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Thread: Primer primer

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    South of the (Canada) border

    Primer primer

    On the Titan Reloading email update list, a reference on primers is its main theme for their (Dennis's) December newsletter. Wowsers! Quite a well-written, most informative article referenced, which was written by Tom Mchale for Guns America Digest.

    Here's a link to it; albeit I'm pretty quickly approaching my fiftieth year of reloading -- I learned a bit. A short, but concise and informative article -- I surely feel it was worth the read. Germane to our hobby, I thought others may also benefit from it.



  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Central VA
    Good article. Thanks for sharing. About 15-20 years or more ago my friend Charlie Dell wanted to eliminate all variables he could for schuetzen, so he built a pendulum type device to determine the power of each brand and lot of primers. As I recall, he also had the ability to control the force with which the pin hit the primer to determine which primers were easiest to ignite and whether that had any effect on accuracy. One night we were down in his shop trying to record the actual flash of the primer as it ignited to see whether there was any significant difference there. I've discovered that no matter how carefully I control all of these factors and no matter how well I construct my ammo, I can still shoot it poorly and lose matches!

    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Northwest Ohio
    Primers are one of the least over looked components in the mix. A lot of reloaders have their "Favorite" primers on the bench that gets used where ever appropriate. Seating force, load on anvil to pellet, Force of the blow, and other things all contribute to primers consistency.
    A friend and I spent some time testing primers also. We used a 22 hornet rifle and 1 case for small primers and a 22-250 rife and 1 case for large. Measured velocity with a chronograph and groups each primer only produced. Projectiles were 22 cal pellets loaded backwards ( saved blowing skirts off). I don't remember the exact numbers now but there was a difference in velocities produced and also in the actual groups when fired. This compared different brands and types but didn't have a way to measure flame durations, brissence, or pressure curves. It did compare pressure in a rough manner thru produced velocities.

    The primer is the component we have the least control over. Powders can be selected to an application, weighed to very close tolerences and inserted into cases in special ways. Bullets again weighed to close tolerences, sorted by ogive, OAL, and jacket concentricity. Cases the same plus uniforming of flash holes primer pockets and temper. Yet the primers come out of the box into a tray get rattled around a little and loaded.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Any body ever do comparison testing between Berdan and Boxer? The member "Marshall" here has developed many excellent priming compounds and I just made a hydraulic decapper for him. Armed with these two things recharging the Berdan primers themselves is a piece of cake. A bit slow but very easy. I was thinking about starting to use Berdan cases for the 9mm so I can reload the primers too. At this point primers is the most expensive part of reloading. With free or extremely cheap primers the cost of reloading pistol and many other calibers comes way down.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Boise, Idaho
    That was a nice read. Thanks!

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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