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Small Pistol Primer for .45 ACP?


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I’d like to try Wild Bunch this year and have started doing some homework. I’ve gleaned from prior posts that around 3.9 grains of WST with a 230 grain projectile is probably a reasonable starting place. What I haven’t seen discussed is if using small pistol primers causes any issues? Given the greater availability and lower cost of SPP at present, I’m planning to use those and the appropriate brass, barring any reason not to. Appreciate any input!

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Be careful trusting 3.9 grains WST to make a reliable 160 power factor.  Check with a chronograph.  And check reliable function with the spring set that is in your 1911.  I use 4.2 grains WST when I shoot a 225 or 230 grain bullet.

But, the small pistol primer does not cause the owner any functional problems, as long as your slide and barrel combination let the firing pin hit close enough to center to ignite the primer.  It can cause quite a bit of cussing when a fellow shooter gets back some of your empty brass, though, and they don't happen to put an eyeball on the fired primer before trying to deprime and seat a primer.

Large PISTOL primers are back to being available now (if that is the only reason you would go to a small primer).  Now, large RIFLE primers are a whole different story.

I've got such a stock of .45 auto cases from the last 20 years, I'll never use small primer brass.  Besides, I find it perturbing that ammo makers cannot live with the large pistol primer standard that SAAMI set.

good luck, GJ

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Appreciate your input @Garrison Joe! I’ll play with the powder and check with my chronograph to make sure I get things dialed in. I’ve seen more SPPs on the shelf in my neck of the woods, but I’ll keep an eye out for some LPP as well. The only .45 ACP brass I have is some SPP I picked up during the pandemic when the primer situation was more dismal so there’s no changing over for me.

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