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Old February 15, 2013, 06:19 PM   #1
WaywardSon
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Rifle primers in pistol calibers. Is it safe?

So....given the plain fact that small pistol primers are currently unobtainable...what is the consensus from the experts here regarding substituting small rifle primers. They will fit and go bang...but is it safe?

I am curious mostly because I have a quantity of Remington 6 1/2 small rifle primers that are apparently unsuitable for .223 Remington. Thinking about using them up in mid-range loads for .38 Special/.357 Magnum. Bad idea?

I appreciate everyones thoughts, especially those who have BTDT. I am not a rookie by any means...but have never tried something like this.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.............John
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:03 PM   #2
Pongo
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Take a look here. http://www.jamescalhoon.com/primers_and_pressure.php
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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You will find some people reluctant to endorse it but this was widely discussed during the '08 shortage and the consensus was that not only was it being done but a lot of shooters did as a standard practice, shortage or not. As with anything else, use common sense and be safe.
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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I reload all my handgun calibers that accept small primers with small rifle primers. I worked up loads for this years ago and I never load near max anyway. I do this mainly because I purchased at closeout years ago many many sleeves of small rifle primers and seriously doubt I'll ever run out in my lifetime.

But then I did the same with .22 rimfire, other than my target ammo which runs well over $100.00 a brick, my .22's were purchased for $5/7 bucks a brick for plinking ammo.

Yup, I was a Scout, and learned early on to "Be Prepared".
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Been doing it for 10 years. I still have most of my parts intact.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:13 PM   #6
spacecoast
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Small pistol primers can be found if you check frequently.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:35 PM   #7
WaywardSon
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Thanks to all. I appreciate the input, especially from those who have done this. Looks like my Remington 6 1/2's might work well in a pistol.

Pongo...Thanks for the link, that was very informative.

Spacecoast.....Not around here at the moment.

No quote function here? Or am I just ignorant on another level"
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:40 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Just be aware that a small rifle primer is, often if not always, the equivalent of a small pistol MAGNUM primer. This is definitely the case with CCI. It won't cause a problem if you follow the standard creed of starting low and working up but it certainly can cause higher pressure in some instances.

I developed a load this past weekend in my 357sig using CCI SR primers. I worked up to a max published load of 800x and experienced no issues but I certainly wouldn't want to start there. It is a STOUT load and may be more so because of the primer choice.

Quoting a post
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:27 AM   #9
WaywardSon
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I am apparently too dumb to follow the instructions in the link provided:-)

So....when you go to edit a post, there is no "delete" button? Or am I just up too early?
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:55 AM   #10
chiefr
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Done it before myself as an experiment. I started low & worked up.
Jag2 is spot on: remember quite a few were doing it in 2008.
Most people who reload know the difference in height.
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Old February 17, 2013, 12:57 AM   #11
david_r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waywardson
No quote function here? Or am I just ignorant on another level" "
My vote is B. Remove the spaces from this and you should be quoting in no time.
[ quote=username ] Quoted text [ /quote ]
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Old February 17, 2013, 02:54 AM   #12
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I have used SRP for pistol loads, some of my handguns did not have enough force to make them go bang every time. I have not tried to use LRP for handgun cartridges as they are taller than LPP.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:24 AM   #13
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While obviously it can be done the problem that may be encountered in some handguns is the lack of firing pin energy delivered to the primer.

Normally on handgun specs written by the goverment the handgun had to be able to deliver a .009" indent on COPPER for 38 Spec and .011" indent on COPPER for .357 Magnum.



On Rifle specs the SAAMI min indent energy now is .016" indent on COPPER and it used to be .020".

The M16 rifle has a indent requirement of .022" on COPPER because of the heavier primer.

The difference being the small rifle primers have heavier cups and for ignition reliability you need to make sure the primer is hit hard and fast.

Handguns by their very nature have small springs and light strikers and rifles have much larger springs and heavier strikers.

Thusly in a bad situation you may get a failure to fire when you need it most which can be made more prevalent in cold weather.

Thusly if you are just plinking you may get away with it just fine day after day but if your life is going to depend on ignition reliability..............

Just thought you guys needed to know what could happen as on primer testing of standard rifle primers the ALL FIRE INDENT is .012 on copper and all no fire is .009". Thusly if you have a handgun delivering .011 energy levels you will likely experience a failure to fire situation at a given rate but if you have a handgun giving .010" indent you failure to fire rate will be much higher.

Normally in the business allowable misfire rate is one in a million assuming everything is RIGHT. This rate will go up when indent level falls below .12".

While generally not observable in handguns, way before you get to misfire level you will see vertical stringing at longer ranges with rifle due to inconsistant ignitions.
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:01 PM   #14
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According to the “ABC’s” of reloading rifle primers are a little taller than pistol primers. Rifle primers are hotter than pistol primers to ignite the slower burning powder for rifles.

I would watch the height of the primers if you try to use them and also reduce your load.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:53 PM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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Rifle primers in pistol calibers. Is it safe?

Large rifle are taller than large pistol. Small primers are identical, dimensionally. The rifle primers are usually the equivalent of magnum pistol.
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