Spike Camp

Reloading Basics?

danno50

  • *****
  • 2868
    • View Profile
Reloading Basics?
« on: April 17, 2017, 08:29:14 AM »
I found this article over the weekend and thought it would be interesting to get other hand loaders opinions on primer applications across the board. John Barsness wrote it about 12 years ago.

Primers and Pressures by John Barsness
Many handloaders think a
primer is a primer, or differentiate
only between
�standard� and �magnum� primers.
But primer choice can make a big
difference in load performance�
and a REALLY big difference in
safety.
This has been known among
shotgun handloaders for years, but
too many rifle handloaders rarely
consider the side-effects of
primers. Various experiments (including
some I�ve performed myself
) have shown that the choice of
rifle primer can change the pressure
of the same load over 12,000
pounds per square inch (psi). This
means a load that produces a very
safe 58,000 psi with one primer
can produce an unsafe 70,000 psi
with another�and often there�s no
way for the home handloader to
tell the difference.
According to handloading lore, a
basement loader should be able to
tell when pressures get too high by
such signs as hard bolt lift, or marks
from the ejector slot of the bolt face
on the head of the brass. But such
�pressure signs� (in actuality signs of
excessive pressure) were relied on
long before present-day piezo-electric
testing equipment became standard.
Older methods of pressure
gauging were relatively inaccurate,
older rifles weren�t as precisely made
as today�s, and some older brass not
as hard. Recent testing has shown
that pressure signs such as hard bolt
lift and, in particular, brass flow
into the ejector slot indicate pressures
ABOVE 70,000 psi. Modern
bolt-actioned rifles can withstand
pressures of 65,000 or less almost
indefinitely, but if subjected to
70,000+ psi loads continually they
will eventually fail�the reason even
the hottest American magnum
rounds have a maximum factory
pressure rating of 65,000 psi.
If you�re lucky, continued firing of
over-warm handloads will result
only in certain parts stretching,
rather than breaking. Headspace,
for instance, might grow because
the bolt lugs are stressed. If you�re
unlucky, the rifle�s action can come
apart all at once. This happened a
few years ago to a friend who was
fond of loading rounds beyond normal
velocities�and hence pressures.
He got lucky. The right side
of the action blew, sending the
heavy scope over his left shoulder
and into the side of a building over
30 feet away�instead of into his
face. HE OBSERVED NO �PRESSURE
SIGNS� BEFORE THE RIFLE CAME APART but had
been shooting hot loads in the same
varmint rifle for over a year.
What all this means is that we
should be very, very careful about
which primers we use. The safest
technique is to use the exact same
primer listed in the loading manual
for any load. Unfortunately, this
means stocking almost every primer
made, an expensive proposition.
Instead I generally start with either
CCI 200 (standard) or Federal 215
(magnum) primers in rifle loads.
Both of these primers are among
the mildest of their type so should
produce safe pressures. (No, Federal
215�s are not the hottest magnum
primers around. They were the original
�magnum� rifle primers, so
many handloaders still regard them
as the hottest. But recent tests indicate
both CCI and Winchester
make hotter magnum primers.)

Only if the loading manual lists
another primer do I try it if the
CCI 200 or Federal 215 doesn�t
produce the desired results. For instance,
many loads list either the
Winchester WLR or Federal 210 as
a standard primer. The Winchester
is definitely hotter than the CCI
200, so I use it only in loads where
it�s suggested.

I learned this lesson after some experiments
with pressure-testing. I�d
worked up a load in a .270
Winchester rifle that showed no traditional
pressure signs but had substituted
a Federal 215 when the
Federal 210 listed for the load hadn�t
produced the accuracy desired.
Then I had this load tested in a
piezo-electric lab. The average pressure
was almost 68,000 psi, well
over the limit for the .270.
Substituting either the Federal 210
or CCI 200 dropped pressures into
the low 60,000 range.
This is why most loading manuals
advise you to stick to the recipe.
Modern bullets can create far different
pressures than the fairly standardized
bullets of 40 years ago�but
switching primers can make even
more difference. Be careful!
DosEquisShooter

.257

  • *****
  • 1057
    • View Profile
Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 09:36:21 AM »
Thanks Dan this is great reading. I learned many years ago the difference in primers, mainly standard to magnum. Was loading my Dad's 250-3000, ran out of the normal CCI primer and thinking I was well below max charge l could just use Fed 215. That was a mistake, got a call from my Dad that he couldn't open the action on his model 99 savage. It didn't take a lot to get it open with a ram rod down the barrel. The savage lever has no cam action it is a straight pull. I think a bold action would have opened no problem but to say I heard about it would be an understatement. I have read sense that the difference can be as much as 2 grains of powder in some cases.
Mike

Blackbear3

  • *****
  • 1999
  • In God We Trust!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 09:43:06 AM »
Interesting article, I never realized there could be that much change in pressure by switching primers. Luckily I use the 215s in all my magnum loads.
We stand for the Flag, and we kneel for the fallen!!!

Doug-NRA Life Member

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 10:10:14 AM »
that is a good article dan, and I agree with it, that's why to be on the safe side, you should always work up your loads again, even if you change something as small as primers. I did about the same thing before as 257 mention in his post, but with a 22-250. I had a nice near max load with 4064 and standard Win WLR primers, but I ran out of the standard primers, so I though I use the Win mag primers, since I had lots of them. I was lazy and instead of working up new loads, I drop the powder charge by 1 grain, thinking that would be enough.  ::)  good thing I only loaded 20 rounds, because they were hot and had high pressure signs.  :o 

Rob
cfp-223REM
accumark-223Rem
ultralite-240 Wby
synthetic-240 Wby
synthetic-257 Wby
ultralite-270 Wby
fibermark-270 Wby
accumark-270 Wby
accumark-7mm Wby
stainless-300 Wby
fibermark-300Wby
accumark-30378 Wby
fibermark-340 Wby
accumark-338378 Wby
custom-375 Wby
DGR-378 Wby
DGR-416 Wby
custom DGR-460 Wby

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 04:30:04 PM »
I've always considered a primes as component, and when ever I change a component I reduce my load and work back up. I feel there is no such thing as " best primer" just that some primers work best in certain loads and others in other loads. I've used most of the popular brand primers, and find the Rem 9 1/2M and the CCI 250 show up alot in my best loads for non Wea calibers. In Roy's calibers the Fed 215 works really good.  Great article Danno TKS

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 02:40:21 PM »
Wow! I have used whatever primer was available for years! Never saw any pressure signs at all, but almost all my loads are middle of the road. I achieve the accuracy I expect and stop there . Never was a velocity addict!   ;D

jmnyckt

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 12:23:19 PM »
What great information. Ive been right at the point of urchase on a set up and backed out, it all seems overwhelming and I have no baseline to even start with. This information is a start.

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 02:20:43 PM »
What great information. Ive been right at the point of urchase on a set up and backed out, it all seems overwhelming and I have no baseline to even start with. This information is a start.
Most of the large reloader company's kits are the place to start!  We will answer any questions.  I started on purely economical reasons and learned my accuracy improved as well.  My cost of loaded ammo dropped by more than half, depending on caliber! Some by 75% ! Time and space is the requirement!

.257

  • *****
  • 1057
    • View Profile
Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 06:20:12 PM »
What great information. Ive been right at the point of urchase on a set up and backed out, it all seems overwhelming and I have no baseline to even start with. This information is a start.

My advice is to start with a good reloading manual. My first one was a Sierra and I still have it. I got it out and page 9 is reloading process. It will take you thru all steps and components in order. Its all there for the reading and learning. Once you understand the process and what is needed than start getting your reloading tools.
Mike

jmnyckt

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 02:00:40 AM »
Now, do you guys have any advice on talking my wife into getting set up? Everytime i get something regarding shooting/hunting she always asks "what do you need THAT for?" Ugh!

dubyam

  • *****
  • 4791
    • View Profile
Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 05:30:20 AM »
Two things:

First, tell your wife it will save money. Ultimately it won't (you'll just shoot more) but that's the excuse most use.

Second, go to the Hornady website and read their sections on internal and external ballistics in their Ballistics Resource. Best info out there on what happens in a rifle cartridge.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

jmnyckt

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2017, 06:14:50 AM »
Ive looked at the Hornady Lock&Load and the RCBS Rockchucker, looking for quality first, fancy last. Id like it to last longer than me

dubyam

  • *****
  • 4791
    • View Profile
Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 07:59:22 AM »
A good kit from Hornady, Lyman, or RCBS (in alphabetical order) will get you into the game. You can search this site for threads on getting started, but the short version is, buy a stainless dial caliper and a case cleaning method (tumbler, ultrasonic, etc.) and a case trimmer, beyond the kit, and you're all set except for the dies/shellholder you need for each cartridge and brass/bullets/powder/primers.

There are lots of other tools you can get, but initially I'd suggest you work with a small, basic set so you don't pile up a bunch of stuff you'll stop using shortly.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

jmnyckt

Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 08:23:19 AM »
Thanks for the advice, I now have a baseline to start with and thats a whole lot further than before. Im just afraid of really botching it all up

224KING

  • *****
  • 3136
    • View Profile
Re: Reloading Basics?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 06:59:51 PM »
Get a subscription to Handloader magazine
Sorry... Yesterday was the last and final day for any and all complaints whatsoever.

I try to avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

Everyone has a photographic memory.Some just don't have film.