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BunnyKiller
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 6:52am | IP Logged Quote BunnyKiller

the wifey decided to "help" clean up my work bench and
accidentally mixed my Large Pistol primers with the Large
Rifle Magnum primers... I now have about 600 primers that
are difficult to tell the difference, they measure the same
size dia and wall thickness. Is there another way to tell
the difference? weight possibly? and how dangerous is it to
use LRM primers in a 44 Mag case just in case one slips
thru? Or do I just trash the whole stash and re-inforce the
dont touch anything law ;)
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richhodg66
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 7:15am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Seems like the magnum rifle primers I have have some kind of different color compound inside so they look different, maybe not all do.

Before I threw that many away, I 'd darn sure look real closely at a bunch under a strong magnifying glass and figure out a way to tell the difference. I'm guessing that unless you were loading at the max, it wouldn't be unsafe but you'd likely get some weird results using inconsistent primers like that.

Years ago, I accidentally loaded 50 .38 special rounds with small rifle primers. The problem was that the S&W Model 10 I loaded them for wouldn't hit them hard enough to set them off reliably and I had some misfires, guess the SR primers had thicker cups. No problem, the Ruger set them all off.

Get a good magnifying glass, weigh them, whatever, but try to figure out a way to tell the difference. If you do decide to dump them, don't just throw them in the trash where they could possible be hazardous to someone. Trash seems to find it's way into burn pits a lot of the time.

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Ranch 13
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 7:23am | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

How were the primers laying loose that they could be mixed up in the first
place? If those primers were stored openly like that, I'ld just pitch them on
account of most of them are likely contaminated, or have the anvils knocked
loose.
The biggest problem you'll likely encounter is the large rifle sized primers
likely won't seat flush into the 44 magnum case.

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RT58
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 8:11am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I'd try looking at the color of the primer compound first, then the color and shape of the anvils. If that doesn't work weigh them, but weights may vary by brand and lot variations so hopefully yours are far enough apart to tell easily.

If those don't work, measure the overall thickness as Ranch 13 noted, but you will need something that will measure accurately to at least .001".

As to the second part of your question, if the primers are of the same brand, using a magnum rifle in a .44 magnum will raise your pressures. If you are using max loads to start with you would more than likely be over that with the LRM primers. If you use starting loads you might be alright, load up a couple and try them first before you load them all up.
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richhodg66
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 8:26am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Ranch's point about them not seating flush is probably the answer. I'd take careful measurements. May seem tedious, but I'm a cheap bastard and hate to just throw something away if I can safely use it.

I have a thousand Federal magnum large rifle primers out there I got to load some AA 8700 in the 7mm Mag. Seems to me I remember that individual primers looked real different from others, had some kind of pink priming compound that just stood out to look at it.

I'm guessing you'll be able to sort those out OK, but it'll be tedious. Once you get it figured out, test a few before you load a whole bunch up. Pulling bullets sucks and is to be avoided if at all possible.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 10:38am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Small rifle and small pistol primers are basically the same size, but large pistol and large rifle primers should be different as far as height measurement of the cup goes. I suspect that you can measure the difference but it would take a decently accurate tool to show the difference. Micrometer would be best, but a high quality caliper might work.

Either primer might work in both handguns as well as rifles if there is clearance for a high primer in the revolver using a large rifle primer and if there is enough firing pin travel in the rifles using large pistol primers.

There is problems to be considered in either case as ruptured primers could be an issue as well as inconsistent chamber pressures and even overload pressures if using loads near max. in the handgun.

Primers are never to be stored in containers other than the sleeves that they came in for safety as well as for protection of the primers themselves.

Good luck with the problem. I too would not want to just toss them out and would likely spend all day with my micrometer. But then, I am a bit silly when it comes to wasting components I suppose. Even when my back was hurting me so bad that I could hardly walk, I could not resist the urge to bend over and pick up scrap brass at the public ranges. (Well, at least until my back screamed loud enough to make me stop).

From Starline Brass: Rifle vs Pistol Primers

There are two sizes of primers large and small. Then it is further broken down to handgun and rifle. Then you have standard and magnum primers. In addition, there are some made for special purposes such as military and target loads. Choosing the correct primer is important in order to be successful in making good ammo. The old primers were very corrosive and those that had fulminate of mercury in them would destroy cases by weakening them. Old primers were corrosive and you would have to clean the gun as soon as possible to avoid pitting in the barrel. Much of the foreign military ammo made today is also corrosive and some though not all of it is labeled so. If you are not sure, treat it as corrosive to be on the safe side. I suppose Berdan corrosive primers are cheaper to make hence their production.

Handgun primers have softer cups because the firing pin hit isnít as strong as a rifle pin drop. Also they are not a tall as a rifle nor do they contain as much ignition material as the rifle because they donít have to ignite as much powder. It isnít a good idea to use the wrong primer for instance a rifle primer in a handgun round. First of all it is too tall which may cause it to slightly protrude from the case and since the cup is harder it might not go off. In addition, there could be a possibility of over ignition of powder. A small or large pistol primer in a rifle round will reverse the problems. Like everything else there are exceptions. Recently I have had two black powder rifles that have weak mainsprings and wouldnít set off a rifle primer. Since they are low-pressure black powder arms, I used a handgun primer and everything worked out fine. I would not recommend that procedure with modern guns.

When seating a primer it must not stick out from the case, as that will cause a variety of problems. In a revolver, high primers will prevent the cylinder from turning. High primers in other firearms can cause a slam fire, which can be dangerous. Misfires and inconsistent ammo are other problems that can be associated with improperly seated primers. When you seat a primer there should be some feel but it shouldnít be excessive. If they are very difficult to seat forcing them in will cause some issues. If a small or large pistol primer is crushed some of the compound may come out which will cause a hangfire or inconsistent ammo because of under ignition. If there is no feel the primer, pocket might be expanded due to hot loads and the primer may fall out. Needless to say, those cases should be discarded.

Even though the primer is the smallest component of a round, it needs to be treated with the same amount of respect as all of the other components. Failure to do so will result in poor quality ammo.

DISCLAIMER: All reloading data in this article is for informational purposes only. Starline Brass and the author accept no responsibility for use of the data in this article.




Edited by Ham Gunner on February 11 2018 at 10:50am


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BunnyKiller
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 12:54pm | IP Logged Quote BunnyKiller

As far as the mix up, I have some pill bottles I use for
temp storage of primers ( size marked on the bottom)...
the wife saw 2 containers "with the same sized thingies"
so she put them into one container for me....

didnt occur to me to measure the height, but that is the
way to find the difference...
LP are .118" and LRM are .124 ( i took measures from new
unopened packs)

thanks for the help... now I get to measure about 600+
primers and sort them out again... and BTW, the "DONT
TOUCH" law has been restated!!
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Old Ranger
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 1:07pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Not to sound condescending but wouldn't it be better to
enact the "Keep components in their original container
law"?
Just sayin'.

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RECURVE
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 4:32pm | IP Logged Quote RECURVE

If you have an old primer arm for a single stage press
might help you with the diferanc in height without
measuring
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BunnyKiller
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Posted: February 11 2018 at 9:29pm | IP Logged Quote BunnyKiller

well I found a quick way to separate them... put them into
a Dillon primer flipper and got them all turned over,
placed the "top" of the flipper on upside down, turned over
the whole thing and then used the bottom part ( the flat
side) and sandwiched them and tilted it a tad... all the LP
primers slid out leaving the LRM primers in between the
plates. Only had 1 LP stay on the plate due to a offset
anvil ( spider)...

and as far as using the original container, ever try
stuffing primers back into those little trays as they come
out of the vibratory feeder?? ;)
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RT58
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Posted: February 12 2018 at 7:27am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Very resourceful. I'm sure if I had to sort through 600 primers I would have looked for a better way too.

By the way, welcome to the forum.
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Ranch 13
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Posted: February 12 2018 at 7:33am | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

Why would you fill a feeder with more primers than you intended to use at one
time?

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mikld
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Posted: February 12 2018 at 11:55am | IP Logged Quote mikld

Large rifle primers are about .008" taller than large
pistol primers. If you load large rifle primers in large
pistol applications, they will be too tall and may
protrude above the case head...

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BunnyKiller
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Posted: February 12 2018 at 8:35pm | IP Logged Quote BunnyKiller

as far as loading up more "than I need" into the feeder, I
plan on reloading in 200-300 rounds at a time...
unfortunately, my job requires me to be on standby 18 hrs a
day and when I get a call I need to be on the road within
20 minutes or less. I have just enuf time to pull the tube
from the feeder, empty it, and place a pill bottle under
the feeder and empty the feeder... dont like to leave
primers in the feeder, especially now that Im reloading for
a 44 mag and a 460 mag, dont want any forgetful moments and
dump a pack of primers into the feeder when it already had
a bunch in there of a different type/size.
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