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Thread: Favourite primers?

  1. #1

    Favourite primers?

    Except until recently, for years and years I've only ever used CCI standard and magnum primers. Do any of you reloading buffs prefer another brand?

    I've just had a try with Federal primers behind 46gr Varget and a 150gr .308 bullet and they seemed to burn cleaner. I always pull through after shooting to get rid of any wet crud in the barrel and noticed that there was less carbon fouling than with the CCIs. Do the Fed primers perform better?

    It is a warmer day, which usually means less soot in the barrel than on a colder one, but I've always had fouling from the CCIs regardless of temperature.

  2. #2
    Fedral every time but very hard to get hold of around here.


  3. #3
    Remington Large Rifle, CCI Small Pistol Magnum, Federal Large Pistol Magnum, Winchester Large Pistol Standard, Federal Small Pistol Standard for my .22 Hornet, otherwise, CCI for Small Pistol. CCI 450 for Small Rifle Magnum.

    Alternatively to the above....

    What ever is cheapest and/or available. ~Muir

  4. #4
    i use cci and i get on with them fine but to be honest if the bullet flys out of the end and hits the target then im fine

  5. #5
    Cheers for that guys. I was quite happy with CCI until I tried the Federal. As ever it's availability and price. Anyway, I don't think the deer mind too much

  6. #6
    AS you said, availability and price!

    As an aside though, I once did an extensive bit of testing using one load, in one rifle, keeping the same Lot# of powder and bullets but changing just the primer brand. Once you get away from CCI/Federal (owned by the same company) you did find a difference in primer makes. In this instance, Winchester and Remington. The winchester delivered groups twice as large as the Remington with that given load combination. The groups were still good, just twice as large. As might be expected, the reverse was found with different loads in different guns.

    This might highlight the warning in most reloading manuals that you should always back off of an established load when juggling components or changing lot#'s of powder but especially when switching primers. You just never know what you're going to get. ~Muir

  7. #7
    Regular Poster
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Leicester, Mansfield Grantham area
    Primers are as much a variable component as any other in reloading and can alter velocity and trajectory and therefore accuracy quite considerably.

    I have long been an advocate of using primers in the same way as powder to vary a load with great effect.

    We dont choose our case because one looks shinier than another but because of the chemical composition that is most suitable for our particular load. Neither do we choose a Powder just because the local shop has it on the shelf and so with Primers - choose your primer to do the best job possible for the load you are generating.

    A change of primer can in some loads require a drop of 3 grains and the difference in velocity without any increase in pressure can equally improve by 100fps. Use your primers in the same way as your powder and you will be surprised at the difference your loads will provide.

    Here is a basic heat chart - from top to bottom drop about 5-6% in powder and work from there.

    Use it as a guide and add in your own primers when you have assessed them. eg, the Prvi Partizan Primers although burning approximately as hot as the Winchester range do because of their different construction not seem to require a reduction in powder when changing from say Remington. Try for yourself and let us all know your test results as it will expand the above chart considerably.

    Use of Magnum primers is normally reserved for the Ball Powders but I am finding I can use them to great effect in the shorter stumpier cases such as the WSM and WSSM range of cartridges. Logically this should also be valid for the Benchrest PPC cartridges.

    The same is true for the H4831 SC powder in 243 - A Federal Magnum primer seems to provide anything up to 120 fps higher velocities than standard primers yet seemingly without additional pressure.
    do drop the powder weight and build up again.

    In a recent 'Handloader' I notice that Charles Petty has written an article on Primers and 223 accuracy - anyone who would like to read it email me at and I will send a copy.

    Please remember to drop powder weights when changing primers and do also remember that with the present hot weather you need to reconsider all those max loads and take out a little powder.

    A 10 degree rise in temp requires a 5% decrease in powder. If we are going to get such varied weather in coming years it may be best to have a min, intermediate and max load to use dependant on weather temperature.

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