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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greets All,

I love shooting and enjoy the technical side of gunnery. However, inspecting primers is not my forte.
Looking for thoughts on these.

I think the one on left is fine/normal?
The two on the right are touching max by two of three reference manuals, and over on the third.
Within limits of Lyman and both of the powder pages load data/app. I have the VV app. These are considered over by Hornady techs based on their #11 manual, for their 180gr XTP. These were not loaded with the XTP, these were BHN 21 hard cast with gas check.

Middle was loaded with Enforcer under a 187gr WFNGC.
Right was loaded with V V N110, under same.

These are without doubt at the "max" of the spectrum, and would be comparable to Buffalo Bore high end stuff.

Looking for thoughts. Middle & right are flat. No other signs of pressure on the cases.
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Middle & right are flat. No other signs of pressure on the cases.
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You have raised a good point; it isn't always easy to tell how much pressure is "too much." I have some factory Federal 158 JSP that look worse than the Win Nickle on the right. I have found Federal primers to be hotter than the standard CCI, WSP, or Rem 1 1/2. I wouldn't necessarily call the middle primer "flat." The middle and right are definitely high pressure; the WIN Nickle is "almost flat" . Most max loads will probably look like the middle, some max loads, like the Federal 357s, will look like the WIN Nickle.
Some others may post different thoughts. I'm curious to see what other 357 shooters think. I almost forgot to ask, what primers you are loading?
 

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You have raised a good point; it isn't always easy to tell how much pressure is "too much." I have some factory Federal 158 JSP that look worse than the Win Nickle on the right. I have found Federal primers to be hotter than the standard CCI, WSP, or Rem 1 1/2. I wouldn't necessarily call the middle primer "flat." The middle and right are definitely high pressure; the WIN Nickle is "almost flat" . Most max loads will probably look like the middle, some max loads, like the Federal 357s, will look like the WIN Nickle.
Some others may post different thoughts. I'm curious to see what other 357 shooters think. I almost forgot to ask, what primers you are loading?
Are you considering the Federal primers to be 'hotter' because you are getting higher pressures/velocities or because they flatten more?

Federal primers are considered to be among the softest brass and most easily ignited, I had not heard that they were 'hotter'.

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those are old (last century) WSPM.
I've not read Federal to be hotter, but rather softer, and the primer of choice if you've done trigger/hammer spring work, as they are the easiest to ignite.
 

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Primers can be a pressure indicator but are not the end all be all of determining pressure.
Agreed. Primers are the least reliable indicator of pressure by themself. But if you can add in excessive recoil and a sticky bolt on extraction you’ve checked 3 boxes and it looks more plausible.
 
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Different cartridges have different saami map. It would be unusual to see a flattened primer in lower pressure cartridges, while higher pressure cartridges like 9mm, 357 mag, or 327 fed mag, can easily flatten softer primers. You need to take that into account when analyzing primers.
 

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I agree that those don't look that bad. Different primers flatten different amounts and the brass can affect it also (large flash holes, for example).

I'll never forget firing a factory load in my M77V that was way over pressure. The primer was dead flat, totally filling the primer pocket, nothing but a very fine line between the primer and the case. Bolt lift was extremely heavy and I had to tap the brass from the chamber with a cleaning rod.
 

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Are you considering the Federal primers to be 'hotter' because you are getting higher pressures/velocities or because they flatten more?

Federal primers are considered to be among the softest brass and most easily ignited, I had not heard that they were 'hotter'.

Bruce
Actually, they seem to give higher pressures, based on several characteristics. I have read that they are softer, and do ignite faster which would certainly contribute to them going "flat", and so I may be overstating the case, but in my years of reloading, with all of the different primers that I have used, the Fed primers appear to create higher pressures than the same loads with WSP or CCIs. Once again, some of my reaction is a "gut" response from years of reloading, so I could be exaggerating the point, or I could be missing something, e.g., the "x" factor. I also agree that flattened primers are not the Litmus test for pressure, but only one possible indicator.

A possible point of interest, somewhat related to the discussion, is that regarding 9mm, for certain powders, Speer recommends Fed 100s with FC brass. When I load the "old" FC head stamp brass with the Fed 100s, I get "normal" pressures (CFE pistol- using starting loads or slightly above); if I use other brass, e.g., Win, RP, newer FC, etc., with the Fed 100s, I get high pressure. Most of their loads they recommend Speer brass and CCI primers. I realize that this doesn't prove anything, but it is interesting, since it appears to be an anomaly with all of the reloading that I have done over the years.

I guess it just goes to show that no matter how long I have been doing this, I can always learn from other people's experience which is why I love this Forum.
 

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Those are old (last century) WSPM.
I've not read Federal to be hotter, but rather softer, and the primer of choice if you've done trigger/hammer spring work, as they are the easiest to ignite.
Some time ago I read that Federal used a different primer mixture that made them burn slightly hotter. Since this information was on the Internet I wouldn't bet money on it.
 

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Here's a gross overload from a "factory" Blazer Brass 9mm. Shot from my Springfield EMP. The other spent cases were falling in a pile about 6-8 feet away. I fire this round and here a clank as the slide hammers off of the frame. The spent case went about 30 down the firing line. Luckily no damage to the gun.

Thankfully, it was the only one in that box of ammo. Kind of made me leery of using Blazer since.

Bepe
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