View Full Version : decaping tool

08-13-2010, 06:43 PM
Anyone know where I can buy a inexpencive field decaping tool for my 45-70 brass?
Or maybe good instructions on how to make one out of a pair of plires?
Thanks for any ideas.

08-13-2010, 09:37 PM
I like to use the Lee hand press and universal decapping die. Or you could use the decapper and base from the Lee Loader kit for you calibre, although you will need a hammer.

Le Loup Solitaire
08-13-2010, 11:30 PM
Probably the fastest and most practical way to decap brass of any caliber is with the Lee universal decapper. It is inexpensively priced...less than the same thimg made by RCBS, Hornady or Lyman. It fits in any standard press or the Lee hand press. You can also make a decapper by taking a small square of hardwood and drilling a shallow hole in it--the same size as the 45-70 case rim and then drilling another smaller hole of the same diameter as the primer in the center. Drill the second hole completely thru and if the block of wood is thick enough then maybe ten primers will have room to accumulate before you have to pick up the block. For the decapping pin you can either buy a drift punch that has a slightly smaller diameter than the flash hole in the case, or make one out of a long nail, but you would probably would have to quench-harden the nail by heating it red and then dipping it into cold water. The nail or the drift punch would have to be longer than the 45-70 case and you'ld also need a hammer or mallet. LLS

08-14-2010, 12:53 AM
I shot black powder cartridge rifles for fifteen years. I also shot a lot of black powder cartridge handguns.

I made a practice of decapping the cases, at the range, and dropping them in a gallon milk jug filled about half full of water and a couple of squirts of Dawn Dishwashing liquid soap. By the time I got home, most of the "work" was done.

There are a number of decapping tools that work well. I prefer the Pope style Re-decapper. It is quick and sure. However, it is kind of expensive. I have several Jerry Simmon's tools (sadly, Jerry is no longer with us) as well as other manufacturers:


Midway sells the Lee Hand press for $28.00. Add a Lee Universal decapping die (that'll handle nearly every rifle and handgun case out there) and a proper shell holder for the caliber needed and you're set up for de-capping on the range. It is bulkier than the hand tools but much less expensive.

However, the up side is that you can also reload (with proper dies and shell holders) about every thing you could desire at the range. It is a great way to work up loads.


08-14-2010, 09:58 AM
If you just want to decap with the Lee, you don't even need the shell holder. Much quicker to just align the pin in the flash hole and close. The base is big enough that there is no problem. I use a Lyman 310 handle with a 300 mag die, but I already had it so there was no added expense.


08-14-2010, 02:05 PM
Go to www.buffaloarms.com look up the SLM decapper. A small tool that will fit into any range box. Very simple you can see how it works just by looking at the picture. The tool is $56 and any extra caliber rods are $15. I don't see why you can not make your own after seeing how they are made.

John Boy
08-14-2010, 05:13 PM
Anyone know where I can buy a inexpensive field decaping tool for my 45-70 brass?
Yep, the decapper pin and chamber parts from the Classic Lee Loader. Cost you $7.50 and shipping ... don't forget to order the plastic box too
And if the pin breaks on the decapper, order 2 or use the pin in your resizing die. After all, don't need it anyway if you plan to decap at the range


The Double D
08-14-2010, 05:20 PM
Not really inexpensive but very simple to use, similar but slimmer and cheaper than the SLM tool is the Distant Thunder decapper.http://www.distantthunderbpcr.com/DTGraphics/DECAPPER-40CALSTEM.jpg http://www.distantthunderbpcr.com/DTPages/DTProduct.htm (http://www.distantthunderbpcr.com/DTPages/DTProduct.htm)

08-14-2010, 06:58 PM
It is smaller than the SLM tool. Very nice, and the caliber change rods are about the same size. They both work the same way, what I like is they are small and don't take up much space in the shooting box.

Why carry around a portable hand press when it is not needed!

08-14-2010, 09:48 PM
The Lee Classic Loader is a hand die set. It includes a base and punch set. You really don't need the die for simple decapping. You just need the punch and base (along with a soft hammer - plastic or rawhide work well). Here is a picture of the set from the Lee web site:



08-14-2010, 11:43 PM
Here is one

08-15-2010, 10:53 AM
Just what I need all those small parts and a hammer in my shooting box. I think the Distant Thunder Decapper is a much better idea. More monet but less to carry around.

herbert buckland
08-15-2010, 07:35 PM
Here is oneWould you be able to post more on this decaper,it looks lick one that would be easily made with hand tools,I can not quite make out how it is working from the photo

Jon K
08-15-2010, 09:11 PM

herbert buckland
08-15-2010, 09:32 PM
Thank you,now out to the shed

The Double D
08-17-2010, 10:24 AM
Now I know I responded to this....

Jon, is that some sort of tool on the end of the levers?

08-17-2010, 11:45 AM
More pictures

herbert buckland
08-17-2010, 07:05 PM
Have made one and it works very well,noticed the size of the decaping stem is inportant in my 577-450,I think i will make up some difrent size stems for difrent size cartriges

08-18-2010, 12:57 PM
Have made one and it works very well,noticed the size of the decaping stem is inportant in my 577-450,I think i will make up some difrent size stems for difrent size cartriges

I sure would like tohave one (hint hint hint)

09-13-2010, 12:10 AM
Jon K, What is the name of the decapper with the wood handle? Where do I find one?

Jon K
09-13-2010, 12:31 AM
That one is made by Doug Knoell.
Shiloh makes a copy of it, with replaceable pin.

Maybe e15cap, will chime in and get you Doug's contact info.


09-13-2010, 08:54 AM
A Lee de-capping tool can be modified by adding a wooden knob or ball from the hardware store. this eliminates the hammer from your kit.
Just drill the knob to hold the tool and glue in place. Palm pressure will push out the primer.
After a while, the grease and soot will make it look period correct.

09-17-2010, 11:41 PM
A set of 310 aluminum handles and a universal decapper shouldn't set you back more than $25 and they work great. I have a #10 tool that I carry but I reload in the field.

09-18-2010, 09:18 PM
Wills: I bought a dozen of those, or close copies of them, for $10 each, from the guy that used to run Wichita Arms. Maybe he still does. Anyway, I took them home and pedaled them to the guys in the 1st U.S. Infantry of Fort Randall, S.Dakota. I forgot to keep one for myself, and for a number of years I would look him up at the Tulsa gun show but I don't think he ever made any more of them. I have always figured on making them myself, but I am seriously mechanically challenged. CM.