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Federal 200 primer mystery

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by PaulB47, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I was trying to figure out what primers to use in my .327 Fed Mag loads. Ran into something funny.

    I have a box of Fed 205 primers, called "Small Magnum Rifle Primers". And then I realized I have no idea what a small rifle magnum primer is for...

    Not only that, but of all the numbers of the Fed primers, only one is used twice. The Fed 200 can be either a small rifle primer, or a small pistol magnum primer. All the Fed pistol primers are 1xx - except for the small pistol magnum primer.

    Then I was looking in my old reloading book by John Wooters (copyright 1976), where he lists primers. He shows for Federal two small rifle primers, the 200 and 205; no small rifle magnum primer; the large rifle primer 210; the large rifle magnum primer 215; the small pistol primer 100; no small pistol magnum primer; the large pistol primer 150; and no large pistol magnum primer.

    In my Sierra manual it lists Federal magnum primers, including the 205 as a small rifle magnum primer.

    Anyway it's strange that the large rifle benchrest primer is called the 210M (derived from the 210 large rifle primer) while the small rifle benchrest primer is called the 205M (derived from the 205 small rifle magnum primer).

    I'm wondering if the 200 small pistol magnum primer is the same thing as the 200 small rifle primer, just packaged in a different box...

    .327 Fed Magnum cartridges run higher pressure (up to 45,000 psi) than all other handgun rounds except the .454 Casull (60,000!) cartridge and the .357 Maximum (48,000). You are supposed to use small rifle primers in the .357 Max and the .454 Casull, so I wonder if that makes sense for top loads in the .327 too. Hodgdon data shows the "Federal 200, Small Pistol Magnum" primer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
    Velzey likes this.
  2. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    It's funny that the explanation is in the small print or someplace obscure sometimes. Remington 1 1/2 primers are for .38, .380, and etc you are supposed to use Remington 5 1/5 for .357, .40, 9mm etc because the cup is thicker to resist pressure. S&B and CCI same thing but it is in small print or online that they state this. Which is curious. Wonder if Federal has something similar going on.
     
  3. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Handloads.com lists the Fed 200 as the small pistol magnum, the 205 as small rifle, and nothing as the small rifle magnum.
    Primer cross reference chart (http://www.handloads.com/misc/primers.asp)

    Chuck Hawk lists the 200 as the small pistol magnum, the 205 as the small rifle, and the (apparently non-existent) 250M as the small rifle magnum, when "M" has always meant "match".
    Primers, the Sparkplug of Centerfire Cartridges (http://www.chuckhawks.com/primers.htm)

    This thread is interesting:
    difference between small rifle primers and small pistol mag primers - AR15.Com Archive (https://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=392854)

    They list the 200 and 200M as small pistol magnum primers, the 205 and 205M as small rifle primers, and nothing as the small rifle magnum primers. The entry for 205 was: "Mil-Spec cup thickness according to Federal - okay for 5.56mm. .0225" cup thickness."
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  4. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    .300 blackout, some loads call for a magnum (small rifle mag).


    Interesting data Mr. B.
     
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  5. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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  6. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Normally Federal adds the "5" on the end for magnum primers. So if they were consistent, the small pistol would be a 100 (which it is), the small pistol magnum would be a 105, the small rifle would be the 200, and the small rifle magnum would be the 205 (like my old box of primers says). Probably something like this was true back in the day, but they found they could use their small rifle primer for the small pistol magnum so the 200 was used for both roles. Then it was discovered that the 200, with its thin cup, was not adequate for most small rifle cartridges except a few like the .22 Hornet, so they stopped advertising the 200 for small rifle and used the magnum 205 for .223 et. al. instead. And then started calling the 205 the small rifle primer rather than small rifle magnum. Anyway that's my guess what happened.

    Anyway it looks like I should use CCI 400, Federal 200, Rem 6 1/2, or Win SR for my .327 Fed Magnum, in the hotter loads anyway.
     
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  7. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Never thought about it, but yeah, Federal numbers are kind of messed up.

    I've used small rifle magnum primers with ball powder such a H335 and got better results. Was told that the finely packed ball powder benefits having the extra flame of a hotter magnum primer. But those were CCI primers...don't think Federal makes a magnum small rifle primer.