Small rilfe primers for 9mm?

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WyoGunner

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
193
I have been told by two different sources that it is okay to use small rifle primers for 9mm reloads. Can anyone else confirm this? What about 38 special or .357? Due to the shortage of small pistol primers in my area, my father and I are considering SRPs as an alternative. Thanks in advance
 

captainkirk

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Messages
538
Good chance it will raise pressures above acceptable limits. You don't have much room to play with in the straight wall 9mm. Sure there will be guys that post saying they have done it with no problems, but I like to stick to the manuals and let them do the R&D for me under controlled conditions, not "well it hasn't blown up yet...".

I would not do it unless it came down to loading those or throwing the gun at an assailant.

captainkirk
 

Cherokee

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
472
Rifle primers are harder than pistol primers so ignition may be a problem in your gun. Only way to know is try it. However, IF you try it, make sure you are at minimum starting level and you have the same amount of powder space with your bullet as the load manual you are following. Then, tie your sacrificial pistol to something and use a string to pull the trigger from behind sturdy protection.
 

il Padrino

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
52
"I have been told by two different sources that it is okay to use small pistol primers for 9mm reloads"

small pistol primers, ? That's all I use for my 9mm 38 and 357 loads.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
A couple of years back, I used up 900 (or so) CCI #34 LR Primers which were left overs from previous accuracy experiments, by using 'em to load 45LC ammo.
The ammo I used them with was my usual 255/8.0 Unique load and was fired out of a couple of Uberti SAA's and a Rossi '92 rifle. It all went bang, shot to the same POI, and never gave a single problem. And If it raised the pressures to any extent, I couldn't tell it when firing the stuff, or by shot placement on the target.
In short, it just didn't seem to matter much.

Not suggesting that you do that though, on account of the 45LC is a perty-low pressured round to start with.....9MM's and 357's aint.

DGW
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,829
I think you meant to say small rifle primers, in your post it says small pistol primers.
Many of the competition shooters use small rifle primers to get the pressure up (it works!) in their open guns that are equipped with compensators, the higher pressures help the comps work better & the shooters need high pressures to make major power factor with the tiny 9mm case. Even though this is done a great deal you need to be aware of the very rapid pressure spikes associated with doing it! :wink:
Short answer, yes you can do it with caution, best bet with the 9mm is to use the correct, small pistol primers.

Dick
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
Let's clarify a few things, 9mm is 36k psi, .45 Colt is 18k psi, case volume is a lot lower in the 9mm as well, so small changes can have a huge impact. SR primers are harder, and contain more priming compound, but they are the same thickness as SP primers.

Competition guns are built very sturdy and have nice fully supported chambers, unlike most other autoloaders, yet another reason not to substitute primers.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,022
Well, sixshot beat me to it. In USPSA, and the now legal use of 9mm in Open catagory guns, many raceguns have been built in 9mm & use sm Rifle primers.
I prefer to NOT push the envelope.
For normal guns, and normal shooting, stick with the published data to avoid problems.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
mattsbox99":29esfz3v said:
Let's clarify a few things, 9mm is 36k psi, .45 Colt is 18k psi, case volume is a lot lower in the 9mm as well, so small changes can have a huge impact. SR primers are harder, and contain more priming compound, but they are the same thickness as SP primers.

Competition guns are built very sturdy and have nice fully supported chambers, unlike most other autoloaders, yet another reason not to substitute primers.

I think I said all that. I just left-off the numbers....mostly 'cause I had no idea what kind of loads the OP had in mind.

Far as "harder" goes....that may matter with a striker-fired semi-auto, or maybe a DA revolver, but an unaltered SAA with it's heavy hammer and long travel-arc don't realy care....it'll bust 'em anyway.
And a Rossi '92?...Well, it IS a rifle...right?

My point here aint to argue with you. And FWIW, I think that your post was much more informative than mine.
That said, my point is that without further info, none of us knows what kind of load the OP is talking about, nor what kind of gun he is loading for. So that being the case, my original response was perty-general in nature.

Hope this helped.

DGW
 

WyoGunner

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
193
I would be using Unique powder and 125gr cast lead RNBB bullets. The ammo would be used for a Beretta 92 and wouldn't be used for competition.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,786
Hi,

Personally, I'm a bit conservative about my reloading, 'specially in handgun calibers. Downside is I might miss a good load here and there: upside is I still have both my eyes, all my fingers and haven't ruined a gun since I adopted that philosophy (the learning curve DID cost me one!)

As such, UNLESS a recipe specifies a small rifle primer, I'd stick w/ pistol primers. I could be wrong, but I don't think you'll find a 9mm recipe within normal pressure limits that calls for the SRPs. Dunno what kinda pressures the guys are generating in their race guns, but most of them have more money to replace broken stuff than I'm willing to allocate.

The choice is yours... and since I know the "desperate times" problem's gonna come into play, please be really careful if you MUST resort to "desperate measures!"

Rick C
 
A

Anonymous

Have'nt done it with small rife primers, but I did accidently load a box of 45 colt with Winchester large rifle primers instead of the required Win. large pistol. Not only did I have some misfires due to the harder primer, but the big concern is that the rifle primer is .008 taller. They actually stood proud of the base. Not a problem in a revolver, but could cause an semi-auto to fire out of battery. "Don't do it" If your small rifle primers are 'taller' than small pistol, again, "Don't do it"
 

TucsonBill

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
Messages
5
Reloading is an inexpensive way to build cartridges that you can tailor to your weapon for accuracy and reliability. To even think of changing a component as important as the primer is folly, pure and simple.

A rifle primer is a rifle primer, just that. It is not a pistol/handgun primer. Its dimensions ar not the same. Its explosive parameters are not the same.
It is inherently dangerous to expect it to behave the same as a pistol primer.

If you still have any doubts or "but I have lots of rifle primers and no pistol primers" and "they fit sorta so I will use them" then you have no business reloading.

I don't have a dog in this hunt. I just cringe when people ask this stuff. But that is how you learn, by asking. Please don't do it. Please don't listen if someone tells you it is ok. It is not ok. If you don't have the right stuff to reload then you are suckin' wind my friend. I want to hear from you if you survive, say in a year or two after you have reloaded many rounds.

I began reloading after I returned from the gulf war, as a way to keep my mind occupied. Fortunately I had a friend to show me the correct way to think and help me with questions. Hope this helps you.
 

WyoGunner

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
193
Tucson Bill, I appreciate your concern for safety regarding this matter. I also want to extend my thanks for serving our country. With that being said, I would like to refer you to some other posts on this topic. I agree with you in that this substitution sounds completely crazy, but with so many people mentioning that they have used small rifle primers in place of small pistol, I have to wonder if there isn't some truth in the matter. I invite you to compare the dimensions of small pistol primers to small rifle primers because from what I understand, they are the same. I haven't had the chance to do so myself because I am hesitant to buy them if they won't work. Here are some other forums discussing the matter. Thanks again for your input.

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.p ... opic=89655

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/sho ... p?t=376932

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=229020

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=290993
 

TucsonBill

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
Messages
5
I don't know how much more clear I can be. Please don't do it. Just because somebody says on the internet that they did it/do it all the time does not mean it is ok. There are lots of variables: temperature, powder, projectile, brass, firearm, chamber, pressure, etc.

I suggest you call or email the various powder and primer manufacturers.

I suggest you read your reloading manuals. Then make a decision.

A correctly loaded cartridge is a controlled explosion. If you do not use the correct components you may have an uncontrolled explosion. Sure, you might get away with it. Maybe not. Is it worth the risk? To me, no. You will have to make up your own mind.

I am sorry but I do not agree with people who foolishly have tried this primer substitution. If you were to try it and blow half your face off I guess you could sue the folks who posted that it was ok. Personally, I wouldn't have much compassion for you.

It is not worth it, please don't do it.
 

dougader

Hunter
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
3,108
I know that large rifle primers (LRP) sit taller than large pistol primers (LPP), and loading them can and has resulted in slam fires when the switch was made. Definitely not advised.

Small rifle primers (SRP), on the other hand, are the same size... and as far as size go they are perfectly interchangeable with small pistol primers (SPP).

The debate has gone on before, and I still use SRP in place of SPP in some calibers.

9x23 Winchester is a high pressure pistol round (50k psi), as is 454 Casull. I always use SRP when I load these rounds. Using small SPP in such a high pressure round can result in pierced or blown primers.

SRP are made with a thicker cup to withstand the higher operating pressures of rifle and some handgun rounds. Some people report light strikes when using SRP in handgun loads.

As mentioned above, SRP are also used by competitive pistol shooters with 38 Super and 9mm Major handguns. These guys are also running 40k-50k psi rounds in their guns.

I have never used SRP in lower pressure handgun rounds like 38 Special, 9mm. I never saw the need and always had plenty of SPP on hand.

But with the shortages going on now, I may find myself pressed into using Magnum SPP or even SRP in some loads.

I agree that SRP can raise pressures in loaded handgun rounds. But I would argue that a starting charge or - depending on the powder used - even a midrange charge - would not cause a dangerous pressure spike.

WyoGunner has stated that he is going to use Unique powder with 125 grain cast lrn bullets for plinking/practice rounds. If I was in his place, I would have no problem using a starting charge of Unique with SRP. I would only load 5 at a time with .1 - .2 grain increases until I found a load that cycled the action on my semi-auto reliably.
 

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