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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may sound ignorant but I would like to know: The manuals I have call for large pistol primers for 44 magnum. Yet I read here and elsewhere that some shooters used magnum primers instead. What are the applications for this?
 

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Large Pistol Primers describes the size of the primer. They come in Large and Small sizes just like rifle primers. Each size is available in Standard, Magnum, and Match. The difference between standard and magnum is the intensity of the flame produced. When you load big .44 magnum cases with full loads of ball type powders the extra heat of magnum primers provides a more consistent ignition. Flake type powders light off easier and often standard primers work fine with them.
 

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Just to tag onto what ngashooter said, I can understand your confusion.

Take a look at the manual you are using.
Usually the first page for each cartridge will give you their test information for their load development.
In particular, they usually list the case, the primer, the test firearm, the barrel length and sometimes the twist rate.

For example:
.44Mag pistol in my Speer book shows they used CCI 300 &350 (350 is a magnum),
Throughout the book, they use magnum primers with all their ball powders. They mark these powders with an asterisk with a small note at the bottom of each page saying *magnum primer used with this powder.

.44Mag pistol in my Hornady book simply says they use WLP (Winchester Large Pistol) primers.
What I did not know when I started loading is that Winchester Large Pistol Primers or for BOTH standard and Magnum loads, so, in the load data they do not specify a magnum.
If you are not aware of this, you might think just use a CCI LPP.

A lot of folks will say always use a magnum primer with ball powers, others will say it depends.

For example:
I load a lot of .30Carbine ammo. It uses a Small Rifle Primer and I generally load it with 15gn of H110 which is a ball powder. I do not use a magnum primer as I believe the rifle primer is fine for that small amount of ball powder, but I have read people that say they use either a magnum primer or a CCI #41 which is a milspec primer for 5.56 in .30Carbine because they are using ball powder.
Again, my Speer book shows they use a magnum rifle primer with the ball powders in .30Carbine, my Hornady book does not. (or any other loadbook I've read)
 

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I may sound ignorant but I would like to know: The manuals I have call for large pistol primers for 44 magnum. Yet I read here and elsewhere that some shooters used magnum primers instead. What are the applications for this?
Doesn't sound ignorant. My advice, for what it is worth, use the primer stated in the load instructions. If that primer is unavailable, use the beginning load with the primer you have and work up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Mark204.I have been doing that to be on the safe side, but what I have noticed here that some more experienced members than me mention using magnum primers in their wheelguns. Is better ignition of the powder charge, or more complete burning of the powder,the reason, or what? Just wanting to learn more.
Bulldog47
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Large Pistol Primers describes the size of the primer. They come in Large and Small sizes just like rifle primers. Each size is available in Standard, Magnum, and Match. The difference between standard and magnum is the intensity of the flame produced. When you load big .44 magnum cases with full loads of ball type powders the extra heat of magnum primers provides a more consistent ignition. Flake type powders light off easier and often standard primers work fine with them.
Thanks, ngashooter. This has been very helpful. I have been reading my Speer manual lately and will read the section on 44 magnum loads again.
 

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Since you have a Speer manual, I would suggest you check out the primer section.
My Speer manual (#14) has a chapter entitled Cartridges and Components (chapter 4) and has a pretty extensive primer section explaining the different primers and their uses.
 

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The powder dictates when to use a magnum primer .

Some slow burning and ball type powders need the extra oomph from a magnum primer .

In the 44 magnum there are only two or three powders that need it but most powders can get by just fine with regular primers .

Follow the directions in the loading manual . You will soon recognize which powders do better with magnum primers .
The old standby 2400 can go both ways ... I have seen loads used with magnum and loads with standard primers with 2400 .
H110 usually needs a magnum primer for best performance .

Just go by the book ... Speer Manual is a good one !
Gary
 

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Lots of good answers here. There are always lots of variables when working up loads for each gun. Are you loading for range/target shooting or more of hunting/self-defense levels? Short barrel or long barrel?

Example ... I do a lot of loads for .38/.357 ... when loading for my 3" Model-13 I use smaller loads of faster powder with standard primers. When loading for my 8" 586 I'll use slower burning powder with magnum primers. The magnum primers make sure the larger / slower powder charge gets fully ignited. The goal being efficient loads that burn all the powder in the barrel to create the results you want.

If I shoot slower burn rate powder in my short barrel gun, I get a big muzzle flash of fire out the muzzle. That is not efficient and just burning powder out in the air. Most all manuals will have powder burn rate charts that will help you get the idea. Always start low and work your way up.
 

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I believe Winchester large pistol say for standard or magnum loads (to lazy to go downstairs and look) they are my preference. I do load some 44 mag and heavy 45 colt loads with cci magnum primers only for very cold conditions. When it's under 20 degrees H110 likes a little more fire to get going
And This One Two ..... I like Winchester WLP ...
 

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Ok, so if I'm following along correctly, ball powder "generally" likes magnum primers.
What about flake?
Extruded?
Does the burn rate charts identify what type of powder a particular powder is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lots of good answers here. There are always lots of variables when working up loads for each gun. Are you loading for range/target shooting or more of hunting/self-defense levels? Short barrel or long barrel?

Example ... I do a lot of loads for .38/.357 ... when loading for my 3" Model-13 I use smaller loads of faster powder with standard primers. When loading for my 8" 586 I'll use slower burning powder with magnum primers. The magnum primers make sure the larger / slower powder charge gets fully ignited. The goal being efficient loads that burn all the powder in the barrel to create the results you want.

If I shoot slower burn rate powder in my short barrel gun, I get a big muzzle flash of fire out the muzzle. That is not efficient and just burning powder out in the air. Most all manuals will have powder burn rate charts that will help you get the idea. Always start low and work your way up.
Great reply. Thanks.
 

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Yes, this. I use Magnum LPP when using H110, Standard LPP for most other powders.
The powder dictates when to use a magnum primer .

Some slow burning and ball type powders need the extra oomph from a magnum primer .

In the 44 magnum there are only two or three powders that need it but most powders can get by just fine with regular primers .

Follow the directions in the loading manual . You will soon recognize which powders do better with magnum primers .
The old standby 2400 can go both ways ... I have seen loads used with magnum and loads with standard primers with 2400 .
H110 usually needs a magnum primer for best performance .

Just go by the book ... Speer Manual is a good one !
Gary
 

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I use magnum primers with H110, W296, and IMR4227. For 2400 or AA#9, I use a standard primer.
As others have mentioned, if you can find Winchester Large Pistol Primers, they should work well for any of the powders mentioned. However, the last box of Winchester Large Pistol Primers that I bought did not have the statement "For standard or magnum loads" on the box anywhere. I hope they haven't changed their primers. Maybe someone has some up to date information as the new boxes have a much different appearance - red & white instead of blue and red.
 

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Along these lines, I have a question. I shoot a .41 magnum load of 8.0 gr of Unique pushing a 230 gr cast bullet, initiated by a large pistol primer. I have enough lpp to get me about another year. I also have a few thousand large pistol magnum primers. What would substitute them do to my load?
 
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