The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 4, 2005, 09:12 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 11, 2000
Location: lower rio grande valley, texas
Posts: 216
CCI and Winchester primers

I started reloading with the RCBS Master kit. RCBS dies and other items (calipers, powder trickler, inertia dis-assembler) filled out the kit. Naturally I have been faithful to CCI primers all these past three years. I set primers with the Rockchucker press.

Not to speak against the Blount product line, but I was always a bit uneasy about the force needed to set the primers - particularly in S&B cases. More than once I sucked in and said a silent prayer "Lord, let this not detonate.' I could not imagine how a hand-held primer setter could operate without fatigue for more than 50 rounds or so.

Well CCI 500 have been hard to find at the two local stores lately, so i caved and bought a brick of Winchester WSP. I gotta say - those puppies slip in there like butter! It's a whole different world!

Have not loaded any of these up yet - I'm about 300 ahead with CCI primed cases. I will back off the powder a bit, come up again, and clock these Winchester primers against data with the CCI. But I think I been converted.
If you would have Liberty you must accept that individual security
is not the responsiblity of government. You must. - XAVIER ONASIS
shu is offline  
Old March 4, 2005, 10:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: November 2, 2004
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 263
I started out using CCI primers as well and pretty much ended up with Winnies the same way you did. It's also nice that the large pistol primers are able to be used in regular or magnum loads, cuts down on inventory. I agree that the Winchester primers feel like they seat much more smoothly. Dont knock the hand prime though. I dont know how I could live without it. It takes no more force than a handshake, and usually not even that much. I have the Lee, and I hear the RCBS one uses standard shellholders. For the couple bucks it is check it out and you may be converted yet again!

m0ntels is offline  
Old March 4, 2005, 11:34 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2005
Posts: 118
I've easily loaded 80,000 CCI primers of just about every possible type, mostly in their APS strips. Had virtually NO problems whatsoever. Am about to order another 60,000. Couldn't like them better.
klw is offline  
Old March 5, 2005, 12:23 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: July 17, 2004
Location: KCMO
Posts: 512
I also used to grit my teeth now and then when using my press's primer arm, and a primer seemed especially stiff going in. Then, about 6 years ago, I broke down and bought an RCBS hand priming tool. WHAT A GREAT TOOL! I can prime 500 cases in a heartbeat now, while sitting on the couch. You are correct, they use standard shellholders. I use Winchester primers for most of my reloads, but I've also used CCI and Remington primers with satisfactory results. Try one, they're well worth the money.
larryf1952 is offline  
Old March 5, 2005, 01:53 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 302
I always used CCI primers for the most part. But, I too am noticing that they are getting scarce in my area.
I went to 3 different shops the other day (just shopping dear) and I only found one that had CCI primers in stock.
I ended up getting some Federal's I've used them in the past with good

I may just switch to the Federal's permanently, they seem to be the favorite in the local stores.
I only have one question, why are they in such a big a$$ box?
CaptainRazor is offline  
Old March 7, 2005, 07:42 PM   #6
Smokey Joe
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2001
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 2,106
Priming tools & primers

FWIW, my Lee Auto-Primes have loaded thousands of rounds w/o a hitch except 1 or 2 cases of operator error. There are those who like the RCBS tool better; have not tried it as I got the Lee and have felt the need to look no further.

Federals are in the BIG box so's Federal can package each primer entirely separately. I guess they--or their lawyers--or their insurers--got nervous. I don't like the big boxes; they take up too much space. The Fed. primers themselves are perfectly OK. I have some of the Fed. Gold Medal Match Lg. Rifle primers.

Have used Win & CCI primers besides Fed. Never had a problem with any of 'em.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe

Last edited by Smokey Joe; March 7, 2005 at 07:43 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought
Smokey Joe is offline  
Old March 7, 2005, 08:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: November 23, 2000
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 584
I have no idea why...

...but for some darn reason, the Winchester primers are much easier to use in my Dillon 650. I'd been "warned" to stay away from CCI buy my dealer (he has a Dillon too).

I did "inherit" a couple thousand CCI's and used them...but it was very noticeable in the fact, I had a number of "issues" where I crushed some primers (not a good thing). It required constant attention to the priming station and nearly every other case had to be "jiggled" a bit to get the primer to semi-slide into the case(s). When I combined some S&B .44 Mag brass (that only begrudgingly works with Winchester primers) and CCI primers...WHOA! That mix did not work...!!

I'm glad they work for some folks...competition is good for everyone...I have not tried Federal primers yet...but as they say "if it ain't broke, don't....

"Onward thru the Fog"
VonFatman is offline  
Old March 7, 2005, 09:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 21, 2002
Posts: 2,019
I swore off CCI primers a while back. The cups were varying in size enough that some of them were sticking in the primer tubes for my Dillon press, measured cups varied by up to .008". They required a lot more force to seat, and there was no accuracy or velocity gain to continue using them.

I use Winchester and Federal now, no more sticking or any other problem. They seat nicely, cost about the same, and generally make life easier. I am glad some guys like the CCI's, that leaves more good primers on the shelf for me.
HSMITH is offline  
Old March 7, 2005, 09:37 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 302
I noticed the other day at the range, that I had a few rounds that didn't go off.

They where all older ammo, I know I loaded them with CCI primers.

Anyway, I had some 38 specials that didn't fire the first time around, strange, so I waited to make sure they weren't hang fires, and shot them again, the second time, they fired!

I have heard people's complaints of CCI being "hard" primers, so I think I'm going try these Federals.
CaptainRazor is offline  
Old March 7, 2005, 11:22 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,097
CCI primers are my least favorite. I've never felt that I've gotten the accuracy or consistency with them that I have with Winchester or Federal, so they're the last on my list that I'll purchase.

In my .243 ground hog gun, the very best groups I could get with CCIs were slightly under an inch at 100 yards.

Federal primers, with every other component the same, cut those groups to just shy of half an inch -- or all the difference in the world when trying to zip a ground hog at 300 to 400 yards.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old March 8, 2005, 12:02 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 302
When I started loading a looooong time ago I tried several brands, I didn't like CCI's because they were hard to seat, I liked Federal and Winchester primers just fine. I still prefer Federal and Winchester primers, but I did get some CCI in small rifle a while back, they seem to be fine in small rifle, but I will stick with the others on pistol cartridges.
G56 is offline  
Old March 8, 2005, 03:14 PM   #12
Tim R
Senior Member
Join Date: November 30, 2004
Location: God's side of Washington State
Posts: 1,601
I use Federal's for any wheel gun load and if I'm loading 308 NM ammo. I use CCI's for hunting ammo, autoloader pistol and 30'06 Grand match ammo. I use Rem. Bench Rest small rifle primers for 223 NM ammo for the AR.

CCI's won't over light stick powder's like a Winchester might. The group size is smaller in the hunting ammo where I use IMR 4350 with the CCI's. I might give the Federal Gold match primers a go around next time I load up some hunting ammo just to see if I can't get the group smaller yet.

Winchester primers are made to light ball powders and may over light a stick powder. I reduced group size by at least an inch by using the CCI's.
God Bless our Troops especially our Snipers.
Tim R is offline  
Old March 9, 2005, 08:37 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: May 15, 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,427
They all have their applications, my 550 doesn't like winchester, any little piece of dirt crushes the primers in, CCIs don't do that.

But for my massaged cowboy action guns, it's winchester all the way.
I hand prime them, if necessary.
I'm not just a gun.
I'm YOUR gun.
(Hold me.)
caz223 is offline  
Old March 9, 2005, 10:57 AM   #14
Junior Member
Join Date: February 22, 2005
Location: Ok.
Posts: 11
I use cci primers in my self loading rifles, the harder cci primers do not dent when the firing pin hits them while travelling with the bolt before they are fired.
Randall is offline  
Old March 9, 2005, 11:28 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
Federals come in the big box because they are the most sesceptible to chain firing. They are also the most sensitive and the least likely to misfire. When I was shooting PPC seriously some years back, Federal primers were universally used because only they could be relied upon not to give misfires in tuned match guns.

I swore off CCI primers 20 years ago. They may have gotten better, but I ain't interested enough to find out. I have a few gemmee boxes around and might get to them eventually, but I ain't looking forward to it.

These days I shoot Winchesters, mostly for price reasons and the handy box size. I am reasonably satisfied with them, but they seem a hair on the small side. Seems to me that Win did not retool to compensate when they quit plating primers and that made them .002-003 small.
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old March 11, 2005, 10:38 PM   #16
Junior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2005
Location: WNY
Posts: 14
Hey Leftover.....good to see you here......

I posted this over at Handloads as well but I think that it bears repeating.

I've probably been reloading for the better part of 35yrs, and as far back as I can remember, I really didn't have any problems with primers failing to fire. Maybe the occasional one or two misfires, but nothing much to speak of. In my early years I used whatever my uncle had on hand. But, since maybe the early 80's, I had been using CCI's as that was what our local dealer had on hand usually.
I noticed an increase of misfires that sometimes would go off with a second strike, but not usually. First suspected problem was light primer hits, but upon closer examination, this wasn't the issue either. The primers that would fire on a second strike, I attributed to light primer strikes. They most likely were regarding rifle primers being used in Contenders. That was somewhat understandable, but what about regular revolvers, etc.

I was getting the misfires on several different guns, including rifles.
All the "warned against" mis-handling problems that could've caused such issues were never present. I never touch my primers, and they are all seated by feel, or to "bottom out", setting the anvil.

I called CCI's Tech Dept. last fall to try and find out why this problem exists with many, or at least with me anyway.
I talked with a Supervising Technician, and he explained to me that CCI's cups weren't harder (as the common complaint usually goes), that they make their own cups (I've heard & read where some think they're made by one company & distributed), and that CCI sizes their primer cups on the high end of the acceptable tolerance levels used in the industry.
I used to think that CCI's were harder, by the perceived "feel" when seating them. This isn't the case, it's due to the diameter of the cups being on the larger end of the acceptible industrial standards.

That's all good, but why the misfires ?
When you go to seat one of them in a primer pocket that runs a little too tight, you fracture the priming compound which usually crumbles and falls into the powder charge. Nothing in the world would get it to fire.

Once I spoke with CCI about this and they explained as to the reason why it might occur, I got the picture of what was mechanically taking place.

Since then, I've used nothing but Winchester's and Federal's. My troubles have since disappeared, and priming has never been easier.

Hope this helped somewhat...

Take care,
Handgunr is offline  
Old March 12, 2005, 07:56 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
big Four

I use them all, but for different reasons.

The Federals pop easier, and often allow the highest velocities.
CCI's are great in tired old big-pocket cases, and can also provide the least velocity variations.
R-P's JUMP! into R-P cases.
Winchester's do the same in their cases, and WLP's make good cold-weather igniter's.

But mostly I use CCI and Federal.
None stick in my tubes.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12034 seconds with 7 queries