Hydraulic Berdan solution

An informative letter from Peter Tanner in August’s Australian Shooter about ammunition for the 32-40 Model 94 Winchester mentioned the difficulty in using the RCBS tool to remove Berdan primers. I too encountered this when trying to remove primers from 8mm military brass. Because the primers were sealed in and also crimped in about three places, I found the tool was too hard to use. If I remember correctly, the tool was useful on used reloaded cases because the original seal and crimps had been broken.
I found the hydraulic method the best way to remove Berdan primers from once-used brass. Fill the case with water then place a snug-fitting short round steel bar inside the neck of the case and hit the bar with a hammer. The water pressure on the primer forces it out of the pocket.
The base of the case must be supported in a blind hole in a piece of timber about 50mm thick. A short blind hole, slightly larger than the diameter of the case base, is drilled about 5mm deep then a smaller diameter hole right through the timber is drilled in the centre of the larger blind hole to allow the primer (and the water) to be driven out. It helps to first remove as much as possible of the crimps that hold the primer in the pocket.

Of course you have to be prepared to get wet and do it somewhere suitable to allow for the used water, which is going to flow.
Bryan Finlay, Tas


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