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Thread: Primers - Federal or CCI?

  1. #1

    Primers - Federal or CCI?

    About to start reloading 270 WSM, I use Lee kit and the Lee reloading manual seems to advise against using Federal primers due to sensitivity issues. I usually use CCI and can locally get CCI 250 or Federal 215M. I am using RL 19 with Barnes 130gr TTSX, in the Barnes manual they have used Federal 215M for their load data. Shall I go with what they use or take Lee's advice and stick with CCI? Wasn't sure how much ******** was involved with the Federal primer issue.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Sako308 View Post
    About to start reloading 270 WSM, I use Lee kit and the Lee reloading manual seems to advise against using Federal primers due to sensitivity issues. I usually use CCI and can locally get CCI 250 or Federal 215M. I am using RL 19 with Barnes 130gr TTSX, in the Barnes manual they have used Federal 215M for their load data. Shall I go with what they use or take Lee's advice and stick with CCI? Wasn't sure how much ******** was involved with the Federal primer issue.
    a lot!

    use the primers you can get
    only switch them if you run into issues

    nothing more annoying than having to re-work an accurate load because you can no longer get the primers you want!!
    I know!
    I used the last of my Fed Gold Magnum and had switch to CCI250s
    didn't make a huge difference but I did have to change charge levels for accuracy


    I doubt you will notice the difference between one brand and the other
    but do you NEED a magnum primer in the WSM?

    the more efficient cartridge shape shouldnt need it
    I have never used magnums in the 270Win so I would be surprised if there is a huge benefit to flame front and ignition

  3. #3
    I was going with what the reloading manuals were using and they all (Nosler/Barnes/Hornaday) seem to use magnum primers with this caliber. I was advised with powder charges of 60gr plus you should use magnum primers. Think I will go with the Federal Match Magnum as I can get a supply and that is what the Barnes load data is based on. Cheers.

  4. #4
    The new Lee Auto Prime XR is meant to be able to handle any primers.

    I use the Federal 215 Mag primers with all my .270 loads now - I didn't notice much difference in acccuracy between Federal Mag and CCI 200 with the same powder weights.

    I'm using 60gr Viht N165 with 150gr, 64gr Ramshot Hunter with 110gr GS Custom, so pretty close to 270 WSM charges I would think.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sako308 View Post
    I was going with what the reloading manuals were using and they all (Nosler/Barnes/Hornaday) seem to use magnum primers with this caliber. I was advised with powder charges of 60gr plus you should use magnum primers. Think I will go with the Federal Match Magnum as I can get a supply and that is what the Barnes load data is based on. Cheers.
    It's an ignition reliability / maintaining MVs issue for winter 'hunting' in North American temperatures. Very few if any 60gn charges of modern powders need magnum primers for typical British Isles conditions even in full winter except maybe in our once in a generation colder spells. The F215M won't do any harm certainly, except likely double MV spreads, but it is a 'seriously hot' model that will increase pressures compared to say a CCI-200 and even milder LRM models such as the CCI-250. So, dropping the charge a grain or two and working loads up again to a new maximum is a good idea.

  6. #6
    Interesting, did not know any of that. Why would MV spreads be doubled?

  7. #7
    I would second what Laurie has pointed out. Be sure to work up your loads properly as the Fed 215 was developed for igniting big charges such as the Wetherby Magnums, they are very sharp and snappy with a high brisance and from personal experience they can be like an extra 2-3 grains on your load when compared to the Fed 210. I once made the mistake of inadvertently allowing 2 of these bad boys into a batch of 100 of my usual 260 recipe resulting in a pitted bolt face due to super heated gas that these devils produce, . Learned a lesson that day !

  8. #8
    Magnum primers originally had more chemical in them, but the current generation have the same volume as large rifle primers, but it is a hotter ignition chemistry. It is mainly needed for very large cases or large cases with ball powder, which packs so tightly, like W-760 in a .30-06. Short, stubby cases don't need it. Stick powders don't need it. Alliant recommends CCI-200 with RL-19.

  9. #9
    I got all wound up about primers last week. Developing loads for a new 280AI. Using 210M's which were 7 or 8 years old with R19 and R22 I was getting ES of 80 to 110 and was having difficulty getting a decent group surprisingly enough! Wanted to get some CCI BR2's but couldn't find them anywhere, then tried IMR4350 with the 210M's. ES down to 19 and groups inside 0.5".

    Was nothing to do with primers, 'twas the powders doing the damage. I wouldn't get too hung up about it. 210M's are fine.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sako308 View Post
    Interesting, did not know any of that. Why would MV spreads be doubled?
    the primer blast is enough to push the bullet from the case and into the rifling, a magnum primer is fiercer and ignition is more variable.

    variable ignition gives larger velocity spreads.

    Laurie knows his stuff.

    in in answer to the OP, use what you can get a supply of regularly, CCI seems to be pretty available and has been for at least the last five years.


    As to whether or not you actually need a magnum primer for a WSM, I would say on the basis of heavy loads of slow powder in my 06 ( 60-62 grains at the top end) the answer is not with extruded powder in my experience.

    i did try magnum primers with a 308 load of 52 grains of BL-C(2) under a 125 grain bullet which gave fantastic little clusters but the occasional wild flyer that was traced back to an ES of over 110 fps. The ES did not improve until I tried a light crimp with the Lee factory crimp die, the latter made a dramatic difference bringing the ES down to around 30fps. Crucially, holding the bullet into the case a fraction longer made the difference between the ball powder being ignited properly by the magnum primer. I did wonder if the crimp would have worked with the original non magnum primer but didn't want to waste my precious supply of 125 grain sierras...

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