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Old February 9, 2010, 04:19 PM   #1
88KEYS
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Removing Military Crimp L.C. Brass

I have a question, looking for a fix that won’t cost much have seen that people have different ways of removing the crimp from military brass. I have been loading a long time, new to High Power Shooting. I have been told Lake City Brass is King, so got my hands on some, starting fixing it up. I used a universal decapping die to remove the primers and have been trimming the brass. Using 223 AR-15 1-8 twists have several bullets to try from 68-77 grain.

I now need to remove the military crimp, any suggestions please. I was looking at the RCBS die at Midway for about $30.00, has anyone used this tool?
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Old February 9, 2010, 04:25 PM   #2
Howard31
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Removing crimps

The best I've found is the RCBS Primer Pocket Swage.It last forever and it is uniform,that's something unattainable with a reamer.
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Old February 9, 2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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I use the RCBS swage for all brass with crimped primers. I have had no problems at all, and really like the way it leaves the pocket.

Most people who use it, have problems bending the rod. This is because they don't adjust it correctly. Make sure the rod is threaded all the way into the die. Then put a piece of brass on the stud and raise your ram to the top. Screw the die down until it makes contact with the web. Make a number of small adjustments until the crimp is removed.

Any swage tool works best if you sort your brass by headstamp. If you are only using LC, you will not have to worry.
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Old February 9, 2010, 09:33 PM   #4
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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Even'n 88keys,

Yes, I have used the primer pocket swager and it does work.

There are also hand tools which will work, but although handy to have on hand, will be much slower then the swaging system.

Follow the set up instructions. I did tweak the center rod which extends down through the die body. It was simple to set it strieght again, but best to avoid the problem.

Keep em coming!

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Old February 9, 2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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Thanks

I plan on getting the RCBS, will place an order Midway has them in stock.
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Old February 10, 2010, 11:41 AM   #6
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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That should serve you well.

I do hope you have a solid press. as it didn't seem like it took an overly large amount of pressure to swage the pocket, but it did take a bit of a bump to pull the case off the swaging pin.

Not a big thing, but the pin to case fit was tight.

Keep em coming!

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Old February 10, 2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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I use the Dillon swager, which is fine on strength, but have wondered if users of the RCBS tool might not find it beneficial to take a Q-tip and put a little graphite or some of the Lee case lube (which dries and won't need to be cleaned out) into the primer pockets before swaging? It should make withdrawal of the ram easier.
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Last edited by Unclenick; February 10, 2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old February 10, 2010, 01:01 PM   #8
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I have the RCBS swager and used it for a while with my Lee Breech Lock press. The press worked great and the swager even worked good. The reason I went ahead and got the Dillon Super Swage was because it required so much attention swagging with the RCBS. Make sure it goes on the internal rod properly, make sure the primer pocket lines up with the swager tip and then the effort required to "snap" the piece off the swager. This was all more than I had time or effort for. But, I do say that it does a good job at doing its job of swaging brass. I use it to keep my tool drawer weighted down now.
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Old February 10, 2010, 01:14 PM   #9
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I used the RCBS swaging tool for a couple of years but finally got tired of the effort it took to remove the tool from the case.

Finally bought a Dillon Super Swage. Very little effort required. I can swage cases at least three times faster than I can with the RCBS. The final test is that the primers are inserted more uniformly after using the Dillon. I reload my .223 on an XL-650 and all the cases I swaged using the RCBS tool have now been re-swaged and the primers are seated much easier.

IMHO the RCBS tool is OK but only for small volumes.
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Old February 10, 2010, 01:41 PM   #10
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Another Dillon Super Swage 600 user here. It's a burly tool that makes quick work of crimped brass. Well worth the money, in my opinion.

Unclenick: I'm curious about your statement about withdrawing the ram. Have you had issues with it getting stuck? The last batch of LC .223 brass I swaged (~ 3500 cases) I never had an issue when withdrawing the ram or ever had to lubricate a primer pocket
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Old February 10, 2010, 02:01 PM   #11
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What? Trouble removing swaged cases from the rcbs tool? News to me. A small ka-chunk on the release stroke and mine pops right off. I've probably swaged at least 3 or 4 thousand with it.

My problem was not sorting headstamps by year and bending the rod twice, ugh.

Now I know. Now you know too.
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Old June 5, 2012, 06:45 AM   #12
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do you have to sort the different LC brass or is all LC the same ?
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Old June 5, 2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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LC Brass Primer Crimp

All LC brass is not the same. There are subtle differences from year to year. The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant is a GOCO (Government Owned, Contractor Operated) facility and has had at least three different contractors since 1941. If you sort by caliber and year, you can avoid most problems. Removing primer crimp is not difficult but is tedious. I used a burr (reamer with hundreds of teeth) chucked up in a tabletop drillpress along with a fixture to hold brass piece for many years. The trick is to use a light touch as it is easy to remove too much brass. I believe when brass is made, a punch is used to make the hole between the primer pocket and the inside of the brass casing. This leaves jagged edges inside the brass casing which should be removed (uniformed) with another reamer. If you decide to go with the Dillon Swager, it is almost mandatory because the jagged brass interferes with the depth adjustment of the swager. Your individual case prep needs will be determined by your loading practices. If you use a progressive press, more case prep avoids stoppages.
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Old June 5, 2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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I realize that Dillon's Super Swage is a high quality product, but I just can't get past the price tag. For something that I'm only ever going to do once on a piece of brass, I'll continue with the cheap methods and save my money for more brass.
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Old June 5, 2012, 11:00 AM   #15
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Old June 5, 2012, 11:46 AM   #16
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When i was reloading my 30.06 i gad a few older Denver brass cases that had smaller pockets and the Dillon swagger was just the ticket it cam with two adapters one for large primers and one for small rifle primers. 5.56 it works well i dont have any complaints
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Old June 6, 2012, 02:09 PM   #17
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11B-101ABN,

U.S. commercial brass is punched. Military is drilled as are Norma match cases and, I think maybe Fiocci cases. This is why you see off-center vents (flash holes) in a lot of military brass. Punches don't walk like drill bits. I'm not clear what the advantage of drilling is, as both methods leave burrs if not done carefully.

For the swager it is important to debur flasholes because, once properly set up, the swager anvil squashes burrs flat, with them often bent over the vent. That will interfere with consistent ignition. On the other hand, it makes them easy to clear away with a drill bit if you'd prefer to do post swage deburring.


Alaska Mike,

I find I use the Dillon on a lot of non-crimped cases as well as crimped ones. It makes the stiffer primers, like the Russian KVB primers, easier to seat. Cases that require a lot of swaging (narrow primer pockets) or that have a lot of crimped-in brass will come out of the swager with the brass raised slightly around the perimeter of the flash hole. It flattens again upon firing, but that can push a little of the crimp back where it came from. Occasionally I find a military case that needs swaging twice for this reason.

If you take the time to remove crimps by cutting, you'll avoid the potential raised brass and the potential for a redo. But you also won't be able to crank out 1200 and hour.
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Old June 7, 2012, 10:11 AM   #18
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Again, measure before and again after, then the advise on setting up the RCBS primer pocket swage, sounds great, but, the information provided leaves too much to be assumed, the case head thickness of 30/06 military cases is not the same, I suggest measuring case head thickness first, separate by case head thickness, then adjust the swage die for different thickness.

I purchased 2 boxes of assorted reloading equipment, 40 lbs. for $20.00, in the assortment was a (like new) die stamped RCBS PPS, anyhow, I have a few pieces going back to RCBS, I believe I will add it to the next shipment.
Again, there were a few Lee dies in the mix, it appeared to be a one up-man-ship event, I started removing the Lee dies in an effort to allow him to sell them to someone else, he insisted I take the Lee dies because he threw them in as a bonus.

And in the old days before the Internet Hatcher, in his writings wrote the crimp never slowed him down, he claimed he used his pocket knife to trim the roll over at the primer pocket opening.

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Old June 9, 2012, 02:53 AM   #19
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I just bought it myself (RCBS), I can't complain at all. I had a few casings that were a little fussy when trying to prime, so I used a phillips screw driver and gave them one turn, done.
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