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Old March 25, 2013, 11:07 PM   #1
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substituting mag primers

Since primers are so hard to get right now, I thought I would post these results;
158 SWC , Winchester primers

38 special 4.0 gr W231
standard primer 772/731 754
Magnum primer 783/739 763

357 Magnum 6.8 Gr Unique
Standard primer 1169/1111 1143
Magnum primer 1169/1105 1147

While I am not advocating substituting Magnum primers across the board, it appears that if you start low, work up and check your loads, you can safely use magnum primers in at least some applications.

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Old March 26, 2013, 04:04 AM   #2
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Thanks for the numbers. I don't have to now, but I'd do the same if needed(I realize you were mostly testing). I also don't flirt with max charges in about anything I do anyway.

I did some tests a while back with standard small pistol primers in modest 204 Ruger loads. I never had any problems. Some things work for some & not others though.
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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Not all 'Magnum' primers are created equal.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old April 9, 2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Up here in the northern reaches of Canada ; We are experiencing the same if not worse primer and powder shortage.
Certain IMR powders are still made here so they are a little easier to obtain, but no primers are made in Canada.
The only pistol primers I have been able to purchase have been CCI 350's.
I have used these successfully in my 45 colt rifles with Red Dot and 4227 powders in the past but have been using Power Pistol - 11.1 grains and the Ken Waters load of 12.0 grains of 800X lately.
These loads are not fireball loads by any means just my best accuracy loads with which I am well satisfied to shoot targets or bigger game as I see fit.
Can anyone tell me if the CCI 350 are HOTTER magnums and if a 1 1/2 grain reduction in my loads of 800X or P.P. would be a good starting point to work up from again?


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Old April 9, 2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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Jim, I ran the same tests with CCI-300 and CCI-350 primers with Unique (and several other powders). Same conclusion as you got. Use any primer available and your fine for Unique. I'll use standard of course when I have a choice.

For example, .45 Colt

8.5g Unique, 255g SWC, CCI-300, 977fps, 17 SD, 56 ES, 15 shots
8.5g Unique, 255g SWC, CCI-350, 985fps, 21 SD, 82 ES, 15 shots

How hot, least to most: CCI-300, WLP, CCI-350 (the only three I've tested)
A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.

Last edited by rclark; April 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM.
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Old April 9, 2013, 11:26 AM   #6
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What are these primers that you speak of?

I have hundreds and hundreds of brass, bullets, and pounds of powder, but cannot locate any primers locally.

On a serious note, thanks for the data, it had been one of those questions as when I do find primers (pistol) they are usually small mag or large mag, and I just don't shoot full power loads. I normally load plink type rounds for my 357 and 44mag.
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Old April 9, 2013, 12:00 PM   #7
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As soon as I get time, I will run the same test on .40 S&W

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Old April 14, 2013, 06:08 PM   #8
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More rsults

Unlike the 38/357 loads. The mag primers seem to make a bit more difference in a .40, as expected
180 Gr truncated cone lead 4.8 Gr Power Pistol 1.085
STD Primer 888/ 860 AVG 875
MAG Primer 917 / 888 AVG 903

The 4.8 PP laod with mag primer is almost exactl the same as 5.0 Gr PP with a standard primer which averaged 905

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Old April 14, 2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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I'd like to see results with Titegroup. Anyone up to it?
Gun control means: Being able to hit what you are shooting at.
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Old April 14, 2013, 06:44 PM   #10
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Up until last month I used small rifle primers for all of my small primer loads. (near onto 5 years, and over 50K rounds.) Everything from 9mm Luger to .223 Rem., and a few small primer .45-70 Gov't cases. When I was low all I could find were small pistol. So now my small pistol loads get small pistol. If all I can find next time are Mag primers I will use them the same way I have the other 2 in pistol loads. The last of my rifle primers are saved for rifle loads.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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