breaking decappings

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Apr 28, 2007
I need some advice on decapping springfield 30-06 brass. I have broken half a dozen Lee pins in the universal decapper. I have tried adjusting the tension on the pin so that it would slide rather than break, but to get it tight enough to push a primer our, it usually brakes the pin. I also managed to break the pin in the sizing and decapping die for my lee 30-06 die set. The brass is surplus military and the primers are crimped.

Any advice on decapping these?
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Boxer Brass?

What manufacture brass are you decapping? Are they boxer primed with one central flash hole? Berdan primers have two off-center holes and you will break your pin every time if you have berdan brass. I have never broken a pin decapping crimped primers - once I pierced the primer but the pin did not break. Are the pin and the flash hole aligned? As long as the pin and hole line up, you should not break it. I have found some brands of brass to have a lot of off-center flash holes (e.g., Amerc & some of the Asian 5.56). Although I usually use standard decapper/resizer dies, I sometimes use the old Lee hammer-activated decapper for 30-06, 5.56 and the odd 9mm that shows up. I have only broken a pin while illegally prying on something :eek:

Again, check the alignment - make sure it's in the hole before you bang on it, or before you crank on the press handle if you use the sizer/decapper. If it won't enter the flash hole, don't attempt decapping. :scrutiny:

Hope this helps - be sure to follow up here & let use know the outcome.
It takes a lot of work to break the pin in a Lee Universal decapper. As mentioned before, check your brass for two flash holes.
Most of the brass is greek surplus. Was any 30-06 produced in berdan primers or corrosive primers?
Yes, berdan primed 30-06 exists. As for corrosive primers, the majority of US military primers were corrosive until the 50s, including 30-06.

Also watch for off center flash holes. Broken a pin to two that way.
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