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Old January 20, 2007, 12:47 AM   #1
Join Date: January 25, 2006
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.223 Primer Crimp

How can you tell if the brass has a crimp or not? A friend from work gave me some brass and I don't know if it's crimped or not. Can you use a regular decapping die to remove the primer and then fix primer pocket or is there a special tool?
It has FC stamped on the head.
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Old January 20, 2007, 07:09 AM   #2
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If it is milbrass it is crimped. An impact ring around the primer is visible. Go ahead and decap and lightly remove ring with a deburring tool.
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Old January 20, 2007, 09:14 PM   #3
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+1 240wby.
You might, want to use a separate decapping tool, from your press.
Lee has one. Order it from
I broke one. Along time ago. Called Lee. It was replaced. Free. I broke the one on the die, too.
I'm sure, the other guys, have something.
To remove the crimp. I use a countersink(for steel) in a drill. Don't go to far. About 25%. Used to use the Lee deburring tool. Rechargeable is faster. and the right speed.
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Last edited by Zippy06; January 21, 2007 at 07:09 PM.
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Old January 20, 2007, 09:25 PM   #4
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Dillon makes a tool just for this. We all need more tools right?
A little pricy at 90 bucks or so, but if you have a lot to process, its worth it.
Primer Swager is what its called. RCBS also makes one #9495 but if you 1000 to do, it would take for ever with the RCBS.
Rick H...
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Old January 20, 2007, 09:45 PM   #5
Dave R
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OTOH, if you don't want another tool, and you already own a chamfer tool, you can remove crimps with that, too. Just don't overdo it and bevel the pockets.

How to tell if the pockets are crimped? If you see stamp marks driving brass over the pocket to capture the primers--they're crimped. If the pockets look normal, they're not.
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
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Old January 20, 2007, 10:56 PM   #6
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primer pocket tools

Midway has a set of tools to put in a power drill that does just about everything you will need to do to prinmer pockets. Lyman Power Chamfer and Deburring Tool Set for $24.99. I've used this set for several years and have removed thousands of primer crimps. It does a great job in a power screwdriver or drill.
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Old January 22, 2007, 04:20 AM   #7
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If you plan to be doing large volumes of crimped brass, buy the Dillon swager.

I just got one for the .223 brass that has been piling up here for several years. Best money I've spent in a long time. It also will work on large primer pockets. I used to hand ream my .308 more. This thing is a breeze to use.
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Old January 22, 2007, 10:09 AM   #8
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I swage the pockets also. I prefer not to remove metal any longer. I have used a champher tool myself in the past. I gor an RCBS tool, it works great and fast with perfect looking pockets.
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Old January 24, 2007, 08:02 AM   #9
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I strongly recommend the Lee decapping tool, which costs little and is replaced on a lifetime guarantee basis. You can buy it in both sizes on Midway's site. This tool does not operate with your press, but is just a type of punch that you use with a hammer. You WILL break decapping pins if you attempt to decap mil brass with a regular size die.

I have the RCBS primer pocket swage die. It removes the military crimp from -most- cases. A small number will still have trouble accepting a primer. Since I don't process a lot of military cases, I just give the primer pocket a few swipes with my Wilson chamfering reamer after hitting them with the RCBS primer pocket swage die. That puts a little bevel on the primer pocket, and results in no further issues.
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Old January 24, 2007, 08:56 AM   #10
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Y'all are gonna laugh at this but for about the first 10 years of reloading I used a utility knife to remove the crimps. A good sharp knife will cut away the little ring with a quick twist. Did I ruin some brass? YEP, but after a couple you learn how little you really need to cut away. The little sliver of brass that is cut away isn't much thicker than a hair or two.
Then I learned there was a tool specially made for this job. I bought it, but if I only have a few pieces of brass to de-crimp I still just the knife, just because it's handy
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Old January 24, 2007, 09:16 AM   #11
Trapper L
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Viper, the brass has the stamp FC on it and the cartridge name 223 and no date- it is standard Federal brass. Just use your dies as normal and don't worry about the primer crimp as it doesn't have one.
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