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556 military brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by The Car Doctor, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. The Car Doctor

    The Car Doctor Member

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    I inherited some 556 brass from my grandpa and they're head stamped Lake City from the 1970s. I believe they are all once fired and that he never processed them in any way.

    I ran them through my Lee universal decapping die and RCBS press and no extra effort was needed on the handle. My question is, should I still run them through my primer pocket swage tool or just start priming them. If the primers came out easy, wouldn't new ones go in easy?
     
  2. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    The old primers should come out easily whether crimped or not. I would swage them and then reprime them.
     
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  3. peels

    peels Member

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    Since you have a swager, just use the swaging tool to check the primer pockets. If the tool can be inserted into primer pocket just using finger strength, even if it doesn't go all the way, it should be good enough to be able to seat a primer from my experience (using a RCBS swaging tool). If the swaging tool can't go into the pocket, you will have to swage the brass before reloading.
     
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  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Agreed, even though they deprimed easily they probably still need to have the crimps removed.The easiest way would be to just run them through the process anyway. Then you will know they are OK.
     
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  5. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    It’s better to do it and not need it, than to not do it and need it.
     
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  6. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    Trying to seat primers in military brass without swaging the primer pockets is an exercise in futility!

    After setting up you swaging process be sure to swag a few and then seat a few primers to be sure the crimp is removed completely for ease of seating. You'll thank me later! :)

    I recently swaged 100 pieces of mixed brass and a few (not military!) required a second swaging. After readjustment of the swaging die I redid all the cases. The primer seating process went "sooo" much smoother. I left the swaging die set up for further use.

    All the best,
     
  7. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    The primer crimp has to be removed, but you don't need a swaging tool. A crimp cutter will work and is less expensive. The best cutter on the market today is the RCBS primer pocket crimp remover. I've tried them all. Buy the cutter and a 8/32 thread coupling nut adapter and chuck it up in a variable speed drill in a padded vice.

    Works really fast. I've been cutting crimps out of 5.56 cases since the mid 1970's. Second best cutter is the Horrnady.
     
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  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    It is true that a countersink, your chamfer tool, a phillips screwdriver or a pocket knife can be used among other things to remove primer crimps by cutting away metal. I prefer to swage the metal back in place. If for no other reason than there is more metal there when done and will keep the primer pocket from expanding as soon.
    No matter, I might take the least expensive options first to see if they work acceptablely before investing in more stuff. Most already have the chamfer tool and an assortment of screw drivers and pocket knives so start there and see.
     
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  9. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    In a word: YES. There is usually a bit of the crimp in the primer pocket that'll ruin a fresh primer when seated...some of the time...best not to me crushing primers when seating...
     

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  10. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    The OP has a swaging set up already and his question has to do with swaging!

    I have both motor driven primer pocket cutters and swaging tools. Swaging is more consistent and doesn't leave brass granules to clean up and remove from the case prior to the next step!

    Smiles,
     
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  11. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    All I can say is don't over do it. When I first started out with my Dillon swage I ruined a couple hundred cases by over swaging.

    WB
     
  12. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    This may be a “belts AND suspenders” answer....but this is what I tend to do;
    Use the RCBS swager, and then break the edges of the pocket with a countersink.

    I like that swaging reshapes without removing brass, but I’d still sometimes get a primer that would catch that hard edge. So now I just lightly put a bevel on it too.
     
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  13. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I use the CH4D swager and it leaves a radius on the primer pocket opening. It is all done in one opperation.
     
  14. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I do basically the same. It only has to be done once then I can reload it at least 6-7 times with easier priming so I think it's worth it.
     
    Average Joe likes this.
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