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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bag of .45 ACP brass that has a small pistol primer pocket. El Manuel calls for a large pistol primer. What would happen if I used a small primer? Or could I use a small magnum primer? May sound like dumb ideas/questions, I just don't know. Thanks for any help here, as always guys!
 

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I have a bag of .45 ACP brass that has a small pistol primer pocket. El Manuel calls for a large pistol primer. What would happen if I used a small primer? Or could I use a small magnum primer? May sound like dumb ideas/questions, I just don't know. Thanks for any help here, as always guys!

Are they by any chance Winchester NT? I hate it when they sneak into my piles of .45 cases. Yeah, you load them up with small primers just fine though. No need for magnum primers.
 

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What your looking at is NT or non-toxic ammo brass. Theory is because the demand is a lot less the manufactures only make NT primers in small size, or because the bullets are also non-toxic zinc cored, and therefore lighter and must be pushed to higher vel, the round operates at higher then normal pressure and a small primer is less likely to back out.

Either way as far as reloading goes you should be fine using standard small pistol primers. Just follow the usual advise of starting low and working up.
 

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They can be used but I don't use 'em. Unless your "bag" of brass is like, 1k rounds, I would think twice about it.

Small primers work but not the same as large primers. The NT brass many times has different venturi (orifice) sized per lot also...it can get kinda weird.

It is "safe" to load .45 ACP with small pistol primers but if I run across NT brass nowadays, I just chuck it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like good advice.

So what exactly IS the difference between a small and large pistol primer besides the diameter, and why do both work in this case?
 

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I have a bag of .45 ACP brass that has a small pistol primer pocket. El Manuel calls for a large pistol primer. What would happen if I used a small primer? Or could I use a small magnum primer? May sound like dumb ideas/questions, I just don't know. Thanks for any help here, as always guys!
Load them up and use them the next time you shoot a lost brass match, or somewhere else you can't keep your brass. There's no problem with that brass, but you really don't want it mixed in with your large primer brass.
 

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So what exactly IS the difference between a small and large pistol primer besides the diameter, and why do both work in this case?
Small is just that. Used for .380, 9mm, .40 S&W...etc. Designed to work well in small cases with limited interior dimensions.

Large Pistol primers are much larger and designed to provide impulse (ignition) to larger cases (.45LC, .45 ACP, .44 Special, etc.). There are magnum primers as well but let's leave that alone for now.

Inside the primer is an explosive (unlike the propellant (powder) which burns much more slowly and is more stable). The quantity of explosive naturally changes the quantity of energy provided to the propellant.

In large cases, large pistol primers are used to ignite the propellant (like .45 ACP). This helps the propellant ignite in a proper fashion (enough energy to provide the proper ignition of that quantity of propellant in that defined space).

MFR's use a small primer for the NT loads because primers provide the majority of gasses that the EPA does not like in an enclosed space. Small primers allow the manufacturer to remain below EPA minimums for emissions.

They are not efficient for ignition of .45 ACP cased loads.
 

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"scrap" means "unuseable"

I use standard small pistol primers for those cases.

I cannot find 'medium' primers for the (really) old 'medium pocket' cases.
(Yes, there are three sizes for 45 ACP cases).
 

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Also, be sure to check the primer size if buying Blazer Brass 45 ACP ammo. Recently one of our gun stores got a batch of those with Small Pistol Primers instead of Large.

I would be really mad if I bought several boxes of them and discovered this when I got home, since most stores cannot take back ammo for a refund.

Bill
 

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Save them and sell them to revolver shooters. You can get away with lighter trigger pulls as a small primer is easier to ignite. Also, I tested small vs. large flash hole brass a few years ago and velocities were about the same but the SD was lower with the large flash hole.
 

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Experimentally I reloaded a few with small pistol primers and either WST or American Select and a 185 gr. LSWC. V elocities appeared normal with the few rounds tested. If I were privy to an unlimited supply (ie local LEO range) then I would consider expanding the experiment and working up a load. With the few I have found it is easier to toss them into the scrap heap.
 

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I have fired and reloaded thousands of 45 acp using Speer SP brass. Not a single issue and accuracy is straight on just like my LP brass. Only PITA is seperating the small from the large when getting ready to reload them again.

I'm not complaining because I got the SP brass for a song.
 

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Learn something every day. I've used brass from WWII, and, of course, for lots of years since, but I've never seen nor heard of a "medium" primer. You'd think that somebody would make medium primer pocket cleaners, reamers, primers, etc., wouldn't you? :confused:
 

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I have a bag of small primer 45ACP and during a recent large primer shortage (I ran out and couldn't find any around) I was happily shooting my 1911 with my supply of small primers. :dope:
 

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"Medium primer."

At one time Frankford Arsenal produced .45 ACP with a .204" primer (.210" large, .175" small.) The intent was to prevent mixup of rifle and pistol primers. A 1911 will probably fire a rifle primer but a pistol primer in a .30-06 rifle or machine gun is subject to piercing and gas escape.

For a while you could buy FA primers from NRA to reload FA .45 brass.
 

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Blazer Brass

I bought a couple of boxes of .45 acp Blazer Brass a few months ago which had small primer pockets. I called Blazer about it and the tech told me that some item numbers have small primers. She assured me that the gas volume and temp were adequate and fully tested. She also said that the rounds will have the same performance as any other Blazer Brass round and that the cases are fully reloadable.

I am worried that I will get one mixed in with my other, large primer, cases and ruin a primer trying to seat a large primer in a smal primer pocket. I have a bag of them with my reloading supplies, but haven't decided whether to reload them or not.
 

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If they were all one or the other I wouldn't care. But I usually find them when I'm trying to seat a primer which sucks on my progressive. :)
 
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