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Thread: berdan primers

  1. #1
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    Cool berdan primers

    just wondering if anyone got a special jig for drilling out berdan primer holes to a boxer hole to save a few pennies? i go roughly 1000 ctg to shoot and looking forward to reloading in the near future with the way the price keeps going up. Got a freind who is a machinist, and looking at getting a jig made with a ctg holder with a bit /collet combo so not drill too deep into primer to make it suitable for boxer primer. Never hurt to try. If i get lucky with it, will let everyone know here incase they may want to try out the rig themselves.
    Real Naval Gunners Hit Harder, and Penetrate Deeper, and just as accurate without Fire Control!

  2. #2
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    Saw a picture of a mill cutter made for the job once, not a drill jig.

    First question is, what is the diameter of the Berdan primer? There are a lot of .254" Berdan primers out there and it is hard to cut a .254" pocket SMALLER to take a .210" Boxer primer.

    If you have a smaller Berdan primer the technique I have seen written up (not tried, I am not that cheap) was to use a punch and post affair to swage the Berdan anvil down to fill the dual flashholes, then use an endmill to cut a .210 primer pocket, then drill a central flashhole.
    I have a few facts and a lot of opinions.

  3. #3
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    I don't think you will be able to find either a large or a small Boxer primer that will fit the standard primer pocket hole size of a Berdan cartridge, especially the larger sizes.
    I have not been able to find Berdan primers sold off the shelf in the US or online. Furthermore, Berdan primers are usually shallower than Boxer counterparts.
    If you really want to do this- and short of a total ammunition ban or hearing the trumpet blast of the apocolypse, I wouldn't even consider it- but if you really MUST to do this, find the correct Berdan primers by sheer luck, or else get yourself a lathe and make your own precision brass adapter bushings to take up the space between a boxer primer and the Berdan primer pocket. Or, you'll have to open the primer pocket diameter to a size suitable for a Boxer primer. In either case, you'll have to remove the Berdan anvil, easily done with a lathe, and you will have to have an ample amount of web at the bottom of the primer pocket to dut an additional flash hole and safely withstand the rigor of firing. Now you can look forward to having to confine 50,000 psi mere inches from your eyeball.
    It's so much less work, so much more safe, to just spend $20 for some Boxer brass in your caliber.
    It would have to be a dire emergency to even contemplate doing this, but that's how I'd do it.
    You can also make your own Berdan primers, but WW3 will commence before I do that again.

  4. #4
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    thanx for input all, got me thinking now. where there is will there is away. just kicking around the idea. my idea of range day is 500 or more rounds. so got alot of berdan primered brass, getting tired of throwing away. Got a freind with a complete machine shop so mills and lathes are no problem.
    Real Naval Gunners Hit Harder, and Penetrate Deeper, and just as accurate without Fire Control!

  5. #5
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    There are ways to deprime Berdan cases without a drill. There is a special tool for that purpose though I haven't used one.

    The hard part would be to find Berdan primers but, where there's a will there's a way.

    Are you a masochist?

  6. #6
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    I haven't tried it myself but it always good to know just in case,as far as a tool to deprime you can make one of those from a cheap file as pictured in the article.

    http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearm...on-Method.html
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    I'd be willing to be that you'll soon tire of trying to do this and throw them all in the scrap bucket where they belong! This is an excercise in turd polishing, IMO.

  8. #8
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    actually rondog, i am so cheap, that if they would not have changed the alloy in pennies, i would possible melt them down to bullets!
    Real Naval Gunners Hit Harder, and Penetrate Deeper, and just as accurate without Fire Control!

  9. #9
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    Converting berdan to boxer doesn't work. The primer hole will be too big. In any case, berdan primers are not the same diameter as boxer primers. And there are very few cartridges you can't get with boxer priming these days.

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    I'd be willing to be that you'll soon tire of trying to do this and throw them all in the scrap bucket where they belong! This is an excercise in turd polishing, IMO.
    I agree, sell them as scrap and buy the correct brass.

  11. #11
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    i see some THR members have different views on the term "Crafting your own ammunition"
    Real Naval Gunners Hit Harder, and Penetrate Deeper, and just as accurate without Fire Control!

  12. #12
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    several of the sites have directions for converting berdan to boxer.I have a few hundred GP-11 that I converted.takes a little time but it's entertaining. jwr

  13. #13
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    Regarding Berdan reloading:
    If you can get the correct Berdan primer, load the casings to your heart's content; it's only a bit more time consuming compared to Boxer reloading.

    However, suppose your Berdan primer pocket diameter and depth are compatible with the diameter, depth of a Boxer primer. You can preserve the Berdan anvil in the casing, and load a modified Boxer primer into the Berdan casing.

    Deprime your Berdan cases, and measure the primer pocket depth and diameter of the Berdan case, then compare that to the primer pocket depth and diameter of a Boxer case. Also, measure height, diameter of a Boxer primer.
    Base on this info, decide whether or not you have a suitable size match for the Berdan primer pocket and a Boxer primer.

    What sizes are acceptable? Well, I would measure a number of Boxer casings and primers, to the nearest 0.0005 inch, and determine the amount of interference the casing requires with the primer, and I would want to see at least that much interference between the size of the Berdan primer pocket and the Boxer primer.

    If the size match is acceptable, using sturdy tweezers/awl, extract the Boxer anvil from the Boxer primer, and you are left with an improvised Berdan primer. Load this primer into the Berdan case, voila.

    Labor intensive, yes, but feasible and safe if the components are dimensionally compatible.

  14. #14
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    berdan to boxer

    there are maybe two cart.you can convert.6.5 carcano and japs.the rest are too big.I am doing it,BUT I have the RCBS berdan decaper.you have to didle with the adjustment.then hammer the tit down to fill the two holes.then drill for the hole.I have 2000 8 mm lebel and some won't deprime.then may have to get brass tubing to fill.sell the brass and get boxer cases.what are you trying to convert.you should be able to get plenty of boxers.500 rds at one sitting??are you really learning to shoot accurately???

  15. #15
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    If that 8x50 Lebel is French surplus ammo, it's exceedingly difficult to deprime because of the heavily crimped-in primer.
    I had to make a hydraulic setup whereby the casing is inserted into the resizing die, and then I adapted a hydraulic piston to the top of the resizing die. After applying a huge amount of pressure, the primer would finally shoot out the casing, usually elongated and deformed after being subjected to such high pressure. Remove that crimp, and you'll have an easier time with the Lebel brass. All for naught, though, as satisfactory berdan primers are still unavailable, and Boxer brass is available.
    If I had that to do over again, I'd lathe out the crimp, then use water, hammer and punch to deprime.
    If Berdan primers were available here, people would buy them.
    If European shooters still buy and use them, why wouldn't a vendor sell them here too? Instant market share increase.

  16. #16
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    teddy, i got 8x57 mm with the berdan primer. and learning to shoot accurately i got down pretty good after 18 yrs as a small arms instructor in the service. I became addicted to shoot and uncle sam don't support my habbit anymore so i need to.
    Real Naval Gunners Hit Harder, and Penetrate Deeper, and just as accurate without Fire Control!

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