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Old May 15, 2024, 09:02 PM   #1
Nick_C_S
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223 Rem Primer test – AR platform

For some time, I wanted to see how different #41 primers acted compared to 450’s. In my previous chronograph testing, it seemed the #41’s tended to give higher SD’s, but none of my data was actually apples to apples.

So, I decided to load some up – identical, except for the primers. And since I also had some CCI 400’s laying around, I said what the heck, I’ll throw them into the test too.

The Bullet: Sierra’s 65gn SBT, product #1395. This is my chosen zombie apocalypse bullet (not being a rifle guy, I don't really know if it's a good choice for that application; but, it's the one I've chosen) and the only one I intend to use the #41’s with. So, it seemed the logical choice. Seated to 2.240” OAL.

The Brass: Lake City, vintage “21,” and “22.” Trimmed to 1.750.” Primer pockets swaged, of course. Processed with RCBS Small Base dies. No flair (it’s a boat tail) and no crimp.

The propellant: Accurate Arms 2230. 24.0 grains. I did not weigh each charge individually. They were all dropped from an RCBS Uniflow hopper with the small drum (presumably more accurate than the large) and the same setting for all rounds.

The firearm: An AR-15 with a 556 upper, 16” barrel. 1:7 twist.

I tested 10 rounds of the 400, 10 of the 450, and 10 of the #41's. Then repeated, for 20 rounds each total.

CCI-400: 2743 f/s, 46.01 SD.
CCI-450: 2723 f/s, 21.50 SD.
CCI-#41: 2822 f/s, 45.96 SD.

I guess the first eyebrow raiser is the fact that the “non-magnum” CCI 400 produced a higher velocity than the “magnum” CCI 450. The other eyebrow raiser was that the CCI #41 delivered 99 f/s more than the 450 when they’re presumably the same mixture, with a different anvil. That’s a big difference. I did expect the SD to go up with the #41’s, but it didn't go up as much as I thought.

No slam-fires, btw.

This is just data I’ve wanted to know for some time, and now I have it. Just thought I’d share. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
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Old May 15, 2024, 10:08 PM   #2
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SD 45fps is quite a bit for MV 2800fps. The extreme spread would be close to 200fps. My loads usually have SD < 20fps.

-TL

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Old May 15, 2024, 10:08 PM   #3
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For Zombies Hornady make, or made, ZMax bullets with yellow tips. I agree with your bullet choice.
That is an interesting test, and results. I have used all three of those, plus Tula 5.56M. I load for bolt and a gas gun. I only plan to use Tula and (after going through the 5000) and #41. I would buy 450's if my other choices were not available. CCI and now, Winchester, are making the #41's.
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Old May 15, 2024, 10:58 PM   #4
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
The extreme spread would be close to 200fps.
They were 148, 86, and 151 respectively.

I would like lower SD's too, but I don't see how I can do it without some extraordinary measure to get there - and I don't even know what that would be. I'm a pretty meticulous loader. Besides, the ammo shoots great (to me, anyway) so all I'd be doing is chasing a number. I won't dwell on a number.
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Old May 15, 2024, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S View Post
They were 148, 86, and 151 respectively.



I would like lower SD's too, but I don't see how I can do it without some extraordinary measure to get there - and I don't even know what that would be. I'm a pretty meticulous loader. Besides, the ammo shoots great (to me, anyway) so all I'd be doing is chasing a number. I won't dwell on a number.
I sort brass by head stamp and years, followed by weight. That seems to help quite a bit.

Tight SD alone doesn't lead to good group, but it makes good group better.

-TL

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Old May 16, 2024, 05:15 AM   #6
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When i called CCI years back i was told that the 450 and #41 were identical except for the angle of the anvil. I have always attributed any differences to them being from separate lots, a and that it was within tolerance of standard lot to lot variance.

I run cfe223 with 55g fmj, my sd/es are lower than that, those sem high to me. I think i have some 450s left, and i know i have #41s. Ill load up some for a side by side on my next outing.
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Old May 16, 2024, 08:40 AM   #7
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For a sample size of 10, ES is expectation is 3.078 times SD. So the 148 number is close enough to expectation to have nothing odd about it. For the expectation to be about 4 times SD, you need to be closer to a sample size of 30.


Nick,

The last time I did any sort of primer experiment like this, I discovered the importance of the SAAMI twist. The difference in velocity between powder back over the flash hole and forward over the bullet was significant. Also, with these older spherical propellants, I found deburring the flash holes helped. Those might be a couple of things to try on a re-fire.
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Old May 16, 2024, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
For a sample size of 10, ES is expectation is 3.078 times SD. So the 148 number is close enough to expectation to have nothing odd about it. For the expectation to be about 4 times SD, you need to be closer to a sample size of 30.
Just for clarity, and I know I worded it funny, the sample size was 20.

Quote:
I sort brass by head stamp and years, followed by weight.
So do I. In this experiment, I did use two different vintages of LC brass (because I didn't have enough of one or the other), but there is virtually no difference between the two. I spent a good amount of time weighing LC brass (on a milligram scale) of different vintages, and found that there is no difference. Individually, yes, there is some variance, but collectively, they all fall in the same "bell curve," so to speak.

I got what I needed from this experiment, so I not going to get any deeper into the weeds with it. Yes, I could have weighed each piece of brass, and deburred the flash holes (Unclenick), and that may have made a difference.

I'm not asking a lot from my 223 ammo. It just needs to go straight at no more than 100 yards (if even that), and feed reliably in my AR platformed rifles. These do that - with margin to spare.

All great info though. I appreciate it. If I had a bolt action 223, I'd likely take it further.
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Old May 16, 2024, 11:02 AM   #9
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Primers can vary from lot-to-lot even when they’re the same brand and type. No two batches are exactly the same.
The variables you’re noticing are likely from powder weight inconsistencies since the charges weren’t individually weighed. This begs the question…how accurate is your RCBS powder measure?
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Old May 16, 2024, 01:51 PM   #10
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When I tested primers for 223, I found that Fed205 gave me horrible ES when igniting ball powders (Xterminator, H335, AA2230). When I switched to short stick AA2015, Fed205 gave half the ES seen with ball powders. When I used CCI400 with Aa2015 the ES was the same as with Fed205.

I've always had pretty good ES with Fiochi with either stick or ball.

CCI450 have been consistently "meh" with either stick or ball although they really help H335 loads a lot. CCI41 seem the same as CCI450.

I'm using a lot of WSR lately and I'm liking them so far - but I don't have a lot of recorded data yet (my chronograph needs resurrection or burial).
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Old May 16, 2024, 02:07 PM   #11
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should have weighed at least 1:8 of the charges, my rcbs powder dumper gets heaver as you go. i never trust it to stay "right on"

also of note; "and i think you are talking about the manual volumetric one, if not say so." if you tap on the out side of the hopper a few times it will increese the next few changes... i always weigh.

that might be why the increase in velocity occured,
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Old May 16, 2024, 03:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
should have weighed at least 1:8 of the charges
I do "spot check." And I did weigh the 20th charge of each. Dead nuts every time. Which is no surprise to me because AA2230 is an excellent metering powder.

I honestly don't know if I could have hand weighed them any more accurately. Besides, this experiment told me everything I needed to know. It was a success.
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Old May 25, 2024, 03:49 PM   #13
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I played this game several years ago as one of my science experiments. Each charge was hand weighed. Here is what I got:





The CCI #41 uses a magnum primer mix. So the CCI #41 and CCI 450 are both magnum primers.

Ron
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Old May 25, 2024, 05:07 PM   #14
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The SDs are a bit high. I wonder whether it is dominated by factors other than the primers. Anyway I like to look at their quotients of variance (SD/mean).

1.16%, 1.07%, 1.00%, 1.05%

Best is BR-4, followed by #41.

My loads' QV range from 0.5% to 1%.

-TL

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Old May 25, 2024, 05:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reloadron View Post
I played this game several years ago as one of my science experiments. Each charge was hand weighed. Here is what I got:





The CCI #41 uses a magnum primer mix. So the CCI #41 and CCI 450 are both magnum primers.

Ron
Do you have a close-up picture of the CCI-400 primers?
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Old May 25, 2024, 07:00 PM   #16
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Do you have a close-up picture of the CCI-400 primers?

Not quite but this is an image of the target I shot with what I posted a bit earlier.


When I shot these 10 shot groups I was more concerned with making sure I did not shoot my chronograph than holding sight picture on my target.

These are CCI200 and the idea is to note how on a new primer the anvil sits in the cup. Note how when the primer is seated and bottoms out the anvil is pushed down in the cup onto the cake mix (priming compound).



I do have this image of a CCI 400 and CCI 500 side by side.


No clue why I took that picture? Possibly to show the different priming compound colors. Given time I could do another using a macro lens and only the CCI 400 primers. What were you wanting to see?

Ron
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Old May 25, 2024, 08:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Reloadron View Post
.




What were you wanting to see?

Ron
If you could enlarge the spent casings primed with CCI400 please.
The load you used is pushing 60k psi (guess). I'd like to see how much the CCI400 primers flowed.

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Old May 25, 2024, 09:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Reloadron View Post
Do you have a close-up picture of the CCI-400 primers?



Not quite but this is an image of the target I shot with what I posted a bit earlier.





When I shot these 10 shot groups I was more concerned with making sure I did not shoot my chronograph than holding sight picture on my target.



These are CCI200 and the idea is to note how on a new primer the anvil sits in the cup. Note how when the primer is seated and bottoms out the anvil is pushed down in the cup onto the cake mix (priming compound).







I do have this image of a CCI 400 and CCI 500 side by side.





No clue why I took that picture? Possibly to show the different priming compound colors. Given time I could do another using a macro lens and only the CCI 400 primers. What were you wanting to see?



Ron
The best group among the 4 is #4. You probably will have even better group if you increase the powder charge of #3 (br-4) by 1% to match the MV of #4.

-TL

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Old May 26, 2024, 11:46 AM   #19
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Yeah, I agree but many of my little "science experiments" as wife calls them are on hold. Wife is a cancer patient and I find myself in the home healthcare business lately. When visiting nurses are here I can get to my local indoor range but a day at the outdoor range isn't going to happen right now.

Least I forget those groups were shot with an old Remington 700 series rifle originally in the 222 Remington. Rifle had a shot out barrel and I had a brand new .223 barrel so I re barreled that rifle. The barrel is a 1:12 twist. My only .223 faster twist are on my AR rifles. Anyway as can be seen the results of my little experiment weren't exactly as I expected.

Ron
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Old May 26, 2024, 01:15 PM   #20
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Sorry to hear about your wife's health. I'm a cancer patient too. There are half a dozen people I pray for everyday. They are patients of different sicknesses, mostly cancer, and their families. Adding to the list a friend on the firing line and his wife.

God willing we will get better soon!

Keep shooting to keep mine on something. I did during my treatments. I did slingshot in the back yard as it wasn't easy to go to range during pandemic.

-TL

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Old May 26, 2024, 07:56 PM   #21
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Thank you. Much appreciated.

Back to our regular gun stuff.

Ron
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