Dillon primer pocket swage tool warning!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LDBennett, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Well, I got my 1000 cases (308) of once fired Lake City brass and started the prep work.

    They clean up pretty good after about 4 to 5 hours in a vibrator case cleaner (Dillon) using Walnut Shell Media. The primers pop right out using a Lee sizing die (I still have some old Lee stuff that still works well). I sized the cases to "0" using the RCBS case gage to set up the Lee die. I measured a sample and it appears NO small base die sizing will be required as all are under the case specs in my Hodgdon manual.

    But the crimp removal in the primer pockets has become a problem with the tools at hand. I have the Dillon swage tool. It puts an anvil inside the case so that it rests on the inside of the case head. It forces a swaging tool into the primer pocket to swage the edge of the primer pocket to a rounded shape for easy entry of the new primer. I set it up and started on a 100 case lot to see how it would go. It turns out Lake City brass is of course made in lots and they don't control the head thickness between lots. What???

    The result was the swaging tool could not be setup for all the brass as there, of course, were many different lots of LC brass in the batch of 1000 case with no two lots the same. Also the force required to use the tool is really pretty high. It may be that this tool that has sat idle for years has a lubrication problem but once I found the lot difference problem (after about five cases) I gave up on this tool. I did use this tool years ago without this problem. But the Dillon instructions for this tool warn about this very issue. So the Dillon swage tool is of no utility to me.

    I guess I'll have to hand (or maybe power) chamfer the crimp off either with the correct RCBS tool or a regular countersink tool. I don't have the RCBS tool for large primer pockets so I'll have to find one of those. As I have no well stocked gun store any closer than about 40 miles, I may have to order it on the Internet. But I got lots of cases that need cleaning and sizing/de-priming to keep me busy for a few days until I get the tool.

    Now for a little food for thought: If the cases are different in head thickness (and weight, it turns out) is the internal capacity the same? If not what will that do to the pressures and the accuracy? I think I need to measure the internal capacity on a few representative samples and see how they compare to the commercial cases I last used. I do know the brass wall thickness is thicker than a couple of commercial samples I have on hand.

    It turns out nothing is easy, but without a problem or two in life, things sure would be boring!


    LDBennett
  2. army mp

    army mp Member

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    I ran into the same problem a while back on some 06 brass. I still have it, to much work to separate into lots. I never used the Dillon swag. I have the RCBS, And I use the Lee. Universal De-capper on all my Mil-crimped stuff. I think that Lee de-capper is pretty tough. I have not broke a pin in it yet.
  3. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

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    I could stand to be a little bored for a month or two.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    army mp:

    De-priming is no harder than any other brass I have ever de-primed (funny that??). The standard Lee de-priming pin is having zero problems with this brass.

    I need to use this brass (all 1000 cases) as the gun they go into, my PTR-91 (an H&K 91 clone) is very tough on brass and I need this inexpensive brass to minimize the cost of shooting this excellent gun. Buying commercial ammo for it is out of the question and it does not like some surplus ammo that uses a tar like substance to seal the bullets to the case. Using this inexpensive brass (13 cents each, delivered to my home) makes loosing brass to the guns violent extraction/ejection cycle acceptable whereas using new commercial brass at 35 cents and up for each is absolutely not. The military brass may also be more tolerant of the rough handling from this gun.

    I'll get his reloading task (case prep) done but not just the way I planned. The brass is good stuff just not as uniform as I thought it would be. I really don't think the PTR-91 or my FAL (another potential gun for this ammo) will care all that much. More investigation of the brass is necessary in order to assure the best end results with no safety problems.

    LDBennett
  5. army mp

    army mp Member

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    I can see where it could be a problem. I have a Colt AR that’s hard on brass. The 06 stuff is Korean war Surplus. I got a good deal on 500 rounds a few years back.I had planed on using in a Rem 700. Pulling the Bullets was a Job in its self. I don’t know what they sealed them with. But 60 years later and that stuff is still holding strong.
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    LD, I am a little surprised by the statement that you use anything made by LEE. I really thought that you were absolutely Anti-Lee!:rolleyes:

    There may be hope for you yet.:D:D
  7. Luv2Jeep

    Luv2Jeep New Member

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    The RCBS primer pocket swaging tool doesn't work on my Lee presses. I am ordering the tool from CH4D (http://www.ch4d.com/catalog/priming/419000) which looks like it is perfect and will work on any press that uses standard dies.
  8. Twicepop

    Twicepop Well-Known Member

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    LDBennet....I've had one of the Dillon primer pocket swaging tools for 20+ years now, and the only problems that I've experienced were because of a large burr at the flash hole that happens when they punch this into the case. I've done hundreds perhaps even thousands of .223s and .308s as well as military .38 Special cases for myself and several friends and family members. As I stated the only broblems I've ever had were because of burrs at the flash hole. The good luck I've had with mine, I wouldn't hesitate to recomend one of these to anyone. Then again, maybe I just got lucky with the one I purchased.


    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those that didn't
  9. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    Hey LD, welcome to the wonderful world of LEE. I knew George would say something and so will Josh & Brisk (count on it), but I'm just glad when the going gets tough you remember LEE can help solve most of your reloading problems! I use a lot of mil brass as well and my RCBS swager is just as difficult as your Dillion. One thing I have found that makes my life easier and Brisk followed me on this, is picking up one of those "prep stations". They run them on sale all the time for $99.99 and they work really well. I bought the Lyman after reading up on RCBS, and Hornady as well. Lyman comes with all the accessories needed including their version of a swagger unit so you just pay one total price, no add ons. I wish I would have gotten one the minute they came out because they are wonderful. Once you get use to using them and run your brass through in a sequence that fits your need, you'll never go back to anything else. The swagger is NOT a swagger but reamer and reams the primer pocket opening/crimp ring both small & large. It works pretty well and doesn't take all the muscle the RCBS and apparently Dillion does. Lymans Prep Station can brush clean the case inside, clean and size the primer pocket small & large, and chamfer the inside & outside of the case mouth. Again, it comes with all the accessories and I think reasonably priced. LD, read up on this unit, Lyman can explain it better than me, I may not always use the correct language, hope I've helped you in some small way.
  10. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    Hey Luv, welcome aboard from the great state of Iowa! Check out YouTube for a vid that will show you how to adapt the RCBS swagger to your LEE. I use mine on a LEE Challenger single. All you need is a sleeve to put over the ram. Good Luck!
  11. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

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    Welcome Jeep boy nice to have you here.
    I knew all along that LD is a closet LEE lover.:)D) I alway's figure when someone makes the most noise about how terrible something is, it's merely jilted lover syndrome. So as I've said all along LD in his heart of hearts loves LEE!!!!:D:D:D:D
  12. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    I told ya Brisk would have somethin to say, now all that's left is JLA!:D
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