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Crimped brass

4327 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Trigger_Puller
I'm going to get some .223 brass pretty soon. I've been looking at this "crimped" brass and was wondering how many of you use this type of brass. It's military brass, which I've think can have more metal in the bottom 2/3 or so of the case, so I may have to reduce the load slightly.

Also, I know I will have to remove the crimp, and I've been reading about the Dillon Super Swager. But at $94, I'm wondering what you all do to remove the pocket crimp from military brass like Lake City brass. The Dillon tool looks like it's really the "ticket" but the RCBS Primer Pocket Swager Combo also looks OK too.

Is there a way to use a reamer at all without cutting too much metal away?
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I use the RCBS tool, and while it works, I didn't really like the 'way' it worked. Could be that because I was using it in a Partner press, it required more force than the press should be subjected to. Never used the Dillon tool, but I would like to... but a hundred bucks will by a fair number of bullets. Assuming you can find any. I don't think there's any .224 55 gr. Ballistic Tips, or Blitzkings, or Vmaxes in the Portland area.
I noticed that about the RCBS tool as well... it just didn't look like it would work quite as well as the Dillon. If the Dillon were half the price, I would think about it. I suppose I will have to go for it anyway.
The result was fine, just seemed kinda under-engineered, not something I normally say about RCBS. Probably work fine with a Rock Chucker.
Lyman have a primer pocket reamer hand tool, I use one of these and they do the job and they are cheap. Bonus, if you do enough of them you can have forearms like Popeye too!
I've used the Dillion tool and it is a fine product. However, as it has been stated $100 is a lot of money and being the cheap bastard that I am, I decided to go another route.

My set up consists of a Lee press ($24), Lee Universal Decapper Die, RCBS crimp remover, and two reamers (large and small). The whole setup came out less than the Dillion and I have an extra press just in case my Lyman Turret-T fails or just need to do the occasional odd ball handload.

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Trigger, that seems like a good alternative. How well would you say the RCBS crimp remover works? Any problems with it?

I have the Lee turret press already, so this might be the ticket! I could spend the extra $$ I save on some powder or something!


I read a few reviews about the rod bending. Have you run into that at all trigger? Perhaps those who bent the rod weren't following directions? :lol:
How well would you say the RCBS crimp remover works?
It works as well as the Dillon, but with either unit it is still necessary to use a Hornady primer pocket reamer to remove the brass burr from the crimp that remains. After that, I'll use a primer pocket uniformer just like I do with any other brass case.

Speaking of which, I used to turn the uniformer about ten times or until the uniformer looked like it was flush with the base of the case and all of the residue from prior firing was removed. The other day I actually measured the depth of the primer pockets on twenty .308 Win cases I had preped. I was surprised to find that they were not "uniform"! So I went over them again, this time making sure that they were all 0.132" deep (SAAMI spec. for primer seating depth is 0.002"-0.005" below flush and a Federal 210M primer is approx. 0.127" thick) and the results showed with a drop in both Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation figures.

LOL - couldn't tell you how much it may have improved the rounds accuracy since I was not perfroming as well as the rifle that day, but I'm sure that it does.
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Thanks Trigger. I will probably go with the RCBS one. Does RCBS mention having to use the reamer after swagging or is that just something you've noticed with the burr being left behind after the swagging process?

That's interesting about the primers. I usually just clean them out, and have never worried about the uniform depth or anything. :lol:
This is what the RCBS manual says:

"NOTE: The Swager is designed to remove the crimp and not swage the entire primer pocket to the flash hole. if a primer will not seat properly after swaging the primer pocket, dispose of the case as the primer pocket is probably undersize."

Granted, not all of the pockets need reaming but you do come across some that will. Not that they are undersize, they just have little extra that needs to be removed.

If I followed their note, I would throw away hundreds of cases.
Thanks for the info Trigger. It's still cheaper to go the RCBS route vs. the Dillon route. I wonder if the Dillon swages all the way to the flash hole?

Have you had any trouble with the rod bending on the RCBS? I read a few reviews where some people had issues with the rod bending, but I assume this was because they didn't adjust it properly to begin with.
The tips on the swager heads is approx. 0.105" in length so the answer would be no, it doesn't go all the way to the flash hole. The crimp is generally midway down the primer anyway so there would be no need to go all the way in.

Two rods come with the RCBS kit, one for small primer pockets and the other for large. If you do not use the correct rod, I'm sure that it can be bent if too much pressure is applied. But that would be operator error, not equipment failure.
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