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Old December 18, 2012, 01:28 PM   #1
smokiniron
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Primers - Does brand matter?

Hi folks,
So far , I've reloaded 30-30, 30-06, and .45 ACP
I follow the component recommendations and keep to the tables.
But, is there any compelling reason not to use CCI, Federal, Winchester, etc. as long as you keep to the correct primer power and size?

Thanks!
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Old December 18, 2012, 01:52 PM   #2
JimDandy
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Each primer brand of the same thing are not quite the same thing.. the Federal Large Pistol Primer, and the Winchester Large Pistol Primer, The CCI large pistol primer, etc. etc. etc. are all varying degrees of different. But then, so is your pound of N140, Unique, and so on.

If you change lot numbers on your powder, headstamps on your brass, bullets, or brand names on your primers, start back at the bottom and work your way back up again.
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Old December 18, 2012, 03:09 PM   #3
tkglazie
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What he said

CCI primers tend to be on the harder side (not a bad thing), while Federal primers are most assuredly the softest (also not a bad thing). If you run stock setups neither of these things matter to you but if you use light hammer springs those differences matter very much.
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Old December 18, 2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, I have used Winchester for years with my Lee loading equipment. No problems with all my handgun calibers, and various handguns. So, I just stick with Winchester, not saying the others are
not as good.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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I used winchester primers for years without a hitch, one of the largest gun dealer, reloading supply outfits in my area carried every major brand of primer there is but highly pushed the winchesters, I have several of each. My advise is to pick a brand and stick with it and if you switch brands start back at the bottom and work up for safety. The CCI primers are definately hard as tkglazie said, if you have a light hammer spring such as wolf to reduce trigger pull weight you might have a problem as the firing pin may not strike the primer hard enough to fire, I have personally seen this happen. My opinion is the winchesters seem to be a good all around primer in all sizes
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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Yes all brands are a little different, does it matter much? Not if loads are worked up correctly.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:15 PM   #7
ShootingNut
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I do recall a light striker problem a few years back with my Win primers.
But, after replacing the striker, it came to light that I was putting too
much oil on the striker spring and gumming up the action.
Since then, NO oil on striker springs/assemblies and Walla, no problem
since. If others run into this problem, maybe they want to look at this as
a solution. This occured with one of my favorite guns, the S&W M&P series.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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Personally, the brand of primer other than too hard and striking problems,
is not the big thing in reloading. Following powder loading recipes for given bullets and calibers, is the most important factor for safety and results.
I agree with others, find a primer you like and stick with it, happy shooting.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:26 PM   #9
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Sounds like....

I'm trying to stay to loads just below max or a notch or below that. Good to know about the relative 'hardness' of the primer cases. Is Winchester hard or soft, relative to the others?
I'm a lame reloader, no chrono, just reloading per the books. As I gain experience, I'll wise up more, I'm sure.
My goal is two-fold... To reload to shoot more, and to have some response to ammo shortages.
My question is, as this level of my experience, more toward the 'safety' issue and less toward which primer gives me the best ballistic performance from a particular load.
That aside, I carry for protection, and my long guns are to put food on the table if needed, and protect my community and neighbors if need arises.
I'm hoping that primers can be safely interchanged - more out of necessity due to supply issues.
So, am safe mixing primers if the need arises?
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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If you don't need soft primers for a specific reason (like Bullseye shooting) then the Tula primers are usually the best buy and have worked fine for me. You can save $10 or more per 1000.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:49 PM   #11
tkglazie
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Winchester guys can tell you better than I can, but it is my impression that Win primers are about the same as CCI and Rem. Maybe Win and rem are a touch softer than cci, but not sure if you can really measure the difference. The general sense is that it is so. The only one that is notably different is Fed. I have a few lightened hammers (non defensive guns) so I go with Fed across the board to keep things consistent.
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Old December 18, 2012, 06:00 PM   #12
jepp2
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Quote:
as long as you keep to the correct primer power and size
Size is kind of a non-factor. Using the same power, I prefer to call it type, is the most important. Everything else falls under the variables of:

- changing powder lots
- changing bullet seating depth
- changing all the other things that are different than the variables of the listed load you are tying to replicate like atmospheric conditions, altitude, barrel length, receiver type, temperature, and so on.

That is why the advice to start low and work your way up checking for pressure signs is absolutely the best advice.

Last edited by jepp2; December 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM. Reason: typo correction
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Old December 18, 2012, 07:43 PM   #13
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Basicaly, a reloading manual is like a cookbook. Many cookbooks will tell you what brand of butter, flour, etc was used the recipie. Does that mean you HAVE to use that brand? Only if you want to get exactly the same results they did (in a perfect world). If you have or like another brand, go ahead and use it, but keep in mind your results may not be exactly the same. (for better or for worse) This is not a problem so long as you do a proper load workup.... for example, using powder X, brass Y, and primer Z, they might work up to a safe max load of 30gr. If you use powder X, brass Y, and primer T, you might only get to 29.5gr before you are at the safe max, or you might get to 31, or you might also get to 30..... (but if you want to be absolutly safe, you wouldnt go above the plblished max, as there might be pressure signs you missed)
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Old December 18, 2012, 10:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Each primer brand of the same thing are not quite the same thing.. the Federal Large Pistol Primer, and the Winchester Large Pistol Primer, The CCI large pistol primer, etc. etc. etc. are all varying degrees of different. But then, so is your pound of N140, Unique, and so on.

If you change lot numbers on your powder, headstamps on your brass, bullets, or brand names on your primers, start back at the bottom and work your way back up again.
Nope. I don't load to absolute max levels and any variation is going to be minor enough as to not make any difference.

Starting at the bottom is potentially as damaging as too high and the manual all disagree quite a bit on whats too much or too little.

Never had a problem, but then I don't max things out either.
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Old December 18, 2012, 11:25 PM   #15
toolguy2006
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This is kind of an interesting read:

http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...mer-study.html

From personal experience, Winchester Large Pistol Primers seem to burn hotter than CCI's. I only say this because there seems to be less debris in the barrel with the Winchesters, indicating a more complete burn of the powder.

Also, for what its worth, all the guys that reload for semi-auto rifles preach that CCI primers are harder than most, and therefore the only safe primers in semi-auto rifles.

All that said, I personally don't think that primer choice matters a whole lot, unless you are shooting bench rest competition or reloading for a M1A/M1 Garand. Even then, its more of a safety issue with the M1A/M1 Garand than anything.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:32 AM   #16
rebs
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I can't say there is enough of a difference that the average shooter would notice as far as accuracy. I have always used CCI and have had no reason to try other brands. I guess if you worked your loads up with a certain brand primer then you should be happy with that primer.
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:51 AM   #17
rajbcpa
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For at least 4 months my local gun stores have not have had SP primers on the shelves.

Occassionally, one store will have Federal SP primers at $37 per 1K.

So, yeh, primer brands are different, but that is not the issue right now.

Getting SPP at all is the issue now. Frankly, at this point, I'll take any brand primer and consider myself lucky.

If I decide to incur the cost of a $27 hazard transport fee, I will buy Tula primers from Powder Valley at $19 per 1K.

President Osama will likely impose strict gun control measures through an executive order that does not require an act of Congress. Stock up now, or cry later....

Last edited by rajbcpa; December 20, 2012 at 07:14 PM.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:25 PM   #18
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To me the maker of the primer/s matters little.

I do want to have consistancy in my loadings. If I were to be loading middle of the road .45s, and ran out of brand X, I would have no problem using brand Y.
But, when building special loadings for one weapon, I want the same primer, same lot if possible. One of the ways I look for pressure is to compair the primers. Going from brand X to brand Y isn't going to give me a valid compairison. I very seldom routenly load hot/neer the hight end pressure wise rounds. If I were to find a weapon that liked a perticular loading that was on the hot side, I would only use the same primer make.

So, does primer brand matter? No, not until you have started building a load.

Be safe,

OSOK
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:06 PM   #19
smokiniron
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So, does primer brand matter? No, not until you have started building a load.

OSOK...
I think this covers me to a great extent. I love the 'technology', but have neither time no money to pursue the optimal loads for each gun.

I expect that this statement is heretical in this forum! Apologies!

I just want to shoot more on a limited budget, and want my guns to safely go bang as often as they will with commercial product.

All comments from each poster are very appreciated!

Smokiniron....
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Last edited by smokiniron; December 19, 2012 at 05:12 PM.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:20 PM   #20
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I've always used CCI primers but earlier this year everyone was out of CCI 300s and 500s so I had to buy some Remington large and small pistol primers instead. I dropped back down and worked up my loads in 9mm, mid-range 357, 45 Auto and 45 Colt with the Remington primers and shot them over the chrono. The velocities and deviations were the same. Remington pistol primers are interchangeable with CCI pistol primers. To be safe always rework up your loads when switching components but in this case switching primer brands didn't make one whit of difference. Magnum pistol primers might show a difference but the standard ones sure didn't. I will say that the CCI cups are harder than the Remington cups but my Ruger revolvers and Witness pistols have no problem lighting them off.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:23 PM   #21
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I use CCI primers for consistancy, and I have had 0 problems.
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:10 PM   #22
oldpapps
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smokiniron,

I don't think you will have any problems if you stick with middle of the road loads for pistols and work up conservative loads for rifles. Switching primer brands, most likely will be safe.

I've been retired for over 7 years and fill my time with watching grand daughters, Lodge and loading. My range is in front of my car port (it didn't take many shots under that metal car port cover on asphalt for me to move my pick nick table out on the drive). I do remember working 60 hour weeks, week in and week out, so I understand your time restraints.

Shoot when you can, be safe and enjoy what you are doing.

OSOK
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:41 PM   #23
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CCI is my favorite. It seats firmly and always ignites.

Federal and Winchester are soft and tend to not seat as well in the pocket. They ignite fine though.

Wolf, well...ignition problems with SPP in my 9mm. I seated them firmly but still had about 5% duds, multiple strikes. I won't be using them again.
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Old December 20, 2012, 01:07 AM   #24
smokiniron
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60 hour weeks....

Thanks, Oldpapps...
You nailed it. Still working in the car biz, and + on the long hours.
I appreciate your recommended safe approach. I can't shoot out my driveway, or I'll whack my neighbor. Range time is $20 in fees and gas each trip, and 3 hours invested. Maybe I should make up a loading kit with my pair of Lee Breechlock hand presses...
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Old December 20, 2012, 05:29 AM   #25
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Another factor to consider is ease of use in a primer feed situation such as a progressive press. In my Hornady LnL AP's Winchester primers feed the best and seat smoothly and consistently. PMC/Wolf are also very good. Federal feed OK but being much softer easily distort if the case is even slightly out of alignment. Given up on CCI in the progressive press (unless I preprime them with a hand priming tool). CCI are just too hard to seat consistently on the progressive press..

I do like CCI for just about everything else though.
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