Berdan Primer Question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by gdmoody, May 18, 2009.

  1. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Are all Berdan primers corrosive?

    The reason I ask is that I have a bunch of military .308 brass that I pulled the bullets on. When I looked into the cases and they are all have two flash holes which indicates Berdan primers. I do not want to just throw all of them away if I can get one bang out of them, so I want to load them. I wanted to get some opinions.

    Just out of curiosity I weighed each bullet and each load of powder, man - what a variation. The powder varied up to 2 full grains and the bullets were worse.
  2. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    They can be reloaded, but it'll take a little work.

    Before knocking out the primer, use the old dented primer as a centering point for drilling through the primer and making a new hole through the center of the case pocket. Next buy a Berdan depriming tool and remove the old primer, Brownells and others have them. You can also use a punch slightly larger than the drilled hole and drive the discarded primer out with a hammer. Once the primers are removed you can reload like a normal case with standard primers.

    The other option is to pitch them in the trash or sell for scrap.
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your reply Rembrandt, I really don't want to knock out the primer, I will use the primer that is already in them, if I reload them. I know that I can only load them once unless I get the stuff to do the Berdan primers. I have plenty of boxer primed brass but as I said I just hate to throw away all of this unused already primed brass if I can get just one shot out of them

    I am just curious if berdan primers are all corrosive or not? The Headstamps are RG - 84 - and a circle with a cross or X in it, if this is of any help to anyone.
  4. olmossbak

    olmossbak New Member

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    GD,

    I take it that you are wanting to reload the cases with the current primers and shoot them thus the question if all berdan primers are are corrosive. I have seen ammo loaded with berdan primers labeled as non-corrosive and some as slightly corrosive (whatever that is).

    Do you know the source of your ammo and can you contact your supplier regarding the nature of the primers? Second choice is to shoot them and do the necessary cleaning as if they are corrosive. Too big a chance to do otherwise, in my humble opinion.
  5. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    You are absolute correct in your guess. They may be part of a case that I got from Century International a few years ago, or they may be part of the fifty I got from my local gunshop last year, I am really not sure. I was hoping that someone would recognize the headstamp and might have a list of corrosive ammo, I just forgot to mention the headstamp in my first post.

    I have a list of corrosive ammo for surplus 30.06 that I got from the CMP forum a few years ago, but have personally never seen one for .308. I started to load them today, but decided to hold off to see if someone might know the answer.

    EDIT: I just found out that the headstamp (RG) is from the Royal Ordnance Factory Radway Green, UK. But I still dont know about the corrosive part of it.
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    NEVERMIND - I just found the answer to my own question. I did google searches and found information on it. IT IS NOT CORROSIVE!!

    Let em explain why I would pull the bullets and reload the primed case. Early last year I bought a Mossberg .308 rifle. The only .308 ammo that I had was the stuff I mentioned in the above post. I shot 6 rounds of the ammo and the extractor broke. I sent the rifle back to Mossberg and had it repaired. I took it to the range again and this time I got 9 rounds through it and the extractor broke again. Another trip back to Mossberg, this time I dumped the rifle back on the dealer I bought it from. A couple of weeks ago I bought myself a Remington .308 and I am afraid that this ammo is too hot so I pulled bullets and dumped powder!!

    Sorry for wasting you all's time.
  7. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    The suggestionof drilling a third flash hole & trying to install boxer primers has me shaking my head. That would leave you with three flash holes that would skyrocket pressures. Also, berdan primers & pockets aren't the same size as boxer. There are even differnt sizes of berdan primers.

    One thing I was wondering. You said it's marked with a circle & crosshairs? That's been in my experience the mark of NATO ammo which radway green should be. NATO ammo is always non-corrosive & has been boxer primed (all of it i've seen).

    I would surely shoot it as-is & not worry.
  8. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with pop. Buy the way if you did try to reload berdan primed cases where would you get the berdan primers? ive never seen them
  9. firewrench044

    firewrench044 New Member

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    Remove the decaping pin and resize brass

    I have done this with some Albainian 7.62X54R
    (the powder charge varied by 2.5gr )
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Thanks all for your comments.

    firewrench, that is a good idea, I will do that.
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