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Old November 6, 1999, 02:05 PM   #1
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I have been handloading for about 25 years and have not really spent much time experimenting with different brands of primers to determine which one is the best. I know there are differences and really should do some experimenting. It just seems like once you find a powder charge, bullet and seating depth that gives a good group, the experimenting stops. At least for me.

My question is, what primer brand has been known to be the most consistant and contribute to the best accuracy?

I understand that responses will be that shooter's personal opinion, but I value that experience.

Thanks for all responses.

[This message has been edited by ARshooter (edited November 06, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by ARshooter (edited November 06, 1999).]
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Old November 6, 1999, 07:51 PM   #2
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General consensus would likely be Federal. My experience is that WW are as good, perhaps better...
Further, dropping a good shooting load a grain or so, then shooting groups with different primers can get interesting. They'll move around, loosen, tighten, develop flyers, depending on the primer.
Also, I'm noticing that Rem 9&1/2's seat easier than WW or Federal. CCI are harder than all.
I think that you need to do a little experimentation to find "best" for each load.
And in rifles, its probably just as well to start with the B/R primers. They are rarely the hottest, but are consistant as possible.

The Bill of Rights, and the Golden Rule are enough for civilized behavior. The rest is window dressing. Shoot carefully, swifter...

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Old November 6, 1999, 09:00 PM   #3
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Consdider sticking with one brand (I use CCI, many say Federal is best).

There are already too many variables,and besides, we're talking handguns, right?

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old November 8, 1999, 12:04 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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Since my pistol loading is for either plinking or self-defense, all I ask is that the load reliably go bang; absolute accuracy is not a factor. I have yet to have any problem associated with components.

My first loading in .30-'06 was with the Rem 9-1/2 primer. I've used CCI and am currently using Winchester primers which are supposed to be okay for either standard or magnum. No particular reason.

I have been using 52.5 grains of 4064 behind various 150-grain bullets as my basic load since 1950. I've used Hornady (both Spire Point and ogive), Rem Bronze Points, and Sierra (both flat base and BT). I guess maybe four or five different rifles. They all seem to shoot around a one-inch group at worst...Damfino.

In my pet rifle, since 1970, I've used various primers and mostly the Sierra BT bullets. The best group I got was while tuning myself up for a hunt in '97; 1/2" center to center on a three-shot group.

I've never mixed cartridges with different batches of powder, nor different primers. I'd guess that your basic philosophy of working up a load and staying with it is as good as any, this side of serious bench-rest shooting. Pretty much works for me.

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Old November 9, 1999, 01:35 AM   #5
Long Path
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This is an interesting subject for me, too. A couple of years ago, when I was playing with new loads for my brand new Sendero .300 Win Mag, I loaded up some loads out of one of the gun mags listed as "Super-Accurate". It used the excellent Sierra 168 grain MatchKing over a medium charge of 4064 and the Federal 215M Match Primer. What did I get? Crap. "HUH?" So I loaded up the same exact load, with Federal's and CCI's Magnum primers. Back to the good sub-MOA groups my rifle had given me to expect. "Well, that's odd!", I thought, or words to that effect. The match primers looked uniform, with carefully applied charges of exacting priming compound in them. The magnum primers, on the other hand, had globby amounts of priming compound in them. (yes, I just said "globby.")

I suppose it was more important, with that big case, to get a more positive ignition than it was to get a more uniform one. Anyway, I've done a little experimentation, and all I do is confuse myself more. I will definitely say, though: try around, because they are not all the same! If I were to load up a new load for a new cartridge, I would try them all.
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Old November 10, 1999, 08:19 PM   #6
Joe D
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I experimented with several brands of primers a few years ago to see if one brand was better than the other. One of my match 1911's that I built would shoot 2" groups @ 50 yds. from a Ransom rest. After trying Federal, CCI, Rem, and Win. I only saw a range of .250" from best to worst. The Federals were the best. I buy pistol primers based on price. Rifles are a different animal though. Primers will make a difference.
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