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Thread: Need the help of your collective wisdom, .223 primer pocket troubles

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Most of what I have to offer has been said above. I started with an RCBS press mounted swaging kit and had the same sort of problems. Imperial sizing wax on the swaging nub helped and going deeper than I thought I had to was the best solution. Brass primed just fine. However, swaging was difficult. Brass constantly needed to be forced off the swaging nub with a lot of force, but the tools worked. I bought a used Dillon 600 swaging unit on here and haven't look back. I can do 1000 cases in an evening, no stuck cases, no deformed cases, and have had no trouble priming cases. That said, if you don't reload for an AR and don't shoot 1000 rounds of 223 a year, the RCBS should be more cost effective, especially if you collect/save your spent brass. If you shoot and load more than that, the Dillon, like all things Dillon in my opinion, is worth the cash outlay.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I've tried four methods. I've tried the RCBS swage kit shown in the link. I've tried a reamer on my prep station. And I've also tried a chamfer tool. The reamer works great if you are only doing a small amount. Doing more than 50 at a time would kill your wrist. One of those hand held chamfer tools works surprisingly well. All it does is take the lip out, but usually the rest of the pocket is not deformed from crimping. I never liked the RCBS swage kit. It is slow, cumbersome, and never worked all that well. I always turned mine in as far as it would go, the press camming over heavily. Still, it seemed to produce so-so results as you have found. Lubing the punch is a must, else you will be slamming it open every time.

    Thankfully Lee hit a home run this year with their APP press and their swaging die. That thing is a life saver. It fully takes the crimp out of the pocket with minimal effort, no lube needed. I processed something like 700 cases in an hour with it. Primers seat great.
    Like you I've tried a bunch of methods. The best for me is the Dillon 1050. Next is the Dillon 600 Super Swage. For small batches most work well enough. When you do large volumes some of the methods are lacking.

    That being said I will be ordering the APP https://www.titanreloading.com/app-a...ocessing-press
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  3. #23
    Boolit Bub
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    Iím using the old 09495, press mounted.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I have not tried any of the press mounted swage tools. I was using the chamfer tool, and it worked ok but slow. I bought the Dillion Super Swage 600.
    Well worth the money. Much faster than the chamfer tool and easier on the hands.
    Leo

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master

    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Thankfully Lee hit a home run this year with their APP press and their swaging die. That thing is a life saver. It fully takes the crimp out of the pocket with minimal effort, no lube needed. I processed something like 700 cases in an hour with it. Primers seat great.
    Iíve been looking at this press a lot lately. Unfortunately the swage kit is out of stock everywhere. Due back soon but I would have bought it earlier this week had it been available.

    I tried all the press mounted versions. They all have issues. Biggest one is inconsistent results. Ended up w/ a Dillon 600 and it works great. And itís fun to fling the swaged case into a bin some distance away from the tool

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Primer crimps are a PITA! 223 seems to be worse than most. Like some of you I have tried several methods and nothing seems to work perfect 100% of the time. I have had the older RCBS tool for years and use it more than the others. I may be the only person alive that didn't like the Dillon. I had one and sold it. I have had better luck with a plain old countersink in a drill. Now I mostly use a reamer from Wilson.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Having tried just about every primer pocket tool out there I’ve found two that are head and shoulders above the rest. One has been mentioned many times, the Dillon Super Swage. The other I didn’t see mentioned. It’s the Hornady primer pocket reamer. The things that, IMO, make it better than similar tools are that it’s made of tool steel, it’s available with or without a nice knurled aluminum handle, the cutters are very sharp like lathe tools, it has a flat end that doesn’t cut so it can’t cut too deeply and it threads into most prep stations including the Lyman. With a generous budget, go Dillon. For a conservative budget go Hornady.
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  8. #28
    Boolit Bub curt48mauser's Avatar
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    Hitting Home Depot, Loews or your local hardware, grab one of these routers. First, de-prime your brass and then chuck the router into your drill and set the run lock on (and get your safety glasses on, there will be some flying brass flecks). Start grabbing light handfuls and get about a 1/2 second press in the empty primer pocket, clearing out the crimp. You will quickly find a rhythm that will wipe out a big pile of brass in short order.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/WEN-3-4-...04VG/307358712
    Check the size of the router, a smaller one may suit you better.
    Last edited by curt48mauser; 06-05-2020 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Additional information

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    I have the early rcbs unit. I didn't work well on the 223 so I lathe turned a new punch that is a few thousands longer on the spud that does the work. It took a couple of times to get it right but it works great now. I later bought a Sinclair large and small rifle primer pocket uniformer, those really work well but leaves a sharp edge on the primer pocket. A quick twist with neck deburring tool finishes the edge nicely. I no longer use military crimped brass as I have scrounged several thousand commercial cases for 308 and 223.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by atlas366 View Post
    I have saved piles of .223/5.56 brass and now seems a good time to reload them. I have an RCBS primer pocket swager and understand the crimp issues. I prepped my brass methodically and swaged each piece, but I did not have satisfactory results when it came time to prime. Far to much pressure required to seat the primers and deformation to the primers resulted, particularly around the edges. I took precautions in case I had a primer let go, but something in my process isn't right. I stopped at three pieces of brass, knowing it was time to change something. Is my primer pocket tool inadequate, is it the CCI small rifle primers (which I've heard can be tight), perhaps something else? I've always been impressed with the reloading knowledge on Castboolits, so here I am. Thanks for any help you can offer.
    You need to adjust the swager so that the crimp is completely removed. If you need help, there is a gage that you can buy that will tell you when the crimp is completely removed. This gage is a Go/No Go gage and will tell you when you have the swager adjusted correctly (crimp removed). Link for the gage is posted below.

    A countersink tool or a router bit is the wrong tool to use. Yes it does remove the crimp. But it will also shorten the primer pocket wall meaning the primer pocket will have less contact with the primer. If you have a primer pocket that is close to being out of spec (loose), you take a chance of gases getting by the primer when the weapon is fired. Over time, this will etch the bolt face or eat at the firing pin hole. Seen it more times than I can count.

    Swage Gage - Small Primer Pocket Gauge - Price: $11.99

  11. #31
    Boolit Master


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    I ran into the same problem with the rcbs primer swage tool. I was priming on a Dillon 550 with WSR and S&B Primers. I took the brass and used a Lyman hand tool to cut the crimp out of my primer pockets.
    With the rcbs swage only about 1 out 30 rounds seem to offer resistance to swaging the primer pocket.

  12. #32
    Boolit Grand Master






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    yup one of the best investments ive made.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wisest.fool View Post
    I use the dillon super swager. When i go to set depth i just swage it and try to seat a primer with a hand primer. If its too tight i set it deeper. The dillon super swager is awesome and can be used for 223 308 300bo and 9mm with provided acessories. I can really run through the brass i usually do about 1000 cases in just under an hour. Havent trimmed primer crimps since i got it. Probably not worth it though if you are only doing 100 or so.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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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