Primer substitution tips and tricks.

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Magnums can often be substituted for standard primers as long as you drop the load and work your way up.

I've heard of people substituting rifle for pistol and vice versa, but I've never gone there.
 

ma96782

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Primers are NOT equally swappable.

We sort of go through this......every so often. So, anyway...........

Anytime, you don't exactly follow what THE BOOK says.......you take a chance.

As you have noticed.........the BOOK specs what BRAND of: brass, primers, bullets, powder (and charge weight). Not to mention, what brand and specs of the firearm that they used........to test their load data with.

The BOOK will WARN that changing components is a bad idea.

Not to mention, that different BOOKS have a different idea about WHAT IS SAFE and what is an acceptable level of SAFETY.

So......IF you have a low tolerance for RISK......perhaps, you're better off going to the store and finding the components to match the BOOK.

But, handloading is part experimentation.

So......IF you have a little higher tolerance for RISK......perhaps, you could/would "take a calculated RISK" with a switch in components.

Then, what are the risks?

Read: How do changing various components affect chamber pressure and velocity?

www.frfrogspad.com/miscelld.htm#components

So, if you decide to go forward (with a primer switch)……..

As for Primers........

I am NOT AWARE of a spec. for 100% uniformity over the industry (not counting size, within a small range), XYZ Brand vs. ABC Brand. Also, even within a manufacturer, specs and raw materials may change over time. So, YMWV.

That being said.........I have been known to just use mag for mag and std for std, small rifle for small rifle, large rifle for large rifle, small pistol for small pistol and large pistol for large pistol, without being overly concerned about brand. But, ONLY BECAUSE I.........."start low and work my way up."

How much is the change worth?

You decide.

Then, most books will spec a magnum primer with certain powders. So, you could just follow the book and buy the primer (std or mag) to match the powder.

Then if, you’re worried about “slam fires” and if you have decided that a magnum primer is "better all around" for you (in spite of what the book may say about using a standard primer)…….well, you still have, “start low and work your way up.”

But note, what CCI says..........

CCI® No. 34 and No. 41 MILITARY RIFLE PRIMERS


Military-style semi-auto rifles seldom have firing pin retraction springs. If care is not used in assembling ammunition, a “slam-fire” can occur before the bolt locks. The military arsenals accomplish this using different techniques and components—including different primer sensitivity specifications—from their commercial counterparts. CCI makes rifle primers for commercial sale that matches military sensitivity specs that reduce the chance of a slam-fire when other factors go out of control*. If you’re reloading for a military semi-auto, look to CCI Military primers.
[red]*Effective slam-fire prevention requires more than special primers. Headspace, chamber condition, firing pin shape and protrusion, bolt velocity, cartridge case condition, and other factors can affect slam-fire potential. [/red]
So, there IS more to it.

Hummm…..maybe, I should rethink this? Or, not?

Anyway, decide: What’s best for YOU?

Be Safe.

Aloha, Mark
 
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A

arakboss

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Magnums can often be substituted for standard primers as long as you drop the load and work your way up.

I've heard of people substituting rifle for pistol and vice versa, but I've never gone there.
I am really interested in hearing from those who may have had success with substituting rifle primers for pistol primers or vice versa.

Here is a link to an article talking about primers.

 

ma96782

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I am really interested in hearing from those who may have had success with substituting rifle primers for pistol primers or vice versa.
On many occasions, I have switched from Sm pistol to sm rifle primers when loading 9mm pistol ammo (and .38 special/.357 Mag ammo).

However......sometimes certain firearms may not reliably work with such a change/switch.

So.....start low and work your way up AND be aware that sometimes things don't/won't always work out exactly as you think.

Example: My BHP pistol will fire off hard primers (mostly) w/o a problem. While my son's Glock is picky about the ammo/re-loads that it gets.

Aloha, Mark

PS.....I DO NOT use sm pistol primers for use in reloading rifle cartridges.

AND, note what Remington (and Midway USA) says about using their 6 1/2 primers while reloading .223 Rem cartridges.

Warning:
  • Remington does not recommend this primer for use in the 17 Remington, 222 Remington, 223 Remington, 204 Ruger, 17 Remington Fireball. Use the 7-1/2 Small Rifle Bench Rest primer in these cartridges.
  • This 6-1/2 Small Rifle primer is primarily designed for use in the 22 Hornet.
But then.....I have a large supply of 6 1/2 primers. So, my Remington 6 1/2 primers got regulated to loading 9mm cartridges.
 
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gmerkt

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But then.....I have a large supply of 6 1/2 primers. So, my Remington 6 1/2 primers got regulated to loading 9mm cartridges.
I've used Rem. 6-1/2 primers to load .357 Mag. The revolver hammer gives a good hit, the 6-1/2 is in the pressure range for .357.

Back during an earlier famine, I bought some 6-1/2's and didn't know about the prohibition against using them in .223 Rem. They are actually for .22 Hornet, etc., which has lower pressure than .223 Rem. However, I don't load my .223's to the max, more along the middle of the range. So unwittingly I used some 6-1/2's in .223 before I got the word. I'd already fired some, didn't have any problems with piercing, etc. But loading in the middle to lower end of recommended range, who knows what the pressure is, they only give you the max in the book. Depending upon components, a moderate load may be significantly below the SAAMI max. But I'm not trying to make a case for using 6-1/2's in .223 Rem. because I won't do it knowingly.

I'm not sure if I'm remembering this right, but only in recent years did Remington put a note on the 6-1/2 primer packaging about not using them in higher pressure centerfire cartridges? I may have bought mine before the notice was placed on the package. The thing about Rem. small rifle primers, they only make #6-1/2 and #7-1/2 BR. You see that "BR" and think, "Bench Rest, I don't need those." So just looking at the limited choices, a guy might buy 6-1/2 on that basis alone.

I've had a few pierced primers in the past in loads that were from published data and weren't maximum. .327 Fed mag comes to mind. It's now recommended that small rifle primers be used in .327 Fed mag. Federal couldn't find a proper powder for this cartridge during development, so they had a special proprietary powder formulated for it. Apparently, they also did not use pistol primers.

I've had some bad Winchester large pistol primers that pierced in 10mm loads, again, far below max in the book. You just never know.

You don't want pierced primers. They ruin guns and gun parts.
 
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Never use pistol primers in place of rifle primers it will burn holes through them. They are made with thinner brass. Going the other way doesn’t matter as much just always look for signs of over pressure.
 
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When switching components you have to start low, work up a load for your gun and look for pressure signs. Chronograph if you have one. Pistol cartridges are a lot more forgiving than rifle. Striker fired pistols such as Glock may not detonate small rifle primers because they have thicker walls.
 
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I use magnum small pistol primers in my ar loads I also use powder from other rounds I just use the min load data from the book and work my way up I have had zero issues I have however had issues with old fn production rounds with berdan primers but I have never had an issue with a reload
 
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I accidently used 100 small rifle primers in some 9mm once. They were on the low end of the pressure chart as they were range loads. No perceptible difference. I wouldn't make a habit of it.
 
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mags work in regular applications, might have to load a little lighter.

soft small rifle (fed 205, cci 400, rem 6.5) work in some pistol applications, depends on the hammer/striker power.

Do not use pistol primers for rifle applications, generally. Mags may work for soft loads as they should be thicker, but I don't have experience there.
 
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You did notice that everyone has used magnum pistol primers in rifle rounds not regular pistol primers and I have loaded 80,000 psi rounds with no issues at all primer or round related
 

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