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Old May 25, 2011, 04:50 PM   #1
serf 'rett
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Drill press+nail+wood block=deprimed brass. Anybody else do this?

I de-prime pistol brass on a dress press using a nail, with the head cut off, and a block of wood, 1-1/2” thick, with stepped hole. A hole is drilled straight through the 1-1/2” block then the upper part of the block has a shallow, slightly oversized diameter, flat bottomed hole drilled for the of the particular brass I’m de-capping. Being an efficiency minded fellow (translation – lazy), I actually have three holes, for 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP, all drilled in the same block of wood; thus, I can change sizes if I’ve had a good day at the range (meaning I got an assortment of pistol brass). A plastic container placed under the drill press table catches the old primers when they are punched out.

I've found I can de-cap much quicker on the drill press when I'm placing the brass into the shallow hole instead of putting it into a shell holder on a reloading press. The additional speed comes because I can maintain a grip on the brass case from the time I pick it up until I drop the punched piece into a separate container. It’s also faster to drop the brass into the shallow hole than threading it into and out of a shell holder.

If I bend or break my de-capping pin (nail) I’ve got around a thousand on standby in the coffee can.

Anybody else using a drill press to de-prime? My current system is limited to short pistol cases, the nail isn’t long enough for revolver. I’m wondering if I could use the de-priming innards from a universal die for the longer revolver and rifle brass?
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Old May 25, 2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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Whatever floats your boat. You may be able to take the decaping pin out of a sizing die but it will also likely be an expander so you may not be able to pull it out of the case. Maybe you should jest get a longer nail.
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Old May 25, 2011, 05:05 PM   #3
Clifford L. Hughes
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Different strokes for different folks. If this works for you by ass means continue doing it. Most of my pistol dies are set up to decap in the belling die. your method seems like extra work to me. Lots of good reloading.

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Old May 25, 2011, 05:30 PM   #4
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Most of my pistol dies are set up to decap in the belling die.
Why do you wait until then? I and most people decap when sizing.
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Old May 25, 2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Because he has to because that's how the dies are set up. You have newer dies with the decapper in the sizing die.
Why not just get a universal decapping die for your range brass?
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Old May 25, 2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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I am guessing that you are reloading with a single-stage press.
If so, I salute your ingenuity.
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Old May 25, 2011, 10:14 PM   #7
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I don't see the advantge, unless all your brass is military and you have to swedge the cases anyways. You are using your drill press as a punch press, but you still have to resize your cases. All of my dies decap as I resize, all in one step.

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Old May 26, 2011, 06:41 AM   #8
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I know it’s early but I am having trouble understanding the advantages of this method.
Even with any crimped pocket Mil, brass I come upon, I just use the Lee universal de-priming die. It would seem to me that you would need too play with the depth on your down stroke to keep from sticking the nail in the flash hole. nothing to hold the brass on the up stroke.
And unlike the Lee die. Nails are not that hard. So you will be replacing them constantly.
What am I missing?
But then as said if it works for you, and you like the results, stick with it.
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Old May 26, 2011, 08:36 AM   #9
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The only reason for serf to be doing this is so he can tumble with the primer out to help clean the pocket. A drill press is just a fancy arbor press.

If I were to do this, I would simply buy a replacement decapper pin for the lee universal decapper. A nail will bend too easily. In fact I have one that I've never needed. Haven't managed to break the one that came in the die. (That's amazing in and of itself, I'm pretty good at breaking so-called unbreakable things).
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Old May 26, 2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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Many, many folks deprime in a separate operation. Sometimes I do so to keep the carbon and burned junk off my press/ram. Some do so to clean the primer pockets in the tumbler. And some do it because they want to. The OP said he likes to deprime this way because, for him, it's faster and easier to drop a case into the recess he drilled than to slide a case into a shell holder (I understand this). Yep, the drill press is being used as an arbor press, and when set up I'd bet one could deprime a lot of brass in one session, and easily keep track of spent primers and keep the carbon/dirt off your press. No need to adjust depth of the depriming pin (it's straight) and no sticking in the flash hole (it's straight too). No need to hold the case down on the block, cause the decapping pin is straight and no expander to pull through.

The responces to the OP's depriming method are why I don't share my "ideas" here. Post an idea and then the majority of the posts critisize your idea/methods, or just tell you "it'll never work" or "I can't understand why you would do that".

BTW why would anybody want to deprime and flare in the same operation is way beyond me...
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Old May 26, 2011, 10:54 PM   #11
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I don't get it. If you want to tumble after depriming, why would you not want to size at the same time so no marks are left from the resize process (after the tumble)?
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Old May 27, 2011, 11:11 AM   #12
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It's a method. It works for the OP and maybe others. For me, I have a forster co-ax, so I just "drop the brass in" the press, and pull the handle. It also has an extremely effective system for keeping the priming debris out of the press ram/bearings. For short handgun brass, you can probably set up the drill press for a shorter handle pull, but then again for the leverage needed to de-prime, I can take the handle out of the yoke and just use the top of the yoke for a very short hand stroke.

The Lee classic cast press would be adjustable to keep the handle stroke very short too. And a shell holder could be adapted/made for use with a universal depriming die that allowed you to just drop the brass in too.

It all boils down to what you have, and using that to the best way possible. A drill press, for handgun brass, has a lot of advantages over a lot of conventional presses.

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Old May 27, 2011, 12:17 PM   #13
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I should have detailed my process in the initial post. I should mention that I’m rather fond of range brass, even when I have to dig it out of the dirt, grass, sand and gravel.
1. De-prime on drill press to clear out primer pocket.
2.Wash the brass for a couple of minutes to remove dirt, sand, grass, etc.
3.Wet tumble with stainless steel pins; this will clean and polish the case, including the primer pockets. Separate the brass from the media, dump the brass in an old towel and shake to remove excess water.
4.Put the cases into trays for drying. I’ve found Remington 45ACP trays work well as their skeletonized bottom allows good airflow. For those who are envisioning me wasting huge amount of time filling trays with brass – I don’t. I have a couple of simple boxes set up where I can put trays into the boxes. I dump the brass into the box and shake for a few seconds and the brass drops into trays.
5.Size the case. Since I’m using carbide sizing dies, I know I could just de-prime and size, in one step, then tumble, but I don’t like running dirty, gritty brass into my dies. May not hurt the die, but can damage following brass.

Response to some of the questions. Reloading on single stage, but I suspect I would follow the same process when a progressive follows me home. The reasoning is this; I choose to resize clean brass – less stress on the equipment, less stress on the operator.

I de-prime in my shop, which seems to always be messy, but I reload in my house and keep the reloading area clean.

Primary reason I tumble is to clean the brass, not for looks.

Just using this on pistol brass – no expander.

I chose a nail size which will pass through the flash hole. No length adjustment needed. Occasionally I’ll have a flash hole gunked up enough to bind on the nail, but a simple twist and pull is all that is needed to free the case.

As far a nail being too soft, I’ve de-primed around 10K cases thus far and I’m on my third nail. Bent one on a mil crimped case and the second one on a Berdan case I’d missed because it was full of spider webs. Shoot, I broke my universal “unbreakable” Lee de-caping pin at less than 300 cases (culprit - mil spec .223). Keep in mind the compressive strength of the nail, in a straight down punch, is much greater than the bending strength if the nail is subjected to a lateral force.

And yes, I can de-prime a pile of short pistol cases in short order.
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Old May 31, 2011, 07:15 PM   #14
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I do similar things with my drill press and some home-made depriming punches like what comes with the old Lee hand tool sets.

But, I don't use nails in the press or punches. I use old drill bits that are sized to fit the various flash hole sizes.

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Old June 3, 2011, 09:42 AM   #15
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I'd be concerned about the long term affect of this method on the drill press bearings.
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