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 Taking one for the team 
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This post is no way in any, shape or form recommending deviating from any published information. If you decide to do this, Make your decision based on information you research. That said.....
In light of the primer shortage I found myself thinking about my stock pile of primers. I shoot more small pistol than small rifle primers. I did some research on substituting small rifle for small pistol. The weapon I used was a Ruger blackhawk .357 magnum, cases were what I pulled out of the bin. The load, I am not going to divulge. Suffice it to say it was the lowest charge of a well known manual. I didn't do a velocity check as I was only looking for pressure signs. Next I'll be doing velocity checks and I'll update this post. The top row is standard small pistol primers, the bottom standard small rifle. All my research stated not, DO NOT, use small pistol in a small rifle load!!!


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Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:05 am
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I have been using small rifle in my 38 specials for five years now. Zero issues, no pressure signs, they are plinkers anyways at the low end of the charge weight. I will get numbers one day.

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Last edited by mcyclonegt on Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:36 am
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Good thread. thumbsup

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Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:53 am
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Using standard small rifle primers in place of small pistol primers is not an issue.
The main difference between the 2 is "cup thickness/hardness" with small rifle primers being the thicker of the 2 as a rule.

The potential issue comes when you attempt to use small pistol primers in place of small rifle primers.
Due to them being "softer/thinner" cups, you could possibly risk a "slam fire".

This is obviously more of an issue in a semi automatic application HOWEVER I have seen it occur in a bolt action. Granted it takes a special condition to make it happen in a bolt action.

The ONE ISSUE you want to be aware of is that, when using small rifle in the small pistol application, you may be hiding pressure signs if you are only trying to read the primers. Due to the above information, the cup thickness may mask those signs.

Also be aware that "misfires" or so called "light strikes" may occur.

Load smart and learn how to read pressure signs and you will be okay.

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Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:44 pm
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Thanks for starting this thread, I have been wondering too.


Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:57 pm
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Nitro_Guns wrote:
Using standard small rifle primers in place of small pistol primers is not an issue.
The main difference between the 2 is "cup thickness/hardness" with small rifle primers being the thicker of the 2 as a rule.

The potential issue comes when you attempt to use small pistol primers in place of small rifle primers.
Due to them being "softer/thinner" cups, you could possibly risk a "slam fire".

This is obviously more of an issue in a semi automatic application HOWEVER I have seen it occur in a bolt action. Granted it takes a special condition to make it happen in a bolt action.

The ONE ISSUE you want to be aware of is that, when using small rifle in the small pistol application, you may be hiding pressure signs if you are only trying to read the primers. Due to the above information, the cup thickness may mask those signs.

Also be aware that "misfires" or so called "light strikes" may occur.

Load smart and learn how to read pressure signs and you will be okay.

I won’t be using srp’s in any of my striker fired pistols. These will be used in the Blackhawk only. Once I do some chronograph work (play) I may try some in my marlin lever gun. I want to see some velocity figures first though. As always take it slow and easy!


Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:21 pm
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