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Old March 14, 2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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Magnum small pistol primer and 9mm...

Some of you may remember I am a newer to reloading. I haven't been able to source primers. Well today is was able to get 300 large rifle, 3,000 small rifle and 1,000 magnum small pistol primers.

Now to the question....what should I know about substituting magnums for standards? I plan to load starting with minimum recommended powder, Universal Clays.

Or is this something that you would avoid all together?
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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I'm not saying it can't be done but in my opinion that is not something I would attempt unless truly desperate in a SHTF scenerio.

There is info on this forum of those who have done this with success but you must really ask yourself is it worth the risk? What would be the reward of using imporper componets? Maybe it works and nothing happens... What is the risk of using improper componets? Many things up to and including death.

As you know (hopefully) reloading is serious business and safety of yourself and others must be a first priority.

I'm a new reloader myself and yes it has been difficult to find components but it can be done. I built my list of websites i check daily to see if anything is in stock. Many of my items have been found at my LGS but I had to watch there facebook page (i'm not a member of facebook) for them to post updates of there stock. reloading section has a very helpful thread for finding componets. Watch that thread and you will find what you need. Word of warning be quick to react when something is posted. Your competing with a huge volume of potential customers.

Hope this advice helps!
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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All I have been able to get lately are magnum spp. . That said they work fine in .38 special and .40sw. Would I have even considered it until recently, NO. But desparate times....... Back off 10% of the max and you should be ok
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:53 PM   #4
the led farmer
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Magnum small pistol primer and 9mm...

Perfectly acceptable in my opinion provided you are properly working up loads.

Personally i have been using srp in place of spp with no problemo. If you are not comfortable in your skills and knowledge of reloading DON'T try it.

I only haven't purchased magnum primers because I haven't had the need, but I would do it in a hot second if that's all I had available.

Work up your load
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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Several years ago a study was done to compare primers in one of the magazines, and what they found is that primers vary so much to the extent that one brand of standard primer was hotter than another brand's magnum primer. Some brands do not offer a magnum primer, or simply say "for standard or magnum cartridges". The gist is that you should rework any load any time you switch primers as though you are trying a new recipe, or going from a standard to a magnum. Most light loads don't care but certain powders such as Blue Dot can be very sensitive to primer changes. Certain powders sich as H110 or W296 need a hotter primer.

By the way, at the time, it was Federal small pistol primers that were hotter than CCI magnum small pistol primers.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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One difference between std and mag primers in cup thickness. I have guns that will not shoot anything but standard primers due to light triggers and hammer springs.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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I have been using Mag primers in my three 9's for the last year, I have always started with the starting load in the manuals and never had a prob.
In two of mine 9mm I am running near max loads and all is fine.

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Old March 14, 2013, 05:18 PM   #8
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Going back to a START charge of powder and working up with a small magnum primer has been proven safe. If it were me, I would use a spherical (ball type) powder rather than a flake powder because sphericals are slightly harder to ignite, anyway. In SPEER load manuals you'll notice them recommending magnum primers in .357 Magnum even with faster burning spherical powders like W231 that produce considerably less velocity at near equal pressure to slower magnum type powders because they are slightly harder to ignite in the magnum case vs. use in something like .38 Special with lower case capacity and operating pressure.

I'm aware that you probably can't find any powder on the shelves these days, but two medium burning sphericals that I use and can highly recommend are Ramshot True Blue and Silhouette. They are both very pressure stable powders and won't give you pressure problems using the magnum primer. Especially when you are talking about loading the 9mm.
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Old March 14, 2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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I just tested this out last month using 4.4 gr universal and CCI 500 and Federal Small magnum. These were chrono'd when it was 8 degrees outside and using my Glock 34 and 124 gr rn winchester bullet and WIN cases.

Avg vel using the federal magnum was 1097 fps

Std CCI was about 1078

I did not see much difference and this is not a recommendation.
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Old March 15, 2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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I have been using CCI 550's for my 9mm, because its all I could find. So far I have had no issues. I have shot about 300 rounds with these primers. I would love to find some Federal small pistol primers, but they are pretty non existant right now. CCI's are too hard for my light trigger springs, so I had to switch the springs back to factory to get them to work.
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Old March 16, 2013, 08:12 AM   #11
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When you are using a fast powder in most pistol loads you won't see a great difference using a magnum primer in loads under max levels. There will be a difference so you really do need to work the load back up just as you did originally. You will see greater differences using slower powders. It seems to be higher pressure differences the slower the power is in pistol loads.

Yes, it can be done. Some care to watch for pressure signs and working the load back up should be done. In larger cases than 9 mm such as .357 magnum I prefer a mag primer even when it is not needed for the powder I'm using.
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Old March 16, 2013, 12:02 PM   #12
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I ran into the same primer problem back in the 80's (Jimmy Carter's antics were the source of that panic) standard primers were available, but I had a considerable supply of Magnums.

In my .357, and .38 Special guns, there was no discernible difference using Unique, 4756, or 7625, the only ones I tried. My loads were just under 1000 fps and I was using a chronograph. Pressures appeared to be the same, but groups were somewhat larger...on the order of 25%. Guns that would turn in 1-1/2" gps at 25 yds, opened up to a little over 2". Not a lot, and good enough for practice.

In 9 mm and .45 ACP, it was the same but only the .45 showed any group increase. Pressures, again, were normal.

In .41 Magnum and .44 Magnum, again with 1000 fps loads, I saw no difference in group size.

All in all it was a non-issue, but again; I was not pushing the envelope at all...just getting some moderate loads for practice and plinking.

Were I, you, I'd use them starting with the entry, starting loads, and work up to what you want, looking for pressure signs on the primers, or if you have access to a chronograph, large extreme spreads in velocity over a 10 round sampling.

HTH's Rod
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Old March 16, 2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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If you gun will fire them its not an issue.

Cautious is to start over, but if I was mid load of slower powder I would just switch over to them them (the really hot powders like Unique, H110 or AL8 I would drop down a bit which would probably get you to a starting load)

Of all the possible issues in reloading the primers are not the big one.

When you have that much variance between mfgs for magnum vs non and who is hotter this year than last...........

If its a full tilt boogy max load then the caution flags come out and any primer change including the same mfg needs to be looked at carefully.
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Old March 16, 2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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I've always used CCI magnum primers in my .357 and .38 spl loads, using 2400 or Unique. No issues whatsoever with middle of the road loads but I did shoot the .38 spls in my Ruger Security Six .357.
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Old March 17, 2013, 07:24 AM   #15
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Just hang in there. I think things are going to start getting better soon. I stopped into my lgs yesterday, who has been out of primers and bullets for quite awhile now. I scored on 2 hundred cci 500 small pistol primers, 100 fed. small pistol primers, and 2 boxes of Hornady 180gr. XTPs for my .40. Things are looking up.
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Old March 17, 2013, 07:31 AM   #16
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My local range has small and large pistol and rifel primers in good numbers.$40 for per 1000.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:48 AM   #17
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In 9mm Dont
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:20 AM   #18
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I've been using "magnum" small pistol primers in my 9MM's for years. I have a stock of them, and don't shoot .357 mag anymore, so I use them for 9MM. When they run out, I'll go to my regular small pistol primers. Accuracy, velocity, and all other characteristics are normal in all loads, but these are with very moderate, low to mid range power, target loads. I am not pushing the limits of the 9MM pressure. These are punching paper rounds only.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:11 PM   #19
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I use magnum primers exclusively in my .357 Magnum loads but standard primers in my .40's because that's how I worked up my loads.

I also don't see an issue with using them as long as you work up your loads from the start and as always, keep an eye out for pressure signs.
Four Rugers, three SIG Sauers, assorted rifles. NRA, GOA and SAF Life Member.
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