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Old July 26, 2020, 05:43 PM   #1
ghbucky
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small magnum pistol primer

This is just to satisfy my curiosity:

What kind of load would need small magnum pistol primers?

Seems like small rifle would cover that turf.
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Old July 26, 2020, 05:49 PM   #2
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Probably would work ... not sure if I’d use a SPM in an AR15 though. Bolt, yes, but not in an AR.
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Old July 26, 2020, 05:50 PM   #3
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.357 Magnum jacketed bullet with H110. I run a 158 grain SJSP with H110, and a magnum primer. A devastating load for pigs.
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Old July 26, 2020, 05:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
.357 Magnum jacketed bullet with H110. I run a 158 grain SJSP with H110, and a magnum primer. A devastating load for pigs.
Aahh!

TY
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Old July 26, 2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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From the horse's mouth, CCI says its #400 small rifle primers and its #550 small pistol magnum primers are identical primers in different packaging. This may or may not be so exactly true of other brands but for CCI it is.

{Edit: This proved to be out of date. It has changed. See post #14, below.}
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Old July 27, 2020, 08:51 AM   #6
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I saw a cartoon once, I thought it was a Dilbert but I can't find it.

The devil was sitting down with a career counselor and said the effect of: "Marketing?! I do have some morals!"
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Old July 27, 2020, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
From the horse's mouth, CCI says its #400 small rifle primers and its #550 small pistol magnum primers are identical primers in different packaging. This may or may not be so exactly true of other brands but for CCI it is.
I emailed CCI (August 2016) and specifically asked them if the 550 small pistol magnum and 400 small rifle were the same primer. My email question:

"Are your small pistol magnum primers (550) exactly the same as your small rifle standard primers (400)?

There is a rumor on the internet that they are the same primer, just in a different box."



This was their reply:

"They are not the same primer, there are differences in the primer and you should follow published loading data. The web has some very dangerous information on it and anything that you use should be published and tested data."

Justin M./Technical Service Rep.
2299 Snake River Ave.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Alliant/Blazer/CCI/Speer
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Old July 27, 2020, 09:57 AM   #8
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Funny that the lady on the phone said otherwise. I am wondering if they've changed the formulations, then? In Alan Jones's article on primer principles, he said they change more often than people realize and it is generally not announced to the public.

I'll call them again and see if that has changed? Meanwhile, you can get some idea by drilling a 38 Special case flash hole out to 1/8" and loading wax bullets over both primers and comparing the resulting chronograph velocities.

{Edit: See post #14, below, for the result of the call}
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Old July 27, 2020, 10:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
Funny that the lady on the phone said otherwise.
When did you make your first phone call?
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Old July 27, 2020, 04:21 PM   #10
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I only recall it was before Vista took over and combined the answering services.

I tried today, but they wanted me to leave a message and I had to run errands. Will try again tomorrow. It used to be you got the lady who answered the phone for CCI directly.
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Old July 27, 2020, 04:32 PM   #11
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A friend recently reported that using pistol primers in .223, which I had advised against, worked fine with no "pressure signs" on the presumably thinner cups. I don't know what brand, unfortunately.
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Old July 29, 2020, 06:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
From the horse's mouth, CCI says its #400 small rifle primers and its #550 small pistol magnum primers are identical primers in different packaging
now that is good information to have in these days and times
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Old July 29, 2020, 09:30 AM   #13
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now that is good information to have in these days and times
See post #9.
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Old July 31, 2020, 12:59 PM   #14
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My information was outdated

I just spoke with CCI, and learned my previous information is out of date. Apparently the designs have changed since I last spoke to CCI about this (still can't recall how long ago, so I don't want to guess and give someone bad date/age information). The current information is that CCI 550 and 400 primers now both use different priming formulations and have different quantities of priming mix in them and also that the current 400 design uses a thicker cup than the current 550 design. So what I said before should be ignored and attempts to use the 400 in place of the 550 will require new load workups. I think CCI is exaggerating to say, as the tech did over the phone to me, that the substitution is playing with dynamite. I have never seen primers cause that much difference, but there may be some funny circumstances where this can cause a problem, so caution is important.

One thing I noticed looking at low-light primer ignition in the photos German Salazar made and published originally in his defunct Rifleman's Journal blog, as well as photos from a couple of other sources is that when CCI changed their magnum rifle priming mix in 1989 for better igniting the high deterrent concentration exterior of the older spherical powder numbers, they included metal particles to throw white-hot sparks. Other primers at the time often did not do that, instead producing yellower or even blue flames without sparks. (KVB (Wolf, Tulammo) still did, last time I looked.) Subsequently, over the '90s and the first decade of this century, the standard rifle primers were changed to throw sparks, too, quite possibly because more spherical propellants became popular. Now you find folks reporting standard primers work fine with H110/296 much of the time, for example (anecdotal evidence, not a recommendation). So I am wondering if the change occurred when this switchover took place?

Anyway, my apologies for posting something out of date.

CCI informs me the BR-4 primers are nominally identical to 400s, and I have some of those that are less than 5 years old. I don't have any current 550s, but if I can get some, I'll set up and try my wax bullet test with both to see if I can get a clear indication of power difference.
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Old July 31, 2020, 01:11 PM   #15
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I just loaded some old CCI Small Pistol Magnum primers in a 40 S&W load - 4.3 grains of Bullseye under a 180 grain coated lead bullet. I loaded ten with the magnum and ten with the regular CCI SPP. I didn't chronograph but there was no perceptible difference in recoil and the primers showed no signs of overpressure.

I need to chrono them but I feel pretty sure that the magnum primer isn't causing any pressure problems. All rounds ejected well. It should be noted that 4.3 grains of Bullseye under this bullet is on the low end of the recommended range.
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Old July 31, 2020, 01:13 PM   #16
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Unclenick,

I would encourage you to edit/remove your prior post that makes the out of date declaration and also to edit/remove my quote of that post.
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Old July 31, 2020, 01:46 PM   #17
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I put a note in my post; pulled yours.
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Old July 31, 2020, 02:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
I just spoke with CCI, and learned my previous information is out of date.
Glad you followed up on this. Thank you.
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