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Old June 24, 2007, 07:49 AM   #1
Glennster
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Join Date: July 31, 2005
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 226
Berdan Dummy !

I have SOOOOO much to learn. I did not know that berdan primed cases had two or three holes in them.
I bought a LEE universal decapping tool and broke the pin on the first case I tried to deprime. The folks at Lee where very nice and offered to send out a new pin for free. I asked why it broke, they said the main reason is because people use it on berdan primed brass. That's just what I did !!!

Could some of you more experienced loaders give us a little more info on the berdan primed case.

As always, THANK YOU for all the help ! ! ! ! !
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Old June 24, 2007, 08:35 AM   #2
dutchy
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Glennster,

I have been reloading berdan rifle cases for 25 years. See my other posts.
I use a RCBS berdan decapping tool which works fine.
Get it and follow my advice.:
Unscrew the depth adjusting screw, way back, and put the decapping "chisel" back.
Start decapping and turn the adjusting srew tighter(inward) until your first primer decaps easily. Then fasten pin fixing screw(perpendicular to chisel) thight. Thats it. If you keep your attention to the job at hand, you'll have no problem. For priming, I use the hand held Lee autoprimer, which works just fine.
The RCBS tool has one slight problem, which I corrected with tape: the checkering om the case handle is too sharp for my sensitive fingers, that's all.
I still use my first cases bought with the gun and berdan does the job 100%.

One advantage to berdan decapping: You handle every individual case. If you throw them after decapping in a box one by one, the sound makes ruptured case very easy to distinguish, preventing rupture shells in the resizing die.

If you need more info, just holler.
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Old June 24, 2007, 08:45 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Berdan primers have the anvil as part of the case, with two or three flash holes around it. They have to be pried out or driven out with hydraulic pressure. Then you have to find the right diameter Berdan primer.

Boxer primers have a separate anvil in the cup over a center flashhole which makes them easy to punch out.

Note that dutchy is in Holland and Berdan primers are common in Europe, although not as much so as they used to be. The best thing to do with Berdan primed brass in the USA is to throw it away or accumulate a lot and sell it as scrap brass; unless it is in some caliber so uncommon that handling Berdan priming is the only way that the gun can be shot at all.
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Old June 24, 2007, 09:09 AM   #4
dutchy
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Please note that Europe is not the dark side of the moon, Boxer ammo is by far the standard and all tools involved in reloading (also berdan) are U.S. made. There is no real reason to throw the cases away, apart from easier reloading. Boxers need less handling. But I am not the throw away type if the technology has proven itself.
I also shoot sportingclays with a SbS, double trigger 1/2, full choke.
Not fancy, but dependable and certainly not amongst the worst shooters in the club.
By the way, I ended fifth once in regional championships in highest division against Tanner and GrĂ¼nig & Elmigers with my UNMODIFIED 1906 built swedish mauser, shooting reloaded berdan cases. Granted, match bullets (Lapua B343)
and Vihtavuori N140 powder.

Would I have preferred Boxer if then available? Of course. But that was not
Glennsters question. Have I bought boxer cases when they became available?
No Sir.
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Old June 24, 2007, 10:48 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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Well, dutchy, that is up to you and Glennster.

I took Glennster to be asking what to do with the occasional Berdan case mixed in with Boxer. My answer was and remains, discard it.

I put reloading Berdan brass in the same category as I do casting bullets. I find it a lot of extra work and worth it TO ME only when there is no other way to shoot the gun. (.450 BPE before Boxer brass was available and it was load Kynoch or not shoot.)
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Old June 24, 2007, 12:22 PM   #6
Glennster
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Location: Northern Indiana
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dutchy,
I appreciate the input and the info, BUT, I'm going to stick with the boxer primed stuff. I'm inspecting my .308 / 7.62 x 51 used brass, anything with 2 or 3 holes goes to the scrap guy. I will deprime and swage the one hole military brass and use it with boxer primers.

Jim Watson,
I really don't like the idea of the extra work involved with the berdan. I was looking for a cheap way to use a good quality brass. I've got a pretty good size pile to go through, it looks like about 1/3 of it is boxer.

THANK YOU Gentlemen !
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Old June 24, 2007, 01:49 PM   #7
dutchy
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Glennster,

Now that you reveal the caliber involved, I would not contemplate reloading berdan for longer than a microsecond, after which time I would throw all berdan cases...

Jim,

you are right on the money, I do cast my own .357 SWC bullets for my 586 at moderate velocities, and hope to do so for a long time.
A homecooked meal beats anything precooked.
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