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Author Topic: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers  (Read 6420 times)

Outbreak

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The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
« on: August 17, 2013, 12:29:01 am »
Is the Large Pistol Primer going the way of the dodo?

I've done a bit of reading on the topic, and it seems that in the old days, bigger cases needed bigger flash holes and more priming compound to reliably ignite the larger charge. Hence the need for large primers.

Now it seems primers have gotten better. Blazer .45ACP comes with small primers now. There may be other brands, too. Many reloaders are seeking out small-primer .45 brass to avoid having to switch priming systems on progressive presses, or to consolidate to all small primers, or both. It seems to be working for them.

For manufacturers, eliminating large primers has obvious benefits. They can trim down to one primer production line instead of two, and fewer popular handgun cartridges use large primers. Of the "big 3" calibers (9x19, .40S&W, and .45ACP) only the .45 uses large primers. Other less popular calibers (10mm, .45LC, .44Mag to name a few) use large as well, but 9mm and .40 probably account for more production than the other calibers combined across the industry. So the vast majority of ammunition produced nowadays uses small primers.

So why keep the large pistol primer around? I say, let it go.
TexasOutbreak

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    coelacanth

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 12:54:35 am »
    I think it would be a bad idea to discontinue them entirely.  Small primers tend to be a bit "harder" than large ones just by the nature of the materials they are manufactured from.  Maybe the manufacturers have that problem solved but shooters are a die hard bunch.  We still have modern companies producing weapons that were obsolete a century ago.  We still find loaded ammo and components for calibers that should have died out in the same time frame.  If your concern is for manufacturing capacity in the industry let the industry decide based on what sells rather than deciding it here on the interwebs. 
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    Coronach

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 12:54:40 am »
    I never thought about it much. I have a mess of .45 brass, I wonder how much of it is large vs small primer...

    Mike

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    Coronach

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 12:57:28 am »
    Here's a question: what rounds use large pistol primers?

    .45 ACP
    .45 LC
    .44 Mag
    .41 Mag (?)
    10mm

    What else?

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    coelacanth

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 01:06:39 am »
    .44 special,  455 Casull , .45 Super, 460 Rowland ,  480 Ruger,  .50 AE , .500 S&W,  all the Linebaugh proprietary rounds,  some of the Reeder proprietary rounds, I believe the 44-40 and 38-40 as well.  There may be more but those come to mind immediately.

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    Coronach

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 08:22:50 am »
    That really is not a lot. I have some of that, but besides .45ACP and 10mm, it's mostly niche stuff.

    What about the oddballs like 9x23 Winchester and 9x25 Dillon? .38 Super is small, I assume ...

    Mike
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    JesseL

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 11:27:46 am »
    .44 special,  455 Casull , .45 Super, 460 Rowland ,  480 Ruger,  .50 AE , .500 S&W,  all the Linebaugh proprietary rounds,  some of the Reeder proprietary rounds, I believe the 44-40 and 38-40 as well.  There may be more but those come to mind immediately.

    .500 S&W switched to large rifle primers about a year after it was introduced.
    .454 Casull uses a small rifle primer.
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    cpaspr

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 01:40:25 pm »
    The primer manufacturers are still going to have to have large primer production equipment, due to all the rifle calibers that take large rifle primers.  Plus, there are literally millions, if not billions, of LP cartridge cases still being used by shooters who reload.  Relegating all that brass to the scrap metal buckets would not make reloaders happy with the primer manufacturers.  Which manufacturer wants to be the first to face that anger?
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    Outbreak

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 07:30:14 pm »
    I'm not saying stop producing them immediately. I have tons of large-primed .45 and 10mm brass, and about 5k large primers to burn through.

    I'm suggesting all future production of factory ammo be switched to small primer.
    TexasOutbreak

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    JesseL

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 10:26:56 pm »
    If such change come to pass, I hope somebody is on the ball with putting together new tested load data for the cartridges that switch from LPPs to something else.
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    zayerpaul

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 05:14:35 pm »
    Any suggestions on reloading .45's with small primers? I have quite a few from my recent brass order that I didn't know what to do with. Also, the guy that I buy brass from locally has small primer .45acp brass for only 30 bucks a thousand because nobody around here wants it. If I can safely reload it for practice rounds, I will definitely grab some from him.

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    Outbreak

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 06:43:23 pm »
    You can definitely reload it safely but I don't have any load data.

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    TexasOutbreak

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    wyatt

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    Re: The Demise of Large Pistol Primers
    « Reply #12 on: August 24, 2013, 11:19:18 am »
    The large pistol primers are much easier to reload with strike anywhere match heads.  :whistle

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