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Discussion Starter #1
What's wrong with this photo? Do you see it?
Cartridge_litestrike_crpd.jpg
This 357 Magnum cartridge is a reload using Remington 5-½ primers. The 5-½ is a small pistol primer, but so is the Remington 1-½. I have read that the 5-½ is a magnum primer while the 1-½ is not. So what's the difference? I have also read that Remington's 5-½ has a thicker metal case than the 1-½. That would explain why I couldn't get this cartridge to fire after at least five tries, even though my S&W model 327 TRR8 has an extra long firing pin from Cylinder & Slide.
To be fair, my S&W has also had a trigger job that brings my trigger pull down close to 1 lb. To do this, my gunsmith replaced the hammer spring. I suspect that spring is a lighter one, which means the hammer strikes the firing pin with a little less energy. Experts reading this can verify if that is true or not for trigger jobs.
So why am I using Remington 5-½ primers? Because at the time, that was all I could get. It was that or nothing, so I took it. Now I am paying for that with multiple light strikes from these loads. But that's OK because I'm just using these for target practice. My loads that I am saving for serious shooting—IYKWIM—are using Federal #100 primers (and Hornady FP/XTP bullets). And I have NEVER had a light strike from my Federal primers. I have stopped using CCI #500 for that very reason.
So, my question to all who are reading this, is: Do most magnum primers have thicker cases? Or is this just a Remington thing? What is the difference between a magnum primer and a non-magnum primer anyway? Why would I ever want to use a magnum primer?
 

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I found this on another forum that does a good job of explaining things. I’m not sure about the primer cup thickness being any different but I can say after loading thousands of rounds for my S&W 586 using CCI550 primers I have never had an issue with light strikes.

“Magnum primers contain a greater amount and/or slightly different explosive mix than is used in standard primers. On ignition, magnum primers give longer burning, hotter flames. Their use is recommended for (1) any ammunition that will be used at or below zero degrees F., (2) with most Ball powders and (3) with slow burning rifle powders like MRP and IMR 4831 in very large cases. Magnum pistol primers often will give more uniform velocities in magnum handgun cartridges loaded with large charges or slow powders like 296, 2400 and H-110. Magnum primers may be used with faster burning or easy-to-ignite powders, but normally there will be no advantage in doing so. As when changing other components, it is advisable to reduce powder charge weights on initial loading with magnum primers.”
 

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You mean the primer strike and the bullet is still there?

Was the primer seated short?
 

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The way I read it, sounded like there were several having the problem but after rereading maybe not so. If it was just the one as others have suggested either it wasn’t seated properly or it was a bad primer.
 
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