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Headstamp: S&W 500; R instead of LR ... WTH?

We've run across an unusual lot of brass - good S&W 500 brass that does not have the LR stamp on the headstamp. It's got just an 'R' - never seen this before. We'd like to reload it up ASAP but aren't quite sure about which primers to use.


I found this description of the headstamping with 'LR' in use.

Anyone know about the 'R'?

Here's the excerpt:

quote:First, only use magnum primers if the load calls for it.

Primarily, a small rifle primer just needs a harder hit and you might get some misfires in a pistol . I am also told the "juice" in a pistol primer is a slight bit hotter than a small rifle primer, but have never been able to get it confirmed. This info is for SMALL PISTOL primers ONLY.

LARGE rifle and pistol primers are another matter. The Rifle primer is deeper than the pistol, so they are NOT interchangable. This has been recently brought to light with the S&W 500 Magnum pistol. Originally, the cases used large pistol primers. It was determined they were not the best for this brute of a load, so the official primer now is LARGE RIFLE. If you have some of the original Hodgdon and other cases made for large pistol, the rifle primers will not seat in all the way and a protrusion will stick out of the back of the case. This is not a safe condition. If you try force to make it even, that may work, but still a bad idea. All the newly made cases shoud have a "LR" on the headstamp meaning these are for LARGE RIFLE ONLY. Ones without this are most likely made for Large Pistol. If you use the pistol primer in a rifle case (including the new .500 cases) it will seat too deeply and misfires could certainly result from this condition.

What's your take - if any - on the lone 'R' stamp?


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    BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well on Starline brass the "R" stands for Rifle. For using Large Rifle primers. I assume but don't know for fact that this CBC (CBC is South African brass by the way)is referreing to the same thing. In July or 2003 S&W & Corbon switched from using Large pistol primers to Large Rifle primers in the 500 brass. The difference is that the pocket depth is about .006" deeper.
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    rr4406pakrr4406pak Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Starline made the 500 S&W brass for Cor-Bon. If either of these head stamps have an "R" it means they take rifle primers.
    Same goes for CBC brass. If there is an "R" it takes rifle primers. If there is no "R" on the headstamp it takes pistol primers.

    One thing to keep in mind too is that ALL Winchester head stamped brass take rifle primers. Even though they did not mark their head stamp with an "R".[^]

    I know this so well because I just researched this yesterday. I can scan and send the article to anyone if they wish.

    PS: It appears the quote of the FAQ in the first post is out of date.
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    zipperzapzipperzap Member Posts: 25,057
    edited November -1
    Thanks guys! That's what I've been told on a couple of other forums, too.

    You guys are good!

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