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Old February 3, 2013, 06:13 PM   #1
junker
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Converting steel berdan cases to boxer

CAUTION: The following post includes loading information outside of currently published safe loading practices. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.


Because of ammo and component availability and prices I've been working hard to show some techniques to reload steel and milsurp brass cases. I just finished a video today which demonstrates a method of converting steel milsurp 7.62x54r berdan cases to boxer large rifle. I realize reloading steel is not a new concept, nor is reloading berdan, but in times of scarce supplies a person might find it convenient to use materials that are available. Anyhow, I hope that some of you might find these useful. Thank you.

7.62x54r Converting steel or brass berdan to boxer (aka Feeding PSL poop to the Mosin Nagant ):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkKJfvMyuDg

7.62x39 Reloading steel berdan with modified boxer primers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwmmsZ-aX4g

Ultra Simple Berdan Depriming:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0q0E4GtSa4
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Last edited by Unclenick; February 3, 2013 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Added warning
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Old February 3, 2013, 06:19 PM   #2
Marco Califo
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This sounds extremely dangerous

This sounds extremely dangerous. I would not recommend making any such modifications to cases, steel or otherwise. A better way would be to sell the steel cases for recycling and buy real cases. Your fingers and eyesight are worth more than steel cases.
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Old February 3, 2013, 06:27 PM   #3
Adamantium
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These days Powder Valley sells berdan primers too and they are currently in stock. I'm pretty sure a couple other places do too. There are options out there for reloading brass/steel berdan primer cases, that is for sure.
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Old February 3, 2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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I agree the potential hazard is high because steel fatigues faster with forming than brass and head separations and cracks can appear unexpectedly. This thread needs a warning posted like the hot loads warning.
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Old February 3, 2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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Hi, thanks for your response. Could you elaborate on what part of this is "extermely dangerous?"

Simply adding a flash hole should not disrupt the structural integrity of the case.

Also I feel the idea that steel cases are not reloadable is a misconception. There are many people reloading steel, it works well. Just like brass you have to inspect it between loadings. I have reloaded my 7.62x54r steel cases 5 times so far without issue... still counting.

Thanks!
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Old February 3, 2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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Thanks unclenick for adding that warning... understood and respected.
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Old February 3, 2013, 07:45 PM   #7
Marco Califo
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My concern is that you are altering the structure and function of the cartridge head. Cartridge design is done by professionals based on science. Primer pockets are part of this. Berdan primed cases are designed with an integral anvil and multiple small/tiny holes. Boxer primed are designed to support a deeper single hole primer with its own anvil. Conversion was not a design consideration. You are assuming drilling a bigger hole is all good. I would not. Operating pressures are over 30k psi. If something fails, it is game over. Why would you want to?
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Old February 3, 2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Thank you for explaining, seems legit. I agree there is a bit of an unknown here.
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Old February 4, 2013, 03:05 AM   #9
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I would have no concerns shooting your cast loads. More surface area through the flash hole isn't going to increase the available pressure on the primer cup; which the cup is designed to handle. There are guys out there that use a ball bearing to swage the primer pocket smaller. I don't know if that would help you get your pocket small enough to eliminate the copper bushing. It may be easier to drill your flash hole from inside then you can use a tool that doesn't chew up the primer pocket edge (like your drill was) to remove any of the berdan anvil left.

Can you take a picture of just a primer fired in a case with no powder or bullet? It would be interesting to see if the primer backs out like on a regular case or if your sleeve backs out with the primer. That copper you are using is dead soft so there isn't any spring back. How many loads have you gotten before your pockets get loose?
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:51 AM   #10
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junker,
Thought you might like this alternate way to get there. There are some other neat ideas buried in the thread.
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ckets-to-Boxer
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:55 AM   #11
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Hi, David, thanks for your reply. The copper bushing doesn't back out, I have tried this repeatedly. Additionally the primer pocket seems to remain tight even after 5 reloads. I had the same concerns from the get go so I tested these things before bringing this method forward.

The ball bearing trick won't work on steel cases, at least not without exerting more force than I am able to apply. I would try it for sure if I had brass berdan cases.

I saw that posting by Larry Gibson and had tried it without success. No matter how straight I drilled the primer it would always crumple up when swaged. Once I got pretty close but the resulting pocket was way too loose? That was when I decided to figure out another way.

Thank you.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:08 AM   #12
Mike Irwin
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I know that similar conversions with brass cases have been done (I've done them) in the past, but for the reasons others have stated I'm not sure I'd want to try this with steel cases.
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