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Converting .308 blanks brass
 Moderated by: Slingshot, Rockydog, klallen, DesertMarine, -6
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 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 04:40 AM
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BAT1
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I have found 100 .308 Blanks for .19 ea  at my  little shop down the street, and I was wondering if I can convert them by firing them, cutting the tops of with a pipe cutter, resize and reload them. Are they boxer or berden primed. Would I have to replace primers? Is the brass strong enough?



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 05:01 AM
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ar10
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Yes, you can convert them by cutting them.
As far as boxer/Berdan you need to look at the headstamp.  If they are European I'd guess they would more likely be Berdan. About the only way to find out for sure is to fire them and then look inside the case.
Of course you'll have to put in new primers, If they're boxer.




 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 12:27 PM
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BAT1
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Thanks AR 10,  I'll look for a euro headstamp. Hey what can I say but brass is brass right now.



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 05:31 PM
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miestro_jerry
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You can swage out Berdan primer pocket to the Boxer sizes and then drill a flash centered hole in the primer pocket.

If anyone knows of a door gunner in the reserves or the guard that is going thru training, for a reasonable trade that door gunner may bag his brass for you, so you have once fired cases, some live rounds and a bunch of the belt links.

Jerry



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 05:54 PM
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miestro_jerry wrote: You can swage out Berdan primer pocket to the Boxer sizes and then drill a flash centered hole in the primer pocket.

If anyone knows of a door gunner in the reserves or the guard that is going thru training, for a reasonable trade that door gunner may bag his brass for you, so you have once fired cases, some live rounds and a bunch of the belt links.

Jerry

I hate to say this but all brass fired on military ranges by service personnel is still the property of "Unkel Samm" and getting caught taking range brass can result in a Article 15. While I mobbed in '06, such an incident happened with an armored company and all individuals involved received said disciplinary action.



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 06:24 PM
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ar10
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miestro_jerry wrote: You can swage out Berdan primer pocket to the Boxer sizes and then drill a flash centered hole in the primer pocket.

If anyone knows of a door gunner in the reserves or the guard that is going thru training, for a reasonable trade that door gunner may bag his brass for you, so you have once fired cases, some live rounds and a bunch of the belt links.

Jerry

So are you saying you drill/swage a Berdan primer pocket and drill another hole it'll work?  Seems to me that's 3 primer holes for a boxer primer. I don't think I'd be too sold on that idea. 



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 06:56 PM
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miestro_jerry
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I reamed/swagged/drilled out some European ammo out for Boxer primers, most worked well. Some I have to use varnish to hold the primer in, because I don't have a gadget to crimp or stake the primer in like the military ammo.

I am not sure where to get Berdan Primers, but I know that one of the reloading equipment manufacturing companies has a berdan primer puller.

Reloading Berdan primed ammo with boxer type primers has been going on for many years, you hear more about it when costs are going up.

Jerry



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 07:17 PM
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ar10 wrote

So are you saying you drill/swage a Berdan primer pocket and drill another hole it'll work?  Seems to me that's 3 primer holes for a boxer primer. I don't think I'd be too sold on that idea. 




ar, Jerry may have used the same method that I used to: After the berdan primer is removed, either with an RCBS berdan de-capper, or hydraulically, obtain two flat faced punches. One the aqpproximate diameter of the primer pocket, the other, one that will fit the case mouth and extend to the web of the case.

Put the smaller punch handle in your vise face up. put the primer pocket over the punch, and slip the larger one into the case.

Smack the top punch a few times with a small hammer. Check the primer pocket. If the berdan anvil is flat, the twin flash holes should be swaged closed. If not, smack it some more until you are satisfied that the anvil is flat and the flash holes are closed.

Drill the boxer flash hole with a #45 drill bit...... This method is workable where the boxer primers are a press fit.

I used this method on a bunch of 6.5x55 rounds made in Norway, among others.:thumbs:



 

Last edited on Thu Jan 8th, 2009 07:19 PM by 3006 user



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 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 08:16 PM
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3006,

That is basically what I do and it works. I don't tell people to smack primers, but gently tap the primer into place with a wooden or leather or soft plastic mallet.

Once somebody has done this form of placement, they generally use a tinkers hammer or a jewelers hammer.

Take some body who has never seen a Kinetic Bullet Puller and start pulling bullets in front of them, they suddenly are covering their face. So if you haven't done it or even tried it, I recommend that people do so.

Jerry

 



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 08:19 PM
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BAT1
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This stuff is Lake City Blanks, so it should be boxer primed. At the last taper before the blank part they measure 2 inches. Should I cut them a little long and use the resizer to expand the smaller part at the top? It was marked LC 80



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 08:27 PM
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BAT1 wrote: This stuff is Lake City Blanks, so it should be boxer primed. At the last taper before the blank part they measure 2 inches. Should I cut them a little long and use the resizer to expand the smaller part at the top? It was marked LC 80

BAT1, yes, you can trim them then after full - length sizing... And removing the primer crimp.:thumbs:



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 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 09:34 PM
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Bat1,

Now this is really simple a simple matter, would just use the pipe cutter for a rough ovr length cut, then a case trimmer and then a primer pocket swagger. I have done this a few time.

This is really simple and you get great brass, good job!

 

Jerry



 Posted: Tue Jan 13th, 2009 04:31 AM
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As they are new, unfired brass, why bother with the added expense of firing them--wasting a perfectly good primer?  I have converted much 7.62 brass blanks w/o firing--wasting--the primer; just remove the decapping pin and proceed as normal.



 Posted: Tue Jan 13th, 2009 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the info, this might be sticky material, as brass is getting scarce, and knowing how to do this will make more brass available.  If the primers will work , I'll cut the tops off and pull em and put new powder in and press. It figuires .0005 shy on the neck but it should fireform and stretch?
cost so for: 20.00 for 100 rounds  .308 blanks LC 80
                      5.00  for  powder, BL-C[2] or Varget.
                     25.00 for  100  .308 = $.25 ea             
 [Compared to $.85 - 1.00ea for non reloadable brass]



 Posted: Thu Jan 15th, 2009 08:14 PM
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DO NOT USE BLANK BRASS converted to fire live rounds.
The brass is much thinner in the web & head & there is a high likelihood of a case head separation, or worse still, a case head rupture.

If you don't believe me, then weigh a "converted" case & a proper one, or cut one in half lengthways & you'll see the difference.



 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2009 02:53 PM
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BAT1
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Oddbod, If this is true, then my conversion party is off. I'll do the test. Thanks for the heads up. No brass for me!



 Posted: Tue Jan 20th, 2009 10:49 PM
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blank brass was usually rejects.but good for blanks.how many kinds of berdan can be converted to boxer.I know of only two cal.6.5/7.35 carcano and jap.the lebel wont.I am working on carcano in 7.35.



 Posted: Wed Jan 21st, 2009 01:29 PM
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I stopped in at Cabela's and they had some new Remington brass in stock so I picked up 100@ $38.99. Ouch.



 Posted: Wed Jan 21st, 2009 02:04 PM
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I realize that you're all talking about a high-pressure rifle round here, so this is only tangentially related, but ...

I had a mess of .380 ACP blanks I bought more than 20 years ago. They were movie blanks (not 5-in-1, but .380 specifically), mostly Peters brass. They had a seriously deep cannalure about 1/8 inch behind the case mouth and were filled with flash powder, or maybe FFFFg black, under a card wad. Anyway, I finally shot them and saved the cases for many years.

A while back I got a wild hair about trying to reload them with powder and ball. Careful tuning of the dies and press and the choice of  low-end load data resulted in perfect function upon firing. The cannalures stretched out with fire-forming and the next loading went on normally. I shot them all again and the process was complete.

Now I have a set of 20 or so former movie blanks rolled with fairly antique Peters brass that are more fun to look at than shoot, but that can be employed if need be without undue worry.

With regard to converting Berdan-primed milsurp brass, I've done that, but only with pistol rounds. It's a pain in the butt to swage them and drill out the flash hole, so I only converted a couple just to prove to myself it could be done. Kind of like processing 9x19 Luger brass into 9x18 Makarov. It can be done and results in useable cases, but 9x18 can be had factory fresh these days, so beyond proof-of-concept experimentation, there's really no reason to do it.

Last edited on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 02:09 PM by SCSlim



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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 02:28 AM
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Unlike once fired ammo brass, the blank brass may not have been proof pressure tested once to SAAMI ++.  I don't know what kind of powder is used in the blanks, but suspect it may not be full load and certainly chamber pressure is reduced due to no bullet.   If reloaded, the second firing of the same piece may subject the casing to pressures dangerously beyond the first firing.



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