De-priming and Priming tools


May 14, 2006, 02:42 PM
Having discovered the joys of wax bullets from a revolver, I'm currently looking for the tools neccesary to create them. I don't have any experience with reloading, so I figure just priming cases is a good start. What do you folks recomend for depriming a .38 special case, and then repriming it?



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The Bushmaster
May 14, 2006, 03:31 PM
Aah shoot (sh++ with two "o"'s). Ya might as well git into reloadin'. Git ya'll a book and do some learnin'. Lyman 48th edition would be a good start. Ya start loadin' wax slugs ya'll graduate to reloadin' anyway...:D

May 14, 2006, 05:47 PM
For depriming, it is hard to beat a Lee hand press and a universal depriming die from Lee, RCBS, or others. You will also need a shellholder for your caliber (38 spl and 357 share the same one). Anybody's shellholder will do. It can easily be done from your easy chair, and the hollow ram on the Lee captures all the spent primers and debris efficiently. Beware, though, if you ever fill up the ram with spent primers, getting the shellholder off to empty it can be a pain. Mine reliably holds 30 large pistol primers without jamming the shellholder. I've heard that some folks have drilled their ram out a little deeper to extend the capacity a bit.

For repriming, the Lee autoprime is one of the best bargains around, but you'll also need a special, Lee-only, autoprime-only, shellholder for it too. I use one, and am happy with it, but I'm gonna try the new RCBS hand priming tool with the universal shellholder, and a square primer tray that matches the factory packaging better, making it easier to load all the primers in right side up to start with.

Hope this helps,


May 14, 2006, 08:13 PM
Some more answers:

May 14, 2006, 08:21 PM
The Lee Loader has all you need and is under 20.00. Later on if you get serious, you can start reloading with it. I did 30 years ago.

May 14, 2006, 08:36 PM
You could also buy plastic .38 cases designed to fire a plastic bullet. These might work with wax bullets. They are much easier to deprime than standard brass cases. I think Speer/CCI makes them.

I've used these cases with the plastic bullets and find them great for training new shooters.

May 15, 2006, 09:48 PM
plastic bullets sounds cool. probably doesn't wax up the barrel either, like er, uh, wax. this wax projectile thing is interesting, being so easy, but does it wax up the barrel? i mean, does the heat from the primer charge melt them a little or not at all? does the wax cylinder (asuming you just take a case and push it into the wax) hit any rifling or does it tumble? are they accurate at all?

wow, i guess i have a lot of questions. sry bout the hijacking.

Ol` Joe
May 16, 2006, 12:33 AM
I second the Lee Loader.

You will want to try loading sooner or later and it will allow you to do so. The plastic bullets from Speer are a better deal then wax. I`ve shot both and the wax can be quite messy. Don`t shoot either one at the neighbors dog! They get a good head of steam up from just the primer and it will break skin at close range. A box of news papers or rags will do as a back stop. The primers also tend to smoke up the basement quickly. the wife might just prefer you shoot them in the garage or back yard.

May 16, 2006, 09:34 AM
Treat those plastic bullets just like they were a .38 because you can really do damage with them up close, plus they will ricochet off hard objects. However, they are great for practice.

May 16, 2006, 10:34 AM
I agree with the Lee Loader.
The Lee Loader contains everything you need to handload one caliber to include (but not limited to) sizing, depriming, and repriming (which is what you need to do to load wax bullets). This is a good way, IMO to begin the reloading hobby. As I said, you can complete the entire reloading process with this tool. You can then gradually expand the operation to make things faster and easier. For example, after you get the basic Lee Loader you could then buy a Lee Autoprime to make the priming process way faster and easier. You could then buy a scale so that you could produce loads other than what you can do with the dipper alone. You would have to trickle the charges onto the scale until you get the disired charge: slow, but it would work. Sometime after that, you could upgrade to a full blown powder measure making the powder charging process much faster and easier. Point being, you can get into this very gradually: test the water and see if you like it. You don't have to spend much money: $20-$25 initially. Even if you decide you don't want to actually reload, you have the tool to load these wax bullets as well as the ability to handload if you someday need to or want to. The whole Lee Loader in it's case is smaller than a paperback book.

Another route you could take is to simply drill a hole in a piece of wood big enough to allow the primer to exit the case but small enough to prevent the case from going through the hole. If you want to get fancy you could drill a second hole around the first hole to act as a shell holder (the diameter of this hole would be slightly larger than the rim diameter). You would then sit a case on the wood and deprime using a punch and hammer, the punch being the correct diameter for going through the flash hole of the case.
Then you would reprime using a Lee Autoprime.

My experience with wax bullets is that it takes WAY more time to load them than it does to shoot them. They are a lot louder than you would think. They produce a lot more smoke than you would think. I am not sure about leaving wax in the barrel. I don't really see this as an issue either way, myself. The plastic bullets and cases are definitely a lot faster and easier to load. A proper backstop must be used to catch the plastic bullets without damaging them. The barrel rifling will be engraved on the bullets after the first shot. Both are plenty accurate.

May 16, 2006, 11:01 PM
Thanks for the response I think I'll check out the plastic bullets, and go from there.


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