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I just bought myself a .45 1911 and ordered dies to start reloading. I already have quite a bit of brass so started cleaning it up. As I was going though the cases I found some have small primers? Went back and checked all my reloading books and every one calls for large pistol primers.

So then I started sorting though the brass and find about 10% have small primers. They are mostly Federal, a few Blazer, and a few win NT. What the heck is up with that? I thought all ammo manufacturers followed SAAMI standards and used the same size primer for each caliber.

Went online and looked at the powder mfg loading data and they all list large pistol primers. I sent an email to Federal asking what was going on with the small pistol primers, but have not heard back.

I assume they are using small primers to reduce cost, but is there another reason? Are all manufacturers going to small primers?
 

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I believe the small-primer .45ACP brass started when the non-toxic loads for indoor ranges came out. Probably so they only had to manufacture one size of NT primer and maybe also to differentiate the NT brass from standard brass.

With the original NT primed loads, the flash hole was actually larger than a standard flash hole. The first NT primers were supposedly not as aggressive so they needed a larger flash hole for proper powder ignition.
I haven't seen any enlarged flash holes in any of the new NT stuff I've picked up in the last couple years though, even if it's NT headstamped.
I've used the larger flash-hole stuff for light to mid-range loads with no problems or velocity differences compared to standard loads so I stopped worrying about that.
I would probably shy away from using full-power loads in any large flash-hole brass though.

I haven't seen any appreciable velocity differences between SP and LP brass either.

I just sort my brass by primer size and keep em separate. I have enough SP brass now so I just grab either SP or LP brass when I head to the range...I don't mix types during a range session. That way I don't have to sort em again.

BTW, there aren't any primer specs listed in either the ANSI/SAAMI or CIP standards.
Just external dimensions (with matching chamber dimensions), pressure, and velocity.

Some guys like myself are sorting them and using them. Some guys just trash em. Your choice on what you want to do with the stuff.
I originally just set mine aside and wasn't using them...but pretty soon I had a pail full of the SP stuff so I figured why not use it? I figure brass is expensive and scarce enough these days, so no sense wasting good free brass.
 

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Do you use the same amount of powder in the large and small primer cases?
Yup, same loads for SP and LP brass. As always, when you change a component be sure to back off and work up to your load.

I've chronographed most of my .45ACP loads and as mikld posted, 25-30fps is the largest difference I've found...and that's within my acceptable deviation range for pistol loads.
Heck, even using identical components I usually see around 25fps spread so I consider it a non-issue.

About the only thing I am cautious of is the older large flash hole NT cases with max or near-max loads. I've never loaded any for testing...just read warnings on line and I've decided that I'd just avoid that possible problem.
Light and mid-range loads do work just fine with the large flash hole brass though.
 

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Do you use the same amount of powder in the large and small primer cases?
When the NT first became a problem for reloader I was lucky to find a half full five gallon bucket of de-primed 45 ACP NT brass retuned to the range by a reloader who didn't want the trouble changing priming system on his press. Luckily I have two SDB presses 45ACP & 9mm. By switching the priming system I have reloaded thousands of NT's with same powder W231. Have found more de-primed NT's over the last few years. Still don't know who this person is but if I ever find out I will surely thank him.:)
 

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I hate them! I found a convenient disposal center who will take all of them.;)
 

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small primer 45 ACP brass has been out there for about 2 years at least and have been in standard FMJ ball ammo among others



I first found out about it when I got some in my old Loadmaster and started crushing primers.

I spend some time figuring that one out!!

I have kept the ones I have and when I get a few hundred, I'll load em up and shoot them

Its just one more thing you have to do with range brass now is sort it out
you just don't know anymore for sure so you'd better check
 
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