Tag Archives: CCI

RELOADERS CORNER: Priming, Part 2

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Last time the tooling and process of seating a primer got detailed, and now more details about The Thing Itself. Read all about it…

primer close up

Glen Zediker

A primer consists of a brass (usually) cup filled with impact-detonated explosive compound, lead styphate specifically. Right. Primers explode. The compound starts as liquid, not that that matters, and while it’s still wet, a triangular metal piece called an “anvil” is positioned in the opening. When it’s hit by the firing pin, the center of the cup collapses, squeezing the explosive compound between the interior of the cup and the anvil. That ignites the compound and shoots a flame through the flash hole. That ignites the propellant.

There are two primer sizes, and then type variations. The two sizes are “small” and “large.” For example, .223 Rem. uses small, .308 Win. uses large. Rifle primers and pistol primers are not the same, even though they have diameters in common. Rifle primers have a tougher cup, and, usually, provide a hotter flash. Do not substitute pistol primers for rifle primers! Some pistol shooters using very high-pressure loads substitute rifle primers, but also often need to increase striker impact power.

Variations: There are small variations in primer dimensions, heights and diameters, and also variations exist in new-case primer pocket dimensions, among various brands, and, of course, lot-to-lot variations can and do exist within any one brand. Usually, these variations are not influential to suitability. Usually. However! On occasion, small diameter variations can affect how well different primers will feed through various make priming apparatus. This can and has become a hitch in some progressive loading machines. Cup height variations can lead to seating depth (primer height) issues.

Remington 7-1/2 primers
I have my “go-to” primer, as do most, but I’ve found best results in certain circumstances with another brand. I will not vary primers, though, in my tournament ammo for any one day: as with propellants and bullets, each leaves a different residue in the bore, and that will, not can, influence zero making the switch. In other words, I won’t use CCI for short-line loads, and Remington for 600-yard ammo, not on the same day.

There are also “magnum” primers. These have a hotter spark. They are engineered to deliver a stouter kick-off to larger, more dense columns of slower-burning propellant. They also work well with spherical-type propellants (less air space between the granules). There are also “match” primers. These ostensibly are more consistent quality. Not all manufacturers offer these options. If they do, unless you have a scheme or more carefully-considered reason, just go with what fits your application. There’s no need for match primers in blasting ammo. There are, no doubt (and no doubt significant) differences among varying brand primers with respect to “output.” As mentioned earlier on, there are also pretty well-known tendencies that are either more or less preferable among varying primer brands.

The primer is, in my experience, the greatest variable that can change the performance of a load combination, which is mostly to say “pressure.” Never (never ever) switch primer brands without backing off the propellant charge and proving to yourself how far to take it back up, or to even back it off more. Don’t deny this one.

I back off one full grain of propellant to try a different primer brand.

Finding the best-performing primer for any particular combination of cartridge, bullet, and propellant isn’t just always as easy as putting a “match” primer in there. I have my preference, and it’s what I try first, but, to be certain, sometimes best accuracy and consistency (related) come with another. Again, it’s a combination of propellant fill volume, burning rate, propellant type (single-base, double-base, extruded, or spherical), and column “packing” density that favors either a “hotter” or “cooler” flash.

Priming cup composition also factors mightily in my final choice, and that’s a big factor in some semi-autos. More next time.

primer tray
Here’s handy. A primer “flip” tray puts all the primers in the sams orientation and orients them for easy loading into a primer magazine feed tube for use in many automated systems. See what’s available at Midsouth HERE

SAFETY
Do be extra careful handling primers! No kidding. It’s the most explosive element in a cartridge, and it’s intended to be detonated from impact, so… Wearing safety glasses at the loading bench might seem nerdy, but it’s wise. Likewise, and this has happened way on more than once, but, fortunately, never yet to me, is a mass detonation of primers contained in a feeding device, such as a primer feeding magazine tube. Such circumstance is grave indeed. Progressive loading machines, as well as many bench-mounted appliances, use a tube magazine that contains the primers. This tube must be filled, like any magazine. Make sure you know when full is full, and don’t try to poke in one more. This is usually when “it” happens. Remember, primers are detonated via pressure. Said before, but important enough to say again now: Never (ever) attempt to more deeply seat a primer on a loaded round. And keep the priming cup (the tool part that holds the primer for seating) clear of all debris. I’ve heard tell of brass shavings, leftover tumbling media, and the like, getting between the primer and the tool cup, and forming its own little firing pin.

See what’s available at Midsouth HERE

The information in this article is from Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, available HERE at Midsouth. Also check HERE for more information about this and other publications from Zediker Publishing.

Kel-Tec PMR 30: A Second Look

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

This space-age pistol has a lot of uses. It’s a great pistol for hunting, personal defense, and target practice — and it’s also the fun gun of the century! Also, yes, at the time of the article being published Midsouth does have .22 MAG in stock. You can find it by clicking HERE.


Bob Campbell


Kel-Tec
This is a space-age pistol, but then it is a Kel-Tec! With modern construction, light weight and reliability this is one interesting handgun.

I came to the Kel-Tec PMR 30 in a different manner than I would have thought. My experience with their CMR 30 carbine solidified my confidence in the company and promoted my eager appreciation of this .22 Magnum self-loader. When I had the chance to obtain a PMR 30 pistol, I did not hesitate.

These handguns have been scarce on the market. The situation seems better now and I am seeing more PMR 30s in well-stocked shops. The PMR 30 is a unique and highly interesting handgun. This is a polymer frame pistol with a steel slide and barrel that works on the simple blowback principle. The first thing you notice after the space age appearance is that the pistol weighs less than 14 ounces. Even with a fully-loaded 30-round magazine, the piece weighs but 20 ounces. Yes, 20 ounces for a 30-shot pistol!

The pistol is quite narrow overall, although the grip must be deep enough to accommodate the .22 Magnum cartridge. Just the same, the handgun is manageable by all but the smallest hand sizes. The geometry of the grip is subtle until understood, and when looked at with an experienced eye the engineering is impressive. The safety is ambidextrous and offers ergonomic operation and easy reach.

The pistol is supplied with fiber optic front and rear sights. The sights offer excellent visibility and are precise enough for accurate fire well past 25 yards. The pistol is drilled and tapped for optics from the factory. The PMR 30 also features a light rail — unusual for a rimfire pistol. This rail accommodates popular lasers and combat lights including the LaserMax Spartan red laser.

Kel-Tec PMR-30 sights
Optics ready! Note fiber-optic rear sight — very bright — and the front fiber-optic sight is a good choice for rapid target acquisition.

Among the best features of this single-action handgun is the trigger action. The trigger is clean and crisp, breaking smoother than any factory trigger I’ve tried in recent memory.

The PMR 30 differs from most modern handguns in using a heel-type magazine release. While speed is better with the Browning-type button release, the heel-type magazine release is more secure. Just the same, with sufficient practice reasonable speed may be had with the heel-based system, and, with 30 rounds on tap, I do not foresee the need for a speed load. As heel-based latches go, the Kel-Tec is a good design and faster than most.

Kel-Tec
Note the heel based-magazine catch. With such a relatively long and heavy magazine this is a good choice, but it takes a little practice to perform efficient reloads.

Firing Tests
When loading the magazines, be certain to properly center each cartridge and bump the magazine every 5 or 6 rounds to ensure that the cartridges are seated. This improves reliability. The last few cartridges are rather difficult to load. For informal practice loading 15 to 20 rounds is a sound program and a little easier on the self.

Kel-Tec PMR-30 magazine
The 30-round PMR magazine is well-made of good material.

I have been able to test the pistol with a variety of ammunition, including the Fiocchi 40-grain JSP, Winchester’s 40-grain FMJ, the CCI 40-grain JHP, and Hornady’s 45-grain Critical Defense. There were no failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. Engineering a pistol to fire the rimmed .22 Magnum cartridge isn’t an easy task but Kel-Tec took the challenge and ran with it.

CCI
The PMR 30 eats a lot of ammunition quickly. It functioned flawlessly with all four different ammo selections I tried.

The pistol is a joy to handle and fire. Although the .22 Magnum exhibits a healthy muzzle blast, recoil isn’t a factor. A combination of a comfortable grip, excellent sights, and a crisp trigger make the pistol easy to land hits with. At close range, the pistol gave excellent results on the combat course, scoring X-ring hits at 5, 7, and 10 yards.

At a long 25 yards, I tested 3 loads. These were the Winchester 40-grain FMJ, the CCI Maxi Mag JHP, and the Fiocchi 40-grain JSP. Firing offhand, there was little difference in accuracy among all four. Boxes of 50 rounds each went all too quickly!

Bob Campbell
The PMR 30 is accurate in offhand fire. Firing quickly the Kel-Tec PMR is a controllable handgun. Get sighted on a target out to 50 yards and chances are you can hit it with a handgun that shoots as flat as a wire.

Shooting from a solid bench-rest firing position, the Kel-Tec was more than accurate enough for small game or pest control. The fastest load tested was the CCI Maxi Mag at a strong 1440 fps. The best group for accuracy was the Fiocchi 40-grain JSP at 3.5 inches, with the Winchester and CCI each cutting just below 4.0 inches. I suspect that with practice, the pistol may be more accurate, however, it is a light pistol and it takes practice to stabilize the piece.

Personal Defense
While I prefer a larger caliber, there is something to be said for a bullet with plenty of velocity. Hornady’s 45-grain Critical Defense load is designed for defense use and exhibits good penetration and expansion. I would recommend this load, and it is completely reliable in the Kel-Tec pistol. For the recoil-shy this is a first-class alternative to a larger caliber handgun.

Barber Leather Works
The Barber Leather Works Chameleon works well for concealing the PMR 30.

I, frankly, would rather have this pistol loaded with Hornady’s ammunition than a .32 or .380 pistol. Accuracy is good, hit probability is excellent, and you have a good reserve of ammunition. For those who like to practice, the PMR 30 is an alternative to harder-kicking pistols.

The PMR 30 is a surprising piece, well worth its price and one of the top fun guns of the century.


Calibers: .22 Mag. (.22WMR)
Action Type: semi-auto, hybrid blowback/locked-breech system
Frame: 7075 aluminum covered by glass-reinforced Nylon
Barrel length: 4.3″
Rifling: 1:16″ RH twist
Magazine: 30+1 rounds
Sights: Fiber Optic
Trigger pull: 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Overall Length: 7.9″
Weight: 13.6 oz.
Width: 1.3″
Height: 5.8″
Accessories: owner’s manual, hard case, trigger lock, and two magazines
Suggested Retail Price: $415

Kel-Tec.com


Bob Campbell is an established and well-respected outdoors writer, contributing regularly to many publications ranging from SWAT Magazine to Knifeworld. Bob has also authored three books: Holsters For Combat and Concealed Carry (Paladin Press), The 1911 Semi Auto (Stoeger Publishing), and The Handgun In Personal Defense (The Second Amendment Foundation).

CCI Adds Quartet of New ‘Big 4’ Loads

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

CCI Ammunition, the only American manufacturer of handgun shotshells, has introduced four all-new handgun shotshells, featuring larger shot. They are available in four popular handgun calibers, as listed below:

Description / MSRP
Big 4 9mm Luger / $17.95
Big 4 .38 Special – .357 Magnum / $14.95
Big 4 .44 Special – .44 Magnum / $19.95
Big 4 .45 Colt / $19.95

Shipments of this new product are being delivered to dealers.

Centerfire handgun shotshells have long proven themselves as highly practical options for close-range pests, and the new CCI Big 4 loads get their names from a payload of No. 4 lead shot, which provides extended range and better energy and patterns to take down larger pests at longer distances.

The No. 4 lead handgun shotshells are packed in reusable boxes of 10 shotshells.
The No. 4 lead handgun shotshells are packed in reusable boxes of 10 shotshells.

 

 

How Is 22 LR Ammunition Made?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Have you ever wondered how .22 ammo was actually manufactured? Join 22Plinkster on a factory tour of CCI and Speer and see the process take shape:

Top Hunting and Shooting Equipment Brands for 2015

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

shooting-hunting-survey graphicSouthwick Associates, a Fernandina Beach, Fla.–based market research and economics firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor-recreation markets, released what it says are the top brands for many hunting- and shooting-product categories in 2015. This list was compiled from internet-based surveys completed in 2015 HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com panels.

Midsouth Shooters Supply looked over Southwick’s product-category winners and assembled the 10-most-popular category winners for 2015:

Reloading Components

Top Reloading Bullet Brand: Hornady

Top Reloading Primer Brand: CCI

Top Reloading Powder Brand: Hodgdon

Ammunition

Top Shotgun Ammunition Brand: Winchester

Top Rifle Ammunition Brand: Federal

Top Handgun Ammunition Brand: Winchester

Top Blackpowder Brand: Pyrodex

Shooting Equipment

Top Scope: Leupold

Top Muzzleloader: CVA

Top Holster/Ammo Belt Brand: Blackhawk

In a previous survey of people who said they reloaded, 88 percent cited “saving money” as the key reason. The survey, conducted in September 2015, said that “improving accuracy” was the second largest interest of handloaders at 70 percent. “Obtaining rounds difficult to find in stores” came in third with 40 percent, and “reducing waste” was cited as a reason by only 30 percent. Survey participants could choose more than one reason.

Of the types of ammunition reloaded, 76 percent reload rifle ammo, 64 percent reload for their handguns, and 30 percent reload shells for their shotguns.

“Over time, ammunition can be the most expensive aspect of recreational shooting, so it makes sense that avid shooters see reloading as a way to cut costs without cutting time at the range,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “Of course, a key byproduct of saving money through reloading is a person also becomes more knowledgeable about their firearm’s performance and can even potentially achieve better performance by fine-tuning a specific load to their firearm.”

You can participate in the surveys at HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com.

How do these survey results stack up, in your opinion?