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The 38 uses "small pistol" primers.
CCI-500, Fed 100 and 100M, Win 1 1/2, Rem 1 1/2, Magtech 1 1/2.

The 357 uses "Small Pistol Magnum" primers.
CCI-550, Fed 200 and 200M, Win 1 1/2M, Rem 5 1/2, Magtech 5 1/2.

You said you have been "reading", what reloading manuals have you read?
OP,
FWIW, Lyman 49th used CCI 550s for their .357 data. I strongly recommend that you purchase/locate other additional data sources.

That said... very few (pistol) powders actually require Magnum primers, at least for .357 use (can't speak to the larger magnums). Many have found that for non-ball type powders, plain old small pistol primers work great. Unique is certainly not hard to ignite. Win 296 & H110 are reputedly the only common powders that require Magnum primers. I did test some Alliant 2400 loads with both types of primers just to satisfy my curiosity. If there was a difference, I couldn't tell on paper.
Also worth noting, primer hardness matters if your doing a lot of DA shooting with revolvers with worn or lighter weight hammer springs. I use Federals for any loads that will see mostly DA use. My S&W doesn't care, but my Colt does. CCIs work great for everything else.
If you develop your loads carefully starting low & working up, your primer choice won't be that big of a deal. Do your due diligence with your process and you should be fine.
Note: There is always some conflict between the "Follow your data" side and the "it's not set in stone" side of the issue. This where judgement counts. Start low and work up, any time you you switch components. For instance: substituting a Winchester primer for a Federal isn't really that big of a deal, but you must approach it in the same manner as you would developing a new load...because you are.
 

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Fupuk, please follow the recommendations and warnings from your component manufactures and loading manuals, not those from a stranger on the internet.

You will find reference to Lawyers and the dumming down of of loads and data quite often. Older manuals often times have data with much higher charge weights than newer manuals. There are those that are quick to blame Lawyers for the new reduced data, when in reality the new data is most likely the result of better more accurate modern pressure testing procedures and equipment. I would suspect the Remington Primer warning is the result of this as well.
Again, Remington warns against the use of their 1 1/2 primers in the 357, please heed this warning, it is there for a reason.
Here is the warning from Remington's web site.
In pistol cartridges, the 1-1/2 small pistol primer should not be used in the 357 Magnum, 357 SIG or the 40 S&W. The 5-1/2 small pistol primer is the proper selection for these rounds.
http://remington.custhelp.com/app/a...sion/L3RpbWUvMTM1NDc0NzAwMi9zaWQvUDJ5dmQqY2w=
Just a question, but why would Remington continue to make 1 1/2 primers at all? Ditto 6 1/2 primers as well. Seems like it creates more problems than it solves for all concerned.
For instance, someone new to reloading rifle cartridges might grab some 6 1/2 Small Rifle Primers, not knowing they are supposedly not appropriate for some typical small rifle applications for whatever reason. The warning on the package is written in exceedingly small print. Small rifle primers should simply work in a small rifle cartridge without a fine print warning. Let's be honest, .223 isn't that remarkable as rifle cartridges go. Ditto with SP primers & .357 Mag. I can't be the only one who believes this is BS. Sounds like product planning from a Dilbert cartoon.
But CCI sucks. :rolleyes: Does CCI have a Small Pistol Primer that is restricted to only certain small pistol applications due to safety concerns in the same manner as Remington?

FWIW, 6 1/2 primers work great in my .223 loads. But then I'm not really running that hot. I suppose I could use up the remainder in my .357 loads. :D
 
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