AR15.Com Archives
 CCI #400 primers versus Federal primers for AR-15 reloading
mkengr45  [Member]
11/26/2010 11:19:53 AM EST
Can anybody comment on which of these primers is preferred in reloading for an ar-15? Thay are both known to be somewhat soft primers. Anybody had slam fires with either? I am using a lee turret press if that matters. I can get the CCI #400 cheaper, but wanted to get some opinions from more knowledgable folks on here first. Thanks for the advice

Randy
Paid Advertisement
--
Stump70  [Member]
11/26/2010 12:04:32 PM EST
Never had a prob with the 400's. Go buy them and keep down that cost basis on ammo.
Lomshek  [Member]
11/26/2010 12:18:12 PM EST
Based on Glen Zediker's reloading book Federal primers are too soft to be trusted with the floating firing pin in AR's (may cause slam fires).
strat81  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 12:20:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By Stump70:
Never had a prob with the 400's. Go buy them and keep down that cost basis on ammo.


Same experience here. No slam fires or anything of the sort with CCI 400s in my rifles.
RobRat  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 12:51:12 PM EST
CCI #41's work great for an AR, but will not fire 1/2 the time with a regular bolt gun (for me anyway). I've neve had a problem with Fed 205's in my AR's. Also got a case of 400's coming, I hope they work!
ziebart  [Member]
11/26/2010 1:00:31 PM EST
I use CCI400's w/o any problem.
mkengr45  [Member]
11/26/2010 1:23:51 PM EST
Thanks for all the replies. I just ordered a case of 5k primers for $99 with a $10 hazmat fee and free shipping. Seems like a dam good price to me....
rippersde50  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 3:36:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By mkengr45:
Thanks for all the replies. I just ordered a case of 5k primers for $99 with a $10 hazmat fee and free shipping. Seems like a dam good price to me....


Ummm, where, if I may ask, did you get them at that price?
hanibal  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 3:42:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By rippersde50:
Originally Posted By mkengr45:
Thanks for all the replies. I just ordered a case of 5k primers for $99 with a $10 hazmat fee and free shipping. Seems like a dam good price to me....


Ummm, where, if I may ask, did you get them at that price?


This. And we shot about 300 rounds of .223 today with the CCI 400 primers without a problem to report. This was the first time I've used them, and will continue to now.
dryflash3  [Moderator]
11/26/2010 4:55:52 PM EST


No problems here.
951bulldog  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 5:02:49 PM EST
Has anybody here actually had any slamfires or anything like that due to soft primers? We get these questions about twice a week asking "Can I use X primer in an AR or is it too soft?" and every single time the answer is always go for it, I use them all the time and have never had a problem. Sure, people say to stay away from certain ones, like the Rem 6 1/2, but even then, have yo uactually had any slam fires?

Don't take this to mean I am going to tempt fate, I am just curious to see if anybody has actually had any problems due to soft primers.
fmjron  [Member]
11/26/2010 5:13:40 PM EST
Same hear, use them all the time and never had anything happen, work just fine.
pdg45acp  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 6:03:46 PM EST
I use both federal 205 and CCI 400 in .223 and never had any problem with either.

federal does make a 200 but it's a pistol primer, I think that's what confuses the issue.

Both the 205 and the 205M have a .0225" thick cup which is .0025 thicker than the CCI 400.

My all time favorite small rifle primer is CCI 450 but I haven seen them available in a long time.

AeroE  [Moderator]
11/26/2010 6:17:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By 951bulldog:
Has anybody here actually had any slamfires or anything like that due to soft primers? We get these questions about twice a week asking "Can I use X primer in an AR or is it too soft?" and every single time the answer is always go for it, I use them all the time and have never had a problem. Sure, people say to stay away from certain ones, like the Rem 6 1/2, but even then, have yo uactually had any slam fires?

Don't take this to mean I am going to tempt fate, I am just curious to see if anybody has actually had any problems due to soft primers.


Properly seated primers will not slam fire. The primer should be 0.002 to 0.008 inches subflush. Same for M1A rifles.

The issue with Remington 6 1/2 primers has nothing to do with slamfires, it's about using a primer intended for cartridges that produce no more than about 40000 psi chamber pressure.

James Calhoon has a chart with primer dimensions he made up several years ago - you'll see it pirated at various places around the internet. It was current when he made the chart, and I don't know if the gages are still correct. One detail to recognize is that two primers of the same thickness do not necessarily have the same strength; one might be work hardened to a greater degree after forming than another. Anyway, here's a link:
Primers and Pressure by James Calhoon

hanibal  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 6:35:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By pdg45acp:
I use both federal 205 and CCI 400 in .223 and never had any problem with either.

federal does make a 200 but it's a pistol primer, I think that's what confuses the issue.

Both the 205 and the 205M have a .0225" thick cup which is .0025 thicker than the CCI 400.

My all time favorite small rifle primer is CCI 450 but I haven seen them available in a long time.



I have a box of the 450's I haven't broken into yet. Found them at a local shop about a year ago, but used up my Remington 7 1/2 first. Then most recently started using the CCI 400. Being new to reloading, and my reloaded ammo being used mostly for plinking so far, I really haven't noticed much difference between the primers I've used. What is the advantage of the 450 over the 400 if you don't mind me asking?

When primers where scarce, I bought at least a box whenever I found them locally. I ended up with a mix of about 6,000 primers of 4 varieties. Rem 7 1/2, CCI, 400, CCI 450, and CCI 41.

So far I've used up the Remingtons, just started on the CCI 400's, and haven't touched the other two yet.
mkengr45  [Member]
11/26/2010 6:41:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By rippersde50:
Originally Posted By mkengr45:
Thanks for all the replies. I just ordered a case of 5k primers for $99 with a $10 hazmat fee and free shipping. Seems like a dam good price to me....


Ummm, where, if I may ask, did you get them at that price?

I ordered them from Graf & Sons, with purchase of any case the hazmat fee s $10 and any order over $100 there s no shipping or handling charge. The 5000ct case of CCI #400 primers is on sale for $99. I also added a few other little things since shipping was free (powders mostly). Ordered the 5k primers, 1lb varget powder, 1 lb of bullseye powder for my 45 loads, and a double disk measure kit for my turret press...total including hazmat was around $155

Wingman26  [Team Member]
11/26/2010 6:55:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By mkengr45:
Can anybody comment on which of these primers is preferred in reloading for an ar-15? Thay are both known to be somewhat soft primers. Anybody had slam fires with either? I am using a lee turret press if that matters. I can get the CCI #400 cheaper, but wanted to get some opinions from more knowledgable folks on here first. Thanks for the advice

Randy

I don't know who told you CCI primers were "soft" but that term is way off on CCI primers. The correct description is how sensitive the primers are, and CCI primers are some of the least sensitive primers available to reloaders, where Federal primers are exactly the opposite, Federal primers in general are the most sensitive available. In the vernacular of hard or soft, CCI primers are hard, while Federal primers are soft.


erickktm  [Member]
11/26/2010 8:00:42 PM EST
CCI are the way to go, I have shot federals and been ok. I have had a few slam fires, basically the rifle doubiling because of improper seating of primers, I was also using a rifle with a heavy buffer and spring, so that might have been part of it. Not the end of the world, but not which you want either.
ScEd1  [Member]
11/27/2010 1:05:23 AM EST
CCI-400 for stick powder and CCI-450 or 41's for ball powder works well for me.
I haven't bought a Federal primer since thy doubled the package size they come in.
Paid Advertisement
--