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Old February 20, 2013, 08:27 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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dealing with crimped primer pockets... anything I should know ???

part of the collection inherited from my FIL includes 2 ammo cans of spent, but still primed mil spec 223 cases ( I also discovered I have several 100 - 30 carbine cases with crimped primers... 43 & 52 vintage ) with the delay on components, & the moving of all my reloading & ammo stuff, I thought it a good time to go through all my brass, & process as needed...

I also inherited a pair of primer pocket swages for large & small pockets, that I've yet to use...

anything I need to know / look for as I process this brass ??? ( I've already decapped with my universal decapper, & wet tumbled with the pins... makes it easier to read all the headstamps for sorting )

I assume I don't need to lube the case to swag the primer pocket ??? the flash hole remains the same size ??? ( I do have a flash hole uniforming tool if needed ) does it usually shear off when removing the flange, or press it into the cup walls...

anyone like the reamers better than the swages ???

thanks for any comments & suggestions...
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; February 20, 2013 at 08:55 AM.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:43 AM   #2
Qtiphky
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I have a hand held pocket reamer I think that I use. It is for small rifle primers like what you would be dealing with. Stick it in, a couple of turns and the pocket is cleared and ready to go. I do not do anything with the flash hole as I haven't found it necessary. I don't remember if it is a swage or reamer, I think the terms are interchangeable, if not, someone will correct me shortly.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:50 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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my understanding, is the swag should push the brass back into position ( where it was crimped from ) rather than removing it, which in theory, should keep the primer pockets tighter longer... weather it works like that, I have no idea ??? where as the reamers shave off the crimp ridge... again... all in theory

FIL had alot of Contender barrels, many of which cartridges were based on the 223 case... he must have gotten 2-4 50 cal ammo cans full of spent cases, & went through 1 or 2 of them, before he died... the last 2 cans on the shelf haven't been "processed yet"

I also have a couple 100 .308's & '06's that are mil spec cases, so I'll have to do those later... just trying to get through an ammo can of 30 carb, & the 2 cans of 223 1st...
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:51 AM   #4
jaguarxk120
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The reamer takes metal from the primer pocket, the swage moves the metal and nothing is lost from the case. Both work but with the swage there's no brass cutting you have to clean up after the session.

The swage will make a nice rounded edge on the pocket and the reamer cuts a straight pocket and sometimes you have to chamfer the edge slightly.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:18 AM   #5
F. Guffey
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Magnum Wheel Man, in the big inning around the NRA ‘THE SMITHS’ talked about removing the primer pocket crimp as incidental, in their conversations about removing the crimp they pulled out the primer pocket crimp removal tool, ‘the pocket knife’. I have several, if the RCBS press mounted swage tool is used with total disregard to the thickness of the case head the tool will spend a lot of time in the repair shop. I also have the RCBS case prep center with 6 stations, when prepping military cases I add the crimp removing tool. I also have the Lyman hand operated crimp removal tools.

Then came the new day, 223, and anxiety attacks, nothing trims fast enough and removing primer pocket crimps etc., all these small task took a toll on the patience. I am not in the business of removing primer pocket crimps, once I remove them they do not grow back. Dillon makes a good tool, big investment, so was the case prep center, I added the crimp removal tool for about $15.00.

I am told RCBS has a new design on a premier pocket crimp removal too.

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Old February 20, 2013, 09:29 AM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
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so the tool that goes into the case prep center, is a reamer I assume ???

anyone convinced the swage might keep primer pockets tighter longer, or has it become the modern concensus, that reaming them doesn't cut down on usable life of the case ???

FIL has been gone a long time now, so swagging might have been the ticket back then, but reaming is deemed best today ??? if that's the case ( pardon the pun ) I could easily buy a reamer to go on one stage of my case prep center, & sell the swage tooling at the next gun show...
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:32 AM   #7
mjes92
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You can't beat the Dillon 600 swager when it comes to speed and simplicity. I avoided crimped brass in the past, now I pick it up regularly for free because other guys don't want to deal with it. It's a $100 investment but worth it in my opinion.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:41 AM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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I looked up the Dillion unit... looks like RCBS has one that looks the same... not sure if that's the new one GUFF was refering to ???
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:53 AM   #9
Unclenick
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I have the Dillon, also. RCBS now also has a bench mount type available, too. I've not had an opportunity to compare it. The Dillon can be rigged with a wire and rubber bands or spring to automatically raise and lower the anvil (search YouTube videos) or to actually eject finished cases. It does not appear to me from photos that the RCBS will be as easy to rig up that way, but I can't be sure without playing with one.

I also have a Wilson trimmer for my odd chamberings that I don't want to buy Giraud parts for, and the reamer tool that is an accessory for it.

The difference: the swager pushes the excess brass out radially. This raises the height of the brass around the pocket into a slight crater rim. You can rub a swaged case over a flat surface or piece of sandpaper to see this highlighted. When you fire the round the raised perimeter is flattened back out. Once in a while it flows back in enough that I have to swage a case a second time, but not often.

I have also used the swaging tool on new bulk brass that had tight pockets. This was some IMI Match .45 Auto brass that was so tight I had trouble getting my Dillon press to seat primers into it. I cannot imagine taking the time to hand ream a couple thousand new .45 cases. Too tedious. The Dillon fixed it right up. It is also useful to run cases through it if you have primers that are harder to seat than average.

The Wilson reaming tool makes the cleanest and easiest to seat primer pocket profiles. They come out almost mirror finished and primers practically glide in. If I want to "feel" the primer touch bottom perfectly, that's the tool I turn to. Pretty much that's limited to long range loading for bolt rifles. Good thing, because after doing twenty, the knurls on the Wilson's knob have my fingers getting red and sensitive. It's not a high volume tool.
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