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Mack Hacker, #60477

Relative hardness of primers by brand

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I know I should have this saved from a previous post, but will someone please repost.

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There is a flawed test procedure in that cited topic, in my opinion. The hardness of the brass in the primer is one part of the picture, but the sensitivity of the primer compound, the design of the anvil in the primer, and probably a few other characteristics also affect how easy it is for a primer to be set off.

 

A better test would be to set up a rig that has a calibrated, adjustable firing pin strike and test all the characteristics at once - in other words, test the primer as a WHOLE, not just based on the cup hardness. Perhaps I'll set up one of those in the future. :lol:

 

Until then, we have some pretty good evidence from the CAS shooting community about which pistol primers are easiest to get to fire. That evidence has been reported here on the Wire many times. Over the last five years or so, it's been pretty steady when folks report the relative rankings of "easiest to fire" among the common US made primers.

 

That would be:

Federal - easiest

Winchester

Remington

CCI - hardest to fire

 

Many problems with light sprung guns have been reported as being solved here on the Wire by moving toward Federal primers. Never once was it solved by moving toward CCI primers. That should be pretty definitive.

 

As for the various foreign primers, that is harder to record, as folks until the last year or so just have not used Fiocchis or Magtecs or S&B primers very much. More use during the recent primer shortage was made of Russian Wolf and Tula primers, which kinda seem to be about the same as using Winchester or Remington.

 

So, as you can tell, I'm much more impressed by actual field results from lots of folks shooting, than the lab tests of metal hardness in the primer cup.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Guest Maker-Wright

I agree whole-heartedly with Garrison Joe...

 

Merely measuring the dent size in the cup seems arbitrary...

 

A truly objective test method/device would be one that is scaled, and determines minimum firing pin force required to reliably detonate a given brand and type of primer.

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It may be in one's best interest to set up springs sturdy enough to detonate all primers reliably. There are several variables other than hardness; ambient temperature, proper primer seating, dirt/dust in guns, manufacturer of brass, etc. In a perfect world one could set up springs for a particular brand of primer, it's not a perfect world. Plan for the worst. Opinions vary.

 

Say we all get to WR this year, the wind is blowing and it's 30 degrees, dusty and cold, the boys from warmer climates bring their perfectly tuned guns into a totally different environment, the results could make for an unhappy experience. Typically the top guns don't have many gun issues, Those wanting to be top guns and looking for an edge tend to have gun issues.

 

 

Assassin

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Many problems with light sprung guns have been reported as being solved here on the Wire by moving toward Federal primers. Never once was it solved by moving toward CCI primers. That should be pretty definitive

Joe, I slicked up a Rossi '92 in 45 Colt, including for the hammer assembly, removing 5 coils from the main spring and flattening the end. The trigger pull is 2# 14oz ... I reload the rounds with nothing but CCI 300 LP's! Never have had a primer that doesn't ignite.

 

Same CCI 300 LP primers are used in a pair of modified NMA's with R&D Cylinders ... 2# 8 oz and

3# 9oz

Ask those who have lightened their springs and 99.9% don't have a clue what their modified trigger pull is ... that is the issue! For nearly every firearm in my safes, the Lyman Trigger pull gauge has recorded their trigger pull. Guess I'm one of the 0.01% that can reply with the recorded trigger pull instead of the non factual words ... "Lightened Springs"

 

BTW, your test would provide information not available and be informative. Sure would like to read your results. Be sure to include the measurement of the trigger pull needed to ignite the primer. What time in the future will your testing be performed? ;)

 

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Primer Hardness Chart Update ... added primers that I picked up at an estate sale. And guess how soft the old CCI 300's are? :D

 

04 January 2014

Test Procedure: Using a Lee Hardness Tester that measures Brinell hardness, placed a new primer on a piece of steel. Held the indent ball on the primer for 30 seconds. Measurement is the diameter of the indent, smaller numbers indication harder brass

 

Additions = *

Pistol
Primers

0.32 – CCI 300 LP

0.38 – Federal GM150 Match LP

0.40 – Federal 155 LP Magnum

0.40 – Winchester WLP

0.42 – Federal 150 LP

0.42 - Federal 100 SP

*0.42 – Remington 1 ½ SP

0.44 – CCI 400 SP

0.48 – Remington 2 ½ LP

*0.48 - CCI 300 lot 0264

 

Rifle Primers

*0.24 – Herters 120 LR

0.26 – CCI BR-2 LR

0.28 – CCI 200 LR

*0.30 – Rem UMC Nickeled High Pressure LR

0.32 – Federal 215 LR Magnum

0.34 – Remington 9 ½ LR

*0.36 – Western 8 ½ LR

*0.38 - Rem 7 ½ Bench Rest

*0.38 – Alcan LR Magnum

*0.40 – Federal 210 LR

*0.40 – Winchester 115 Staynless LR

 

* 0.30 - Dynamit AG cal 6.34

* 0.32 - Dynamit AG cal 4.5

 

Note: Rifle primers are harder than handgun primers!



 



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Guest Maker-Wright

In my opinion, trigger pull weight is irrelevant to the topic...

 

In regard to detonating a primer, what matters is the amount of energy transferred to a given primer from the mainspring via the hammer and firing pin. True, mainspring strength does effect trigger pull weight, as well as the amount of cocking force required, but trigger pull weight has nothing to do with how hard the primer is struck.

 

Trigger pull weight is largely effected by sear angle, sear engagement, amount of polish done to the surfaces involved, etc., as well as force applied to the engagement surfaces by the spring(s).

 

Even a gun with a very weak mainspring can have a heavy trigger pull if the sear angle is too sharp or the engagement surfaces too rough. Conversely, it may require only a few ounces to trip a well-polished trigger on a gun with a brute-force mainspring that'll set off any primer brand or type.

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Did you ever notice how many times "everybody knows", "the CAS Cowboys agree" etc. etc. turn up in these arguments?

 

My primers of choice, because the always go bang for me are CCIs.

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In my opinion, trigger pull weight is irrelevant to the topic...

 

In regard to detonating a primer, what matters is the amount of energy transferred to a given primer from the mainspring via the hammer and firing pin. True, mainspring strength does effect trigger pull weight, as well as the amount of cocking force required, but trigger pull weight has nothing to do with how hard the primer is struck.

 

Trigger pull weight is largely effected by sear angle, sear engagement, amount of polish done to the surfaces involved, etc., as well as force applied to the engagement surfaces by the spring(s).

 

Even a gun with a very weak mainspring can have a heavy trigger pull if the sear angle is too sharp or the engagement surfaces too rough. Conversely, it may require only a few ounces to trip a well-polished trigger on a gun with a brute-force mainspring that'll set off any primer brand or type.

 

Well, here is a man that understands the subject at hand. Read his post, absorb what he is saying, and you will gain much understanding.

 

RBK

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I have found that my 66 in 44-40 will not reliably shoot Winchester primers something I found out at a state shoot.....So I only use federal primers for that gun. So I have just been using Federals for all of my primer needs as far as rifle and pistol go. But I have not tried anything else for my OMV or my wife's pistols or her Codymatic rifle. With that said it would be a good experiment for over the winter to see if the cci or winchester primers work in my other guns. It would be a good thing to know if I do have a problem getting the federal primers.

 

 

Sgt H

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Any information on TulAmmo primers?

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Guest Maker-Wright

Any information on TulAmmo primers?

 

Howdy ZC,

 

Do a search on the "wire" forum for Tula Primers. I think it'll pull up several threads on the subject. Hope it helps.

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Gotta agree with Maker-Wright regarding trigger pull being a non factor as many cowboys slip hammer which renders trigger pull pointless! Garrison Joe is pretty much on the right track about the ranking for CAS loading! I use Federal for CAS, and I do love my CCI for my elk hunting! Of course, if this is the end of the thread, what would we talk about next???? Perhaps the gun powder factory catching on fire can entertain us for a bit longer :lol:

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The only thing I can add is my experience with primers:

So far I used in both hand guns and rifles Federal, Federal match, Winchester, Fiocchi, Magtech, CCI and Muron (unexpensive russian primers available in France).

Small pistol: (38/357) with Wolff mainsprings, no problem with Federal, Winch, Fiocchi, Magtech and CCI , but too often with Muron (the anvil has, according to me, a poor design which needs strong main springs)

Large pistol: (44/40) no problem in handguns with Federal, Winch, Fiocchi, rare but not exceptional with Magtech and CCI (nevertheless I can't even tell wether it's the primer or poor cocking from my part when shooting fast...) but too often with Muron . The main springs of my 44/40 handguns are a bit lighter than those of my 38/357 because I tuned them myself , and that might be an explanation.... No problem with lever action carbine or rifle.

Large rifle (45/70): with my Chiappa Sharp only, misfires with the Murons and CCI, none with the Federals & the Winch. Did't try the Magtech nor the Fiocchi. No misfire with my Rolling Block whatever might be the primer.

As a conclusion, almost any primer should do it, but I use Federal or Winchester for matches and anything available for training but Murons! But this is for sure, mostly psychological...

Jef

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