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Berdan Primers

Printed From: Enfield-Rifles.com
Category: Reloading
Forum Name: Reloading .303 British
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URL: http://www.enfield-rifles.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12476
Printed Date: February 21 2024 at 2:07pm
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Topic: Berdan Primers
Posted By: The Apprentice
Subject: Berdan Primers
Date Posted: January 08 2023 at 9:47am
Ok guys I bought a case of these after working a 14 hour graveyard shift I plead sheer tiredness I caught a post on the cmp forum about large rifle primers on sale so I jumped and bought a case 

So I am looking at getting some 303 Berdan brass

I have also read on the cmp forum that some guys have figured out how to use water to hydraulically  push out the primers and just neck size the brass 

Have anyone here tried this ?

Link to the primers 

https://www.powdervalleyinc.com/product/pmc-kvb-762n-large-rifle-berdan-primers/" rel="nofollow - https://www.powdervalleyinc.com/product/pmc-kvb-762n-large-rifle-berdan-primers/


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New to Enfield’s



Replies:
Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: January 08 2023 at 10:33am
I’ve not tried the hydraulic method.  I have used a removal tool that pries out the spent primer.  A lot of work and not really worth the hassle if you have Boxer cases and primers. 

Note, there are three sizes of Berdan Large Rifle primers,.217, .250 and .254; so you need to be sure you get cases that match the diameter of your primers.  The other issue is getting the right size primer punch for seating the primer. 

I have a fair bit of spent .303 Berdan cases.  PM me. 


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 08 2023 at 12:23pm
[EDITED]
Those are LARGE Berdan, or XL Berdan? (there are three, the British one being Large & larger & the South African smaller)?
I have a bunch (37) of Once fired 7.7 R1M3Z A80 or A81 South African & it also includes 5 X Brit large primer rounds. I'll also (eventually) have quite a few more of both. 350 of the Brit (large primer )& 200 of the S/A.(small primer)
If this is any help let me know by PM. Ive been keeping them to use as action proving dummies & master case hulls!
I used to do the hydraulic decapping, I actually had bought at one time the kit back in the 70' in the UK. It worked, but is messy & soggy, do it outside wearing dirty old clothes, though. What come s spurting out is NOT clean water!Dead





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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: January 08 2023 at 1:12pm
Yes, although the .254 is not common, and not used on the .303 as far as I know.  I’ve seen .303 Berdan cases for .217 and .250, I have some of both sizes. 




Posted By: The Apprentice
Date Posted: January 08 2023 at 4:31pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

I’ve not tried the hydraulic method.  I have used a removal tool that pries out the spent primer.  A lot of work and not really worth the hassle if you have Boxer cases and primers. 

Note, there are three sizes of Berdan Large Rifle primers,.217, .250 and .254; so you need to be sure you get cases that match the diameter of your primers.  The other issue is getting the right size primer punch for seating the primer. 

I have a fair bit of spent .303 Berdan cases.  PM me. 


Geoff 
The PMC primers are .217”

I haven’t found a de priming method or tool yet so I am not sure I will even try it.
  I am still trying to figure out the cost to salvage these 1000 primers. Are any of your cases .217 primed?


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New to Enfield’s


Posted By: BJ72
Date Posted: January 08 2023 at 5:26pm
This link below has a lot of useful information on Berdan primers including sizes and what they're used for. Acquiring Berdan primers in Australia seems to be impossible these days, especially the RWS 6000 primers that were used in the 303. I don't even know if RWS produce them any more. At the present time all primers, including boxer primers, are in very short supply in Australia, especially pistol primers.

If you intend to reload ex-military 303 Berdan primed cases, be aware that if they've been fired with primers containing fulminate of mercury, the cases are essentially ruined. The mercury gets into the brass and makes it brittle. There's a high chance of the brass failing on the next or subsequent firing. Most early 303 military ammo was loaded with mercuric primers which as a general rule can be identified by the copper color of the primer cup. If the primer is brass colored in appearance it's a fair bet it's non-mercuric. Some post WW2 303 ammunition while still loaded with cordite was loaded with non-mercuric primers and can be reloaded if you can find the correct Berdan primers.

Either way, reloading Berdan brass is a pain. It's far easier to just stick with modern boxer primed cases.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/berdan_supplies_dimensions.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/berdan_supplies_dimensions.html


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My idea of gun control is hitting what I aim at and nothing else.


Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: January 09 2023 at 4:49am

Geoff 
The PMC primers are .217”

I haven’t found a de priming method or tool yet so I am not sure I will even try it.
  I am still trying to figure out the cost to salvage these 1000 primers. Are any of your cases .217 primed?
[/QUOTE]

Yes, I have some fired South African A80 cases, you’re welcome to them, not sure how many I have.




Posted By: The Apprentice
Date Posted: January 09 2023 at 5:28am
Originally posted by BJ72 BJ72 wrote:

This link below has a lot of useful information on Berdan primers including sizes and what they're used for. Acquiring Berdan primers in Australia seems to be impossible these days, especially the RWS 6000 primers that were used in the 303. I don't even know if RWS produce them any more. At the present time all primers, including boxer primers, are in very short supply in Australia, especially pistol primers.

If you intend to reload ex-military 303 Berdan primed cases, be aware that if they've been fired with primers containing fulminate of mercury, the cases are essentially ruined. The mercury gets into the brass and makes it brittle. There's a high chance of the brass failing on the next or subsequent firing. Most early 303 military ammo was loaded with mercuric primers which as a general rule can be identified by the copper color of the primer cup. If the primer is brass colored in appearance it's a fair bet it's non-mercuric. Some post WW2 303 ammunition while still loaded with cordite was loaded with non-mercuric primers and can be reloaded if you can find the correct Berdan primers.

Either way, reloading Berdan brass is a pain. It's far easier to just stick with modern boxer primed cases.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/berdan_supplies_dimensions.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/berdan_supplies_dimensions.html




Thank you Brad here is a picture of some of the brass I will be using it is postwar made in 1949


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New to Enfield’s


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 09 2023 at 8:53am
I thought I'd posted this, but I guess not.
You may have everything you need to hydraulically decap your cases in your tool box!
Its not at all hard to do, just very time consuming.
You have to fill all the cases,
do the ole hammer whack to get the old primer out,
dry the wet cases
& then figure out how to get the new primers back in!

See Video:if it won't auto-load for you (I had a problem) just copy/paste the link below into a new window & it will run there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Puz8WYX0xgQ
If you have a Lee Whack a Mole loader the rod in it is perfect for de-priming as its a fit in the case neck.Thumbs Up



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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: The Apprentice
Date Posted: January 09 2023 at 2:20pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

I thought I'd posted this, but I guess not.
You may have everything you need to hydraulically decap your cases in your tool box!
Its not at all hard to do, just very time consuming.
You have to fill all the cases,
do the ole hammer whack to get the old primer out,
dry the wet cases
& then figure out how to get the new primers back in!

See Video:if it won't auto-load for you (I had a problem) just copy/paste the link below into a new window & it will run there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Puz8WYX0xgQ
If you have a Lee Whack a Mole loader the rod in it is perfect for de-priming as its a fit in the case neck.Thumbs Up


Thank you Chaz
I get it now so I have some Berdan brass coming my way
1. I plan on trying the hydraulic deprime method 
2. Take my decapping pin out and run the brass thru my sizing die
3. Stainless pin and dawn dish soap tumble the brass 
4. Prime the cases I need to check but I have 4 different priming tools
5 . Since I only have 1 Enfield I am thinking of getting a neck sizing die after the first run of brass
With the brass I will be getting from Geoff and if I get that other 65 rounds I can reload these about 9 times before I run out of primers.


Again thank you all for the help and support  
Any and all comments appreciated 
Jeff 




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New to Enfield’s


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 09 2023 at 4:23pm
You may not need to buy a die.
Especially for a test run.
Let me go find you a link down in Reloading.
OK got it:
http://www.enfield-rifles.com/uploads/3/smoking_cases.pdf" rel="nofollow - http://www.enfield-rifles.com/uploads/3/smoking_cases.pdf
Essentially you back off your F/L die one full turn, so its under resizing.
you mark the case so you can see where its changing what,
then you sneak up on the "perfect"setting & lock & use it.
If it works for you then great, if not at least you have some test cases to use!
Tongue 


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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: Sapper740
Date Posted: April 06 2023 at 7:29am
Apologies if this has been mentioned before but I've had good luck converting Berdan primed cases to Boxer with this kit:  with  https://22lrreloader.com/products/berdan-military-case-loader-foreign-domestic" rel="nofollow - https://22lrreloader.com/products/berdan-military-case-loader-foreign-domestic
It's a little finicky and time consuming but once converted you can deprime with ease.  



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