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Thread: Berdan to Boxer?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    ilcop22's Avatar
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    Berdan to Boxer?

    Howdy,

    I'm thinking about picking up some surplus 7.62x39 for my SKS rifles. The product I am looking at is brass cased, berdan primed. I vaguely remember reading about converting berdan cases to boxer, but I can't find the information on that. Is anyone familiar with this practice? Is it worth the effort or would I be better off melting down the brass cases for scrap? I appreciate the info.
    Who keeps not his arms in times of peace, Will have no arms in times of war.
    -Gaelic Proverb

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    The practice of converting berdan-primed brass cases to boxer-primed cases is of limited practicality, and then only if the original boxer-primed cases are hard to find or expensive.

    First, the primer pocket has to be of a size that can reamed out to fit the boxer primers. Since 7.62x39 berdan cases take a 0.217" primer, that excludes them from the conversion. American standard large rifle boxer primers are 0.210" diameter.

    Some report sucessful conversion of berdan-primed cases to battery cup shotshell primers. Some report they are good for moderate pressure cast bullet loads, but will blow primers if used for full power jacketed bullet loads.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I will try to find it.
    It is a simple conversion.
    All you need is a press and a custom die.
    Here it is.
    http://users.ameritech.net/mchandler/primer.html
    You can make a simple die to do it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Excellent link, docone - Just what I was looking for. Thanks!
    Who keeps not his arms in times of peace, Will have no arms in times of war.
    -Gaelic Proverb

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Make a center mill to remove the nub. Then make a die that brings to shape and size.
    You can drill while removing the nub.
    Through the years I have tossed a lot of Berdan cases.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master mroliver77's Avatar
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    I had some luck by drilling out the primer with a drill bit that left the sides of the primer in the case. I then swaged the pocket to size with my Dillon pocket swage. I tried mashing the anvil flat and drilling a new flash hole and also tried an end mill to cut the anvil out. This gave me three flash holes when I drilled a central hole. I did not have good luck with the "bushings" staying in place though. If one had a tool as Docone describes it might work very well.
    Jay
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen

    "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
    Thomas Paine

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    May sound silly but can you not just get .217 Berdan primers? To ready the cases for conversion to boxer primers as per the link provided by docone31, you have to remove the fired Berdan primers first anyway so at that stage if you have the .217 Berdan primers on hand you are ready to load again.
    I would be wary of using the boxer converted cartridges in semi autos such as your SKSs, they don't crimp primers in military ammo for nothing and boxer primers only held in the primer pocket with a small indent may cause more grief than it's worth. Then again you may get lucky.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    berdan primers

    Ilcop 22
    To use a boxer primer in a berdan case is not a good idee.
    The size of the berdan primer is different.
    Size berdan is 0.217 (5.5mm) x 0.110 high (2.8 mm)
    Size boxer is 0.210 ( 5.33 mm) x 0.130 high ( 3.30 mm)
    A gasleak is it result.
    My advise : don't do it.

    cast 367

  9. #9
    Boolit Master xfoxofshogo's Avatar
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    i have yet found a place to buy them Berdan primers .
    but i have shim boxer primers and work if you get the right tube so it fits good
    i have taken the anvil out with a punch and a hammer it will close up the flash holes that are ther kind and drill one in the senter
    i use 2 punch one to go in side the case
    after i found the right shim tube
    i cut it and put it in and crimp the tube in be for puting in the primers in the case
    the way
    i crimp them in was to cut them so thay sit down a bit under the rim and take a punch slight biger thin the primer pockit and hit it with a hammer make sher you have a full size puch in side the case

    just to let you know steel cases ammo is chep and fun and is steel core so you can make hols in 1/8 steel and 25rd for 5 buck cheper then loading and mod cases i shot tons on the steel in my m44 never had truble with it ever buy sold it to get some thing new and sold it for what i gave for it

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by mroliver77 View Post
    I had some luck by drilling out the primer with a drill bit that left the sides of the primer in the case. I then swaged the pocket to size with my Dillon pocket swage. I tried mashing the anvil flat and drilling a new flash hole and also tried an end mill to cut the anvil out. This gave me three flash holes when I drilled a central hole. I did not have good luck with the "bushings" staying in place though. If one had a tool as Docone describes it might work very well.
    Jay
    solder them in (Yes it works). I get bored sometimes and must tinker.
    Tig welded steel 7.62x54r shut and made a new primer pocket to convert to boxer as well.
    Come and take them, Boolits first.
    Zombie hunter, Lic# 3006

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Regarding Berdan primers for 7.62x39, there may be more coming. Monitor the Graf's site:
    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...ategoryId/3503

    Berdan primers are made in a zillion different diameters, heights, hardnesses and explosive strengths. Graf's recently brought in some TulAmmo primers made by Murom in Russia. These were Murom KV-24N primers, and worked great in .217" diameter Berdan pocketed 7.62x39, but gave hangfires and duds in anything larger.

    Murom makes other Berdan primers. PMC brought in some 10 years ago suitable for bolt-action rifles in full power cartridges such as the 7.5x55. These were Murom's KV-7.62N. I've shot thousands of them with excellent results.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I have about 150 7.62X39 Yugo brass cases that I would sell if any body wants to have some to play with.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    Let me just say that doing it safely/reliably is more simply than it may appear

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I've been saving my Berdan primed 7.62x25 brass, just in case the ammo supply all disappears. I figured the primer pocket could be swaged-down with a ball bearing, or swaged-up to take a LP primer by using a normal pocket swager. I hadn't yet figured out a good way to drill out the old anvil.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    +1 on NuJudge.

    I bought a bunch of the Wolf .217 berdan primers, haven't used them yet, but a friend has
    and his results agree with NuJudge. My friend tried to use them in 7.5 Swiss, fit but all
    hangfires/no-fires. Opened up multiple large flashholes, it helped a lot, but ultimately it is a bust.
    IIRC, it even says 7.62x39 on the boxes, of course, didn't know that when I mail ordered
    them.

    I have a bunch of brass cased 7.62x39 berdan and am saving it to reload with these
    primers which I had originally intended for 7.5 Swiss.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Baron von Trollwhack's Avatar
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    Actually, there are only about five sizes of modern Berdan primers. None of them match current American primer sizes. The only Berdan primed cases I have successfully converted to use Americam primers were from that late 1930s 8 X 50 R Austrian ammo for the straight pull M-90 and M-95 (8 X 50 R) rifles and the Swartzlose M.G. of the same caliber. You may have seen that ammo at gunshows in nazi marked, boxed 5-shot Mannlicher packet clips.

    It turns out that ammo used a Berdan primer very slightly smaller in diamerer than our Large rifle primers so I was able to deprime, machine, and then use the cases after seating the LR primers. A tremendous amount of work. But then, there was no alternative for safe, full power loads.

    Thank goodness for that 8 X 56R brass Grafs brought in later. It was just a slightly larger case shoulder redesign of the 8 X 50 R. I will not use cases of a smaller head diameter even for lead loads.

    I have a pre-WWI Ferlach Guild stalking carbine So I don't need brass rework now.

    BvT
    Remember that now there are few or no consequences for political or criminal diddling, dawdling, dumassery, or outright deceit, waste, or theft, no matter the subject, the originator, the players, or the level or the name of the of the gooberment stooge(s) responsible.

    BvT

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    I fooled with converting Berdan brass to take Boxer primers a couple of years ago. I managed to make it work & I'm still using my converted brass today. After about a dozen loadings at around 1900fps, only 1 piece has a loose primer pocket & I'm pretty sure that's the one that I cut a little thinner than the others.

    I think that conversion is a suitable solution for calibers where Boxer brass is unavailable, but that's not the case with your caliber. If I were you, I would just buy some boxer brass.

    You can see the details of my escapades here - http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=50789
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    n ot worth the time and effort,shoot the berdan brass sell to scrap dealer and buy some boxer.

    TTC
    NRA life member (benefactor)

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Ed in North Texas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zxcvbob View Post
    I've been saving my Berdan primed 7.62x25 brass, just in case the ammo supply all disappears. I figured the primer pocket could be swaged-down with a ball bearing, or swaged-up to take a LP primer by using a normal pocket swager. I hadn't yet figured out a good way to drill out the old anvil.
    You might be ahead of the game to buy new Starline Boxer cases and sell your Berdan brass for scrap. Of course if you are just doing it for the challenge, or your time isn't worth much, have at it. I've been retired 14 years and I can tell you don't save stuff expecting to have lots of time to work with it after you retire, you'll just wonder where the time went.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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