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Thread: Converting Berdan primer pockets to Boxer

  1. #221
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Eureka MT
    My only try at water depriming gave me expanded neck and shoulder and the primer still hadn't moved. I drill out the old berdan primer with a drill a little under the size of a shotgun primer and cut a recess for the rim of the primer. Then install shotgun primers. They seem to be a lot easier to find now than most other primers and a lot cheaper.

  2. #222
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Found this after searching for what to do with hundreds of berdan primed .308 cases I was given. Like a dufus, I did not know they were berdan primed until I had spent days cleaning them. So now what to do....sell them as scrap, find berdan primers, modify them like Larry has posted, or convert them to use 209's.

    I do not reload rifle calibers on the progressives so that may factor into how I proceed.

    I have read the whole thread and it was an eye opener. Watched a number of YouTube stuff as well.

    This is a great resource. Thanks to all that contributed.
    Don Verna

  3. #223
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jun 2023
    Thanks for the info everyone. I loaded up 9 steel case 7.62x39 to test out. It was successful. Small rifle boxer primer stayed in place. Shot them through an sks-m. Used .308 bullets because thats all I had laying around. Over 24 grs of DP2200. Next will be to experiment with cast boolits. And if there is anyway to streamline the process. The drilling takes awhile. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Thebigbaby; 03-17-2024 at 02:40 PM.

  4. #224
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Aug 2023
    I have never done this before, good luck!

  5. #225
    Boolit Grand Master

    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    " any way to streamline the process. The drilling takes awhile."

    I have a mill table on my drill press with a vise on it. I do multiple cases one step at a time. It goes about as quick as possible that way.

    If wanting to do a large number of cases a special two diameter drill could be made to drill the flash hole and drill off the bottom of the primer in one operation. Holding the case in a collet lathe might negate having to center the firing pin indent prior to drilling. That would really speed up the process.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #226
    Boolit Buddy
    2TM101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2023
    Los Angeles

    Berdan cases are harder to reload - but Berdan primers are far easier to make.

    Its far easier to reprime a Boxer Case than a Berdan case, true enough. Provided you have Boxer primers.

    Consider that it is far easier to make a Berdan primer than a boxer primer. Its just a percussion cap. You don't have to clean out a tiny used primer and handle an even tinier anvil. Seems to me that if you are making your own primers as part of the reloading process, Berdan Cases would actually be overall easier to reload.

    I suppose the only reason this has never caught on is that ther eis no simple and easy way of getting the Berdan primer out
    Currently casting and loading: .32 S&W Long, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 10mm, 44 Special 44 Magnum. .223, 7.62x39, 7.62 x 54R, .30-06, 45-70, .32, .36, .44. .45. .50. .54. .58 and .60 round ball and various minies. And .375 heel crimped conical for those .36 conversions . KB6MRP on Discord

  7. #227
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Switzerland of Ohio
    I do (well, did) this using a lathe. Far, far easier than trying to use a mill. Collet chuck quicker, but 3-jaw works. Use 1/8" stub drill to take top off the Berdan primer and remove most of the anvil. Follow with flash hole drill. Final operation is small primer pocket swage.
    Cognitive Dissident

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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