.45 acp - large or small primer?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by twoclones, May 31, 2012.

  1. twoclones

    twoclones Active Member

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    I'm gearing up to reload .45 acp for use in practical revolver shooting. Is there any reason why I would prefer either large or small primer brass?
  2. techieguy

    techieguy Active Member

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    Large in the norm, most of the small primer brass comes from the lead free ammo (like WinClean) So if you are purchasing all your brass at once it doesn't matter, but if you are using some factory ammo and small primer brass you purchased prior you could end up with a mix.
  3. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    Generally you want large pistol primers for loading .45ACP, however as was stated, some manufacturers make brass with small primer pockets so that they don't have to make lead free large pistol primers. Typically these are CCI, WINNT headstamped brass. Personally, I usually put these into a 5lb coffee can, and save them up for lost brass matches, or when I go pit shooting and always end up losing some brass.
  4. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Member

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    I understand the small primer versus large primer responses. What about the amount of burn from the larger pistol primer? Is it a little longer/hotter? Or do they burn the same? With the few grains of powder in the large case, I would think the large primer would be best... I am getting ready to load .45 as well, and this was a question I was going to ask. Thanks Twoclones...
  5. wichaka

    wichaka Moderator Staff Member

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    I've loaded both cases, used the same load and haven't noticed a difference...although I haven't chrono'd the loads.
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    The only difference you will notice is if running on a progressive, the small cases tend to cause primer magazine explosions, subtle difference I know :)
  7. Mikej

    Mikej Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Hey that souns like FUN!

    I've only been at it for about 7 months and I load both. I seperate large from small after tumbling. All of the .45 brass I'm loading is once-twice- some going on three times. Most of my brass is small primer, I just buy the 100 pacs of CCI in large pistol when it's time to load a batch of large.

    Mike
  8. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere that when loading spp(45acp) it has to be a light load.
  9. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    In the "accuracy shooting" crowd, small primers are preferred. The Primer then contributes a far smaller portion of the total explosion and it's easier to maintain accuracy over a wide number of loads.

    Personally, I feel the only reason there are "Large" and "Small" primers for both rifle and pistol cases is "That's the way it's always been". That is changing, especially with the .308 that now has a small primer case for the Palma shooters. Other than bench rest, nobody seeks accuracy and uniformity more than those shooters.

    Sure would be nice to just have two basic primers on the shelf. Small Pistol and Small Rifle.
  10. plumberfishes

    plumberfishes Active Member

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    I always thought it was to piss me off when I miss a large one and bend up a primer not knowing its not seating.. or vise versa
    unklekippy and (deleted user) like this.
  11. unklekippy

    unklekippy Well-Known Member

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    I reload a lot of .45acp. The small primer brass gets recycled, not reloaded. This is not because I believe it works any better or worse, I have never really noticed a difference. It is simply because 90% of my .45 is large primer. The other 10% just muddies up the works. Kip.
  12. blitz

    blitz Active Member

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    just save up your spp primed stuff until you have a respectable amount and trade them off for lpp stuff or something else, that is my plan blazer, federal champion and a couple other brands specifically use spp so i now know to stay away from it when i buy factory ammo
  13. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    As long as you can keep them separated it makes no real difference. If the only other calibers you reload are small primed, you can streamline your supplies with the small primed 45 acp cases and only have to stock small primers.....but it is nice to have the large primed cases when there is a shortage on just the small primers. There are enough of the small primed cases around now that everyone will likely have to check and sort them out in any case. They aren't used soley for the "green" primers anymore. I have to wonder if the manufacturers aren't thinking it would be easier for them to just make the small version from now on for streamlining their production.

    I reload most of my ammo on a Dillon 1050 and it primes the cases at the same time it does everything else unlike a lot of other presses that require a separate motion for the priming. In this case you lose the ability to feel an resistance a wrong sized primer might offer and you will likely get a popped primer if you try to shove the large primer into a small primer pocket. I look and sort my cases to try to weed out the small primed ones, but always seem to miss a few....my eyeballs start to see them as the same after a while especially with the crimped in primers that make the size difference even more difficult to see. In this case, I think the small primed cases might be better as a "missread" case would not cause a potential explosion....just a case where the primer would just either fall out or more likely not get a primer at all.