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Thread: Converting Berdan primer pockets to Boxer

  1. #21
    Boolit Master



    SciFiJim's Avatar
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    Random thoughts can be dangerous, but here goes. Can this process be used to switch other brass as well? Say 50bmg to large rifle, large rifle or pistol to small rifle or pistol?
    If we experience another primer shortage, it would be nice to be able to work up loads with what might be on hand.


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  2. #22
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    JIm, not sure I'd want to try that with .50 BMG. Is there such a thing as .50 BMG mouse fart loads?...Ray
    Proud member in the basket of deplorables.

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  3. #23
    Boolit Master



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    For 50bmg I was thinking that the flash hole would would need to be enlarged and then use large rifle magnum primers.


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  4. #24
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Drilling that new flash-hole - does this not leave you with far too much flash-hole area? The two Berdan flash-holes are still there. . . . .

    Been checking this out in my little Prazi lathe, using a 5/32 screw machine drill to get the base of the old primer and the anvil out. Made a sleeve that fits over the drill to control depth. Followed with #18 drill, also tried #17 drill which cuts nominally .173, leaving less to swage.

    Need to buy that swage - no drill cuts the ring to a size that lets me press a SR primer in.

    But the flash-hole area thing has me worried. But if it works, I can re-use a couple hundred Swiss 7.5 cases I've saved up.
    Last edited by uscra112; 03-01-2012 at 03:48 AM.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  5. #25
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    No, the flash holes aren't too much. A #45 is a pretty small flash hole and the two (sometimes only 1 with some cases) original holes are fine. I fired the 19 cases yesterday with full service loads (48 gr 4895 under a 150 gr .311 bullet) with no problems. The SR primers didn't look overly flattened at all as that load does not exceed milsurp psi's of around 45,000 psi(piezo). The primers came out just fine leaving the bushings in BTW so the cases are already loaded for the next firing.

    Larry Gibson

  6. #26
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Spent a little time quantifying the flash hole areas. Looks much better than I thought. I don't have a drill small enough to gauge the Berdan holes, but they're significantly smaller than a #80, (.040"). If I calculate using .030" as a diameter, the area of the two holes in the Berdan is remarkably small, about .00141 square inches, just 28% of the area of the typical Boxer .081" flash hole., which is .00515 square inches. Curious fact, but there it is.

    Drilling another hole at .070", (#50 drill), adds .00385 square inches, and the sum of the new hole and the Berdan holes is, (drum roll please) .00528 square inches. Using a #50 drill, the area is about a wash as compared with the typical Boxer-primed cases.

    Now I feel better. But I will have to be careful in my de-priming. Many dies use a pin that is .078" diameter. Not a hard problem to surmount.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  7. #27
    Boolit Man
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    berdan cases

    LARRY
    I think it is not a good idee to convert Berdan to Boxer primer.
    The size is different.
    The size of the berdan is 0.217 x 0.108.
    the boxer size is 0.210 x 0.130.
    Result gasleak.
    Better is , pay berdan primers.
    I have use them many, many thousants.

    Leo

  8. #28
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    cast367

    Please reread my method. I convert the Larger berdan primer to a smal rifle primer. The technique allows the outer part of the berdan primer to stay in the primer pocket as a bushing so the small rifle primer is a perfect fit. I have tested my converted cases now with 5 firings of my standard cast bullet load and a firing with a full service equivelent load. If done correctly there is no gas leakage.. I did have one case that consitently gave some gas leakage. On close examination with a magnifier I discovered I had hand drilled, with the #18 drill, off center and one of the berdan flash holes was over laping the edge of the SR primer. That case was discarded after the discovered gas leakage. That is a 5% loss rate which is probably acceptable considering I would have thrown the cases away in the 1st place. With the use of a drill with milling table I expect much lees loss rate during conversion. As stated the remaining 19 cases are alive, well and reloaded awaiting their next firing.

    Berdan primers are not readily available in this country as are boxer primers. You live in Europe and I imagine they are readily available there? Besides, it is a real pain to deprime berdan primed cases as it is a slow process compared to depriming boxer primers. Additionally the anvils in the case many times get battered within a few firings by the firing pin blow (I have loaded with berdan primers before). With boxer primers a new anvil is used every time with the new primer and the problem is non exhistant.

    Larry Gibson
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 03-04-2012 at 02:31 PM.

  9. #29
    Boolit Man
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    Larry Gibson,
    Thank you for your explication.
    You have a PM
    cast367

  10. #30
    Boolit Master


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    I converted some Bulgarian 55-10 cases with the larger Berdan primer to Boxer large rifle pockets. See same thread on "Classics and Stickies" Forum post #4 on that thread for details.

    Larry Gibson

  11. #31
    Boolit Master plmitch's Avatar
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    Well, tried to drill out a few cases tonight. Messed up the first couple of ones but now have the hang of it. Just need to get a SR primer pocket swager and some primers now.
    Life's hard, even harder if your stupid.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by plmitch View Post
    Well, tried to drill out a few cases tonight. Messed up the first couple of ones but now have the hang of it. Just need to get a SR primer pocket swager and some primers now.
    Not hard to get the hang of it, I messed up several myself in the beginning and even if I messed up 1 in 20 I'd still be ahead instead of just throwing them all away. Good luck

    I've though a machinist could make a swager easy enough and inexpensive that you sat the case on, put a rod in it and tapped the rod with a mallet. This should tap the swage into the primer pocket and swage it. Should be easy to remove the case. I used to use my RCBS swage that way before I got the Dillon.

    Larry Gibson

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    What happened to the pictures?

  14. #34
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by jonk View Post
    What happened to the pictures?
    My bad, I had to clean out some folders and inadvertantly deleted them

    I've put them back.....my apologies for the goof.........

    Larry Gibson

  15. #35
    Boolit Man

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    I completely agree with Larry. This method works just fine! I tried this method last summer, and after drilling the central flash-hole you are left with what is basically a shim which is the left over sidewall of the old primer. When the new primer goes in, it is tight and i have had no issues with backed-out primers or gas leaks. Agree also, its a shame that mostly all we find now are the copper-washed steel cases. I have however reloaded these several times and can confirm that these will re-size just fine also, although not as many times as a brass case. I also (after drilling out the flash hole) place a piece of round flat steel inside the case and then punch down with another inside the outer flash-hole, This compresses the drilled hole and also mostly closes up the two Berdan holes.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    cast367

    Please reread my method. I convert the Larger berdan primer to a smal rifle primer. The technique allows the outer part of the berdan primer to stay in the primer pocket as a bushing so the small rifle primer is a perfect fit. I have tested my converted cases now with 5 firings of my standard cast bullet load and a firing with a full service equivelent load. If done correctly there is no gas leakage.. I did have one case that consitently gave some gas leakage. On close examination with a magnifier I discovered I had hand drilled, with the #18 drill, off center and one of the berdan flash holes was over laping the edge of the SR primer. That case was discarded after the discovered gas leakage. That is a 5% loss rate which is probably acceptable considering I would have thrown the cases away in the 1st place. With the use of a drill with milling table I expect much lees loss rate during conversion. As stated the remaining 19 cases are alive, well and reloaded awaiting their next firing.

    Berdan primers are not readily available in this country as are boxer primers. You live in Europe and I imagine they are readily available there? Besides, it is a real pain to deprime berdan primed cases as it is a slow process compared to depriming boxer primers. Additionally the anvils in the case many times get battered within a few firings by the firing pin blow (I have loaded with berdan primers before). With boxer primers a new anvil is used every time with the new primer and the problem is non exhistant.

    Larry Gibson
    I have been converting all calibers of berdan to boxer for 6 yrs now... have done thousands of ctgs.. My main sight is surplusrifleforum.com.. Blackwolf (there) and I (same handle) have a several different threads there with pictures showing the tools we use, our notes and comments and also the best brass to work with.

    Currently I have sold my 8mm rifles but have several .308 rifles. and with the rising price of brass, i turned my thousand rounds of 8mm to .308. and still have a few hundred to do yet for myself, and got 500 or so 8mm mauser to do for a gent there and send back.. the process is not hard, just finding the technic and what you have available .


    http://surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=89182
    yoop
    Last edited by yooper_sjd; 04-28-2012 at 07:33 PM.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master jabilli's Avatar
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    Bummer I found out just now how to convert to boxer- That was one of the main reasons I traded in my PSL for an LR-308. I want my PSL back! lol

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    I think the best Berdan decapper would be a one of the Chinese mini lathes or a drill press with a collet chuck.
    With the lathe a parting tool of small end mill to cut out the center of the primer leaving a ring of metalwith a lip.
    Use a small screw driver to pry out the old primer.
    EDG

  19. #39
    Boolit Mold
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    By the way, I have heard that you can deprime Berdan cases by filling the case with water, inserting a close fitting dowel, and rapping that dowel with a mallet. The hydraulic pressure pops the old primer out. With 217 primers available, this should be the easy way to reload these cases. Has anybody tried this?

  20. #40
    Boolit Master


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    Several times; got water all over everything.....did not get the primer out.........if you try in the bottom of an empty swimming pool would be a good place.........some claim success, I never had any with the water/hydraulic method..........

    Larry Gibson

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check