Removing primer crimp from military brass?


Headless Thompson Gunner
October 4, 2005, 12:50 AM
I have a bunch of Greek surplus .30-06 that's been really accurate. I can only assume that the brass is nice and consistant - perfect for reloading. The only problem is that darned primer crimp. Any thoughts on how to best remove that crimp?

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October 4, 2005, 02:52 AM
Dillon and RCBS sell a tool (other manufacturors probably too) to remove the crimp by swaging the brass back. The Dillon tool is quite a bit more expensive but is much heavier in construction as well. I have heard some guys bend the RCBS one, but that might be due to misadjustment more than any fault with their tool. Both are covered by the respective companies lifetime warranties as well. If the crimp it not too heavy you can also try to bevel the primer pocket with a bevel/chamfering tool to remove the crimp, but I wouldn't try to remove too much brass that way.

October 4, 2005, 05:06 AM
Is the brass boxer primed? Not being a stick in the mud, just might be? I have to say that for low volume the RCBS set up would be the choice! But, for high volume Dillon is best!

Sleeping Dog
October 4, 2005, 06:38 AM
Somebody bent the RCBS swager? Gotta be a gorilla. It doesn't take that much effort for the tool to open it up in the press.

Another way is to use a large drill bit and turn it (by hand) in the pocket. It shaves just a little brass. It works, but the rcbs tool is better.


October 4, 2005, 08:44 AM
The BEST way to remove the crimp from a BUNCH of brass is the Dillon Super Swage 600. Just got done doing 1,000 .223 Lake City brass.


October 4, 2005, 08:50 AM
I bought the RCBS unit, and while it worked to remove the crimp it was very difficult for me to get the case OFF the ram. Admittedly, I was using a Lee Turret press, which doesn't have the most leverage at the bottom of the ram stroke, which is where the case is knocked off the swage.

Bought a Dillon, and could not be happier. Faster to use than the RCBS, and much more powerful in both directions. As with all quality products, I can't remember how much I paid for it, only the pleasure of using it.

October 4, 2005, 09:12 AM
I use the Lyman hand tool while sitting in front of the TV with a plastic bowl in my lap to catch the cuttings. By the time you do 100-200 your hand gets tired so I just stop and do another bunch of brass the next night. The cutter bottoms out in the primer pocket so all you cut is the crimp out.
Hornady makes the same tool but the handle is knurled aluminum and is just too ruff it will rub you hand raw if you do over 50 cases at a time. The Lyman has a smooth comfortable wood handle.

The RCBS tool works well but is press mounted so you are stuck in front of the press. Sitting in front of the TV is a good break from the reloading room while you remove the primer pocket crimp. You have to make sure to adjust the height of the rod in the die correctly for each type/brand case as they differ in the thickness of the base of the case.

October 6, 2005, 08:46 AM
to bend the rod in the RCBS tool. I managed all by myself. As JA said, it's a matter of mixed brass, which will have varying web thicknessees, just as the instructions with the tool say. Mine also seems not to fully iron out the crimp in '06 brass, so that the first few primer seatings are a bit rough, but fine after that. The tool works great with .223.

I find myself using a reaming tool as JA describes for '06 and the RCBS press tool for .223.

October 6, 2005, 08:53 AM
You might consider using an RCBS case prep center (

For about $85 bucks, you can do lot's more than remove a crimp. If you trim lots of cases, this thing is great.

I bought one about 6 months ago, and can tell you, it's worth every penny.

Cabelas has them on sale from time to time.



October 6, 2005, 12:34 PM
My husband uses the Lyman power screw driver kit. reamers, inside and outside neck deburring etc, designed to fit into most replaceable tip/power screw drivers.

He just chucks up what ever he needs in a cordless drill or screwdriver and does it while watching tv. He was looking at the case prep center on the midway website, then he found this. Save bench space and keeps him from hiding in the reloading too much.

October 10, 2005, 02:37 PM
I use my case neck deburring cutter chucked in the cordless drill.

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