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Old May 7, 2007, 08:21 AM   #1
Mach II Sailor
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More Q.s about primers

where can i find data on all primers such as hardness, "hotness" and any other primer data ?
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Old May 7, 2007, 12:22 PM   #2
Trapper L
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Might check here:

Click on Informative Articles and then on Primers and Pressure. It discusses the thickness and hardness of primers. I don't have any info on the heat ranges.
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Old May 8, 2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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thank you sir, i'll wring that site for all it's worth
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Old May 13, 2007, 08:08 AM   #4
Mach II Sailor
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well, for 6 whole days of searching for info on primers i still can not find the data i want to research on.

does anyone have any idea where to find primer data, how fast, how hot, hardness/softness of primer cup, etc.
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Old May 13, 2007, 05:17 PM   #5
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As you can see from the article cited above, the manufacturers have done a fair job of standardizing primers. With all due respect to the author of the article, it is over 10 years out of date and the dimensional differences he noted were virtually all within the margin of error allowed in the making of the product.

I've never had a blanked (pierced) primer in over 50 years of shooting/handloading in hunting, plinking or match cartridges, but I know people who have, read a few dozen experiences that others have had and in no case was the primer the cause.

There are very good reasons to stick with the SAMMI and ANSI guidelines which are reflected in the manufacturers' admonitions to use magnum primers only in magnum loads pistol primers in pistol loads, rifle in rifle, etc..etc.

I cannot recall ever seeing an authoritative comparison of primers for "hotness" in print. I did read that Federal primers were made with a more coarse lead stryphate mixture than other primers. I tried to get some confirmation from Federal at the time, but they said that they don't make it a practice to check the chemical make up of other people's primers. Around the same time I saw a very pretty, but largely uninformative and certainly unscientific photographic study of primers. The author claimed to have been able to rate primers by the strength of the flash at the moment he took the pictures of them in a darkened room. Of course this was nonsense, as he did not have the equipment to capture the entire event, but only sampled it at some point in the process and could not prove his picture was the maximum output of the primer. He did capture one interesting thing which I do not remember him commenting upon. The federal primers threw out sparks in addition to the flame, which led me to believe the assertion concerning the coarser compound in them. At that time, the current primer rumor was that Federal primers were "hotter" than other brands. It seems logical that such sparks could cause more than one point of ignition, especially in powder charges that do not fill the case, leading to the perception that the federal primers were "hotter."

The priming compounds to change from time to time as do the alloys of the metals used in construction. I've heard various rumors over the years as concerns hardness-- the latest I have heard is that ____ primers are soft so the can detonate in the magazine if you are firing heavy loads--another absurdity. Match grade primers are made by a special assembly line made up of only the best hand assemblers, or they're all made the same, but the match primers are inspected more thoroughly, or they're constructed of better chemicals and metals, or there's no difference they just go in different box from the standard primers--take your pick. The best you can do is try as many as you can and see what works best for you.

As an interesting side note, the gentleman who set the new world record group in the 1000 yard benchrest competition this past august in Montana was using cheapo standard primers. Go figure.
"If the enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry Journal
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Old May 14, 2007, 08:39 AM   #6
Mach II Sailor
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thank you, that was very interesting reading, some where there is the info i want, digging it out is the problem, several months ago i run across some very interesting primer info, did not save it and now i can not find it !
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Old May 14, 2007, 10:36 AM   #7
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Formulas are pretty much manufacturers' trade secrets. Try to find information on procurement and application of the asphaltic varnish that the ammo makers use in their military ammo to seal in the bullets.

The Lyman reloading manual probably gives you about as much info as you're likely to find easily.

You could write letters to the manufacturers, like Remington, Winchester, CCI/Speer etc, and ask, but you may or may not get the answers you want.

When I wrote the NRA and asked about asphaltic varnish, they simply answered by stating that it isn't necessary for handloads!
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
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Old May 14, 2007, 11:46 AM   #8
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You could also try Handloader magazine.
Over the years they have published data on primer charecterisitcs, as has Varmint hunter magazine.
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