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Old May 14, 2001, 09:28 AM   #1
Gator
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O.K. it’s not the biggest mistake of my life. But it’s a good one.

My reloading buddy and I managed to put magnum primers in our .40 SW brass. We stopped and promptly corrected this issue. We didn’t want to make any mistakes. We’ve made close to 6,000 rounds in three years and have all of our fingers.

We checked all our reloading books and none of them mentioned what could happen with a magnum primer paced in a .40 SW case.

We figured we would err on the side of caution.

What’s the deal? What could have happened if anything?

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Old May 14, 2001, 11:16 AM   #2
Southla1
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A lot of your question depends on the load you are going to use. If its a hot load already you may be well overpressured. If its a warm load it will then be in the hot category. If it is a mild load you are shooting it is probably ok. So much depends on powder type, bullet weight, case volume, bullet design, chamber dimensions, bore diameter, etc. All of these things are intermixed in determining pressure that it is difficult to say how much difference a hotter primer will make. It will make some for sure. I would choose a light load and try a few it they are ok then go from there.
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Old May 14, 2001, 01:48 PM   #3
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Southla1 is right, using magnum primers will make your loads hotter. The general rule that I've always heard is using a magnum primer is like adding 1 more grain of powder. That rule should hold for calibers like the 38 special and up, those with larger case capacitys. I'd think in the 40 S&W it would be like adding at least 1-1.5 gr.

As Southla1 said pick a light load and work up slowly.

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Old May 14, 2001, 09:46 PM   #4
PKN
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Magnum primers in 40...

It's been discussed before and I doubt it's like adding a whole grain of powder. I currently use rifle primers in my 40 loads without any pressure problems. I previously used magnum primers. It's been safe for roughly 5-6k rounds in a little under a years time. It's not an unusual practice in IPSC either. I don't reccomend this as an everyday matter of course for plinking loads. But I also don't belive it's an imediate invitation to loosing fingers.
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Old May 14, 2001, 11:08 PM   #5
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Why do you use rifle primers in a 40? It's not that high pressure of a round and doesn't use large powder charges that would need a rifle primer to ignite.

Do you load for handguns and rifles and just want to keep one kind on hand?


John
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Old May 15, 2001, 07:36 AM   #6
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JohnK

You know the 40 can be an extremely high-pressure round, based on OAL.
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Old May 15, 2001, 08:26 AM   #7
PKN
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Actually, I could probably do away with the rifle primers now, but old habbits die hard. I started using magnum and rifle primers when I was using an overcharge of straight Clays to make major.
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Old May 15, 2001, 11:25 AM   #8
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The 40 might be high pressure compared to a 38 Special but it's no higher than a 9mm and certainly not high pressure compared to a 454 or rifle rounds which are loaded to nearly double the pressure of the 40 S&W. It's not even as high pressure as a 357 magnum and those don't require magnum primers for the vast majority of loads.

If you're seeing rifle levels of pressure in a 40 S&W either something is very wrong OR you're deliberately overloading it for some reason (such as the IPSC situation). You would only need magnum/rifle primers in the second scenario, not as a patch to the first one. Any caliber can be loaded to extreme pressures, especially if you have a barrel with a fully supported chamber, that doesn't mean it should be recommended. If you have an argument to counter this I'm open to hear it, I certainly don't claim to be omniscient.

PKN, that is one reason I thought of after posting that you might be using magnum/rifle primers, overcharged IPSC handloads, but massive overcharges aren't required in the 40 S&W to make major like they are in the 9mm or 38 Super using light bullets, at least not according to the load data from Alliant and Hodgdon.

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Old May 15, 2001, 11:27 AM   #9
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JohnK: Using rifle primers is sort of a crude method of being able to up your pressures somewhat. It's not the hotter flame that you want, it's the thicker primer cup that resists primer flattening and primer blowthroughs. Of course, if the cartridge can't vent excess pressure through your primer cup, it'll just blow the case!
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Old May 15, 2001, 03:52 PM   #10
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I want to make sure about something before I start loading .357. At the gunshow where I got everything I had the choice between small pistol mag primers and normal small primers. When I asked what the difference was the guy there told me that there really wasn't much of a difference, only that if you downloaded the round a bit that you'd see a significant loss in velocity. Since they were out of normal small pistol primers I went ahead and picked up 5,000 mag small pistol primers.

Now I'm going to be loading .357 mag for my gf who wants pretty hot loads already (I know I will work my way up) but I'd like a standard baseline that I can start with. Should I just start with the baseline that's set forth in the manuals? Or should I take 1 grain off?

Also I will be loading mainly with 231 and bluedot, anyone have any pet loads for a 158 grain in .357 and a 200 grain in .45 acp?

Thanks in advance,
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Old May 16, 2001, 07:31 AM   #11
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Back to the .40 magnum primers

Thanks for the information guys. I've been reading TFL for almost a year and learned a lot.

All my books pretty much said to use magnum primers only in cases that are magnum.

The two loads we planned on loading are:

5.8 grains of Winchester Superfield or
4.7 grains of Winchester 231.

Since we have 180 grain JHP rounds for loading we made the right choice in backing out the magnum primers to replace them with the right ones.

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Old May 16, 2001, 10:09 PM   #12
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UltimaSE, depending on the type of powder used in your .357 you may NEED the magnum primers. Two that immediatly come to mind are 2400 and H110. A decent length barrel and a heavy bullet call for powders such as these 2.
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Old May 17, 2001, 01:13 AM   #13
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actually I was looking for some h110, but at the show they only had bluedot and 231 really avaliable. I don't remember seeing anything that said that I had to use mag primers for either. I was just wondering what I should do in terms of a starting baseline with the mag primers. Should I just start with the recommended baseline or should I adjust the baseline to take the mag primers into account.

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Old May 17, 2001, 04:47 AM   #14
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UltimaSE - IMO you can safely start at the listed minimums for those two powders and use a magnum primer. Personally, I wouldn't reduce the minimum powder charge because you are using a magnum primer. As you work up the load and add a little powder, as always, you should be looking for signs of excessive pressure (expanded web, overly flattened primers, etc.) Keep in mind that your maximum powder weight will most likely be less than the listed weight for powders which don't normally require a magnum primer. However, looking in Speer #12, I see that they list a few loads of W231 using a magnum primer for the .357M - go figure.
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Old May 17, 2001, 06:08 AM   #15
Patrick Graham
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Mal
Funny you should mention the speer manual suggesting magnum primers for 231 in 357 mag.

Last month I wanted to use up some of my 231 so I loaded up some 357 with 8.6 gr of 231, and 125 gr jhp, the minimum charge in my old speer #10 manual. I used WSP primers and the load worked out just great, not too hot, not too nasty. When I read your post I rechecked the manual and sure enough they have a splat in front of the 8.6 gr of 231 denoting the use of cci 550 magnum primers. In the load data for the 110 gr JHP just above they don't suggest magnum primers with 231.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..............

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Old May 17, 2001, 05:02 PM   #16
Mal H
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They denoted magnum primers for the 140 JHP with 231 but not the 158 JHP in #12. ??

They may be wrong, but at least they're inconsistent!

[Edited by Mal H on 05-17-2001 at 10:15 PM]
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