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Old April 17, 2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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question on primer substitution

I am faily new to reloading. I used to reload shotshells in high school but have recently gotten into reloading for my 270 Weatherby. I have a lot of Hornady 130 Gr. SP bullets and the loads that I see from Hornady in their manual mention I need to use a Federal 215 primer. Is this an absolute requirement or can I substitute this for a CCI 250?

The only problem is I have checked with my local store and every online retailer I can find. No one seems to carry the Federal 215 for some reason. Would any one be able to shed some light on this for me or direct me to some place that would carry these primers, thanks.
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Old April 17, 2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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The primer listed in the manual is listed to show that they obtained their results using those specific primers. It not an absolute requirement to use the components they listed. But like they say, if you do use something different than what is listed, start at the starting load and work your way up.

I myself never pay much attention to the case or primer that is listed in the manual. But I always start low and then go up with the powder charge. Have'nt encountered any problems yet.
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Old April 17, 2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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I see from Hornady in their manual mention I need to use a Federal 215 primer. Is this an absolute requirement or can I substitute this for a CCI 250
The manuals do not state that you Need to use a specific brand of primer or brass etc. They are only showing you what they used, not what is required.

Published load data is Not a recipe and should not be treated as such. Load data is only a set of guidelines, not recipes written in stone. You are free to use whatever primer or brass you choose as long as you follow safe loading practices and start low and work up. After all you are changing the most important component of all when you use your rifle as opposed to the one used in the manual.
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Old April 18, 2008, 07:26 AM   #4
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I agree mostly with both comments however, if they denoted the use of a magnum primer, you would be best served to use a magnum primer as well. It doesn't have to be the same brand.

Now if it lists a non-magnum primer, you need to use more caution if you substitute a magnum primer in it's place as you can raise pressures.

The idea behind keeping track of what brass, primer, trim length and overall length is for repeatability. If you work up a load with say, Federal primers and you can get it to shoot half minute of angle, you shouldn't expect to turn out a box of ammo with the same powder, charge, length, but a Remington primer and automatically have it shoot just as well.

To further that line of thinking, you need to be careful introducing new components when you are at or near a maximum published load. You may build a load with Federal primers that's a max and shoots well without showing signs of excess pressure, but you should not then substitute some other brand of primer without reducing that load and working back up. That's a dangerous activity and could get you in to trouble.

If you find yourself a load recipe that gives you the velocity you require without seeing signs of excess pressure and it also shoots accurately, that's when you go buy 5,000 or 10,000 of those primers! (well, maybe overkill, but the way prices are going, not a bad idea!)
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old April 18, 2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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+1 on it's OK to move UP to a magnum primer carefully, but never move DOWN to a non-magnum primer. A non-magnum primer in a .460 S& W or a 8mm Lebel rifle will cause serious problems.
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Old April 18, 2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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I clicked the wrong thread

Last edited by DR. Furlicker; April 18, 2008 at 10:57 AM. Reason: I clicked the wrong thread
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Old April 18, 2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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That really applies only to pistol primers. Some standard pistol primers have thinner cups than the pistol magnum primers. That came about because the difference in peak pressure between magnum and standard handgun rounds can be well over 300%. Many older handguns and especially tuned handguns for match loads can make weaker firing pin strikes than standard, and don't fire hard primers reliably and so require the standard ones.

In rifle primers, that huge pressure difference does not occur. The rifle magnums get their extra push mainly from capacity for a larger quantity of a slower powder, and, with only a few exceptions, their peak pressures are generally within 10-20% of standard round pressures. As a result, you don't need a heavier primer cup to withstand their peak pressure.

The exceptions among rifle primers are the extra hard CCI #34 and #41 primers made for use in military-style rifles with floating firing pins. Those have harder cups than other commercial primers. They are also magnum strength, as they are a civilian version of military primers that just have not been put through all the mil-spec certifications, AFAIK.

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Old April 18, 2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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I have never had a problem substituting magnum primers for regular primers in rifles. I reload .257 weatherby, 30-06, 22-250 and 7mm rem. mag and usually use magnum primers for all of them. Like was said before though, always start on the low side of the publisehd data and work your way up, checking your cases after each fireing.

I think primers are a little like powder and bullets in that if you try a few different ones, you may find one that your rifle likes best as far as accuracy goes. I have found that primers dont' make as much of a difference as the others do though.
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Old April 19, 2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your input. I'm going to give some CCI 250s a shot and see how it works out.
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