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CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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Joe H
Senior Guild Member

on: February 20, 2011, 12:27:10 PM

CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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Posts: 777

Converting Berdan to Boxer Primers

Yeah, Yeah I know Trenches, its not worth the trouble but when has that ever stopped the Members of this Board . I have bunch military surplus berdan primed.303 British. Some 1941 Radway Green and some Early sixties POF. Hateing to throw away all that good brass I came up with the following method to convert the brass to boxer priming. I used small 7 Bench Lathes to do the work but it could be setup for a mill or drill press. It will only be efficient if you have a lot of cases to do and set up accordingly. Once the case is converted it can be reloaded normally as long as the case lasts. Since the original Berdan flash holes remain in place, as I have converted them, the converted cases will have 5 % more flash hole area than a typical boxer primed case(.082" hole). Start with caution and reduced loads to be sure the additional area is not affecting pressures. I havent yet reloaded any of my cases. Start by drilling the new flash hole (.066) through the mouth of the case. Make a fixture for the drill so that it is centered and will only penetrate the anvil in the case and not the primer. You then can resize and de-cap normally The primer pocket in the .303 British Surplus is .25. The pocket has to be bushed and reamed for the large rifle boxer primer. I cut the bushes from .032 wall brass tubing. Using Loctite 620 (green, hi temp, retaining compound), I pressed the bushes into the primer pocket. Search The bushes then have to be faced to match the base of the shell. At this point there is too much material to be removed with a primer pocket uniformer (reamer) so I remove most of the material with a 13/64 mill(UPDATE found that a number 6 drill works much better) set up with a stop fixture to limit penetration . Then the final step is the primer pocket reamer followed by a couple of twists with a hand countersink to chamfer the new pocket followed by priming as normal. Pics below show details: Recent Posts Joe

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1/24/2013 11:20 PM

CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

http://www.weaponsguild.com/forum/index.php?topic=18094.0

Re: WTB: AK47 Bullet Guide by moab


[Today at 12:18:26 AM]

UPDATE I fired the first batch of converted .303. I loaded a little below max. Worked fine, cycled the action properly(Bren) . No signs of excessive pressure. As I decapped I found some of the bushes moved. Obviously the Loctite is not the best way to go. I made a crimping tool and crimped in the bushings. Hopefully that will solve the problem. Nevada Blue's soldering idea was right on.

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CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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FINISHING BUSH.jpg (785.83 kB, 1600x1200 - viewed 82 times.) Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 03:16:32 PM by Joe H

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Markp
Band of Brothers Senior Guild Member

Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 12:52:02 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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This is a great writeup for hard to find brass...


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NevadaBlue
Under the Blue Nevada Sky ______________________ Global Moderator Senior Guild Member

Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 12:58:04 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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Joe, thanks for this. I'm gonna save my x25 brass and try it. I think one could solder up the original flash holes. Maybe deprime the hard way, solder the flash holes and then do the machine work. Now that I went back and studied your writeup, I think I'll try this: - deprime the hard way - clean the pocket with an end mill (removing the anvil) - solder a solid chunk of brass rod in the primer pocket (filling the existing flash holes) - mill out the new hole to proper size using your mill cutter setup - drill the new flash hole using your setup, but from the primer end (saves work) Thanks again for this, it doesn't look so difficult, just a very tedious process. But, better than not having ammo.
Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 01:09:51 PM by NevadaBlue Report to moderator Logged

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NevadaBlue
Under the Blue Nevada Sky ______________________ Global Moderator Senior Guild Member

Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 01:20:36 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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Joe, I'm making this a sticky. Let's make this our Berdan to Boxer CONVERSION thread. I'll post some SAAMI standards and ideas, hopefully others will chime in too.
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Lamont
Senior Guild Member

Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 01:30:55 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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This is a really nice thread. Just remember, IIRC, Berdan primers are like .002 larger in Dia than Boxer. They can loosen up over time.

And for those with RARE ammo firearms, Hornday now sells the "military classic" line of ammo and brass for all those hard to find calibers..Like 9X33, 8X54R, .303, 7.65 Argie mauser....and even some of the old swiss verlitti ammo
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NevadaBlue
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Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 01:57:45 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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Lamont, Joe is making a NEW primer pocket. It is sized to standard primer size. I found this reference quote on another site, and am struggling to confirm it on the SAAMI site. From SAAMI, the depths for small pistol, small rifle, and large pistol primer pockets are .118" to .122", while large rifle primer pocket depths are .128" to .132". Small pistol and small rifle primers have the same diameter (.175") while large rifle and large pistol primers are also the same (.210"). It is recommended that primers be seated .003" to .005" below flush.

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MGMike
Senior Guild Member

Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 03:49:19 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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NB..... I like the idea of plugging the base, and starting from there. It would be a no-brainer with a tailstock turret in the new lathe A shouldered collet to hold the brass would help. MgM
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NevadaBlue
Under the Blue Nevada Sky ______________________ Global Moderator Senior Guild Member

Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 04:21:32 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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yep, a turret would be the berries for this. Now I need to look at my collets and collet block, good idea! I bet I could set up the collet holder in the mill and just step through the process. Thanks!

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trenches
Band of Brothers Senior Guild Member

Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 05:09:02 PM

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Posts: 6006

Now how did you know I would feel that way Joe. But hey, whatever trips your trigger. Fortunately I still have some RWS Berdan primers stashed away so I don't have to resort to drastic measures. Yet. Excellent write up though. Where I could see doing this is with some RARE cartridge that is virtually almost impossible to obtain. What I don't understand is why some enterprising outfit doesn't import Berdan primers.
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MGMike
Senior Guild Member

Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 06:26:39 PM

Re: CONVERTING BERDAN to BOXER

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Quote from: trenches on February 20, 2011, 05:09:02 PM

What I don't understand is why some enterprising outfit doesn't import Berdan primers.

Posts: 3114 Black Hills, SD

Trenchy.... Dixie Gun Works used to.....'cept that wuz about 40 years ago MgM
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