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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been aware by just being on here that 45 acp can have small or large primers. This was information I just absorbed and moved on due to not yet having a 45. I am now getting serious about adopting one and recalled this what seemed to be strange regarding different sized primers. I will reload 45 as soon as I have one consequently what the heck is this all about?

> Why two different size primers for the same caliber casing?

> Are there differences in ballistics, if so what are they?

> Does there seem to be a preference for different purposes such as EDC and or competition?

Thanks in advance for helping me get my head around this and become better prepared.

Cheers!

IGG
 

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For the first nearly 100 years there were only LPP 45 acp. When they first came out with the SPP acp cases, they were (and still are to many) the bane of acp reloaders. You never had to sort them, but now you do. If you are reloading on progressive, or even reloading on a hand primer, getting them mixed up is a pain.

In my experience, there is little difference (ballistically speaking). Most of what I reload (pistol) is SPP, so I like not having to switch back and forth between LPP & SPP setups. I bought a couple thousand SPP acp brass a couple years ago. Should be good for awhile.
 

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The only difference that I know of is for reloading purposes. Most folks reload Rounds that take small pistol primers. To change your set up around for large can be a hindrance. Some folks even buy a second unloader for rounds with large pistol primers just so they don’t have to change their set up. As stated before it’s just easy to have the ACP around in a small pistol primer for reloading purposes.

As far as why they were initially made I have no idea
 

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I will say that my experience is slightly different. The SPP 45 is very rare at the two ranges I visit, maybe 1% of the empty brass is SPP. I have reloaded and shot around 2000 rounds of 45 in the last year. I currently have about 1500 empty 45 ACP in my inventory that is “OPB” (other people’s brass should be added to the reloaders dictionary). In the last year I have come across maybe 30 with the SPP.

The 30 I picked up all came from the same area on the same day, so someone probably found a box of these and shot them all at once.

More of a anomaly or annoyance than a trend.

As far as ballistic performance differences I have no experience and not reloaded any SPP in .45.
 
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I have been aware by just being on here that 45 acp can have small or large primers. This was information I just absorbed and moved on due to not yet having a 45. I am now getting serious about adopting one and recalled this what seemed to be strange regarding different sized primers. I will reload 45 as soon as I have one consequently what the hech is this all about?

> Why two different size primers for the same caliber casing?

> Are there differences in ballistics, if so what are they?

> Does there seem to be a preference for different purposes such as EDC and or competition?

Thanks in advance for helping me get my head around this and become better prepared.

Cheers!

IGG
As stated, the LPP was the standard as far back as Black Powder. SPP 45 Auto started showing up in lead free primers offerings.

The ballistics are largely the same. Some report as much as a 25fps difference when loading identical loads in both style primers (SPP being slower), others report little if any difference.

Many long time 45 Auto reloaders hate SPP. I think that largely stems from their use of a more automated reloading setup, where SPP have to be sorted ahead of loading the case feeder hopper, as any SPP that find their way into the process results in stoppages.

Some like the SPP as it eliminates the need to convert primer setups on their press when switching from other SPP calibers like 380, 9mm, 40S&W.

Some who favor the LPP but find themselves with enough SPP cases to make it worth their while to switch priming setups in their press, may choose to use their SPP loads for lost brass shooting matches, as they don't value the SPP cases as much.

I load mostly lead in my 45 Auto, so I sort my head stamps anyway, so separating SPP cases is not a burden. I load batches of SPP cases and tend to shoot them one or the other in a given day, so there is very little resorting on those I retrieve for recycle.

I was lucky enough to be able to shoot at a private range for a long time. One of the agencies that shared that range used lead free 45 exclusively, the other used normal 40 S&W. I was allowed to take home as much brass as I wanted as they paid a service to remove the brass otherwise, so I have a lot of SPP brass. :)
 

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Ballistically they are basically identical. I've noticed a slightly smaller ES and SD. I switched over to small primer many years ago.

It helped during the primer shortage that I only needed to stock small primers (I had nothing else that used large pistol primers). That make stocking up easy.

The second benefit, was that I didn't have to change out my primer system on the 550. Everything I loaded was small primer, that's changed recently with 30-30, but I load those in low enough volumes that I just hand prime them.

Third benefit(?) is that any range rat that tries to take my brass is likely going to be disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, so as I mentioned it would be nice to not have to make a change out for primers when I switch from 9 to 45... If I used magnum spp would this make up the difference in performance?
 

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There is no discernible difference between Small and Large primer 45. I just got a couple of thousand processed and primed small primer 45 brass for $70.00 per thousand for use in lost brass matches that I shoot with my PCC.
There is no reason to use Magnum primers in the Small primer brass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There is no discernible difference between Small and Large primer 45. I just got a couple of thousand processed and primed small primer 45 brass for $70.00 per thousand for use in lost brass matches that I shoot with my PCC.
There is no reason to use Magnum primers in the Small primer brass.
Thank you USNRET, and thank you for your service!
 

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Sorting .45 ACP range brass is a major pain. The different primer and pocket shapes makes it difficult at any rate of speed and I'm concerned that if I get it wrong I will put a small primer in a large pocket or vice versa. As a result, I size and decap, hand prime off the press then finish it back on the press.

It's annoying and potentially dangerous. I frankly don't care which primer they use as long as it's consistent. It is right at 50 percent each for the brass I just processed.
 

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Ok, so as I mentioned it would be nice to not have to make a change out for primers when I switch from 9 to 45... If I used magnum spp would this make up the difference in performance?
You will usually see a slight bump in velocity with the magnum primers, but I suspect that has as much to do with the added brisance of the primer itself, versus any actual chamge in powder burn.

On the other side of the ledger, you can use the magnum primer if your retail suppliers run out of standard and magnum is all you can find. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You will usually see a slight bump in velocity with the magnum primers, but I suspect that has as much to do with the added brisance of the primer itself, versus any actual chamge in powder burn.

On the other side of the ledger, you can use the magnum primer if your retail suppliers run out of standard and magnum is all you can find. :)
Oh good, thanks WW! I got a REALLY good deal on a bunch a few months ago and planed on using them for 9. Then this interest in a 45 surfaced again and it doesn't seem to be going away:headscratch: It also seems a less complicated choice to just load 9 & 45 with the SPP if able to do so unless I find a significantly higher % of the cases I have are LPP..?
Cheers!
 

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Ok, so as I mentioned it would be nice to not have to make a change out for primers when I switch from 9 to 45... If I used magnum spp would this make up the difference in performance?
So I guess it is a matter of defining diff in ballistics. There is a small diff between sp & lp with identical loads. It will depend on the powder used but the sp can be 25fps slower. Is that a diff, certainly, especially if hanging on the edge of a PF. I save my sp for my masochist friends. SP 45acp, communist plot, pure & simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not that I don't believe you fredj338 however I'm calling Washington. Perhaps with all the investigating with Russia going on this could be cleared up at the same time
:waving:
 

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So I guess it is a matter of defining diff in ballistics. There is a small diff between sp & lpa with identical loads. It will depend on the powder used but the sp can be 25fps slower. Is that a diff, certainly, especially if hanging on the edge of a PF. I save my sp for my masochist friends. SP 45acp, communist plot, pure & simple.
I like them, and i've already called dibs on Fred's SP 45ACP.
 
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