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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/13/2012 8:02:31 PM EST
I have a couple of hundred .308 Winchester Berdan cases. Does anyone know of a cost effective way to deprime them and convert them to Boxers?
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 1:27:08 AM EST
Lee hand tool had a cup piece to set the cartridge in and punch the primer out.
Instead of the primer punch, fill the case with water and drive a .30 caliber dowel into the case.
Hydraulic pressure will drive the primer out.
As far as converting it to Boxer primer you are on your own.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 2:31:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/14/2012 2:38:21 AM EST by raf]
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 4:08:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By willstill:
I have a couple of hundred .308 Winchester Berdan cases. Does anyone know of a cost effective way to deprime them and convert them to Boxers?

You can't convert them to boxer, don't bother.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 5:22:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By LonelyRaven:

Originally Posted By willstill:
I have a couple of hundred .308 Winchester Berdan cases. Does anyone know of a cost effective way to deprive them and convert them to Boxers?

You can't convert them to boxer, don't bother.


Some folks are getting into reloading berdan. I'm pretty sure dryflash3 does. Since they are .308 Win there may not be much demand for them though. I usually sell my berdan primed brass for "the going scrap rate" + shipping. And usually do sell it.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 10:03:46 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/15/2012 9:43:45 AM EST
I only want to go through the hassle if it's possible to just drill a Boxer primer hole when I'm done.
Link Posted: 11/15/2012 11:17:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By willstill:
I have a couple of hundred .308 Winchester Berdan cases. Does anyone know of a cost effective way to deprime them and convert them to Boxers?


Hydraulic Berdan de-primer built in under an hour with common hardware store supplies:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/362609_Hydraulic_Decapper_for_Berdan__Home_Built_.html

Seems to work well enough.

As for re-priming, either Grafs or Powder Valley should be able to sell you Berdan primers. Converting to boxer would seem to be too much of a hassle.

Link Posted: 11/15/2012 11:20:42 AM EST
I believe Boxer and Berdan primers are different diameters for a given primer style.

Boxer Large rifle primer- .210"
Berdan Large rifle- .2175"

So the primer pocket could possably be larger and the boxer primer would be loose.

Link Posted: 11/15/2012 1:30:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/15/2012 5:36:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/16/2012 5:40:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By dryflash3:

Originally Posted By willstill:
I only want to go through the hassle if it's possible to just drill a Boxer primer hole when I'm done.

That's a fail.


WillStill: While you might get away with that in a pistol caliber, altering the dimensions of a flash hole, or ADDING a third flash hole by drilling a Berdan for Boxer use, could alter pressure enough to blow up your gun. Not a wise plane.

Link Posted: 11/16/2012 8:20:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/16/2012 8:25:17 PM EST by FLICK-244]
I'll have to look, but there was a thread on another forum that detailed how to convert large primer berdan cases to SMALL primer boxer cases.

Essentially you use a center punch to find the center of the spent berdan primer (if the firing pin dent is off center)

Use a numbered (decimal not fractional drill bit) to drill out the berdan's built in anvil

Use another numbered bit to remove the base portion of the berdan primer while leaving the cylindrical portion in the primer pocket

Swage the new primer pocket for small primers and then usual case prep and load.

I have gone through this with some .303 British cases, but have not loaded (or shot them). I would be leery of pushing the pressure at all and will be keeping these at, or very near, starting load pressures.

It is labor intensive. I got it down to about 2 or 3 minutes per case after making a jig of sorts. Any savings over buying new cases would be quickly consumed, but I thought it a neat exercise and it made me feel better about not having to get rid of good quality cases and turn them into scrap.

Found the tutorial thread HERE.
Link Posted: 11/17/2012 5:44:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 4:24:26 AM EST
From my read of the linked thread, there are a few issues to deal with. First, the author was converting 7.62X54R cases, which have a deeper/taller primer than 7.62X39, so this process probably won't work with any AK cases. Second, the author's process has you drill out the primer cup and pocket from the outside, leaving the walls of the fired Berdan primer in the pocket. This apparently allows you to fit a small rifle Boxer primer in the resulting space. The author states he's tested a small sample (19 rounds) and the sleeve left by the old Berdan primer's walls did not dislodge when the SR primer was punched out. So far so good...but he only reports on a single try with this method, not how many times he was able to process the brass before the sleeve came out. Maybe it'll last for a long time, maybe not.

So far, this is the safest (looking) conversion process I've seen posted. But it is a lot of work to do, it requires precision drilling, and has limited history to base any safety or work savings decisions on.

With the RCBS tool, once you get it adjusted for the primers you're dealing with, and once you get the techique (which is quite easy) down, it is just plain "fast and easy" to deprime Berdan cases. Berdan primers are becoming much more available (Powder Valley has the type needed for 7.62X39 for $22/K and for "European 7.62 NATO type" cases for $28/K). Seating Berdan primers is easy too, as long as you remember that you're not seating by "feel," and adjust tools and technique accordingly. To me, it's not worth messing with a "conversion" to use Boxer primers in this sort of case.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 4:02:31 PM EST
You can't convert them to boxer, don't bother.


Yea you can, but it's not worth it.

I have soldered in rings into brass berdan to make them the proper size for boxer.
I have even Tig welded berdan steel, and turned new primer pockets on the lathe.
I have even converted 54r steel to prime with 209 primers (shooting strictly cast)

Again, not worth it at all. But I do like to tinker with stuff and ruin bits on my lathe.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 6:04:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/23/2012 6:04:44 AM EST by DekeD]
Why not just buy some Berdan primers and go to town? They really aren't too much effort to deprime with the RCBS tool...


-Deke
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