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Newbe's Epic Small Rifle Primer test (A test of 9 different primers)

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Ever since my last primer tests (A comparison of CCI 400s VS CCI BR4 and CCI 400s VS Wolf SR) I've been wanting to do a test using all of the different primers I've acquired too see what (if any) difference there'd be using a good known load, and just switching out the primers. In the past, using a different powder and bullet (IMR 8208XBR and 77gr Tipped SMKs) I saw a great improvement with just switching from the CCI400s to the Wolf SR primers in both group size and velocity spread. I had hoped to find similar results from this larger test using several different SR (small rifle) primers.

 

Below are pictures of the 9 different primers used for this test.

At first I thought I only had 7 different primer types....

 

IMG_1042.jpg

 

Then when digging through my supplies I found I had these two as well. So off we go!

IMG_1054.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

These 1st two targets were shot without the MagnetoSpeed attached to the barrel. It was EXTREMELY windy when these were shot. Even the short cut mowed grass was flexing in the wind gusts. If I had to estimate, I'd say the gusts were up to and possibly over 20MPH at any given time. My intent was not so much to measure group size as it was to measure extreme spread (ES) concerning velocity. I figured it would also be interesting though to see how the different loads printed on paper. I loaded up 10 rounds for each primer. 5 to shoot for groups, and 5 to shoot across the chronograph.

Target #1 Each square on the target is 1/2"

IMG_9300.jpg

 

 

This is the written center to center measurements for the groups shot with the different primers for the above target #1

IMG_9301.jpg

 

 

Target #2

IMG_9298.jpg

 

Center to center measurements for target #2

IMG_9299.jpg

 

 

 

And these were all shot with the MagnetoSpeed attached. Notice any difference in groups with the MagnetoSpeed attached?

IMG_9297.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now for the numbers. How did the different primers do as far as velocity spread is concerned??

 

1) Remington 7 1/2 bench rest

3078

3015

3063

3117

3090

ES: 102 FPS

SD: 37.8

 

2) Sellier and Bellot

3119

3117

3144

3125

3113

ES: 31 FPS

SD: 12

 

3) CCI BR4 (Bench Rest)

3152

3123

3115

3134

3130

ES: 37 FPS

SD: 14

 

4) Wolf SR

3069

3084

3076

3076

3065

ES: 19 FPS

SD: 7

 

5) CCI 450 (SR Magnum)

3164

3095

3088

3084

3109

ES: 80 FPS

SD: 33

 

6) Wolf SRM (SR Magnum)

3050

3128

3095

3095

3075

ES: 78 FPS

SD: 29

 

7) CCI 400

3113

3107

3138

3107

3115

ES: 31 FPS

SD: 13

 

8) Federal SM Match

3099

3115

3140

3052

3113

ES: 88 FPS

SD: 33

 

9) Federal AR SR Match

3050

3078

3107

3078

3094

ES: 57 FPS

SD: 21

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Now, there are many interesting things one might gather from this comparison. I have come to believe that while there are some primers that appear to be better than others as far as group size and velocity spread, this may only be applied to this test using these components.

 

This load was originally worked up using TAC, Midway "Dogtown" 55gr FBHP bullets and CCI 400 primers and after proofing with a 5 shot group, gave a 3/8" center to center measurement with the original work up. Why the groups opened up more for that primer in this test is up for discussion. They certainly grouped better with the load work up and subsequent 5-shot proof than they did here. As mentioned however, it was extremely windy most of the time I was running the test. This would explain why the CCI 400 group opened up, but does not explain why the Federal SR Match shot so well. Perhaps the wind had calmed down for that group? Not sure....

 

I do believe that the Wolf SR primers do a good job of decreasing ES and SD fairly well regardless of powder and bullet as they acted the same with the Sierra Tipped Match Kings and 8208XBR.

 

From this test I also believe there is more of a difference between the Wolf SRM (small rifle magnum) and SR (small rifle) than just cup thickness, which is what I've read is the only difference from more than one source. Clearly there is a large difference in ES and SD just between the two Wolf primers.

 

I think it's reasonable to believe a person could work up accurate loads with any of these primers. One would simply need to use that particular primer for the load work up and stop when they found an accurate node with an acceptable velocity.

 

I also believe ES and SD can change for the better (or worse) with changes in powder charge weight.

 

Most of the standard SR primers showed pressure signs (primer cratering) at the given load of TAC (24.6 gr). The BR and magnum primers however did not. I believe this can be attributed to the thicker cup which will withstand higher pressures. In my case, this is a good thing as I will be able to push the velocity in order to look for another node. I believe this will be of value to me because the speeds I'm getting out of the 24" BBL Savage are not indicative of "hot" loads. Faster velocity means flatter trajectory and less wind drift which is a good thing when your target is 500 yds out and is only 2" wide and 4" tall :laugh:

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So the Federal Match,look really good

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I wonder why there is such a big difference with the Remington 7.5's between with and without the magneto ?

Old fashioned harmonics. It would not necessarily produce the same changes with a different bullet, powder or charge weight.

 

Greg

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I'm also surprised that the s&b did better than the CCI 400 and that in the first test the BR4 did that much better than the standard CCI I thought it was a bit of a gimmick. I'm not sure what happens in that second test. Also obviously it's interesting how well wolf did.

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Old fashioned harmonics. It would not necessarily produce the same changes with a different bullet, powder or charge weight.

 

Greg

It's interesting that some stay the same and it improved the Remington and made both Federal's worse. Meaning that the harmonics didn't make the barrel clearly better or worse just different. And that difference make one primer perform better and another perform worse. This would also probably mean that every time you take off and put on the chronograph it will change the harmonics and you'll have different results.

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It's interesting that some stay the same and it improved the Remington and made both Federal's worse. Meaning that the harmonics didn't make the barrel clearly better or worse just different. And that difference make one primer perform better and another perform worse. This would also probably mean that every time you take off and put on the chronograph it will change the harmonics and you'll have different results.

Chances are, the ones that stayed the same were in the middle of an accuracy node, or close to it before the MS was attached. Those that weren't, were probably more affected as you are strapping a big weight onto the end of your barrel (not that it weighs a lot, it just changes the tuning of your barrel).

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I've read that the S&B and Wolf are known for having low ES and SD from several different sources including high power guys.

 

The fact that they can often be had for less than their competition, is definitely a bonus.

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Old fashioned harmonics. It would not necessarily produce the same changes with a different bullet, powder or charge weight.

 

Greg

Agreed.

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Chances are, the ones that stayed the same were in the middle of an accuracy node, or close to it before the MS was attached. Those that weren't, were probably more affected as you are strapping a big weight onto the end of your barrel (not that it weighs a lot, it just changes the tuning of your barrel).

Well said. That's why I don't have one.

 

Greg

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Well said. That's why I don't have one.

 

Greg

Which is why I don't use it for working up loads. Just getting the velocity once I have an accuracy node.

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Great info, sir. That's quite a service.

 

But you forgot to tell us why some of the primer boxes have a handwritten 'X' on the box....

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I've read that the S&B and Wolf are known for having low ES and SD from several different sources including high power guys.

 

The fact that they can often be had for less than their competition, is definitely a bonus.

Thats good news. Cabelas has S&B, but rarely has LR and SR....

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Great info, sir. That's quite a service.

 

But you forgot to tell us why some of the primer boxes have a handwritten 'X' on the box....

I mark my open boxes. :thumb:

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