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Discussion Starter #1
Which primers should I get for loading 357 Magnum?

There are ----

Winchester #7's
CCI #300
CCI Magnum #350
Federal 150
Federal Magnum 155?
etc...

Thanks!
 

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Whatever the brand -- I have used many -- I have always just stuck with standard small pistol primers, no magnums. Early on I found that standard primers seemed to give me velocities that are a bit more consistent, with no ignition problems. I might reconsider magnums if I lived in an are that had a lot of extremely cold weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is 13 degrees F here and feels like MINUS 13. ...hmmmmmm. I wonder IF I should go magnum primers.... hmmmmmm.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, okay. Not too many SUB ZERO days here in the Finger Lakes of NY which is where I would be shooting this puppy 98% of the time. So regular pistol primers seem like a good choice for my 357 Mag loads then?
 

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I'd just go with whatever your load recipe calls for, since some powders (like H110) greatly prefer a magnum primer to kick things off. If you're going to be using heavy loads of relatively slow powders, use a mag primer and crimp your bullets pretty good.
 

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Oh, okay. Not too many SUB ZERO days here in the Finger Lakes of NY which is where I would be shooting this puppy 98% of the time. So regular pistol primers seem like a good choice for my 357 Mag loads then?
Oh, some will disagree, I am sure. But it has been my experience over 30 years of reloading that magnum pistol primers generally offer no real advantage over standard. Of course, I have not tried both with every powder available, but I believe I have tried them both with every powder commonly used for .357 and .44 Magnum. One fellow told me that he felt he got less unburned powder left in the bore when using magnum primers with a certain powder. In that case, I found I got unburned powder with BOTH, unless I was sure to apply a very heavy crimp, in which case I got virtually no unburned powder with either. (2400, btw)


And note I say magnums "generally offer no advantage". Certainly, your results -- of every kind -- may vary from mine, so I would suggest at least making your own trial and choosing which you want to go with. Keep i mind, though, that many will specify a standard primer. Just because the load is magnum doesn't mean it calls for a magnum primer. So you'll likely need some standard primers to stay on the utterly safe side in some situations.
 

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I'd just go with whatever your load recipe calls for, since some powders (like H110) greatly prefer a magnum primer to kick things off. If you're going to be using heavy loads of relatively slow powders, use a mag primer and crimp your bullets pretty good.
Yep. Your best bet is to use the primers your load manual calls for.;) Common usage is magnum primers for powders like W296/H110.
 

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Another vote for following the manual's recipe exactly. In the event you can't get the exact primer called for, you can usually substitute a similar type from another company. That is, a standard for a standard, a magnum for a magnum.

There are many good reasons for using magnum primers, but trying to reduce unburned powder kernels is NOT one of them. Unburned powder is usually the result of using a powder below its best pressure window. Either a heavier charge or a different powder are the correct remedies for unburned powder.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Yes, what Rocky said.

I would however avoid Winchester's "Primers for standard and magnum loads". Now I can't say anything about their small pistol primers because I've never used them, but I've had grief with the large pistol primers with my Redhawk. About 30% (roughly) don't go bang the first time and a second strike is needed to set them off. The initial "dent" isn't deep enough (looks like) to set them off. The odd thing is, the next three or ten or more might go off with out fail.

The bad thing is, I bought 2000 of them and I can't take them back because I got them at a gun show and that particular feller never showed up again.

And before anybody asks, the gun is still stock and CCI's, Federals and Remingtons have never failed, ever.

RJ
 

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RJ,

Sounds like you got a bad batch or one stored in direct sun or near other heat source. When a round fires the primer cup acts like a little piston, pushing itself out of the primer pocket and the brass forward until the headspace determinant stops it. It is reseated when pressure from the powder pushes the head back against the breech, but that primer piston push back starts even before the firing pin retracts, so it flows the cup over the pin by the added amount of any extra headspace in the gun. That's why the fired ones are always marked a little deeper than a struck primer that didn't ignite.

Since your other brands all work, I doubt you are having the most common problem that causes this, which is the primer not seated all the way in. More likely its the result of bad storage or a defect. I'd call Winchester about it. They might be willing to test and replace. They are not hard primers and my Goldcup ran through a case of 5,000 one year when I couldn't get my usual Federals. It did so with no faults, and that gun's strike is lighter than my Redhawk's. Winchester made some primer changes since then (did for small rifle, anyway), but toward the more sensitive side, not less so.

Zoar,

I would stick with magnum primers for 296/H110 as recommended above. This is for a safety reason. That powder is normally run on the ragged edge of its ability to sustain burning, which is why they warn you not to drop the published loads by more than 3%. In a revolver, when the bullet base jumps the barrel/cylinder gap some gas vents, and the pressure drops a little. This is known to extinguish light loads of that powder and leave a bullet stuck in the barrel waiting for the next round to fire properly and blow the gun up. If you don't use both a magnum primer and a heavy crimp with that powder, you increase the likelihood of that happening. It will be made worse as temperature goes down.

Other powders can also behave that way, according to Hodgdon's tech, but none of the other pistol powders I've run into do it. I've also not heard of it happening with H110/296 in guns other than revolvers, but why take the chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now from another thread this is what Marshall recommended:

"Regarding a load for that little buck buster, I did some extensive agricultural depredation work in the orchards of S. Oregon before moving to Idaho a couple decades ago, and my favorite tool of harvest was a little .357 levergun loaded with our BTB 359"-185gFNGC bullet, 16.0g H110 and a WSP primer. Out of an 18.5" barrel it clocked a consistent 1860 fps with no pressure signs."

Winchester SMALL PISTOL PRIMER with H110... And others on that thread said Small Pistol was the way to go.

I'm not trying to start a disagreement here at all. But I am getting very different advice on primer size under 110 and 296. I just hope I do not need to buy a THOUSAND of each. (hahahaha).
 

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>I just hope I do not need to buy a THOUSAND of each. (hahahaha).


zoar, if you get in to loading you will soon realize that at least 1000 of each is a good idea. If you shoot a lot, you'll use them up; if you shoot a little, you'll have a lifetime supply at a price almost guaranteed to be much less than you'll pay a few months or years from now.
 

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. . . I just hope I do not need to buy a THOUSAND of each. (hahahaha).
I would suggest you go with whatever type primer the reloading manual recommends. IME, .357 target loads using fast burning powders do not require a magnum primer, however that is a special case.

With respect to stocking up on primers, I and many others generally purchase a sleeve (5000 primers) at a time both because of the reduced price over the 1000 primer box and the possibility that more firearms restrictions may be in the future so you're statement about buying "a THOUSAND of each" IMO, presents no hinderance at all. Primers, when properly stored, last a long, long time and without them there are no cartridges.
 

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The first primer shortage I remember (Brady Bill passage), if I found primers I took what I could get irrespective of brand or standard vs. magnum offerings. It affected me like the Great Depression affected my Grandad. After going through that, I learned to save (store up) for a rainy day.

Besides, it's pretty aggravating to have a pet-load recipe calling for a certain primer and then run out when the local shops are out of your favorite primer.
 

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. . .Winchester SMALL PISTOL PRIMER with H110... And others on that thread said Small Pistol was the way to go.

I'm not trying to start a disagreement here at all. But I am getting very different advice on primer size under 110 and 296. . .
Two things are specific to Marshall's experience that affect the primer choice. First, I'll repeat what I said in my last post: AFAIK, the squib-out issue with H110/296 is just observed in revolvers and is due to the barrel/cylinder gap. Marshall was not using a revolver or any other chamber that bleeds a portion of the pressure off during pressure build.

Second, note that Marshall was using a heavier-than-standard weight bullet. Most often such a bullet is longer and seats deeper into the case than a standard weight bullet (say, a 110, 125, or 158 grain bullet for .357). Plus, the greater bullet mass offers more of Newton's equal and opposite reaction force for the powder to build pressure against. In effect, it is better confinement of the burning charge. The purpose of a magnum primer is to increase the start pressure inside the case at firing. That smaller powder space lessens the amount of primer gas needed to achieve adequate start pressure and the better confinement lets the initial pressure build faster.

Too much primer pressure can unseat a bullet, especially a lubricated lead bullet, part way, and that can make for erratic performance. That is why pistol primers have less priming compound that their rifle counterparts; they fire into smaller case capacities. So you do need to check what a specific primer does to your load's consistency.

A good primer on primers is this article.

This interesting set of images
indicates just how little standardization there is in primer performance among different brands. It is why changing brands can make a bigger difference in performance than just switching between standard and magnum primers within one brand.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Nick has some good points and what I would have echoed about the heavier-than-usual bullet in Marshall's specific load. Other than Marshall's 185gr. bullet, I would not use standard primers in the .357 with H110/WW296.

That, and again, the Win small pistol primers seem to be pretty hot for a standard primer.
 

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The bad thing is, I bought 2000 of them and I can't take them back because I got them at a gun show and that particular feller never showed up again.

And before anybody asks, the gun is still stock and CCI's, Federals and Remingtons have never failed, ever.

RJ
I'll bet he didn't.

I have used WLP's for 40 years. I used them in multiple .45's, and three different .44Mags. I probably averaged about 1000/yr in that time.

Never had a single dud, or failure to fire. I have also used CCI's and Federal's from time to time, and never had any trouble with those either.

Somehow the mystery man stiffed you with a poorly stored batch.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thanks guys and thanks Unclenick on the post above and the primer primer.... valuable.
 
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