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Freedom Arms recommends using magnum small rifle primers for the 454 Casull. They say it has better ignition in cold weather and also that it reduces the SD. I'm interested in the lower SD benefit. Could that be the same for any cartridge that is capable of using a magnum primer? I purchased a few cases of magnum pistol and rifle primers years ago thinking that they were required for certain powders. If they would give better consistency I will use them more often. Your thoughts?

Thanks, Dinny
 

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Sure you can... Just like changing any part of the reloading recipe, start lo and work up.


"Ball" powders, don't do as well compressed as "stick" powders. Mag primers help when you have a mildly compressed or simply a case full of spherical powder.


Its a misnomer that mag primers are for magnum labeled rounds only.


CW
 

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Dinny said:
I purchased a few cases of magnum pistol and rifle primers years ago thinking that they were required for certain powders. If they would give better consistency I will use them more often. Your thoughts?

Thanks, Dinny

They are required with some powders, and may be the reason FA recommends them with all powders. For legitimate .454 loads, powders like H110/W296 work the best. These are powders that are slow burning powders because of added retardants, thus can be hard to ignite, especially in cold weather. As for SD numbers when using powders that don't require the use of magnum primers, one will never know till they try them. Alliant recommends against the use of magnum primers with it's 2400. While I have a chrono, for the most part, I hardly ever use it anymore. Accuracy tells me more than things like SD and velocity.
 

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Several years back I got board and did some experimentation with primers. The round I used were 223, 257ai, and 2 more, but I forget what they were. I would start with recommended starting load and work up. I used several different primers with each load and would shoot a 3 shot group with each through a crono. What I found out was that you never can tell what the load will do when changing the primer only. I had 1 load that ran a SD of 7 with 5 different primers in the string. Others would have a considerable difference in velocity between primers. I only fired 1 load that showed any signs of pressure, and that load had s standard primer that showed pressure signs and the other 2 standard primers did not and the 2 mag primers did not. My conclusion is that the different primers react differently with powders of different burn rates and with cases of different volumes. I think that with enough experimentation you could come up with a rule of thumb, but I ran between 200 and 300 rounds in my limited test and that is not near enough to see trends, but plenty to see when you change the primer you cannot be sure what will happen.
 

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A while back all I could find was mag primers, so now that's all I use in my 357 mag, max, 223 & 6.5X 47. I may load some 7mm08 for deer this yr, prob go with mag primers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
burntmuch said:
A while back all I could find was mag primers
I have the opposite problem. :(

Thanks, Dinny
 

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You can try a few regular rifle primers, of different brands. They should all have cups strong enough to withstand the .454 pressures and you will probably find some that work well. I must have tried every available primer one way or another and i can tell you that you don't know for sure until you try. Some regular primers are just as hot and powerful as magnum primers, for example. As mentioned earlier, some primers and powders like each other, some don't.
 

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Dinny, CW and Catfish pretty much nailed it. There are so many variables, if you want to use mag primers, start at the bottom of the recommended load and slowly work your way up. See what the gun likes. About the only thing I would be real careful of, is calibers that do not have much room between the starting load, and what the book calls the max load. 22 Hornet comes to mind. Not a lot of room to work with, and even a starting load with a mag primer might just be to much. If the book calls for a reg. primer for that one, I don't tempt fate!! gypsyman
 

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Dinny....you can also use Small Pistol Mag Primers. My 429GNR is a 454 case necked down to 44. It burns 30-33gr of H110. I use 32gr and get a velocity in the mid 1400s from a 5" barrel.
 

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I have a 100 pack of Mag. large pistol primers and what remains of a 1000 large rifle primers, probably 500. I am in the market for mag. small rifle primers. I will use them in the .32-20s and Maxis. If you use them and have to reduce loads, wonderful, you just saved some powder and the primers cost no more. (at least around here). My Superlight .243's loads are ignited by Large Magnum Rifle Primers, and that sucker is sub-MOA @ 300. It ain't a super hot load, but it works: .243 85 gr. Sierra Gameking HPBT 41.0 gr. RL15 Federal Large Magmum Rifle Primer 3158 fps.

Pete
 

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Some years ago I made up a "bear killer" load for my Ruger Vaquero 45LC using 454C brass trimmed to fit the 45 chambers and 23.5 grains of H110 behind 335 grain GCLFP bullets and I had to use magnum primers to get consistent ignition. This load produced 1190 ft/sec muzzle velocity with not more than 1 or 2 ft/sec variance. This same load with standard small rifle primers was all over in accuracy and velocity. BTW, don't try this load in any other firearm except the large frame Rugers or TC pistols or a rifle. It does have a significant amount of recoil.
 

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dinny after MANY hours of benching the 3 454 fa guns ive owned ive had one primer stand out. The standard ww small rifle primer. Probably 80 percent of the time it gave the best accuracy with 110/296, aa9, 4227 and 2400. Anymore when doing load development for the 454 I don't even bother with anything else.
 

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lucky the load you put in your vaquero was is a stout 6 shot 45 colt ruger load but it is mild in pressure compared to a real 454 load. Its probably why your standard primers didn't like lighting it off. Keep in mind that the 454 with its small primers was designed to run at HIGH pressure. Backing off pressure makes a load harder to get to burn well. I have to ask why you used 454 brass in the first place. A lot of us have come to the realization that the small primer thing wasn't that good of an idea and cut down 460 smith brass for our 454s to get a large primer. I cant see any advantage in going the other way unless you absolutely cant get 45 colt brass.
Luckyducker said:
Some years ago I made up a "bear killer" load for my Ruger Vaquero 45LC using 454C brass trimmed to fit the 45 chambers and 23.5 grains of H110 behind 335 grain GCLFP bullets and I had to use magnum primers to get consistent ignition. This load produced 1190 ft/sec muzzle velocity with not more than 1 or 2 ft/sec variance. This same load with standard small rifle primers was all over in accuracy and velocity. BTW, don't try this load in any other firearm except the large frame Rugers or TC pistols or a rifle. It does have a significant amount of recoil.
 

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I was reading (and I'm no expert) but it also has something to do with the length of the powder column. They also recommend a heavy crimp to help get the slower powders to ignite better.
I've never tried a Magnum primer where it's not called for but I wouldn't be afraid to try a magnum primer with a manual
recommended starting load.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Like Lloyd, I also cut down S&W460 brass for my 454 and I've use the Federal 150 and WLP and have never experienced a primer pressure problem and I've probably run some "proof" loads through that 454. ;)

When the boys were developing that 454 they started out with the large pistol primer but when you start mixing two and three different powders together in the same case - well, strange things can sometimes happen and that's why the 454 wound up with the small rifle primer. Shame they didn't go back to the large pistol primer, as that would have saved me a few bucks and a lot of work. ;D

I've run several different powder loads with LPP's and LRP's in the 500 JRH and the 500 S&W over a chronograph and the large rifle primer only gave an additional 25 fps advantage and there basically was no difference in SD's as some powder showed a larger spread than others but that was due to the powder used and not the primer.
 
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