View Full Version : De-priming military brass?

January 14, 2007, 21:56
OK, I just got an RCBS kit, and hopefully before too long, I will begin reloading. Not knowing too much about it, I will probably start with someting simple, say 38/357. I had a friend who was good enough to give me a BIG bag of once- fired 7.62x51 military brass a couple of years ago. He was going to throw it out, and even though I wasn't into reloading at the time, I took it home. Now I'm glad I did, with the current price of milsurp ammo. I know military brass has crimped in primers. I have seen several threads with people recommending different tools, to de-prime and wallow out the primer pocket. In the opinion of you folks, what is the best, most durable tool to accomplish this task? Thanks in advance.

January 14, 2007, 22:08
First, make sure your brass is boxer primed, not berdan primed. Then, deprime it using a Universal depriming die. The best tool for removing the crimp is the Dillon Super Swage 600, but I believe it costs about $90. There are cheaper options if you just have a few cases and don't anticipate having to remove crimps in the future.


January 14, 2007, 22:57
What is the headstamp? And yes, check inside with a light and make sure it's all one-hole. I've been depriming my Aussie (AFF-91 Only) with my regular sizing/decap die and have not had a problem so far. A Hornady Primer pocket reamer does the trick on removing the crimp:

January 15, 2007, 12:02
I've been using a Lee decapping die http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=136543 and have been extremely happy with it. The decapper is retained by a collet which allows the pin to slide up rather than breaking when overstressed. It also has a lifetime waranty against breakage. I prefer a swager-type primer pocket tool such as the RCBS http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=447022 or the Dillon as USSR suggested because it does not remove any brass from the case, but reforms it to the correct dimensions. I ran about 1K of 7.62 through this combination last night and about the same amount of 5.56 a couple of weeks ago with great results.

Just remember to load military brass with a 10% less powder charge due to the thicker brass! Have fun reloading! You will save $$$$$

January 15, 2007, 13:20
In times gone by, I have used the little hand-mallet decapping tool that Lee sells. I just processed a couple thousand pieces of Lake City once fired. Of that, maybe 800 were crimped in. I used the regular size-decap die from my RCBS .308 set. Only ruined ONE decapping pin. THAT one was from a Radway Green case that snuck in on me. They are boxer, but the flash hole is a bit tight, so it got me.

EVERY crimped pocket I process gets a "touch" from a case deburring tool and ALSO I run it through my RCBS Primer Pocket Swager set. Maybe one in a hundred acts a little tight upon seating a new primer. When they do, I touch them again with the deburring tool and so far that fixes it.


January 15, 2007, 13:47
Get a universal decapper (whatever one you like). I use the RCBS swager to remove primer crimp (I hear the Dillion is faster/better but the RCBS works too). Sort brass by headstamp, the amount of swaging needed is often different lot to lot and maker to maker.

January 15, 2007, 13:56
(I hear the Dillion is faster/better but the RCBS works too).

Lol. Yeah, my RCBS works fine. PITA, but it works.

Old Sarge
January 15, 2007, 19:35
Hi All
I have used a Lee depriming die for the last few years. Best thing for the job. The claim that its unbreakable. But I proved that wrong. Managed to drive the decaping pin through a 22 case before it broke though. Most makers sell a universal decaper. I wouldn't do it any other way now.

As for the sweging the pockets? I used a RCBS one for years. I thought theres no way a pocket sweger can be worth what Dillon wants for one. Wrong! I used a buddys to do 100 case and ordered one that night. Cuts the time spent doing it way down. Also found that it gets a better swege on the pockets as you can regulat it much better. More money but less frustration.

Old Sarge:beer:

January 15, 2007, 20:18
Decapping and depriming dies?
If it's once-fired (boxer) brass, why not just size and deprime in a sizer die? I guess you could use a sepperate decapping die if ya want to...but you don't need to. I mean, it's gonna have to be sized at some point anyway right?

January 15, 2007, 21:31
I think a lot of folks like to get the crimped primers out of the way, Tony. I know I did for a while back in the day. I forget when, but I got to where I just use the size-decap die and get after it. I posted on another thread that I bought a pack of spare decapping pins once as I was afraid of breaking a bunch on milsurp brass. Still got the bag of pins. :shades:

I set the decapping rod so it just pokes thru and nothing extra. I even have to "double pump" the ram once in a while on a stubborn one. I dunno if it really helps, but it makes ME feel good.


January 15, 2007, 21:32
Originally posted by gunsmith_tony
Decapping and depriming dies?
If it's once-fired (boxer) brass, why not just size and deprime in a sizer die? I guess you could use a sepperate decapping die if ya want to...but you don't need to. I mean, it's gonna have to be sized at some point anyway right?

I was thinking that too but I am a relative newcomer to reloading. Thats why I use Lee dies.

I just keep pulling the handle on that POS press and dies and it keeps cranking out ammo. The plastic powder measure keeps throwing within .1 top to bottom.

I guess one of these days it will bite me in the butt (they say) but so far 2 years and 7000 rds later I cant complain for $70. Oh, and if it dies I still have the book!

As to the primer pocket I have found that just a twist with the 99 cent chamfer tool makes the primers go in just fine. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.:wink:

Old Sarge
January 16, 2007, 15:49
Differant strokes for differant folks, I guess. I once managed to bend the depriming rod on a set of RCBS dies. Cought the side of a case with a flash hole that was a bit off side. Depends on what your setup looks like also. The Dillon sizer/trimer has no depriming feature. So you have to do it as a seperate step. The way I see it. If I am doing some that I will store for a while my steps look somthing like this.

Tumble clean
Deprime (pull any berdan or scuzzy brass at this time)
Lube size and trim
Tumble lube off
Clean and uniform primer pocket
Sort into workable batchs
Seal primer and let dry
Charge powder
Seat bullet. (I let them sit for a few days if I am going to seal the bullet end, to bleed off any air under pressure in the case)

If its stuff that I am going to shoot soon. Or am not worried about storing for any lenth of time. I would omit the sealing fo primers and bullets. Also depends on the number of rounds I am going to be doing. Less then 100 and I will use the Rockchucker much more and I will use the 550B.

May not be the best or quickest way but it works for me.
Old Sarge:beer:

January 16, 2007, 18:00
This friend of mine picked this stuff up at the range when he was stationed at Camp Lejeune. It should be all USGI, so I guess it's boxer primed. Thanks for all the input, folks.

January 17, 2007, 16:56
Soryy, but I never saved any of the Berdan-primed stuff.