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Small rifle primers used in pistol loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by oneofthose, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. oneofthose


    May 16, 2007
    I never would have considered trying it. The question was posed in one of those "ask the expert" pages of a magazine I read recently, Shooting Times I think, can't find it now. The guy asking the question claimed to have run some test loads with success, saying the velocities were a bit faster than the same load with a small pistol primer, but no other obvious problems.

    Anyone here ever heard of this?
  2. I've seen it done by a old time friend of mine, I believe he used the low end of his data to compensate for the rifle primer.

  3. oneofthose


    May 16, 2007
    I'm wondering how close it is to a magnum pistol primer.
  4. Have no idea....never had the balls to play around non conventional loads....I'm scared :whistling:
  5. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Look over at BE. I think a lot of people use the on rounds on custom loads on some major power factor race guns.
  6. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Keep in mind that rifle primers are made with a heavier cup - they're working with a lot higher pressure than in pistols.

    I tested some SRP in my P226 back during the shortage to see if ordering a much larger quantity of them (than I would normally buy for the AR loads) would be beneficial. I couldn't get reliable enough strikes to justify making the much larger order.

    While you can certainly customize your load to work with the SRP, I'd be very concerned about reliable ignition.
  7. oneofthose


    May 16, 2007
    Forgive my ignorance. BE?
  8. chemcmndr


    Aug 23, 2008
    Beavercreek, OH
    Here's the story of my mistake. One day, I got in a rush in reloading some 124 gr 9mm test loads to try in my MP5 before the range closed that day. I made up a batch of 50 loads and went to the range. As I was shooting, I noticed that the muzzle blast was a little bit higher than I was used to for 9mm, but the velocities were where I wanted them to be. I jotted down my numbers and went on my way. When I got home, I went to load some more .223. I was looking around for the box of small rifle primers I had out. When I opened it, there were only 50 primers in it. I thought this odd, since I hadn't loaded any. I then went looking for the other box of CCI small pistol primers I used for my 9mm loads. I couldn't find it. I eventually figured out that I had loaded the small rifle primers in my pistol rounds. When I got around to making the "correct" load, the muzzle blast was where I had expected, and the velocities were about 150 fps lower than I had seen before.

    Moral of the story: don't get into a rush when reloading, especially when making test loads and always have only one primer/powder source out at a time when making loads.
  9. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Just like a lot of things in reloading as long as you start light and work your way up you will be ok.
  10. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Ture, but loading hotter SR primers as a practice shouyld be avoided by noobs. You ahve no way of knowing how much higher the pressures are & the primer cups just don't give yo uany feedback as they tend to not flatten under higher pressure like a pistol primer. No real point unless it's an emergency. Just buy the correct primers.:dunno:
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  11. cole

    cole Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    I've run SPP, SPPM, SRP and SRPM interchangeably in mid-level 9mm loads. Has never mattered much, though the rifle primers can offer more of a light show, especially in shorter barrels. I can tell, but it's not a big difference. However, my striker-fired Glocks have had issues popping the harder rifle primers (~10% failure) so I'll often run those in my hammer-fired CZ.
  12. GOA Guy

    GOA Guy

    Feb 22, 2010
    Small rifle primers in 45,000 psi 38 Super IPSC loads is old hat. Comps like pressure and the rifle primers help keep that pressure in check. It's been going on for 20 years.
  13. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    For some handgun applications it works and works well but be careful and work the loads up carefully. Usually not needed or wanted for most loads in handguns. :supergrin:
  14. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Which is why I was vague in my answer. I just pointed in the right direction if they want to go look for the answer. Just because some "high end competition shooter" does something doesn't mean it make since. It just means it is possible.

    However some people wold like to know what is possible just in case. Primers are the weak link in reloading. You cant make them ourselves, you can't reuse them. You either have a primer or you don't.
  15. mizer67


    Nov 26, 2011
    In standard pressure loads you could get erosion on the breach face from using SRP in place of SPP.
  16. CCI SRP are the same thing as Magnum SPP. Give CCI a call.
  17. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    Most of my warmer 9x19, 357 mag and 40 loads get small rifle primers.

    All of my 454 Casull ammo gets small rifle primers.

    Keep in mind large pistol and large rifle primers do not interchange.