). I was not on the internet in '88 the last time I was reloading. I have been buying CCI primers and I do like shooting for tight groups with my 22-250 custom. I know my age may have something to have "changed the way my rifle grouped", .... but .... I thought my shots were good when I touched them off. That rifle does not have a worn out barrel, and it used to shoot dime sized groups. I sorted my bullets weights for the first time, I always weigh my charges, and this thing now groups about 3/4 to 1 inch.@100yds. Shooting 5 shot groups on multiple targets, I get "days of old groups".... dime size groups on 3 shots. 2 shots were always enough to mess it up, but still stay as a 1 inch group.... which sucks.
    ON SECOND THOUGHT .... I'm glad I read your thoughts about CCI primers. Now I have an excuse and I know it is not ME!!:D
  4. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    welcome to the forum Bob.Im just an hour north of ya.Good to see another hoosier on here.I just started reloading around Christmas and these guys on here are second to none,they really know there stuff and dont mind helping ya.
  5. woodchuck3574

    woodchuck3574 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
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    I mistakenly picked up 1,000 Remington 7 1/2 primers instead of 6. Small rifle primers. Can these primers be used safely in a Mini 14 (.223) and an M1 carbine(30 cal). Anyone tried this?
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  7. langenc

    langenc Member

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    Primers make a big difference. Without a primer the thing wont do a bang.
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