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Thread: Primers ID

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Kaneohe, HI

    Primers ID

    Got a couple of bags of primers.
    All mixed up.
    How do you tell small rifle/small pistol, and large rifle/large pistols????

  2. #2
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    rifle will be slightly higher / taller (drawn cup) then pistol.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    New Mexico
    almost impossible. OD of rifle and pistol are the same, heights are close, LRP is about 0.005" taller than LPP. Cup metal is thicker on rifle primers and explosive is visually identical.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I have a small bowl of mixed primers and I use them for low pressure plinking loads in whatever gun I'm using.
    Simply because I can't identify them other than large and small.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    I'm A Honcho!

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    East and South of you
    You'll have to sort through them twice to get them completely sorted:

    Boxer primers for the United States market come in different sizes, based on the application. The types/sizes of primers are:
    • 0.175" (4.45 mm) diameter small pistol primers, and a thicker or stronger metal cup small rifle version for use with higher pressure loadings in weapons with heavy firing pin impact.
    • 0.209" (5.31 mm) diameter primers for shotgun shells and modern inline muzzleloaders, using a Boxer-type primer factory-assembled inside a tapered, flanged brass cup.
    • 0.210" (5.33 mm) diameter large rifle primers, and a thinner or softer metal cup large pistol version for use with lower pressure loadings in weapons with light firing pin impact. Large rifle primers are also up to 0.008" taller than large pistol primers. [4] [5]
    • 0.315" (8.00 mm) diameter .50 BMG primers, used for the .50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge and derivatives

    Rifle Primer Dimensions
    Thickness Diameter Height
    Small Rifle
    CCI 400 .020" .1753" .109"
    450 .025" .1750" .113"
    BR4 .025" .1755" .109"
    Federal200 .019" .1757" .111"
    205M .0225" .1744" .1075"
    Remington 6 1/2 .020" .1753" .109"
    7 1/2 .025" .1752" .110"
    WinchesterSR .021" .1750" .109"
    Large Rifle
    CCI 200 .027" .2112" .118"
    250 .027" .2113" .118"
    Federal 210 .027" .2120" .117"
    215 -- -- --
    Remington9 1/2 .027" .2100" .119"
    WinchesterLR .027" .2114" .121"
    Mag .027" .2114" .121"

    The rest will be Pistol Primers.

    Some manufacturers plate the cups with nickel, some with brass. You MIGHT be able to judge which manufacturer to assign the various primers to, so that you get some consistancy to the lots.

    Not a job I envy. Hope this helps.

    NRA Life Member
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

    Author of a book on reloading
    ILSA MEMBER http://www.internationallawnsteelsho...ssociation.com

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    skeettx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amarillo, Texas
    Small primers, I load in 38 Special with 3.1 grains of 231
    Large primers, I load in 45 ACP with 4.0 grains of Bullseye
    Cast Boolits, of course

    What fun, what fun

    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  7. #7

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    A couple years ago, I bought several different factory packages (100 count) of various primers at a gunshow. they were all in one box, which must have had a rough ride, as some of the 100 ct packages opened and spilled some primers...so I had a mix of primers in the bottom of the box. I was able to sort them by size...and then by primer compound and/or anvil color, to match them to primers that were still in the packages.

    To my surprise (and to the point of my post), some didn't match up to any packages in the box, or didn't match to any in my extensive collection of other primers in my stash. So I have set them aside for use as Texas by God mentions, "mixed primers and I use them for low pressure plinking loads" and/or firing forming loads
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    David2011's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Baytown Texas
    The foil visible beneath the anvil will help sort them but may not be much help in identifying them. Primers in bags = accident waiting for an initiating event IMO. Not a safe way to store them. As I understand the OP you may have received them already in the bags.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    i wouldnt waste my time with them. also agree with the previous post.

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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