Shifting Primer Strength

Greetings Sir:

I am a “Hard Core”, “Card Carrying” TRAP SHOOTER, With a heavy/bad powder Jones. my Question is this: I need to know the relationship, in descending or ascending order between the Shotgun primers 209 & 209-A. That is the Federal 209 & 209-A, Winchester 209, Remington 209, CCI 209, Cheddite 209. etc. I have a real interest in the CHEDDITE 209. The reason for this interest is to “FINE TUNE” My loads for all the Trap games. Can you help??



Dear Art,

I’m not so sure that this primer brisance stuff is so clear cut that you can just draw up a list of primer strengths and then apply it to everything. Rooting through my Technoidal library of mostly useless, nearly useless and totally useless factoids, I came up with an interesting primer bit from the hardcover Hodgdon Powder Shotshell Manual (1996) page 19. It shows quite clearly that primer brisance (strength) can change with the load. Here are some Hodgdon numbers. The only thing changed in the two shot weight loads is the primer.

1-1/8 oz Test

Primer Velocity Pressure
Win.AATP 1176 fps 11,200 PSI
Fed.209A 1172 fps 11,100 PSI
Win.209 1173 fps 10,900 PSI
Fio.616 1171 fps 10,800 PSI
CCI209M 1171 fps 10,400 PSI
Rem.209P 1157 fps 8,500 PSI
CCI209 1162 fps 8,400 PSI

Now look at a
7/8 oz Test

Primer Velocity Pressure
Win.209 1214 fps 10,300 PSI
CCI209M 1217 fps 10,200 PSI
Fed.209A 1195 fps 9,100 PSI
Fio.616 1196 fps 9,000 PSI
Win.AATP 1191 fps 8,400 PSI
Rem.209P 1187 fps 8,200 PSI
CCI209 1180 fps 7,700 PSI

Note that as the payload weight changes, the effect of different primers changes. It is not consistent. WinAATP is the “hottest” primer with a 1-1/8 oz load, but only ranks 5th when the load is reduced to 7/8 oz.

Like so much else in shotgunning, it’s hard to be precise about some things. It’s particularly hard to isolate changes to the shell and barrel. So often one change depends on another. If you really want to know about Cheddite, I would contact the Cheddite people and ask them directly. Cheddite may tell you that their primers load interchangeably with “X” brand primers. The problems is, as you can see from the Hodgdon data, NO primer is really consistent once you start fooling around with the other components of the load. When you talk to Cheddite, get a list of their recommended reloading data and stick with that. They’ve done the work. You get the benefit of it. Don’t ask me. As with so much else in life, I don’t have a clue.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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One Response to Shifting Primer Strength

  1. Nick says:

    Best piece of article I have seen so far about primer charges and load data. Thanks

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