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Thread: Large Rifle and Large Pistol Primers

  1. #1
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Large Rifle and Large Pistol Primers

    I made a good old fashioned cock up on Saturday while doing some load development on my .308

    Having carefully loaded 35 rounds progressively working up my charge I noticed that the box of Federal Primers I had used said Pistol and not Large Rifle Primers. The dangers of such similar packaging.

    Quick call round to my trusted friends and a Google search suggested this possibly wasn't the worse thing in the world and certainly not worth disassembly. On the range Sunday they worked perfectly. I guess now though I should go through the same procedure with Large Rifle Primers and check once again for signs of pressure but I'm tempted just to work up from slightly under my top load last time and see how I go from there.

    Does make you wonder what the real differences are.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  2. #2
    Technically, it's the thickness of the primer cup metal. Pistol primers are made thinner so that the light strikes of a revolver hammer will penetrate enough to crush charge against the anvil. The danger is that with the heavier strike of s CF bolt gun, the primer could be pierces causing a jet of gas to come rearward.~Muir

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Technically, it's the thickness of the primer cup metal. Pistol primers are made thinner so that the light strikes of a revolver hammer will penetrate enough to crush charge against the anvil. The danger is that with the heavier strike of s CF bolt gun, the primer could be pierces causing a jet of gas to come rearward.~Muir
    At the risk of appearing anal, some reloading manuals recommend pistol primers rather than rifle primers for the .22 Hornet. This cartridge is put up in the CZ527 (not in Lefthand) which has exactly the same bolt assembly as the .204, .222, .223, and 7.62x39 but with a different bolt-face.

    Now that USA reloading components have become scarce, I'm using Sellier & Bellot ['ZAPALKY PRIMERS 4.4 SR BOXER] (#360338) in .222 and .223 which are labelled 'FOR RIFLE, PISTOL OR REVOLVER CARTRIDGES'..... so what's the diff?

    Sellier Bellot - Your ammunition company
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  4. #4
    As Muir said; dimensions.

    Pistol primers are often used in target loads for some of the old BP cartridges but they are know to often cause pitting on the breech face. For the guys that are serious about their loading they often obtain specail cases cut for the pistol primer. For 308, make sure you are using Large rifle.

    SS

  5. #5
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Yes primer piercing the was worst case discussed but honestly they have behaved the same as the Large Rifle.

    The cup thickness was discussed too in terms that as they are thinner they might be prone to showing signs of pressure earlier. No signs of pressure encountered. I'm up around the top of my book values. it will go higher as I'm working up a load for 1000 yards.

    I have 1000 S&B I bought in the worst of the shortages too. Suppose I will use them sometime.

    Oh the joys.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDorset View Post
    Yes primer piercing the was worst case discussed but honestly they have behaved the same as the Large Rifle.

    The cup thickness was discussed too in terms that as they are thinner they might be prone to showing signs of pressure earlier. No signs of pressure encountered. I'm up around the top of my book values. it will go higher as I'm working up a load for 1000 yards.

    I have 1000 S&B I bought in the worst of the shortages too. Suppose I will use them sometime.

    Oh the joys.
    Ok, you have been warned.

    SS

  7. #7
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    This is the difference you don't want to use large pistol primers in rifles they are shorter your firing pin may not hit hard enough causing a hang fire, it's worse going the other way you get slam fires



  8. #8
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Large Rifle and Large Pistol Primers

    Can't see your photo Robert but here are 2 of my own

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	52254Click image for larger version. 

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    The red primer is large rifle the one on the right is large pistol.

    Struck primers are identical. Lapua was rifle while the RWS was my test load mistakenly primed with large pistol.
    Last edited by NorthDorset; 29-01-2015 at 11:07.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link Marcbo but this is also a lot of folks regurgitating the same received wisdom that I had read and understood for years, indeed that of my buddies too but look at the evidence of your own eyes.

    Im not arguing that this is a recommended practice but suspend your disbelief and show me the difference.

    These were loaded with 175Gr SMK's to 44.5Gr of VHT N140 and shot really accurately at 400 yards. You would have thought softer cups would have shown earlier signs of pressure?

    Happy to accept the detonating mix is different. Rifle may go hotter longer. Not sure that my pressures aren't down because of the pistol primer used and not sure that I would want a top end load in a pistol case detonated by a rifle primer but ...........
    Last edited by NorthDorset; 29-01-2015 at 15:32.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

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