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Old December 8, 2009, 01:52 PM   #1
chris in va
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A choice in primers?

Small pistol isn't available here, so I need to choose between small magnums or small rifle. This will be for a 9mm Sig 229, which should pop harder primers decently enough.

Also what would I need to adjust in powder charge for each. Thanks.
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Old December 8, 2009, 02:05 PM   #2
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Small Pistol Magnums.
Start 10% below your current load and work back up to be safe.
Watch for signs of over pressure at the range.
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Old December 8, 2009, 03:01 PM   #3
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Get the one that is cheaper, and easier to get, as either one will work. But load would need to be re-developed.
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Old December 8, 2009, 03:02 PM   #4
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The small magnum pistol primer should give you the best results as there is a slight difference in the cup thickness between pistol and rifle primers.

As for the powder charges sometimes an adjustment will be necessary while at other times the same charge will work just as well. However due to the increased amount, and sometimes hotter burning primer mixtures found in some magnum primers, and if the loads you had been using were near maximum loads, backing off to a more moderate starting load would be the most prudent action, and slowly work up toward the powder charge you were using previously. At the first sign of excessive pressure, back off a couple of tenths.

However, in rare cases where the primer may be from a different manufacturer, it may be necessary to change powders to achieve the same degree of velocity and accuracy you were getting with the regular primer you were previously using.

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Old December 8, 2009, 08:59 PM   #5
James R. Burke
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I know this wont be any help, but keep trying to get what the load calls for. Be a shame spend a bunch of money working up a new load then finding what you need. Good luck, and keep it safe.
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Old December 9, 2009, 10:14 AM   #6
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I agree with James R B. keep searching, yes, they will work fine but primers are out there and if your load is EXACTLY what you're looking for in the end, it would be easier and also a better feeling knowing you could duplicate it.
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Old December 9, 2009, 11:22 AM   #7
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Just a few facts on the CCI SP vs. SR primers.

1) The small pistol primer contains approximately 23mg of explosive where the small rifle primer contains approximately 27mg of explosive. That's about a 17% increase and will cause significantly higher peak pressures. The smaller the case size, the more severe the effect will be.

2) Height of primer. The small rifle primer is 2 thousandths of an inch taller than the small pistol primer.

3) Bottom of cup thickness. The small rifle primer has a thicker cup bottom than the small pistol primer

Lots of issues can arise for any one of these things or a combination there of.
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Old December 9, 2009, 12:58 PM   #8
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Hey Chris,

Widener's have Wolf and PMC small pistol primers in stock. I don't know about PMC but I bet you could find Wolf primers when it was time to restock.

If it was me I'd load up what I had and then work up another load when primer supplies are back to normal.

To me working up different loads is a major source of fun in this hobby. Most of the time when I go shoot I'll have some new loads to try out cause you never know when you're gonna stumble upon a 'perfect' load. YMMV


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Old December 9, 2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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I do not dispute what res45 has posted but as a practical matter many of us have been using small rifle primers in pistol ammo for a long time. As there are a number of variables involved in any load development, always start low and work up, but the differences between SR and SP primers can blur between different brands and different lots from the same manufacturer. I have been using Wolf small rifle for .223, .357 rifle and pistol, 30 carbine, 9mm and 6.8 SPC's and probably some others for the past year with no adverse effects and good accuracy. Just my experience.
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