Removing Military crimp-- swage, ream?


Nov 7, 2016
I have not seen any threads on this topic in a while.

For those who grind out the crimp have you seen any new tools that work better?

In the past the majority of the swaging gang loved the Dillon. Any new entries?

To me the process is a real pain.
I bought a Burst Fire reamer to go onto my RCBS case prep station. Cuts fast and has worked well for me.

I tried to swag some and that did not work for me. Nothing against it, maybe I was doing it wrong. Also, seemed like a slower option.
Gifbohane if you are referring to the crimp on the primer in a military cartridge case (like 7.62x51mm NATO) I use a primer pocket tool sold by Lyman. One model for small primer pockets, another for large primers. This tool uses "elbow grease" to power it while cleaning out the primer pockets on casings.
I have the FA swager. It works great for .223 and 9mm. OK for .308 although I've only done a few of those. Might work easier if I actually mounted it to a bench. I operate it as a hand press, and it works well for the small primer stuff as such. I was horrified to find out it does not have enough clearance to do 30-06. Some 500 rounds of '50s LC is back in deep storage for this reason until I acquire a reamer tool.
.223 I just grab the Lyman inside chamfer tool and cut it out. No hassle no drama quick and cheep.
I've tried most swaging tools on the market.

The most convenient, without getting into the really expensive presses, are the built in swager of the Dillon 1050 or the Mark 7 Apex-10 press.

If you are already loading on a Hornady LNL, their Primer Pocket Sage Tool is easy to use and very fast...but only works with .223/5.56 x 45mm and .308/7.62 x 51mm

A faster option and great value would be the Lee APP with their Swage Kit. The case feeder and case alignment fingers allow swaging without the need for shell holders. It swages as fast as you can move the handle...and keep the case feeder filled
I have the Dillon swager an a Lyman prep center. I use both depending on my mood. I like to do loads in stages especially with range ammo. If I have a lot of range ammo with military crimps once I clean them I separate them to a 5 gal bucket. If it is a nice day I like to go to my patio and seat down and swage my brass on the table and that is all I do. If I have gotten lazy and I need to reload right away for a session I use the Lyman prep center and ream the brass before priming it. I do find that reaming is easier but like I said I reload in stages a day at a time.
Ream but I try to stay away from crimped pockets as much as possible. LC is good brass so there are still a few slugs from time to process to save money especially on brass that likely wont get picked up as with being used for hunting.
I use the Hornady LNL-AP Swager setup when needed. I also have the Reading, RCBS, Hornady hand reamers too. But prefer the swagging method since it does not remove brass, just moves it back to where it was originally, or close anyway. But if you decide to swage vs ream it's best to have your brass sorted since there are small variations between mfg. I don't mess with swaged pistol brass, not worth the effort since brass is readily available that does not have the crimped pockets. Just be aware when reaming is that if you do not go in straight you will egg the pocket, making it give up quicker due to looseness.
I haven't found anything that beats the swager in station #3 of the 4 digit dillons, swages the case as you load as fast as you do the other steps.

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The biggest reason I upgraded from a Dillon 650 to an 1100 is the swaging station. But I only do small primers on it. It's kind of a pain to switch over. So for my large rifle brass, I use the RCBS bench tool. Not nearly as fast, of course. But does a great job well.
I tried the C&H Tool swager... and had zero luck with it. I ruined more brass than anything, and the cases that did survive were still problematic. Lyman case prep tool for the win...

FWIW, the Lyman does a lot more besides cut out primer crimps, it's a worthy expense.
What I really wish is that all these ammo companies would quit loading range fodder as if it had to survive a tour in the Sandbox and firing through an M249 SAW. People want "milspec" though🤡
I have not seen any threads on this topic in a while.

For those who grind out the crimp have you seen any new tools that work better?

In the past the majority of the swaging gang loved the Dillon. Any new entries?

To me the process is a real pain.
Nothing much has changed except there are more tools today to choose from than in the past.

I'm a "grinder" and use a tool from Wilson in my Wilson case trimmer. It seems like they use better steel in their tools than Lyman, RCBS, ect. I have dulled a few of their tools.

I've tried a lot of different methods. The RCBS swaging die type tool works ok but is slow and shakes the whole loading bench. I may be the only guy alive that didn't like the Dillon tool. I got tired of adjusting it for different headstamp cases. A simple carbide 45º or 60º countersink tool worked well but consistency varied when I did it in a hand held drill.