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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On another forum, I saw a guy post that he uses small rifle primers in anything that has a small pocket, rifle or pistol. Anyone else do this and is it safe? In the days of empty shelves at the gunshops, would be nice to consolidate and use the least amount of components for many different things. Thanks
 

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Small rifle primers cups are generally harder than small pistol primer cups. They are intended for use in higher pressure (=rifle) cartridges. Rifles have a stronger firing pin strike, compared with most pistols. I would think you would get erratic-to-no ignition by using rifle primers in pistol rounds.
 

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Hello williedikker, I use small rifle primers for reloading the 30M1 Carbine for the Ruger BH. That is the correct primer per published data for that weapon.

I also use them for reloading the 32 H&R Mag when being fired out of a 10" T/C Contender.

Like firescout said, sm rifle primers are designed for higher pressue and heavier firing pin strike. I recall looking at a chart where the cup thickness of the different primer makers were listed. The thickest being the Rem 7 1/2 and the Fed 205M. Using some of the thinner cup'd primers COULD be do-able depending on the type and make of handgun. You'll just have to experiment. I wouldn't load "up to the nuts", keep them conservative while you're exploring. Good luck. JL
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The forum I was on was for Marlin 1894's so that would explain it, but he made it sound like he used them in his pistol loads also. Might mess around with them for the carbine sometime and see how it goes. Thanks
 

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OK, that gives me more info on your question. In a Marlin 1894, small primers means (to me) an 1894C .357 Mag/.38 Spl. As the 1894 has a hammer-powered firing pin, and not a coil spring/striker type (like bolt action rifle), I wouldn't recommend using small rifle primers.
But maybe this 1894C shooter has worked it out and has 100% primer ignition.

I have a 1894 in .44 Mag (as a pal for my Redhawk .44 Mag), and use only pistol primers for .44 Mag/Spl. loads.
 

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I believe the Marlin, along with any firearm chambered in 357 Mag, is designed to accept factory ammo, which in this case would be the small pistol size. The only way to find out about the small rifle size is to try it.
 

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You will be playing with different ignition impulses ( I probably just made that term up, or not?). Rifle powders have much different burn rates than pistol carterages that use small primers. I have heard/read that some of the .38 Super and 9X23 Winchester IPSC folks use small rifle primers to spark their very hot major loads.
 

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Most of this stuff is true enough, so far. At one time, I was using only Rem. small rifle bench rest primers for everything, and everything worked. Right now, I would be pretty confident that both of my Glocks would fire sm. rifle primers, just because they print very deep with pistol primers. The BIG stipulation is that you try it with a small run first. Assume that rifle primers will act like magnum primers, and start by reducing powder by 3% or so.
 

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The problem/question is , in the ruger .30 carbine (2 of them) S.R.P. have a tendency to missfire. They will fire if put in the M1 carbine afterward. That problem is cured by using S.P.P.s any thoughts . The load is mild 14.5 gr. IMR 4227.
 

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The problem/question is , in the ruger .30 carbine (2 of them) S.R.P. have a tendency to missfire. They will fire if put in the M1 carbine afterward. That problem is cured by using S.P.P.s any thoughts . The load is mild 14.5 gr. IMR 4227.
You might try Rem 6 1/2 SR primers. I believe they are a little softer and they are not rated for 223 pressures. They are rated for lower pressure rounds like the 22 Hornet and such. I am using them in my 30 Carbine Blackhawk.
 

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On another forum, I saw a guy post that he uses small rifle primers in anything that has a small pocket, rifle or pistol. Anyone else do this and is it safe? In the days of empty shelves at the gunshops, would be nice to consolidate and use the least amount of components for many different things. Thanks
No. Don't recommend it.
 

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I have used them in 9mm. My Beretta has no problem with them and it has a light hammer spring. Have seen several demo's where it all comes down to whether or not they will fire reliably. Even though the Beretta has a light spring it also has an external hammer which may help. For range use I wouldn't worry,
 

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You don't tell us what firearm you are going to load for, that may make a big difference. In any case I wouldn't change primer types with out talking to CCI, Winchester or Federal to get their opinion as you will change the pressure characteristic of the load if in fact they do fire.
 

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I have used them in 9mm. My Beretta has no problem with them and it has a light hammer spring. Have seen several demo's where it all comes down to whether or not they will fire reliably. Even though the Beretta has a light spring it also has an external hammer which may help. For range use I wouldn't worry,
Likewise. My Beretta 92 ignites anything, as do my single action revolvers. I don't try them in my in my DA revolvers with light hammer springs.
 

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After the Sandy Hook shortage I overstocked SR primers and under stocked SP primers. I got rid of some 223/556 reloading needs so I am using the SR primers in my revolvers. The chronograph can’t tell the difference between the two IN MY REVOLVERS.
 

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I have been told the biggest difference between pistol and rifle primers is the thickness of the cup. Some semi auto pistols don't have enough firing pin pressure to ignite the primer. All of mine do. The reason for a small rifle primer in a cartridge like 454 casull is the thicker cup helps prevent blown primers in high pressure applications.
I also read somewhere that some manufacturers small pistol magnum and small rifle primers are the same.
Due to shortages I have loaded quite a few 9mm with magnum primers with zero ill effects.
 

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They have slightly different dimensions, and different chemical compositions.

The reason that manufacturers produce different primers is because they have different applications. Otherwise they would not produce and market them.

The loading manuals are not recipe books. They are documentation of measured experiments. If you substitute a component like a primer, you are conducting your own experiment - and working with high pressures blind unless you have your own pressure measuring equipment. That can be dangerous.

You do not know the impact on internal ballistics when you substitute primers like that. It's not something I would ever consider doing or recommend.
 
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I have used CCI small rifle primers in 357 magnum cases with mid strength Unique powder. Was fired in a Henry Big Boy, no visible signs of over pressure. Same weight powder drop with a small magnum primer and didn't notice a difference.
 

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The loading manuals are not recipe books. They are documentation of measured experiments. If you substitute a component like a primer, you are conducting your own experiment - and working with high pressures blind unless you have your own pressure measuring equipment. That can be dangerous.

You do not know the impact on internal ballistics when you substitute primers like that. It's not something I would ever consider doing or recommend.
Totally agree. If you're going to experiment, use instrumentation.
 
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