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.45 ACP -- Small Primer or Large Primer? Login/Join 
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted
I have been loading 9mm. Thinking about starting to load .45 ACP.

For purposes of this discussion, let's assume that brass and primers are equally available at the same price. Is there any advantage to large primers vs. small primers?

If all else is equal, I would prefer not to mess with the primer feed system on the press, keep it the same for both 9mm and .45 ACP, so the question is: is there any reason for me to choose large primers?

If it makes any difference, I load for high volume range use, and use store-bought ammunition for carry.

Also, the only pistol that I have in this caliber is a SIG P245. If I were to get another it would most likely be a P220. I will probably not get into 1911s or any other pistol in this caliber.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 19137 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Large primer brass is more widely available. It won't make any difference to your reloading so far as the load goes. I have both; many don't care to have both because it means closely watching to ensure they're not mixed.

Sometimes one type of primer is easier to get than the other; for me having both means that I have options.
 
Posts: 2706 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
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guppy -- thanks for your reply, but I need to restate my question: Assuming that availability of cases and primers are totally equal, i.e. I want to remove the supply issue completely, for the purpose of this question, is there any reason to choose large primer .45 ACP ammunition vs. small primer?

Removing the supply consideration from the question, I am talking about the use (shooting) of the ammunition. Or maybe technical / mechanical issues of reloading. Is there anything that I should be aware of?

If all is equal, I would prefer to stick with small primers, just so I don't have to mess with changing the system on my press whenever I switch between loading 9mm and loading .45 ACP. I am approaching 82, I won't be reloading and shooting forever, and I probably have enough small primers on hand to last my grandkids for a long time. I have a bunch of cases on hand, both types. If I need to get more (in addition to picking up what I fire at the range), small primer brass is easy enough for me to get. There is a loading supply shop in the area that will take my large primer brass and swap me even, to give me small primer brass if I go with small primer. It's easy enough for me to get large primers and brass, so I want to remove supply issues from this question (I know that I'm repeating myself, but I want to be really clear about that). If there is no technical reason -- technical reason, not supply reason -- if there is no technical reason to prefer large primer, then I will stick with small.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 19137 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
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Where to begin to just ramble.
You are a very smart person and thinks things thru.
Me I get pissed at Speer and that crap they did on their brass.
Back when I was reloading a lot I ran into that mix of brass.
Saved a bunch and karmaed to a member of small pockets.
I also hate changing the primer thingy so I bought and additional press decades ago.
Its only two screws and one spring to do a change out,simple.Well its the laying on the floor and crawling under the press and fiddling with an allen wrench over your head wearing tri focals with a flashlight.
My presses are mounted on two rotating home built swivel stands with a Star with feed ,two manual trimmers one four station little Crow home built thingy ,power cords and air for the star one rockchucker press and one lyman bullet sizer.
They are adjusted to about 26 inches in height so I can sit in comfort in a swivel chair.
They are mounted on rail road flat car wheels with sever hundred pound of lead bricks on wheels to keep stable .
 
Posts: 21663 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Blue68f100
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There is about 25fps difference using the same load between the 2 sizes. The large gives you slightly more velocity. Other than that to get equal loads you will need to bump up a 0.1gr to make them same.

I load for both. I just collect enough SP brass to make it worth running them through my AP.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3440 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
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Thanks, Blue. I am not a competitive shooter, don't really worry about Power Factor, so I don't think that 25 fps is going to really make any difference to me.

If that's the only difference in shooting, I'm not going to worry about it, I'll use small primer.

How about the actual routine of reloading? Is there any operational factor to be aware of?
My uneducated guess would be that we have both types because large primers were in use a hundred years or so ago, when the 1911 was born, and small primers did not become common for other calibers until later. That's just a guess though.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 19137 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryaz
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If you collect (your) brass for reloading, you will need some method for separating the two. You don't want large primer cases mixed in with your small primer ones as it will throw a monkey wrench into the process.
 
I have always marked my brass on the case by one method or another. That way, when I get them home and on the sifting screen, I can readily identify my own, which in your case Smile will be only small primer brass. Personally, I have an aversion to reloading just any range pickup anyway, because I know the provenance of my own brass (how many times reloaded), so this method automatically works to separate out different sized primer cases (also different calibers that sneak in, but which are close in size).
 
The easiest method I've found to mark them is to take a loaded box of 100 and a bottle of red Dykem, the type with the sponge applicator, and just wipe it across the whole box at one time. Takes less than a minute per box, and it is easy to spot. Lots of folks use magic markers. Some get elaborate. One guy I shoot with (he shoots 38 Super, which is rarer brass), marks the inside the ejector groove. This naturally takes a lot of time, and he has a jig, but it's still marking one case at a time. Frown But it is easy to identify his brass later.
 
 
Posts: 8406 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:
guppy -- thanks for your reply, but I need to restate my question: Assuming that availability of cases and primers are totally equal, i.e. I want to remove the supply issue completely, for the purpose of this question, is there any reason to choose large primer .45 ACP ammunition vs. small primer?

Removing the supply consideration from the question, I am talking about the use (shooting) of the ammunition. Or maybe technical / mechanical issues of reloading. Is there anything that I should be aware of?


No, I don't think so; I don't think it makes any difference at all. I have both, largely because I've had good deals on one or the other, or sometimes I end up getting mixed. You're good, whichever one you choose to use. If you're mostly reloading small primer cartridges anyway, and have a lot of small primer on hand, no reason not to stick with that.
 
Posts: 2706 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rule #1: Use enough gun
Picture of Bigboreshooter
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Same-Same.....
I shoot and reload both with no appreciable difference in performance for my range loads. Just another sorting step for me.



When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21


"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." -- George W. Bush

 
Posts: 14425 | Location: Birmingham, Alabama | Registered: February 25, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
Picture of maxwayne
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Since you want to standardize, small will be fine. I started 40 years ago and have chosen to stay with large for that reason.
 
Posts: 4451 | Registered: March 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sourdough44
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There was an article in Handloader magazine a while back, about L or S primed 45 acp cases. The conclusion was it’s mostly just about the sort & setup, no appreciable difference firing the two.

One just doesn’t want them mixed while trying to reload. I search out large primer cases, just to keep things standard. If I had a bunch of the small primer cases, I would just sort & use them at some time.
 
Posts: 3525 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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Back in 2003 when the Winchester NT SPP case’s started hitting the dirt at local ranges, I tested them with a few loads side by side with LPP cases. They were essentially the same, a lower ES/SD but it was close enough I figured it was just my sample of LPP cases.

Some day I imagine folks will wonder why they ever made a LPP case to get mixed up with all of their SPP cases but for now the SPP cases are the PITA.

I have built a couple devices that sort them for me though.

This one is a stand alone decap/sort machine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJgU3-OXuUU

This is the modification I made to my 45 ACP 1050 to cull SPP cases while loading (before I made the machine above).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V7vSEAqkZw
 
Posts: 462 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I recently loaded some .45 Small by putting a .45 shellplate and dies on the 550 I normally load 9mm and .38 on. It ran smoothly with no adjustment to the primer feed and the ammo shot well.

Earlier, like Blue, I found 25-40 fps drop in velocity with four loads tested. Others see no difference, probably not the same powders I had on hand.

So if you are just starting out in .45 and have smalls available, go for it.
 
Posts: 2710 | Location: Florence, Alabama, USA | Registered: July 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Mississippi Dave
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I use a fast burning powder most of the time and see very little if any difference in velocity. When I use a slower burning powder I have enough difference to be able to say the large primer cases have slightly more speed. If you are just talking about how they feel when shot and accuracy on paper, it is a wash. Federal Champion cases have the small primer as well as some others.

I do load the small primer cases and use them when ever I don't think I will be recovering my brass.


Views and opinions I express are not those of my employer or any of their customers.
 
Posts: 3870 | Location: Central Mississippi | Registered: July 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cas
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I like to use the small primer 45 brass two ways.

At home, I throw them in the scrap bin. At the range I throw them over the berm. Big Grin



There are no set rules to velocity and or pressure changes using large or small, magnum or non magnum. What it does in one size case with one powder, it may not do in another.


_____________________________________________________
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 16158 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
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quote:
Originally posted by cas:
I like to use the small primer 45 brass two ways.

At home, I throw them in the scrap bin. At the range I throw them over the berm. Big Grin
Third option: send them to V-Tail.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 19137 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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