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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

Large pistol magnum primers in .45 Colt CAS loads?

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Howdy. My recently acquired 73 chokes on my usual load using Winchester primers, so I have to load for it using Federals. The problem I have is that I have truckloads (well, figuratively) of Winchester large pistol primers, and only a part of a carton of Federals. It came to my attention this morning that a local shop has several thousand Federal large pistol magnum primers. My thinking is that since the Winchesters are for either standard or magnum loads, would it be an issue if I used the Federal magnum primers for my rifle loads? Would I need to reduce the powder charge? I'm loading W231. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Guest Hoss Carpenter, SASS Life 7843

I have used Large Pistol Primers with both rifle and pistol loads (45 Colt) with a 200 gr bullet, for years with no problem. Hoss

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At CAS load levels, magnum primers don't make much of a difference unless you're at or near the maximum powder charge. You can always call the powder manufacturer to confirm. Curious though, why Winchester primers don't work in your rifle but Federals do?

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Everybody and their dog tells me that the reason is that Winchesters are harder than Federals, so the Federals are easier to pop with a light hammer spring...

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CM-

Not sure what you mean by your W231 loads "choking" with WLP primers. That's all I use in both .44-40 and .45LC, with various smokeless powders and bullets. If you could ellucidate, it might help.

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Is the hammer tenstion too light for the WInchesters? Some folks set up their rifles for the Federals to keep the spring tention at the minimum.

 

But if it once worked with them and now does not, your spring may be near its end.

 

If so, you better get another spring soon as it is likely that the rifle will also stop firing Federals in the near future.

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Hey Charlie,

 

Listen to Marauder and get your rifle looked after.

 

I am assuming that when you say your '73, "chokes on my usual load using Winchester primers", that you mean your rifle does not consistently set off your Winchester primered reloads. So going by that:

 

The issue regarding hard/soft primers is argued continually. I think John Boy actually did some testing on the various primers and his results raised some eyebrows regarding what "soft" is. Also, empirical data, from CAS shooters, indicate that most (maybe "most") folks believe Federal to be the most reliable (make that "soft," or otherwise sensitive, I suppose) for CAS. In my opinion, if your rifle won't set them all off, your rifle needs help.

 

HOWEVER, to answer your question ..... NO..... there is no issue in using magnum primers in our watered-down cowboy loads. I know several people who prefer to use magnum primers to gain a reliability edge for their reloads. If you can actually tell the difference in recoil, noise or "ding" on the target, you'll agree that there isn't much difference.

 

Cat Brules

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Open the lever and give that little screw underneath about 1/2 a turn. Then, I bet it will set off Winchester primers.

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Is the hammer tenstion too light for the WInchesters? Some folks set up their rifles for the Federals to keep the spring tention at the minimum.

 

But if it once worked with them and now does not, your spring may be near its end.

 

If so, you better get another spring soon as it is likely that the rifle will also stop firing Federals in the near future.

I just got the rifle a few weeks ago, and the gent I got it from has always used Federal primers in it, with no problems. It was rebuilt not long before I bought it, so I'm assuming that it has a relatively new hammer spring in it.

 

Thanks for all of the advice, ya'll.

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If you crank down the two screws underneath the lever it will add tension to your spring.

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I have been loading (Due To Dust Level On Boxes) Federal Mag Primers with my Rifle APP Loads for a while with No Powder

Adjustment. (25 Gr FFF APP Gold)

No Issues

 

00

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The symptoms are all too similiar to what happened to my 73 at EOT last year. You might want to check the tab on the bottom of the bolt and see if it has disappeared! When mine broke off, Winchester primers wouldn't light due being struck off center, but Federals would. It doesn't hurt to keep the 45 chambers REAL clean also!

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I have found that when using loads for CAS that a firm crimp and a magnum primer allow for better ignition and a cleaner burn. I have also found that during the summer that my loads with magnum prmers shoot a bit faster! I found this out while "Chronying" my loads one day.

 

In other words, go on and use magnum primers and no, don't reduce your powder charge.... But do use a good firm crimp...

 

Respectfully,

 

CBA

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Thanks. I'm using a Lee Factory Crimp die cranked down fairly hard for crimping. Sounds like I can pick up some of those magnum primers and be ready to roll...

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