The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 6, 2007, 01:22 PM   #1
Greg Di
Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2005
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 66
Proper Technique for cutting primer pockets

I've been reading a lot about prepping primer pockets on .223 and military brass. Everyone talks about the fact that they do something, however, I can't find a post that says HOW to do it.

I have a Lee primer pocket cleaner already. Can I use this? If so, what's the technique?

If not, what's the easiest tool to buy and use for prepping the pockets?

Thanks.
Greg Di is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 01:59 PM   #2
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Military brass with crimped primers will require swaging or cutting out the crimp.

Commercial brass for high accuracy work can benefit from uniforming the pockets for depth.
brickeyee is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 02:08 PM   #3
ClassicSWC
Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2007
Posts: 59
They are several things you can or may have to do. If the brass is military or has a primer crimp, you'll have to get rid of the crimp. I swage all of mine. I use the rcbs kit which basically opens up the primer pocket, for lack of a better term. No cutting invloved there. Only has to be done once for the life of the case.

After that you can true up the primer pocket, which involves cutting the pocket to a consistent depth. Slip the cutter into a drill (don't try to do it by hand, you'll never get done and you'll have forearms that would make Popeye jealous.) You only have to do this once for the life of the case.

Don't forget the flash hole. Might as well clean that up while you are at it. Same as before, do it once and you're done.

The pocket cleaner is only for cleaning the gunk out after depriming.
ClassicSWC is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 02:52 PM   #4
rrp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2006
Location: west central Wi
Posts: 298
Primer crimp removal

I use a rcbs deburring tool (chamfering end) in an electric drill to remove the crimp in my .223 brass.
rrp is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 02:54 PM   #5
cobra81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2005
Location: Land of Lincoln
Posts: 299
Your Lee primer pocket cleaner will not work to remove the crimp. You need a tool known as a primer pocket uniformer.

If you have spent military brass, go ahead and deprime them as usual. Be aware, it is generally tougher to get a military-crimped primer out than a commercial load primer. The primer is held in by the crimp, and will want to use plenty of lube on the case, in a good strong press, and plenty of leverage.

Now that you have the spent primer out, you will notice that a new primer will not fit into the primer pocket...that's because of the crimp put there to hold the old primer. There are several ways to remove this crimp, thus making the case usable for you to reload. One way is to use a "primer pocket uniformer" tool. There are different designs, some are meant to be used only by hand, others can be chucked up in a drill, and others can be inserted into a case-trimming lathe in place of the regular cutter. Or you can swage the crimp out with a different type of tool. In any case, the goal is to remove the crimp so you can re-prime the case with your own primer.

If you're going to do a lot of cases, I recommend a swager, or a uniformer that can be chucked up in a drill, unless carpal tunnel syndrome appeals to you. It requires a lot of repetitive twisting motion for your wrists and forearms to do a lot of cases by hand.

Lee makes a case mouth chamfer tool that will actually work in a pinch....put the pointed end of it into the primer pocket and twist until you have cut enough of the crimp out to seat a new primer. Not a preferred method.

For the record, after de-priming, I use a lathe case trimmer with LE Wilson's primer pocket uniformer to remove the crimp in the Lake City and Greek brass I reload for my M1. Then I clean out the gunk in the primer pocket with a Lee primer pocket cleaner. Next, I use a Lyman flash-hole trimmer to clean up any roughness in the flash-hole. (For some reason, I rarely find much to clean around the flash-hole in the military brass; hardly anything compared to the rough edges I find in brand-new Winchester commercial brass.)

From there, it's on to case-trimming to length, re-priming, charging, and seating. Good to go! Note: If you're going to use the reloaded rounds in a semi-automatic rifle, especially one with a floating firing pin like the M1, be sure to check to make sure you've got all the primers seated flush or below the case head. A "high" primer can cause a slamfire, and ruin your day.

Hope this helps.
cobra81 is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 02:58 PM   #6
Greg Di
Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2005
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 66
Lee says you can use their chamfer tool to remove the primer crimp. Sounds unlikely, but they wouldn't say it unless you could do it I suppose.

Will it work?
Greg Di is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 03:09 PM   #7
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
It might, but it cuts a large bevel into the outer edge of the pocket.
The swaging tools push the metal back into position.
The dedicated cutting tools remove only enough metal from the pocket. SOme have depth stops to prevent overcutting.
If you have a lot of shells a swage works nicer.
brickeyee is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 04:30 PM   #8
cobra81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2005
Location: Land of Lincoln
Posts: 299
The LE Wilson cutter removes the crimp and puts a slight bevel into the primer pocket. The Lee chamfer tool will definitely cut enough of the military crimp to allow you to seat a new primer, (I've done it), but it is tedious work, and like brickeyee said, because of it's conical shape designed for the case neck, it will cut a pretty large bevel into the primer pocket mouth. Since I'm loading for the M1 and do NOT want a high primer, I want a very slight bevel if any so the primer is as tight as possible in the pocket. YMMV.
cobra81 is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 07:26 PM   #9
fourrobert13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: South West Ohio
Posts: 336
Quote:
I've been reading a lot about prepping primer pockets on .223 and military brass. Everyone talks about the fact that they do something, however, I can't find a post that says HOW to do it.

I have a Lee primer pocket cleaner already. Can I use this? If so, what's the technique?

If not, what's the easiest tool to buy and use for prepping the pockets?

Thanks.
The Lee primer pocket cleaner only cleans the pockets, it doesn't remove the crimp. You can use your Lee chmafer tool to remove the crimps, but it is tedious and hard on the wrist. I would get a pocket reamer, RCBS, Lyman, or something along those lines. But if you are mass producing, look at the dillon swager. If you use your chamfer tool to do the job, just place the point of the tool in the primer pocket, and turn it back and forth a few times to remove the crimp.
__________________
Be aware of yourself and everything around you.
fourrobert13 is offline  
Old December 6, 2007, 09:16 PM   #10
CrustyFN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,255
Quote:
Lee says you can use their chamfer tool to remove the primer crimp. Sounds unlikely, but they wouldn't say it unless you could do it I suppose.

Will it work?
Yes it will. I have done some this way and wouldn't want to do a lot like that. Using a different brand chamfer tool in a drill like rrp said would be better. I use a dull drill bit in a battery drill. It will remove the crimp very fast but is hard to go to deep with. I have done a lot with the drill bit and can't imagine anything being much faster or easier.
Rusty
__________________
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
CrustyFN is offline  
Old December 9, 2007, 12:16 PM   #11
thallub
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2007
Location: South Western OK
Posts: 2,019
"I use a rcbs deburring tool (chamfering end) in an electric drill to remove the crimp in my .223 brass."

Works well for me too. Takes less than 5 seconds to do the job.
thallub is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09895 seconds with 9 queries