Magnum primers-Federal vs.?


AH elite
Aug 4, 2018
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Have used Federal mag rifle primers for quite a while, ran out and subbed CCI 250 mag primers until I could find Federal. Did not see any difference in group size off the bench or over the Chrony. Cartridges were 458 Lott, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem mag and 375 HH .
What has been your expierence?
Could be ES could show more variation....Fed 215 designed for lots of powder in larger cases.
Same experience here with big bore rifles I also have used Winchester WLRM primers with no noticeable difference
I use Winchester std or mag for everything. Unless I cannot get the results I am looking for then I switch to Federal.
Many years ago primers becam rare to find in northern BC so I ordered Winchester wlrm as there was a sale on them picked up 20000 been happily using them for years now I’m sure just opened last case of 10000.
I use / used CCI 250 primers in most of my magnum riles for years. However, in large capacity or long powder column cartridges (..300 Wby, 338 RUM, .375 H&H, .416 Ruger or .458 Lott) I use Fed.215 primers.
In an effort to fine tune a load in my .375, I tried the CCI 250 primer. I couldn’t tell any difference in velocity or group size.
I tried the same procedure, but in reverse with the 7mm Rem mag, .338 Win mag, going from a CCI to a Fed primer. In the 7 mag, I had to back off a grain in powder charge and group size improved marginally. Velocity was basically the same. The .338 required me to back off on the charge. Group size remained about the same, but average velocity was 23 fps less.
Because of the large powder volume cases, I doubt you will notice a difference.
If you were using magnum primers in small volume cases in order to get the best burn on ball powders, you would probably notice a brand with a hotter spark than another...thus a higher velocity by burning more powder earlier in the barrel. This probably causes a faster pressure rise. JME

You will more likely tell by chronographing different primers.
I haven’t been using the magnum primers much but the biggest difference I can tell with regular rifle primers is how easy the primer pockets are to clean out, no real performance differences. Federal and CCI seem to come out more cleanly than do the Winchester’s
The CCI 250 was designed for magnum cartridges from the start.

I have always had problems finding Federal 215's but the CCI 250 are in all the stores so that is what I use from my 7mm Rem mag to .340 Weatherby loads.

It seams that most reloaders like the Federals better for some reason so they are always off of the shelves. But in my opinion the CCI 250 are just as good.
I use the CCI primers too because of the availability in my area.
I use the Fed 215's for magnum calibers. CCI BR-2 for the non-magnums. Not sure why the mix, probably the CCIs had better availability. While I've read that some hand loaders find significant differences in primers, I've never found a reason myself to add that variable to the mix of brass, powder and bullets. This isn't to say it can't happen, just that I've not seen it and limit myself to the primers mentioned.
I use CCI 250 in all my big rounds. Never had any issues with them. Generally I have found CCI to make very reliable primers. Failure to fire has never happened with them for me, which is more than I can say for Remington!
I wouldn't use a Rem primer. Even had a box of factory 222 with 6 duds. Also many years ago I had a batch of Win. Ctn of 1000 with 25-30% duds. Called Win and gave them the lot #. Said yup bad batch and replaced them 5to1. I thought I had won the lottery.
I used Fed215 for everything - from 6.5x55 to 404 Jeffery. Then I ran out, and CCI 250 was all I could get hold of.

I can not tell any difference. I mostly use slow powders and heavy-for-calibre bullets.
I use Win for everything from small pistol to LRM and never a misfire or failure to fire. I guess getting them on sale helps, too.
I’m going to use the federal this Saturday in my 416 Remington. There’s a mighty lot of powder to spark but used Winchester primers for over forty years,
I have been reloading for many years, but only the last 5 years or so have I used loads that required magnum primers. I have not noticed any practical difference between Federal LR magnum, Remington LR magnum, or CCI LR magnum in the .375 H&H or in some special slow powder / heavy bullet loads for my 30-06 or .35 Whelen or 9.3x62. But I did notice one cartridge where primer choice has made a clear difference.
I have a 9.3x74R O/U Beretta that seems to require the Federal primers. Fired cases from this rifle show it does not have a very hard or deep primer strike. I believe I may have seated a few of the Remington and CCI primers too deep, so it may not be a "fair" comparison but I had a couple failures to fire with Rem and CCI. While in the process of discovering that I may have seated primers too deep I also tried some Federal magnum primers which have a reputation of being easier to ignite with light firing pin strikes. I have had no more failures to fire. I'm sticking with what works.
seating primers "too deep" is not a thing that can be done.
boxer primers MUST be seated to the bottom of the pocket firmly to perform correctly.
if you get poor ignition, or poor indentation doing this you have 1 or more problems.
these can include, insufficient firing pin protrusion, weak firing pin spring, excess headspace, or primer pockets too deep.
failure to bottom out primers in the pocket can also do this as the primer is free to move in the pocket.
irregular and unreliable ignition will occur, causing anything from misfires to poor velocity standard deviation.
Bruce I agree with your comments in general, but I was using a cheap Lee hand priming tool and I "over did it" on some of them - actually pushing the primers far enough in to the pocket that they were slightly crushed and dished down ( concave) , the centre seated maybe 0,008" below flush instead of the 1-2 thousandths that is recommended. At the same time as switching to Federal primers I switched to seating primers on my Co-Ax press which has a very precise and positive priming system and that particular problem went away.
Dang, I'm getting old!

Posting stuff in the wrong thread is a sure sign of senility...and I have done it at least twice in the past week or so!

Anyway...I posted the below in another thread, and really meant it for this one (a little more pertinent):
I was at the range yesterday doing some prep work for a date with a Cape Buffalo.
As usual, I had the chronograph set up and shot many of my rounds over the screens for "science".

Several recent discussions re: primers here had me load up a few loads in 450/400 and 450 Dakota with everything identical except the primer, just for fun.

Now, a 15 round study doesn't qualify as a statistically valid sample...but it's a start! So, from the FWIW department, I submit the following:

1. 450/400 NE with 86gr H1000 and a 400gr DGS in Hornady brass:
Fed 215 = 2018fps
Tula Mag = 1966fps

2. 450 Dakota with 88gr IMR 4064 and a 450gr TSX in Dakota brass:
Fed 215 = 2299fps
CCI 250 = 2275fps
Tula Mag = 2267fps

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