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.223 CCI No.41 Primers vs. Federal Small Rifle Primers

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by C5Mackie, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. C5Mackie

    C5Mackie Member

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    I reload .223 for a Daniel Defense AR and a new Remington 700 (1:10 twist). LC brass, primer pockets swaged w/a Dillon Swager, CCI #41 primers. I prime 400-500 rounds at a time and use these for either rifle. AR likes 69g Nosler Custom Competition bullets with 24.5g A2520, and the 700 likes 52g Nosler Custom Competition bullets with 26.5g Varget. ( A side note here: The 700 also shoots a 65g Sierra SPBT very well. All these loads group in 0.4" - 0.6" range of the bench, sand bags, 5-7 rounds fired for each group, at 100yds. w/both the AR and 700. My load development scope is a Leupold, 8.5 - 25X. However, the Nosler 64g Bonded Solid Base, are in the 1.5" - 2" group size with a whole bunch of different powders being tried, and does not group worth a crap.)
    I've been told that they #41 primers are harder than others so they should only be used in an ARs to avoid slam fires.
    When firing the LB brass + #41 primers, and some factory ammo, in the 700 I got 5 miss-fires: 2 with my reloads, and and 3 w/Fiocchi 5.56 55g FMJ ammo. This is all within the 1st 300 rounds through the rifle. The rifle went to the gunsmith who pulled the bolt apart. No extra lube or debris was found in the bolt. Firing pin protrusion was checked and and the pin was machined to add another .015" to the protrusion.
    Same LC brass + CCI #41 primers, w/my reloads - now another mis-fire in the 700. Pulled bullets...yes powder in bullets, and no signs of a primer igniting, even with a substantial dimple in all of the primers.
    QUESTION: If I change to Federal small rifle primers, and get rid of the CCI #41s, do I risk a slam fire in the AR?
    QUESTION #2: Anybody gotten the Nosler 64g Bonded bullet to fly in a 1:10 twist barrel?
     
  2. howlnmad

    howlnmad Old Guy Doing Things Moderator Supporting Member

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    I can only answer question 1 to my experience. I have never used #41 primers in my AR loads and have never had a slam fire. I do notice dimpled primers if I charge a round and remove it before firing.
     
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  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have been shooting ARs for quite a few years, down to only 10 of then now, and never had a slam fire. To be honest I have been shooting "Military" rifles since 1969 and have never had a slam fire in any of them. I don't think slam fire would be a problem with your AR.

    I personally would use any other brand primer before I would buy Federal. I have only had two primers "go off" on me in my 45 years of reloading and they were both Federal.
     
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  4. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    I've loaded countless 5.56 in past 15yrs-never used a 41primer,I also avoid Win or Fed primers.
     
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  5. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    I've read mentions of 'slam-fires' in ARs and various methods of avoiding them. I have 3 different ARs (Colt/Bushmaster/Anderson), reload mostly LC and Federal cases and have used Remington Small Rifle primers from the start of reloading for .223/5.56mm and have never had a single 'slam-fire' incident. Am I just lucky? Or, could it be possible that the slam-fire thing is over-blown?

    I also load 7.62mm Ball and Match ammo for my M1A. That is of course also a semi-auto military grade rifle - and I also use standard Remington LR primers in it. Never have had a slam-fire in it out of thousands of rounds.

    The only slam fire I've ever had was with a Norinco MAK-90 - and that was with Chicom 7.62X39 steel core ball surplus ammo. That only happened once. I cannot speculate why others get slam-fires, but I only know that I keep my rifles clean including the bolts and firing pins and I don't get them.

    Primer reliability is a whole 'nother issue. I like Remington primers in small pistol, small and large rifle, and I prefer Federal large pistol primers. That is just me - I've had great success with them and that's what I use. I stay away from the cheap or bargain brand primers. CCI makes some great ammunition, but I don't care for their primers. I've sometimes used Winchester primers - and they are about as good as Remington IMHO. I do like the LR Magnum Winchesters for my BP .45-70 compressed loads.
     
  6. howlnmad

    howlnmad Old Guy Doing Things Moderator Supporting Member

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    I guess that I should've added that I use CCI and Remington.
     
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I have no experience with an AR, but I have fired many military rifles with reloads and have never had a slam fire.

    Federal has the softest primer on the market. If a slam fire was going to happen, I think Federal would have the best chance of it happening.
     
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  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    Thanks for adding that Alpo!
     
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  9. C5Mackie

    C5Mackie Member

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    You guys are "know it alls"...and I really appreciate it!
     
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  10. ms6852

    ms6852 GUNZILLA Supporting Member

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    I use the 41's and winchesters and have never had misfires or slam fires.
     
  11. vassago

    vassago Well-Known Member

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    The only slamfires I have heard of with AR-15s are caused by a stuck firing pin extruding from the bolt face causing it to work like an open bolt submachine. It will also fire out of battery that way.
    The firing pin is free floating, if you chamber a round the pin will slam into the primer and leave dimple nowhere near deep enough to cause it to fire.
    I think people just assume it will slamfire because the hear "free floating firing pin" and see a dimple.

    Are you sure your twist rate is 1:10? that's on the slow side. (but faster than the original 1:14)
    For 62 grains you ideally need 1:8, maybe 1:9 but try it and see how the Noslers work.
     
  12. Smoke

    Smoke Well-Known Member

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    The only slam fire I have had on an AR platform was on a 350 legend that I was reforming the brass to fit the legend. I had primed the brass from a pack of Federal small rifle that a buddy left when he did some reloading, I normally use CCI.
    Before I reloaded the brass I put one case in the gun to be sure it fit & let the bolt go closed it popped the primer, it was a good thing it was only the primer & not a loaded round because I was in my basement. Maybe it's just the Federal small rifle because I have done it with CCIs & never had a problem??
     
  13. Krong of Belsnarf

    Krong of Belsnarf Well-Known Member

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    I had a slam fire with a Mini 14 one time. I do not remember what brand of primer it was but do remember that it was caused by a high primer and had nothing to do with the firing pin.

    I had been adjusting my Dillon primer pocket swager and evidently did not have it adjusted quite right since it would deform the bottom of the primer pocket just enough that the primers would not seat quite all the way. That batch of loads was pulled after I discovered the problem. The swager was readjusted, and the cases were hit with a pocket uniformer to make them serviceable.

    I have used #41 primers quite a bit and have never had any misfires in my 700 with them.
     
  14. Nor Cal Mikie

    Nor Cal Mikie Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Slam fire in an AR? Never had that happen BUT, I use CCI #41s & #34s in my M1A and Mini 14 with no issues. I also use the same CCIs in some of my bolt guns.
    As long as you make sure the primers are level with the case head, I can see no issues.
    I did have one slam fire in my M1A but that was my fault. Being pretty new to the M1A, I had a lot learn.
    Just burned off maybe 100 rounds, had a couple of extras rounds laying on the bench, pulled the mag, opened the bolt, stuffed a round in the chamber and tripped the bolt release, the bolt slammed shut and BANG!! :yikes::yikes: Lucky that the rig was pointed down range. The floating firing pin did the number on the primer. With the mag in place, the bolt wouldn't have moved fast enough and let the firing pin strike the primer that hard. No mag in place? Different story.:rolleyes:
    We learn as we go.;)
    The guy at the next bench looked at me, grinned and said, "I bet you won't be doing that again". He knew exactly what happened.