G.I. Brass


March 16, 2005, 12:23 AM
I recently came into possession of approx 1,700 .30-06 Lake City brass. My question is this:

Will my normal decapping unit work as it does with civilian brass or do I need a special tool? It seems that I remember from somewhere in the past that military brass has crimped primers and I wouldn't want to ruin my die.

Also, if the primers were crimped, must I deburr or otherwise treat the primer pocket prior to installing new primers?

Thanks in advance for any and all answers.

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Steve in PA
March 16, 2005, 01:15 AM
You have to get a decrimping die. There are several out there. I have the one made by RCBS and it works just fine. I decripmed a bunch of .223 brass with it.

Once you take the crimp out, you've got yourself a regular primer pocket.

March 16, 2005, 01:28 AM
You might try one of these. -


You will also need this -


And this -


March 16, 2005, 01:34 AM
I use a Lee Decapping Die for all cases, including crimped military .30-06...

However, before getting the Lee die, I used the standard decapper that comes with the RCBS Full Length Die Set. I never had problems with it when decapping thousands of US military .30-06 cases (mostly LC53 and SL53, but many others as well).

You should have no problem with using the decapper included with the RCBS die set.

However, if you were decapping military 5.56mm cases, you would eventually break the decapping pin since it's considerably less robust than the larger one included with the .30-06 die.

March 16, 2005, 05:39 AM
A normal sizing die with the decapper stem will work. I turn the stem way down so I can nock out the primers and not re-size, and then take another turn thru and do the re-sizing. Even my way I use lube the first time thru. Also I've broken a few pins on military brass.
You will have to remove the crimp before re-capping. I use a RCBS primer swaging die, or sometimes I just very lightly run the chamfer tool into the pockets, some don't like to use the chamfer tool but the trick is to go lightly.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
March 17, 2005, 01:14 AM
And I adjust my drill press for the depth and the tool zips the crimp off. You can do it with a hand drill also if you secure the drill then just tap the primer pockets on the rotating chamfer tool.

I also have a very old Lachmiller primer pocket swage tool and can mount it with my rifle dies in my C-H 4 position H press I invented

March 17, 2005, 01:33 AM
Your normal sizing die should take the spent primers out with no problem as long as the flash holes are where they should be. My RCBS dies do just fine for GI '06 brass and my match Hornadays do just fine for GI 308 and 223.

As for the primer pockets, for the number of cases you have I don't believe you could beat the Dillon swager that runs about $80.00. I have found I prefere the primer seating "feel" of a swaged primer pocket over a cut one.

March 18, 2005, 06:43 AM
Wow, fast answers.

I bought a Lee decapping die today and got through about 450 cases before I had to go to work. I'll try to get through some each day until I finish.

I found RCBS swagging dies locally for 30 bucks. Is the dillon at around 80 bucks really that much 1.) better, 2.) more efficient and 3.) easier to use?

Have a good one.

March 20, 2005, 12:35 AM
I don't know how the RCBS works, I have a Dillon. I'm satisfied with it. It supports the case from the inside and it will do .30, .22 and .45 cals. Does a good job and operates smoothly.
If it's Match brass it won't be crimped.

Smoke Rizen
March 20, 2005, 11:14 AM
I have always used my standard RCBS 30-06 dies to remove primers,followed by a hand primer pocket reamer,also RCBS. Pocket reamer cost me about 3 bucks 15-20 years ago. I load LC brass varied from 43-to 69 W/some 67 Match. I have no problems with this economical method. In fact I removed primers,and reamed 500 rnds. just yesterday.

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