What's the diff between primer brands?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by prof_fate, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. prof_fate

    prof_fate Former Guest

    Jan 20, 2012
    Western PA
    I'm just starting to get into reloading, my press arrives tomorrow so now it's time to pick compenents.

    Lee recomends remington or CCI primers only. I've been told Federal primers have 'thin meta' and that's one reason some avoid them as they are touchier to handle than other brands.
    In forums I've heard mention of Wolf brand primers and how inexpensive they are.

    So what's the difference between primer brands? Is any better than another for handling, use, price, or ?

    I"ll be loading 9mm if that makes a difference. I've not chosen a powder to use yet.
  2. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    Throw another kink in your mix - I prefer Winchester primers and I load on a dillon 550.

    I have used CCI's without a problem. I have heard nothing but good things about Wolf.

    Winchester small primer
    range brass
    115gr Round Nose jacketed

  3. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Henderson, Nevada
    The Price!
  4. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Also..... different packaging.

    I mostly am using Wolf these days after a bulk buy during the "Great Primer Shortage" a couple years ago.

    Honestly, I have used several different brands now for my low-mid range pistol calibers with SPP an LPP and cannot detect any difference at the range.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Federal does have a thinner cup. That makes it easier to fire with lightened springs. Lee recommends against Federal because, in Lee Priming systems, they have had Federal primers pop.

    CCI has the hardest cup. I used them exclusively, from when I started reloading, until I got a Smith 642. Because of the design of the gun it has a shorter hammer stroke than others, and it would not, reliably, pop CCI. Went to Winchester, which has a thinner cup, and the problem went away. Still use CCI for everything except small pistol, though.

    And I prime with a Lee primer, and have had no problems with these Winchester primers.
  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
  7. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lompoc California
    I use WW, Remington, CCI and Federal in my pistol loads. They all work fine.

    In rifle there absolutely is a difference. I've seen it and demonstrated it on paper time and time again. Federal is usually the most consistent primer when it comes to accurate handloads.
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I use what ever is available and has the best price.
  9. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Careful with that.
    Some primers should not be used in certain cartridges. For example, the Rem 1 1/2 small pistol primers are for low pressure rounds and should not be used in high pressure rounds like the 40 S&W. Same goes for the Rem 6 1/2 small rifle primers, these are designed for low pressure rounds like the 22 Hornet and should not be used in high pressure rounds like the 223/5.56.
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I have never bought any Remington primers that I can remember. Usually CCI and Wolf are most available and have the best price where I shop!!
  11. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lompoc California
    I've never used either the Wolf or Tula; I'm afraid that they're made out of plutonium or something. Besides; I keep 50,000 or so on the shelf anyway so I wasn't caught short during the "great primer shortage". Also during that time a club member's neighbor passed away and his heirs asked our club member to remove anything he wanted from his loading bench. He took what he wanted and then donated the rest to us. I got about 10,000 large pistol primers out of it for free. He must have brought in 20 bricks of CCI standard .22 as well. That was a good day.
  12. Frogtop

    Frogtop New Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    NE Tenn
    Does this statement come from Remington, I have not seen it in any reloading manuals? I realize that using different primers as well as varying any components in a given load will can cause variances in point of impact. The amount of this variation is usually of concern only to bench rest competitors or individuals seeking that degree of precision. For the majority of us it is not an issue. Also, offhand I can't think of a rifle cartridge that uses small rifle primers other than those derived from pistol cartridges as 22 Hornet, 218 Bee, etc. I have used Wold primers in 9mm and 38 Spl. loads with no problems.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Yes, from Remington. It states this on the box of 1 1/2 and 6 1/2 primers. They also have it on their wed site, here.

    Plenty of rifle cartridges that use Small Rifle primers. The ones in my safe are 223/5.56, 6.5 Grendel, 221 Fireball, 7.62x39 Rem brass.
  14. Frogtop

    Frogtop New Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    NE Tenn
    Steve, thanks for the clarification. I have never used Remington primers and I didn't recognize that their 5 1/2 is their designation for small pistol magnum. Obviously I was also ignorant of number of cartridges that use small rifle primers. I don't load any of the calibers mentioned. I do load several pistol calibers that require both small and large primers and small mag. I have not been using small mag on 40 S&W as the loading manual didn't specify them. I normally use CCI and Wolf primers. Thanks again
  15. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    I agree with most of the above info, my experience with Remington primers is this... while developing a load for a Remington 700 in .308 I found remington primed loads with Varget and AA2520 of various charges to clearly have the highest velocity spread. The identical loads where tested with CCI, Winchester and Federal primers, again charges across the board were the same, brass and bullets the same, this leads me to believe the Remington primers are most inconsistently manufactured, maybe not a huge deal for a plinking round, but for anything precision, I'd pass on the Remington primers.
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