Other than pistol primers in my .22 Hornet loads I was wondering who uses pistol primers in cast rifle loads? Is there a pressure limit or rifle type that you’d avoid? Is there an advantage to using them or is it a substitute that lets you shoot because it’s what you have in hand. Yes I’m thinking of using pistol primers and reserve my rifle primers for jacketed loads.
Pistol Primers in Rifles
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- Last Post 22 September 2020
I use them all the time, as I have many more of them than rifle primers. As long as you are below 40k pressure, there should not be a safety issue. They work best with easy to ignite powders, such as Unique, 4759, 5744, etc. I don't know if there is necessiarily any advantage using them, just try them against rifle primers for grouping and consistency. Some firing pins will pierce the softer pistol primer cups. Not often, but it can happen. Check your fired primers. LP primers are about .005 shorter than LR primers. SP and SR and the same height wise. Make sure your firing pin has enough extra reach, when using LP primers. Most rifles do.
Pistol large primers are shorter than rifle primers, so you have the issue of firing pin reach, and they are softer and wedge back to screw up pressure readings.
Small pistol primers have a softer cup and will pierce at about 20,000. Mag small pistols will be good for .357 loads @ 40,000.
Rule of thumb, pistol primers will light off single base fast rifle powders, but few double based deterrent coated ball rifle powders.
Tried Remington 2 1/2 in a Ishapore 2A 7.62x51 NATO. Used a 311299 and 16 grains Aliant 2400. Miserable fail. After the second out of five pierced, I stopped and broke them all down. Works for some rifles I guess, but not the Indian clone of a SMLE III. Your mileage may vary...
In my C. Sharps Model 74 black powder rifle, I’ve been using large pistol primers for 3-years. No damage to the breech face, as some people have observed. The primer choice is due to better accuracy than large rifle primers. Black powder and plain base cast bullets.
I think I would try the Russian LR primers like Wolf or Tula. The Internet lore and some actual tests (unfortunately not posted any longer) showed them to have the least flame.
CCI sp are the same cup as sr primers. The 400 cci primers have been used in loads up to 60K psi without blanking. But in some guns they will if your firing pin protrusion is over spec or you have a oversized firing pin hole. The 400 primers were made for 45K max limit but can be pushed.
According to CCI the 450 mag sp are the exact same primer as a SR 400. Same cup and compound. The compound in the regular SP is the only difference between the regular sp and the sp mag primers.
if i read correctly the question on this was could he use small pistol in cast bullet 22 hornet cases... i can answer it from experience with a higher pressure round the 218 bee... it will cause no problem at all. i have used pistol in jacketed bullet loads in several cartridges that take small primers they are the same size and work well. once i used large rifle in my 45acp and it worked well. not you didnt ask about large primers but there is a slight difference in length but i havent had a problem but bet you could. if the firing pin was too long or too short. for one thing most of the time cast bullets are of less pressure than standard loads. i hope this answer helps you joe in washington state not dc
if you think you have it figured out then you just dont understand
Pistol primers will cause slam fires in my Garand.
You sure don't want to use pistol primers in the Garand. Due to the design of the Garand, they will slamfire. CCI #34's, are all I use in mine. They have an extra thick cup, so they are not quite so sensitive.
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