It's common practice to use small rifle primers in "major loads" for the 38 Super, IPSC & such. I've never had a problem with countless thousands of rounds fired. Freedom Arms recommends using small rifle primers in their 454 Casull - I've done so with no problems.
The above two examples aside, I have loaded pistol ammo this way, very cautiously. I am not recommending anyone load ammo this way!
I would caution you to work up your loads very carefully if you choose to use SR primers in common handgun calibers. You are going where no (sane
) man has gone before!! A chronograph is a must for this type of experimentation!!
This is the way I have done it in semi-auto pistols.
EXAMPLE: Lets say you're loading for the 40 S&W. You've worked up a load with 7.0grs AA#5 and a Federal SP primer that chronos 1150fps. If you know this load is safe, pressure wise, then proceed like this.
1. reduce powder charge by 15% and load 5 rds at this charge weight with a Federal SR primer.
2. Fire 1 round thru the chrono. STOP. How far did the brass eject compared to the SP load? Check the velocity and compare it to your SP primer load. Do not exceed 1150fps under any circumstances! Examine the fired case carefully, comparing it to the one fired using the SP primer - you're looking for any signs
of high pressure (note: fired primers can and do lie about pressure!).
If that round looks ok, velocity is lower than 1150fps and the case ejected about the same distance as the SP ammo, then fire the other 4rds. At this point follow the same procedures looking for signs of high pressure.
Everything checks out ok, load 5 more rds with 0.1gr more powder and repeat above but do not exceed 1150fps (you should reach this vel with .2-.4grs less powder.
I would only substitute primers in high pressure cartridges ... .40, 10mm, 357mag & sig, 44mag...
The wisest thing to do is stay with pistol primers in pistol ammo!
You are totally on your own when you begin to deviate from normal handloading guidelines!!
BE CAREFUL, my friend thaddeus!
[This message has been edited by bk40 (edited April 06, 1999).]