De-priming surplus .30-06


December 26, 2007, 11:28 AM
I've accumulated a bunch of LC-69 CMP brass and recently decided to try my hand at reloading some for my Garand. I'm using an RCBS FL die in a single stage Lee press. It seems to be taking a huge amount of pressure, and even then, I can't pop the old primer out. I tried it on several cases. Is this normal? I never had any problems with the same setup working on Remington commercial brass. Thanks!

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Steve in PA
December 26, 2007, 11:55 AM
You probably have crimped in primers, which take a little more oomph to remove.

I've removed tons of crimped in primers in .30/06 and .223/5.56mm using RCBS FL dies.

December 26, 2007, 12:05 PM
Not only do crimped primers make it a bit more difficult to initially deprime the brass, they require that the crimp be removed before you can reprime them. Not difficult, and CAN be done with a deburring tool, but a dedicated primer pocket swaging tool is the preferred method.

Here are the two industry standards:

If it was me and I didn't plan on having to swage very much brass, I'd definitely buy the RCBS tool. If I EVER expected to need to swage more than a couple hundred pieces of brass, I'd definitely buy the Dillon tool.

December 26, 2007, 12:38 PM
Depending on which Lee press you have, it may be very difficult.
Some of the little Lee set-ups don't provide a whole lot of toggle force.

I bought one of the little aluminum Lee "Reloader" model presses to use strictly for sizing & de-priming pistol cases, then found out it didn't have enough leverage to do the job easily.

You also need to be sure you are using enough case lube to resize the 30-06 cases.
Then you need to make sure your die is adjusted properly.

If the de-priming stem on your RCBS sizing die is screwed down far enough, it WILL de-prime crimped primers.

They have no other choice but to come out at full press stroke!

December 26, 2007, 12:49 PM
I scrounged quite a bit of surplus 06 a couple years back and went through difficult depriming myself. I bought a dedicated depriming die . It takes one more step, but takes most of the pressure off the sizing die.

I deprimed, removed the crimp and took that opportunity to examine the brass. I culled a few at that point for various reasons before I had much time in them.

December 26, 2007, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the quick replies. I'll try some more lube and drop the pin a bit lower.

I had some HXP 73 and just gave it a try. Much easier going through the die and it popped the primer without too much pressure. Maybe LC cases are tighter or something? I think I'll focus on the HXPs for now. Thanks again!

December 26, 2007, 01:55 PM
You've been given good advice. The crimped primers take a little more movement to get them to clear the Primer pocket. The crimp holds onto them a little longer distance than the slightly rounded primer pockets of commercial brass does. Just lower the decapping rod a little and they should pop right out.

Sometimes, too, due to the extra force is takes to push the primers past the crimp, the decapping pin will become imbedded in the anvil and when the case is withdrawn from the die, there is enough friction from the imbedded decapping pin to pull the expended primer back into the pocket a very slight amount, but enough to hold it there and require punching it again. I've polished some decapping pins, which has helped in this regard.

Hope this helps.


Roswell 1847
December 26, 2007, 02:06 PM
I broke the depriming punch of my Lyman 310 nutcracker tool depriming 7.92Mauser WW2 Canadian cases. The British used a BESA 8mm machinegun on some armored vehicles.
After that I just set the cases on a thick washer and drove the old primers out using a pin punch and mallet.

I made a replacement deprimer pin from a piece of piano wire. Only used it on commercial cases after that.

December 27, 2007, 12:26 PM
I've reloaded scads of GI cases and never noticed any particular difficulty in depriming. I wonder whether going a little more generous with the case lube could help. I have noticed that the brass seems a little 'stiffer' during sizing, so I am more liberal with my lube. Maybe that's why I don't notice difficult depriming.

Ian Sean
December 27, 2007, 12:58 PM
I use the Lee decapping die for the military crimps, had to lower the pin a bit.

LC hasn't been that bad for me, the Korean (KA and PS headstamps) have one hell of a crimp and take some doing to de-prime!, the brass has been good though.

December 27, 2007, 04:36 PM
Since the OP mentioned he wasn't able to get the primer out, and no one else mentioned this, make sure they're not Berdan primed. Shine a light down the case so you can see the flash hole and make sure there's only one, and not two, or you'll never get that primer out.

December 27, 2007, 07:17 PM
Since the OP mentioned he wasn't able to get the primer out, and no one else mentioned this, make sure they're not Berdan primed.

Since he stated it was Lake City brass, that eliminates the possibility that it is anything other than boxer primed. The problem here is, he is trying to do two slightly difficult things at the same time. First, he is FL sizing brass that was more than likely fired in a "generous" chamber. Second, he is punching out primers that were crimped in place. The solution is not to add more lube (although that will help somewhat), but rather to decap the brass using a Universal Decapping Die which removes the spent primer without touching the brass itself. They will come out with ease. Then, run the brass thru your FL sizing die.


December 27, 2007, 11:30 PM
Thanks for all the great advise. I appreciate the suggestions and will let you know how I make out this weekend.

Have a Happy New Year!

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