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Question about reloading primers

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Hi All:

 

I have a possibly important safety question for reloading .308 shells.

 

Is it wrong to use a different rifle primer than what a reloading recipe calls for?

 

I want to follow Sierra's match load using their .308 168gr. MatchKing HPBT bullets and RL-15 powder per their reloading manual. Sierra lists Federal 210M primers as the primer to use. However, I haven't been able to find these primers anywhere - not even on-line - for a few years. I've been occasionally buying Federal GMM ammo in the meantime.

 

Anyway ... other brands of primers have been available.

 

I know CCI makes good primers. Would it be wrong to use their #200 or BR2 primers, or Federal 210 primers (instead of 210M primers)? Heck .... would it be ok to use Winchester WLR primers?

 

I'm just tired of waiting for Federal 210M primers to be in stock. It seems like it'll never happen. It seems like everything has come back since Obama left office except Federal 210M primers. Heck ... even .22 WMR ammo can be found again, but no Federal 210M primers. What's the deal?

 

I just figured I'd ask you guys first before possibly doing something stupid and unsafe. I've heard folks say CCI's BR2 primers are really good.

 

Thanks everybody.

 

 

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I load a few wildcats where load data just doesn't exist. Key is to start low and do a ladder up to the max charge, looking for pressure signs, any time you change a component. You should be just fine substituting another primer for the 210M. Is it a magnum primer? If so you may want to use another magnum primer. CCI makes a magnum primer.

 

Do you have a chronograph?

 

Is this going to be fired from a bolt gun or autoloader?

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Primer substitution is fine. Never load a whole run without trying a few. One tin of hard primers will ruin a good day.

 

ETA; I have found CCI to be harder than Federal and Winchester. As long as your gun has a good springs this shouldn't be an issue.

Edited by YOT
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Sierra likely lists the Federal 210M primer because that is the "match" primer used in the GMMK ammunition that is well know for its out of the box accuracy and precision. You will find a myriad of threads asking for recipes how to duplicate it.

 

Any large rifle primer should work fine.

 

I have been very happy with CCI large rifle primers in Federal brass with 178g AMAX bullets over both Varget and 4064. Both loads are sub MOA out of a couple different .308 rifles I load for.

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+1 to what the others said. As long as it is in the same category, i.e. magnum or not, switching brands is fine. Work up from scratch each time you switch something.

 

It is worth noting that some brands have harder or softer primers, which matters in guns with floating firing pins. I've kinda settled on winchester for rifle primers. They are a little harder than CCI standard, but less than the CCI military primers. Hard enough to be safe, but probably not going to get a weak strike.

 

Also, there are people who have done primer power comparisons. They do have different behaviors. So switching primers won't go "unsafe" if you work up, you aren't going to get 1 for 1 substitution. If you worked up a load to an accuracy node, changing primers might change what your optimum charge is by a bit.

 

I can't compare to the match primers first hand, because I've used so few of them, and am not that good a shot. Also I still don't have a chrono.

 

However, I can say that other people who are extremely thorough have shown that some of the very most consistent standard devs around come from tula small rifle primers. Counterintuative, I know. I haven't read any similar work for large rifle non magnum stuff to say if one brand or another stands out, but I bet there is some obsessive bench rest guy with spreadsheets out there. It would be worth looking for that if you are going for max accuracy. May as well just standardize on whatever is affordable, available, and repeatable, and order them in the biggest quantity you can afford.


addendum: Shotgun primers are another animal. There is a huge difference of power between one brand an another, so the above does not apply.

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Hi Guys:

 

I know what GunFun said about shotgun primers is true so I feared perhaps the same applied to rifle primers too.  

 

I will be loading for a bolt rifle. Nothing semi-automatic. I am not a competition shooter. Just want tight groups like everyone else at 100 yards. Hopefully, clover leafs.

 

Federal 210M primers are match primers. Would regular Federal 210 primers do just as well?

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Almost as well.

 

You're on the right track with that Sierra load.

Benchmark your gun with Federal 168gr factory match ammo. Measure the Federal ammo OAL for reference.

Use one lot of cases. Prep them all at the same time (clean, trim, size, etc), then segregate the prepped cases by weight.

Seating depth can change group size dramatically. (as well as case pressure)

You'll figure the rest out.

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I used 210M primers until they became hard to find. The last few years I've used 210 primers, they seem to work exactly the same.

 

Doug

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I have seen brand of primer being benchmarked by some on rifle primers to squeeze out that last little bit of precision for a load for their rifle. With so many other variables affecting precision to such a greater degree (Many already referenced above), primer brand would be the last variable I would work with. Some great advice, above. Work up slowly, be safe and enjoy.

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So far, the BEST data for starting accuracy I've found is in the Sierra books. They even list an "accuracy" and a "hunting" load.

The "accuracy" listing is the most consistent load in that table.

I start there with most of my long guns to see what they like...

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I want to replicate the Federal GMM load with 168 gr. bullets. That seems to be what Sierra lists using RL-15 powder and 210M primers.

 

I'm relieved to learn Federal 210 primers seem to work just as well for R&R. Those have been available.

 

I was just curious to see if anyone likes CCI BR2 primers.

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I don't think they have a different manfacturing process. I think the match series get weighed individually and heald to tighter tolerances than the normal 210s. That's just my personal speculation.

 

It was pretty revealing to see emails from CCI staff about their manufacturing process. They color code the anvils, and the dye in the priming compound, and the primer cup. Sometimes the colors get changed, but you should recognise if a tray of primers somehow got an interloper on your bench. Someone did comparisons of their stuff and couldn't find a performance difference between CCI standard 550 small pistol magnums, and small rifle (#400?) Asked if  there was a difference in cup hardness, or what. CCI guy said, nope. just different component colors, and the two could be safely interchanged as identical. I think I saved that email somewhere. Other stuff is very different. Good to know in that I have had a hard time getting one type or the other on different occasions.

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Per R&R's & GunFun's comments, I think I'll get Federal 210 primers whenever I get paid again.

 

Perhaps the combination of their priming compound and RL-15 powder is better than combining CCI BR2s and RL-15 powder.

 

OH! Just remembered I'll need to buy shells too. That's sort of important. 

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Respectfully ...

 

Some answers OK.  Some not OK.  Can you be more specific in what platform your .308 Winchester hand loads will be shot?  Makes a huge difference.  Shot in factory bolt action guns chambered for .308 Winchester you will probably be OK.  Like already said, start 10% low and work your way up.  You CAN substitute different primers but be aware of what you are doing.

 

But ... and here is the other boot dropping down hard, ... IF you are using your .308 Winchester hand loads WITH SOFT PRIMERS in a 7.62X51 NATO floating firing pin semi auto battle type rifle you may have concerns.   Hard primers.  Soft primers.  Floating firing pins.  Firing pin retaining or return springs.  Potential slam firing.  You release the bolt stop.  The bolt slams forward on your Semi Auto Battle Rifle.  Bang!  You did not squeeze the trigger.  "Bang" anyway.  The floating firing pin popped the WRONG soft primer.

 

Sometimes soft primers used as a substitute in a different gun can cause problems.  Low probability but it does happen.  Has happened to me.

 

Respectfully.

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Respectfully ...

 

Some answers OK.  Some not OK.  Can you be more specific in what platform your .308 Winchester hand loads will be shot?  Makes a huge difference.  Shot in factory bolt action guns chambered for .308 Winchester you will probably be OK.  Like already said, start 10% low and work your way up.  You CAN substitute different primers but be aware of what you are doing.

 

But ... and here is the other boot dropping down hard, ... IF you are using your .308 Winchester hand loads WITH SOFT PRIMERS in a 7.62X51 NATO floating firing pin semi auto battle type rifle you may have concerns.   Hard primers.  Soft primers.  Floating firing pins.  Firing pin retaining or return springs.  Potential slam firing.  You release the bolt stop.  The bolt slams forward on your Semi Auto Battle Rifle.  Bang!  You did not squeeze the trigger.  "Bang" anyway.  The floating firing pin popped the WRONG soft primer.

 

Sometimes soft primers used as a substitute in a different gun can cause problems.  Low probability but it does happen.  Has happened to me.

 

Respectfully.

 

Especially if the firing pin channel is a bit gunky.

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My rifle is a Savage 10 FCP-K in .308 Winchester.

 

I don't own anything semi-auto in .308.

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