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Old September 13, 2011, 05:42 AM   #1
spacecoast
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Primer packaging

Bought 6,000 Federal primers last week... looks like I'll need to rent a storage unit...

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Old September 13, 2011, 06:41 AM   #2
F. Guffey
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R. Lee was not happy with Federal, seems they did not donate primers for testing? So, he refused to purchase Federal primers for testing?

In his book R. Lee claimed the Federal primers were more powerful, more powerful than what, I do not know.

After hearing all the scary stories about 'more powerful' primers, Federal redesigned the primer tray to make the more powerful safer to ship and it is only a coincidence the tray for shipping was too large for dumping primers into the Lee hand primer, the saddest part was the user of Lee hand primers could not figure a way to get the primers from the large tray to the smaller round tray, and I suppose if there is a moral to the story Federal did not care what Lee thought about their primers, Me? I still have friends tell me, "don't use Federal primers in a Lee hand primer because they are more powerful, back to me, More-powerful? That is what I want, I want the more powerful primer.

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Old September 13, 2011, 07:34 AM   #3
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I could be wrong because I have been before, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the reason Lee did not recommend Federal primers for use in his equipment was due to the "softer" material they were made from. They reportedly detonate more often during the seating process than others. Hence one of the reasons for the "Explosion Shield" offered for the Load-Master. http://leeprecision.com/xcart/LM-EXPLOSION-SHIELD.html However, on Page 85 of "Modern Reloading - Second Edition" by Richard Lee, it states only "Do not use Federal primers in a Lee Auto-Prime! Any primer not listed above has not been tested, so you must assume they are unsafe."
It seems Mr. Lee only tested Winchester, CCI and Remington primers prior to publication. Which leaves more than just Federal off the list of tested primers.

I too have a couple thousand Federal primers because during the shortage they were all I could find. I'll be using them to load .45 ACP in the near future on my Lee Load-Master.
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Last edited by CowTowner; September 13, 2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old September 13, 2011, 07:57 AM   #4
spacecoast
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I was warned about using Federal primers in a Lee auto-prime, but I use a hand press anyway to load all mine (not pressing too hard of course). I like the added sensitivity of the hand press, it's easy to tell if a primer is crooked or if you have run into one of those cursed Blazer .45ACPs that use small primers. The Federal primers solved a severe light strike problem I was having with my light-action 686.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:22 AM   #5
wncchester
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Federal primers are no 'softer' than others, they do have a slightly more sensitive priming compoud. They do that to reduce misfires and hangfires - works too. But no good deed goes unpunished, it also inccurs a slightly higher risk of chain fires if one goes off accidentally in storage and use. That's why Fed puts each primer in individual holes in those boxes. I haven't found loading them into primer flippers or Lee's Autoprime tools to be complicated and I've loaded several thousands of Federal in Lee's AutoPrimes with no problem (but I'm not suggesting anyone else do it.)

I've actually found Federal's primer caps appear to be harder or thicker than most others. I have two rifles with slightly oversize firning pin holes and they tend to crater primers at normal pressures but I get no cratering at all with the same charge when using Federals.

Reloading greenhorns intuitively presume a "hot" primer will surely be 'best' but if hot primers had any consistant advantage the reloading manual makers would tell us to use them. Fact is, knowledgable reloaders know excessively "hot" primers usually degrade acccuracy and can induce unsual velocity variations. All the velocity we can attain and best accuracy comes from a proper balance of powder and ignition. Hot primers can be helpful but ONLY if they are needed to ignite the charge; few cartridges/powders need that.

BR shooters usually seek primers with the minimum fire that will still ignite the charge properly. Their match winning 6PPC case uses small primers and the winning cases usually have smaller than normal flash holes specifically to reduce excessive flash from the primers.

Last edited by wncchester; September 13, 2011 at 12:07 PM.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:25 AM   #6
Charlie_98
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If it's any consolation, my Lee hand prime tray is too small for CCI trays, too, so I don't think it's fair to just pick on Federal. Most of the hand primer trays have been redesigned to accomodate the trays now, I believe.

As far as Federal primers being more 'sensitive'... I've heard the same thing about Winchesters, too, so go figure.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:34 AM   #7
Don P
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A storage unit for 6,000 primers. Guess I should rent a warehouse for my 13,000 primers and 8# of powder and 3,500 bullets. That reminds me I need more bullets.
Spacecoast where you getting the primers and price?
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Old September 13, 2011, 09:14 AM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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I like the primers in my cases, but don't like the primer cases

I also use a Lee hand primer... a Cool Whip lid has to work for an intermediary between the huge square primer trays & the lil round priming tool tray

but definately dislike taking up all that space on my shelves...
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Old September 13, 2011, 09:56 AM   #9
spacecoast
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Quote:
Spacecoast where you getting the primers and price?
Ha ha, I've got you beat with my <undisclosed quantity> of primers, 8K bullets and <undisclosed quantity> of powder. This last bunch of Federals I found at Cabela's for $28 (on sale). Not a great price, but I wanted them fast. Beats the heck out of the $6.99 per 100 they were charging at SCB.

Last edited by spacecoast; September 14, 2011 at 05:46 PM.
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Old September 13, 2011, 09:58 AM   #10
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Just push all the primers in the tray to one side, hold the box of primers upside down over the clear part of the tray, and pull the cover half way off. Repeat for the other half.
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Old September 13, 2011, 10:20 AM   #11
MGMorden
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Before I knew any better I used Federal primers in a Lee hand-prime tool. I never had any issues at all (aside from being more of a pain to get them into the tray).

Nowadays I use CCI 90% of the time, but that's just because they tend to be cheap and readily available.
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Old September 13, 2011, 10:51 AM   #12
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Yea, I hate the ones that dimple when you run them back through the de-capping/sizing die so you can put them in the case head the right way. I wished they made those out of more durable material.
I too buy the ones that cost the least at the time of purchase.
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Old September 13, 2011, 11:00 AM   #13
azphx55
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I keep an old plastic bowl at my reloading station and dump Federal primers into the bowl, then pour them into my Lee Auto-Prime tray. "Normal" sized primer packages I just dump directly into the tray half at a time.

I recently filled my primer shelf and had to overflow into a broom closet, but my bigger concern at the moment is that the shelf where I keep my lead probably isn't really strong enough to hold the load.
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Old September 13, 2011, 05:56 PM   #14
lll Otto lll
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@ Guffey
Lee upgraded their hand primer and it now accepts primers from all manufactures. http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Auto-Prime-XR.html

The DOT requires that Federal use large packaging.
That was the explanation I got when I emailed ATK two years ago.
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Old September 13, 2011, 07:03 PM   #15
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All my lead and bullets go on the floor. Just don't try to kick it out of the way! Ouch!!!
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:00 AM   #16
praetorian97
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This brings up a question. Why do Federal Primers come in such a larger container for the same quantity of primers you find in the other manufacturers???
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Old September 14, 2011, 11:26 AM   #17
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Because they can.

Marketing. Bigger package, same price, means more sales. Remington wins on the grab your attention colors. Federal boxes aren't much better than unmarked boxes. Bigger trumps on perceived value tho.

Reminds me of Prilosec boxes. they do jazzy color AND size. 10 pills in a box that could hold 200.



At least primers aren't addictive.........or are they?

Please DON"T try swallowing primers for heart burn......

Last edited by GWS; September 14, 2011 at 11:33 AM.
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Old September 14, 2011, 04:56 PM   #18
chris in va
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Guys be careful posting how many primers you have on hand. IIRC there is a limit of 10,000 per fire code.
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Old September 14, 2011, 10:13 PM   #19
engineermike
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I was wondering when someone was going to bring that up... There is a max limit on this stuff.
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Old September 14, 2011, 10:38 PM   #20
1SOW
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I load light strike pistols using Fed SPPs and like them. I don't much like the packaging either, but:

Federal packages their primers so if one were ignite, the others won't. This is because they use an older more sensitive formula.
I reload with the Lee Turret press and the primer system has been modified to prevent chain ignition of the primers. This was done many years ago. I have reloaded over 25K Fed primers and never had one go off in the press.

I think it was last year that someone posted a pic of the "Blue" press primer tube being fired into the ceiling due to a chain primer ignition. It wasn't Fed primers in the tube.

IMHO, Primers, any primers, are the most dangerous component in the reloaders' supply. They are 'explosive' instead of 'combustible'.
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Old September 14, 2011, 10:44 PM   #21
Jim Watson
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Agreed.
Federal pistol primers ARE more sensitive than other brands.
I have a tuned Python that will reliably fire no other US brand. Winchester got close when they went to the unplated cups but still not 100% in that gun.

I think the cups are softer. I had some very ugly fired Federal primers from handbook loads in 9mm until I changed to WW or CCI for the auto calibers. The fired primers look normal now.

The Federal tray is larger to prevent gang firing of their more sensitive primers in case of accident. I read of a test in which they fired a .30-06 into a pallet of packaged primers. Only the ones directly hit by the bullet popped.
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Old September 14, 2011, 10:59 PM   #22
1SOW
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I read an article on Fed primers that discussed their using an older more volatile formula. I went to the "MSDS" site for Fed primers and their formula is different than Win CCI etc. in that it contained a very small percentage of Nitroglycerin. http://www.federalpremium.com/pdf/ms...eandPistol.pdf
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Old September 14, 2011, 11:07 PM   #23
Brian Pfleuger
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Federal primers are so thin that I can't use them at all for loading 357sig. They pierce with loads that would be starting loads in a 9mm, no where near even middle of the road for the Sig. Lots of guys swear by Federal rifle primers but the handgun stuff is unusable as far as I'm concerned.
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Old September 14, 2011, 11:16 PM   #24
1SOW
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I run very light springs in my comp 9mm's, and the 'hits' on Win and Fed primers 'looked' identical. The Wins FTF 2/50 avg. The Feds fire 100% avg.
I've since gone to an extended firing pin. I fired one Win White Box of 50 with no FTFs. I still use Feds for a guaranteed bang.
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Old September 15, 2011, 06:58 AM   #25
Sevens
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Quote:
The DOT requires that Federal use large packaging.
That was the explanation I got when I emailed ATK two years ago.
That's interesting... but ATK also produces CCI primers.

I'm not saying you aren't relaying exactly the info they told you, it's just odd since they produce both.
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