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Thread: Substituting Small Rifle Primers for Small Pistol

  1. #11
    Heck, in a previous Panic, I bought some Wolf Small Pistol and they were not at all reliable.
    Talking to a loader yesterday who prefers Tula brand, though.
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  2. #12
    Illinexit in T-Minus 43 RevolverRob's Avatar
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    I, unintentionally, did up 100 rounds of .38 Special with small rifle primers about two months ago. I wasn't paying attention to the primers I grabbed and loaded small rifle (designated for my .300BO). All the rounds went off without a hitch, but they were fairly light loads, IIRC ~3.8gr of VV N330 under a 158-grain LSWC, no signs of over pressure, no difference in recoil impulse between those rounds and the ones loaded with CCI SPPs.

    I subsequently did the opposite and and loaded 20 rounds (to see how they did) of .300BO with small pistol primers*. All fired without any issue or significant difference in recoil of feel.

    My conclusion was, in a pinch, they could be subbed out for one another without a problem. As long as your gun has enough mainspring power to touch them off. In my case a stock GP100 mainspring was more than enough.

    *Not a good idea to load these in an AR15, because of the floating firing pin. I ran them in my Rattler which has a firing pin spring and is 'drop safe' thus a slam-fire is not a concern, like it might be with a floating firing pin.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by farscott View Post
    My understanding is that the only difference between small rifle and small pistol primers is the harder cup in the small rifle primer to handle the increased pressures and the primer being harder to ignite due to the concern about slam firing in rifles.

    My concern would not be change in velocity; it would be can your pistol ignite the primer. I run small rifle primers in my 9x23 Winchester reloads due to the rifle pressure of that round.
    This. Iím at several thousand SRP through a P229, two 1911s, and a G19.5 with no issues or hesitation to light off. Even the light hammer spring on the 229 has no issues. No apparent detriment to any of the guns either.

  4. #14
    Yesterday ran an abbreviated test (just ten rounds) of both Tula and Winchester in my M&P with no problems with either.

  5. #15
    It has been a few years but back when I was shooting USPSA on a regular basis we tested ammo loaded with SP and SR over the chrono. From what I remember we saw about a 40 fps increase with the rifle primer. My guns worked fine but one of the guys I shot with had ignition problems in his STI and its reduced power mainspring.

    Just going off memory but I believe we were messing with Wolf primers. Most likely Ramshot Silhouette powder.

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  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mmc45414 View Post
    Tula and Winchester
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    I believe we were messing with Wolf primers
    I expected the Winchester to work but was glad the Tula did also.

  7. #17
    Brass Rat Borderland's Avatar
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    I just loaded about 75 rds of 9mm with SRP's. I didn't do that intentionally because I have a good supply of SPP's. Total brain fart, just grabbed the wrong tray which are all labeled. Those will be used in a Sig P-239 so I'm confident they'll ignite. My load is 4.0 grains of American Select and 124 gr TMJ. That happens to be the starting load from the Alliant website so I'll just pay attention when I start shooting those for pressure or non-ignition.

    This thread has helped me because I was a little worried about it when it happened.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5pins View Post
    What Jim said. Federal used to list their small rifle and small pistol magnum as the same primer. The only problem I have ever had with small rifle in a pistol was with some Wolf small rifle AR primers.
    If I may ask what was the issue you had with the Wolf primers? I quit reloading for rifle several years ago and find myself with about 8k Wolf small rifle magnum primers that this thread was getting me exited about potentially repurposing for some 9mm.

  9. #19
    Not working as well as I thought.
    CCI BR4 checked out ok in short test, but gave misfires over the length of a match. I wonder if they are not SR Magnums, a lot of target shooters load their rifles hot.
    I have gone to hand seating them HARD and they appear to be doing better.

    WW and Fed SR were fine in previous Panic, I'll get around to my remainder of them presently.


    All you can do is try your Wolf primers in your gun; reports are variable.
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  10. #20
    Brass Rat Borderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Not working as well as I thought.
    CCI BR4 checked out ok in short test, but gave misfires over the length of a match. I wonder if they are not SR Magnums, a lot of target shooters load their rifles hot.
    I have gone to hand seating them HARD and they appear to be doing better.

    WW and Fed SR were fine in previous Panic, I'll get around to my remainder of them presently.


    All you can do is try your Wolf primers in your gun; reports are variable.
    According to the CCI website they have 3 different small rifle primers. BR4, 400 and 450. 450 being the mag small rifle primer. My understanding of this is BR4 is harder to prevent slam fires in AR's being the only difference between those and the #400 regular small rifle primer. I don't have any experience with #450 primers. I don't know what a magnum small rifle cartridge is, maybe 222 Rem Mag or something like that. I use BR4 to load 30 carbine. It has a floating firing pin like an AR. So does my Ruger Mini. I think Rem 71/2 is also a mag small rifle primer. Vaglocker, I think I read someplace that mag primers use a different compound so I would be careful with those.
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