primers make a difference!

oldfortyfiveauto

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Jan 20, 2011
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Three shot groups are a starting point only. If it still held true after at least five five shot groups of each I’d start believing.
 

J E Custom

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No doubt about it.

The best primer is the one that gets the best out of a particular powder, cartridge case volume, bullet type and weight. Change any component, and another primer may get better SDs and group size.

When I am working up loads, I use a chronograph to find the best SD. after finding a good SD (any load with single digit SDs in my opinion is a good one) this way of testing tells me that I have a good powder charge
for the case capacity and the bullet weight. The lower the SD, the more efficient/consistent the powder burn.

After getting the low SDs then I can try different primers with the same Bristance to see If the Sds will improve or degrade. I have found many times that one brand outperforms another even if only by a few SD.

This is the reason I don't limit myself to one primer.
Some primers have the ability to ignite certain powders better than others, so as the Rich demonstrates it can make a huge difference in both SDs and accuracy.

I have also found that cartridges that normally call for magnum primers, sometimes get much better SDs using large rifle primers.

J E CUSTOM
 
Last edited:

Mike 338

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Feb 4, 2012
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I have an '06 that just shot so-so and I tried quite a few bullet/powder combinations. The rifle was a Steyr so they're supposed to have very good barrels and a great reputation for accuracy. I took one of the better loads and did a primer test and I was shocked how well it shot. I then refined that load a little and it did even better. Sometimes primers make no difference. Sometimes they make all the difference. You don't know till you "know".
 

RockyMtnMT

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We started using wrlm primers back when they seemed to be the only thing on the shelf. They are now the go to primer and seldom use the others. During load work up if I don't see consistent vel I change powder. Seems like I use much less components if I make that change early. Seems if the rifle likes the powder load work up is like clock work.

Everybody has their comfortable way of getting to consistency. Interesting how many ways the puzzle is put together to get to the same result.

Steve
 

Rich Coyle

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Three shot groups are a starting point only. If it still held true after at least five five shot groups of each I’d start believing.
I agree. These were the beginning of five shot groups. After two days of trials the WLRM came out with the most consistent groups and velocities. I cheated by limiting the photo to these because these are 'internet' groups. I use a small hand held thermometer to check the barrel temp. I don't fire the next shot until the barrel at the end of the fore end gets back down to the seventies again.

The final conclusion is I have a one MOA rifle with this particular powder. If you can believe it the powder was purchased in Weatherby's store. The price on the N205 400 gram metal can is $4.50! Since I have only three cans left I have not been using them. But since I have a couple boxes of Hammer Sledgehammer 130 grain bullets for pig and deer hunting I decided to use this powder. Maybe they are collectors items. I don't know.
 

elkaholic

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Sometimes results are very surprising. The 6.5 sst is not known to need magnum primers, but a while back, a client called and told that he went from a std to a CCI 250. He lowered his e s and group size considerably, and it took "2 GRAINS" less pwder for the same velocity! Amazing!
 

ShtrRdy

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J E Custom -- how many shots do you like to use when you're getting a measure of SD?

-- Todd
 

RT2506

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Jan 10, 2008
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It has been around 30 years ago that I discovered that primers do make a BIG difference. I had a 25-06 Remington built. I started doing my load work up and just could not get that rifle shooting like I thought it should. I could get it down to 3/4" groups but I knew I should be able to get under 1/2". I took the best powder and COAL load and just changed primers. CCI 250s went to shooting bug holes. 49 grs IMR 4350, CCI 250, Remington case, 117 Sierra Pro Hunter 20 thousands off the lands 3000 fps. I have killed a train load of deer with this combo over the years and with who knows how many rounds down the tube the rifle still shoots under 1/2". Since this first finding I have always switched primers to see which gives me best accuracy. Sure wish I could get some more of the Wolf primers. I still have some but I use them only with previously worked up loads.
 

Graymun

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Oct 2, 2017
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I once chronograghed 2 five round groups each of cci200 and wlr. The wlr had less deviation cci200 a little faster. A month ago I chronographed some rounds for a different rifle and caliber with both ci200 and wlr I didn’t test as many but they were almost the same, actually the cco200 did a little better but, I didn’t test enough. Just wanted to get an average fps
 

J E Custom

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J E Custom -- how many shots do you like to use when you're getting a measure of SD?

-- Todd
When I start working up loads, I load in 5 load batches. But when I shoot and get a poor SD/ES I stop shooting that Load (If the SDs are bad even if I only shoot 2 and the velocity is way apart I stop) and clean and start the next load.


If they look good after 5, I make a note of that load for future testing and load 10 of each of the best for elimination. I could shoot all 5, but with the velocity all over the place and SDs poor I abandon the load. (this saves many firings that would be a waste of time and components.

Normally 5 rounds will tell you if a load has promise, but I like 10 for the final load performance. It only takes 2 to tell you that a load is not working

Just the way I like to do load testing.

J E CUSTOM
 

LoneTraveler

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Feb 7, 2014
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I had my first run in with this about 1973. My neighbor brought me his grandsons 243 Win.. Said it shot good. The grrandson had someone do a glass bedding job on it and it shot bad now. I took it out of the stock. (Getting the action screws loose is another story!!!!!.) I guess from the looks of the screws they never got it apart to check the bedding. The action was bedded good. But the barrel had air pockets here and there, 1 air pocket on one side of the stock right at the fore end. I cleaned out the barrel channel, Free Floated the barrel,
resealed the barrel channel and left the action glass bedded.
Loaded 85 gr Sierra bullets, DuPont Powder and CCI LR standard primers, All I had on the shelf.. It shot 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 groups. Same box of bullets, Same can of powder. Got some Rem LR primers. When I returned the gun, The grandson asked how it shot. I was ready for this. Laid the 4 targets on the table. Pulled out 4 dimes and covered all 4 groups. HE was happy.

1994, My Brother and I was getting ready to go to Canada on our first Moose hunt. He was talking about his 338 WM, 225 gr. bullets shooting a 5 shot group at 100 yds.. 3 or 4 in 3/4" 1 or 2 Low Right about 4 inches and him blaming himself. We was at a local range one day. and a guy had just bought a little Chrony Chronograph, Asked if we would like to shoot through it. I said brother here is your chance. He shot 5 rounds through it. 4 shots good group, The 3rd or 4th shot went Low Right about 4 inches. When we looked at the chronograph 4 shots ran about 2960 to 2975, The shot that flew was 2795. The primers he was using was CCI LR 250. He bought CCI LR 250 from another Lot and they shot good groups without the flyer.

I have a load for my 223 Rem. that shoots 1/4 to 1/2 groups. Hornady 50 gr. V-max, IMR 4198 and Rem 6 1/2 B primers. Real close vel. shot to shot. Tried Win. primers. Group opened to 1". On the hunt of more Rem. B Primers.

When I go to the range, My chronograph is an important tool to take and use.
It tells you what is going on, Cuts down the head scrathing and wondering too.
 

Rich Coyle

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Aug 14, 2013
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Grants Pass, Oregon
It only takes 2 to tell you that a load is not working
J E CUSTOM
When I first had the 'smith make an adjustable brake he told me, "If it doesn't shoot two close together it won't shoot five close together." It took about fifty shot to get a guaranteed 2MOA rifle to shoot sub 1" at 300 yards with that attachment.
 

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