Lets Talk Primers

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Firecat, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    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.
     

  3. Skimbleshanks

    Skimbleshanks Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. 300WSMMAD

    300WSMMAD Well-Known Member

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    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 .............

    300WSMMAD
     
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    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,
    Tank
     
  6. RMinMT

    RMinMT Member

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    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.
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  8. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    I load mag primers in my .308 as they give me better velocity and ES.

    As far as switching primers under the same load, I have tried it as well and get about 50 fps difference with my .338 and not only different sized groups but a POI shift as well.
     
  9. 375fan

    375fan Well-Known Member

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    Have used CCI for 30 years in about everything and never had a problem, still use a lot of them. Use Winchester LR and LRM,(about 2 years ago bought over 8000 of them when a bait store sold out everything at auction) they work fine. About 10 years ago started using Federal 210m and 215m for my hunting loads, they are my preferred primer, seem to consistently get small spread in velocities. Can't and haven't been able to get any 215m in my area for couple of years now, so just use 215 in there place and everything is fine.
     
  10. dickshuford

    dickshuford Active Member

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    I've been reloading since 1964 and have pretty much using CCI 220 primers. Last year while testing some loads to take to Wyoming, I found some in a drawer that I know was bought sometime in the early 80's. I loaded a few rounds and compared them to the new ones I had. I can not see any difference.
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, sorry its been a bit since I have been able to check in. Seems to me that the general consensus is to find what works for you and stick with it. I have done a little bit of playing with different primers in a particular load. It is interesting that I did not see much variation. However, it was Magnum primers from two different manufacturers. I could certainly justify a lot more testing. I appreciate the comments.
     
  12. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I have done some testing with primers and find that (as many have already stated) there is a difference. I have seen 40-50 fps on the chrono, poi change, and group size corresponding to much larger ES. My personal favorites are Fed Match, and CCI BR. Years ago, when I tested, the std CCI's were the worst performers. I haven't tested them recently so that may have changed by now? As far as magnum primers go, I think they are often over used. I shoot standards in my Sherman case that has a 75 grain H20 capacity and they work great. There are exceptions as others have already noted......Rich
     
  13. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    What do you all think about using Mag, 215's and the like, primers when using slow burning powders like Retumbo in 06 size cases?

    A good example is the 6.5-06 or 6.5-06AI. I've read where alot of guys are using Retumbo in these when loading the 140gr bullets. Are Mag. primers necessary with this combo or would 210's be a better choice????
     
  14. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would use a mag primer. You have a very slow, large granule powder that in my opinion requires more fire for consistent ignition. You won't know until you try though. You may get better ES w/ the 210's, but you may gain better velocity with the 215's. Try it and see what happens. JMHO!

    Tank