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Old 12-15-2012, 5:19 AM
Wrangler John Wrangler John is offline
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Originally Posted by Nickaru View Post
I've been reloading for a long time and have always used Federal primers for the calibers I reload. I use the magnum primer for the magnum rounds and standard primers for standard calibers. rifle for rifle and pistol for pistol.
The reason I was asking the question if it matters from one brand to another was I have a friend that is starting to reload and I'm helping him get started. He called me one day and told me he was trying to buy small pistol primers for reloading 40 S&W at a local shop and when he told the guy behind the counter he needed standard small pistol primers, he was asked what brand and he answered it doesn't matter. The guy asked what his recipe called for and he didn't have it with him. The gun shop guy told him he was going to seriously injure if not kill himself with that knowledge. He asked me what he meant and I couldn't think other than slightly different pressure variations between brands.
It's just for target practicing.
Good info wrangler John.
Some times I get carried away - Mrs. Wrangler says it's more often than that.

Some gun store guys don't quite have it right. I have been loading for over 50 years and spent two decades shooting IHMSA Silhouette matches, hunt varmints, wildcatted cartridges, and worked as a Range officer at a publicly owned firing range. So, here's the truth from my experience.

You will not injure yourself by substituting brands of primers of the same size and strength. If the recipe calls for standard CCI small pistol primers, then Winchester, Remington, Federal or Wolf will work just fine, and vice versa. Any pressure variation will be very small and within tolerance.

If the recipe calls for a magnum small pistol primer, then use those.

Don't substitute a magnum small pistol primer for a standard primer, that will raise pressure up to 10% and likely disperse the group.

Don't substitute a standard small pistol primer for a magnum primer because that can cause hangfires and raise pressures dangerously with some powders.

Here is a chart of all the various primers:

Within the rows on the chart any of the available primers can be substituted for one another. However, one primer may provide the best accuracy, that can only be determined by trial.

There is one caution here. Do not use the Remington 6-1/2 Standard Small RIFLE Primer in any rifle load for high pressure rifle cartridges, .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 6mm PPC, etc. as their cups are too thin and the edge of the cup will pinhole and erode a pit in the bolt face. Instead use Remington 7-1/2 BR primers or CCI, Winchester or Federal.

Last edited by Wrangler John; 12-15-2012 at 5:25 AM..
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