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Federal small rifle match primers

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by dakaham, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    So i finally took the advice of some guys at the rifle club. They had told me that the CCI sr primers i had been using were limiting the accuracy of the loads i was shooting. At first i really didnt believe that a primer could make that much difference, boy was i wrong! went to the range yesterday to do some testing they were right! Below are 4 3rd groups shot at 100yds off bags out of a Howa 1500 .223 1:12 twist 22" barrel. Round was a .224 40gr nosler over 26.9gr of varget federal 205 small rifle match primer in remington brass C.O.A.L. 2.265.

    1st group the low shot was the cold bore shot.
    2011-12-20_11-14-39_332.jpg
    2nd group
    2011-12-20_11-14-25_222.jpg
    3rd group
    2011-12-20_11-14-55_208.jpg
    4th and last group
    2011-12-19_11-36-22_71.jpg
    The rifle
    2011-11-13_13-00-58_134.jpg

    first group was .79" ctc all other groups were .5 or better. Quite pleased with the new primers. Prior groups withh cci would yeild no better than .75" ctc usually because 1 shot would go out. I am really amazed that a howa with a light profile barrel is capable of this kind of accuracy!
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    You didn't say which CCI primers you were using before the change. Were you using the CCI BR-2 Benchrest primers or just the standard CCI 400 primer. If you were using the standard primer the improvement came from not the brand change but the change to the more uniform bench rest or match primer.

    As for light barrels, yes, they can be very accurate although a little harder to find that absolute sweet spot. Heavier barrels usually shoot a wider range of ammo because the vibrations are reduced. Find the right load for a light barrel and you'll be amazed at how small the groups can be.
     
  3. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Oops should have clarified that. I was using cci400's.
     
  4. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Accuracy pursuits led me to benchrest grade primers some years ago. Like you, I was skeptical that primers could make a revolutionary difference in accuracy. I now use them almost exclusively in any load project where accuracy is of paramount concern, reserving standard primers for more "bulk loading/plinking" type load projects. (.30 Carbine, etc.). Another application I still utilize standard primers for is when I know the gun itself is not necessarily capable of pinpoint accuracy, such as for .30-30 in the Model 94 Winchester (deer at 65yards are not generally critical of what primer was used to kill them). However, for my 1948 Marlin 336 .30-30, which IS capable of astonishing accuracy and just might be one of the most accurate sporting guns I own (even outshooting some glass-bedded/tuned and triggered bolt guns), I use benchrest grade primers to allow it to continue to surprise me.

    I don't mind paying the small premium to get what match grade primers offer: not only are they more consistent in flash characteristics, they have been reported to be a happy medium between standard and magnum as to potency. (If you are on the fence about going to a Magnum primer to ignite a large amount of powder, or for ball powders, Match grade primers might be the solution.)

    Thirdly, their cups are of more consistent sizing. This becomes readily evident when using a hand priming tool: Standard primers will noticeably vary in the pressure needed to seat. Match primers are very consistent in this regard.

    Federals are my current preference, but I started with CCI's. My "teaching cartridge" toward benchrest primers was the .25-06. They allowed me to develop a load that will allow my Browning B78 with its 26" barrel to run right under a .257 Weatherby for velocity and seemingly not undue pressures. The chronograph instantly advised me that my velocities were much more consistent than when using standard or magnum primers.
     
  5. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I got a bit of a pleasant surprise last week. I was testing some ammo that I had loaded exactly the same as that which gives me "bug hole" accuracy, only I used Tula Large Rifle primers instead of my usual CCI-BR-2's. The groups remained good. Not as small as those with the BR's but much better than Standard Primers. The neat thing was the Tula Primers were only $20 per thousand instead of the $30+ the "Local's" want.

    This gives me a "plinking primer" without having to give up much accuracy.


    FWIW, there are many competitors that have been furnishing their houses with trophies using "Russian" primers. Maybe they're on to something.