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Author Topic: Primer Sizes  (Read 4323 times)


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Primer Sizes
« on: July 07, 2009, 01:01:24 pm »
So I'm slowly getting into reloading and I'm about to start buying supplies. Powder and bullets seem to be easy, I'll just have to write down what the manual says before I go to the store. I guess eventually I'll know what type of powder from memory, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they're named. Like I said, I'll write it down.

But what about the primers. I've heard about Large Pistol, Small Pistol, Large Magnum Rifle....problem is, the Speer manual I have only lists CCI model numbers. Great if I'm only buying CCI primers, but what if I want to buy other brands. Where do I find the large, small, etc sizings?

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    Re: Primer Sizes
    « Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 01:09:06 pm »
    I've always used the Winchester Primers.  They actually Say Large Pistol, etc on the box.  Since I only have a .45, I only need to buy Large Pistol Primers.  Other than that, I'd probably just ask the person at the store.


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    Re: Primer Sizes
    « Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 01:36:47 pm »
    Are you wondering what size primers are used by the particular cartridges you're loading, looking for a reference for what CCI primers numbers are what size and type, or both?

    I think this is the basics of the CCI numbering:
    #200 Large Rifle
    #250 Large Rifle Magnum
    #BR2 Large Rifle Bench Rest
    #300 Large Pistol
    #350 Large Pistol Magnum
    #400 Small Rifle
    #450 Small Rifle Magnum
    #BR4 Small Rifle Bench Rest
    #500 Small Pistol
    #550 Small Pistol Magnum

    #35 50 BMG
    #209 Shotshell
    #209M Shotshell Magnum
    #34 7.62 NATO Military
    #41 Small Rifle Military



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    Re: Primer Sizes
    « Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 01:40:53 pm »
    The CCI ones say "Large Pistol", "Small Pistol" etc in addition to the  Speer model number on the box.  I kind of like that there is a specific model number to avoid confusing one primer with a similar one.  I think Remington does something like that too but I'm not as familiar with theirs.

    Fwiw, I suggest buying and trying some Wolf primers too along with "the good ones".  I'm still comparing Wolf SR, LR, SP, LP primers with the Winchester and CCI primers that I usually use.  But, so far, the value-priced Wolf primers work every bit as well as the CCIs and Winchesters, and by that I mean the Wolf primer loads chronograph just as fast and as consistently as the others.  For a year or two I thought there must be something wrong with the Wolfs because they were significantly less expensive, but I am growing more and more sure they are just as good, the more I use them.

    Oh, and sometimes you'll find odd lots of brass that don't take the primer you think they would.  IIRC most 7.62x39 boxer-primed brass takes regular Large Rifle primers, but there's one headstamp (R-P? I don't remember for sure) that uses Small Rifle primers and the primer pockets are sized accordingly.  Gave me one heck of a time figuring that out the first time it happened, all I knew at first was that this piece of brass did NOT want to seat a primer!

    Last thing: the guy who showed me the reloading ropes recommended CCI and Winchester primers.  Not sure why he thought they were better but I've pretty much stuck with them.  I mostly have bought Winchester, but there's just something I don't know what that makes me like the CCI primers a little better.  I don't know if it's the silver color rather than bronze of the Winchesters, maybe the CCI box is smaller and easier to store, don't know.  Never had a problem with the Winchesters but if things go back to normal, I'll probably just buy CCI primers from here on out.  Unless, I end up buying Wolf exclusively.


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    Re: Primer Sizes
    « Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 06:09:42 pm »
    Yeah, every brand states pretty clearly on the box what they are. Thanks for the heads up on the Wolf primers, I have one local source who stocks them, and the don't sell out as fast because maybe folks don't trust them or whatever. For my "plinking" and practice ammo, it just has to go bang.

    That being said, CCI primers in the Large Rifle Benchrest (BR2) and Small Rifle Benchrest (BR4) usually shrink group size in otherwise so-so loads that I've tried over the years. I use them for my hunting loads.
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    Re: Primer Sizes
    « Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 12:49:06 am »
    As long as you aren't right at the top of the charts different brands rated in each individual category will interchange just fine, and given current conditions, that's a good thing.

    IE:  "Small pistol"  regardless of brand is small pistol, and "large rifle magnum" is just that.  However, different brands will show different data over a chrono and on paper if you take that kind of time during load development.

    As far as which CCI matches which Remington, or which Federal matches which Winchester by part number?  Most loading manuals have a primer chart that tells you exactly that.  It's usually buried in the text in the front of the book before you get to data for individual calibers. 
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