Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Federal VS Winchester Primers


Cholla
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have used Federal primers since day one of being in SASS. I have never had an issue. A friend gave me a pack of Winchester primers for the use of my Dillon 550. I decided to give them a try. I loaded 10 LPP. Of the 10, nine took two hammer hits to set off in both my Vaqueros and my rifle. I always figured the softness of Federal primers was a myth. I don't think that anymore. I will be saving the rest of the Winchester primers for my .45 ACP.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think either the Win primers have changed or your springs are light. I've shot thousands of Win primers - SPP & LPP without problems ( but not lately)

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Winchester LP have always worked without issues in multiple rifles, Vaqueros and SAA clones as well as Open Tops for myself

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Years ago in a '66 I had some failures with Winchester LP primed ammo after thousands of Federals going bang.  Had to tighten the main spring a bit.  So I just used it for 45acp.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used Winchester primers since I started in CAS... 1985... the only failures I've had were this past weekend... first time with a lightened mainspring.  I have over the course of the years had a few that either got fouled or were just duds.  I'd expect any other maker Id' use to have the same results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the Winchesters are not firing on the first strike but on the second, I would suggest checking your press to make sure your primers are seated to the bottom of the pocket.

------------------

For the Rugers if the springs are light, try putting a washer under the spring in the grips.

 

For the rifle if a 60, 66 73 model try tightening the hammer spring screw in the stock 1/4 turn at a time.

Maybe the same for other models.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used Winchester primers for 25 years in CAS. Any problems I've had were not the primers. I don't run extremely light springs because I've learned my lesson.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Colts will work with any primers, I use Federal for my rifles. I mark the CCIs and Winchesters for my Colts. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:ph34r:  We have tuned Rugers (Wes Flowers) and '73 (Codymatic) and Marlin (original Spur) all very smooth and with lightened springs.  All function fine with Federal, Winchester, and even in extremis, Wolf primers.  Having gone 'over the edge' early on with too light springs, I find a balance between smooth function and faster lock time is important.  

I do better personally with a faster lock time than a feeble hammer drop.....  And one time some years back I arrived at California State match 135 miles from home without my ammo boxes and had to borrow from my good pard Ozark Lawdog.  Knowing whatever he loaded was going to go bang certainly helped mitigate my foul-up.

All that aside, current production may have different characteristics than what we have gotten used to.  I don't plan on buying any primers anytime soon, and  thankfully don't need to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any tuning by a gunsmith was with Winchester primers in mind. I've only used Federals once when I couldn't get Winchesters. With the current shortage, I've purchase CCI primers and they have worked so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used both Winchester and Federal primers (SPP) in my Rugers, USFAs, and Marlins - all firearms with lightened mainsprings, all without issue. Don't ask me about CCI.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had too many that had to go a time or two around...Winchesters...I use the winchesters for 1911 and Glock. Only Federal for cowboy guns

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Old Man Graybeard said:

I had too many that had to go a time or two around...Winchesters...I use the winchesters for 1911 and Glock. Only Federal for cowboy guns

Glock????

get a rope…..

  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remington primers are hard to find but they work great!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Winchesters in the rifles and Federals for our pistols. Winchesters are unreliable in our pistols. If it ever becomes necessary, I'll adjust the springs accordingly. I have quite a few CCI's but won't use them in our cowboy guns. 

Edited by Sixgun Seamus
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Federal primers are considerably softer than anything else.  I like CCIs but I borrowed a rifle this weekend and learned a hard lesson when his gun wouldn't set them off.  When primers are available again, I guess I'm going to stack Federals as deep as I can on the shelf.  My guns set off CCIs just fine, but those guys out there who insist on the lightest possible action work are going to need Federals and nothing else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About 75% of the rounds that I put downrange now are shot out of my cowboy guns in matches and practice.  In these times, I want to feel that I could go to any gun that I now as needed.  My cowboy ammo is not the best for social purposes.  All of my guns can fire any primer, including CCIs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have been reading on another form about the new "Blue" Federal primers not firing as well as "Old" Federals. Rumors of change of primer compound to a lead free composition.   Anyone heard anything about this anywhere?    Have some but havn't tried any yet.     GW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, G W Wade said:

Have been reading on another form about the new "Blue" Federal primers not firing as well as "Old" Federals. Rumors of change of primer compound to a lead free composition.   Anyone heard anything about this anywhere?    Have some but havn't tried any yet.     GW

I guess I will find out at the next monthly. I just bought some of the new blue flats at Sportsman's Warehouse for $5.99.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

G Dubb,

 

The new federal primers are called Catalyst.

 

Here is an article......https://www.outdoorlife.com/cartridge-primer-technology-developments/

 

You know I'm still working on my old stock so I haven't experienced these yet.

 

Vic

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My CAS guns digest the Winchester, Remington  and Federal primers without a hitch.  Every now and then the CCI do not go off.  My 1st choice will always be Federal but given the availability mess I will use any of 5 listed.  My CAS guns do not have light springs though, the actions are merely polished to minimize any friction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My JM Marlin 45 Cowboy Ltd with spring kit and one-piece firing pin does not like Winchester primers. I expect to use them in my stock pistols but snagged some Federal LPM for now and haven't test fired the Winchesters in pistols yet.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the Short short distance we shoot in SASS .

I have seen  No , Zero , Nota Difference in any primers for performance .

Federal Winchester Remington CCI Tula Wolf they all go bang .

The only difference is how hard the primer is to setoff with  Light or super light springs .

I run stock springs in most of my guns and they ALL go bang.

But then again I shoot full load Black Powder with a 200 GR bullet.

So speed is really No consideration for me .

So Saith The Rooster

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the 4 major US primer suppliers, federal, Winchester, remington, and cci, I believe Winchester has the most inconsistent hardness among their own primers. Over the years I’ve used all brands. Sometimes Winchester primers will work with lighter springs and other times I have bought bricks that had inconsistent strikes with factory springs in both revolver and rifle. I sent some LPP’s back to Winchester one time because I could not get them to fire with the factory spring in a marlin 94. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been using Winchester primers, large and small pistol, large and small rifle, (for standard or magnum loads) and 209s for shotshells in ALL of my guns since before I got into SASS.

Only one rifle ever had a problem with them, an early Navy Arms 66 that had clearly had an overzealous action job done to it.   You could see the hammer falling visibly slower then on an Uberti 66 or an original 73.  (Most logical guns to compare.)  

I took it to Happy Trails and asked him to return the gun to "more or less factory specs."   He did, and I've not had a problem since. 

 

Most of my guns are factory stock.   There are a couple of exceptions, but I tried to have the minimal amount of work to get them to where they had to be.


Feel free to do with that info as you see fit.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Primers are made to government specs.

These are the same primes sold to the civilian customers.

The brass used to make primers is the same for all manufacturers.

The difference is not brass hardness, it is compound formula differences.

Some more sensitive than others.

 

Now during the Obama years, primers and powder became hard to find.

During that time I continued to use the same primers. Remington and CCI.

I would buy Federal when I found them and used them to trade for the others.

I found that loading 2500 rounds a day, Federal primers had a square cup edge that would catch the edge of the case if not perfectly centered.

When loading 2500 rounds a day, ( 3 to 4 hours) having primers crush in the press was something I tried to avoid.

Reason I did not use Federal.

 

On to another issue.

Some shooters try to get their hammer springs as light as they can to the point they only set off Federal primers. (has the most sensitive compound)

This was a liability when Federal primers became hard to find.

Also, the light hammers springs also reduced hammer fall speed and any friction induces such as hammer falling and touching the frame to a thumb dragging during the drop would cause primers not to fire and a second hit might make it fire.

 

During the primer shortage back then introduced the need to make hammer springs a little more aggressive.

I suggested to my customers to increase hammer spring fall to the point the three major primer would fire on first strike.

After a few matches, you will not notice the increase in hammer pull and you will have more reliable firearms.

 

Here we are again with primers hard to find.

We do not have much choice in what we can get.

We get what is on the shelf as it appears.

 

Another interesting item is the government spec require that no more than 2 failures to fire per 1000 rounds. (or is it 100,000 rounds)

 

The point is, primers are not failing at the rate discussed in cas.

The firearm springs are being modified to the point they are failing to stick with enough force to ignite the primer compound. 

 

Just before primers became hard to find during the Obama years, I was reloading 460,000 round a year. (Remington and CCI primers)

I had a total of 1 round come back because it did not go off.

The customer was not mad and he had a point to make.

His rifle had a broken firing pin that was floating in the receiver.

 

My suggestion is still the same during this primer shortage.

Increase the spring so they work on all primers.

This is end the frustration some seem to currently be having with primers.

When primers become plentiful again, then go back to your light springs with your favorite primers.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

...I suggested to my customers to increase hammer spring fall to the point the three major primer would fire on first strike.

After a few matches, you will not notice the increase in hammer pull and you will have more reliable firearms....

 

 

Someone (AD) likes to say that when you are sitting around the living room playing with your '73, those super light springs feel great, but when the buzzer goes off you really don't notice heavier springs.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a pair of Jimmy Spurs pistols that I love and the only thing they will set off is Federal primers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last Saturday I was having my best match ever when on Stage 4 Revolver I got a FTF.   I went around twice and still had to take a miss.  The 48 second stage kind of ruined my score.

 

When I got home I discovered that it was a Winchester primer, the first time I'd loaded with them.  Most of the time I use CCI, but I've loaded a few hundred with Federal.  Box stock Uberti revolver in 45 Colt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.