Monday, December 19, 2011

Berdan Primed

I went out to the training center to take Bud some bullets for his muzzleloading team and while I was out there I went to the rifle range to scrounge the brass bucket. I found about 30 cases of Remington 7mm Rem Mag brass, and about 10 rounds of RP 30-06. There was also a bunch of .308 brass with NATO headstamp, so I brought it home. The primers were still crimped, so I was fairly sure that it was once-fired, but I didn't recognize the headstamp.

NATO headstamp with RG 93. I came home and found that it is made in the Royal Ordnance factory, Radway Green, in England. So, I set about decapping it and found Berdan primers.

Good, thick NATO brass and not a damned thing I can do with it. There was also about 40 rounds of good Federal Gold Medal brass in the bucket. It's already been added to my stocks.

I wonder how that British ammo got all the way over to a Louisiana sheriff office range?


bluesun said...

Is it possible to drill a new hole? (Is it worth it to bother?)

Old NFO said...

Interesting, if only it could talk, there would probably be one hellva story!

Gerry N. said...

The usual suspects sell a lot of Radway Green ammo at surplus. Nere in W. Wash. the stuff is common as dirt. Good ammo, but difficult to reprime. Seems like the Urps don't really want their subjects loading their own ammo. Can't trust the bloody peasants, wot? I blame the railroads and auto makers. Allowing the lower classes to move unnecessarily about. It's ruining everything, I tell you.

Just another of the great differences between Us and the urps. Well, some of Us, anyway.

mostly cajun said...

RG is good, accurate stuff.

I have a couple of cans hanging around somewhere...


Anonymous said...

I don't know if will help, but primers are available:

Rivrdog said...

Colonel Berdan invented the better primer, initially, because the Boxer types had a higher failure rate due to their priming compound. I think Berdan used Ely's compound, which was the most reliable at the time, whereas early Boxer primers used something similar to what had been in percussion caps, fulminate of mercury, unstable and not reliable.

No thought was ever given to reloading military ammo when it was designed.

Berdan CAN be reloaded. You need to make a "Berdan-hook", a sharp, hooked prying tool to get under the primer from the outside of the case to lift it out. It will leave a divot in the brass, but if you're careful, there's no danger from that. You then drill a central hole for the boxer flash-hole.

I've met a local chap who reloads for various old Brit calibers which used Berdan priming, and he showed me the ropes in his shop.

If you want to get REALLY serious about reloading that Radway brass, you can buy a $$$ hydraulic de-priming setup that uses water pressure to pop out the primer, then re-prime with Berdan. That's what the Brit reloaders do.

Anonymous said...

Water-Wooden dowel-Mallet= non pricey hydraulic de-priming. Reloaded .303 Brit for many years.