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Old 07-18-2011, 10:09 AM
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Default Standard Primers in .357 Mag?

I load for several rifles and a couple of handguns.....mostly .45ACP and some .38 Special.

I recently loaded up 50 rds of .357 Mag, and used the Winchester Small Primers I normally would use for the .38. I realize now that I should probably be using Magnum Small Pistol primers in the .357.....

Any comments or experience on this issue?

Thanks
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:15 AM
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The use of magnum primers depends on the powder you are using, most loads will do okay with standard small pistol primers, but some of the slow burning powders (HS6, 296, etc.)do better with magnum primers. Most reloading manuals indicate when to use magnum primers.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sps282 View Post
The use of magnum primers depends on the powder you are using, most loads will do okay with standard small pistol primers, but some of the slow burning powders (HS6, 296, etc.)do better with magnum primers. Most reloading manuals indicate when to use magnum primers.
Absolutely correct. The fact it is a magnum has no bearing on what primer you use. Slow ball powders work best w/ magnum powders. The only powders I have used that requires a mag primer IMO is H110/W296.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sps282 View Post
The use of magnum primers depends on the powder you are using, most loads will do okay with standard small pistol primers, but some of the slow burning powders (HS6, 296, etc.)do better with magnum primers. Most reloading manuals indicate when to use magnum primers.
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Absolutely correct. The fact it is a magnum has no bearing on what primer you use. Slow ball powders work best w/ magnum powders. The only powders I have used that requires a mag primer IMO is H110/W296.


SPS, welcome to the forum. You and fred are exactly right. Powder dependent. HS-6, a great ball powder, has got to have magnum primers even if you use it in a "special" cartridge.

Powder!
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:10 PM
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Standard primers with 2400. Magnum with H110.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by andyo5 View Post
Standard primers with 2400. Magnum with H110.
+1 that's the two combination's I use as well.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:52 PM
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FWIW, I read a Skeeter Skelton article many years back wherein he was talking about using non magnum primers for magnum cartridges.

In the article he outlined the more consistent burn and lower pressure when using non magnum primers.

I took his advice and tried it and never looked back, this was over 20 years ago.

I exclusively use W296/H110, so not to throw a wrench in the works, non magnum primers reliably ignite W296/H110 in magnum loads. I haven't had a squib yet.

44mag and 357mag BTW.

Big no-no with W296/H110 is reduced charges and IMO this is what leads to squibs, not the primers.

No unburned powder and very accurate rounds.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:06 PM
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Not very long ago someone posted a chart that showed the difference in PSI between primers. If I recall it was not a whole lot of difference between regular and Mag. Now if that has anything to due with ignition, I don't know.

If you look at Hodgdons data online, they use a Mag primer for everything in a Mag cartridge. I asked them about this and they stated it was just to keep everything consistent. For example they use a Mag primer when loading 357 with HP 38.

Why is 2400 a non mag primer and H110 is? Way are Win Large pistol Primers OK for regular and Mag and CCI's are not? I wonder if these Wolf Primers I use are hot enough?

Oh so many variables.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:05 PM
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Using non-magnum primers with H110/W296 is asking for trouble. Sure you might do it your whole life and never have an issue, but it's not the correct method. H110/W296 should never be downloaded more than 3% and should always be touched off by magnum primers.

2400 is easily ignited by a standard primer and requires no additional help to burn. In fact Alliant specifically recommends standard primers with this powder. H110/W296 is slower, more finicky about ignition, and requires the extra flash from a magnum primer to burn reliably.

WLP primers for standard and magnum loads are a bit of an anomaly. Winchester primers are generally hotter in all variations, and testing probably made the manufacturer confident enough to promote them for standard and magnum use. Personally I use Federal magnum match primers for my big bore handgun loads.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:07 PM
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Thanks for the feedback......

I loaded this 50 with W231....also have some H110 on hand.

George
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:36 PM
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I use a lot of Accurate Arms powders, and read years ago that their powders are specifically designed to NOT require magnum primers. Now: having said that, I shoot AA 8700 in my 7 RM, and I do use a Federal 215 because of the heavy graphite coating on that powder. But other than that,no mag primers period, over about 30 years of rolling my own... And yes, that included some H110. Matter of fact, what I am shooting now is WC 820, and I will bet my life it is either AA #9 or Winchester 296. At any rate, it burns just fine with standard primers.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vartarg View Post
Thanks for the feedback......

I loaded this 50 with W231....also have some H110 on hand.

George
Well with W 231/ HP 38 (same powder) you are fine. They do not require a Mag primer even though Hodgdon "tested" the loads with a Mag primers.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vartarg View Post
Thanks for the feedback......

I loaded this 50 with W231....also have some H110 on hand.

George
Like already said, the .357 Magnum ammo you made with W231 is perfectly fine with a standard primer. If you decided to load .357 Magnum ammo using H110/W296 I highly recommend you use a Magnum primer and a stiff crimp. Also, don't download H110/W296 more than 3% below the Max recommended charge. It doesn't play well with light loads but it's a great powder in full pressure loads for sure...
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:50 PM
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I use whatever I can find. When the primer shortage was in full swing, I bought CCI Mag. pistol primers for my 44 Special. Now using them up with 5 grs. Bullseye and jacketed or plated 240 gr. bullets. Here is the real question: what is the difference in rifle benchrest primers vs. standard? Beats me, I sure can't tell.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:54 PM
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"Benchrest" primers are supposedly made by workers on the line who have displayed exceptional consistency in their batches. There is little difference between them and standard, but I do use BR-2 and Federal Match with good results.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coaltminer View Post
Here is the real question: what is the difference in rifle benchrest primers vs. standard? Beats me, I sure can't tell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon88 View Post
"Benchrest" primers are supposedly made by workers on the line who have displayed exceptional consistency in their batches. There is little difference between them and standard, but I do use BR-2 and Federal Match with good results.
That's just about it, the workers on the Benchrest line are "better workers" from what I hear too.

Now an even better question... Considering there are really no differences between the standard primers and the benchrest primers why do the benchrest primers cost at least 50% more!!!??? CCI200 primers are $30/1000, CCI #34 NATO primers are $33/1000 and CCI BR-2 primers are $46/1000... That's ridiculous!!!
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:31 AM
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Anything with "Benchrest" on it is going to bring a premium. And I pay a lot less than that for BR-2s.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
Also, don't download H110/W296 more than 3% below the Max recommended charge. It doesn't play well with light loads but it's a great powder in full pressure loads for sure...
That's interesting, because Hodgdon's load data website shows a starting load of 15gr and a max of 16.7gr for H110 w/158gr bulllets.....that's a starting load 11% below the max.

I've long used the Hodgdon site for rifle loading, and am wondering how your and other posters' comments about not reducing loads more than 3% from Max jive with Hodgdon's data?

Thanks,

George
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:15 AM
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Directly from Hodgdon's website:

Quote:
For those loads listed where a starting load is not shown, start 10% below the suggested maximum load and then approach maximums carefully, watching for any sign of pressure (difficult extraction, cratered and flattened or blown primers, and unusual recoil). H110 and Winchester 296 loads should not be reduced more than 3%.

Reduce H110 and Winchester 296 loads 3% and work up from there. H110 and Winchester 296 if reduced too much will cause inconsistent ignition. In some cases it will lodge a bullet in the barrel, causing a hazardous situation (Barrel Obstruction). This may cause severe personal injury or death to users or bystanders. DO NOT REDUCE H110 LOADS BY MORE THAN 3%.
Where Hodgdon is able to pressure test the loads, they may list lower starting charges. But where you are reducing on your own, they tell you 3%. For most cartridges that's not even one grain. They just want to make it very clear, do not download H110/W296 like you would another powder.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon88 View Post
Directly from Hodgdon's website:



Where Hodgdon is able to pressure test the loads, they may list lower starting charges. But where you are reducing on your own, they tell you 3%. For most cartridges that's not even one grain. They just want to make it very clear, do not download H110/W296 like you would another powder.
Thank you for answering that question and saving me the search for that data you quoted.

Vartarg,
You have the answer and it was well written...

I know it's a little confusing but that's what Hodgdon is telling us...
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:31 AM
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I used standard pistol primers for the last 20 years and have not had any problems with Win 296 in 357 mag or 44 mag. YMMV
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