December 7th, 2022

CCI Commences Lead-Free Primer Production in Idaho

cci speer federal ammunition catalyst unleaded no-lead primer priming ammunition

CCI is now producing Catalyst lead-free primers and Catalyst-primed CCI and Speer ammunition at the CCI factory in Lewiston, Idaho. The proprietary Catalyst lead-free primer was first developed in 2016 by Federal Ammunition, a CCI/Speer partner company. The advanced lead-free Catalyst primers are being used in CCI- and Speer-brand pistol ammo, and may eventually be sold separately for the reloading market.

Writing for the MagLife Blog, Kat Ainsworth described Catalyst lead-free primers: “Many manufacturers use lead styphnate mixtures in the production of primers, but Federal Ammunition states the proprietary design utilized in the Catalyst is not only lead-free but outperforms those other methods. The company also says the Catalyst primers are safer to manufacture and provide a host of benefits over lead designs. For example, the Catalyst primers deliver greater compatibility with modern powders, produce less pressure from the gases generated during live fire, and don’t cause degradation in the powder they touch.

The company says these primers are extremely clean-burning which helps them perform more uniform and complete propellant combustion. Even better, the Catalyst has minimal velocity variation[.] These primers are also non-hydrophilic, meaning they don’t attract water molecules like DDNP-based mixes that are found in other brands[.]”

cci speer federal ammunition catalyst unleaded no-lead primer priming ammunition

Catalyst Primers Promise Best-in-Class Performance
“We are extremely proud of this new production capability which continues the rollout of an incredible primer technology” said Federal/CCI/Speer President Jason Vanderbrink. “This product has proven to be the best in its class after nearly seven years of continuous production. Its consistent performance has been tested over hundreds of millions of rounds. Most notably, the product is featured in Federal’s innovative Syntech Range ammo and American Eagle Lead-Free.”

The extremely clean-burning Catalyst primer creates more uniform and complete propellant combustion, yielding minimal velocity variation and consistent bullet launch for improved accuracy. It is also non-hydrophilic, so it does not attract water molecules like DDNP-based mixes found in most lead-free primers, resulting in better reliability.

“Catalyst lead-free priming technology provides the cleanest, most consistent ignition possible. We are excited that our Lewiston plant is now set up to run Catalyst priming in our target pistol products”, said Speer and CCI’s Director of Factory Operations Mike Overberg. “The Anoka facility has proven this to be the best lead-free priming technology available. Our staff here has done a fantastic job of working across factories to extend this product into Speer and CCI Blazer ammunition products made in Lewiston, Idaho.”

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