• Last Post 28 August 2022
alco posted this 22 August 2022

I have found a small supply of small rifle primers will they work OK in a 38 Spl with 3.5/BE seated at 1.55 ?

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fc60 posted this 22 August 2022


I tried small pistol, small pistol magnum, and small rifle in the 32 Long WadCutter.

Velocities were all the same except for one. The Winchester Small Pistol Magnum was 30 FPS faster.

Best bet? Load ten with small pistol and ten with small rifle. Then dig out the chronograph.



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dannyd93140 posted this 22 August 2022

I use winchester, federal and cci small rifle primers all the time with light loads and they work fine.  The standard deviation is better with SR than SP for me.

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Tom G posted this 22 August 2022

I had a good supply of SR primers and wanted to use them in pistol reloads.  I too tested them to see if the velocities were any different.  They were the same as the same brand in small pistol primers. I started loading them in 9mm, 40, and 38 spcl/357 Mag brass.   The only problem I've had so far is they don't go off reliably in my striker fired guns. I get maybe 1 or 2% that don't go off.  They have always worked in my hammer fired guns.  These guns are S&W 586 and Browning Hi Power .  I had misfires in a Ruger LC9 and S&W M&P.  Another shooter friend who shoots a striker fired pistol had similar results with misfires.  Not many but maybe one or two per hundred.  He was satisfied with the occasional misfire as he likes to train for malfunction practice and gets some real world malfunctions.  When shooting in competitions, he uses only pistol primers and has no problems.  

The only test I've done with large rifle primers in large pistol cartridges has been in the 45 auto 1911 pistol.  Being a hammer fired gun, it has worked perfectly.    

So far, I've noted that Federal SR primers are the most reliable in striker fired guns and Sellier & Beloit SR primers were the worst as far as mis fires. 

My Ruger LCP pro 9 MM has a lot of rounds through it and when I found misfires with the SR primers I installed a new striker assembly which had a new spring on it   It made no difference as far as misfires.  


Tom Gray

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David Reiss posted this 22 August 2022

Using SR primers in any of the newer (plastic) striker fired pistols is an iffy proposition at best. Compared to hammer fired pistols the ignition systems are weak. Some have plastic parts, even guide rods for the striker springs which allow some slight flexibility. I have tested some pistol ammo loaded with SR primers because that is all we had to use testing repaired guns, saving good ammo for sale in the store. I quickly abandoned that idea after getting so many light strikes due to the SR primers. 

My advice is stay with SP primers or factory ammo, certainly for self defense. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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dannyd93140 posted this 23 August 2022

Those CCI 400's work great in my GP100

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Eutectic posted this 28 August 2022

My SIG 220 would fire rifle primers 100%, there was no velocity difference. Larry did get pressure differences in some loads with rifle primers. Note: there was little velocity difference when there was large pressure difference! If you are using a load well below maximum there is little danger. Unless you have pressure measuring equipment substituting rifle primers in hot loads is not a good idea.

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