Articles, Blog

Converting berdan cases to use boxer primers.

Converting berdan cases to use boxer primers.

WARNING Only you are responsible for your own safety.
This is a proof of concept video, not an instructional video. You are advised not
to attempt this. Hey everyone. Lately I’ve been exploring reloading
berdan primed steel cases. I think this is a pretty interesting
topic because of the high price of boxer primed brass right now and the really
wide availability of what’s typically discarded berdan cases. Sometimes they’re steel, sometimes they’re brass, I found they’re
usually steel. This is a little bit more time consuming
than standard reloading but after you do the conversion you can reload them just
like normal I’ve reloaded steel cases numerous times
without issue. In a previous video I made a simple modification to the
large rifle boxer primers to fit them into these steel 7.62×39 berdan cases. I thought it was interesting because no
special tools were needed to accomplish this. Today’s a little different I’m going to
show you how I converted the 7.62x54r berdan cases into large rifle boxer cases. So evidently there’s numerous sizes of
berdan primers the 7.62x54r’s have a really huge primer pocket, way too large for a standard large rifle primer. So after trial and error the technique
that I finally settled on was creating a a copper bushing from standard quarter-inch copper tubing. You can pick this up at any hardware store, I
went and bought one foot of it for this and it cost a little over a dollar. Besides your standard reloading gear
you’re also going to need a drill and something to cut the copper tubing as well as a primer pocket swager. This is the RCBS swager. It was pretty reasonable, about thirty
dollars and it’s designed to remove the primer pocket crimp found on some
brass. We’re going to be using it to form the
copper bushings. To get started I’m going to remove the
berdan primers from the steel cases using the hydraulic depriming method. I have a more detailed video about this you can watch for clarification. Ok, we’ll need to cut our copper tubing into short pieces. I found this was easy to do with a dremel tool and a cutting disc. You can see I’ve used a deburring tool before making each cut but I’ve done this previously without deburring and it worked ok. Here I’m removing the berdan anvils and creating a new central flash hole. Removing this anvil makes room for the boxer primer which contains its own integrated anvil. Be careful not to drill all the way through the base you want a reasonable size flash hole. Now at our press we’re going to put the primer pocket swaging mandrel in and the case stripper on top of it. You can see how that works. Up here we’re got our RCBS primer pocket swaging die. We’re going to place our small piece of
copper tubing on the lubricated mandrel with the rough side down we’re going to get it started by placing a solid object blocking the top of the press simply raising it up and pressing. I’ve found this is an important process
because it starts the copper tubing on the mandrel whereas if you start it in the case it
pushes to the bottom of the primer pocket and fills the bottom whereas when you start it on the mandrel
halfway it seems to evenly fill out better in
the case. Finally we will go ahead and get our case
started, get everything lined up and simply press
it. And there’s our large rifle boxer
primer pocket. We simply need to clean up the excess
copper that’s been squished out of it during the swaging process. Now we’re going to remove the excess copper from our cases. Now that we’ve removed the excess
copper one more trip through the primer pocket
swager will clean things up real nicely. Now we just go ahead and full-length
resize like normal. Now we prime with the standard large
rifle primer. Now at this point we’ve got our live
ammo you can continuously reload like you
would standard boxer brass. Here we’ve got our four rounds of 7.62x54r loaded up with 180 grain cast bullets. Loading reloaded ammo into the Mosin Nagant. Previously fired from a Romanian PSL 54c Semi Auto Bullet Casting is a great hobby to compliment reloading. If you found this video useful or interesting then you might want to check out my channel and consider joining me on facebook for discussions, feedback, and suggestions. Thank you for watching!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 thoughts on “Converting berdan cases to use boxer primers.

  1. I've seen a method using a ball bearing that pushes the wall down a bit around the primer area then you hit it with the proper size drill bit/reamer. Have you tried this method before?

  2. Question: the drill bit that you're using, is that also a 1/4" drill, or are you going a little bit smaller for a tighter press fit for the copper tube sheath in the primer pocket?

  3. this can cause backfires!!!! and ripped apart primers in your rifle!!! never ever do this!!! author you're stupid idiot hope you catched backfire from yor new primered ammos already

  4. nice video, but there's three problems with it 1, short case life. 2, short life in your dies. 3, time consuming. and also yes you might save some money but look at all the money you end up spending anyway on copper tubing, Dremel, sawaging dies, and drill bits

  5. How about just drilling through the existing berdan primer to boxer primer diameter, then swage it and bob's ur uncle.
    No primer removal, no fussing with tubing, no grinding. Thats how I do it.

  6. This may sound like a silly question, but why not just use Berdan primers? I know they are harder to get, but they are available – and cheap – just a cup with primer compound.

  7. I did something similar. I opened up the primer pocket to fit a 12g primer. no copper pipe needed. it works great.. thank you for your video. try it with the 12g primers with no copper added. just have to resize the primer seat..

  8. how do they reload after doing that to the cases
    do them try backing back out
    when depriming the cases
    I'm thinking of doing mine this way

  9. Impressive…but holy shit, that's work. Lead bullets? How are they not falling apart or skipping the rifling?

  10. Hi, I was wondering if you can give me a little more information on the lead bullet you use. I see you said it is a 180 grain and a NEI mold. Any chance you would have the mold number for it and where to buy it??

  11. A little too much work to me, not worth it. Brass wears down after many uses and then all you did was do a lot of work and time on those brass cases.

  12. you might want to be careful grinding non ferrous metal (copper) on a grinding wheel. it clogs the pours of the stone and can cause the cause the wheel to chip or even explode

  13. oh real good…clog up the grinding wheel with copper or brass. It 's ok for low pressure cast loads but no standard jacketed loads.

  14. I did this with 7.62 x 54 and it turned out great with cast bullets and reduced loading's. Good stuff for a Saturday afternoon just shooting reactionary targets.. Thanks dude for putting the video together. Dave.

  15. Not a matter of "if" you hurt yourself or someone else, but "when". Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  16. would this work for the wooden blanks in 6.5×55 Swedish. you did say that it was a larger primer pocket on the 54r which the copper tube seems to close the berdan primer holes and size it correctly.

  17. Don't care how many times you've gotten away with it… reloading steel cases is stupid…. you will win a darwin award eventually.

  18. I realized this vid is almost 4 years old , but you could save time cutting that copper tubing, by using a cheap tubing cutter instead of a dremel.

  19. This is cool,I was looking for a way to reload corrosive brass from Yugoslavia in 7.62×39 when I ran into this video,very creative to say the least,excellent video, thank's Amigo!!!…

  20. For whatever reason everytime I'd go shooting when I was a high school student I'd always collect and bag all my empty 7.92 cases, and my brother the same with his 7.62x54R. It'll be cool when I get back from college to be able to repurpose the massive stockpile we'd collected rather than by new brass for the press.

  21. I wonder how this would work with 8MM Lebel. I just got a bunch of surplus I can't use in my Berthier due to it not being N marked but the brass is excellent, pretty sure it's Berdan so I'd have to do something like this.

  22. WHYBTHE HELL ARE YOU GRINDING A NONFARRIS METAL ON A FARRIS GRIDING WHEEL?!!! On the side no less, are you trying to have it explode and kill you…..? Side from,you being suicidal good info here

  23. Super interesting!! I don't have this problem but I loved the video, very smart idea. Hell of a lot of work but great ingenuity

  24. I'd be careful about exceeding factory specs on reloading. Those oversize primer holes can lead to too-rapid powder ignition and burn and the primer pockets look weak enough to invite blowout.

  25. This is awesome man! I have a ton of Iranian surplus 8mm Mauser that is about 90% click bangs. It all has bad primers but good powder and now I got to get to it lol. Thanks!

  26. Way too much work. Just buy boxer primed brass to begin with… that’s all I use in my Mosins.

  27. Voy a expresar un agradecimiento muy significativo dado que el video es muy didáctico y ayuda a cualquier emprendedor que no tenga conocimientos y le guste aprender y a realizar la recarga de su propia arma. muchisimas pero muchisimas gracias por el tiempo dedicado a enseñar porque esta muy claro todas las especificaciones técnicas

  28. Sir,
    You are genius…..
    I am being serious. I don't have your skills. And I am in awe of your capabilities.
    Thank you for putting all of this out there.

  29. Twenty years I took the burden primers out of 303 B and reprimed them but I took the anvil out of our primers and used the burden anvil.  On some the primer would have to set deep.  It was hit or Miss.  Divorce stopped much experimenting.  A bit of humor[?]  Augie

  30. A center cutting end mill can "plunge mill" in addition to the usual side milling, which is to say, it can be used to drill flat bottomed holes.

    Everyone will tell you not to mount an end mill into a drill chuck because the drill chuck (or the drill press!) is not designed to handle the harsh side forces imposed by milling. But in this case, of only "plunge milling" straight down – drilling – to mill away and flatten out the bottom of the primer pocket and thus eliminate the berdan "anvil", an appropriately sized end mill would do just fine in your drill press. This would make it much easier to avoid punching through the bottom of the primer pocket, or of leaving the case metal way too thin near the center from using a typical pointy 118 degree tipped drill bit. – Plunge mill the base of the primer pocket _flat_, then center drill a standard boxer primer sized flash hole.

    A bench top lathe with a self-centering chuck would make for fast and precise work of "facing away" the protruding brass tubing insert material, followed by a quick touch up to debur the inside edge. It is common to work to +/- .001" tolerance on a small metal lathe and since I have one, along with a bench top milling machine, that is how I would go about it. Plunge mill and center drill the berdan to boxer primer pocket conversion, then press fit the .25" copper tubing sleeve as you demonstrated, and instead of sanding or filing away the excess, simply chuck the case into the lathe and quickly and precisely face it down smooth and even with the base of the case. A quick debur touch up and on to the next case.

    Just food for thought – and what I intend to try out for myself. Your video is still helping people 6 years later, and counting! 🙂

  31. Lucky me! 1983 MEN Surplus 303 British 174gr. made in Germany I bought. Same size primer as a CCI 200 LRP. All I have to do is remove the Berdan primer, make a new center flash hole and prime them.

  32. If i ever get bored and out of ammo i might try this sometime, its interesting, i have 5 gallon pales of the berdan primed cases, i wasnt sure what i was gonna do with it, i was thinking that one day id come accross a case or two of berdan primers but i have never seen them for sale anywhere before, this is a time stealing operation but in a pinch it is very usefull info, thanks alot for this!

  33. Wish I could afford a PSL but I guess il have to keep shooting my M38 until someone has the idea to make a new manufacturer 7.62x54r rifle

    And preferably not a psl platform becaus American companies cannot make a durable AK style rifle for under 1,000 to save their lives

  34. Years ago I was looking for a way to reload 7.62x25mm cases.. After that Starline came out with Boxer primed cases.. Starline hinted that they might produce the 7.62 x 54R, they never did. Enjoyed your vid, very educational!

  35. For the price he paid for the primer swaging kit and copper tube he could have just bought some regular brass 7.62x54r cartridges

  36. Could you use a 209 shotgun primer In the hole that was drilled before the copper bushing? It seems like it could save some steps.

  37. Interesting theory, but only really worth the extra work if you are dealing with rare brass or are stuck on some mountain top somewhere with Lots of time…


  39. Out of curiosity, does the steel casing after used X time break? I heard reloading steel can last no where near the time like brass. (hear say for me, need word from actual user)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *