Small Primer .45ACP

Last night as I was reloading some .45ACP in mixed brass I came across a few that were probably range pick-ups as I had obviously not loaded them myself before. These brass shells had small primers.

Head stamp was: WIN NT .45 AUTO
My first thought was "Microsoft’s making ammo now? :)

Anyone have any experience with these or an idea why they would go to small primers? I know my press didn’t like them.


These are from lead-free rounds, and NT stands for “Non Toxic”. I don’t know why they use small primers however.

I do like the Microsoft theory though! You pull the trigger and up pops an error message: “Your ammunition has encountered an error and must close.” :)

NT = Non Toxic
"No Lead" ammo
Save them until you have enough to make a “special run”, than do them all at one time

Yes - but why was it necessary to go to a small primer for these Non-Toxic .45s???

To quote Shakespeare, “that is the question?” I don’t know myself, and would like to.

Thanks for the info. I’m up to 3 rds now - a box might take a while :)
I’m still curious about the reason for the small primer if anyone has any info.

Take care,

I can’t give you the exact answer, but it has something to do with the primer chemistry of the “NT” primers. If the mix was in a regular large primer cup, then it would be too powerful or something like that. Later or current production NT rounds use a regular sized large pistol primer since the primer mix chemistry has been improved.


I used to reload a lot of .45 auto before our wonderful Government banned such things and, of course, we all feel a lot safer as a result. (?)

There was quite a lot of small primer .45 ammo around in England at one time. I think it was Greek.or Turkish It had some unreadable lettering on the case. It definitely wasn’t milspec. no crimped primers etc.

Quite a lot of manufacturers in places like Greece and some of the former communist countries used to produce “semi surplus” ammo just to keep the plant running and to earn hard currency.

The size of the primer didn’t seem to affect the performance. There must have been some loss of ignition though.
I’m tempted to suggest it was done on the basis of cost but any cost saving would be negligable.

Some of the .455 Webley ammo which I think was made by Sellier and Bellot had small primers as well.

The 45 ACP cartridge, loaded with only about 5 grains of a fast burning powder, certainly does not need a large pistol primer. In the early stages of development of what was to become the 45 ACP, a modified Cal 30 rifle primer was used, probably to facilitate manufacture of both the primer pocket and primer. Accuracy and efficiency would probably be enhanced wiith small primers but I doubt if we will ever see a complete changeover.




Being a Canadian my sympathies go out to you but I look with envy on the American system(s). Unfortunately as our legal and social system is based on the British whatever happens to you folks eventually happens in Canada with a little time delay. Logic, statistics, and proof doesn’t seem to stop the steam roller that is emotional gun control. I can feel safe here knowing that if I’m disarmed, the criminals will be too (HA!) and that the police are at my service to protect me. Oh well we keep fighting.

And besides, even without guns you can still hunt with horse and hound. Oh wait… never mind.

Take care,

Thanks Paul

We can’t even use a bow and arrow! Oh don’t start me off…