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Posted: 8/17/2013 12:00:16 AM EST
I've always heard to use magnum primers to ignite ball powder,

but all the load data I see uses standard primers.

Are magnums really needed for ball powder in .223,

or is this more about personal preference, climate, caliber,

etc.? Are there ball powders so hard to light up that

we must use magnum primer?
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Posted: 8/17/2013 1:11:24 AM EST
We use H335 for my son's .223 loads with standard primers. He chose H335 because, in his rifle, he got the best accuracy (vs. IMR3031, Varget, IMR4198, H322).

We use standard primers in our handgun loads (9MM, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 acp) with standard primers.

That's just 3 years experience with ball powders.

I tried H322 and H335 over 30 years ago in my Rem. M700 .223 but got better accuracy out of IMR4198. At that time I also used standard primers but only loaded a few boxes of ammo while working up loads.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 2:18:39 AM EST

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Posted: 8/17/2013 2:36:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By johndm1967:
I've always heard to use magnum primers to ignite ball powder,

but all the load data I see uses standard primers.

Are magnums really needed for ball powder in .223,

or is this more about personal preference, climate, caliber,

etc.? Are there ball powders so hard to light up that

we must use magnum primer?
View Quote


When I switched to CCI 450's my ES and SD shrunk drastically... I was using 400's and WSR before...Coincidence? Perhaps. I will use the 400's and WSR for plinking ammo when I get around to loading it.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 2:59:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2013 3:01:18 AM EST by Danger6]
Primers with heavier cups are sometimes necessary in .223 to prevent piercing, magum primers have heavier cups. As evidenced here many times, Remington does not recommend 6-1/2 primers for .223 but 7-1/2 instead. In another post a shooter has experienced problems with 6-1/2. Some experience no problems, which is often a function of the load and specific rifle. Wolf SR Magnum primers have become popular for .223 including with me.

Sometimes, especially with larger calibers / cases, especially in cold weather, ball powders can be difficult to ignite. I recall shooting .30-06 reloads with Win 760 powder in the dead of winter and getting the click-boom delay. Switching to LR magnum primers solved the problem.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 3:23:50 AM EST
Magnum primers are recommended, in most instances that I recall, for stick powders as the stick powders are harder to ignite.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 5:09:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2013 5:17:34 AM EST by COSteve]
I've found that H335 doesn't seem to benefit from magnum primers, however, I use Winchester primers with it and Winchester doesn't make LP or SR magnum primers as they claim their standard primers are magnum level so I guess that I'm already using magnum level primers.

But I do know that TAC (ball powder) is much more consistent when using Remington 7½s, their SR magnum primers. The benefit I see is in higher velocities and better accuracy out at 400+ yds with my heavier weight bullets due to the lowered SD and ES my chrono shows.

Power Pistol, a great ball powder for my full power loads in 40s&W, 45acp, and 10mm. It really likes magnum primers producing significantly higher velocities, lower SD and ES and a corresponding increase in accuracy with magnum primers over std ones.

So, like all handloading, you need to test out your specific combination of case, primer, powder, and bullet choice in your firearm to see what works best for you.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 5:13:50 AM EST
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Posted: 8/17/2013 6:42:57 AM EST
Ask, what does the military uses in 5.56mm? There might be an answer there.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 8:59:54 AM EST
Could be wrong, but I think military uses magnum primers in 5.56.

I've always used CCI #41 & 450. Problem is, all the .223 data

I've seen uses small rifle standard primers, so their pressure

data is just about useless. Which goes back to a different thread

I started, what is the pressure difference between #41/450 and 400?
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Posted: 8/17/2013 9:23:11 AM EST
If you're working up loads the difference shouldn't matter. You start away from max and work up watching for pressure signs.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 10:12:55 AM EST
Both Speer, and Lee Manuals show to use mag primers in H335, and BL-C(2).
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Posted: 8/17/2013 11:48:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2013 11:50:41 AM EST by dcat]
WSR primers were designed for Winchester (now St. Marks) ball powders. I have a Winchester load manual stating just that.

H335 is a cannister version of WCC-844, made by St. Marks.

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Posted: 8/17/2013 11:55:29 AM EST
Since 1987, used nothing but 748 and WSR & CCI-400.. When 748 started adding to blasting costs,, I went WC-844, and stayed with WSR & CCI-400.

No problems here. Have burned a bottle or 2 of 335 way back when.
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Posted: 8/17/2013 1:11:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2013 1:12:22 PM EST by Motor1]
This is one of those things that came about because of one source. The source is the Speer reloading manuals who is or at least was the same company who made CCI primers. Speer has always listed to use magnum primers with ball type powder, well at least as far back as 1985 (my oldest Speer manual).

If Lee does it too its for no other reason than Speer. Lee does not do their own load development. It's all borrowed info. Some of it is even "calculated". Sorry getting off topic.

I love ball powders and have used them for years. I have had one issue with ball powder and standard primer. It was in .280 Rem. (hang fires) and only one rifle. A different rifle had no problem with the same load. I still don't know why. Switching to magnum primers solved the problem though. The .280 holds a lot of powder too like twice of a .223

I have used CCI-450s with ball powder and have had real nice results in .223 but I don't think they are "needed".

I just completed a side by side test with WC-844 using CCI-450s and CCI-400s. I did this while working up a 55gr FMJ load for my sons AR-15. I saw no significant difference in group size between the two.

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Posted: 8/17/2013 1:42:56 PM EST
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Posted: 8/18/2013 2:56:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2013 3:05:19 AM EST by 243winxb]
Experimental Studies of the No. 41 Primer and Ignition
of 5.56-mm Ammunition. Army Research Laboratory.
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA456635 This link has photos and much info on the primer testing. ATK runs the Lake City Ammo plant for the government. ATK owns Alliant powder company, but also works with St. Marks as "The American Powder Company". http://www.generaldynamics.com/news/press-releases/detail.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1811=13574 ATK also own ammunition brands, include Blazer, CCI, Estate Cartridge, Federal Premium, Fusion, Speer and Speer Bullets. Here is the military powders used to load the ammo. GI ammo has to be 100% reliable. Will other primers work, sure. From CCI

Military-style semi-auto rifles seldom have firing pin retraction springs. If care is not used in assembling ammunition, a “slam-fire” can occur before the bolt locks. The military arsenals accomplish this using different techniques and components—including different primer sensitivity specifications—from their commercial counterparts. CCI makes rifle primers for commercial sale that matches military sensitivity specs that reduce the chance of a slam-fire when other factors go out of control*. If you’re reloading for a military semi-auto, look to CCI Military primers.
*Effective slam-fire prevention requires more than special primers. Headspace, chamber condition, firing pin shape and protrusion, bolt velocity, cartridge case condition, and other factors can affect slam-fire potential.
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Posted: 8/18/2013 4:09:20 AM EST
I use magnum primers for ball powders & most times for non-ball powders, rifle or handguns. This is the reason. Using H450 (discontinued) with CCI mag primer in 22-250, i had some misfires. Pulled the bullets. The powder had started burning and quit. Some powder near the primer was fused together. The rest of the powder was normal. I blamed the powder. I stopped using H450 and H380 powders.
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Posted: 8/18/2013 10:19:29 AM EST
I have never used a magnum primer in anything. I do avoid federal and fiocchi primers as they tend to flatten easy and the cups seem soft. I've only ever had one pierced primer and that was in an ak using Wolf milatary classic. YMMV
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Posted: 8/18/2013 11:56:26 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Smokey99:
Magnum primers are recommended, in most instances that I recall, for stick powders as the stick powders are harder to ignite.
View Quote


I don't think so. I believe it's ball powders that are supposed to be harder to ignite and that's the reason magnum primers are often recommended for use with ball powder.

I use Wolf SRM's for .223 whether I'm using ball or stick powder.
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Posted: 8/18/2013 12:43:17 PM EST
somewhat new to rifle and have used federal match so far with no problems, now just bought a couple thousand cci 450's to work up some loads with aa2230 and 55gr hornady and extreme bullets.
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Posted: 8/18/2013 5:41:09 PM EST
And from CCI....

•Mil-spec sensitivity
•Initiator mix optimized for ball/spherical propellants
•Available in large (No.34) and small (No. 41) rifle
•Use the same data as CCI Magnum primers

The 41's and 34's contain Magnum priming mix and should be treated as such.
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Posted: 8/19/2013 5:34:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bfoosh06:
And from CCI....

•Mil-spec sensitivity
•Initiator mix optimized for ball/spherical propellants
•Available in large (No.34) and small (No. 41) rifle
•Use the same data as CCI Magnum primers

The 41's and 34's contain Magnum priming mix and should be treated as such.
View Quote


Nice marketing hype from CCI. Those in the know call it brand differentiation.

"liquid ball bearings", "the gas with guts", etc.
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Posted: 8/19/2013 6:31:52 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tankdriver:
Both Speer, and Lee Manuals show to use mag primers in H335, and BL-C(2).
View Quote


Speer uses magnum rifle primers in all of their rifle loads using ball powders.

They feel that they get better and more consistent ignition, doing so.

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Posted: 8/20/2013 4:25:15 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dcat:
Nice marketing hype from CCI. Those in the know call it brand differentiation.

"liquid ball bearings", "the gas with guts", etc.
View Quote


Although there's a lot of creative verbage in that CCI info... I have found that there are primers that suck at starting some ball powders.
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Posted: 8/20/2013 11:53:54 AM EST
While were on this subject.

Can someone with a speer manual post up what they list for a 55gr fmj bullet and aa2230= powder while using the magnum primers, or even better would be al lpowders they list while using the 55gr/SRm primers

thanks
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Posted: 8/20/2013 2:24:52 PM EST
Speer #13 says......

.224" Dia
55 Grain FMJ-BT
AA2230
26.9 3233 max
24.0 3017
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