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October 24th, 2009

Primers and Load Velocity: CCI-BR2 vs. Wolf in .308 Win

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum recently did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load.

CCI BR2 primers wolf rifle primers

Plenty of CCI-BR2 and Wolf Large Rifle Primers in Stock
If you’re looking for either the CCI BR-2 or Wolf Large Rifle Primers, currently has both in stock. The CCI BR2 primers (item CCIBR2) cost $42.50 per 1000. The Wolf LR Primers (item QQQLR KVB-7) cost $29.50 per 1000 OR $142.00 per 5000.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
October 24th, 2009

Ammo Sale at Cabela's

ammunition Cabelas.comA sure sign that ammunition supplies are on the rise (and panic buying has abated) is when vendors start cutting back prices. Well folks, Cabela’s has just announced a major ammo sale, with prices marked down as much as 25%. Here are some of Cabela’s discounted offerings:

  • Black Hills Gold .308 Win, 180gr Nosler Accubond cosmetic seconds (item 9IS-217122). Sale Price: $21.99 for 20 rounds (Reg. $29.99).
  • Federal 5.56mm NATO 55gr FMJBT Ammo on Stripper Clips (item 9IS-217197). Sale Price: $519.99 for 900 rounds (Reg: $649.99).
  • Ulyanovsk 7.62×39 Ammo, 122gr FMJ in Metal Tin (item 9IS-217277). Sale Price: $159.99 for 640 rounds.
  • Winchester USA Rifle Ammo (item 9IS-210889). Sale Price: $13.99 for 20 rounds (Reg. $16.99).
  • To get the lowest discounted prices, click the WEB DEALS link at left.

    Much of Cabela’s ammunition inventory remains “sold out”, but the curren Ammo Sale is a good sign that the situation is getting better and the days of bare shelves and panic buying may be behind us. We note that large supplies of primers are also starting to arrive at vendors such as Powder Valley (Wolf) and (CCI and Wolf).

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »