military brass/primer question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by chad44, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. chad44

    chad44 Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    My buddy has a lot of 556 brass and wants to reload for his AR. it has crimped primers and Ive heard these are a pain and not sure what the process is for resizing. can I use a 223 die? how do I get the primers out?
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009

    So long as they're US military or otherwise Boxer primed, they decap normally, just like any other case. There'll be a bit more resistance due to the crimp, but it's not much. Use a universal decapping die like the Lee or Redding, and they will come out just fine.

    The crimp will have to be dealt with before you reload this brass, though. I like the Dillon Super Swage best, as far as tools go. It's fast, and does a great job. RCBS also makes swaging dies to do this. Cheaper, but a bit of a pain to use and doesn't do as nice a job as the Dillon unit does. They can also be reamed out, and several firms make tools to do this; Lyman, Forster and a couple others as well. Cheaper still, but slow and I've never seen one that did as good a job as the swaging units.

    Take your pick which method you use, but you do have to do it the first time through. It's a one-time deal, and after it's been done to a case, it's good to go from that point on.
  3. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    I simply run a K&M primer pocket uniformer thru the case with a B&D power screw driver. But you could also do it with a 45 degree deburr tool if you don't want to mess with the primer pockets that much.

    One thing I've discovered with Blackhills 5.56 cases is that they often have loose pockets after one firing! Looks like the onlything holding the primer in place was the crimp!

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    +1 on the DILLON swage tool, use for both large and small primers. easy and the best way to do it.