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Thread: Berdan Primers

  1. #1

    Berdan Primers

    Hello to all.....I just picked up an old (but very nice) DANISH RB in 11.7 along with about a thousand brass....all berdan stuff.
    Any ideas, besides the usual on-line places (who havent had any in years) on who/where to get them?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Michigan Lansing Area
    Pretty much have to ask around at gun shows, and on forums such as this. Complicating things further is primers are more hassle to ship legally. There was a member in Fla. that had some for face to face sale awhile ago. And they come in more sizes.

    You might also want search the forum to look into the instructions on how to drill the existing Berdan primers to accept a boxer primer. Involves drilling a tiny hole as the center primer hole and a larger shallow hole to hold the primer right in the middle of the spent Berdan primer. Essentially the Berdan primer will swage into a tight fit on the boxer primer and one can even reload them. I should add there is some fairly heated debate on the subject. Some say it's crazy, others have used it for years and swear by it being both safe and effective. All I know for sure is I sent a couple of boxes worth of 303 Brit to a retired guy with as he said more time than money for brass and he seemed happy with them and the results.

    There are also some people that reform another caliber case by running it through the die for the desired end caliber to form obsolete cartridges from current boxer primed brass. Just as a general thing Grumpa seems to know a lot about this process. Myself I cut down and form 30-06 into 8mm Mauser because one is cheap brass the other rather expensive. Not because one is an obsolete cartridge. But the idea is the same. Trim and or form with die to fit different chamber.

    Gun shows people won't generally bring Berdan primers and have them out, but sometimes if you ask around someone will have a pack or two they will bring in and sell you.

    Oh and if you load Berdan you will need the tool to remove them. Looks like a bottle opener with a pick. Think RCBS makes them, they work but are not especially fast compared to regular boxer primer removal on a press.

    Last thing you might want to edit your profile to at least list a geographic part of your state, things such as primers or powder will typically be a face to face purchase and knowing if you are in the same general area helps encourage responses.
    Last edited by RogerDat; 06-04-2018 at 06:12 PM.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page I do trade a bit from time to time.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    One option to use your Berdan cases , you can drill them out and use 209 shotshell primers, if the original cases aren't too thin. I've done that with some CBC Berdan 24 gauge cases I use in a 577 Snider. Another method, which IS NOT RECOMMENDED , is to drill a central flash hole, and epoxy in a LR primer. Years ago a friend of mine used this method to reload .43 Spanish Berdan brass, and STILL LIVES, but now with new brass available I woudn't try that stunt.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    use the kit from

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    New York, the empire State
    I also have a Lot of Primer brass in This caliber. the berdans you are looking for should be size 5.5 MM. Which were recently imported by wolf or s&b Billed as .308 primers for militaries.These will have a diameter of .217 , a bit larger than standard LR's.
    NRA Endowment Member
    International Ammunition Association
    New York, the Empire State Where Empires were Won and Lost

  6. #6
    I am now using the Buffalo brass, which 60% thus far is ****. Good idea on drilling the primers, but the cases have been decapped. Going to plan "C". B was to use 45-70 stuff, but I just can't for some reason!

  7. #7
    I'll give that a pun intended. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Do you know if they are the same as the TulAmmo KV-7.62N Large Rifle primers? If so, I owe you a beer!

  9. #9
    Thanks,...his phone mailbox is full, and I sent a Email....I'll post the results.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hodgenville, KY-Lincolns Birthplace
    "Last thing you might want to edit your profile to at least list a geographic part of your state, things such as primers or powder will typically be a face to face purchase and knowing if you are in the same general area helps encourage responses."
    I'd second that.
    I'll ship 'help' items not restricted but go FTF on primers, powder and other HazMat items.
    I have .217, and a few .250 and .254 Berdan primers.
    If you are in Kentucky and would like to try some Berdan primers as mentioned above sent PM.

  11. #11
    TO ALL: TulAmmo has Berdan stuff. hasn't for some time.
    KYWOODWRKR: I can only use the large Berdan primers...last box indicates 7.62N large rifle. I have no idea what may be compatible. I'm in WA state so shipping would be a hassle anyway. BTW, born and raised in NC.

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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