PDA

View Full Version : Primer Question 5.56/.223



Gramps
03-20-08, 00:36
OK, I'm new to "Semi Auto" reloading and I just read something about "Hammer Fallow Thru" in AR's, and it was mentioned that "Hunting" ammo had softer primers that could easily allow "Hammer Fallow Thru", as opposed to "Military". Should I be aware of some "Harder" primers out there that I am not aware of? Or can I use regular primers, same as I use for my Thompson .223 single shot.

Thanks,
Gary.

Kurt Reifert
03-20-08, 07:43
CCI does make a primer specificly for 5.56. it is the no. 41 primer.
Cups are harder and the primer gives near magnum primer performance to ensure positive ignition in extreme cold.

Generally speaking, the ranking of primer cup hardness from softest to hardest would be:

Federal
Winchester
Remington
CCI

I use Remington 7 1/2 br primers to lead my NRA High Power loads and CCI for general purpose ammo.

markm
03-20-08, 09:43
If you're talking about loads for the AR specifically, then any primer that is properly seated will be fine.

I've used most brands and have never had any issues at all. I certainly wouldn't pay any extra to get a special primer.

Alaska
03-20-08, 19:52
For use in semi-automatics and AR15s, I advise that you stick to CCI and Remington primers. These brands have harder cups and are much less likely to pierce primers. Also, the AR15 has a free-floating firing pin that dents the primer on loading. This creates a risk of slam fires. So you want hard primer cups. The latest generation of Winchester primers, with brass-colored cups, should be avoided for AR15 use. The old silver Winchester primers worked fine, but the current WSRs are soft and can be pierced more easily than CCI or Rem primers. A poll of Highpower competitors (mostly shooting ARs) showed that Rem 7 1/2 primers are the most popular (33.23%), followed by CCIs (25.78%). The majority of CCI users favored the CCI BR4s, but both CCI 400s (small rifle standard) and CCI 450s (small rifle magnum) were also popular. Only 10.25% of Highpower shooters polled used Federal primers (either 205M or 205). At the time of the poll, many shooters reported using WSRs, but this was the older version with silver cups. See NationalMatch.us website for complete poll results


I did not say you could not use softer primers......your choice!
I use Rem 7.5 for most of my shooting!

Br4 are good but priced to high! But work well with Varget!

Steve in PA
03-20-08, 20:21
I use the regular CCI primers in my M4 as well as my M1 Garand. No problems.

Gramps
03-21-08, 00:05
Thanks guy's, I just want to avoid anything at the public range.:eek:

Thanks again.
Gary.

markm
03-21-08, 09:25
For use in semi-automatics and AR15s, I advise that you stick to CCI and Remington primers. These brands have harder cups and are much less likely to pierce primers. Also, the AR15 has a free-floating firing pin that dents the primer on loading. This creates a risk of slam fires. So you want hard primer cups. The latest generation of Winchester primers, with brass-colored cups, should be avoided for AR15 use. The old silver Winchester primers worked fine, but the current WSRs are soft and can be pierced more easily than CCI or Rem primers.

I've found NONE of what you posted to be true. I've loaded maybe 10,000 rounds with the brass colored WSR primers and have never had a pierced primer or slam fire in any of 7 AR15 rifles.

Are Win primers softer than others? Maybe! Is it an issue? Not in my experience.

How many times have you had slam fires or pierce primers with WSRs? And how hot was the load? I load mine fairly hot.

Kurt Reifert
03-21-08, 12:50
Alaskas' advice is right on the money.
You want to use a harder primer cup in any firearm that uses a free floating firing pin.
That covers any of the US issued military long guns.
You may not have had a problem, but that doesn't mean that it can't or won't happen.
CCI and Remington primers are most widely recommended for relaoding ammo to be fired in ARs and other US military long guns.

markm
03-21-08, 13:13
I can only speak from my lane. Right now I happen to have a bunch of Remmy primers. And I've loaded CCI primers too. But I wouldn't hesitate to use WIN primers at all, and infact prefer them since they feed thru my Dillon better than the other brands.

I'm interested to hear what loads he has had or has seen this happen with. In my opinion, if you're getting pierced primers with WSRs, there's other problems besides the primer selection. I have found brass with pierced primers at the range. I don't know what they were, but they weren't the WIN brass colored primers. I also don't know what weapon they were fired from or any other info, but I assume the load was too hot?

Kurt Reifert
03-21-08, 17:39
After all of the posts that I've read on this websight about the virtues of the Colt AR due to their close adherance to the true mil-spec, I'm shocked that you wouldn't use the the CCI No. 41 Mil-Spec primers exclusively.:D

bigsarg99
03-27-08, 07:02
Where do federal 205 primers fall in this group?

Kurt Reifert
03-27-08, 07:55
Federal primers are soft.

TWR
03-27-08, 08:44
But Fed 205M primers are as hard as Rem 7.5's. I'm with demigod on this one, I've used the newer brass colored WSR primers and have never had any problems with my 4 AR's.

I will say that loads chronographed gained almost 100 fps with WSR vs. Fed 205M primers, so just beware if you run around switching primers be sure and reduce any max loads first. And of course always buy in bulk...

Kurt Reifert
03-27-08, 09:43
Primer hardness is generally not an issue with ARs, but it can be.
If the gun is hard used and gets cruddy in the firing pin area it may cause the pin to remain protruding and that can cause a slam fire.
In a match gun or bench gun that is kept clean and fired 40-50 rounds at a time, primer hardness is probably not a problem.

markm
03-27-08, 09:50
I will say that loads chronographed gained almost 100 fps with WSR vs. Fed 205M primers, so just beware if you run around switching primers be sure and reduce any max loads first.

Wow! That's a significant difference.

Alaska
03-27-08, 10:44
For use in semi-automatics and AR15s, I advise that you stick to CCI and Remington primers. These brands have harder cups and are much less likely to pierce primers. Also, the AR15 has a free-floating firing pin that dents the primer on loading. This creates a risk of slam fires. So you want hard primer cups. The latest generation of Winchester primers, with brass-colored cups, should be avoided for AR15 use. The old silver Winchester primers worked fine, but the current WSRs are soft and can be pierced more easily than CCI or Rem primers. A poll of Highpower competitors (mostly shooting ARs) showed that Rem 7 1/2 primers are the most popular (33.23%), followed by CCIs (25.78%). The majority of CCI users favored the CCI BR4s, but both CCI 400s (small rifle standard) and CCI 450s (small rifle magnum) were also popular. [Only 10.25% of Highpower shooters polled used Federal primers (either 205M or 205). [/B]At the time of the poll, many shooters reported using WSRs, but this was the older version with silver cups. See NationalMatch.us website for complete poll results

Only 10.25% of Highpower shooters polled used Federal primers (either 205M or 205)

bigsarg99
03-27-08, 11:45
Well thats just great. I just purchased 1000 205's last week:mad: Oh well it was only 25 bucks i will find another use for them on a bench gun or something.

markm
03-27-08, 12:02
Well thats just great. I just purchased 1000 205's last week:mad: Oh well it was only 25 bucks i will find another use for them on a bench gun or something.

Just shoot them up! Sheeeit! If you live by me I'd trade you some remmies for them.

TWR
03-27-08, 13:31
Key point is the 205 M primers are just as hard cupped as Rem 7.5 or CCI, don't worry about them and shoot em.

The CCI #41 primers are harder than any standard primer on the market yet most people don't use them and I would say standard .223 ammo does not use them and there are no warnings about shooting them in an AR. Out of all the ammo being shot, how many slam fires have you heard of? Yes it's good insurance but...

I first noticed the velocity difference with a 204 Ruger, I just couldn't get the velocity with FED 205M primers. I switched to WSR primers and got 3796fps vs 3687fps with the FED 205M primers. Same cases, bullets, powder, gun and the same tempature give or take a few degrees. After checking my notes on some 223 reloads it became apparent at least the lot of primers I switched to ran close to 100 fps slower. I have since switched back to WSR primers but have another case of 205M's that I will use.

My main point is to work up your loads after changing any components.

markm
03-27-08, 14:56
The CCI #41 primers are harder than any standard primer on the market yet most people don't use them and I would say standard .223 ammo does not use them and there are no warnings about shooting them in an AR. Out of all the ammo being shot, how many slam fires have you heard of? Yes it's good insurance but...

That is an excellent point. If hard primers were required, no one could shoot anything but LC or equivalent ammo in the AR15 rifle.

bigsarg99
03-27-08, 22:11
Hell I just shot off a few hundred 55 grainers all loaded with FED 205 primers, WIN 748 and LC brass and they all shot fine, so i guess I will shoot them all up.
Sorry Demigod:D

mikeyonthemadone
03-28-08, 00:44
Even worse than 205's are the Wolf small rifle non- magnum's that I just loaded with 844 and 2230 in LC cases. Some of the best groups yet and no pressure signs. The chronograph doesn't lie either....


Mikey

skyugo
03-28-08, 23:48
i use CCI 400 rifle primers. never had a slamfire or a FTF.

SGT D USMC
03-30-08, 04:26
Listen to Alaska. If you don"t worry about slam fires just look at the unfired primer of a live round that was chambered during actual firing (not manually chambered) It will have a dent in it, the actual depth of the dent will depend on the hardness of the primer cup. And yes I have personally had a slam fire. The evil of slam fires is that they mostly happen before the bolt is locked. the slam fire I had was with an m 1 grand with a federal match primer. one of the locking lugs was cracked and the other one was galled and the locking lug recesses were galled and the receiver (real steel not alum.) was cracked just behinded the rear sight base. I got a face full of gas but the only harm was a flinch that took a while to get rid of. --------------------------he went into younder village and never returned.

Submariner
03-30-08, 07:07
After all of the posts that I've read on this websight about the virtues of the Colt AR due to their close adherance to the true mil-spec, I'm shocked that you wouldn't use the the CCI No. 41 Mil-Spec primers exclusively.:D

I do.:D

Gramps
03-30-08, 16:54
Listen to Alaska. If you don"t worry about slam fires just look at the unfired primer of a live round that was chambered during actual firing (not manually chambered) It will have a dent in it, the actual depth of the dent will depend on the hardness of the primer cup. And yes I have personally had a slam fire. The evil of slam fires is that they mostly happen before the bolt is locked. the slam fire I had was with an m 1 grand with a federal match primer. one of the locking lugs was cracked and the other one was galled and the locking lug recesses were galled and the receiver (real steel not alum.) was cracked just behinded the rear sight base. I got a face full of gas but the only harm was a flinch that took a while to get rid of. --------------------------he went into younder village and never returned.

Thanks, this is one of those "Why didn't I freaken listen to that advice" kind of situations I am trying to avoid. I just traded for a NEW M1A. I am "assuming" that was a reaload that slamed fired on you. I think I will go with the harder ones to avoid the possabilty of that "Why didn't I freaken listen to that advice" and feel better. Done enough screw ups in my life and don't need any more.

Thanks to ALL the imputs. ;) That is why I like this site. Just sit back and read and learn.:cool:

TWR
03-30-08, 20:37
The CCI #41 primers are good insurance no doubt.

As for the dent in the primer, I'm just a coyote hunter but here's my take on the matter. I was hunting a contest one time and we were in and out of the truck all day. Of course this meant dropping the mag and removing the chambered round, as it wound up I never fired that shell until late in the evening. It was probably chambered a dozen times that day and only went off when I asked it to. I quit worrying about it after that. Always pay attention to the muzzle, reguardless of the primer used.

SGT D USMC
03-30-08, 21:08
I don't want to stray too far from the subject of primers, but with the m1a and the m1 grand , choosing the right powder for reloading is very important. port pressure, the amount of gas pressure at the gas port during fireing, is important and excess pressure will cause the rifle to batter the operating rod if the powder is too slow. the m1 grand was loaded exclusively with 4895 (imr 4895 or H4895) if it cycles slow you can use imr 4064. the same works well with an M1A plus win 748 works well. The M1A is not quite as finicky with power burning speed becuase it has a gas cut off built in after the piston moves a certain distance. use hard primers with both. M1's have historicaly been more prone to sosft primers than M1A's and ar 15' even less common.

the slam fire I had with the M1 was one of my reloads. Enjoy your New M1A, I carried one in viet nam as a young marine. Now I am old and opiniated I belive the M-14 to be superior to the M-16 for a very wierd reason plus all the comon reasons. The M14 is superior to the M16 because of it's recoil. Yes, the light recoil of the M-16 causes alot of shots to be taken completely out of position when in combat. pushing the M-16 around your cover and spraying does not produce hits. Sure no one does this at the range or in a rifle course while under the eye of the instructor. But it happens in combat more often than you would think. The M14 has enough recoil that it is almost always shot from the shoulder, and as long as it is in your sholder, why not use the sights, this .causes hits . -------------------------------he went into younder village and never returned.
14 is

TWR
03-30-08, 21:35
Interesting read.
http://www.jamescalhoon.com/primers_and_pressure.php

and a couple more here.
http://www.fulton-armory.com/SlamFire2.htm

Kurt Reifert
03-31-08, 07:49
I am fully amuzed by people who proclaim, "It hasn't happened to me yet, so I have nothing to worry about."

SGT D USMC
03-31-08, 12:40
I have not seen any of the CCI no. 41 primers for several years, they catalog them, my local gun stores just look at me funny when I ask if they can order them. Has anyone got any no. 41's in the last several years? Also I have 3,000 of the new bronze win. small rifle primers (the new bronze primers are softer than the silver primers they replaced) Has anyone called win. and ask if they use them in their 5.56 ammo? I would sure like to know their answer. I current use CCI 450 mag primers with win. 748 powder.------------------------------------------he went into younder village and never returned

SGT D USMC
03-31-08, 12:51
The problem with slam fires from soft primers is that It happends so rarely that no one knows anyone who has had one and not having one themselves they ignore the danger. The experts understand the danger and know of cases where it happened. A side note, I heard of a local reloader who developed a load for a 45-70 trap door replicia by increasing the powder intill it fliped open the action when it fired, then he reduced the charge .---------------------------------------------------------------He went into younder village and never returned.

markm
03-31-08, 13:02
Has anyone called win. and ask if they use them in their 5.56 ammo?

The better question is "does WIN use them in there commercial .223 ammo?"

You know.... the ammo that thousands of AR owners have shot millions of times without incident.

TWR made the best observation of all. .223 ammo (especially WIN) would be unsafe to fire in the AR if this concern held any water.

Gramps
03-31-08, 13:39
I had a factory Win 100grn load that my Weatherby 243 shot excellant out of the box, so I called Win to find out what powder and how much they used. Of coarse they told me that was a trade secret of theirs and that they also have "Custom" powders that are made just for them and are not available to the public, so I could not purchase it any way.

Don't know if the same may be true about their primers or not, but I wouldn't be surprised. That could explain why no disclamer to use in ARs ect. Could be a thicker or heavier metal primer, who knows but them, and if they would say.

TWR
03-31-08, 13:40
For everyones amuzement, :D I Just got off the phone with Black Hills, they use a MIL spec primer he believed they were #34's on their reloads but their new ammo is factory primed..........Winchester.

Submariner
03-31-08, 13:43
I have not seen any of the CCI no. 41 primers for several years, they catalog them, my local gun stores just look at me funny when I ask if they can order them. Has anyone got any no. 41's in the last several years?

You haven't seen them because I bought all of them.:D

Widener's has them in stock; Natchez and Midway are out.

http://wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=253&dir=278|284|316

It would be interesting to know what primer WW puts in the rounds with a NATO cross.

markm
03-31-08, 14:30
It would be interesting to know what primer WW puts in the rounds with a NATO cross.

I would GUESS that all Nato crossed brass would have a mil spec primer.

I'd have to suspect that primed brass is such a huge bulk batch in the ammo assembly process that you'd run it all the same...... then maybe most of it goes to M855 production, and some overflow ends up in Q3131 commercial ammo.

Again... just a guess.

Kurt Reifert
03-31-08, 15:20
No 41 primers are widely available.
I stock them at my shop as well as the No.34s

TWR
04-02-08, 11:44
Not to beat a dead horse or to try and change anyones mind but I wanted to know for sure so I called Winchester. After 2 days I finally got a call back from their tech person. I asked him about the WSR primers being changed to the brass color instead of silver and being softer cupped. He said they in no way changed the thickness or hardness of the primer just the color.

I also asked about using them in an AR-15 and the possibility of a slam fire. He said they do reccomend them for the AR-15 and have had no problems with such.

I asked about the military ammo and he did say they build contract ammo to the gov't specs and could not comment on any info about them.

Take it how you want to but that's straight from Winchester, they have no issues with anyone using WSR primers in an AR-15.

markm
04-02-08, 12:36
They're LYING!

It's a conspiracy and a coverup! They know damned well the problem exists even though it never happens! :D

SGT D USMC
04-02-08, 16:38
I want to thank twr for calling win., It's the practial thing that I never get around to. Twr askl win. all the right questions. Now it's up to each of us to decied for our selves.------------------------------------------------------he went into younder village and never returned