The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 23, 2009, 09:39 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: March 7, 2008
Posts: 181
Range Report – Standard Small Rifle Primers vs Magnum Small Rifle Primers, in 223

Range Report – Standard Small Rifle Primers vs Magnum Small Rifle Primers, in 223

I was wondering about the difference in velocities of reloads using Standard Small Rifle Primers as compared to reloads using Magnum Small Rifle Primers. I know for a fact, that Magnum Large PISTOL primers produce higher velocities than Standard Large Pistol primer. I experienced it while shooting rubber bullets (no powder) from a 44 Mag case with only a primers, no powder. I wondered if the same was true of small RIFLE primers.

I used Federal Standard Small Rifle Primers and CCI Magnum Small Rifle Primers. I wished I could have used Standard and Magnum primers of the same brand, but didn’t have one brand of both kinds of Small Rifle Primers.

I shot them from my Olympic Arms AR15 with its 16 inch barrel.
All reloads contained 20.0gr (trickled for exactness) of H4198 powder.
All reloads contained 55gr SPBT bullets purchased from Berry’s.
I used a Chrony F1 Master Chronograph to get their velocities.
Sky Screens 15-20 feet from muzzle. So, muzzle blast shouldn’t have been a factor.

My hypothesis was that Magnum Small Rifle Primers (MSRP) would produce higher velocities than Standard Small Rifle primers (SSRP) – same as Large Pistol primers.

My hypothesis was not supported by my experiment. I found that:
the velocity of a bullet fired with a SSRB was, on the average, 2767.
the velocity of a bullet fired with a MSRB was, on the average, 2722.

My conclusion is that MSRP, with their thicker cup, contains less primer accelerant (powder).

Here’s the data. Velocities are in chronological order (so I can more easily so the range), not the order produced when the string was fired. However, the 2 slam fires are where they happened.

Standard Small Rifle Primers

Stan Sm RI Prim
20.0 ! - H4198

1 2677
2 2715
3 2738
4 2741
5 2763
6 2770
7 2773
8 2781
9 2781
10 2787
11 2804
12 Slam Fire
13 Slam Fire
14 2810
15 2828


Give or Take

Magnum Small Rifle Primers

Mag Sm RI Prim
20.0 ! - H4198

1 2651
2 2675
3 2682
4 2684
5 2688
6 2694
7 2721
8 2734
9 2735
10 2737
11 2751
12 2756
13 2771
14 2776
15 2781


Give or Take

BTW - The thinner skinned SSRP produced two slam fires during their string of shots. The thicker MSRP had none. So, if using SSRP use good range safety – as you would do anyway. But, I often point the AR upward as I depress the lever to send the bolt forward, loading the first round of a new mag. I was on the porch of the cabin myself and my brothers built on our hunting property. I’m glad I didn’t have any slam fired then, or I’d shot a hole in the roof.

btefft is offline  
Old March 23, 2009, 05:51 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2006
Posts: 596
Very interesting report to say the least, keep up the good work and keep us informed while you are at it sir.
VaFisher is offline  
Old March 23, 2009, 07:10 PM   #3
Dave R
Senior Member
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
Consider this an anecdote...because its just something I read on the Internet.

What I read was that CCI (the only makers of mag primers for small rifles, I believe) got a bit embarrassed because everyone else's primers were hotter than theirs, and their primers didn't light some of the ball powders as well as they should. So they introduced the magnum primers and priced 'em a titch higher.

Then everyone else started saying their primers were good for either standard or magnum "loads."

Speer (owner of CCI) only specifies magnum primers for SOME of their loads. The ones that their standard primers didn't ignite as well.

Most other primer mfgrs specify their primers for any load.

Take it for what its worth.

I did a somewhat similar test, using Winchester WSR primers head-to-head with CCI small rifle mag primers in a load that calls for the mag primers. The WSR primers yielded identical velocity, and 'maybe' a bit better accuracy.

Hardly scientific, but another data point.
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old March 24, 2009, 07:07 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
it's alway fun to expriement, but by not using the same brand, you already have an apples to oranges comparision...

I personmally have a very wide selection of primers, & the only small rifle magnum prmers I have are CCI's, so I can't dispute DAVE Rs statement???

I'd be more interested ( & it would be of more current relavance ) to compare 4-5 brands of small rifle primes all using a standard powder...
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old March 24, 2009, 12:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 188
To my knowledge there is no industry standard regarding magnum primers as to what they should do or be.

Wolf sells a Small rifle magnum and according to Widener's it is the same solution as the small rifle standard but the magnum has a thicker cup to prevent slam fires.

Now Wolf has come out with a small rifle primer for .223 but I can find no information (as of yet) as to what that means.
Have they renamed the magnum SR .223???
Seems logical and if so, do they plan to release a true magnum primer along the lines of the CCI #41 military primer????

I use the current Wolf SRM in both my Daewoo and Les Baer AR15V and they are as good as any primer I have used.

I have not used the CCI#41 but I have used the #34 large rifle military and it is smoking hot more than any magnum primer.

My point is that differences in brands has had more variation than magnum over standard of the same brand in my experiences.

"The right to bear arms should not be infringed upon if only to prevent tyranny in government". Thomas Jefferson, Constitutional debates
Wulfmann 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 11:31 AM.

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 0.07063 seconds with 7 queries