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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just out of curiosity here, not trying to cut corners. I have a LOT of once fired Lake City 5.56 brass that was pretty much just picked up off the range and shipped to me. Got it all cleaned up (my corn cob looks like coal now) and started the process of depriming and sorting and whatnot. I've only got a few done since I'm in no hurry whatsoever. Need to get others supplies still and in no real hurry for that either. I have plenty enough loaded already.

Now, I don't have any fancy tools at the moment to remove the crimps for such a workload I have now. Out of curiosity, I decided to try to put a primer in one of the cases that still have the crimp in it. I did it once on the press and then again with the Lee Auto Prime hand primer. Both went very smoothly and with ease which begs the question:

Why remove the crimp? What purpose does it serve to do that extra step?
 
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Normally primers wont go into crimped brass. Are you using S&B primers? I have noticed those seem to be smaller than win, or fed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, I'm using CCI primers so... :dunno:
 

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My experience. Someone removed the crimp before the case got to you.
I’ve not seen LC 5.56 take a primer without being swaged, etc.

If it was truly once fired - well, god bless!!! :eek:
A military crimp is a strong barrier vs an in coming primer!!
 

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:schild28:

also I believe that FC is crimping all their 223
 
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If you keep trying to shove primers into cases without removing the crimp first eventually you will have a primer go off and possibly insert some tiny bits of metal into your body. It will be loud and possibly painful and a heart stopping surprise.

There are many ways to remove a crimp from easy to difficult.

When I first got into reloading I used a sharp knife to remove the crimp (difficult).
Then a chanfering tool, first by hand then by chucking it up in a drill motor (semi difficult). Under power it tended to remove too much metal. https://www.dillonprecision.com/l-e-wilson-case-deburring-tool_8_8_24071.html
I bought a RCBS swaging tool that mounts in a press. It kept bending rods before the crimp was removed.
Eventually I bought a Dillon bench mounted swaging tool. That works great but is rather expensive unless you intend to reload a lot (many thousands) of once-fired crimped cases.
https://www.dillonprecision.com/super-swage-600_8_8_25263.html
 

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I've never got a primer into a crimped pocket, ever. I have crushed many primers on cases that slipped through.

223 is so much work, I don't even load it any more. Not for the prices you can buy it for.
 

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I've never got a primer into a crimped pocket, ever. I have crushed many primers on cases that slipped through.

223 is so much work, I don't even load it any more. Not for the prices you can buy it for.

Where are you seeing it that cheap? So far, the best price I've been able to find is around $0.25/round shipped. I reload for around $0.14/round...not really any more work than any other round either...just saying :)

To the OP - if you got truly once fired, then it'll look like the one on the left and be pretty much impossible to prime. I just use a drill and a Lymans primer pocket reamer that comes with their multi-champher/deburring tool - takes about 3 seconds per round (a primer pocket swager takes less, but costs about $100 too!)

Brass Metal Ammunition Copper Bullet
 

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Yeah, probably not "once fired". The next question is, why would a reloader leave brass at the range? Because he had reloaded it multiple times and considered it at the end of it's life. Might want to just toss that to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
My experience. Someone removed the crimp before the case got to you.
I’ve not seen LC 5.56 take a primer without being swaged, etc.

If it was truly once fired - well, god bless!!! :eek:
A military crimp is a strong barrier vs an in coming primer!!
The brass that I got was literally just picked up from the range and sent to me. The stuff was extremely dirty and I punched out the primers (started to anyway). Nobody removed the crimp as it's still very much there yet.

The type of crimp/staking(sp?) I'm seeing is the ring type. I haven't looked at them all yet but that's all I've seen so far. I've never seen anything like what you Yissnakk shows. For that, I could definitely see a need to do something with the primer pocket. Like I said, the primer I tried went in easily both with the press and by hand.

I have sent an email to these folks I've learned about. Their swage tool seems to be extremely easy and quick to use and pretty cheap too. The only disadvantage when comparing it to the RCBS kit is that is puts pressure on the rim rather than the case head if I understand the mechanics of its function correctly. Improper adjustment can strip the rim but, watching videos of it working, as long as it's adjusted properly there's no danger of that and movement of the lever on the press is very minimal. I'm not entirely sure they're still in business but if you guys are interested I'll let you know if I get a reply.

Environment Test

Here it is in action:


This page has a very informative video of the use of the RCBS kit and shows the different means of crimping/staking:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012920663/rcbs-primer-pocket-swager-combo-2
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I'm not necessarily trying to argue anybody's point but I've done my homework and just showing what I've found. I'll get pictures of what I have and put them here to show you folks what I'm looking at that has lead to my confusion.

Maybe it's not there... What do you guys think? It looks to me like there's a ring still inside it but there's not much to see on the outside like in the RCBS video. I'll include pictures to show the stuff looks like it sat on the range for a while before it was picked up, seemingly indicative of truly being "once-fired."

Ammunition Gun accessory Bullet Brass Metal
Finger Ring Hand Nail Fashion accessory
Finger Hand Fashion accessory Ring Ammunition

More editing...: Upon further review the brass looks pretty much identical to the RCBS video.
 

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Normally primers wont go into crimped brass. Are you using S&B primers? I have noticed those seem to be smaller than win, or fed.
exactly my findings as well.
I have even popped a hole in the spent primer trying to de prime in a few cases.
that crimp holds them tight.
but I can't remember ever seating a primer in a case that was crimped in sucessfully. done it by mistake and don't even try it anymore.
of course now all 233/556 cases aren't crimped primers either now.
 

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Yeah, probably not "once fired". The next question is, why would a reloader leave brass at the range? Because he had reloaded it multiple times and considered it at the end of it's life. Might want to just toss that to be safe.

I doubt if much brass that I find is from re-loaders though!
I could have had I m sure easily a 55 gallon barrel of 556 brass by now IF I had not quit picking it up.
all appeared to be once fired, you can tell it hasn't been resized.
Other than my own brass about all I pick up anymore is 10 MM and 38 Super, so I don't have to tote much extra brass home with me needless to say.
 

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I see the different types of crimping on various brands of 223/556 brass here. it serves the same purpose.
MY self I use the RCBS system and it works for me.
I just sit down and do as much of the new brass (range pickup) that I have collected in a batch, then I resize and trim and clean it and put it in the completed batch ready for reloading.
did I mention I hate to reload rifle anyway.
I don't shoot enough 556 to make a big deal of it actually, IF I get in the shoot a killer, terror inducing, assault black rifle then many times I just take my S & W MP 15-22, then I don't need to worry about reloading and honestly its about the same recoil and power.--GriiiiNNN.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I doubt if much brass that I find is from re-loaders though!
I could have had I m sure easily a 55 gallon barrel of 556 brass by now IF I had not quit picking it up.
all appeared to be once fired, you can tell it hasn't been resized.
Other than my own brass about all I pick up anymore is 10 MM and 38 Super, so I don't have to tote much extra brass home with me needless to say.
That is one thing I can also say for sure. There is absolutely no evidence of this brass ever having been resized before or after cleaning.

Ammunition Gun accessory Bullet Brass Metal
Metal Nail Orange Spoke Titanium
 
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I only save milsurp brass for the black guns and FC for the bolt guns. It all goes through the RCBS swager before primers are install. Yes I'm OCD and only shoot to support my reloading habit.

ymmv
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I only save milsurp brass for the black guns and FC for the bolt guns. It all goes through the RCBS swager before primers are install. Yes I'm OCD and only shoot to support my reloading habit.

ymmv
I only have one rifle chambered for this particular caliber and it's one of the evil black rifles so milsurp serves me just fine as well. I load them as cheaply as possible being that, for me, it's just plain fun to shoot and getting the supplies from the right place can make it almost as affordable as premium .22LR. Also helps I have a deal worked out with a buddy that all I have to do is load the stuff and no money comes out of my pocket (read free ammo) :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe I should pose this question: does anybody not remove/reshape the crimp/staking if they are of the type I've shown?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update on the CH4D folks:

Apparently they are still in business and accept PayPal. I just received an email from their sales lady, Beth. I might just give them a shot on their swage kit but am unsure of the need for it being that I experienced quite a bit of ease with installing a primer in the relatively untouched brass. I plan on loading these on my progressive press so maybe having the primer pocket reshaped would be better for that? I do plan on priming on the press.
 

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The brass with the primer shot you've shown is not crimped. It's also why you haven't killed any depriming pins yet.
Here's a quick "primer" on crimping.
The primers are installed then the pocket edge is staked in usually 4 positions. This makes the opening smaller, retaining the primers. So lets think about this for a moment. a larger diameter piece of metal is stuffed in the hole and the hole is closed off around it. That's basic crimping. Now what happens when you deprime? you're taking that oversized piece of metal and shoving it back against and through the crimps. enlarging the hole. Some primers may be just small enough to pass through the expanded crimped hole and seat properly. Others may detonate when attempting to seat them. Removing the crimps is very easy but it's time consuming depending on how many pieces of brass you're resizing the primer pockets on. I have the RCBS Pocket Swage die and it works great. If I'm in a hurry, a countersink bit is used to chamfer the primer pocket to get the crimps out of the way. It's only about 1/2 second per piece of brass, but if you're doing 1000 or so the time adds up.
 
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