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Let's talk about primers

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I have been reloading for over 40 years and the primers make a difference . I tried different Primers on my accuracy loads and have seen the difference in group spread . I only use Wolf Primers L.R.for all my loads . Rem.7.5 small Rifle Primers in all my smallers Cartridges , I found out During the Obuma Momma Time because of the shortage so I had to use what was available .I learned also From David Tubb , Listen to what the winners Use , End of story
 

bbbass

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I agree with bbbass. Mainly because thats what ive used for over 20 years. Also because Winchester has had some major problems with theirs. They have been known to etch bolt faces. Theres been recalls on them, regarding this. CCI does everything i expect a good primer to do, and has done so for a long time.. Why change?
I've tried Winchester... too soft. I've tried Federal... too hard. CCI... just right!!!

I have had problems in the past on my Dillon 550B with primer feed... but I never found it was CCI only. Nowadays I prime by hand so I wouldn't notice anyway.
 
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Use what you have confidence in.

I am a Federal guy. Mostly because the group of folks who influenced me as a young reloader and benchrest shooter all shot Federal 205Ms. So I used Federal in everything (Except for the Great Primer Scare of the 90s. That was like living in a third world country. Except I had food and cable tv. But primers were as scarce as sympathy from the IRS. So I had to scrounge up CCI and Winchester caps to keep feeding the habit).

I also know folks who use CCI's with great results,

Same with Winchester & Remington (Yeah there was a snafu recently with Winnie's. But I doubt that will persist). I have a few thousand Winchester primers now. Will use them with great confidence.
 
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For most of my loading, I use CCI mostly standard not mag. The exception is a custom built, circa 1972, 25-06. It prefers CCI bench rest primers. When you get .25" 100 yds, you don't mess around. Since I really don't load magnum loads for the most part, all my handguns eat cast lead. The only difference here is the 44 mag. I use Elmer Keiths’ old load of 22 gr 2400 under his hard cast bullet. This load called for mag. Since Mr.Keith was instrumental in the development of the 44 and 41 mags, his advise for me is the rule. I do use 1 rifle magnum primer in my 338 LM. Most LM users use the Federal magnum primer and I also do. It gives a hotter flame to help get the 95 grains of H1000 going. Basically it comes down to the components your weapon prefers. My LM likes Berger 300’s but doesn’t care for the ELD-M’s. This is why reloading, atleast for me, is such an art.
 
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Yes I have lots of questions. But like they say no dumb question only dumb answers lol.

So with all the choices in primers out there does it really make a difference between brands? I know there is a diff between magnum and regular but I'm more interested in brand differences. I have been solely using Winchester WLR to reload both the 223 and 308. Haven't really had a problem. I went to buy more primers yesterday and noticed that they are all pretty much 3$ per 100 so it got me thinking.

Is there really a difference?
Is there really a point in using brand x over brand y?

Let's hear your thoughts..

Again sorry for all the questions. I figured Id keep the threads separate so others can get the answers to my "dumb" questions.

Thanks
James

Lately I have had bad luck with CCI small pistol primers in my 38 special. Failure to fire even though a deep dint in the primer. No problems with Winchester primers.I have always been a fan of CCI,but is their quality control starting to slip?
 
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... For storage purposes, Federal are packed in larger containers and therefore take up more space. ...
I don't understand Federal's packaging size and those little cardboard tabs on the underside that make it hard to slide out the tray -- super annoying. But for whatever reason, I use these most because where I'm at, they're usually always in stock (probably because of the annoying packaging depressing sales). I do a different load workup with each primer so reliably getting what I've worked out is of value to me.
 
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It's easy to just pick a brand that works and stack'em deep. Back in 2012 or so primers were as rare as hen's teeth so I used whatever I could find and ended up going through a large variety. There's more choice now.

  • Federal Large Rifle Match I used for 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor (and agree with all the other posters that the packaging is a little ridiculous).
  • CCI BR2s in a pinch when I don't have the Federal's but I have enough Federal to burn through a number of barrels.
  • Pistol I generally prefer CCI as it's cheap and it works and haven't had really any issues but do occasionally load Winchester with no issues
I won't buy S&B pistol primers anymore as I have had brass with extraordinarily tight fits (.45acp if I remember correctly and NO it was not a small pistol primer pocket lol)
 
Finished editing the FAQ and Expert recommendation pages, also uploaded article "Primers for Magnum Handguns," which was cited in the Expert Recommendations section.
To the casual reader, the articles above contain great wisdom - and because of it, I now understand why 2400 powder has the worst recoil of all my psitol powders - I was using Magnum primers!
 
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Use what you have confidence in.

I am a Federal guy. Mostly because the group of folks who influenced me as a young reloader and benchrest shooter all shot Federal 205Ms. So I used Federal in everything (Except for the Great Primer Scare of the 90s. That was like living in a third world country. Except I had food and cable tv. But primers were as scarce as sympathy from the IRS. So I had to scrounge up CCI and Winchester caps to keep feeding the habit).

I also know folks who use CCI's with great results,

Same with Winchester & Remington (Yeah there was a snafu recently with Winnie's. But I doubt that will persist). I have a few thousand Winchester primers now. Will use them with great confidence.
I like Federal in my 338 LM but really dispise the sleeves. They have tabs on the bottom that make it a chore for my arthritic fingers to deal with. Probably there for to keep them from spilling if the 100 pack gets dropped.
 
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I like Federal in my 338 LM but really dispise the sleeves. They have tabs on the bottom that make it a chore for my arthritic fingers to deal with. Probably there for to keep them from spilling if the 100 pack gets dropped.
Those tabs are a pain in the bubblegum regardless!
 
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If you load only a few different cartridges and use consistent brands of brass, it's a good call to stay with the same primer that has worked for you. Using whatever metrics you prefer for your own purposes. Surely using the same primer is a step in the direction of load consistency. However, if you load many different cartridges and the brand/source of brass varies, you may find that you need to experiment with different primers and find those that work best with various components. My work has largely been in the second category I mentioned above. Primer fit has been more important as an industrial aspect that on target results that may not be all that measurable for me. I'm not a match shooter so ease of assembly and reliable function were more important.

For many years, mostly I used WW large rifle primers because I shot bolt action rifles. Often, I would have batches of foreign-made brass from places such as Serbia and Czech Republic. My experience was that the Boxer primer pockets in foreign brass can be tight. The WW primers seemed to be more agreeable to seat in such brass. These days, most of my centerfire shooting is in gas guns. For that reason, I use CCI primers which tend to have harder cups that some other brands. Just saying, there can be many reasons for selecting different brands of primers.

Of course this logic goes out the window in times of scarcity.
 
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Here's how I deal with those tabs, I set the whole tray upside down with the tabs up on my primer flip tray (I have the square RCBS one) and use a dental pick to lift the tabs then slide the box only off leaving the tray on the primer flip tray.....
 
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Primers can make a huge difference. How a certain primer reacts to a type of powder, and how much powder is in that particular case, changes the chemistry a bit.

I use Winchester primers for certain ball powders. I have noticed WSR primers have cut velocity spreads from 70fps to 25fps in some cases. Also i have noticed an additional 50fps average velocity increase.

CCI#41's and CCI450's work awesome with H4895 and Benchmark. Same deal, increased velocity with less velocity variation.

I like Fed AR Match for AR-Comp.

REM 7.5's work good with Varget.

Don't listen to somebody when they say a primer does not matter. One respectable person on youtube mentioned that he did not think they mattered. This had me scratching my head, as my own findings clearly prove otherwise.

I pondered that for a bit and came to the conclusion that all and all, for the most part that person uses H4350. His comparison was with CCI 400's vs CCI BR's.

Maybe there is not much difference between BR's and 400's. Maybe H4350 isn't that picky with his particular cartridge and case fill.

You get the point here right?

If you have a favorite load, then try another primer or 2 and don't notice a difference, does that mean you are a science expert? Clearly they are insignificant right!! HAHAHAHA

What about a different powder? What about a different cartridge? Whats the difference between 308 and 25-06?

First thing is the bullet and the barrel. If the bullet you are trying is not accurate, in most cases some magic powder will not help you. Especially not a primer.

Change bullets.

When you have a good barrel/bullet combo everything will shoot decent. Getting it to shoot awesome (fine tuning) takes some powder/primer testing.
 
I agree with bbbass. Mainly because thats what ive used for over 20 years. Also because Winchester has had some major problems with theirs. They have been known to etch bolt faces. Theres been recalls on them, regarding this. CCI does everything i expect a good primer to do, and has done so for a long time.. Why change?
YES! I had gas cutting on a brand new M70 Sporter using Winchester primers. After its first 10 rounds, the firing pin hole had a primer sized circle around it that was actually cut into the bolt face. I now only use CCI. I have gotten more consistent performance out of them vs Federal. Weird.
 
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YES! I had gas cutting on a brand new M70 Sporter using Winchester primers. After its first 10 rounds, the firing pin hole had a primer sized circle around it that was actually cut into the bolt face. I now only use CCI. I have gotten more consistent performance out of them vs Federal. Weird.
I dont find it weird at all.
 

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