HXP .30-06 Brass, or crimped primers in military brass in general


January 8, 2011, 08:48 PM
Since there are no stupid reloading questions... you guys told me so!

One of the calibers I'm starting with is .30-06. My commercial brass stock for this caliber is not very deep but I have loads of various years of the Greek HXP brass and have a lot more of it in my stash waiting to be fired. Obviously I'd like to use the fired brass for reloading.

What I have done with the couple cases I played with I seemed to do okay giving it a few turns with my RCBS hand reamer. Primers set in there nicely.

However, I've seen some folks say the reamer is not enough and you need one of the pocket swagers to do it right. An RCBS example of this is under $30 so I'm not opposed to getting one, but do I really need it?


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evan price
January 8, 2011, 09:16 PM
You could do without it, however, reaming or cutting the pocket removes metal, whereas swaging reforms the pocket and pushes the metal back into the case head. Also, I used to ream, and it wound up quickly making my hands hurt. Swaging is just another step on the press. I have the RCBS tool and when setup right it's a breeze. The HXP crimp is not a hard one to deal with.

January 8, 2011, 09:25 PM
I agree ^...the HXP crimp is an easy one to remove.

I use a lot of HXP cases too and have been very pleased with them. I do lite loads for my 03a3 and with some have reload 5th time (neck size) without a problem so far.

Plain Old Bill
January 8, 2011, 09:25 PM
Well- I've tried the swager in the press (fine, but then you still should uniform the pocket for accuracy) , have tried the Dillon primer pocket swager (have to readjust for different types of brass) as well, but nothing has worked for me like a good sharp chamfer tool and a Sinclair primer pocket uniformer. I use the chamfer tool to take just a little brass off the rim of the primer pocket, only until the uniformer will enter the pocket and do its work. Since you only have to do these things once (opening up the pocket and uniforming it) doing them together makes sense. I also use a primer hole flash uniformer from Sinclair. The Sinclair tools have lasted for decades.
I've done thousands of 30-06. .308s and especially .223s this way.
Now I'm old, but not crazy- there's a young fellow in down in Texas that will trim and lose that primer crimp if you send him the brass. I don't mind doing primer pockets, but I sure hate trimming thousands of cases at a time! He does good work.

January 8, 2011, 09:35 PM
I grab my RCBS chamfer tool by the little guide on the outside end & cut the crimp out !! It`s the fastest part of prepin surplus ammo !!

January 8, 2011, 10:23 PM
A couple twists of the case mouth deburring tool will remove the primer stake marks just fine with the HXP brass. Other military case crimps are easier to deal with with a swager. No need to swage HXP with the staked primers but you could if you wanted to. Just watch for high primers as always. I've used my EJS Possum Hollow primer pocket uniformer just to make sure primer pockets are all the same depth and that primers will seat below flush especially for my M1 Garand to help eliminate the possibility of a slam fire.

January 9, 2011, 12:19 AM
HXP brass with the crimping stakes is probably best dealt with by using a chamfer tool or primer pocket reamer. The stakes are just not very much to deal with.

There are some folks that don't even bother removing the HXP stakes.

I have not had lots of success with the RCBS swaging tool. I feel that the single stage presses I have are not large enough to give the needed effort to reform the primer pocket. So, I would suggest removing the crimps with a cutter unless you have a Dillon swager or one of the big single stage presses.

January 9, 2011, 11:06 AM
I've swaged tens of thousands of 7.62X51,, 5.56X45 and 9X19MM with a Dillon. It's fast, accurate and very, very easy.

However, for only a few hundred at a time, it isn't worth the investment in the Dillon, and your reaming tool is all you really need. The reamers are slow, and labor intensive, but they do an excellent job.:)

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