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Old January 8, 2012, 01:23 PM   #1
huntner11
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.45 ACP Brass with Small Primers

I've been reloading for quite a while, but just started reloading .45 ACP for my new PT 24/7 Taurus. I have a lot of brass of varied manufacture including some Federal (has a star on the headstamp) that has small pistol primer pockets. Since this seems unusual, I wanted to see if anyone knows if there is anything special about it or if I can use my regular Win231 load with a small primer. Perhaps this has been covered before...
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Old January 8, 2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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i absolutely hate that they did this now i have to separate all my brass prior to reloading.

so far the culprit that is doing the sp 45 acp is blaser in their low end line of brass ammo.

I have been screening it all out and untill i have 5000 to do a full reloading run of I will ignore them.
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Old January 8, 2012, 01:47 PM   #3
FrankenMauser
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They're perfectly fine for normal load development.

If you are in need of cheap .45 Auto brass, many once-fired brass sites sell the small primer pocket variants for about 1/3 the price of standard once-fired .45 Auto.
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Old January 8, 2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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on a progressive press hitting a small primer piece ruins the primer and makes you have to stop and pull the brass out of rotation. also may pose a threat so setting the primer off if your strong arming the press to churn out ammo.

I have no problem using them just will wait till i can run thru 5000 at once so i can keep them separate.
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Old January 8, 2012, 02:06 PM   #5
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on a progressive press hitting a small primer piece ruins the primer and makes you have to stop and pull the brass out of rotation. also may pose a threat so setting the primer off if your strong arming the press to churn out ammo.
If you're running your progressive press so fast that you're crushing components, when something goes wrong... you probably aren't keeping an eye on safety, as well as you probably should.
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Old January 8, 2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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I actually run my press pretty slow since i like to check every 10th round for consistency. I average about 200-250 / hour on a dillon 650 with a case feeder and a bullet feeder on it. so i know if i was wailing away i would be closer to 800+/hr.

I do know a lot of people that wail away at a press like nothing can go wrong.


in over 400,000 rounds i have not had a round come out that i wouldnt trust.

but that because i know the components that go in. and mixing small and large primer brass to me is as careless as having several powders or different caliber bullets laying on the bench at the same time.
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Old January 8, 2012, 03:05 PM   #7
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The only real difference is you use a small primer for those cases. It is a good idea to sort cases by head stamp before loading. I keep them so when I only need a short run I can just change out the dies and not worry about having to a large primer setup on the primer feed. It is a good idea to work up your load again with the small primers but you will probably find the same load for the cases with a large primer is the same. I would think there might be some powders that would need to be tweaked a little. W231 should work with the same load.
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Old January 8, 2012, 04:18 PM   #8
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There is some thinking this may actually be an advantage. It was started because the DDNP sensitizer used in non-toxic primers to replace lead styphnate is a more violent explosive, so the charge in a large size primer would tend to blow the primer out. The first fix was to leave the primer large but enlarge the vent (flash hole) to bleed the pressure off. Now they've just gone to the smaller primer altogether.

Then someone figured out small primers worked OK for .45 ACP because the powder volume under the bullet is so small. The roll of a primer, in addition to providing the ignition flame and sparks, is to establish the burn starting pressure, and the .45 ACP needs nothing like what a .45 Colt or a .44 Special, or any of the magnums do. Indeed, there is occasional trouble with velocity consistency in the round because large pistol primers make enough gas that they can pressurize the small volume to the point the bullet is partially or even fully unseated before the powder burn gets underway. That reduces the pressure profile of the burn. It also tends to be irregular.

So, experiment a bit. With some powders, the slower ones in particular, you'll possible find lower velocity deviation and better precision; particularly if you shoot the 50 yard conventional pistol slow fire targets.

Nick
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Last edited by Unclenick; January 8, 2012 at 04:23 PM.
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Old January 8, 2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
There is some thinking this may actually be an advantage. It was started because the DDNP sensitizer used in non-toxic primers to replace lead styphnate is a more violent explosive, so the charge in a large size primer would tend to blow the primer out. The first fix was to leave the primer large but enlarge the vent (flash hole) to bleed the pressure off. Now they've just gone to the smaller primer altogether.

Then someone figured out small primers worked OK for .45 ACP because the powder volume under the bullet is so small. Indeed, there is occasional trouble with velocity consistency in the round because large pistol primers make enough gas that they can pressurize the small volume to the point the bullet is partially or even fully unseated before the powder burn gets underway. That reduces the pressure profile of the burn.

So, experiment a bit. With some powders, the slower ones in particular, you'll possible find lower velocity deviation and better accuracy, particularly if you shoot the 50 yard conventional pistol slow fire targets.

Nick
I can understand that. I just find it annoying to have to fish thru primers size to separate them all. If the manufacturers all got together and said from now on all small primers for 45acp i would dump the lpp cases and switch. since I mainly have the lpp and the sp are the exception right now it is an annoyance to have to sore brass based on an inconsistency in manufacturing.
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Old January 8, 2012, 04:30 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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I ran some tests when I first found some .45 NT.
Depending on the powder, a small pistol standard primer gave 25-40 fps lower velocity than a large pistol standard primer in real .45 ACP cases. That was not enough to affect function of the gun, although if you were running barely adequate power factor loads for IDPA or IPSC, it might trip you up.

A small pistol magnum primer made up the deficit, sometimes a bit more.
Or, since they were not maximum loads, a little more powder would get you back to the original velocity.

Just aggravating to sort out, I agree.
There was some small primer .45 brass in the 1970s Hansen line but we cursed it less because there were not many progressive loaders.
Likewise at one time Frankford Arsenal used an odd .204" pistol primer to prevent mixups between .45 and .30-06 primers. You could still get those through the NRA in the 1950s, I think.
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Old January 8, 2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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Yes. I remember being told about those. I think I have some loaded rounds with them somewhere.

Loss of velocity should be made up for with more powder, IMHO. As the charge gets larger the case is filled a little better, and each 1/10th of a grain error from the powder measure becomes a smaller percentage of the whole.
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Old January 8, 2012, 04:41 PM   #12
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Loss of velocity should be made up for with more powder, IMHO. As the charge gets larger the case is filled a little better, and each 1/10th of a grain error from the powder measure becomes a smaller percentage of the whole.
this is very true but since even on the progressive press I check my powder charge every 10 rounds Im very consistent with my charge and with using 6.2 gr of unique I will max out according to the manual at 6.4 at what point do I say the small primer and upping the charge is a logical solution?
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Old January 8, 2012, 04:52 PM   #13
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When you test it over a chronograph. No equivalent alternative comes to mind. Check the average velocity of your original load, then load the small primer load up to match it. Look for whichever combination gives the lowest standard deviation in velocity.

By reaching the same velocity with a larger charge over the smaller primer you are doing it with more total gas volume. So even though the average pressure (what determines velocity) is the same, the peak pressure will actually be slightly lower. If the peak were equally high, given the larger gas quantity, your velocity would then exceed that of the original load because the greater gas quantity means more acceleration takes place further down the tube.
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Last edited by Unclenick; January 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM. Reason: typo fix
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Old January 8, 2012, 05:01 PM   #14
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i am about to start loading another batch of 45acp. ill have to mess around with the load and try out the small primers and the chronograph and see the results. when i get out to test them i will if i remember to bring it video the results and post the video and the results
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Old January 8, 2012, 05:55 PM   #15
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I have about 800 of them. They are Speer brass that I bought once-fired. I am using +/-.1 of 6 grains Unique with a 230gn hollow point, nicely. I have no tools to test it with though.
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Old January 8, 2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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I think that putting small primers in a .45 acp case is wrong-headed. Forever (or at least in my reloading lifetime) anything under .40 was SPP, and .40 or above was LPP.

Changing this may save the OEM a few cents per 1000 rounds, but it is a pain in the balls for us reloaders.

I have no intention of swapping out the primer feed stuff to put together .45s with SPP.

I have to go through all the cases I picked up at the range (most of them mine, but some others as well), and then go through them again. I put all the SPP brass in one bag, and then give it away.

But it ****** me off that I have to go through all that for no good reason.
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Old January 8, 2012, 08:49 PM   #17
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I think some of the US brands used SP brass for their lead styphnate free primered non toxic NT or Winclean ammos. Mybe they didnt want to develop a LP primer with this compound so they just use the same one for all their 9,40,45 lead free ammo.
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Old January 10, 2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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That's most of the small amount of money being saved; not having to make and keep track of two different smaller lots of .45 ACP cases. The difference in primer cost is probably minimal, but there will be some savings in large enough quantity.

Right now, for reloaders, the advantage of the small primer pocket brass is that most people don't like it and will sort it out and sell it cheap. Additionally, since most handloaders avoid the SP size, you can pretty much be guaranteed the once-fired brass actually has only been fired once, where the LP stuff sometimes has multiply reloaded cases included. If I were new to handloading for the .45 ACP, I might be tempted to start and stay with the small primer brass for these reasons.
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Old January 10, 2012, 11:29 AM   #19
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Right now, for reloaders, the advantage of the small primer pocket brass is that most people don't like it and will sort it out and sell it cheap.
I don't even do that. When I find them, I round file them (that's slang for putting in the trash). Sticking with only one size primer pocket ... large.
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Old January 11, 2012, 01:37 AM   #20
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I have been doing reliability of primer ignition testing of Tula SP primers (nickel/silver colored) and have extended my 9mm/40S&W testing to 45ACP cases with small primer pockets. Out of Sig 1911/M&P45 with 200 gr SWC and 5.0 gr W231/HP-38, I can't say if I can tell the difference from Winchester/Wolf/Tula LP primers.






Quote:
Originally Posted by rclark
I round file them (that's slang for putting in the trash).
I hope you are recycling them as price of scrap brass is quite a bit ... I recycle even spent primers
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Old January 11, 2012, 08:44 AM   #21
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Some 40 super cases used small pockets because having more brass was helping them hold up to the pressures.
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Old January 11, 2012, 09:02 AM   #22
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I hope you are recycling them as price of scrap brass is quite a bit ... I recycle even spent primers
No, I don't recycle 'em. Round file them. Same with unusable cases. Probably should though.
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Old January 11, 2012, 12:36 PM   #23
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I "discovered" the advent of the SP 45ACP a while back when the primer could not be seated in my Classic Turret Press. Upon inspection, I had a fair number of them. I set about separating them from the LP casings. This was a one-time process. After cleaning the casings that I've shot/picked up I always tap them on a hard surface to remove any media that might still be inside the casings. At that time I separate the 2 primer hole sizes. As I'm still getting the brass for free I got over it quickly. I have around 3000 LP casings and maybe 300SP casings. So, I don't really need the SP's but I'll hang on to them and use them if I run out of LP primers or the price differential in the 2 primer sizes becomes profitable for me to do so.
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Old January 14, 2012, 10:04 AM   #24
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Only one affirmative on not needing to adjust load

I am using AA#2 @ 5.1g (accurate load book one gives 5.0-5.6 for min/max data for the lead bullet I am loading). At this point I am just setting aside the swaged LP and the SP cases to deal with later. Be nice to get a bit more warm-n-fuzzy feel whether or not I can use my same load. I have fired 5.3g loads of AA#2 without any issue in my 45 firearm (just saw a decrease in accuracy and increase in blast/muzzle-rise so I backed it down to current load).
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Old January 14, 2012, 06:08 PM   #25
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If you use the same load the only likely negative consequence would be lower pressure and velocity, so no harm is done. If you have a chronograph, though, take some of the LP cases and load them up and shoot them over it. Do the same with some of the SP cases with the same load. If the latter have a significant loss of velocity, adjust the charge up to make the velocity match that of the LP case loads. If not (results will vary with primer brand), leave it be.
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