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Old July 16, 2006, 02:14 PM   #1
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Primer primer

What is the difference between large rifle and large pistol primers?

They seem to be identical in size.

Also, which is the preferred brand of primer for reloading. I have been using cci for several years, that was all that was available at the reloading shop. I picked up some winny primers today, and it got me thinking.

What do y'all use/prefer and why.

Magnum primers or no? Why?
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Old July 16, 2006, 06:44 PM   #2
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Primer primer

The casing for the large rifle primer is a little thicker than for the pistol . The reason is that in general the firing pin of a rifle strikes a little harder than the pistol firing pin. I have used rifle primers in my Ruger Vaquero (small primer) revolvers and they worked fine for me. Using the pistol primer in a rifle might do damage to the primer.
The different tested loads will indicate the use of magnum (a little hotter) primer or regular primer.
I use a lot of CCI primers. They work well for me. In my 45/70 SHarps I use the Federal Magnum primers.
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Old July 16, 2006, 07:53 PM   #3
Bud Helms
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Difference in rifle and pistol primers??

Thread #29 in this forum.
"The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion." - John Lawton, speaking to the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995
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Old July 17, 2006, 09:33 AM   #4
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Now that I know that thread #29 answered one of my questions, I am still curious what is the preferred primer and why.

Also, magnum or not.
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Old July 19, 2006, 09:27 PM   #5
Smokey Joe
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Which primer?

Rangermonroe--Which primer? Simple. You use pistol primers in pistol rounds and rifle primers in rifle rounds. Large versus small primers--Easy! The smalls fall out of the large pockets, and the larges won't go into the small pockets.

Some rifle and pistol primers are the same size and will physically interchange--DON'T DO IT! You will either have reliability problems or overpressure problems.

Magnum vs. "regular" primers?? Still pretty simple. Follow the reccommendation in yr loading manual. For a given bullet, with a given powder, the manual will say, for example: "For this load, magnum primers are reccommended." There, you use magnums. If it doesn't say, you probably want regulars.

All the powder manufacturers have websites, and will respond to questions about which primer to use in a given application if there is a question. Sierra Bullets is also really good on reloading questions.

There is one complication: Winchester Large Pistol primers are reccommended by Winchester for both magnum and non-magnum applications. I suspect that Winchester just wanted to cut down on the different kinds of primers they were making. But these work for me in my .45ACP target loads, which is all the use I have for Large Pistol primers.

For rifle shooting I like "benchrest" level primers, just for the increase in uniformity. Maybe doesn't make a real difference, but for me there is a mental difference.

I've used Win, CCI, and Federal primers, all successfully. I don't like the Federals just because the huge boxes in which they are packed, take up extra space in my cramped reloading area. But the primers themselves work fine.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe
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