The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 12, 2013, 06:47 PM   #1
Swampman1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 406
Old CCI primers

I have the opportunity to get some (free) CCI small pistol primers. But here's the catch, they're "magnum" primers, and they're about 40 years old. They are in original CCI boxes and look brand new. 2 questions, are they still good, and what effect will a magnum primer have when reloading 9mm versus regular primers?
Swampman1 is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 07:54 PM   #2
hodaka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 1,822
Many use small rifle primers in 9mm. This would be the same. I wouldn't hesitate using them for target ammo. I just would stay away from max loads, but then again I do that anyway.
hodaka is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 08:16 PM   #3
Cesure
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Posts: 131
I recently bought a very old box of 1000 CCI 550 primers. I didn't get them free, but I got a significant discount over current prices. They are at least 40 years old. They've worked perfectly in everything I've loaded them in. The store I bought them at said, "We can't guarantee them. Buy at your own risk." I made sure they said "not corrosive" and "non-mercury".

I would expect them to boost your bullet velocity a little. That would be consistent with test results I've read from others using magnum primers where small pistol primers are normally used. Stay back a little from the max loads and you should be fine. I haven't been reloading long, but I've read that several times from people who use small pistol magnum and small rifle primers instead of small pistol. Another issue is that the cups are possibly a little harder so some handgun firing pins won't hit them hard enough. Try them in your gun and if they don't go bang, trade them to somebody who loads .38s or .357s.
Cesure is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 09:35 PM   #4
Swampman1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 406
Quote:
I made sure they said "not corrosive" and "non-mercury".
OK thanks guys, I'll have to check on that.
Swampman1 is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 09:42 PM   #5
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,406
They probably are still just fine. When using fast burning powders you are not likely to see much change. Slower powders tend to get the higher pressures with mag primers. If you are loading near the top end you really should back off your load and work it up again slowly and watch for pressure signs. Low to mid range loads are not so much a problem. When in doubt just reduce your powder level and work the load up again. Doing things safely might take more time but in the end you will have more time to do other things as well.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 07:15 AM   #6
Gster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2012
Location: N.central Pa.
Posts: 224
[QUOTE]They probably are still just fine. When using fast burning powders you are not likely to see much change. Slower powders tend to get the higher pressures with mag primers. If you are loading near the top end you really should back off your load and work it up again slowly and watch for pressure signs. Low to mid range loads are not so much a problem. When in doubt just reduce your powder level and work the load up again. Doing things safely might take more time but in the end you will have more time to do other things as well.

Now I am confused. I've been asking this question and getting conflicting answers. I've been told never to use sm pistol magnum primers in 9mm or .40. I've also been told not to substitute them when using fast burning powders. I'll ask this question strait up.
Can I substitute sm. pistol mag. primers in 9mm and .40 while using Titegroup powder if I'm using min.(starting) powder charge?
My apologies to the OP for the highjack.
__________________
Gun control means: Being able to hit what you are shooting at.
Gster is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 07:30 AM   #7
hodaka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 1,822
I don't have experience with Tightgroup. I use 231, AA5, Unique and HS-6. I have not bought a small pistol primer in 10 years. I load 38, 357, 380's, 9mm and 9 Mak, all with SR's. Every now and then I need to restrike the primer but that may well be because I didn't seat it all the way. I hope this helps.
hodaka is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 08:13 AM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,406
Magnum primers are not the preferred primer to use in high pressure cases. They can be used if you don't have another option. I have used them with W231 and it is a fast powder. I didn't notice much of change if any. With AA7 a slow powder for pistol loads, I had to reduce my load about .3 grains to achieve what I was looking for. Magnum primers generally are harder than standard primers. You might experience light strikes at times if your pistol has a reduced hammer spring in it. When loading near the top end of load data it is possible for spikes in the powder to happen sooner than you normally would see. This is the reason you don't want to load magnum primers near the top end of published load data.

I have used magnum primers in 9 mm before. I did reduce my powder .5 grains and worked up again .1 grains at a time. This is assuming you are not going below the minimum listed data for the powder you are using. I have not used the powder you have so I won't comment on it.

I normally use magnum primers for .357 magnum loads with powder that doesn't need a magnum primer. I get a cleaner burn and it is very consistent. I prefer it to what I was getting with SPP. I also use AA7 for these loads.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 08:41 AM   #9
Cesure
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Posts: 131
I've been told not to use magnum primers in .32s until the cases are .327 Federal Mag. No reason was given. I've been told not to use them in .380, but .38s and 9mm were fine. No reason was given. Just think about what makes sense. If they increase the pressure a little bit, that's the issue, not the case they're stuffed in. Deal with the pressure. That's how to stay safe. I wouldn't hesitate to use them with any powder or any centerfire case of the correct pocket size. I would just start lower and watch for excess pressure.
Cesure is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 12:37 PM   #10
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,695
This is as simple as I can make it and I have confidence in my answer, but you'll have to decide if it fits for you.

A small pistol magnum or small rifle primer (in CCI, they are one in the same) offers a longer, hotter burn and a thicker & stronger primer cup.

The hotter/longer burn makes it a better primer for dealing with powders that are harder to fully light off--many spherical rifle powders and a handgun powder such as H110/W296 or AA#9 that have the reputation of benefiting from a hotter primer.

The thicker/stronger cup ensures it's resistance to primer piercing and/or leaking from high pressure.

The down side from trying to use a small pistol magnum or small rifle primer in a handgun round is that SOME guns may not reliably strike the primer with enough force to detonate it with 100% reliability. Most often, you'll see this in a double action revolver fired in double-action mode. But it can happen in any firearm that doesn't have enough energy in the hammer/striker to get the job done.

The other down side is that you cannot SAFELY just stick a new primer in a maximum load that's already been built around a weaker primer. That's foolish, dangerous, and it flies in the face of basic handloading safety rules.

If you work up a load from start, just simply LOWER your current load and work your way back to your happy spot with the hotter primer, you aren't in any danger. There's no SAFETY reason that you can't use a small rifle or small pistol magnum primer in -ANY- handgun round as long as you've worked the load up using proper safety methods.

The .327 Federal Magnum occupies a unique place in handgun rounds because it runs 45,000 PSI max and requires the stronger, thicker cup of a small rifle primer to contain that extreme (for a handgun) pressure. All factory .327 Federal (from Federal/Speer anyway) is loaded with small rifle primers. Your handloads should also.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 02:18 PM   #11
mchris80
Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 41
I had a bunch of win magnum small pistol primers that were probably 25 years old and used them with 4.0 grains of tite group and 124 grain montana gold JHP. That is my typical load with small pistol primers and I couldn't tell a bit of difference. I had maybe 1% fail to ignite but it was just for plinking ammo so no bid deal.
mchris80 is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 07:10 PM   #12
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Location: Deary, Ideeeeeeho
Posts: 512
OK, I'm not going to jump into the load comments other then to say don't start with maximum loads!

But, as to the old primers, I have been given a bunch of Winchester Primers old enough to have been packaged in wood trays.

I have been buying reloading components since the 60s and can only remember buying primers in plastic trays.

However, I have tested some of these primers and they go bang with great gusto!

At this point in time, I will not use them for critical loads, but have little hesitation using them for practice loads.

Providing the primers have been stored in anything like reasonable conditions they should be fine.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08799 seconds with 7 queries