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6 1/2 primers

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by NWCustomFirearms, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. NWCustomFirearms

    NWCustomFirearms Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Just getting into .223 reloading and while at sportsmans a while back they had small rifle primers so I bought some. Now I'm reading that you shouldn't use 6 1/2 small rifle primers in .223 but 7 1/2. I also have some CCI but my question is about the 6 1/2's. Anyone have any experience good or bad loading .223 with these primers?
  2. bockja

    bockja Sandy, OR Member

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    The 6 1/2 are designed for low pressure rounds like the 22 Hornet. Loading them in a .223 would be a very bad idea. First of all the soft cup could lead to slam fires from the floating firing pin. If you don't get a slam fire, then after ignition you might puncture that will quickly erode your bolt face. You are better off trying to sell them and picking up some Rem 7 1/2, CCI 41, BR4, or 450, or Fed 205. Of these, the CCI 41 would probably be your best bet but all would work.

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    In light of the current shortage with all things that go bang. I elicited "help" from friends. Some have more gun “savvyness” than others. The conversation went something like this:

    Me: “Whenever you go into a gunstore, keep your eye open for primers. Small pistol, large pistol and small rifle. Call me if you come across any.”

    Spotter: “OK, will do.”

    Later that same night one of my spotters, a buddy in Northern Kalifornia called me. “Hey, you'd be proud of me. I picked up some primers for you.”

    Me: “Great! What are they?”

    Spotter: “Uh, lets see. They're Remington 6 ½ small rifle primers.”

    Me sounding as enthusiastic as possible, “Great. Thanks. How many did you get?”

    Spotter: “I got all they had.”

    After telling him they come in bricks of 1000, he then tells me he bought nine bricks.

    I didn't rip him for not calling before he bought them. However I did thank him and said I didn't need anymore.

    Moral of this little story is some things are better left to do yourself. Now I was/am saddled with 9000 primers that are of little use unless one shoots a 22 Hornet or something like that. After quite a bit research, I've decided to use these in 9mm plinking rounds for the wife's Glock 19 and my Glock 17.

    So far no problems. I can't even tell the difference in either reloading them or shooting them.
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    .223 doesn't automatically mean an AR-15.

    I just finished shooting over 300 rounds of .223 loaded with CFE223 and Remington 6-1/2 primers. Funny thing. All the problems and potential disasters didn't occur as predicted. They were shot in a Remington SPS-Tactical and it was amazing how many bullets in the group went through the same hole. In one 10 round group of just under 1/2" overall spread had 6 bullets pass through the SAME hole. Just one black hole with 4 shots just about touching it's perimiter.

    The load was .8 gr less than maximum for the bullet (73 gr) but other than the normal Remington bolt crater due to the chamfer on the firing pin hole, everything was normal.

    Funny thing, Remington recommends the 7-1/2 primer. The shooter next to me was shooting a 30BR with the 7-1/2's and had a whole bunch of cracked primers. They cracked right down the side and you could see the soot inside the primer pocket (on the side) where they leaked.

    It all boils down to the fact that one needs to work up their loads ------- period.

    For what it's worth, the Remington 6-1/2 primer has a cup thickness that's only about .001" thinner than the Winchester Small Rifle primer which is totally OK for any small rifle application. If you keep your loads in the "conservative" range then the 6-1/2's will work fine.
  5. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    or a spy from ATK has infiltrated the marketing/sales department, Remington does not make or advertise a primer for "low pressure loads only." The difference between the standard 6-1/2 primer and the "benchrest" 7-1/2 primer is that the 7-1/2 is allegedly inspected more closely and held to tighter tolerances. I say allegedly since I use the 7-1/2 when fireforming rounds that will later use the Federal 205 match primer and have noticed a lot of variation and an unacceptable failure rate in the Remingtons. Since I had another one fail to fire yesterday, although not in the way deadshot mentions, and in a 30BR I was fire forming cases in, the subject interests me right now.

    Three links that might be of interest--the first one opens very slowly on my computer:

    Kleanbore Centerfire Primer Components

    exterior ballistics

    exterior ballistics

    Using reasonable pressure while seating primers will avoid a lot of problems in all cartridges and a lot of people eventually buy hand seaters to get a "feel" for when the primer has reached the bottom of the pocket. My calipers are formed such that the butt end can be used for measuring depth; the slide is smaller ar the end so it will fit into a small primer pocket. In this way I can measure how far below flush my primer cup is if I am using my Lee hand primer and not loading a cartridge that I want to get all obssessed with accuracy....for that.....

    I use the K&M primer seater with a dial indicator which lets you measure the primer pocket depth and the primer height. This information tells you when you have seated your primer to the proper .003" below flush if you want to check that and also it tells you how much crush you have seated the primer with (a variable that a lot of BR and long range shooters like to control) The two lots of Rem 7-1/2 I have show a lot of height variation, so I am guessing the 6-1/2 must be worse which would possibly lead someone at Remington to make the suggestion to push the 7-1/2 for autoloading rifle use since the whole "slam fire" problem (a problem with the M1 Garrand) comes from high primers or bolts with serious wear. The AR is not really a notorious slammer--despite a lot of silly stories that grow in the telling.
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Just to add, I shot another batch of the 6-1/2 primers yesterday in my bolt action .223. 5 groups of 5 different loads. From published starting load for CFE223 and a 52 gr SMK all the way to MAX. Not a single primer failure and even the MAX load still had a good radius on the edge of the primer. Unlike the Winchester SRP's that tent to go totally flat with the case head with any load over mid-range.

    Don't think I'll be worrying much about using the 6-1/2's from now on. They do just fine for accuracy --------AND-------- I was able to buy a couple "bricks" for a reasonable price.