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HELP: reloading berdan primed ammo and wire gauge drills!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by cpileri, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. cpileri

    cpileri Participating Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    HELP: reloading berdan primed ammo and wire gauge drills!

    I was reading an article on 'emergency' reloading of berdan primed ammunition 'out in the field' or something, and it mentions that the use of #4 gauge (.209 inch) , #7 ga (.210 in) and #50 ga (.07 in) wire sized drill bits are useful as they match the primer pocket sizes in small, large, and the flash hole size respectively.

    Is that correct?

    Cuz when I look up wire gauges on the net, I get sizes of
    #4 ga= .2043 inches.
    #7 ga= .114 in, and
    #50 ga= .001 in whereas the closest to .07 in is 13 ga at .0720 inches.

    So I am confused on the size of wire gauges, or i got bad data somewhere.
    Help from the knowledgeable?
  2. whm1974

    whm1974 Senior Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Berdan primed cases can be reloaded but you need a special tool and berdan primers are hard to get here. They are also diffenct sizes then what we have.

  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    I don't know where you got your information on the World Wide Web of Mis-Information, but Brownells shows drill sizes of #4 = .209", #7 = .201", and #50 = .070".

    I don't see the application for a #7, a small Boxer primer is .175" which would call for a #17 drill at .173".

    Problem is, most Berdan primers are larger than Boxer .210".

    And twist drills are pointed, it would take an end mill or purpose ground cutter to convert even those Berdan cases which are smaller than .210".

    The process I have **read** (not done) for converting a Berdan with small enough primer pocket is to
    Put the case on a solidly supported rod against the inside of the head.
    Using a hammer and punch, flatten the integral Berdan anvil, which also displaces enough brass to close up the Berdan flash holes.
    Cut the primer pocket to Boxer diameter and depth with flat bottom.
    Drill a new flash hole.
  4. steveno

    steveno Participating Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Minden , Nebraska
    Berdan primers are not worth the effort unless that is the only way you get brass for the caliber you are using
  5. dodgestdshift

    dodgestdshift Member

    Feb 6, 2003
    Marilla NY. (outside Buffalo)
    There is a small article in the NRA Handloads Guide on page 172. Note this is a older version (1969), and I don't know if the article is included in the more up-to-date versions.

    The usual method (without special tools) is using hydrolic pressure to remove the primer. Anyway you do it, it's not worth it, unless you have no other source of cases.

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