Military crimp removal


December 31, 2007, 08:48 PM
I may not be able to swing the RCBS swaging die this time, is there a cheap way to remove the military crimp from 5.56mm brass? I do not have a drill or cordless screwdriver, just some Lee trimming tools and a manual ratchet screwdriver. Any ideas?

If you enjoyed reading about "Military crimp removal" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 31, 2007, 09:47 PM
I've heard of people using pocket knives, but have never tried it myself.

December 31, 2007, 10:50 PM
I have trimmed the primer crimps out of an untold number of 30-06 cases while I was on an Army Privates E-1's salary in 1962.
(About $28 bucks a month as I recall. Could be very wrong.)

With nothing more then a sharp & pointy Case pocket-knife, and a lot of spare time & cuts on my hands.

December 31, 2007, 11:02 PM
The Lyman Small Primer Pocket Reamer. Item# 7777784 Does a nice job on them, and is only 14-20 bucks

Winger Ed.
December 31, 2007, 11:05 PM
That round 'inside & outside' neck reamer hand tool works well.

A little ways down the road, when you get a drill press to put it in,
it will work REAL!! well.


December 31, 2007, 11:44 PM
Dillon super swage all the way

December 31, 2007, 11:54 PM
is there a cheap way to remove the military crimp from 5.56mm brass?

Dillon super swage all the way
Something isn't adding up here. The Dillon may be good. Heck, it may even be great. But I don't think I could put it in the "cheap" category.

The Lee tool you have will work. To make life a bit easier you could make a handle for it out of a 1/2" dowel with a wrap or two of masking tape. Or you might find a bit of PVC pipe that would fit snugly over it.

January 1, 2008, 12:46 AM
After doing a few hundred by hand, the Super Swage is worth every penny. I had 5K of 223 and 30.06 to do. I value my time pretty highly so it was cheap in the longrun.

Actually, I missed "cheap" when I read thru the OP the first time. Sorry

January 1, 2008, 01:31 AM
I figured it was something like that. You're not usually one to give unrealistic advice.

January 1, 2008, 09:46 AM
Midway has a Hornaday Primer Pocket Reamer (large and small sizes) for $9.99. Hope it works -- that's what I'll be using for 1000 .223 military brass. I'm in the same boat -- it's gotta be cheap. The item numbers are 501588 and 176759.

January 1, 2008, 10:34 AM
That looks interesting, and cheap. I like it. Thanks.

January 1, 2008, 10:34 AM
I cleaned out about 300 primer pockets with the little reamer that arflattop mentioned, never, ever again.
Too much work.
Bite the bullet and pick up the RCBS primer pocket swager-it'll last forever, and almost makes preparing primer pockets a pleasure.

Bruce H.
January 1, 2008, 11:11 AM
I started reloading 223 ammo about two months ago. I purchased one of the Lyman hand reamers from Midway. It worked fine, except it killed my fingers. I am 56 years old and my hands can't take that kind of stress for a long period. So I looked around on the internet and found an almost new RCBS primer pocket swager set for $17, with shipping, on I received the RCBS swager set and it looks like it was never used. I will use it for the first time today. My advice is to buy one of the cheap hand reamers initially and be on the lookout for a deal like I got on the RCBS swager set.

January 1, 2008, 11:18 AM
Lately, I've been using a cheap drill press and a countersink bit. Works well. Why buy a tool that has one purpose when you can buy a multi-purpose tool for not much more?

January 1, 2008, 11:21 AM
Define cheap on a drill press...

Doug b
January 1, 2008, 11:43 AM
You might try hitting it very lightly with your chamfering tool.

January 1, 2008, 11:44 AM
You can get a “table top” drill press from harbor freight for <$40. I originally used the hand held reamer and then used it in a cordless drill. It works, I did many thousands like that, but it’s a PITA.

January 1, 2008, 12:29 PM
Define cheap on a drill press...The big hardware stores will also usually have an under-sixty-dollar tabletop drill press.

I bought mine from Harbor Freight.

January 1, 2008, 02:00 PM
I've done a few with a light twist of a sharp pen knife (doesn't take much). It's definately not as easy as using a Dillon but it is cheap! :)

Have a good one,

January 1, 2008, 03:38 PM
No doubt the best method is the countersink on a drillpress. It works every time, once you get the depth of cut set.

Second best method is the Dillon SuperSwage. I've tried the other swagers, and this one works because of the backup rod. Otherwise all that force is taken up in the case rim, which will tend to tear off or bend badly.

January 1, 2008, 05:16 PM
the RCBS unit is $25.71 at does both small and large.I have a lyman hand tool its tire some.some people use a drill but care has to be taken.I have the harbor tool drill press used lyman drill press trimmer.till I got harbor tool Mini cutoff saw.$29.
The RCBS has rod the case butts against does not touch the rim.

January 1, 2008, 10:25 PM
Stubbicat, I'd love a Dillon Superswage, but the $90 price tag ain't in the budget for this year. Maybe next year.

January 2, 2008, 11:03 AM

Nice photos of the superb Dillon Super Swage 600, but ditch that One Shot lube; you'll stick a case in your dies using that crap.


January 2, 2008, 11:42 AM
Ya know Don, not to hijack the thread but I have done alot of cases with one shot and never had and issue. it does actually require more than the "one quick shot" they say it needs but it works everytime.

January 2, 2008, 12:16 PM
I use OneShot to lube bullets before sizing them in the Lee pushthru sizers. For cases I use Lee Lube - got two tubes of it when I got my gear, still haven't used it all up.
Looks like I may be getting a Dillon after all, at least to borrow for a while.

January 2, 2008, 09:22 PM
CH4D makes a ram-prime style primer pocket swager. Makes for a very short stroke on your single stage press. Would really work well with the adjustable handle on the Lee classic cast or the new challenger press. IIRC, the CH4D die and a new Lee Classic Cast press would be only slightly more than the dillon super swage, and a whole lot more useful for other things (you can always use another press).


January 2, 2008, 09:43 PM
Out of 350 Radway Green once fired brass I came up with 43 that needed to be enlarged. I used a borrowed Dillon Superswager like Stubbicatt shows above.

You can also use deburring tool. Try this Website:

If you enjoyed reading about "Military crimp removal" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!