Hornady Primers

Does anybody know what brand of primers Hornady uses? The recent presumably American-made Hornady cases I looked at didn’t use Remington, Winchester, Federal, or nickel-plated Speer primers. Not surprisingly, the S&B-made Hornady-headstamped (32 AUTO, 9mm LUGER, 30-06 SPRG) cases use the same primers found on regular S&B cases but they differ from what is in the presumably American-made cases. And while we’re on the subject, does anyone know where I could purchase PPU- or S&B-brand primers for comparison?

They sell zillions of PPU and S&B primers over here. I’ve got some sitting on the shelf above my head as I type this but I can’t mail them to you. The S&B ones I have are small pistol primers and are shiny gold with a dark green lacquer inside but the picture on the outside of the box shows red lacquer. Very square cut, virtually no bevel. Conventional 3 way anvil but quite wide legs. There is a small dimple in the middle where the legs meet.

PPU I have only have loaded in cases but they are shiny gold too.

Could almost be the same primers (?) I have just decapped a fired PPU from a factory case, not a reload and I am inclined to say they are the same but not quite. The S&B anvil legs are slightly wider at the top and tapers in more, but nit pickingly slight difference only.

Why not call Hornady and ask them? They are good ol’ boys.

Yes, VinceGreen. I saw the British ads on the Internet. On another forum someone gave me the name of Sinclair International (a Brownell company) here as having S&B large and small rifle primers. Previously, I E-mailed S&B asking for names of their dealers here but I received no answer. Annoyingly, three days ago I was 72 miles west of Montezuma, Iowa, where I could have bought them from the Brownell/Sinclair brick and mortar store. As for asking tech reps, usually I get no usable reply at all, and when I do half the time the answer is wrong. I’ll carefully push out some live Hornady and S&B primers to compare them and make my own decision. I only have fired PPU cases, but I’ll deprime some and compare them as well.

Hmmmm. I talk with the tech guys at Hornady, Sierra, Nosler, Berger, etc quite often and have just the opposite experience. Most of them are shooters and a few of them are cartridge collectors. Nice guys, all.


I do not think of PPU primers, because I never heard/seen PPU primers. It might be Ginex Brand, which uses RWS Sinoxid mixture. Look here ginex.com.ba/Quality.htm - with all data sheets to be downloadable.

The British importer of PPU primers is Henry Krank. Because of EU law they have to provide you with data sheets and all sorts of other garbage on content, toxicity, fire data and everything to do with the primers. This is statutory. They will also have literature from the manufacturers.

I have found them pretty approachable in the past. It might be worth sending them an email. If they don’t want to mail it to US get them to send it to my address and I will forward it on. PM me if you want.

Be Careful What You Ask For – You May Get It
I deprimed four types of fired Hornady-brand pistol cases and carefully saved the small pistol primers to compare with other types I have.* The Hornady cases were primed with three brands: Sellier & Bellot (S&B), CCI, and Winchester.

  1. I deprimed a number of Hornady-headstamped 9mm Luger nickel-plated cases; headstamp quite similar to current Starline 9mm headstamp. I was horrified to find two distinctly different anvils; one heavy with wide legs, the other with much thinner legs. The heavier anvil type match (anvil shape and weight) fired primers from S&B 9mm LUGER 10 and 11 cases, except for the red or green coloring S&B stamps them with. The thinner type look like and weigh about the same as Winchester SP primers.
  2. Then I deprimed some Starline-made Hornady-headstamped 40 S&W Critical Defense cases. 31 of 32 primers looked like and weighed about the same as Winchester, the other was definately a not-nickel-plated CCI SP primer, by look and weight.
  3. So I wondered if the CCI-primed case might be a reload despite never hearing that CCI’s not-nickel-plated primers were available to reloaders. So I located a second type of Hornady-headstamped 40 S&W fired cases. All nine had CCI not-nickel-plated primers.
  4. I found six Starline-made Hornady-headstamped 357 Magmun cases. They also had Winchester primers.
  5. For a sanity check, and because I recently used some 1994-vintage Winchester nickel-plated SP primers, I also deprimed some Frontier-brand 357 Magnum cases and compared them with the 1994 primers. They matched.
    So, what brands of primers does Hornady use? At least S&B, CCI, and Winchester.
  • Types of SP primers I had to compare:
    a. Remington new and fired nickel-plated standard
    b. Winchester new and fired nickel-plated and brass standard and brass magnum
    c. Federal new and fired nickel-plated standard
    d. CCI new and fired nickel-plated and fired brass standard
    e. Magtech new nickel-plated
    f. S&B fired standard
    g. Fiocchi new and fired nickel-plated standard
    Although I also have fired PPU 9mm Luger and 9mm Makarov cases, they’ve been polished and the primers are clogged with corn cob media.

Great work on doing all that research!

Based on everything you’ve found, and assuming they are still doing this; their new line of “Zombie Max” ammo should figure to be rife with primer variation since that stuff is not exactly billed as being match quality, and the target clientele will not be the sort to notice.

Deprimed more Hornady-headstamped cases, all small pistol primers. Still seeing S&B, Winchester, and CCI primers; the CCI primers, however, were nickel-plated. The 9mm Luger cases had a dot between the 9MM and LUGER like the Olin-made Speer-headstamped cases in the 70’s. The 357 SIG cases were Starline-made.
9MM.LUGER…brass (Custom)…brass…Winchester
9MM.LUGER…nickel (Critical Defense)…nickel…CCI
9MM.LUGER…nickel (TAP)…brass…S&B and Winchester
9mm Makarov.brass (Custom)…nickel…CCI
40 S&W…nickel (Critical Defense)…brass…Winchester
357:SIG…nickel (Critical Defense)…brass…Winchester

Deprimed some more Hornady cases. In a 20-round box of 223 Remington, 9 primers were S&B, 11 were Winchester. In a total of 52 308 Match cases, all were primed with Winchester. In Starline-made nickel-plated Hornady-headstamped 380:Auto and standard brass 10:mm cases were Winchester primers.

How close are the ties between S&B and Winchester these days? I know they have been cosy for a while. Could they be sharing primer production?