1. Larry Isaacs

    Larry Isaacs Member

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    I have looked at primers( loading handgun caliber at present ), and while some of the descriptions are easy to understand, I must ask the following questions.

    Small pistol primers vs large pistol, I get it the size, but will the primer perform differently?
    Standard pistol vs Magnum, ok, what is the performance difference? Will the primer burn hotter, generating more pressure from a given load? Will the primer burn slower to give the powder time to burn completely, again to create the max pressure for a given load.

    Rifle primer vs Small pistol, Magnum. I don't understand the dynamics of the primer.

    Help

    Larry
     

  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Small vs large is the size
    Pistol vs Rifle is the thickness of the primer cup
    Magnum vs standard is how energetically it burns

    You can get primers is any mix of the above. Rifle primers have a thicker cup to account for the harder hit a rifle firing pin gives the cup. That hit might puncture the cup of a pistol primer. The lighter hit of a hand gun firing pin might not set off a rifle primer.

    Magnum primers burn more energetically to ignite large amounts of magnum cartridge powders and to ignite some hard to ignite spherical (ball) powders that are coated in deterrents to control the burn rate of the priming compound.

    Consult you reloading manual for recommendation as to which primer to use in which cartridge for which powder.

    LDBennett
     
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  3. dusty9

    dusty9 Member

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    What LDBennett just said.
    I would add just one thing: the brand of primer is the least important consideration when choosing primers. If one is loading the absolute maximum load for any caliber and switches brand of primers, it is wise to drop the load 10% or so and work back up from there to be sure there is no dangerous changes in pressures.
     
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  4. Larry Isaacs

    Larry Isaacs Member

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    Not to beat a dead horse but, The loading information I have does not state anything about primer choice. Which manual has such information? I have noticed primers produced in other countries at a much lower cost, but I tend to shy away until I have much more information/experience.
    Given size for size is there a performance difference between the primers produced here or overseas?
    I understand quality assurance profiles is there a min/max for primers.
    I am looking for is the best primer for the dollar, I don't expect trade secrets. Powders have load/burn information, but where will I find that type of information concerning primers?

    Larry
     
  5. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have been using the lower priced "foreign" primers since I discovered them. Same bang for less buck!
     
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  6. Pawpaw40

    Pawpaw40 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have my manuals in front of me but I believe all of them states what primer was used to develop the load information. Where are you getting your load data?
     
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  7. Larry Isaacs

    Larry Isaacs Member

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    I have a Lee Reloading guide in front of me, no mention of primers to be used. I have looked online at the different powder companies can't find a primer callout.

    If the general feeling is to use: Small pistol primers or large pistol primers as required for the case that is being loaded, then I may be over thinking the original question. If the overseas primers and the USA primers perform the same then I will save my money and go cheap.

    Thanks for the time given to the question and the answers I have received.

    Larry
     
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  8. Pawpaw40

    Pawpaw40 Well-Known Member

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    So long as you use the proper size primer for the cartridge and you begin at the starting load, you will be okay. If your manual doesn't have a starting load, what you are reading is probably the maximum load. Reduce powder charge by 10% and start from there. I don't use the Lee manual. I try to use the manual for the bullet I'm loading for, usually Sierra or Hornady. The Lyman manual is useful for a lot of cast loads. My understanding is Lee doesn't do their own research.
     
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  9. jwdurf

    jwdurf Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It's the size/type that's most important. I don't have that Lee Guide, all of the manuals that I have indicate the brand and size primer used. This info is usually somewhere near the top of each section with bullet size, test barrel info etc.

    I mostly use data from either the bullet manufacturer (my first choice) or from powder manufactures. But like PawPaw said, the proper size and type primer is what's important. Start low and work up carefully.
     
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  10. Rondo ihde

    Rondo ihde Member

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    IMG_0365.JPG Who knows where to pick up federal 210 primers. Loading long range 308 ammo.
     
  11. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    Primers aren't created equal. Just because the boxes say standard or magnum doesn't mean much. I've seen standard primers that "burn more energetically" than magnum primers, lower pressures created from using magnum primers vs the same load with standard primers. My advice is, pick a primer, start at the minimum charge weight and work up until you achieve what you're after with your load.
     
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  12. 2A-Jay

    2A-Jay Well-Known Member

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    If you use the Lee Manual, reading the first parts of the book the allude to the fact that they work up their load data in one part, then state in another part that they get their load data directly from the powder manufacturers. Kind of contradictory to me. When loading up my 30-06 loads recently, I first checked the Lee manual for the bullet and powder I am using, then checked the powder manufacturers data and they were different by a few grains for the same load. Seems that I may have wasted a bit of money on the Lee Manual. As a plus I also have my Speer Manual, when I looked up load data in that, they note the Barrel that is used for testing their loads, and for 30-06 they used a Remington 700 Rifle with a 22" Barrel. I am loading for a Savage 30-06 with a 22" Barrel. The only reference I find to primers in any of my manuals is when they call for a Magnum Primer for a particular Powder Charge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017 at 1:43 AM
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  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    You better look a little closer in the LEE manual. Each cartridge listed has a dimensioned drawing at the start of that cartridge's section. On the bottom of the drawing it states which primer to use but does not specify what brand.

    But there is a universal set of rules:
    If it is a rifle cartridge use rifle primers, pistol cartridge use pistol primers. If the primer pocket is large then use the Large primer and small use the Small primer pocket. If it is a Magnum cartridge use the appropriate magnum primer. If it uses much more than 50 grains of powder a Magnum primer MAY be needed. If it uses a spherical powder then a Magnum primer MAY give more consistent velocities.

    Testing of cartridges and load development has changed greatly over the last 50 years. Back in the 1960's reloading manuals were based on shooting variations of loads in a particular commercially available common rifle/pistol and observing the condition of the fired case to determine when a load might be too hot. The chronological next testing scheme involved a special bench gun (pressure barrel) that included a chamber for a copper slug that collapsed from the chamber pressure. The slugs came with a calibration chart of amount of collapse vs. "CUP's", a measure of pressure NOT directly related to pressure in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). Pressure results were reported in CUP's. Today's ballistics labs use an analog pressure transducer on the pressure barrel gun with continuous stored pressure information for the entirety of the firing cycle period showing not only effective pressure but peek and spikes as well, all reported in PSI units. This last method is extremely accurate and manuals that show PSI pressure rating are the ones to have for the data that is the safest.

    LEE apparently does not do all of their own testing but "borrows it" from other reloading manuals. You might do best to go to the bullet or powder manufacturers' manuals. If you read the whole of the LEE manual you will quickly realize that the author is extremely arrogant and dismisses all other authors of other reloading manuals, a judgment they do NOT deserve.

    LDBennett
     
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  14. Larry Isaacs

    Larry Isaacs Member

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    Being new to the hobby of reloading makes me very cynical when comes down to one source of information. I have gone online to glean as much information as possible about the reloading hobby, I don't want any harm to come to anyone or anything. Lee was the first book I purchased, but I have found that going online will, in most cases, give me the latest information. Thus, the question about primers. I never start in top gear and don't plan to do it with the reloading. As an old engineer, I must have the clearest, latest and most complete information possible.

    I have found that the forum tends to downplay Lee products, opinions are one thing you can own. I can and will make up my own mind based upon performance. I am not going to throw Lee under the bus until and if the product does not perform to my needs.

    The information here is based upon experience and personal leanings, OK, I expect that. The question that was asked in the beginning: How are primers rated. I did ask about overseas products vs the USA and the answer was, in a short form, they both go bang, OK, I think at this point I have received all of the information to make my next choice, Thanks for the input.

    Larry
     
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