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Old February 11, 2000, 01:01 AM   #8
Big Bunny
Senior Member
Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
Yes, I agree, leave the drilling of berdan to convert to boxer alone and de-cap berdan rifle ammo with the excellent RCBS tool(each type of case is different - so be careful not to break a probe and so set it up separately for each type...its expensive to replace,as it is hardened steel !)... after de-crimping the primer-crimp (on most mil ammo to stop problems with looseness). Remove the primer with the lever tool - avoiding a too deep gouge, as this marks or damages the anvil,(it is easier the second time, I promise...)
Then remove the primer cup excess brass sprue with a slight taper, using a special tool or a sharp knife. Seating then can be achieved with a Lee Loader if your gee-whiz dies only allow boxer primer use.

I am not experienced with berdan s/a pistol ammo so I cannot comment upon the Markarov.

Reloading for berdan rifle (Colonel Berdan was a north american, I believe) can be fun especially as RWS/Dynamit Nobel at Troisdorf make such excellent products, though about a cent more than boxer each.

One word of caution. Beware any old cases and more modern ones fired with ex-mil mercuric based primers - for us post 1955, but much much later in chicom and soviet states, (EG-even some 1985 Russian Toz 49 nagent short target ammo was found to be corrosive recently) as it weakens the brass and can be very dangerous, also watch WW2 war-time production as regards headspace etc as some emmergency measures were in operation and tolerances suffered.
Best not to use these, as they should be in a museum .
When in doubt...don't! Your eyes are worth more than this !
Most mil ammo(and civ factory) is often overloaded in my opinion and this puts a real strain on the cases, but for a one-off use it is OK.This is worth bearing in mind when re-loading.

Shame to waste all that brass, also steel cases can be re-used but the effort expended, except for pistol cases(e.g.45 ACP) is doubtful. One stuck case in the die will lessen the desire considerably!

A worthwhile project and a survival skill too. Have fun...

***Big Bunny***
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