Hang-Fires: Use the proper primer

  • Using the proper primer is very important when reloading. As a general rule, when you are dealing with charge weights in excess of 50gr, it's advisable to use a magnum primer. This is especially true if you are using a slow burning propellant.

    I had a unique teaching opportunity today when a customer shared a photo of some powder from rounds that he pulled down after a disappointing trip to the range. He was using a 26 Nosler with US869 powder and CCI-200 primers. CCI-200's are a regular large rifle primer. A CCI-250, or large rifle magnum primer is required for a cartridge such as the 26 Nosler.

    I felt it important to share this here because using an improperly sized primer can create several dangerous situations. A hang-fire being one of them. This is when you press the trigger, and hear the click of the firing pin impacting the primer, then some time later the rifle fires. Most hang-fires will happen within half a second to 2 seconds. Some can take as long as 30 seconds to two minutes! Very unpleasant thing. When you have a live round in the chamber, and it goes "click" but doesn't fire... you must leave the rifle pointed down range and wait at least 5-10 minutes.

    Use the right primers folks!


  • Some time ago I came across some small magnum pistol primers on sale and bought all they had. In the mean time it became difficult to find regular small pistol primers...so I have been using these in everything from 357 mag down to 9mm. I only load medium loads...nothing close to max, but with moderate loads I haven't noticed any difference.

    So...guess my question is, is there a danger in using magnum primers in place of regular primers?

  • @dddoo7 said:

    So...guess my question is, is there a danger in using magnum primers in place of regular primers?

    Only if you are running close to max pressure with a regular primer. If your pressures are good, no, there's no danger in using a magnum primer in place of a standard.

    The issue above comes when there isn't enough fire to ignite the propellant. Instead it flash-burns across the surface, clumping the powder up like you see in the pic.