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Primer question from a reloading beginner

roberthu526

Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 11, 2020
218
104
So I want to start by saying that I am just in the planning phase of reloading. I am still in the preparing and learning phase. Based on my observation, primer is still scarce nowadays. I saw some CCI small rifle 400 primer the other day and remembered that I read somewhere that it is just Okay and not ideal for PRS. My question is if I am just trying get familiar with the reloading process and aiming for sub MOA accuracy with 308 or 6.5 CM, is the CCI 400 an acceptable primer to begin with?

Thanks in advance!
 
Acceptable … yes. Optimal … Probly not.

When using in cartridges with 40+ grains of powder the primer of choice most will go with is a small rifle magnum like a cci450. A Remington 7 1/2 br is another popular choice.

Since you said you were in the planning and learning phase of reloading I’ll offer a suggestion - when talking cartridges like 6.5CM or 308 there are so many proven excellent load combinations that it’s wise to copy or follow the herd with what works. It’s the easy button that can save a lot of time and headaches of not learning the hard way like many others of us already have and lead to a more enjoyable first time reloading experience.
 
I've had good experiences with the CCI-400 in cartridges that normally use a small rifle primer. For the 308 or 6.5 CM if the cases are made for a small rifle primer I would use the CCI-450.
 
I would STRONGLY suggest getting with an experienced reloader and let them teach you the whole process IN PERSON , from start to finish and all the little things not in youtube videos that are critical to a safe and good experience. This is by far the best advice you will ever get on reloading. You can find someone easily. Most are happy to teach a new guy and will really go out of the way to help you.


To answer your question , cci 400 will work fine. Just make sure you work up the load with the brass and primer and powder you are going to use. You aren't going to be loading such fantastic and consistent ammo for it to matter for a while anyway. When you can, get some 450's for later or shoot a LRP, but it's hardly something for you to worry with now honestly.
 
So I want to start by saying that I am just in the planning phase of reloading. I am still in the preparing and learning phase. Based on my observation, primer is still scarce nowadays. I saw some CCI small rifle 400 primer the other day and remembered that I read somewhere that it is just Okay and not ideal for PRS. My question is if I am just trying get familiar with the reloading process and aiming for sub MOA accuracy with 308 or 6.5 CM, is the CCI 400 an acceptable primer to begin with?

Thanks in advance!
It helps to think in terms of the temperatures one is going to use the primers in since this kind of thing is about good consistent ignition. And different powder respond to different ignition sources differently. SRP's (Small Rifle Primers) work just fine in cartridges for 308 and 6.5 CM when you're in summer time temperatures (like, especially in places like Arizona summers). But if you're in sub-zero temperatures, it's probably not a good idea SRP's for these calibers. Magnum primers provide larger flame with higher ignition temperatures for larger case charges and Magnum SRP's can help with low ambient temperatures, but still have limits. These magnums can be used in higher temperatures, but depending on the powder being used, it may not be the best choice for best results (they'll add a little extra velocity and pressure than the non magnum primers).
 
I would STRONGLY suggest getting with an experienced reloader and let them teach you the whole process IN PERSON , from start to finish and all the little things not in youtube videos that are critical to a safe and good experience. This is by far the best advice you will ever get on reloading. You can find someone easily. Most are happy to teach a new guy and will really go out of the way to help you.


To answer your question , cci 400 will work fine. Just make sure you work up the load with the brass and primer and powder you are going to use. You aren't going to be loading such fantastic and consistent ammo for it to matter for a while anyway. When you can, get some 450's for later or shoot a LRP, but it's hardly something for you to worry with now honestly.
But what if that experienced reloader was STRONGLY influenced by the bullshit he read on the internet and took it as gospel ?

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But what if that experienced reloader was STRONGLY influenced by the bullshit he read on the internet and took it as gospel ?

View attachment 8259175
Then they aren't very experienced. Experienced people aren't strongly influenced by some crap they see on the internet.

Good decisions, come from experience.

Experience comes from..... bad decisions.
 
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Acceptable … yes. Optimal … Probly not.

When using in cartridges with 40+ grains of powder the primer of choice most will go with is a small rifle magnum like a cci450. A Remington 7 1/2 br is another popular choice.

Since you said you were in the planning and learning phase of reloading I’ll offer a suggestion - when talking cartridges like 6.5CM or 308 there are so many proven excellent load combinations that it’s wise to copy or follow the herd with what works. It’s the easy button that can save a lot of time and headaches of not learning the hard way like many others of us already have and lead to a more enjoyable first time reloading experience.
I totally agree with your suggestion of following proven results. However, current situation is primer is still not easy to find. I can't really be picky if I want to get started...
 
I totally agree with your suggestion of following proven results. However, current situation is primer is still not easy to find. I can't really be picky if I want to get started...
The second google result for “cci450” was in stock… it’s not that hard.
 
I think a bunch of assumptions get made about such distinctions. Many newer handloaders assume that because they intend to be shooting accurately, they are held back by less than stellar components.

It's the other way around. The handloader can invest the very best components, yet get little benefit; because their new grown skills can't get the desired performance out of the premium components.

In these instances, loading a small batch of the same load, without the same premium components, will often deliver very similar results.

Be sure you need the premium bits before committing large investment into their purchase. In many instances, the premium components may differ very little from the standard versions, because the difference may be about how they are selected for the premium designation. They could actually be the same items, separated out from the same source.

Once I develop a load using premium components, I also do a trial run using basic standard components. Often, test firing will disclose very similar results on the target. Never assume that a load with premium components will shoot better; it may not. Finding this out can sometimes provide an opportunity to get the same performance without the added overhead.

This attitude that it takes the best to achieve the best applies to rifles, scopes, ammo, etc. It sells a lot of superior gear into instances where the more standard items will deliver performance that is at least good enough.

Greg
 
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The second google result for “cci450” was in stock… it’s not that hard.
Thanks. I was relying on gun.deals
 
+1 The 450 are better default SRP primers. The reason you want to use them is the thicker cups. If you run accross Federal Primers, I think thats the one brand where the "match" version is recommended simply because of the cup thickness.
 
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CCI #41s and/or Winchester #41s will work in place of CCI 450s also. They're identical in every way except for the anvil clearance is larger with the #41s due to them being primarily/originally meant for ARs with floating firing pins (with the CCI's at least).

I've shot batches back to back with both CCI 450s and Winchester #41s, everything otherwise the same, and couldn't tell the difference.

My advice to a new reloader would be to buy some proven blue-collar components in bulk so you can perfect your craft with consistent ingredients. IMO you can't learn shit if you're buying bullets 100 at a time or powder by the single pound and then changing it up and trying different stuff every time you load a batch of rounds. Grab some stuff that's proven and relatively available, like Hornady BTHPs (easy to get) vs Berger Hybrids (notoriously hard to score), etc, nothing too exotic or Gucci. Your first rounds will probably suck, but if you don't blow yourself up it's fine. Even if you start with stuff that isn't the best out there, if you stick with the same stuff you'll eventually get something dialed in.

The best ingredients don't matter if the chef sucks.
 
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Get a good loading manual. Better yet, a couple loading manuals from different companies, ie: Hornady & Sierra bullet manuals and also get one from a powder company, ie: Hodgdon's annual load manual. Tutorials with good pictures are in them and worth while for a new reloader.
 
So I want to start by saying that I am just in the planning phase of reloading. I am still in the preparing and learning phase. Based on my observation, primer is still scarce nowadays. I saw some CCI small rifle 400 primer the other day and remembered that I read somewhere that it is just Okay and not ideal for PRS. My question is if I am just trying get familiar with the reloading process and aiming for sub MOA accuracy with 308 or 6.5 CM, is the CCI 400 an acceptable primer to begin with?

Thanks in advance!
Since it seems you have made the decision to go with SRP in cartridges (>40gr capacity) originally designed around LRP and you haven't provided any details as to powder I would strongly suggest you look at the CCI BR-4, 450, or #41 and Remington 7-1/2. They will also handle the higher pressures of the 308 and 6.5 better than the 400. I would personally consider the 400 as one being adequate and if you end up with spherical/ball powder in cold weather you may have issues with consistent ignition.

I'll also add that getting a mentor is a good idea if you find the right person.
 
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Since it seems you have made the decision to go with SRP in cartridges (>40gr capacity) originally designed around LRP and you haven't provided any details as to powder I would strongly suggest you look at the CCI BR-4, 450, or #41 and Remington 7-1/2. They will also handle the higher pressures of the 308 and 6.5 better than the 400. I would personally consider the 400 as one being adequate and if you end up with spherical/ball powder in cold weather you may have issues with consistent ignition.

I'll also add that getting a mentor is a good idea if you find the right person.
Thank you! I looks like getting to learn from someone local in person is highly recommended. I was originally planning to follow the forum and youtube videos to start.
 
My goto primer are Win WLR/WSR's. Positive ignition, and designed to work with Win Ball powders, which I'm using a lot these days.

Greg
 
I've been involved in shooting organizations since the early 1990's. Whenever I've been in a teaching/organizing position, I've stressed the partner approach, two participants; one performing, the other providing a fair critique. Then reverse the roles.

The observer can catch the nuances, then share them with the performer; the second set of eyeballs actually does help. Generally, both benefit from the process equally. Just try to contribute, rather than shutting out the conversation/dialogue by being judgemental; nobody's criticism is infallible. The goal is to find agreement, rather than forcing it.

This can extend to sharing handloads. Another tester is often able to find quirks that elude the handloader. In this approach, it is essential that the handloader religiously avoid sharing handloads the fall outside the spectrum of published loads, and that hot loads should never be shared. Whenever one discovers that they have built a stock of potentially dangerous loads, they should be broken down to components again. Never keep a potentially unsafe stock of ammo; memory can fail.

When handloading, the key concept is consistency. Developing a routine that rarely varies significantly is the best approach.

And yes, I have never been able to improve on FGMM. It's good ammo and the cost is not prohibitive; but I handload to make my ammo is affordable as I can.

Greg
 
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I've been involved in shooting organization since the early 1990's. Whenever I've been in a teaching/organizing position, I've stressed the partner approach, two participants; one performing, the other providing critique. Then reverse the roles.

The observer can catch the nuances, then share them with the performer. Generally, both benefit from the process equally. Just try to contribute, rather than shutting out the conversation/dialogue by being judgemental; nobody's criticism is infallible. The goal is to find agreement, rather than forcing superiority.

This can extend to sharing handloads. Another tester is often able to find quirks that elude the handloader. In this approach, it is essential that the handloader religiously avoid sharing handloads the fall outside the spectrum of published loads, and that hot loads should never be shared.

When handloading, the key concept is consistency. Developing a routine that rarely varies significantly is the best approach.

And yes, I have never been able to improve on FGMM. It's good ammo and the cost is not prohibitive; but I handload to make my ammo is affordable as I can.

Greg
This is so true! The principle applies to many other processes too! I really appreciate you sharing this!
 
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When handloading, the key concept is consistency. Developing a routine that rarely varies significantly is the best approach.
+1 This is also worth repeating. Theres alot to dive into when it comes to consistency. But its worth keeping in mind from day #1.
 
I've been involved in shooting organizations since the early 1990's. Whenever I've been in a teaching/organizing position, I've stressed the partner approach, two participants; one performing, the other providing a fair critique. Then reverse the roles.

The observer can catch the nuances, then share them with the performer; the second set of eyeballs actually does help. Generally, both benefit from the process equally. Just try to contribute, rather than shutting out the conversation/dialogue by being judgemental; nobody's criticism is infallible. The goal is to find agreement, rather than forcing it.

This can extend to sharing handloads. Another tester is often able to find quirks that elude the handloader. In this approach, it is essential that the handloader religiously avoid sharing handloads the fall outside the spectrum of published loads, and that hot loads should never be shared. Whenever one discovers that they have built a stock of potentially dangerous loads, they should be broken down to components again. Never keep a potentially unsafe stock of ammo; memory can fail.

When handloading, the key concept is consistency. Developing a routine that rarely varies significantly is the best approach.

And yes, I have never been able to improve on FGMM. It's good ammo and the cost is not prohibitive; but I handload to make my ammo is affordable as I can.

Greg
In terms of less cost per round, yes . . . handloading reduces that cost. And I thought I'd save a lot after I got to the breakeven point for the cost of equipment. But . . . I shoot way more of my handloaded ammo than and would have if I were buying good factory ammo. :eek: So, I'm actually spending a lot more doing the handloading thing. ;)
 
Use whatever you can get for a fair price these day imho

Speaking of primers any guesses on the age of these? Never seen these boxes
 

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All this mentor shit is a joke . Not everyone needs their fucking hands held to learn . This forum proves people don't know shit about a subject but still flap their lips and repeat the same old bullshit they are dumb enough to believe in the first place .
 
A suggestion from a guy that does not play the game these guys play, and not sure I ever will at this stage of my life, but I have been reloading for......well lets just say it can't be that long, years into the double digits easy.

You have never pulled lever one. IMHO you are getting the cart a bit before the horse. My suggestion is, and sorry if it gets wordy.

Pick yourself out a press, my view on most of the "kits" out there are, well there is some good stuff in there, but there is quite a bit you will have in a drawer never to set finger on again a year down the road if this hobby sticks. I think if you stick with a "name brand" it is hard to find a bad press. I am also in the old school camp of start with a single stage, if you want something a little faster look at something like the Forster or one of the "better" turrets. In staying with the single stage all of them are just fine, even the internet whipping boy Lee. Not one single thing wrong with their single stage presses.

After that find yourself a nice scale or two, past that you are into the "little things", funnels, trays, boxes it is all things you need, but not what I would call a big thing. Don't forget a way to trim brass as well and a caliper or two.

It is not hard, men don't read instructions, but I would strongly suggest you make an exception here, read a reloading manual, watch a video by the folks that made the whatever, then go from there. Make your choice and pay your money.

Make your first round, just do what the book says. If something does not feel right it likely is not right, none of this are you really using bunches of force. If you can't seat a bullet with a nice even low effort pull something is not quite right. Fall back ask questions, go again.

Bottom line it aint as hard as they make it out to be.

Now your question. If you have not played this game yet, and you have not loaded ammo yet, you are going to be learning two new skills. Nothing says you don't have to do consumables to the 9's, you can start on the primers you can find locally. Start loading those, the groups should be on par with "normal" factory loads, and only go up from there. You can practice a great deal in both loading and control of your breathing and whatever with that 223 AR you already have, and practice reloading that as well. There is not much difference between loading for one rifle cartridge or another.

Good luck and have at it, you will be just fine.

One thing I do suggest is as soon as you can swing it, get your self a chrono. It really is IMHO a must have tool when working up loads, goes double if you get into the edges of published loads.
 
All this mentor shit is a joke . Not everyone needs their fucking hands held to learn . This forum proves people don't know shit about a subject but still flap their lips and repeat the same old bullshit they are dumb enough to believe in the first place .
You are an absolute representation of the latter. I've looked at your recent posts and they're all full of this same hateful bullshit. It costs nothing to be nice, Haney.
 
You are an absolute representation of the latter. I've looked at your recent posts and they're all full of this same hateful bullshit. It costs nothing to be nice, Haney.
Be good now son, you know you are about due to be banned again . Or maybe another name change to protect your ass ? You are a thin skinned troll so just move along . Let me ask, do you walk up to a complete stranger and ask them please mentor me ?
 
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Be good now son, you know you are about due to be banned again . Or maybe another name change to protect your ass ? You are a thin skinned troll so just move along . Let me ask, do you walk up to a complete stranger and ask them please mentor me ?
You will go to bed tonight, and FredHammer will be the last thing on your mind. :ROFLMAO:
 
Use whatever you can get for a fair price these day imho

Speaking of primers any guesses on the age of these? Never seen these boxes
Those primers are from the 70's through the 1980's. I have a few of the same 215's left.
 
All this mentor shit is a joke . Not everyone needs their fucking hands held to learn . This forum proves people don't know shit about a subject but still flap their lips and repeat the same old bullshit they are dumb enough to believe in the first place .
Well, the Belted Earl has spoken! Hope you are not looking in the mirror.
 
My issue with Chronos (a minor one) is that they are typically considered accurate in their accompanying literature to +1%/-1% of the indicated value.

1% of 2500fps would the be accurate to +25fps to - 25fps. That spans a range of 50fps. I would not consider that range to be small enough to give any real meaningful help when doing load development. An indicated value of 2500fps could refer to velocities ranging from 2475fps to 2525fps.

But I may not be the right person to be making this observation. I do own a Chrony Alpha, FWIW

Greg
 
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So I want to start by saying that I am just in the planning phase of reloading. I am still in the preparing and learning phase. Based on my observation, primer is still scarce nowadays. I saw some CCI small rifle 400 primer the other day and remembered that I read somewhere that it is just Okay and not ideal for PRS. My question is if I am just trying get familiar with the reloading process and aiming for sub MOA accuracy with 308 or 6.5 CM, is the CCI 400 an acceptable primer to begin with?

Thanks in advance!

the most importarnt things at primers are cup thickness and power of 'explosion'.
for big cartridges you want to have strong cup and big 'explosion'.
 
My issue with Chronos (a minor one) is that they are typically considered accurate in their accompanying literature to +1%/-1% of the indicated value.

1% of 2500fps would the be accurate to +25fps to - 25fps. That spans a range of 50fps. I would not consider that range to be small enough to give any real meaningful help when doing load development. An indicated value of 2500fps could refer to velocities ranging from 2475fps to 2525fps.

But I may not be the right person to be making this observation. I do own a Chrony Alpha, FWIW

Greg
Some Chronos are more accurate than others. For example:


Here's an example where I compared my MagnetoSpeed v3 to my new Xero C1 and note the average speeds:

Garmin vs MS V3.jpg