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Discussion Starter #1
With the primer shortage we now have I can not find CCI 300 anywhere. What is a good alternative? I know they are supposed to be the same, but..... I use them in 44 mag Starline brass with Universal powder. thanks
 

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onehandgunner, CCI 300s are "standard large pistol" primers. The other brands of the same are: Federal 150 and Remington 2 1/2. Winchester makes a primer that can be used in standard or magnum loads .. the WLP. Wolff also makes SLPPs but I don't know their ID.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Iowegan, I had read your post from some time ago about primers, but I have also read where people have their likes and dislikes based on reliability and fit and function. If you had to rate them 1 thru 10 how would you rank various brands, 1 being best. thanks
 

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I bought the last box at my local Cabelas this past saturday! They did have a box of small pistol magnums too!
 

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We are out of all primers in Orygon except an occasional lg rifle primer.
It's just a matter of time (again) to see anything and possibly never with the libs in many Demo's areas.
 

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onehandgunner, If you look at my loading bench, you will see a four different brands, each with their own attributes.

After conducting many tests with different brands I would say without reservation ... all US made primers function very reliably. If you compare like types ... ie standard small pistol brand X, versus standard small pistol brand Y, there's virtually no difference in ignition performance. I haven't tried foreign made primers but I suspect they would be OK too.

I guess if I had to pick a brand ... it would be Winchester. They feed just fine in my Dillon RL550 whereas CCIs don't. The skirts on CCI primers are just rough enough where they don't favor automatic primer feeders and jam. When I load on my single stage RCBS Rockchucker, it doesn't make much difference. For large pistol primers, I like Winchester WLPs because they work well in standard or magnum loads and they feed well in the Dillon. I also like Winchester small pistol magnum primers because they have softer cups (more sensitive) than CCIs, which have the hardest cups. For 357 Mag loads, I do not like Federal mag primers because sometimes they pierce.

I keep a stock of Federal standard small pistol primers for my light action revolvers where I have adjusted the hammer springs for a very light DA trigger pull. This reduces hammer strike energy. With Federal primers that have a very soft cup, I get 100% ignition whereas with Winchesters, Remingtons, or CCIs, the hammer strike falls short of positive ignition ... lots of click-no bangs or Bang-Pop issues. Because Federal cups are softer, they often show flattening when fired, which can be mistaken for over pressure.

I typically use Winchester WLPs for 44 Mag, 45 ACP, and 45 Colt. No doubt, other brands would probably work just as well ... it just makes life a little simpler when one type works well with all large pistol primer applications.

I have a lot of 38 Special GI brass that had crimped primers. Even after swaging the primer pockets, seating primers can be quite a challenge. Using CCIs are like poking marshmallows in a parking meter ... they are so hard they flatten before seating. Winchesters aren't much better but Remington or Federal are more pliable and seat without flattening.

Centerfire rifles tend to have much more firing pin energy. I've had Federals rupture but never Winchesters or CCIs. I especially like CCI small rifle primers when loading for ARs. Their harder cups are more resistant to slam fires.

Some people may have guns like my revolvers with light hammer springs. No doubt, reliability and accuracy issues will show up when primers with harder or less sensitive cups are used. During my tests, I found if the hammer didn't strike the primer hard enough .. it would make the primer detonate with way less flash. This results in poor powder ignition or possibly a click-no bang. When hammer energy is strong enough for a good solid primer hit, there's virtually no difference in the flash between brands. I used a S&W Mod 10 revolver to prove this theory. By backing off the strain screw (lowering hammer spring tension) I could find the threshold for each brand of primers. When adjusted for Federals,.... Winchester, Remington, and especially CCIs would either misfire or not produce enough flash to get full power. CCIs are the hardest, Winchesters next, followed by Remington and finally Federals are the softest. The new brass colored Winchesters are much more sensitive than the older nickel plated Winchester primers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Iowegan, thank you , this is the answer that will work for me. I load on a single stage so roughness does not matter. I have been using CCI 300s but knowing what will work in a time of lean "pickins" is my goal. Again, THANK YOU.
 

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I have noticed that CCI primers don't like my 550, either. They tend to stick and go in sideways or even upside down on occasion. I never knew the why, but I prefer Winchester primers myself for that reason.

Nowadays, though, if you can find the size you need snap 'em up.
 

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With the primer shortage we now have I can not find CCI 300 anywhere. What is a good alternative? I know they are supposed to be the same, but..... I use them in 44 mag Starline brass with Universal powder. thanks
If you go with the Wolf large pistol, you may encounter them being hard to seat.

I bought 1K for 45 Colt and had the "problem". Was just about to give up on them, and read a post about using a deburr tool to remove military crimps on rifle brass.

I tried it on my new Winchesteer brass and just broke the sharp edge of the primer pocket, "problem" vanished.

I have had excellent results with the Wolf primers, not one misfire and very good standard deviation velocity numbers shooting over my Chrony.

Don't be afraid to try them, they are a great value.
 

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I use CCI almost exclusively. Of course, I will use 'any' if I can't find CCI. I hand primer with the RCBS hand primer and have never had a problem feeding the device. Obviously I still use a Single Stage press...
 

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Well, we still got (as of a couple weeks ago) plenty of CCI large pistol and large rifle primers up here in the gun totin' gay marriage pot smokin' liberal state of Washington (I picked up 1000 of each anyway), but no small pistol. The only place I could find any was on Midway, and then only Federal match primers. In order to make the haz fee pay off I got a case of 5000, and probably got one of the last ones. Still, with all that (and because I avoided the dreaded sales tax) I came out pretty good, my 9mm reloads only cost .002 cents more than they should.

Now what I noticed right away is that these things seat like butter (I use a Lee auto prime) compared to CCI, and after reading what the General Himself said, I may switch over to Feds in the future, if they perform well. Now I do use primer flatness as a guide for when I am getting a little carried away, so that may be a problem. We'll see on the 9mm.
 

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I use CCI and Winchester interchangeably. Over the years, I just haven't found much difference between the two in small or large except for the nickel plating on the CCIs. ;)
 

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bagpipe bob, Using spent primers to indicate over pressure conditions is a very poor idea. Yes, even some reloading manuals tell you to do this but the results can be quite misleading.

Try this experiment ... pop off a primed case ... no powder or bullet, then extract the test case. The first thing you will notice is the primer has backed out of the pocket until it reached "headspace", which will be somewhere between .005~.010" ... more if your cases are shorter than SAAMI max length. This tells you something ... when you fire a live round, the primer initially backs out but when the powder ignites and chamber pressure goes up, the case is thrust back against the breach face. This will re-seat the primer but during this process, it will also cause the primer to distort. Next, take a look at the firing pin dent in your test case. It will be quite deep. Again, when the primer is unseated and reseated during live fire, the dent will distort. Yes, more pressure will flatten the dent but how much the dent is flattened will depend more on the hardness/thickness of the primer cup than chamber pressure. So ... rely on the listed loads in a reputable reloading manual such as a Speer or Hornady for chamber pressure. They pressure test all their loads and even their max loads are never higher than SAAMI specs ... in fact, they tend to be quite conservative.

Standard pistol primers will start to flatten at about 20~30k psi, depending on brand and magnum versus standard. Considering a 9mm can run as high as 35k psi for normal loads and up to 38,500 psi for 9mm +P, there's no doubt ... primers WILL flatten, no matter what brand but Federals will flatten more due to softer cups. Not to worry ... it's normal but it does not tell you much ... other than some pressure was present but not how much. BTW, look at some factory load spent cases. They too will show considerable primer flattening.

In other words, trying to guess chamber pressure by looking at the primers is like trying to guess how deep a lake is by sticking your toe in the water.
 

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OK, I have same problem as op. No large pistol primers available. I am loading a Ruger 45, Lipsey convertible, which is medium frame, so can't load hot. I bought some CCI 350 magnum primers. Will I be ok using these if I reduce powder a little? Will use Unique in neighborhood of 7-7.5 gr. I am sure Iowegan can answer this if he sees it, probably many others as well. Someone help me out here. thx triker
 

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It'll be alright to change from a standard to magnum primer, but start over at book-minimum loads and work back up. Magnum primers have EITHER higher-pressure priming compound OR more priming compound OR BOTH. Thus, start over at book-minimum to make sure you're not going to hurt yourself or your gun.
 

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triker, you don't say whether you're loading .45Colt or .45ACP. You also don't mention bullet weight/construction. Without knowing more, do as MZ5 says and start over at minimum.
 
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