Berdan Primed Brass worth the hassle to reload?


Big Bad Bob
May 10, 2011, 11:39 AM
Ok i have done some research, I have some DAG surplus 7.62x51 ammo, decent stuff, would hate to throw away once fired brass because of the berdan priming.

Wanted to get yalls thoughts, it is too much hassle or just another process?

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May 10, 2011, 11:43 AM
Too much hassel.

You can't buy Berdan primers in the USA anymore.

Converting them to Boxer would be WAY more trouble then it is worth.
And you then run the risk of ill-fitting primers leaking and ruining your rifles bolt.

Boxer primed .308 brass is not that hard to find, or expensive!
Get sum!


May 10, 2011, 12:46 PM
Not worth it IMO, but some people do it. I'd just scrap 'em. Maybe for some really odd or obscure type of ammo that's really hard to find, but not for common stuff. Swiss 7.5x55 GP11 milsurp is beautiful brass, but Berdan primed and useless. I really hate tossing that stuff.

Big Bad Bob
May 10, 2011, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the response! I hate the idea of throwing away once fired brass, but such is life, at least i got a good deal on the ammo itself.

May 10, 2011, 12:53 PM
Yeah, especially that caliber. You can buy more surplus ammo for less than the Berdan primers would cost you, after factoring in all the hassles and grief.

Smokey Joe
May 10, 2011, 07:44 PM
Big Bad Bob--You said, "would hate to throw away once fired brass" and I wholeheartedly agree, DON'T THROW IT AWAY!!!

(I agree that Berdan cases are far more trouble than they are worth, to reload.)

Brass sells for a considerable amount, at almost any scrap metal dealer's. A few have snooty fits if you try to sell them fired cases ("We don't deal in ammunition" or some such) in which instance it is their loss; just go to the next dealer down the line.

Any brass that you can't use for any reason, or trade to another reloader, needs to be sold as scrap to augment your hobby.

BTW, save up your removed fired pistol and rifle primers, too. They are all-brass, and while one or a few don't add up to much, it's no great trick to keep 'em in an ice cream bucket or some such container until it is nearly full, at which point you will have several pounds of nice salable brass scrap. I'd check it with a magnet before you turn it in, but have never myself encountered a non-brass pistol or rifle primer. Shotgun primers, unfortunately, are steel, therefore much lower in value.

Finally, a lot of milsurp "brass" is actually steel, so you need to be careful to keep that out of the brass you have to sell.

But whatever you do, don't just throw that brass out!

May 10, 2011, 08:48 PM
Both Grafs and Powder Valley earlier this year did have Berdan Primers available.
So, a check with them on potential availability might guide your choice....

Hondo 60
May 10, 2011, 09:10 PM
Even if you can get berdan primers, how do you deprime it?

May 10, 2011, 09:36 PM
Even if you can get berdan primers, how do you deprime it?

May 10, 2011, 10:03 PM
Even if you can get berdan primers, how do you deprime it?

Just like you deprime Boxer ammo. Just press harder. :D

May 10, 2011, 10:18 PM
There are umpteen different Berdan primer sizes.

So, even if you do get the tool for extracting the primer, good luck finding the right size oddball-size primer to stuff in the empty pocket.

If you want to see how its done (removing Berdan primers) just do a search in Google videos - there are bunches of vids.

May 10, 2011, 11:08 PM
Anyone who wants to get rid of their berdan primed brass, I can use 6.5x55, 7.5x55, 7.62x54R, 8mm. Send it my way.


evan price
May 11, 2011, 03:07 AM
A common caliber like 308 Win isn't worth bothering with Berdan cases. How much is your time worth? You can get Boxer primed 308 brass for ten cents a piece.

May 11, 2011, 10:44 AM
Scrap brass prices being what they are it makes more sense to just sell it and pick up boxer primed at the local range from the non reloaders. I have over 1,000 pieces of once fired range brass that I just asked for. Certainly wouldn't fuss over .308 Berdan primed brass when there is so much that doesn't need the hassle.

May 11, 2011, 10:12 PM
Too much of a pain in the neck for calibers with readilly reloaded brass available. Over 40 years ago I had a Mauser made up in 8x68S, somewhat akin to a 300 Winch Magnum. At that time the only ammo was pre WWII which was primed with an odd size RWS primer. I located a supply of the priomers and relaoded with them until Boxer rimed cases became available about 20 years later. Given the PITN factor I did not shoot that gun very much at all.
I would advise selling the Berdan primed brass - locally it is bringing $1.25/lb.

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