Military brass and crimped primer pockets


September 11, 2005, 09:09 PM
What are some of the best ways to get rid of the primer pocket crimp on military brass? Specifically, I have a bucket load of govt. .30-06 brass that I use for my 03-A3, and I trim it down and size it for my 7.7 Arisaka. I just discovered today that every single one of the little buggers has a primer pocket crimp.

I've found the RCBS swager die, and I've seen the Dillon benchtop pocket swager. I'm leaning towards the RCBS die because Dillon products are just too expensive for what they are.

Any suggestions, or home remedies?

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The Bushmaster
September 11, 2005, 09:27 PM
Oh man...You may have just gone and done it... :D

I will give way to the many military case experts on this fine board.

model 649
September 11, 2005, 09:28 PM
I bought an RCBS set-up several years ago for a load of brass and haven't used it since. It worked well and has both "spuds" in the set. If you just have this one load of brass, and aren't planning to get more, don't buy the kit. You can rent it from me for the price of return postage.

September 11, 2005, 10:12 PM
What's in the kit? The RCBS primer crimp swager I found looks like a die.

model 649
September 11, 2005, 10:57 PM
Well, it has the die body, two "swager rods", the two sizes of swaging spud, and, the hood that removes the swaged case from the spud when the press ram comes down. this one is called "Primer pocket swaging combo". I used it on pistol cases but will do any case. It is specifically for removing the crimp from military cases, not swaging the whole primer pocket.

September 11, 2005, 11:55 PM
Yup, that sounds like the one I found. Did you have any indications it might tear off the cartridge rims?

September 12, 2005, 07:53 AM
The dillon's are way expensive, but if you watch ebay religiously you can pick up a used one from a guy who did one batch and then decided it was too much work for less than $50. :) (I bought mine for $46) I figure if I ever get tired of it I can probably sell it for what I've got in it. If you're near central Illinois I'd be willing to let you borrow mine too.


September 12, 2005, 09:46 AM
I have done thousands of cases with the RCBS system. I never had a problem with it. Of course it isn't what I would call speedy.

The Dillon while being a lot more expensive is much faster.

So it's up to you. If you are just going to do a few hundred and time doesn;t matter then the RCBS will be fine.

If you're going to do several thousand then the Dillon may be more to your liking.

September 12, 2005, 11:33 AM
I use my case neck deburring tool chucked in my cordless drill. I don't like the results from the swagers.


September 12, 2005, 01:23 PM
I'll go with what .30 cal said. :D I had an RCBS crimp remover, damn thing bent the first time I used it. I started cutting the crimp with my case neck tool and never looked back ;)


model 649
September 12, 2005, 05:32 PM
Pull the rims off? Nope. It doesn't hold the rim at all. It smushes the case down onto the spud to swage the crimp out of the primer pocket.

Ben Shepherd
September 12, 2005, 07:25 PM
One other thing: Either way( I have the RCBS set-up myself, used it on a batch of 5,000 223 brass) give the pockets a shot of lube(like hornady 1 shot) before swaging. Your arm WILL thank you.

September 12, 2005, 09:43 PM
I tried the RCBS device and didn't like how hard I had to smack the ram down to get the case off the swage nub.

Got a Dillon and it was like night and day. Lots of leverage both going in and coming out. I can't remember how much it cost. I just remember how well it works.

Ben Shepherd
September 12, 2005, 10:18 PM
When using the rcbs set-up: Come down against the spacer that pops the brass off the swage nub. Stop. Use your off hand like a soft mallet on your hand running the press arm. No banging the machine around, and if you use a light shot of lube as mentioned above, it pops right off.

I learned the above method while doing a MARATHON session of 5,000 223 cases in a weekend.

The dillon works better, BUT: It takes up space on your bench, and it costs 3 times as much. If I do another big batch of 223 though, bench space be damned, I'll buy the dillon.

September 13, 2005, 07:24 AM
I don't know if you have a bench vise on your reloading bench, but I keep one there because with leather padded jaws it's nice for cleaning the guns. Anyway, I ripped a small piece of 2x4 down to say 2 1/2 inches by 8 inches and bolted the dillon super swage to it. It's got a 1/2 inch hole on one end so I can hang it on the pegboard when I'm not using it and when I want to use it I just clamp it in the vice. About the perfect height for swaging while standing up.

Have a good one,

September 13, 2005, 08:42 AM
I take a similar approach. My workbench is fitted for Jorgensen 1623 Hold Down Clamps. My presses, powder measure and dillon swage are all mounted on 1/4 inch steel plates, which I simply clamp to the bench when in use. When not in use, they hang on nails in the ceiling joists.

September 13, 2005, 01:54 PM
You only have to remove the primer crimp from a case once, and you can reload the case several (or many!) times. I only occasionally need to run my RCBS swager die on a a batch of brass...and I shoot a lot. One smack of the ram, a push with my hand to dislodge the case from the swaging nipple, and it's done.

September 14, 2005, 01:13 PM
deburring tools, RCBS and C-H tools. All are slow. RCBS does my .223 fine, but doesn't really get .30-'06 without enough pressure to bend the rod. C-H pulls on the rim and leaves cuts from the shellholder. Deburring tool gets the big cases well but is more tedious.

September 14, 2005, 02:04 PM
I've bent a couple RCBS swagging rods in a very short time on 30-06 cases. I personally do not recommend this kit. I also know shooters who have tried the dillon swagger. While much better they were still disatisfied. They finally found a reamer the exact size of the primer hole (kind of like a primer pocket uniformer) at a local industrial supply shop. Can chuck this into a drill or drill press and just ream out the crimp. Much faster and easier and does a better job! This is from a bunch who shoot high power cross the course.

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