Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-12-2017, 10:44 PM
Alk8944's Avatar
Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sandy Utah
Posts: 6,319
Likes: 674
Liked 3,914 Times in 1,832 Posts
Default Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges

One recurring thread theme is use of Small Rifle Primers in pistol and revolver cartridges. Invariably there are several who opine that this will not work because rifle primers are thicker, harder, etc. and will invariably give high rates of failures to fire because everyone knows that handguns don't have the hammer/striker energy to fire them reliably. BS!

For many years I have used SRP in some cartridges as a matter of course with no issues. I have chronographed hundreds of rounds of ammunition loaded identically except for use of SP, SPM and SRP, with the result being that there is no more variation in velocity that would be normally experienced with succeeding batches of ammunition. There is virtually no difference in performance!

Just out of curiosity tonight I loaded a few primed cases with CCI Small Rifle Primers in .380 brass just to confirm whether or not you could get reliable ignition in a striker fired .380 with SRP. In this case fired in a Belgian Browning Pocket. 5 rounds were fired and the primers are shown below. Do any of you honestly believe that the firing pin impression in any of these is marginal in the least way? I am looking for those who have real-life personal experience doing this, not stories of what you have heard, read, believe without evidence, etc.

Here are the pictures:
Attached Thumbnails
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges-srp-380-jpg   Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges-srp-380-2-jpg  
__________________
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961

Last edited by Alk8944; 03-12-2017 at 11:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #2  
Old 03-12-2017, 11:47 PM
Bkreutz's Avatar
Bkreutz Bkreutz is offline
US Veteran
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Shoreline, WA
Posts: 5,035
Likes: 1,557
Liked 4,770 Times in 1,992 Posts
Default

I think the pistol being used and the brand of primers has a lot to do with it. I tried some S&B small rifle primers and couldn't get them to light. I had cartridges with 3 dents on the primer cup and they wouldn't go off. I read the description on the box (in Czech, thanks to the Army, I could read it ) and it said primers for Kalashnikov, They worked great in my AR, I figured they were about equal to CCI #41 primers. I've not had problem with CCI #400 SRP or Winchester small rifle. I sold the 10K S&B small rifle primers to a friend who does 3 gun. Everyone was happy
__________________
Minimize the variables
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 03-13-2017, 01:36 AM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,458
Likes: 2
Liked 1,070 Times in 596 Posts
Default

It may work, but, from a curious perspective, what is the point of doing this?
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 03-13-2017, 01:47 AM
4barrel's Avatar
4barrel 4barrel is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: OVER the hill in TEJAS
Posts: 1,542
Likes: 8,406
Liked 2,319 Times in 956 Posts
Default

Rifle primers are harder or thicker. Read my chart. The bottom of this page tells all since 2009. When I got to the top end of powder charges I started to blow holes in the pistol primer. The case looked good and the primer wasnt flat but the hot load and bullets were doing their thing. Rifle primers were the fix for this 357 rifle load.
Attached Thumbnails
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges-dsc03880-jpg  

Last edited by 4barrel; 03-20-2017 at 09:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #5  
Old 03-13-2017, 03:27 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
US Veteran
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: New Iberia, Louisiana
Posts: 3,526
Likes: 20,172
Liked 2,052 Times in 1,142 Posts
Default

Have a Marlin in 357 magnum and always used small pistol primers. Loaded 10 rounds with small rifle primers. Could not get any of them to fire. My old colt trooper III had no problem igniting them. Back to regular small pistol primers. Frank
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-13-2017, 03:44 AM
ArchAngelCD's Avatar
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeast PA, USA
Posts: 5,368
Likes: 266
Liked 1,737 Times in 1,060 Posts
Default

Real life, on my one instance did I use SRP in place of SPP.

Back in the shortage before the 2008 shortage I ran short on SPP so I loaded a full box of SRP (1000) in .38 Special and 9mm cases and I got zero failures.
__________________
Freedom is never free!!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:19 AM
Road_Clam Road_Clam is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 225
Likes: 33
Liked 128 Times in 71 Posts
Default

The reloading manuals recommend LRP's for the 460 S&W mag pistol cartridge. Some reloaders take it even further by choosing to use LRMP's.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:45 AM
glenwolde's Avatar
glenwolde glenwolde is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: East Texas
Posts: 580
Likes: 403
Liked 718 Times in 283 Posts
Default

I've fired a few thousand, but all in .38 Special so I can't speak to anything else. When I get around to it I have a couple of guns I can think of to try them in. One is also a striker fired .380 and then I have a Springfield 1911 in 9mm that has always been reliable but doesn't make much of a primer impression.

The question is not so much whether they are, or are not, harder but does it make ignition unreliable.

If an 18oz hammer swung at full force will punch a hole in 1/2" sheetrock, will it punch a hole is 5/8" sheetrock?

You might find a gun with marginal firing pin force where it would be a problem. Kind of like, in the scenario above, if I gave the hammer to my four year old grandson. You'd find somebody who punched a hole in the 1/2" who couldn't in the 5/8". But it is likely a small sample.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:51 AM
patrickd patrickd is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 415
Likes: 342
Liked 444 Times in 202 Posts
Default

I've done it without issue, but if you try it with small capacity cartridges like the 380 and 9mm be sure to not be loading near max charges of powder. Not only are rifle primer cups thicker, the priming compound is also considerably hotter. Using rifle primers along with a max load can elevate pressures above SAMMI specs. Those two cartridges are very sensitive to pressure changes. Due to the small volume capacity of the case it doesn't take much at all to push them past rated specs pressure wise.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:00 AM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

I have used Small Rifle primers in handgun calibers since the late 1960s and have never experienced a problem. Some years ago I did an experiment in making up identical .38 Special loads, differing only in the use of SRPs and SPPs, and firing them in my K-38 over a chronograph. No difference noted in either grouping or MV. The only caution would be that some handguns may not have enough firing pin energy for reliable ignition, so that needs to be determined. But I have not experienced that happening.

Now, to the question of why. Two reasons - first, it simplifies your component inventory if you are also reloading any cartridges using a SRP. Second, in times of panic and stress, as we went through several times during the last administration, SRPs are often more available in dealer stock than SPPs. At the very least, it provides another supply option in the event of future hoarding events.

BTW, a couple of weeks ago I got a real deal on a carton of Magnum SR primers. I loaded some up in .38 Super cases to see if there were any problems, and fired 20 rounds without any misfires. I could never see much need for MSR primers. but they must have some purpose or they wouldn't be made.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-13-2017 at 10:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:01 AM
Mistered Mistered is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Wickiup Junction, OR
Posts: 756
Likes: 11
Liked 971 Times in 397 Posts
Default

Currently using up a brick of some old stock CCI SRPs in 38/357 - no issues.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:55 AM
FWP FWP is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE PA
Posts: 34
Likes: 31
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Default

There is a difference but it depends on the manufacturer. I think primers made in the US are less likely to be a problem.

Primers made in other countries can be a problem. Recently I had a few hundred rounds of Egyptian Military 9mm ammo. It was manufactured for sub guns. It would not fire in a pistol but worked fine in a 9mm MAC.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:00 AM
FWP FWP is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE PA
Posts: 34
Likes: 31
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Default

I think we might need a test of pistol primers in long gun ammo. I can see two possible issues. Are they hot enough for reliable ignition and is the primer cap thick enough to prevent puncture.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:18 AM
M29since14 M29since14 is offline
SWCA Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8,309
Likes: 3,208
Liked 4,170 Times in 2,156 Posts
Default

Many years ago I used a pack of small rifle primers to load some .38 Special cartridges. As I was cleaning up and putting things away I discovered the mistake. Wanting to take no chances with my S&Ws, I asked a friend to test a few in his Ruger .357.

After firing a few in the Blackhawk, we tried them in my K38. No problems. Like the OP, since then I have tested small rifle primers in .38s in various guns, and over the chronograph, and never had the first failure to fire, or any other problems.

In my case, the primers were Federal 205s. I can't give advice on this to others but I will say that since that "discovery" I have never hesitated to keep a few thousand more small rifle primers around than I think I might need for rifle shooting.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:27 AM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FWP View Post
I think we might need a test of pistol primers in long gun ammo. I can see two possible issues. Are they hot enough for reliable ignition and is the primer cap thick enough to prevent puncture.
Not a good idea. Pistol primers, for the most part, have thinner cups and are not intended to handle the higher chamber pressures of full CF rifle loads with smokeless powder. So there is the danger of cup failure unless you are talking about very light CF rifle loadings. Conversely, LR primers are a bit longer than LP primers, and usually cannot be seated flush with the case head in pistol cases as the primer pocket is not deep enough. I think the .460 and .500 primer pockets are a bit deeper to accommodate LRPs.

I shoot 9x23mm Winchester, which is one of the higher pressure handgun loads. SRPs must be used in reloading it for safety.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-13-2017, 11:26 AM
Fishslayer's Avatar
Fishslayer Fishslayer is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego, PRK
Posts: 7,985
Likes: 8,361
Liked 8,812 Times in 3,080 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
It may work, but, from a curious perspective, what is the point of doing this?
During the Great Primer Drought of '09, as well a other times, SPP could be impossible to find. SRP are a suitable substitute.
__________________
you can keep your gun. Period.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 03-13-2017, 11:57 AM
Vulcan Bob's Avatar
Vulcan Bob Vulcan Bob is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: central pa
Posts: 5,242
Likes: 2,338
Liked 2,283 Times in 1,104 Posts
Default

My one use of a small rifle primer in handguns is with my M&P 32-20. After a frustrating time trying to come up with a accurate load using Rainier's 100gr bullet I found a load using the CCI 450 as the primer that would shoot acceptable groups. Goes boom every time so ignition is not a problem in this combo.
__________________
Stay safe people!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-13-2017, 02:52 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: In The Woods Of S.C.
Posts: 3,533
Likes: 2,864
Liked 3,580 Times in 1,383 Posts
Default

For a long time I've been using S&B SRP's in 32/38/357 since they are about $9.00 cheaper than WW or Rem.......They have worked flawlessly in J frames & K frames.........No big deal........
__________________
S&W Accumulator
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-13-2017, 03:23 PM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: IA
Posts: 896
Likes: 218
Liked 683 Times in 366 Posts
Default

The rifle primers should work in any gun with a 100% fully functional hammer or striker. If your gun wonít light off the rifle primers I'd be concerned that some thing is possibly wrong because its probably on the verge of not striking the pistol primers not hard enough. I wonder if you could lighten the mainspring on a S&W revolver to the point where it would reliably ignite the pistol primers but not reliably ignite the rifle primers?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-13-2017, 03:35 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,458
Likes: 2
Liked 1,070 Times in 596 Posts
Default

I'll not disparage anyone for their primer selection, though I'll continue to use those recommended for the particular application. I keep thinking there is a legitimate reason the manufacturer made such a recommendation, but perhaps it is a marketing ploy.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-13-2017, 05:32 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

Regardless of the reason, SRPs are a practical substitute for SPPs. I am approaching 50 years of their use. For some calibers I don't load often, such as .32 ACP and .380 ACP, I do use SPPs. But for .32-20, .38 Special, .357, 9mm, .38 Super, and 9x23mm Win, it's always SRPs. The same SRPs I use for .223/5.56mm and .30 Carbine. I don't worry much about who makes them. In my case, usually Winchester or CCI.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:49 PM
Forrest r Forrest r is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 996
Likes: 15
Liked 846 Times in 382 Posts
Default

The only real difference I've ever noticed was when people used hard cupped sr primers in their 9mm semi-autos with mid-level loads. They tended to get circular erosion rings in the face of their slides from the hard primers not sealing the primer pockets with the mild loads and flame cutting the circle in the face of the slides.

I tend to use the 9mm's as a dumping ground for any/all old or cheap primers when I make blammo/range ammo for them. Bit I do keep the loads on the higher/hotter side. Old sp mag primers, sr primers, sp primers, they all go bang in the 9mm's.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-13-2017, 11:09 PM
wrangler5 wrangler5 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,084
Likes: 2
Liked 571 Times in 330 Posts
Default

Rumor has it that most if not all factory 327 Federal Magnum ammunition is made with small rifle primers. And in reloading discussions, you'll see recommendations to use small rifle primers if you're working at the upper end of loads with the 327. The theory is that the supposedly thicker cup material of a small rifle primer will better resist primer flow as you start to approach the 45,000 psi pressure limit of this round.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-13-2017, 11:24 PM
jrd1976 jrd1976 is offline
SWCA Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 681
Likes: 61
Liked 302 Times in 126 Posts
Default

I've only used SR instead of SP when loading 32WCF/32-20, which was originally a rifle cartridge.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-14-2017, 12:11 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

I started using SR primers because a friend at the time was a top-level competitive bullseye shooter. He always used SR primers in his .38 Special handloads. So I started doing it also.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 03-14-2017, 04:02 PM
Rock185's Avatar
Rock185 Rock185 is offline
US Veteran
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Great Southwest
Posts: 850
Likes: 6,483
Liked 949 Times in 370 Posts
Default

Alk, Real-life personal experience: My experience with small rifle primers in pistol cases, 9MM, 38 Super, 9X23 Winchester, mirrors yours. Never had a misfire or other issue in any semi-auto pistol, revolver or carbine using SRPs. I used SRPs to better resist flowing, cratering,etc. in high pressure loads. Sometimes chronographed velocities were a few FPS higher or lower, sometimes velocity spreads greater or less than small pistol primers,etc. But that's it.
__________________
NRA Life, COTEP 640
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 03-15-2017, 12:17 AM
Alk8944's Avatar
Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sandy Utah
Posts: 6,319
Likes: 674
Liked 3,914 Times in 1,832 Posts
Default

Now there have been a few replies let's clarify some points. First, notice that everyone who has a reasonable degree of experience, not just tried it once, using SRP in place of SPP indicates their experience mirrors mine.

The CCI SRP was used as they have a "reputation" for being a harder primer. Whether they are or not is arguable when comparing lot-to-lot. Any gun that has a problem lighting any primer has a problem that should be addressed. Usually someone tinkered with it to lighten the trigger pull.

A striker fired pistol was used since they supposedly have lower firing pin energies than revolvers or hammer fired pistols. The photos were posted to demonstrate that striker/firing pin energy in at least this Browning is fully adequate. I am surprised no one even mentioned this!

The old saw that changing primers can radically change pressure of a specific load is easily disproved by the use of the chronograph. Overly cautious wording of loading manuals notwithstanding that give such dire warnings are fully disproved by the fact that with identical loads the different primers give statistically equal velocities! Same load, same velocity, same pressure, just that simple. Ask any engineer in any of the ballistics labs and if pressed for a straight answer they will tell you the same thing!

Finally some anecdotal evidence. Several years ago a member of this forum made a claim that he knew a woman who worked at CCI and had access to engineering data for their primers. He said he had asked her directly if there was any difference in cup hardness, thickness, pellet weight or composition among the various primers of the same size, (presumably small). He stated that the answer he had received was that there was no difference, they were identical except for packaging! I have no recollection who it was. Perhaps if he sees this he would be so good as to confirm his statements! Why are different primers sold? Because people expect there to be specialization and would shy away from any manufacturer who simply sold "Small Primers" for any use while others made "specialized primers" for specific applications. Look at how many question Winchester for making only one Large Pistol primer for both standard and magnum cartridges! They can't believe this can work. Perhaps the greatest difference in primers is found in the expectation of handloaders, and not in the actual manufactured product!
__________________
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 03-15-2017, 10:38 AM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

This is a book no longer in print (and usually priced accordingly if you find a copy), but George Frost's "Making Ammunition" provides an enormous amount of data and information about primer manufacture in Chapter VI. Frost spent his entire life in the ammunition industry (mainly at Western and CCI), and it is doubtful if anyone knew more than he.

The book was originally published by the NRA in 1990, and I have often wondered why it has not been re-printed as it contains so much useful information about all things ammunition-related.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 03-15-2017, 11:19 AM
flintsghost's Avatar
flintsghost flintsghost is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Frostbite Falls
Posts: 838
Likes: 42
Liked 453 Times in 191 Posts
Default

Many years ago when IPSC shooters started using the .38 Super and were making major caliber with it, they thought that using SRP's in their super rounds gave hotter ignition of the powder and would help make major caliber ranking. That's more of a myth than fact, but it caught on and so lots of top competitive IPSC people did that. This was in the late 70's and very early 80's. Having the .38 Super make major caliber allowed the top competitive shooters to have a gun that gave less recoil than a .45 for faster shot to shot recovery during a stage.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 03-16-2017, 07:31 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 996
Likes: 15
Liked 846 Times in 382 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
Now there have been a few replies let's clarify some points. First, notice that everyone who has a reasonable degree of experience, not just tried it once, using SRP in place of SPP indicates their experience mirrors mine.

The CCI SRP was used as they have a "reputation" for being a harder primer. Whether they are or not is arguable when comparing lot-to-lot. Any gun that has a problem lighting any primer has a problem that should be addressed. Usually someone tinkered with it to lighten the trigger pull.

A striker fired pistol was used since they supposedly have lower firing pin energies than revolvers or hammer fired pistols. The photos were posted to demonstrate that striker/firing pin energy in at least this Browning is fully adequate. I am surprised no one even mentioned this!

The old saw that changing primers can radically change pressure of a specific load is easily disproved by the use of the chronograph. Overly cautious wording of loading manuals notwithstanding that give such dire warnings are fully disproved by the fact that with identical loads the different primers give statistically equal velocities! Same load, same velocity, same pressure, just that simple. Ask any engineer in any of the ballistics labs and if pressed for a straight answer they will tell you the same thing!

Finally some anecdotal evidence. Several years ago a member of this forum made a claim that he knew a woman who worked at CCI and had access to engineering data for their primers. He said he had asked her directly if there was any difference in cup hardness, thickness, pellet weight or composition among the various primers of the same size, (presumably small). He stated that the answer he had received was that there was no difference, they were identical except for packaging! I have no recollection who it was. Perhaps if he sees this he would be so good as to confirm his statements! Why are different primers sold? Because people expect there to be specialization and would shy away from any manufacturer who simply sold "Small Primers" for any use while others made "specialized primers" for specific applications. Look at how many question Winchester for making only one Large Pistol primer for both standard and magnum cartridges! They can't believe this can work. Perhaps the greatest difference in primers is found in the expectation of handloaders, and not in the actual manufactured product!
Sneaky!!! Setting people up for failure.

I'm glad you brought up cci primers. They are an excellent example for discussion. The parent company owns both cci and federal. Now we have 2 different primer mfg's made by the same parent company to discuss. It now becomes:
1. Should I put all my eggs in 1 basket and make the same primers for everything?
2. When raw material comes into the plant should I use as much of the same product as possible or order/buy lesser amounts for specific products?

The 2nd question is the easiest to answer. If a machine is setup to run a specific product then a company will use that product for everything they can.


I see no reason for either federal or cci to not use the same materials for their small pistol primers. As you can clearly see cci and federal choose to use different thickness of materials for their primers. Note that the federal standard primer is made with the thinnest material of the 2 companies. That's important!!!!

Question #1 goes to the heart of the question about primers. Why would anyone with the ability to be a major player in the reloading industry with 2 different brands put out the same product when they can corner the market with 2 different products???

Making the same product doesn't make since from a business standpoint.

federal vs cci primers:
Anyone with a revolver that has a strain screw can test primer hardness. Simply back the screw off and hit the loud button. Eventually 1 brand of primer will go bang and the other brand will not. For some odd reason the cci primers quit making noise long before the federal primers. It's been that way for decades in my ppc revolver. Every time I've tried to use cci primers and hit the loud button, nothing happens. Yup, federal gold/match primers for the ppc revolver.


Well enyone that can read can clearly see that the federal primers a 1/1000th's of an inch thinner than the cci primers. But does it stop there???

Absolutely not!!!
There's this thing called material hardness, don't know if you've ever ordered any rolls of sheet metal. But they ask dumb questions like do you want that roll dead soft, 1/4 hard, 1/2 hard or a specific hardness.

Well here we go again:
Why would a major player in the reloading/munitions industry that has 2 extremely large company's put all their eggs in 1 basket and produce the same products???
They wouldn't!!!
Things like federal 223rem brass is soft and I don't get as many reloads out of them as other brands.
I use federal primers in my tuned revolvers because they go bang and other brands don't.
Federal 22lr brass is a lot softer than cci 22lr brass.

These common themes keep popping up on the innerweb every day. Don't think that the federal 22lr brass is softer than cci/rem/ww/aguila/rws/eley? Try making these with 22lr brass, you'll find out real quick.


The federal cases take less force to turn into jackets and have less springback. They end up taking a push rod that's 1/1000th's less than the other brands to form them into jackets. Ya there's that 1/100th's thing again!!! If you don't use a smaller push rod the federal jackets will stick to the rod and their a pain to take off.

The question becomes:
Why would federal order rolls of sheet brass that are of 1 hardness to duplicate what cci is doing for primers. And order another/softer roll of softer brass to form their shell casings with???

Some say all sr/sp are the same and that it's the reloaders expectations.

I say when you use a firearm that can't tell the difference, it doesn't matter.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #31  
Old 03-16-2017, 08:41 AM
snowman snowman is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rural NW Ohio
Posts: 2,735
Likes: 2,779
Liked 1,194 Times in 639 Posts
Default

Thank you for that excellent post, Forrest. Many of us are aware of the same reality, but haven't done the testing, as you clearly have, to prove it.

Regards,
Andy
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 03-16-2017, 03:01 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

I did see something at some website that the primer manufacturers will not comment on differences among various brands regarding ignition efficiency and what some mistakenly call "Hardness" (when they really mean firing pin impact sensitivity). From personal knowledge of what Winchester, Federal, and Remington do in the way of determining primer impact sensitivity for QC purposes, they all do almost exactly the same tests using an identical laboratory drop test. This involves placing a primed case (or something similar) in a fixture with a firing pin, then dropping a steel ball on the firing pin from various heights (called a "run-down" test) to determine a "critical height" (H-bar) which is the drop height of a specific ball (usually two ounces or four ounces, depending upon the primer type) which on average will produce a 50% probability of firing or not firing. Mathematical (actually statistical) calculations are performed to determine the "all fire" and "no fire" heights.

In the case of handgun cartridges, those using small primers usually have no-fire heights of around 1" and all-fire heights around 11". Those using large primers are around 2" and 16" respectively using a two ounce steel ball. What this really means is that H-bar for small pistol primers is a little less than that for large pistol primers (normally around 4.5" for small primers and 6" for large primers).
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 03-16-2017, 05:23 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida, NRA CERT RSO
Posts: 19,066
Likes: 8,112
Liked 10,523 Times in 4,894 Posts
Default

Below is a excerpt of a e mail I wrote to CCI on rifle primers.

So it seems these are different but "apparently" all the others are the same


"below you will find the primer differences. "

Large rifle primers
CCI-200............................ standard mix, standard cup, and standard anvil.
CCI-250............................ Magnum primer, Mag primer mix, thick cup, standard anvil.
BR2.................................... thick cup, standard priming mix held to a tighter tolerance, standard anvil.


So they are really not harder primers, just a thicker c

Make Every Shot Count!
Justin M.
2299 Snake River Ave.
Lewiston, ID 83501
CCI/Speer
(800)379-1732

__________________
This space for rent.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #34  
Old 03-18-2017, 07:54 AM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 730
Likes: 45
Liked 320 Times in 152 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
I'm glad you brought up cci primers. They are an excellent example for discussion. The parent company owns both cci and federal. Now we have 2 different primer mfg's made by the same parent company to discuss.
While I don't disagree with the sentiments expressed in this post, I want to point out that just because a company "owns" two different brand that it means both brands are made in the same factory.

It's much more likely they are made in different factories, originally CCI and Federal, on the same equipment each used with the same materials and components. Just because one company bought another company does not mean they throw out all the tooling and machinery and buy new to match the parent company.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 03-18-2017, 04:57 PM
smithrjd smithrjd is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CA
Posts: 419
Likes: 20
Liked 240 Times in 111 Posts
Default

I have never used srp in a handgun before, that is until I got Model 53 (22 Remington Jet) I was surprised that several loads showed srp instead of spp. No issues with ignition so far.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 03-19-2017, 12:59 AM
ArchAngelCD's Avatar
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeast PA, USA
Posts: 5,368
Likes: 266
Liked 1,737 Times in 1,060 Posts
Default

ATK and the sub-division Vista Outdoors owns Federal, Speer, CCI, Blazer, Bushnell, Outters, Hoppes, Weaver, RCBS, Alliant Powders and dozens of others. ATK runs their acquisitions as wholly owned subsidiaries.

CCI and Federal primers are not made in the same factory that i know of. They do however support their businesses like using Speer bullets in their Aliiant load data and the like.
__________________
Freedom is never free!!
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 03-20-2017, 09:00 AM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,197
Likes: 2
Liked 12,977 Times in 7,271 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
ATK and the sub-division Vista Outdoors owns Federal, Speer, CCI, Blazer, Bushnell, Outters, Hoppes, Weaver, RCBS, Alliant Powders and dozens of others. ATK runs their acquisitions as wholly owned subsidiaries.

CCI and Federal primers are not made in the same factory that i know of. They do however support their businesses like using Speer bullets in their Aliiant load data and the like.
When I was working with both CCI and Federal on ammunition development over 10 years ago, each had separate primer production. But I had understood that the manufacturing technology was much the same. I was more familiar with Federal's procedures as we were working on lead-free primer development, and I spent a lot of time on the Federal primer manufacturing line.

Back then, Federal was doing a lot of farm-out work for the Army's Lake City AAP (also operated by ATK) loading M80 Ball 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition in LC cases. So they keep everything in the family.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 06-30-2018, 06:20 PM
nitro-express nitro-express is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I just did some testing today, loading smaoll rifle primers in the 357 Magnum, cowboy loads. They run about 800 fps, a 132 cast bullet and some Universal. I've tested this load, somewhat extensively, and experienced some unexpected results. With this load, different brands of SP and SPM primers produce varied results. The brand of brass makes a difference as well.

It is fairly common knowledge that a CCI SP Magnum primer is the same as a standard small rifle primer. Of course the SR magnum CCI has a bit thicker cup and I assume more compound, so I don't see the wherefore of using it in a pistol cartridge. Most small rifle primers use a pretty soft cup, and they go fairly flat when the pressure is up there.

I was gifted 900 small rifle primers, Dominion brand, made in Russia. I wanted to see what the numbers would be like in the 357 mag with my cowboy load. In federal brass they ran Vel/av=804, Es=30.12, Sd=8.54. In R-P brass, the velocity was lower and the stats were at least double.

With the small amount of powder and the lowish pressure ignition is precarious to say the least. It seems to have a lot to do with the shape of the cartridge floor and the punch ring left from making the primer.

Bottom line, if you are wanting to use SR primers, I think they should be similar to a small pistol magnum primer. I would think most SR primers would be "hotter" than a standard small pistol primer. I wouldn't just willy-nilly switch primers on any top load, and I would chrono to check their performance.

Primers make more of a difference on starting, or low pressure loads than when you get up in pressure. Speer manual mentions this.

Getting magnums to shoot cowboy loads is a real challenge, luckily the targets are big, and close. Typical CAS loads are app 750 fps for pistol. Some shoot ammo loaded even slower. I've heard some load a 90 gr bullet in the 357 with no powder, just a SPM primer for about 500 fps. That is not something I've done, and it requires some flash hole work to make it function.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 06-30-2018, 06:26 PM
rwsmith's Avatar
rwsmith rwsmith is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 24,883
Likes: 29,811
Liked 21,435 Times in 10,427 Posts
Default Would you please list....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4barrel View Post
Rifle primers are harder or thicker. Read my chart. The bottom of this page tells all since 2009. When I got to the top end of powder charges I started to blow holes in the pistol primer. The case looked good and the primer wasnt flat but the hot load and bullets were doing their thing. Rifle primers were the fix for this 357 rifle load.
I can't make out the chart but I think the info is valuable. Could you just list what you found out, please. Thank you.
__________________
"He was kinda funny lookin'"
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 06-30-2018, 08:08 PM
Thomas15 Thomas15 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE PA
Posts: 250
Likes: 71
Liked 145 Times in 92 Posts
Default

If you go to the store and buy a S&W revolver even one that is a Performance Center model you can probably use any primer that will fit in the brass successfully.

However, imagine that you are one of a relatively small number of revolver shooters that compete on a regular basis, shoot DA only and purchase a Performance Center revolver and don't want to live with the 14 pound trigger S&W ships with the thing and want to take the trigger down below 8 pounds then you absolutely must use Federal SPP and you must seat those federals below flush.

It so happens that over the last 2 years Federal SPP have been in short supply. I personally was down to about 4000 of them and starting to worry when I found 10,000 which I purchased without hesitation. I say this as an individual that has 21,000 CCI SPP, 8,000 S&B SPP and 5,000 Winchester SSP, if I ran out of Federals then I have two choices, take my triggers up (from about 6.5 pounds) to 8 pounds or I could stop shooting revolvers until I find more Federals. Believe me I have no great love of the Federal brand and they are the most expensive and difficult to locate but having a 6 pound DA revolver trigger means federal primers period.


It's not because I'm lazy or dumb or a Federal fan boy. All of the top competitive revolver shooters and second/third tier competitors like me have one thing in common. They shoot their revolvers in Double Action only, handload their ammo and use federal SPP, seated below flush. It is my understanding that some competitive shooters that shoot auto-loaders with very light actions also must use federal SPP but that is not a argument I wish to have.
__________________
NRA Pistol & Reloading Instr.

Last edited by Thomas15; 06-30-2018 at 08:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 07-08-2018, 11:38 PM
bluetopper's Avatar
bluetopper bluetopper is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northeast TX
Posts: 820
Likes: 269
Liked 322 Times in 156 Posts
Default

When you increase the charges and you start blowing holes in pistol primers switch to rifle primers. Yes there's a difference. Be safe!

Last edited by bluetopper; 07-09-2018 at 07:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 07-09-2018, 07:06 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 996
Likes: 15
Liked 846 Times in 382 Posts
Default

Did some testing with hot 357 loads for the last couple weeks, 1 of the powders was H110. Used these primers to get consistent ignition from the H110.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 07-09-2018, 08:56 AM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Sneads Ferry NC
Posts: 434
Likes: 468
Liked 438 Times in 177 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
This is a book no longer in print (and usually priced accordingly if you find a copy), but George Frost's "Making Ammunition" provides an enormous amount of data and information about primer manufacture in Chapter VI. Frost spent his entire life in the ammunition industry (mainly at Western and CCI), and it is doubtful if anyone knew more than he.

The book was originally published by the NRA in 1990, and I have often wondered why it has not been re-printed as it contains so much useful information about all things ammunition-related.
Dwalt, I just ordered that book on your recommendation from Amazon. I paid 5.35 shipped. Very good condition. You were right. New is 50 dollars.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 07-09-2018, 10:48 AM
Cal44 Cal44 is offline
Member
Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges Small Rifle Primers in Pistol Cartridges  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,730
Likes: 3,491
Liked 3,894 Times in 1,286 Posts
Default

My limited experience with reloading was for a 454 Casull Freedom Arms model 83.

Back then (late 80's) the loading info I used specified small rifle primers.

But that round operates at magnum rifle pressures.

No problem with the CCI SRPs that I used, but I never tried SPPs.

I always assumed that FA recommend SRPs because of the high pressure.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Small rifle primers use in small pistol apps NJM15 Reloading 31 05-15-2014 09:14 AM
Mag Small Rifle Primers In pistol loads??? ryanjames170 Reloading 14 03-26-2013 05:31 AM
small rifle primers in a pistol round? Douglas Haig Reloading 25 05-13-2009 03:08 PM
small rifle primers need large pistol GSFLH05 Reloading 3 05-02-2009 08:28 PM
Ok what is the difference between Small Pistol and Small Rifle primers? dennis40x Reloading 24 03-09-2009 07:38 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:50 AM.


© S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2018
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)