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Discussion Starter #1
I see that there are a few different size and brands. It looks like the Lee equipment is used with CCI or Winchester. Now since I'll be reloading .38 special, .357 Magnum and .44 magnum, would I use the Magnum primers for all or a second size for the .38 special? What is the differance between them?

Thanks;
Shawn
 

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i prefer winchester primers.

the 38 and 357 are small pistol primers.
the 44 takes large pistol primers

as far as using a magnum primer over a standard primer, stay with your reloading data is the best advice i can give. If the recepie calls for a standard primer, don't substitute a magnum primer.

Magnum primers are a different animal and if substituted for std primers could cause pressure problems amongst other things.

Some folks who are a heck of a lot more knowledgeable than i can and do substitue components such as using a mag primer when a std primer is called for-----or using rifle primers in place of pistol primers. I ain't that intelligent to figure out how to criss-cross components and make them work safely so i just stay with the books.

Staying with the books has kept me out of trouble.
About the only change i make with the books is i stay with winchester primers instead of their choice of cci, federal, etc.
 

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Has anyone else noticed this? I can use Federal Primers with Winchester, Remington or any other brass without a problem, but when I use Winchester primers on anything but winchester brass, they are hard to seat. Seems like the Winchester primers are slightly larger than the others.
 

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Have not noticed it since winchester is all i currently use. I tried federal primers one time and had some dead ones in the batch. Switched back to winchesters and have stayed with them for years.

I've been told federal primers are on the soft side but i can't prove it.
 

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Could have been a bad batch. I've used them a lot in the past 10yr and haven't had one bad one. They are softer than winchester or CCI.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks like I was on the wrong track. Thanks deputy125. My thinking was a little off. I think I'm straight now.

I think I'll start with and stick with just one primer brand. Looks like Winchester.
 

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I don't have the problem you are having with Winchester primers, KP97D. I use them almost exclusively and use them on Starline and even Remington brass with no problems. As for magnum primers, they are only needed with slow burning powders, such as 2400 and H110. If you use Unique, Bullseye or other powders in the fast to medium burn rate, regular primers work just fine. As the deputy says, follow the reloading manual and you will not be sorry. That being said, I have used magnum primers with Unique, if that is all I had, and just stayed on the lower end of the load data, and have had no problems. Winchesters Large Pistol primers even state that they are for use with all regular and magnum pistol loads.
 

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I like Federal small pistol and small pistol magnum primers. I reload for 32 H&R mag, 357 mag, 380 ACP, 9mm and 40 S&W. The mag primers I use for HOT 357 mag loads, for standard or lite 357 mag loads I use SPP.
The 44 mag uses large pistol primers.
 

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Magnum primers your book will tell you that you add .5 grains of powder charge to your loading powder charge. Meaning that if your powder charge was2.2 grain of WW231 and your going to use a magnum primer then your powder charge would be the equal of a powder charge of 2.7 charge of WW231.
 

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I can see there is some confusion here.

Small pistol primers are used in 38/357, 9mm, 40 S&W and few other cartridges. There are two varieties ... standard small pistol primers and magnum small pistol primers. Standard primers are used for non-magnum loads with faster burning powders and lower chamber pressure. The cups for standard primers are thinner and won't hold high pressure loads without rupturing. Magnum primers have more "mix" so they can light up those slow burning powders better. They also have thicker (and harder) cups to deal easier with higher chamber pressures.

Large pistol primers are used in 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 44 Mag, and many other cases. They are available in three versions; standard, magnum and "either". Same concept as above for mix and cup thickness. Winchester large pistol primers are marked "For Standard or Magnum Loads". They are a good compromise and eliminate the need for two different types. Other brands are available in both standard and magnum.

Bountyhunter, You WILL need magnum small pistol primers if you use slow burning powder such as H-110, W-296, Lil'Gun, and others. Standard small pistol primers will work fine for faster burn rate powders such as Unique, Bullseye, etc.

Hare's another good reason to buy a good up-to-date manual such as the Speer #14. It tells you when magnum primers are needed with each load.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Alright Iowegan, you've convinced me. I'm going to look for the speer manual. Then I'll have a better idea of what I need. My .357 magnum loads will be like factory loads I think. I'm not looking for hot loads. I want to just get familiar with the whole reloading process first. I'll pick one powder, one primer, and one bullet weight. I'll load a bunch of them and then take it from there. I'll do the same once I start reloading for my .44 magnum.

Thanks
 

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jimbo1096, Excellent question! I have the current Hornady and Sierra manuals and they still have many popular loads rated in CUP instead of psi. This means they haven't retested the published loads ... just reprinted old ones. Speer did a really good job on their #13 manual so I'm assuming #14 will be even better.

I use QuickLOAD software quite a bit but never as a single source for reloading data. It is great for doing "what ifs" with different loads and to see what happens when bullet seating depth is changed or a different style bullet is used. QuickLOAD seems to track quite well with the Speer manual but often disagrees with Sierra or Hornady manuals.

A lot has been learned in recent years since piezo transducers started being used for pressure testing. We now get actual chamber pressure in psi instead of pseudo pressure in copper units of pressure (CUP) in some "unreal" test barrel. The labs have a much better handle on safe limits for each cartridge and in fact have caused the Small Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) to change their standards on many loads. SAAMI likes to see cartridges rated at about 50% of a gun's "proof test". For example, a 357 Mag is now rated at 35k psi so you can expect the gun to hold up to at least 70k psi. Previous standards were way hotter ... well below the Kaboom point but high enough to cause considerable damage. The European CIP standards have the max chamber pressure for a 357 Mag rated at 3000 bar, which converts to 43,511 psi and is about the same as the older SAAMI ratings.

The worst reloading data comes from powder manufacturers. They tend to load "hot" .... maybe they are trying to boast. They seldom specify a primer nor do they specify a particular bullet or even seating depth. Believe me ... these things can make a huge difference. The foreign made powder companies (mostly from Australia and Finland) tend to follow CIP standards or their own agenda, which are often way hotter than SAAMI specs.

Speer takes those powders and their own bullets then charts them within SAAMI specs. They specify primers, bullet seating depth, and note other conditions like a compressed load. I like that. I don't want to be a "range dummy", I just want to safely shoot accurate loads at factory power levels. When you chronograph Speer loads, your results will mirror Speer's data very close (assuming you use the same barrel length). I always figure ... if my gun isn't powerful enough with SAAMI rated loads, I need to buy a bigger one, not push the envelope on my current cartridge.

There are two types of gun damage from hot loads. First is catastrophic damage which we commonly call the "Kaboom" factor. This is where chamber pressure exceeds the strength of the gun and causes the gun to blow up. The second is accumulated damage. This is from metal fatigue and other wear issues that cause the gun to shoot loose then slowly get worse until the gun fails or becomes unsafe to shoot. Most shooters only think of the Kaboom factor and believe if their gun doesn't blow up, it must be safe. As a long time gunsmith, I can assure you this is not a good agenda. I have seen many guns come in the shop that were damaged beyond the point of being safe. Some of these guns were repairable ... some would cost more to fix than to buy a new one. Some were fired after being stressed and resulted in catastrophic damage.

Here on the forum, I don't like to see folks post loads that are over SAAMI specs. If they insist on risking damaging to their guns or their body ... I guess I can't do much about it, however, the Ruger Forum is not the place for dangerous data.

Back to Speer ... Speer loads equal factory loads and maybe a little hotter, they are always within SAAMI specs. I like that and will continue to be a "Speer reloading manual pusher". It doesn't mean the other manuals are bad, just not quite up to par with Speer.
 

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I was wondering the same thing as Jimbo. Very good, clear answer Iowegan it convinces me to get a Speer manual.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
quote:Originally posted by Chance

I was wondering the same thing as Jimbo. Very good, clear answer Iowegan it convinces me to get a Speer manual.
Thanks
I was convinced already from the other thread. :)
 

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so are we now in a transition period---so to speak---with the manufacters gradually showing/going/listing psi intead of cup?
 

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deputy125, The transition period with factory ammo has already happened. By 1998, nearly all US ammo manufacturers changed to the psi SAAMI pressure standards. Corbon and Buffalo Bore still list some of the higher poressure loads.

The Speer #13 was published in 1998 so it had many of the listed loads retested with the new piezo transducers. I haven't seen the #14 but I'll bet even more loads have been tested with the new process. BTW, only a few cartridges were downgraded and several were actually increased.

Yes, reloading manuals are gradualy changing to the new psi ratings. In years past, a new edition of a reloading manual was mostly a reprint of existing loads and adding a few new cartridges, bullets, and powders. Since the piezo testing began, all US reloading manuals will transition from the old crusher method and will result in a whole new set of data. This is a huge task considering all the different rifle and pistol cartridges.

One thing I'm seeing is more accurate chronograph data. In years past when shooters could not afford chronographs, many manuals (including Speer) published artifically high velocities. Now that we have "tools", honesty prevails. We are also seeing testing with actual guns instead of test barrels. Again, better data.
 

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guess it might be time to break down and get a new manual----maybe----i generally don't approach red line. But still might be interesting.
 

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Bountyhunter, You beat me to it on your questions!
Thanks all for the great thread.
Iowegan as usual thanks for the complete answers. I've been shooting and loading 22-250 for years but now I'm about to load 38sp and 357 for my King Cobra. I have the Speer #12 and was confused about small vs large vs magnum with W231.
I always learn something valuable when I read your posts!
Thanks!

SD
 
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