Use of magnum pistol primers

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  • Last Post 01 May 2019
harleyrock posted this 22 April 2019

I shoot .357 magnum only in my Winchester Model 1892 carbine.  I also shoot .38 Special in this carbine.  I am almost out of small pistol standard primers and I have a bunch of Federal Premium  No. GM200M "Small Magnum Pistol Match Primers I would like to use up.

I don't load magnum loads.  I load some .38 Spl +P loads for the carbine.  Would it make any difference using these primers with Bullseye, Unique, and Red Dot ?  I know that I have seen a warning not to use magnum primers with full power magnum loads of Hercules 2400.

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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Ed Harris posted this 22 April 2019

I have used Federal 200s in my Marlin Cowboy rifles in .357, .44 and .45 with Bullseye, 231, WST and 452AA powder and standard, published loads with fine results, uniform velocities and good accuracy.

I would heed Speer's advice re not using magnum primers with Alliant #2400, but in standard-pressure .38 Special,  +P and low-end .357 loads suitable for rifle use with plainbased bullets, up to about 1300 fps there is no issue. 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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BigMan54 posted this 26 April 2019

About 30+yrs ago I bought 500 Midway headstamped .357Mag cases. I loaded them with #358156GC cast of #2 sized .358 and lubed with 50/50. I primed them with Win Small Pistol Magnum Primers. I charged those cases with 2400, a max load I had used before. The only difference was the Win SP MAG Primers.

The first round I touched off in my NM 6 1/2" Blackhawk felt like a .44Mag in a 4" model 29. 

The Win SP MAG Primers were way to much for this load. I had about 40 odd cases out of 500 that cracked on first firing. 

Since then I've only used Small Pistol Mag Primers for WIN 296 under 158gr jacketed. 

I wish Speer had published that warning back then.

But I've fired plenty of the same load with Standard Primers with those same cases without a single problem. And It's always been the most accurate load in my Blackhawk and worked well enough in the Marlin that I could hit 4 out of 5 soda cans at 100ds.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 April 2019

bigman... duly noted ....

 

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harleyrock posted this 26 April 2019

So:

No Magnum primers with Hercules or Alliant 2400!

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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RicinYakima posted this 26 April 2019

You are probably safe with Hercules 2400, but not Alliant 2400.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 April 2019

... even in my varmint loads ( 222, 243, 257 Wea. ) i always load about 10% under max of 3 or more load books.  just in case of accumulating tolerances.

some of these loads did " better " with magnum primers, but since shooting with barrel tuners i think it probably just changed the sweet spot .

except one low pressure load ( 280 rem ) with H4831 that burned cleaner with Magnum primers.  extreme example.

ken

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Eutectic posted this 27 April 2019

I have a bunch of Federal 200 small pistol magnums I bought to use with WW 296 in the 357. Since I was not using them up very fast I tried them out in the 38 Special with target loads of Bullseye. There was no significant velocity increase and accuracy was excellent. I have since used them with moderate loads of VV320 with the same result. As long as you are not loading +P loads you probably are safe switching to magnum primers.

Steve

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harleyrock posted this 27 April 2019

All of my 2400 is Hercules.  A few years back I loaded some 44 Magnum hunting loads from some loading manual's max load.  I assumed a magnum cartridge, uses magnum primer.  Well from the first shot I knew something was wrong, an overload.  I stopped shooting this load and did an investigation to see what was wrong.  After eliminating the usual suspects, too much powder, seating depth, etc. I discovered the warning about 2400/magnum powders, and disassembled those loads.

So, Hercules 2400, Alliant 2400,  makes no difference......don't use magnum primers.

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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Coydog posted this 27 April 2019

I use regular primers for all  my reloading. For my 44mag I use Win LPP that is for standard and mag .

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Larry Gibson posted this 28 April 2019

I've done extensive pressure testing of both Hercules and Alliant 2400 using 21 gr under a 254 gr RCBS SWC "Keith" cast bullet with Federal 150 "standard primers and CCI 350 "magnum primers.  Pressures and velocities were essentially the same.

A Lyman 429640 HP (275 gr) over 23 gr of H110 gave about 3,000 more psi and 40 fps more velocity with the CCI 350 magnum primer vs the Federal 150 standard primer.

I have 120 rounds of 357 Magnum loaded with the 358156 (162 gr) over 14 gr of both Hercules and Alliant 2400 in Winchester cases.  I have them loaded in 10 shot test strings with 6 different primers; Federal 100, CCI 500, Winchester WSP, Federal 200 SP magnum, CCI 550 SP Magnum and Winchester WSPM magnums.  I will pressure, velocity and accuracy test Monday.  That should answer both questions.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Coydog posted this 28 April 2019

Larry I will be looking forward to see what the test will come out to. 

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Larry Gibson posted this 30 April 2019

Test of Hercules and Alliant 2400 powder (14 gr each) in the 357 Magnum with a 358156 GC’d cast bullet using 6 different primers.

All measurements were taken during testing conducted on 29 April, 2019.  Data recorded with an Oehler M43 PBL using Contender 357 with 7.9” barrel.  A 2 ½ power scope was used on the Contender. 

 Temperature ranged from 80 to 82 degrees.

Humidity was 30%.

Barometric pressure was 29.63. 

H2400 = Hercules 2400 manufactured in ’92.

A2400 = Alliant 2400 of current manufacture (purchased 2 months ago) 

Velocity in fps is at muzzle.

Velocity SD/ES is fps.

 PSI is the pressure (pounds per inch) recorded via the Oehler M43.

 PSI SD/ES is the pressure (pounds per inch) variation of the test string.

 Group = target at 50 yards with ctc measurement of 2 widest shots.

 All test strings were 10 shots.

The 358156 were cast in a Lyman double cavity mould. 

 Alloy was a soft one made of RL + Pb + tin.

 Bullets were AC’d 10+ days before size/lubing and BHN runs 10 – 11.

Bullets as cast are .359+ and were size/lubed in Lyman 450 with .359 H&I die.

Lube used was BAC.

Hornady GCs were seated in the 450 with GC seater prior to size/lubing.

 The bullet weight, fully dressed, was 162 gr.

All charges of both the Hercules and Alliant 2400 were 14 gr (+/- 0.1 gr).

All test charges were thrown charges with a Lyman 55.

Charges were verified between each 10 charges thrown on an Ohaus 10-0-5 scale.

Cases were Winchester brass cases.

Cartridges were loaded using RCBS dies on CH press.

Primers are as indicated.

Bullets were seated to 1st crimp groove (the 358156 has two) for an OAL of 1.597”

A heavy rolled crimp was applied.

Looking at just the H2400 data it would appear the old adage of “magnum primers not necessary” does apply.  The average velocities between the various primers, standard and magnum, were found to be pretty consistent.  The pressures are also consistent and all fall under the SAAMI MAP for the 357 magnum cartridge.  However, the accuracy of the magnum primed loads was consistently better than the standard primers with the exception of the WSP primer with the A2400 powder. 

Looking at just the A2400 data we see pretty much the same consistence except the Alliant 2400 does appear to be somewhat faster burning than the older lot of Hercules 2400.  In my previous testing I was using a lot of Alliant 2400 I purchased about 12 years ago.  There was not the difference between that older lot of A2400 and the H2400 that we see here.  Note also that this lot of A2400 consistently produced better accuracy than the H2400 regardless of the primer used.  Interesting the highest velocity (1607 fps) and highest pressure (41,600 psi) produced the smallest 10 shot group.  Additionally with standard primers the CCI 500 and WSP primers produced psi’s right at the SAAMI MAP.  The Federal 100 produced a psi 3,400 more than the SAAMI MAP.

 

 Comparing this lot of A2400 to the old lot of H2400 shows a decided difference.  This lot of A2400 is obviously faster burning giving 90 to 160 fps (+/-) difference depending on the primer used.  The SAAMI MAP for the 357 Magnum is 35,000 psi and we see in Lyman CBH #4 the max load of 2400 with a CCI 550 primer is 14 gr.  Looking at the test results the pressure with that load using H2400 is under the SAAMI MAP.  But the pressure using this new lot of A2400 with the same load and same primer is 39,000…..well over the SAAMI MAP. 

 

 So let’s answer the questions;

 

 Would it make any difference using these primers with Bullseye, Unique, and Red Dot ?

 

 Based on the large increase in psi over standard primers in this test it would appear the use of the Federal magnum SP primer would probably increase the psi significantly.  If you really want to use those magnum primers then I suggest you drop the charge of any of those powders by 2 gr and work back up the same velocity as produced with a standard primer.

 

No Magnum primers with Hercules or Alliant 2400!  ………… You are probably safe with Hercules 2400, but not Alliant 2400.

 

 Based on this test it appears neither of those statements are quite correct.  The use of a magnum primer and the WSP consistently proved more accurate than the standard primers with the same load.  The remaining question seems to be if the load of A2400 is reduced to the SAAMI MAP Using any of the magnum primers will the accuracy be as good?  Remains to be seen. 

Concealment is not cover.........

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Larry Gibson posted this 30 April 2019

 

---Primer---------Powder----- Velocity----SD/ES-------PSI-----------SD/ES---------Group

 

Federal 100--------H2400--------1425-------13/44-------31,000-------1500/4500-------5.45”

----------------------A2400--------1572-------16/46-------38,400-------1200/4000-------5.1”

  

CCI 500-----------H2400---------1452-------12/41-------29,200-------1800/5200-------4.95”

----------------------A2400--------1551-------15/39-------35,400-------1500/5100--------4.87”

 

Win WSP---------H2400---------1425-------16/60-------26,200-------2000/6900--------5.2”

---------------------A2400---------1536-------14/49-------34,800-------1200/4300--------3.75”

 

Federal 200------H2400----------1481-------11/38-------32,100-------2500/6600--------3.7”

Magnum---------A2400----------1566-------15/46-------38,900-------2000/5800--------3.15”

  

CCI 550----------H2400----------1457-------11/37-------30,300-------2500/8900--------3.6”

 Magnum----------A2400----------1581-------17/51-------39,000-------2100/6400-------3.55”

 

Winchester-------H2400----------1446-------22/67-------29,500-------2300/7000-------3.9”

 WSPM------------A2400----------1607-------12/37-------41,600-------2700/9000-------2.85”

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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RicinYakima posted this 30 April 2019

Larry,

Thank you very much for publishing that data. In 2008 my article on the 2400's was written for The Fouling Shot that gave the history of the powders and reloading data through the years. While I did some shooting with 38/44 and 357 magnum, there was no way for me to explore pressures. Your variations are right in line with what I found.

Ric

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Brodie posted this 30 April 2019

While a little off track; I remember seeing shooters at the skeet range ruin their hulls with high pressure by switching from Winchester primers to CCI's .  Of course these were 209"s and really have little to do with this discussion, and it was in the mid 80's, and shotguns aren't pistols and rifles.

B.E.Brickey

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JeffinNZ posted this 01 May 2019

Aye carumba that new 2400 is hot.  I have only ever used the Alliant powder.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Brodie posted this 01 May 2019

Jeff,

I don't think that the A2400 is so hot, but it sure does react to WSPMP's.

B.E.Brickey

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