Primer question for 44magnum

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  • Gordon

    Active Member
    Feb 20, 2011
    Baltimore City
    Been at the bench loading some 44 magnum and loaded 2 boxes using 18.9 grains of Alliant 2400 , cci 350 magnum primers along with Hornady 230 gr xtp bullets. Any concerns with high pressure using a magnum primer?


    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    Rockville, MD
    Doesn't matter unless you're loading at or above max. And even then, it probably also doesn't matter.


    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Gordon, I found this in the UTAH link above :

    I posted this on another forum I am involved with - but thought that some of you might be interested in the information it contains on the subject of Which Primer? So it is re-posted here:


    One of the more difficult choices we make is deciding which primer to use. Are they all the same? When should I use magnum primers? Wouldn't magnum primers be better for everything? If you load for a Magnum-named cartridge (i.e. .357, .44 etc) should you always use a magnum primer? Do certain powders need certain primers? While not a definitive chart, the opinions presented below will hopefully answer a few of those questions for you and make your choices easier.

    It has been brought out by Dave Scovill, editor of Handloader magazine, and one of its earlier contributors, the late Bob Hagel, that certain primers work well better with certain powders. Hagel did a large body of research on this subject in 1982, and Scovill has done some follow-up checking and research. In addition, Brian Pearce has done a lot of work with handguns and has some opinions that collaborate what the other two have found in their research.
    Hagel's 1982 article is available online at this link: "Primers for Magnum Handguns". Info by Scovill and Pearce is found in the October and December 2011 issues of Handloader magazine.

    Some trends were noticed:
    Large Pistol Primers:
    Federal 150 were as good as any, and better in some instances. Scovill reports that for all practical purposes, they are the best choice for general applications in .44- and .45-caliber non-magnum loads. Hagel observes: "...[standard] primers made by Federal... in both Large and Small Pistol sizes for many years are not surpassed in any form of performance with any bullet weight with most powders in the .41 and .44 Magnum cases, by the... 155 magnum primer or in .357 Magnum by the 200 magnum primer pistol primer."

    Winchester WLP is fine with faster-burning powders.

    CCI 350 - From Scovill's experiments he concluded the CCI 350 Magnum primer has no value over its non-magnum 300 counterpart, with the exception of use with IMR-4227 in loads that do not exceed 20,000 psi in the .45 Colt.

    Remington 2 ½ are excellent with all the cartridges and bullets weights tested (.41 & .44 Mag).

    Small Pistol Primers:
    CCI 500 is more than adequate for faster powders at traditional .38 Special pressures. The CCI 500 primer and Titegroup are an outstanding combination in the .38 Special/158-gr.

    CCI 550 Magnum primers were developed in response to the availability of Winchester Ball powders 231 and especially 296.

    Federal 200 - Hagel: "After working with this primer and 2400 quite extensively, I concluded that it should not be used with that powder in the .357 Magnum.
    Pearce: "...the .327 Federal Magnum is loaded to around 45,000 psi, some 10,000 psi greater than the .357 Magnum... In this application, at least with full-power loads, a primer designed to withstand that much pressure without deformation should be selected. A good example is the Federal 200, the same primer that the factory uses."

    Remington 1 ½ are excellent with all the cartridges and bullets weights tested (.357 Mag).

    The use of magnum primers in some instances appears to generate higher pressures without the attendant - expected - increase in velocity.
    Magnum pistol primers except CCI's show no superiority over those assumed to be of standard power when used to ignite slow-burning powders of any type, including spherical, and often give less velocity and uniformity.

    According to Pearce: "In magnum revolver cartridges, such as the .357, .41 and .44, the powder should be determined before selecting a primer. This is important, as many magnum revolver cartridge powders perform better when ignited with a Standard primer rather than a Magnum primer. This has been proven in several ballistic labs, not to mention my own testing and experience. In one lab test, .44 Magnum loads containing 2400 increased 11,000 psi when capped with a CCI 350 magnum primer versus the same charge capped with a CCI 300 standard primer. As a result, the powder charge must be reduced to stay within SAAMI pressure guidelines, which likewise reduces velocity."
    Sometimes this slips by the reloading manual people. A good example is the 1994 #12 Speer manual where CCI magnum primers were used in 2400 data. When Pearce told Speer's Allan Jones about this, at first he was skeptical. Then he re-shot the 2400 data using standard primers and confirmed Pearce's claim was correct. The data was corrected in the #13 manual with the significantly better performance of the standard primer published.

    Oddly enough there is an anomaly with Accurate #9 (that was used as an OEM .357 and .44 Mag powder by a major ammunition company dating back to the 1970s with standard primers) according to Pearce. When Western Powders bought Accurate Arms, they posted data shot with a magnum primer - which contradicted what Accurate had always said. Western's ballistician, Keith Anderson recognizes that AA #9 is best served with standard primers, resulting in lower extreme spreads, better accuracy and greater velocity. However the reason Western began using magnum primers was the powder charges were greater with standard primers, and they felt that the average guy would purchase magnum primers for his magnum revolver, then use published data that was developed with standard primers. The result would be high-pressure loads. So, figuring on the worst-case scenario, the company chose to use magnum primers with its data. That doesn't mean YOU should, because now you know better! Your powder charge can be a bit higher as well.

    Standard primers are needed for best performance when using the following magnum revolver powders:
    Alliant 2400
    Accurate #9
    Alliant Power Pro 300-MP
    Vihtavuori N110
    This is in accordance with recommendations from both Alliant and Accurate/Western Powder.

    Magnum primers are strongly suggested to obtain reliable ignition under all conditions and with a wide range of bullet weights when using the following magnum revolver powders:
    Hodgdon H-110
    Winchester 296
    Hodgdon Lil'Gun

    With these powders standard weight bullets will generally ignite reliably with standard primers in warm temperatures. However, when the mercury plummets, ignition issues can be a real and potentially dangerous problem. In subzero temperatures, Brian Pearce has seen bullets from full-power .44 Magnum loads exit the barrel at about the same speed as he can throw a rock! When matched with light-for-caliber bullets, magnum primers become even more important to obtain reliable and consistent powder ignition. Heavy-for-caliber bullets tend to help this powder burn more uniformly, and standard primers can often give excellent results, but cold weather ignition issues can still arise. So magnum primers are still suggested.


    Active Member
    Feb 6, 2010
    55.751244 / 37.618423
    always used 350's when loading 44 mag. Use 2400 basically for all my loads. I have found that with 300's you may not burn 2400 completely. Now with 110, 296 as was mentioned it 350'x..with Unique I have used 300's, but most of my loads are heavy cast Keith style bullets



    Active Member
    Feb 20, 2011
    Baltimore City
    What sparked my concern was Hornady’s 10th edition pg 923-25 it mentioned something in regards to high pressure when they were developing loads with 2400. Thanks for the feedback


    collector of fine .22s
    Jan 18, 2007
    Bologna. I've loaded 240-250gr bullet weight 44 with 2400 and BOTH magnum and standard primers of various brands. Plinking loads are 17gr. Enjoyable but definitely a magnum handgun. Anything for hunting or longer shots gets 21gr. That ain't nearly as much fun.

    Any charge under 20gr of 2400 with a 240 or lighter pill should be just fine. On a VERY unrelated note, I have found that 2400 burns cleaner and more completely at max charges. The 17gr loads I tend to get a bit of unburnt powder in the cases. It's obvious when I dump the spent cases out of the bag or tub to decap. Can spot the full power ones by the cleaner inside walls.


    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    I had tested several powder types and loads with both Large Mag Rifle Primers and Large Rifle Primers for my .500 S&W which uses many of the same powders at other large pistol calibers. Hodgdon powders called for LMRPs where all others called for LRPs. I found using LRPs instead of LMRP in Hodgdon powders did not make any difference. The powder was completely burned. The only difference I found was shooting at cold temperatures with LRPs is that the powder did not burn as well when temperatures were warm. So, I made some rounds with LMRPs and the powder burn was complete. So the only reason for me to use LMRP is for cold weather hunting.

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