Marlin Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never used rifle primers to load pistol cartridges or vice versa. But have read here on MO it has been done during the so call primer, powder shortage

I just like to know if you have did it and your technique.

Will you do it again if you had to.

TO NY
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,647 Posts
.

If I had to? Yes, but with care. One type primer is taller than the other, I think that the rifle primer is .010 to .015 taller than pistol. If so, it can cause issues so I would not do it unless, as you said, I had too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,665 Posts
Rifle primers have a thicker cup for higher pressures.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,578 Posts
I have shot a great many small pistol primers in small cased rifle cartridges like 25-20 and "standard pressure" Hornet. If you consider the pressure of the 9mm pistol as the cutoff pressure for their use, such swapping is safe. There may be some benefits to so doing. Some of the over enthusiastic Hornet and K Hornet loads should probably not use them. The 25-20, no problem. .222 or .223? No way.

I do not substitute large primer size in rifle and pistol the same way. Larger cases may be part of the reason; the other might be that even with reduced loads in rifle cases the large rifle primer has not seemed to cause any problems with over ignition. At least, everything seems to shoot up to the potential I expect. Maybe some day I'll need to rethink that but that's what I'm doing for now.

Can't see using large pistol primers in rifle cases as advisable for loads that produce any kind of significant pressure.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,647 Posts
.

"large rifle primer has not seemed to cause any problems with over ignition." ? Over ignition? Are you talking about the primer compound being different in rifle primers as compared to pistol primers? The cup is different but the priming compound is the same in both composition and amount.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
JBledsoe said:
.

"large rifle primer has not seemed to cause any problems with over ignition." ? Over ignition? Are you talking about the primer compound being different in rifle primers as compared to pistol primers? The cup is different but the priming compound is the same in both composition and amount.
Are you addressing that poster to me or 35remington?

Okay I read it on MO, here! that it has been done. I load target loads for 357 mag. so run out of primers fast I have a box small rifle primers and was thinking of using them up in my 357 mag. just to kill paper.

TO NY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,665 Posts
Okay I read it on MO, here! that it has been done. I load target loads for 357 mag. so run out of primers fast I have a box small rifle primers and was thinking of using them up in my 357 mag. just to kill paper.

TO NY
[/quote]

Should be fine but the strike might not be hard enough to fire, I would test a couple before you go hog wild. ;D ;D ;D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,578 Posts
JB, it was just a comment that I've never tried varying primers in the large size, rifle or pistol, to see if any had more beneficial characteristics than another with a given reduced load. In reduced loads I've used pretty much whatever large rifle primer was on hand without thinking about it too much. Mostly Winchester large rifle, except during the primer panic. In that case I substituted other brands and noticed no differences.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,647 Posts
35remington said:
JB, it was just a comment that I've never tried varying primers in the large size, rifle or pistol, to see if any had more beneficial characteristics than another with a given reduced load. In reduced loads I've used pretty much whatever large rifle primer was on hand without thinking about it too much. Mostly Winchester large rifle, except during the primer panic. In that case I substituted other brands and noticed no differences.
Thank you for clearing that point up, 35Rem, I didn't understand your comment. I have never switched primers so I can only repeat what I have read and what friends who work at CCI have told me. So I am certainly no authority on the subject.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
35remington said:
As far as switching large pistol and large rifle primers, neither am I.
Getting back to me. As I said I would like to use up the small rifle primers in my 357mag./38 spl. target loads. Problem or not?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,807 Posts
Long as they seat below the back of the case, this is something you must check. If they stick up above, don't do it.

Then if you are shooting them in a Marlin rifle the primer strike should not be a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,671 Posts
I've used small rifle primers in 357 when I couldn't find magnum small pistol primers. Backed off the powder charge 10%, then worked my way back up. This was in a 1894C and a Navy Arms 1892. I did pay very close attention to how the primier was seating in the cases though and didn't find any that appeared to be sticking up proud.

As in everything thing else with handloading, your mileage might vary.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
44-40 Willy said:
I've used small rifle primers in 357 when I couldn't find magnum small pistol primers. Backed off the powder charge 10%, then worked my way back up. This was in a 1894C and a Navy Arms 1892. I did pay very close attention to how the primier was seating in the cases though and didn't find any that appeared to be sticking up proud.

As in everything thing else with handloading, your mileage might vary.
If I use a small rifle primers in the 357 mag. it would be target loads only at a starting charge. the 357 mag. I would be using is a Ruger Security Six I don't have a 357 mag. rifle yet.

As far as the primer being deep enough to be flush with the case, a simple measurement before installing would help.

TO NY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,671 Posts
I just seated them fully and ran a machinist's straight edge over them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
I'm not at all tempted to interchange Large Rifle with Large Pistol since I only stock 3 types of primers: Large Rifle, Small Pistol, and Small Pistol Magnum. And I'm still working on that same 1000 round brick of Federal small pistol magnum primers I bought years ago, I only use them when I'm loading H110 in .357 Mag, I've still got half the brick left.

If it got really bad and I just couldn't get any primers at all (which was almost the case a couple of years ago, thankfully I had a pretty good supply on hand to see me through), then that's another thing. But I haven't gotten to that point yet.

My new project is to see if the (much cheaper, online) Ruskie Wolf primers are any good. I just got a brick of Wolf Large Rifle and a brick of Small Pistol primers. Reports I've gotten are that they are a wee bit thinner and that you have to take that into account when seating them, and that they don't do all that well with striker fired guns. Neither of which should be a problem for me. I've got trial batches brewed up, ready for the next range trip. If they pan out, I'm ordering up a bunch of them, I'm not going to be caught shy of primers. I'm going to head off that beast by having a hefty supply on hand, even if they are Ruskie primers (assuming they pan out).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,353 Posts
Back in the 50's, Dad had a 30M1 carbine which takes small rifle primers. He also had a 38S&W which took small pistol primers. He was also on an extreme budget. He used the small rifle primers in the lightly loaded 38S&W without a hitch. Many years later he continued to use small pistol primers in his 38Spl (having long sold the 38S&W). Remembering all this, I ran some tests in the early 80's with my 41mag. The whole gauntlet of standard and mag primers in both large pistol and large rifle. I found accuracy suffered greatly with the large rifle primers in the 41mag cases. That was enough for me and I've never seen the need to repeat the excercise.

Jeff
NRA Life
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Rifle primers have a thicker cup for higher pressures.
Yeah, between that and the thickness of the primer itself, I've been avoiding doing the rifle<->pistol primer substitution unless it was critical. And it has turned out that it wasn't critical, I've been able to get by with what I've had, or at least been able to obtain the primers I've needed. Maybe not at the prices I'd like, or in the quantities I'd like, or the brands I'd like, but I've managed to survive.

The cup thickness ("Hardness") issue is a significant one for me/us. In particular, I know that SWMBO's revolver has been sensitive to hard primers/primer seating issues in the past. I think I've got it cleared up. But I'm not about to risk her life with less than optimal ammo in the ever growing "Social Purposes" ammo stash, and that means that I'm not about to settle for non-spec primers. If they are too hard, by design, then they are too hard for her revolver. And thus they are too hard for our purposes. Unless it is for practice ammo, where reliability isn't all that big of an issue.

Many years later he continued to use small pistol primers in his 38Spl (having long sold the 38S&W).
???
Why should this be any big deal? .38 Spl normally uses Small Pistol Primers.

Remembering all this, I ran some tests in the early 80's with my 41mag. The whole gauntlet of standard and mag primers in both large pistol and large rifle. I found accuracy suffered greatly with the large rifle primers in the 41mag cases. That was enough for me and I've never seen the need to repeat the excercise.
Yeah, and that is, to a large degree, why I've been reluctant to substitute primers. Best results are obtained with the proper primers. Ok, if it comes down to it and I'm forced to substitute or starve, then substitute I'll do. Starving is something I'd rather not do.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top