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Thread: Large pistol primers or large rifle primers for a 44-40

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Neo's Avatar
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    Question Large pistol primers or large rifle primers for a 44-40

    Hi I recently bought a Rossi Mod 92 in 44-40 and I will be reloading the ammo for this rifle and I am wandering if I am able to use large rifle primers instead of large pistol primers as it is more difficult to get the LP primers so is there a difference in them.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    They are dimensionally different and should not be substituted. Small rifle and small pistol are the same size but even those should not be switched with few exceptions. Large pistol primers are thinner than large rifle and can, and will, puncture and can be hazardous due to the pressure differences in the cartridge they are being used in. Don't do it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    Large pistol primers are thinner than large rifle and can, and will, puncture and can be hazardous due to the pressure differences in the cartridge they are being used in. Don't do it.
    Did you even read the OP? He's talking 44-40, a handgun cartridge, with the proper primer pocket size for LP primers. Additionally, the 44-40 is low pressure compared to some of the newer handgun rounds. LP primers hold 44 Mag and stouter pressures, why would you caution against using them in 44-40?
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    Boolit Buddy marvelshooter's Avatar
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    Deleted. I mistakenly thought the the OP was asking about using LP primers in a case designed for LR primers. Using LR primers in a LP case is of course a bad idea.
    Last edited by marvelshooter; 09-22-2014 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Read OP wrong.

  5. #5
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    treat 44/40 as you would a 44sp or 44 mag.
    Standard large pistol
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    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan in Vermont View Post
    Did you even read the OP? He's talking 44-40, a handgun cartridge, with the proper primer pocket size for LP primers. Additionally, the 44-40 is low pressure compared to some of the newer handgun rounds. LP primers hold 44 Mag and stouter pressures, why would you caution against using them in 44-40?
    I am not a .44-40 shooter however, I think .44-40 brass is made to accept large pistol primers. Large rifle primers are taller and when seated in a case designed for large pistol primers, stand proud of the head and likely will bind the cylinder in a revolver. In an autoloading cartridge, the chance of a slam fire is very high with very undesireable results. Further, Large Rifle primers are more energetic than their large pistol cousins and will dramatically raise pressure.

    Using a Large Pistol primer in a case intended for Large Rifle primers will, in time, peen the breech face causing damage around the firing pin hole. The shorter pistol primer, upon firing, slams back with great velocity until it is stopped by the breech. In high pressure ammunition, the chance of a blown primer is also present as previously stated.

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    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I have new Starline .44-40 brass. Large rifle primers cannot be seated flush to the case head without crushing the primer, which is ABSOLUTELY NOT recommended!

    Even in Winchester '92 loads, the .44-40 is, comparatively, a "mild" pressure cartridge compared to modern, high intensity rounds like the .44 Remington Magnum. Using rifle primers in the .44-40 is neither necessary nor recommended. The primer pockets of current Starline brass are dimensioned to accept large PISTOL primers and those are what you should use.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan in Vermont View Post
    Did you even read the OP? He's talking 44-40, a handgun cartridge, with the proper primer pocket size for LP primers. Additionally, the 44-40 is low pressure compared to some of the newer handgun rounds. LP primers hold 44 Mag and stouter pressures, why would you caution against using them in 44-40?
    Yes, I did read the OP. Did you? He asked if he could interchange large rifle with large pistol primers and I told him they were dimensionally different. Apparently you didn't know that.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    all the reloading manuals say large pistol. so i would say that is want is to be used.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    Hi I recently bought a Rossi Mod 92 in 44-40 and I will be reloading the ammo for this rifle and I am wandering if I am able to use large rifle primers instead of large pistol primers as it is more difficult to get the LP primers so is there a difference in them.
    The book answer is no. As stated LR are taller than LP. Can it be done and is it done frequently? Yes.

    Some pistol primer pockets are deep enough that you can seat LR without being proud. Most will not but the LR primer can be crushed to be flush. Do I recommend it if LP are available no. Would I do it if LP are truly unavailable. Probably with the understanding that pressures may increase along with increased FTF's.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 09-22-2014 at 11:25 AM.

  11. #11
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    The round and the rifle are intended to be used with large pistol primers, so that's what you need to use.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto, LP only!
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Savvy Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    Yes, I did read the OP. Did you? He asked if he could interchange large rifle with large pistol primers and I told him they were dimensionally different. Apparently you didn't know that.
    He also fails to understand that the 44-40 is a Rifle cartridge. Two reputable places describe it as such.
    1. Wikipedia -
    A rifle cartridge is a cartridge primarily designed and intended for use in a rifle or carbine.
    2. ANSI/SAAMI - 44-40 is listed under Centerfire Rifle not Centerfire Pistol& Revolver.

    I also load my 44-40 cartridges with rifle powders, predominantly Reloder 7

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Some 44/40 cases are meant to be loaded with pistol primers,some with rifle primers.......if you load pistol primer cases with LR primers they will protrude from the case ,and may fire as the bolt is closed......In my gun,the bolt wont close on LR primers in WW 44/40 cases..You can load pistol primers in rifle primer cases ,provided the firing pin protrusion is sufficient to fire them.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have WW, R-P, and Starline 44/40 brass accumulated over the past many years. My brass all takes CCI 200 (large rifle) primers just fine and that is what I have always used. What planet are you guys on? On this planet the 44/40 is a rifle cartridge, that also gets used in revolvers occasionally. And yeah, I have used LP primers on occasion when I was playing around with loads (you'd have to have an awful short firing pin to have any trouble with LP primers), but the LR's fit just fine.

  16. #16
    I always use large pistol primers, cuz thats what the book says to use.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Large pistol primers as rifle primers are taller and will not sit below the case head .

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    does no one own or read loading manuals ? all of mine say use large pistol.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I read the OP's question..got me to thing ( not something I like to do ),just loaded 50 rds. of 44/40 , cleaned and prepped ,neck sized ,primed ,loaded 7.1 grs. TB,,seated 200gr. rnfp bullets ( pause ) YEP ! went and cked. primer's and printed in BIG letters on the CCI box...Large Rifle !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awwww ( bumping head on loading bench ) heckie darn,,,DON"T BE IN A HURRY..had to pull all bullets,( dispose of primers - don't trust them now!! ) pour out powder-deprime- go'n wait till I am having a better day. THANK YOU for your question,,"Point"----on any given day we can all make mistakes .

    go'n for coffee ,,,,Hootmix.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Neo me lad, you're just gonna' have to try a Large Rifle primer in YOUR brass and see if it fits to below flush like it otta'.

    I've been loading these things for 30 years with at least three different brands of brass and they all take Large Rifle primers just fine and that is what I have mostly used.

    The guys are right in that a) the loading books seem to call for Large Pistol and b) if they really mean it you don't want to use the large rifle primers because they wouldn't seat deep enough and would give you high primers.

    But all my brass is made to take the large rifle primer if you so desire. I had no idea there might be some brass out there that is not made to take the rifle primer, and if that is true (I'm doubting it but who knows?) you will need to try for yourself.

    Nifty cartridge -- have some fun with it.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check