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Old April 5, 2009, 11:00 AM   #1
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Magnum VS Standard Primers.

Magnum VS Standard Primers.

Due to other threads that appeared here over the past couple of months I decided to perform a little test of my own.
This test is all from personal experience, I have no hard facts other than felt response and visual data.
The cases that I used were all once fired Remington 9mm cases (Other than one that has the cannelure line that snuck in).
All had the same bullet: Hornady, XTP 9MM, #35540, 115 GR HP/XTP.
Powder was Winchester 231. I have a lot of experience with 231 and I like how clean it is.
Powder charge for both primers was the same and all were weighed at 4.5 GR.
This charge weight was one that I have been using for 9mm for many years and it functions in all the guns that I own that shoot 9mm, function has been flawless in over +5000 rounds over the past decade.
Recommended powder charges for this bullets and powder are
Min: 4.1 GR @ 1000 FPS
Max: 4.7 GR @ 1100 FPS
I use a taper crimp die for all cases and the crimp was very firm.
Two guns were used for this test.
1: Beretta 8000 Cougar.
2. Beretta Storm Carbine.
It is ease to tell the difference in which cases were fired in which gun, the Cougar has a definite doughnut shape around the indentation of the firing pin.
Since I don’t own a Chronograph I have no data to prove the differences in velocity, I can only describe the differences that I felt and saw.
Pressure: First off there were no pressure differences that I could tell in the primers after they were fired. I took some of these to work Friday and use a very high powered microscope and really can’t tell any difference.
Shooting: This is where the difference was noticeable.
With the Cougar there was little difference between firing the mag vs the standard, but in the carbine there was a big difference. Strangely the mag primers seemed to fire with less energy than the standard.
I tried several different experiments to see if this was real. I placed 3 magnum then 3 standard in the magazine for the carbine and quickly fired all 6. Even the sound was less for the mag primers. I had another shooter that was there help. I gave him two magazines with 5 rounds each and I didn’t tell him which mag had which primers.
His comment was the same. The mag primer in the carbine felt and sounded like it had much less energy. Several times the bolt did not lock back on the last round during the entire shooting string that day using the mag primers.
The other difference was the effect of the change in the cases. Those fired with the mag primers were much dirtier, in fact again the carbine showed much more burn residue.
I plan on doing this again and will add a Glock 26 (I will use new cases) as soon as I get a chronograph because I would like to see if there really is a difference. I plan on doing this same test with 44 special as soon as I get the chronograph.
Over all the main point to this was to see if there were any pressure signs from using magnum primers in non magnum cases and non magnum powder charges. I saw none, but I did not like the effect in the carbine.

Last edited by Ozzieman; October 3, 2012 at 04:14 PM.
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Old April 5, 2009, 11:09 AM   #2
Bike Effects
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IMO, to fast a powder to use Magnum primers. How about accuracy?
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Old April 5, 2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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I was shooting the Carbine at 25 yards and used only one target through the entire set of about 40 rounds half and half total. It ate the center of the target out with about a 3 inch hole with very few flyers. I have a M68 reflex sight on the carbine and grouping was normal. The other shooter shot the 10 rounds and they all hit within 2 inches of each other.

"to fast a powder to use Magnum primers."
I know that 231 is not a good powder for mag primers but this was not a test of magnum loads, it was just the opposite, mag primers in non magnum loads.
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Old April 5, 2009, 12:45 PM   #4
Mal H
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Interesting results! I might have an answer as to why you got those results.

As you said, W231 is not a powder requiring a magnum primer, in fact 9mm cases in general don't require magnum primers.

It is a known fact that magnum primers are more powerful than standard primers; I don't think you're disputing that. They have a demonstrably higher temp and longer lasting flame front. They also create more initial pressure in the case than a standard primer. That pressure can and will push the bullet out of the case rapidly, even if the case contains no powder. So, what I'm guessing you have done with the magnum primer in such a small capacity case is to push the bullet out a good distance before the powder is fully ignited. You gave the powder a much larger initial volume to fill with expanding gases. The peak pressure probably never reached anywhere near the same level as the rounds fired with a standard primer. Hence the lower [estimated] velocity and the sootier cases.

Your experiment should not be construed by anyone to indicate a magnum primer can be substituted for a standard primer without adjustment of the powder load.
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Old April 5, 2009, 03:45 PM   #5
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Mal H
Although I have no way to prove or disprove your theory, I do totally agree with what you are suggesting for a cause.
I originally did this because several people have asked the question “can I replace standard primers with mag.”
There were so many different answers to that question that I wanted to see what effect this would have. Your same suggestion came up in one of the threads and to be truthful I doubted that it would happen the way you suggested. In fact I thought I wouldn’t see any difference.
I was surprised at the results to say the least.
With a much slower powder the results might have been different but I wanted to try it with a load that was below max and one that I have a lot of history with.
And it was fun.
I totally agree that you should not replace primers from what manufactures recommend and this is not what I was trying to suggest. This was just an experiment to see just what the effect was and the results surprised me.
I still plan on doing more with a chronograph.
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Old April 5, 2009, 03:46 PM   #6
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"Your experiment should not be construed by anyone to indicate a magnum primer can be substituted for a standard primer without adjustment of the powder load."
And thank you for adding that.
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Old April 5, 2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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What primers did you use ?

as stated ubove magnum primers have a hoter and longer lasting flame
except Wolf, the diferance in them ( magnum verses standard ) is the cup is thicker and there for harder ( the media is the same )
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Old April 5, 2009, 07:01 PM   #8
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All were CCI.
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Old April 5, 2009, 08:20 PM   #9
Shane Tuttle
Join Date: November 28, 2005
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I have a thread posted in the Buy/Sell froum to trade magnum primers in exchange for standard. I always wanted to know what happens when you substitiute them. I just didn't want to spend the time or money to find out....let alone the guts to experiment...
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

Posting and YOU:
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Old April 10, 2009, 11:56 AM   #10
James R. Burke
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I use CCI just because that what I started with. I always follow what the manual calls for as to use a mag or reg primer. I start at the min and work up from there. Thats just me.
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