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Winchester v. CCI small-pistol primers

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jeffreybehr, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. jeffreybehr

    jeffreybehr Silver Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Since I returned to reloading several years ago, this time for pistols only, I've used Winchester, CCI, and Federal primers, both Small and Large Pistol. They've all performed perfectly in my Glocks, with nary a failure, and perhaps because they're more easily available locally (at Bruno's), I've been using only Winchester SPs in my 357SIG loads the last couple years.

    I read and posted in a recent primer-quality thread where several people complained of poor functioning of Winchesters; my comment was that I've used many thousands of WSPs with NO negative results.

    So finally a question--from perspectives of reliability and performance, have you experienced ANY differences between Winchester and CCI SP primers?

    I ask because CCIs from Powder Valley are significantly less expensive than Winchesters from Bruno's.
  2. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    All I use are CCI primers.

  3. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    If your gun is tuned with springs strong enough to set off CCI primers, then that's your huckleberry. CCI quality control is unsurpassed by any other company.

    I have experienced FTF problems with Winchester primers, so I no longer use them for anything other than practice.

    Most people I shoot with use Federal. But, most of those guys have highly tuned firearms that will not reliably set off any other brand.
  4. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    My first choice for primers is Federal
    second choice CCI
    third choice Remington
    I will not even purchase winchester, Ever again PERIOD SJ 40
  5. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I have had issues with Remington. Never uses Winchester. I have used a lot of CCI with never a issue. Just bought another 30,000.
  6. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I've never had a problem with Winchester primers. I doubt most threads about "primer quality". 99% of the problems are from reloaders not seating primers sufficiently. Unless a complaint about primers comes from someone known to me as being reliable, I blow it off.

    And no, just because someone says they seated them "below flush" doesn't mean they were seated all the way. I had a problem a couple of years back with failures to fire on the first go around. I couldn't figure it out, several guns and calibers all the same, using WW primers fromn a case I had not had problems with. The primers were "below flush" and I bent over backwards to ensure full pressure on the handle was being applied. On the gazillionth time I stripped the shell carrier to look for some type of problem, I finally found it. The carrier was cracked. It looked like a part line from a mold, so I hadn't thought it was a crack. Once I replaced the carrier, all was well again.
  7. dvrdwn72


    Nov 26, 2010
    my first choice is cci, then federal, winchester if its the only thing available.
  8. Kwesi


    Sep 23, 2006
    I've used more Win SPP & LPP's more than CCI's. I have had a handful of the Win LPP's not ignite on the first try. Most did on the 2nd try. WhiskyT has me curious if my seating depth was the issue. Most were in the same box of 50. I have had a few, though not as many, CCI's not ignite on the first attempt. I happen to currently have mostly Win but recently picked up a bunch of S&B's and CCI's.

    WiskyT: if they feel flush how would I determine if I'm seating incorrectly?
  9. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    Got a decent caliper with the depth rod on it?

    Measure the depth of the primer pocket with no primer. Measure the thickness of the primer. Subtract the primer thickness from the depth of the primer pocket and that should get you in the ballpark of how far the seated primer should be below the back of the case head.
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    If they go off on the first try:supergrin:

    It has to be done by feel IMO. you can't feel the primer stopping on a progressive. You can feel it start, but you can't feel it stop. You feel the carrier stop, but not the primer itself. At least on the Pro1000 and 650 that I have.

    On a SS you can feel the primer stop. On my RCBS partner I can not only feel the primer stopping, but I can go beyond that and deform it if I go to heavy on it. It's the same way with my RCBS hand primer, I can make them look like they are all flattened out. that's no good either because the priming compound is brittle and it can break and fall out of position which will render the primer useless.

    So, on a progressive, I just put firm pressure on the handle and hope for the best. The only time I've had a problem was when the carrier on the Pro1000 was cracked. It must have been flexing just enough to cause some FF.
  11. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    They need to be fully seated. Primers and primer pockets very in size. Just push hard and your done. That is below flush a decent amount in my experience.
  12. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    I always go with CCI for SPP or LPP. Second is a tie between all others. I have never had a problem with CCI primers that were caused by the primers.
  13. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    I have use CCI, Federal, Remington & Winchester in many of my load tests and I can only remember just a very few every misfiring. All were because of primer pocket/seating issues, and 1 or 2 Remington "no-go's".

    I currently use Federal/CCI only because of availability, when I went to put my last bulk order in these two brands were in abundance and the other two were not. Between these two, I have enough primers to keep me happy for some time and to date, with this last batch, I have had not issues with either brand.

    To your original point between Winchester & CCI - flip a coin... mine came up heads which was CCI. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  14. HexHead


    Jul 16, 2009
    I've used both. And the only difference I can find is the primer feed on my 550 seems to prefer CCI over Winchester.
  15. jr05


    Jun 9, 2007
    I have only used Remington primers up to this point, but the last time I bought primers at Powder Valley I just went with Winchester SP, got quite a few of them, hopefully they work out well.

    I have loaded up a few hundred of them so far and they have functioned without any issues. If anything, I am getting a bump up in FPS with these primers compared to my Remington data, but they may just be temperature difference on the test days.
  16. Kwesi


    Sep 23, 2006
    I get +30 FPS with Win LPP's.
  17. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    I've almost entirely used CCI so far. I've sampled Magtech and Wolf LP.

    I just picked up quantities of Fiocchi SP and Federal LP. I've loaded some rounds with them, but not been to the range with them yet. Loading the Federals, I don't know if it was just coincidence, or what, but I had one or more primers turn sideways and jam in the Dillon pickup tube tip (a few primers in). I ended up removing the tip, dumping the loose ones out, and still had to poke one last one out.

    The Fiocchi and Federals seem to seat well enough. I remember when I loaded some Wolf LP, they were definitely more work to seat.

    I'll update here in a few days when I've tested the above mentioned ammo/primers.
  18. Jayman

    Jayman Big Dummy

    Nov 3, 2002
    Chantilly, VA
    I too have had some issues with Winchester primers, although it was early in my reloading career and so maybe I was at fault? That said, I have had excellent results with CCI and Federal both.
  19. JBnTX

    JBnTX Bible Thumper

    Aug 28, 2008
    Fort Worth Texas
    I've used Winchester large and small pistol, and small rifle primers for many years and I've never had a problem.
  20. sns3guppy


    Sep 4, 2006
    I've long used CCI, but they're getting harder to pick up, and I've been finding more Federal.