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Old May 23, 2012, 12:13 AM   #1
DeerSlayer86
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Does a primer make that much difference??

Title pretty much explains this one but have you guys noticed much difference in the standard primers vs the gold match or BR primers? Im going for precision accuracy. This weekend I'm doing a range test to find out what the difference is going to be but who has been there done that? What have you found to be the most consistent/best primers available? and what is the difference anyways? (other than cost)
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Old May 23, 2012, 08:13 AM   #2
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I just read an article "Secrets of the Huston Warehouse" where a group of Bench Rest Shooters got to gether trying for the one hole group inside a 300 yard warehouse.

From the article primers didn't make much of a difference.

However, saying that, I found in some cases they do. I have a Ruger #1 in 204 Ruger. Wife bought it for me when it first came out.

I started with the accuracy load listed by Sierra. I was using fed match primers and CCI Bench rest primers.

I didn't get any where near the accuracy I wanted nor the velocity Sierra listed.

I switched nothing but primers, going to CCI Standard SR primers. I found the accuracy I wanted and it dern near equaled the velocity Sierra listed.

Go Figure.

Personally I'd go buy a box (100) of each and see what worked in your rifle and you load.

Over the years I've found what works for one, may not work for others, what works in some rifles may not work in others.

So as to the question, "which is the best primer"? Got Me. Heaven only knows.
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Old May 23, 2012, 01:26 PM   #3
zippy13
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Quote:
Go Figure...
…Over the years I've found what works for one, may not work for others, what works in some rifles may not work in others.
Amen, Kraig.
Yours seems to be the appropriate answer to many of the generic questions we see here.
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Old May 23, 2012, 01:49 PM   #4
mete
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It's still a component and like any others it can have a major effect !
Once I had a friend who had an occasional squib load and it took lots of effort to convince him he had a bad lot of primers . After dumping the primers the problem went away !
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Old May 23, 2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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Yes its a generic question. So to be more specific I'm loading 25-06 rem with RL22 with the only variable being primer. Between CCI 200, CCI BR-2, Federal GM210 and GM215M. What I really want to see is the difference in consistency and velocity. Just an excuse to go to the range and tinker. On that note, any thoughts on using the mag primers in a non mag cartridge? Testing it this weekend anyways but curious what others results have been.
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Old May 23, 2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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I recall the late great Jim Clark saying "I use any old primer that comes along.
I have found no difference in primers." Pretty much my experience. I have never been a bench rest shooter so I can't speak for them.
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Old May 23, 2012, 07:32 PM   #7
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Yes, sometimes.

I have asked the best shooters in the area, some are National Champs, it is very hard to sort out primer induced errors, if they exist.

There are different combinations in which you will get better accuracy with one primer or primer type. You really have to experiment.

One shooter who I really respect said he got better accuracy with small rifle primers, but the ignition was not as certain and he had misfires in cold weather.

I do notice a lot of good shooters using CCI benchrest. These are very consistent primers.

I did a primer test with Tula primers in the 30-06 and they did very well, I would say better than any, but my sample size is only ten shot groups, so that is not statistically significant.

The largest errors are with bad bullets. Powder probably next, then cases. Primers are probably in the 5% or less level.

As one excellent shooter said to me on this question: "Primers, you have to be real sensitive to see a difference with primers".

I am not that sensitive.
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Old May 23, 2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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By no definition am I a benchrest shooter. I just want to have that accuracy in the rifle I hunt with. I guess you'd call it OCD ? Getting much more than exceptable "hunting" accuracy (sub .400" 5 shot @ 100) but I want better. Call me crazy, but that's why I got into reloading. Hoping the primer experiment will shrink it a little but not expecting anything. Just an excuse to go to the range!! Great if it works out, no loss if it doesn't
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Old May 23, 2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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When i started loading for my AR for the high power matches i tried numerous different primers.What i found was that CCI small rifle primers shot no better than higher priced bench rest and magnum.Each rifle is different,i also found that my particular rifle shot IMI 62gr better than 69gr Sierra's.
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Old May 23, 2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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I was racking my brain trying to find an old article on engineering handloads for you and finally found it as an archived upload at usrifleteams.com. Do a google for "working up a match load DOE final draft" and it should be the first return. It is listed as a .ibf file but you should be able to open it with adobe reader.

If I remember right you've settled on a powder charge, settled on a seating depth, and now you are on to primers. My guess is that if you don't see any difference between primers you need to play with seating depth as well, and the article linked shows you how to do that, work with two variables at one time.

If you do see a difference with primers just go with the most accurate.

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Old May 24, 2012, 12:34 AM   #11
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Good stuff Jimro, thanks
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Old July 11, 2012, 12:35 AM   #12
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I shot a 600 Yard F Class Match a while back. I reloaded my ammo the night before the match. I am shooting a 223 with 90 grain Berger's. I found enough brass already sized and primed to shoot the match.
Anyway I was shooting the match and kept getting a high shot now and again. When I picked up my empties to put them back in the box, Base Up. I discovered some were primed with Remington Bench Rest, and the rest with CCI Small Rifle Magnums which I normally use.
Best that I could tell from the Paster Positions on the target, the Magnum Primed ammo was shooting 6 - 9 Inches higher than the Remington BR primed ammo.
My 223 Bolt Gun likes Magnum Primers with 90 grain bullets. It likes the Remington BR Primers just fine with H4895 and 77's and 80 grain bullets.

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Old July 11, 2012, 01:01 AM   #13
Edward429451
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I can use any ol primer for the most part, with a few exceptions like only mil spec primers for the AR & M1A. Which actually has nothing to do with accuracy. Where I did see improvement was when I began de-burring flash holes. It brought the SD right down.
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Old July 11, 2012, 02:36 AM   #14
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IIRC Match primers are supposed to have a more consistent charge than regular primers, in the long range game consistency is everything to a large extent. I've never directly compared regular primers to match, i just run match in everything now. Though there was a point i ran magnum primers in my .308 and my ES and SD were all over the place. To blame that completely on the primer might be far fetched though, as my loading tolerances and practices weren't the same then either.
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Old July 15, 2012, 03:38 AM   #15
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I read somewhere or another that ( at one company or another) the only difference between their bench rest and standard primers were the personnel that made them. now i remember it was in a recent issue of Handloader magazine.
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Old July 15, 2012, 05:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
I read somewhere or another that ( at one company or another) the only difference between their bench rest and standard primers were the personnel that made them. now i remember it was in a recent issue of Handloader magazine
I talked to a Bud who works in ammunition gaging.

He told me that priming compound is mixed by individuals. That today's "Mules" have up to 20 data ports and can measure primer flame, duration, intensity, material ejected, and probably a bunch of other parameters that I forgot.

He also said that match primers are made from the most consistent tested primer lots. This might be ATK he was talking about. He also said, the worker who made the most consistent lot is given a cash award, incentivizing them to do that again.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:11 PM   #17
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What I found is that I had a great under 1" group when using CCI # 400 primers, the local gun shop was out of the CCI primers and I bought 200 Federal's to hold me over. With nothing changed except the primer my groups opened up to 3" with the federal's. I went back to the CCI 400's when they got them in and my groups went right back to under 1"
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Old July 16, 2012, 04:34 PM   #18
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"...that much difference..."

I give up, how much difference is 'that much"?

Changing a primer, bullet or powder lot in an established load will make a difference, the question is how much and which way. Any change is likely to require reworking the load; swapping primers willy-nilly and comparing the results of an established load isn't much of a load testing proceedure.
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Old July 16, 2012, 11:06 PM   #19
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Every lot number of every component makes a difference.



Sent from HenseMod6.
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Old July 16, 2012, 11:22 PM   #20
SIGSHR
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I recall a magazine article in which the late great Jim Clark said " I use any old primer that comes along. I have found no difference in primers."
Only time I ever had problems with primers was years ago, my Charter Arms Bulldog did not like Winchester primers.
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Old July 17, 2012, 01:22 AM   #21
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When I started reloading for my AR I was using the CCI400 small rifle primers, then switched to the CCI41 small rifle primers, accuracy is a little better and the 41's are meant for the AR's anyway.

On that note, my rifle hates any load using varget, go figure.
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Old July 17, 2012, 11:33 AM   #22
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I have used just about every kind of primer made and have had best luck with CCI BR primers in most of my rifles but when using a different primer you have to taylor the load some primers are a little hotter than some. So when primers were hard to get when nobama took over had to buy what I could find.

So Guys when changing primers work up your loads some times .5 to 1.0 grs. of powder will make a difference also you might want to change bullets. JMO
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Old July 17, 2012, 11:58 AM   #23
Mike Irwin
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I had loads worked up for my modified .243 that would cut 1/3" groups at 100 yards all day long.

I switched out the primers for CCIs one day because my gunshop was out of the ones I normally used (Federal).

Groups opened up to well over an inch.

When I went back to Federals, my groups shrank back to where they should have been.
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Old July 17, 2012, 12:02 PM   #24
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I have found that every component of a worked up load, will change a little, if any component of that load is changed. Whether it be powder, bullet, primer, cartridge over-all-length, case, or anything else. It may be just a subtle change, but will almost always make a change.

When I start out to work up a load, I always start with the lowest charge listed, with the bullet weight I want to shoot, and load 5 rounds, with every round being loaded the same, with 4 or 5 different primers, then I try different powders, different cases, at different over all lengths, until I find the best grouping rounds. At that point I start working with charge weights until I get the groups to touch, and that is where I call it quits. I'm not a bench rest shooter, but I want to get all the accuracy out of my loads that I can, and sometimes it will take a hundred rounds or so to get just the right formula for each weapon, but once I get it figured out, I NEVER change it.
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Old July 19, 2012, 12:02 PM   #25
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In my experience, primers make a difference as far as accuracy and point of impact go. I can't test for Standard Deviation or Extreme Spread yet, but I bet they make a difference in that department as well. An example, I have a 300 SAUM I reload for, I started with Remington 9 1/2 M primers, but wasn't getting the accuracy I wanted, so I switched to Federal GM215M and my groups shrunk to under an inch. Then, I ran out of those primers, and couldn't find any more for a couple years, so I switched again to CCI 250, which weren't quite as accurate, but only a little bit less, I used the same loads throughout all the primer switches. So, I'd say they do make a difference. As far as what brand to use starting out, it doesn't matter as long as you start low and work up, but they definitely have different effects on a given load. I've got a new chrongraph I've got to set up, then I can measure velocity, SD and ES, I bet I'll find some differences there as well.
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