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Boxer / Berdan Primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ray_rodriguez15, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. I am very new to reloading and I have no experience whatsoever, but I have been reading to become educated on this topic and have recently began studying ballistics and need some direction on how to obtain which i would assume to be safer spent Boxer and Berdan primers to construct a component diagram.
  2. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    You can not reload Berdan primed shells. With Berdan primers there are two off set flash holes. If you try to deprime them you'll break the depriming pin. So your chances of getting spent ones is about nil.

    To obtain spent boxer primers, talk to anyone who reloads. Maybe go to a local sporting goods store & ask there.
  3. NuJudge

    NuJudge Well-Known Member

    Actually, you can reload Berdan-primed cases, you just have to have Berdan primers, and you have to use different techniques to remove the spent primers. There are various hydraulic techniques, plus several to pry the spent Berdan primers out. Tula may be bringing in Large Rifle (.217") primers soon.

    For a beginner, leave Berdan primers alone.
  4. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    It is not worth the time, trouble, or expense to play with berdan primed cases. as the others have said, stay away from them.
  5. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Well-Known Member

    Your best bet to get spent primers would be to go to the local range and talk to the range master if they have one. Or one of the older shooters if they don't.
  6. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Well-Known Member

    You can deprime boxer type primers with just about anything that would fit through the flash hole. Try someting in the neighborhood of .080" or less. I imagine some type of finish nail would work. And just so the rest of you know, I have seen Berdan primed brass with but one hole. And seem to recall reading about 3 holes.
  7. TonyT

    TonyT Well-Known Member

    Years ago I had a custom rifle made in 8x68S and the only ammo was original RWS with Berdan primers. I used a tool to pry out the spent primer. The tool had the nasty habit of damaging the portrusion in the primer pocket which limited the number of reloads from each case.

    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    Please keep us posted on this. I still have about 3,000 of the old PMC Berdan primers but would like to get another 5 or 10K if they do become available again. I have been reloading Swiss berdan brass for several years now and it really isn't a whole lot harder to do than boxer primed brass once you have the right tools.
  9. Sport45

    Sport45 Well-Known Member

    Graf's is showing Tula primers in all sizes now. No Berdan, though.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  10. A and O

    A and O Well-Known Member

    Hit Sport45's link and check it out.

    Graf's is showing Tula Berdan Primers. Problem is that they are not in stock. Did we miss when they were? or is something about to come available? Time will tell.

    Great news for me. I have 6,300 7.62x39 Lapua Berdan Primed Brass that needs reloading.
  11. NuJudge

    NuJudge Well-Known Member

    You'll need a harder primer than the PMC/Murom berdan primers for 7.62x39 cases, although maybe you could use a soft Berdan primer if you had firing pin retraction springs.

  12. NuJudge

    NuJudge Well-Known Member

  13. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member


    Interestingly, Boxer primers - the primary system used in the US - were invented by an Englishman named Boxer, while Berdan primers - the primary system used in Europe - were invented by an American named Berdan.
  14. A and O

    A and O Well-Known Member


    I'll be using these in a Mini 30 and I really am not familiar with reloading using Bredan Primers. I only paid .23 cents a round for the Lapua (loaded ammo, not just the Brass), so even if I was not able to reload it I'm really not out anything. I bought anticipating being able to reload it when Berdan Primers came available again.

    It is my understanding (maybe error, please educate either way) that Berdan Primers give a more even ignition vs Boxer Primers and could be compared to using Magnum Boxers. I mention this for prepping powder loads using Berdan vs. Boxer. Any help would be appreciated and would be along the line of the OP's question.

    Can't seem to find data in this regard.

    Thanks KB
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the proper Berdan primers to become available again in the U.S.
    There are so many different sizes finding the right ones will be problematic if not impossible.

    Anyway, you can't find data comparing Magnum Boxer with Standard Berdan because I doubt if there is any.

    Same for pressure tested Berdan reloading data.
    There isn't any of that either.

    IMO: A beginning reloader would probably be best served by learnig to reload using Boxer primed cases.

  16. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    wow - talk about hijacking a thread!
  17. folson

    folson Member

    Good information. As a new member I just Scounged 2000 Tula primers for 7.62x39. Unfortunatly when I purchased then I was looking for primers for 7.62x54. Differant size. I believe the ones I have are .217 and I need .254 for the 7.62x54 brass. Any traders? I would like to trade 1 box for a box of 7.62x54.
  18. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    folson, how you gonna ship them? Better do some checking before you get in trouble.
  19. folson

    folson Member

    They can be shipped via hazmat with adult signature.
  20. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Berdan primers are named after their American inventor, Hiram Berdan of New York who invented his first variation of the Berdan primer and patented it on March 20, 1866, in U.S. Patent 53,388.

    Meanwhile, Edward M. Boxer, of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, England was working on a similar primer cap design for cartridges, patenting it in England on October 13, 1866, and subsequently received a U.S. patent for his design on June 29, 1869, in U.S. Patent 91,818.

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