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Old March 16, 2013, 03:51 PM   #1
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How to clean crimped primer pockets?

Just wondering what tools and techniques you use to ream those crimped primer pockets?
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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The best way is to swage the crimp. RCBS makes a tool that will swage the crimp out using your press.
Dillon make the fastest one, but it will run you close to a hundred.
Some people use a deburring tool, I have used that method but if you are not carefull, you can remove too much brass.
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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^ That's pretty much the summation of the matter; however, I happen to know a wood countersink will work if used judiciously.
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:44 AM   #4
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There are many ways to remove the crimp. I use the RCBS primer pocket swaging combo. Comes with a large and small swage rod.
It works well enough, Maybe 90% of the brass swaged it does fine.

One particular brand of brass is difficult no matter what. I purchased a 1000 Speer 223 cases a couple years ago.
Its great brass for reloading, but the primer pocket makes you pay for that privilege.
The swager would remove the crimp just fine, but this brass has a tight pocket with very sharp edges. Gives you lots and lots of damaged primers.

Solution to that problem and can also be used by its self to remove primer crimps on any brass. Is you chamfer (sp) tool.
Just spin it in the pocket a couple times and out comes the crimp.

You end up with a nice rounded edge primer pocket.

Oh one thing you want to do. Mark your brass after you process the primer pockets. You only need to do it once. After a range visit you will be surprised how much extra 223 brass you come back with. Makes sorting them easy.
Mark = Goes in the tumbler no mark = goes in the to be processed pile.

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Old March 17, 2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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I just buzz them off with a wood countersink on my cordless drill. Using that Lee tool in the picture is fine for a few cases, but when you have 400 to process you'll want a power tool.
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Old March 17, 2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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A Lyman primer crimp reamer chucked in a portable electric drill has done nice work for me for some 30 years. I refuse to use a counter sink or drill bit for that work because they remove too much metal to get below the crimp and that leaves more unsupported primer cup than I'm comfortable with.
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Old March 17, 2013, 03:01 PM   #7
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Five posts and nobody has mentioned the primer pocket crimp reamer?

Made by several reloading tool makers, it's simply removes the crimp by cutting it;

It cuts until the end bottoms out on the bottom of the pocket. Makes sure it doesn't cut too much brass from the edge of the pocket.

The swaggers are supposed to do a better job, to each his own. My cutter like the above is mounted in my RCBS case prep center. Takes about 2-3 seconds, DONE!

I call that tie! Wnchester posted at the same time!
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:20 AM   #8
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I have one made by some company in Nebraska and it works just fine for no more crimped brass than I run across. I guess if I had to do a lot i'd consider something else, maybe in green.
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:36 AM   #9
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I have the Lyman hand reamers which work really well and are quick, I also have the cutter attachment for Forsters trimmer which cuts quick and is easily set to eliminate cutting too much.

If I am prepping a large batch of brass it's the Forster, for a handful or so I like the Lyman.
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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I use the "old style" RCBS unit that goes into a single stage press... I see RCBS offers one that is the Dillion style, so they have 2 styles now... I think the new style is free standing, & built for those using progressive presses

personally I like the "idea" of swagging better than reaming, as you aren't removing any brass from the base of the cartridge...
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:32 AM   #11
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While I'm not normally a Dillon homer, they make a hell of a good primer pocket swager. Lord only knows how many thousands of rounds have run through mine without any issues.

No power, no cutting, no need for an extra step of counter sinking the pocket after the reamer is done - just pull the handle and onto the next round.

May be a little expensive, but there are pretty much no parts that will break, need sharpening, need replacing, no power requirements, etc, etc, etc.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:06 AM   #12
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Here is another tool to add to the toy box: $31.58.
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Last edited by Dwayne; March 23, 2013 at 01:32 AM.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:24 AM   #13
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I have the Dillon swager, and it works great. The only problem I discovered with it early on is that if I set it to remove absolutely ALL traces of the crimp, I sometimes have trouble getting the swaged case into and out of my press' shell holder.

It makes sense, because the swaged metal has to go somewhere, and you can end up with the area surrounding the primer pocket no longer being perfectly flat.

All I did was adjust the tool to not swage quite as much. Rather than obliterating any sign of the crimp, I just swage it enough to "break" the edge of the crimp, slightly rounding off the transition from the flat part of the case into the primer pocket. The new primers still go in nice and easy, and I don't have to fight the case into the shell holder.
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