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Thread: Large rifle primers in pistol brass?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Large rifle primers in pistol brass?

    Have an acquaintance that is in a panic because he cannot find any large pistol primers.
    I've been using large rifle primers in pistol brass for decades, am I missing something?
    Pay no attention to the mess in my shop. My best work comes from chaos!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Missing bout .006-.008 clearance when I tried it. Have some Hornady 44 brass with pockets that with a LPP seated measure .008 below flush. So with a LRP seated, it protruded .004. Both CCI primers.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I've done it by mistake a couple of times, but not with any horrific results.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I do it a lot use primer pocket uniformer

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    On MOST handgun brass, MOST large tifle primers will protrude enough from the pocket to cause chambering or cylinder rotation problems.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Not sure about autoloader, but a decent revolver with good clearance tolerances will hate that unless the primer pocket is deepened. Then of course you'll need to mark that brass somehow because large pistol primers will be far below flush.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry - revolvers will hate it because the cylinder won't advance due to the bulging primer causing excessive length in regards to the base of the cartridge.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have used a primer pocket uniformer to increase the pocket depth and with target loads it worked fine.

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    The Winchester large rifle primers I measured were 0.004" longer than the Winchester large pistol primers. I would be concerned about slam fires in a semi-automatic pistol.

    Increasing primer pocket depth seems like a way to prevent slam fires, but time intensive. You would also have to be careful to make sure you removed enough material from the primer pocket.

    As far as small pistol and small rifle primers go, the primers I have on hand are the same dimensions. In my experience, small rifle primers will work well in pistol cartridges if you don't have a really light hammer spring.

  10. #10
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    Welcome to CB lead puller,

    Way to jump right in there, you should get along great here.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Okay.....my experience has been with .45ACP brass, and I have had no issues. Maybe I have just been lucky so far. All good knowledge to have. Thanks all.
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  12. #12
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    On MOST handgun brass, MOST large tifle primers will protrude enough from the pocket to cause chambering or cylinder rotation problems.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
    years ago, I did a swap with a fellow (who is now listed in the deadbeat section, due to other deals with other members). I was suppose to get some 1x 44mag brass. What I got...some 44 mag brass that didn't look like 1x and some 45 colt brass that didn't look like 1x and some of the 45 colt brass had live rifle primers installed...yes they were all protruding...also included was some live ammo (reloads I assume?)...and this was shipped in a USPS flat rate box without packing, so things were loosely bouncing around.
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  13. #13
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    ive done it many times. Some guns will work with them some wont. Load up a couple and if they dont bind your fine. What id do is consider them magnum pistol primers and back my loads off a tad though.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  14. #14
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    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    From an old thread;


    44 Magnum with LR Primers


    Thought I’d just start a new thread instead of digging up the old one. Got a break in the weather so I conducted the test of LR primers in the 44 Magnum. SAAMI MAP (Maximum Average Pressure) for the 44 Magnum is 36,000 psi with a MPSM (Maximum Probable Sample Mean) of 38,800 psi.

    The test was conducted with a Contender pistol and the Oehler M43. All tests are 9 or 10 shot test strings. I had 2 FTF with the Contender and 2 of the primers. I used two loads;

    RCBS 44-250-K cast of WWs + 2 %tin with a BHN of 16, sized .430 and lubed with Javelina
    WW Super 44 Magnum cases (new) with primer pockets reamed for LR primers
    WW Super 44 Magnum cases (new) with standard primer pockets with control loads
    OAL; 1.711”
    Powders; Alliant 2400 (21 gr) & H110 (23 gr)
    Results listed as; primer/average velocity (fps)/SD/ES/average PSI (M43)/SD/ES

    H110 load;
    Control load;
    WLP/1400/24/78/21,700/1,200/3,600

    LR primer loads;
    Rem 9 1/2/1466/47/112/25,200/3,500/8,500
    CCI 200/1390/49/141/22,100/1,500/4,200
    CCI #34/1507/35/107/28,300/3,000/9,000
    WLR/1506/26/85/28,500/2,300/6,000
    Fed 215/1544/12/36/31,600/1,500/4,100

    Here we see all the psi’s within SAAMI proscribed MAP. We find the control load with WLP primers to be relatively mild. The hotter Fed 215 magnum LR primer produced the most consistent internal ballistics and the highest psi with the highest velocity with H110. No pressure problems observed with using the LR primers in this load with H110 powder.

    Alliant 2400 load;
    Control load;
    Fed 150/1542/18/51/30,800/1,000/2,700

    LR primer loads;
    Rem 9 1/2/1603/13/37/34,700/500/1,200
    CCI 200/1589/20/46/33,000/1,800/5,000
    CCI #34/1634/10/27/37,900/1,900/5,500
    WLR/1633/8/22/37,600/1,000/2,600
    Fed 215/1641/13/29/41,200/1,900/4,100

    Here we see some LR primers (the “soft” 9 ˝ & 200) are OK with this load keeping the psi under the SAAMI MAP/ However, when magnum level LR primers are used we see the psi going Over the MAP and the Fed 215 psi going over the MPSM. Note the very good internal ballistics with this load of 2400 with all the primers tested. Obviously this load is burning very efficiently in the 30K to 41K psi range.

    The pressure ES aren't really that large and are within SAAMI specs for psi variation of an acceptable load. One thing I've learned in the multiple tests I've run with numerous cartridge/loads is that within acceptable variation there isn't a correlation between psi ES and fps ES. Seems like there would be but there isn't. It’s one of those theories of this game that sound good but don't pan out in actual testing.

    BTW; SAAMI uses a constant from the Biometrika Tables for Statisticians based on the sample size for 90% confidence to determine the maximum allowable psi ES. If we use the H110 control load for an example;

    H110 load;
    Control load;
    WLP/1400/24/78/21,700/1,200/3,600

    We find the maximum allowable psi ES would be 6,192. Even the largest psi ES of; CCI #34/1507/35/107/28,300/3,000/9,000 was still within the maximum allowable psi ES (15,480) for that load with that psi SD.

    However, to actually determine what is an acceptable psi variation range SAAMI also uses a maximum allowable SD for acceptable loads. This is 4% of the MAP. This is 1,440 psi SD for the 44 Magnum. We see both control loads with the LP primers are within this allowable SD variation. Only 2 of the Alliant 2400 loads with LR primers are within the allowable SD variation. None of the H110 loads with LR primers fall within the SAAMI acceptable psi SD variation range.

    The groups at 50 yards were good, bad and ugly. I wasn't really trying for best accuracy being more concerned with collecting the measured data. I always shoot better not shooting through screens but I was shooting fairly well. The reason for the inaccuracy is with this Contender barrel accuracy any BB cast bullet cast bullet goes south over 1400 fps. With a FB'd cast bullet like the RCBS bullet used accuracy is usually good through 1480 - 1500 fps. Over that and it goes south. That's what we see here, the H110 load at 1400 fps gave a 10 shot group of 1.95". The Alliant 2400 group at 1542 fps and a much higher psi gave a 3.6" group. The higher velocity/higher psi loads accuracy with the LR primers got down right ugly with the LR group running 3.6" as compared to the 1.95 gr with LP primers [both 10 shot groups].

    Obviously the use of LR primers raises the psi in both loads. I’ll leave the question of “is it dangerous” for you all to decide. Note; I was not able to seat LR primers in standard pocket cases without severely scrunching them so the Contender would close or the cylinder of my Colt Anaconda or Ruger BHFT would rotate. This demonstrate to use LR primers in the WW Super cases really requires the primer pockets be reamed out if such are to be used in many handguns.

    Note; using case of any cartridge with the primers not seated flush or below the case head can, at a minimum, cause functioning problems and at worse be catastrophic.
    Larry Gibson

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  15. #15
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    good info there larry
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  16. #16
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    Awesome info . many Thanks for sharing
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  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    I look at the loading side. It varies depending on the primer. The old cci primers went in nice with a hand priming tool. Seat, press to load face tight to anvil. Primers below flush of case. If you're using Tula like my son has been using, you want the bench mount rcbs to seat them. So if you have fed 215 rifle primers maybe if milspec like cci34 maybe not

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Cup thickness is different

  19. #19
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    Again with Mr Gibsons example he is reaming the primer pockets to accept the longer LR primers. You had best do the same if you do this, IMO.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    My question is, other than the difference in height between LR and LP primers, is there a difference in the priming compound that would account for the differences in Larry Gibsons post?

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