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Old 05-28-2012, 11:03 AM
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Default What 9mm ammo brands have hard primers?

I am having an issue with my Sig 290 and light strikes. This is a known issue with some of the earlier guns but mine is a newer manufacture well past when all those problems were supposedly fixed. (My first 290 had the problem, was returned to Sig 3 times and finally the gun was replaced by Sig with this new one). In 400 rounds, I have had 7 light strike failures... 4 of them in the last 40 rounds.

Now, granted, it has happened only with one obscure brand of ammo but I have fired 500 rounds of that same ammo with 4 or 5 other 9mm guns without any problems whatsoever... only had problems with the Sig. The Sig has fired all other brands that I have tried so far without problems.

So before I send it back with a new complaint, I want to try a couple more brands of commonly available ammo that are known to have hard primers.

I don't know 'fer sure' but I would guess that NATO surplus and maybe products that use CCI primers might be candidates to try. What about S&B, Fiocchi or Privi Partizan? Any others to try?

What are your recommendations and what basis do you have arriving at that conclusion?

all answers appreciated

Last edited by 125JHP; 05-28-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:14 PM
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I found that the russian bulk Wolf ammo has a few hard primers....my S&W guns suffer an "odd" hard primer here and there but my Baby Eagle REALLY doesnt like them....lotsa misfires....american ammo = no problems...
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:57 AM
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I know that Hornady Critical Defense had issues with hard primers early on.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:29 AM
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124 gr. ball ammo from China made in the early 90s. Usually packed
in red, blue or grey 50 rd. boxes marked " Made in China ". Also in
plain boxes marked " Singapore ". Head stamped in small letters L Y
or J E 93 or 94. Good ammo but the primers must be hard as firing pin
indentations are very small. They must be sensitive enough though
as i've had no FTF in several hundred rounds.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:54 AM
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thanks... I've picked up some of that head stamp at the range recently so someone is shooting it - I'll look around locally but isn't Chinese ammunition still banned from import? If so then this is probably someones old stash being shot up and I doubt it is readily available - BTW its Norinco from what I looked up on the cartridge collectors forum.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:26 PM
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MagTech seems to have hard primers. Just my experience.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:43 PM
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Went to the LGS and got the last box of S&B and a box of Fiocchie. From what I've been reading the European brands have given more people light strikes over the years so I'll try these two. Yikes ! the price of store bot ammo these days... $18 plus homage per box is insane. Guy said its going up next month again. Went to 3 stores and from the looks of the shelves people are stocking up already.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 125JHP View Post
thanks... I've picked up some of that head stamp at the range recently so someone is shooting it - I'll look around locally but isn't Chinese ammunition still banned from import? If so then this is probably someones old stash being shot up and I doubt it is readily available - BTW its Norinco from what I looked up on the cartridge collectors forum.
I think Chinese ammo is still banned from importation. Earlier
9mm ball ammo from China was headstamped Norinco or 9mm
Para and sometimes came in boxes marked Chinasports. The
primers were not as hard, bullets were more pointed and velocity was a bit less than ammo produced in the 90s. Ammo
produced in 93-94 seemed to more closely resemble US 9mm
ball and ran about 1200 fps in typical barrel lengths. And
yeah, some of us decided it was good ammo at very good
prices and laid in a goodly stash.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankyoldlady View Post
MagTech seems to have hard primers. Just my experience.

Me, too... As well as Fiocchi and S&B. Euro primers seem to need a good whack before they light, and I've seen this with some of their surplus rifle ammo in 7.62x51.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:50 PM
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I recently loaded up a bunch of various 38, 380 & 9mm test loads using magtech primers and shot them in about 10 different guns (including the P290) and didn't have any misfires at all. Went thru a good portion of 1000 primers.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:35 AM
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I load most all of the revolver rounds I fire but I shoot factory shells
in some calibers. In the .380 and 12 ga factory rounds I fire, Remington
ammo shows smaller primer indentations than other brands.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:23 PM
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Took the P290 out to the desert with several brands ammo including S&B, Fiocchi, Amer,Eagle, Blazer Brass and Federal.

All of it fired without any problems. For the moment, I will assume the light strike issues I was having with it was with the Olympic ammo which has been known to FTF by many others, and not the gun.

For those interested, the chrono results showed that 115gr S&B and Fiocchi are no hotter than run of the mill US brands such as Federal Champion and Blazer Brass, with American Eagle consistently 30-40fps faster than all of them in a variety of guns.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:37 PM
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speer usualy has fairly hard primers for reloading so I would assume their loaded ammo uses the same primers. Federal is known for having soft primers if that helps.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:07 AM
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Well... since i didn't have any problems with the S&B and Fiocchi I loaded up some test rounds using Small Rifle primers. I loaded 10 each of a mid-range load using Wolf SR, Winchester SR, Remington 6 1/2 SR and CCI 400 SR. I figured this would show me for sure if the Sig has any problems with hard primers. I also figured I could chrono them and see if they are any hotter than with regular SP primers.

I tested them today and all except 2 went bang. One Winchester and One Remington have a very light dimple. Surprisingly all of the CCI fired. I know this probably isn't a large enough sample set but it seems to indicate the gun has intermittent issues.

Also of interest... if any of you read my 'pimply primers' thread, almost every one of them (except the Wolf copper cups) exhibited the same look as I was asking about in that post, so I think they may be related. Looks like this gun will be going back to Sig for the 5th time.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:46 AM
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I use about four different types of primers. Of those that I have used here is the order of hardness.

CCI 34 and 41 (mil type primers) are the hardest
CCI standard primers like 500 are next hardest
Winchester (LP, SP, LR, and SR) are next softest
Federal Primers are the softest that I have used.

Actually, I have never had any real performance issues with any of these as far as light strike failures. The only ones that I am really picky about are the CCI hard military primers. I always use those in MIlitary semi-auto rifles to avoid slamfire issues. I have actually had slam fires using Wincheser LR and SR in several semi-autos.

I do notice that the Federals are the easiest to seat in tight primer pockets. I have some trouble seating CCI in some pistol brass.

During the days when primers were hard to find I tried alot of different brands but I try to not do much of that once I have developed load combinations that I like.

I don't own any Glocks but some of the guys that load for them seem to prefer the soft Federal primers for reliability.
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