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Old December 11, 2012, 02:33 PM   #1
Rifleman1776
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Magnum primers in a .44 mag.

I made a mistake the other day. Really surprising, my first ever.
Anyhow, some explanation is in order. I have a sorta visual memory. Back in the early 1980s I communicated with Edward A. Matunas, a well known writer of the day on gun and reloading issues, about some reloading questions. No e-mail or links then. He sent me a handwritten reply which I still have.
In another thread I said the use of magnum primers in .44 mag. was never needed.
My visual memory tricked me after 30+ years of not reading the letter. Mag. primers are proper to use in the .44 mag. under certain conditions according to Matunas.
He said, with full loads of certain powders (2400, 296, 110) mag. primers were just fine. He did admonish that those loads would give higher pressures than with standard primers. So caution and testing are required if one starts using these.
In response to a question about light loads using Win. 231, he said mag. primers were "never" to be used. And that is what my memory 'saw'.
Looking over my own notes from my days of reloading the .44 mag. I see that I did use mag primers on some heavy thumping max loads with heavier bullets.
From other communications and article reading, I found that mag. primers have a place when shooting in extreme cold, like way-way below zero in places like Alaska in the winter.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:46 PM   #2
totaldla
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read a load manual please.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:55 PM   #3
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
read a load manual please.
I have read many. What is it you are trying not to say?
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Old December 11, 2012, 03:49 PM   #4
TMD
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Mag primers have nothing to do with the caliber and everything to do with the powder.
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:25 PM   #5
Edward429451
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In my experience you only need mag primers with certain hard to light powders like H110/WW296. Those are the only powders I've ever used them for. Standard primers for everything else. You do not need mag primers with any 2400 loads. I've loaded 2400 from too light to too hot and everything inbetween and never felt the need for mag primers with them.

They may be fine with 2400 loads but needed is another story. 2400 is not hard to light.
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Old December 11, 2012, 06:48 PM   #6
buck460XVR
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A man of character is not afraid to admit when he is wrong. Now you need to go back to the original thread and tell this to the new reloader.........
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Old December 11, 2012, 07:13 PM   #7
valleyforge.1777
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I have a few manuals and they do not specify different primers for different powders.
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Old December 11, 2012, 07:47 PM   #8
rclark
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Certain powers work better with Magnum primers. H-110/296 and IMR 4227 come to mind. Other powders don't seem to care. And still others you get quite a boost. Unique, Universal, and Green Dot for example don't seem to care what primer I used. 2400 it did matter. I'll only use standard primers with 2400 now. All tests I do are done over a chronograph and back to back for same environmental conditions using same batch of brass.

I checked my notes and I never did check W-231 if it was primer sensitive. I suspect it shouldn't care but until I run a test.... YMMV. I just use standard primers with this powder.
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Old December 11, 2012, 09:42 PM   #9
GeauxTide
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Au Contraire

Quote:
Mag primers have nothing to do with the caliber and everything to do with the powder
Case capacity has a definite role. Magnum primers are indicated in over bore rifle cartridges, and magnum pistol cartridges for top velocity loads.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:17 PM   #10
saltydog452
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Back when I was messing around with such things, I had more unburned powder when the loads were initiated with Std primers, rather than Magnum.

Too many variables such as barrel length and constriction, bullet weight and crimp, or a 'hot' or not load, have a seat at the table. But, 'generally', whoever that General is, in the revolver loads hawked at that time, std primers left more residue. That unburned powder residue got into the parts that revolved and extracted empty cases. That made revolving the revolver more difficult.

Powder has changed. That was then, now, I don't know.

salty

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Old December 12, 2012, 02:49 PM   #11
hounddawg
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don't do as I do do as I say. What I say is follow the load manual. In the past when all I could find were magnum primers I have worked up loads using whatever primers were available starting at the minimum safe load of course.

BTW even if all you do is switch brands of the same type primer it would be wise to do a new load workup from the minimum. For that matter if you change case or even switch to a bullet of a different brand but same weight do a new load workup. It is the prudent thing to do

http://kwk.us/chronographs.html
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Last edited by hounddawg; December 12, 2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:31 PM   #12
rclark
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Quote:
I have worked up loads using whatever primers were available starting at the minimum safe load of course.
Well, I didn't even do that (go to minimum). My loads are light/medium, so I knew the primer shouldn't be to much of a factor. So I went out and proved that with the powders I was using. For example with Unique I found back to back :

.45 Colt
8.5g Unique, 255g SWC, CCI-300, 977fps, 17 SD, 56 ES, 15 shots
8.5g Unique, 255g SWC, CCI-350, 985fps, 21 SD, 82 ES, 15 shots

or with TB.

.44 Spec
5.2g Trail Boss, 255g SWC, CCI-300, 756fps, 12 SD, 57 ES, 30 shots
5.2g Trail Boss, 255g SWC, CCI-350, 765fps, 11 SD, 54 ES, 29 shots

Now with TB and the .45 Colt I found under one bullet magnum primers were twice as consistent (half the SD) than the regular primers. Go figure. So sometimes I'll test with both just to see....


If you are working at the 'bleeding' edge definitely back off, say 10-15% and work back up when trying an unknown primer (to you)....
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A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.

Last edited by rclark; December 12, 2012 at 06:42 PM.
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