45 ACP small primer brass

45 ACP small primer brass

This is a discussion on 45 ACP small primer brass within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; While up at the range this morning, collecting my brass, i picked up a few more than I had to begin with. It turns out ...

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Thread: 45 ACP small primer brass

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    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    45 ACP small primer brass

    While up at the range this morning, collecting my brass, i picked up a few more than I had to begin with. It turns out that I picked up a few 45 ACP small primer cases. They were Federal brass. Looks like I will have to start separating my 45 ACP brass between small and large primer now.

    Actually, I wouldn't mind moving to the small primer 45 ACP brass, as long as it doesn't impact performance. It would save me from having to change my primer system over to large primers when setting up for 45 ACP. unfortunately, I have so much 45 ACP large primer brass that it will probably take me years to switch over to it.

    I guess the first thing I will do is continue to watch for the small primer brass and when have a couple hundred, i will load them to see what, if any, difference I see. If I don't see any issues with the small primer brass, and I do not expect to see any, i will probably move over to it when I have as much small primer brass as I do large primer brass (that will probably take a couple of years since i have a few thousand large primer cases now).

    This is not really a big deal, it is just the first time I have seem them "in the wild"
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    I just bought a Dillon press and have thought about trying to switch .45 and .308 to small primer to avoid having to switch the pruning system as well. So far, I’ve always just tossed the random small primer .45 brass that I found because it just wasn’t worth the hassle. I tried convincing my wife that I just need another press set up for small primer but she didn’t go for it.
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    I have a fresh batch ready to load, two or three different head stamps. I have not noticed any difference, except of course the additional time sorting. The only problem I have now is that I just realized that during my supply run yesterday, I failed to buy more 230 gr projectiles, Doh!
    Last edited by Struckat; March 8th, 2020 at 09:01 AM.
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    Much ado about nuthin'. I inspect all my brass before starting the reloading process, so it's no big deal to look at the primer size and toss small one in one bin, large ones in another. As for the whole cartridge industry switching over to small primers, it will take some time--if it ever does it at all. I use an RCBS hand primer, so the 30 seconds to takes to switch from large to small primers isn't something that gets my dander up.
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    Distinguished Member Array darbo's Avatar
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    I don't find a lot of the small primers cases but when I do they get tossed into a 1 gallon Ziploc and stored for a rainy day.

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    Loaded several hundred and seemed the velocity was down a bit at the chrono, maybe 15 f/s. But the load was super light anyway so there was already a large spread. 45 GAP is SPP and I use them for any 45 revolver loads. It is a pain to run across one while loading!

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    Something not often thought about when a firearm shoots both large and small primer cartridges is that the small primer needs to be struck with a smaller diameter firing pin than the large primer. Striking the small primer with a firing pin designed for large primer risks a failure to fire.
    Here's a link which describes the issue:

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...uct_list&c=139
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    I have handloaded both and fired over the chrono to check differences...... which are none.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CavemanBob View Post
    Something not often thought about when a firearm shoots both large and small primer cartridges is that the small primer needs to be struck with a smaller diameter firing pin than the large primer. Striking the small primer with a firing pin designed for large primer risks a failure to fire.
    Here's a link which describes the issue:

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...uct_list&c=139
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    Separating out small-primer .45 ACP brass is a huge annoyance if you reload thousands of rounds a year. I'm sure it exists only because it improves someone's balance sheet by $5 a year.

    But in the spirit of "if you can't lick 'em, join 'em" I've started saving the SP brass and will use it for lost-brass matches, or trading for LP brass.

    I have experimented with loading the small primer stuff, and the chrono differences vs normal .45 ACP loads are below my threshhold of detectability.
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    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    I just finished sorting out the small from the large primer brass (there were only about a dozen of them). I can easily tell the difference between 9mm and 45 ACP brass. I can easily tell the difference between 40 S&W from 9mm and I can generally tell the difference between 380 and 9mm brass, if I am paying attention. I can easily tell the difference between large and small primers if they are on the bench next to each other.

    I never thought that it woudl be difficult to tell the difference between large and small primer 45 ACP brass. After looking at them for a bit, I could tell the difference, but at first glance, with the primers still in the brass, it was not all that easy to tell them apart until after I had stared at them for about 5 minutes. It really surprised me because they seemed to stand out so much when I picked them up at the range.

    Is it just me, or have others had the same problem when they first started to come across the small primer brass? I know my eyes are not as good as they used to be, but I didn't think they were that bad!

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    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    Is it just me, or have others had the same problem when they first started to come across the small primer brass? I know my eyes are not as good as they used to be, but I didn't think they were that bad!
    It's kind of like '55 and '56 Chevys. I know they're different, but sitting side by side, I still don't know which is which. Doesn't matter much, I'd take either.

    Same with primer sizes. Reusable brass is reusable brass. Sometimes you just have to look a little closer.
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    I would like to find the person or persons that thought this was a good idea and choke them!
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