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Lets Talk Primers

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Unread 12-05-2010, 12:15 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: So. Utah
Posts: 406
Lets Talk Primers

Just like the heading says. "Lets talk primers." It is primarily large rifle primers that I am interested in. We know that there are several companies that make large rifle primers. Federal, CCI, Winchester, and Remington to name a few. We also know that there are several available for the large rifle. Large rifle, larger rifle magnum, and benchrest. What guidelines do you use for choosing primers for your load development? At what point does a load warrant a Magnum Primer for you? Have you ever tried multiple variations in primers when creating a new load? Why do you choose that particular brand for your Loads?

I know that is a lot of questions. However the primer component has always created questions in the back of my mind. I have always used CCI's. I think that it is mainly because that is what my dad always used. They have always worked well for me and so I continue to use them. However, I realize that there is always the other side of the coin so to speak. It seems that I have always leaned toward the Magnums as well. Heck I am even loading up my 220 Swift with magnum primers. Overkill? Absolutely I am sure, but she sure shoots nice with them.

I have never really seen much published or discussed on this topic. So I thought that I would ask. There are no right or wrong answers here, but all comments are welcome. I am sure that we all have our own thoughts on the matter and that is what I am after. So please don't be shy. - Firecat
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Unread 12-05-2010, 12:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Lets Talk Primers

I shot CCI-250s in a 270 Win for decades and it did very well. I switched to CCI-200s and it shifted from very well to exceptional.

In very large overbore cartridges I use Fed 215s exclusively. The word on the street, and its a good street, says that the 215s are a bit hotter than the 215 GMs. Word has it that an additional grain of powder is required (loads ranged above 100 grains or so) to get the same velocity as with 215s.

That's all the experience I have w/primers.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 12-05-2010, 04:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Willamette Vally
Posts: 108
Re: Lets Talk Primers

What little I have found about primers was in a couple older reloading manuals. They all pretty much said the same thing use regular primers for extruded powders and magnum primers for ball powders. When I switched to BLC-2 in my 350 Rem mag I switched to CCI 250 primers form CCI 200's. Accuracy went up significantly. How much can be attributed to the primer change is up in the air. That's what I have, hope it helps.
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Unread 12-05-2010, 05:56 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 208
Re: Lets Talk Primers

I use magnum primers in my 708, simply because thats all I had and I needed to load for a bush hunt and a long shot is 100 yrds, turned out to be wicked accurate so Ive stayed with that load.

Another thing I had a 300WSM that was accurate just for shits and giggles one day I kept same load bullet, but I changed primers some CCI,Feds and Winchesters,I pleased I had some witnesses that day because the differecne in group size was obvious to everyone there.

Some will say it will make no difference, I will argue strongly it does,Ive proved it.

Mag primers in a swift,if it works .............

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Unread 12-05-2010, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,155
Re: Lets Talk Primers

Primers are like powder, each has their own burn rate. The Benchrest primers like BR2 and Federal Match are better metered and are more consistent. I have played with Federal, Remington (don't like them, have had miss fires with old batches), CCI, and Wolf. Wolf and Federal have been the best primers for me to date for my 300 WSM and 308 Winny.

Some like to use mag primers for ball powders because it has a different compaction compared to extruded powders and need a little more fire. On the other hand when reading about Palma shooting, some prefer a more mild primer to create lower pressure curves. I have noticed if you get a load that has potential, but with an occasional flier, a primer change sometimes will pull that flier in. Like 300WSMMAD stated, I have seen group shrink and get larger with identical loads and just changing primers.

I have found that larger charges like the hotter primers (mag primers, in long bodied casings i.e.:Belted mags, RUM's, Lapua Mags), but in the instance of short mags the regular large rifle usually yields better results. I did try some mag powder in my .308 (RL17, Federal 210's) just playing around. The large rifle did okay, but my more accurate loads came when I switch to Federal 215's which are magnum primers. Powder burn rate definitely helps to determine the primer usage.

Hope this helps,
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Unread 12-05-2010, 10:45 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 13
Re: Lets Talk Primers

I used to use cci primers for everything. Then the day after the last presidential election I happened to be in the local Sportsmans Warehouse and saw the reloading component section being emptied I grabbed 2 cases each of Federal Match 210 and 215 primers. So thats what Ill be using for a while.
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Unread 12-05-2010, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 3,226
Re: Lets Talk Primers

match shooters shoot the lower "powered" primers. i use std primers in std cartrdges, magnum in magnum. the 215 exclusively in the bigger mags like the wthby and rums. in my 7mmrem the 215 gave higher fps and higher es that the 250 wlrm and the rem 9.5m . i would only use the 215s if i was going on a hunt where the temp was 0 or below. see the norma manual . roninflag
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