South African Surplus .223 Ammo - Not Reloadable

South African Surplus .223 Ammo - Not Reloadable

This is a discussion on South African Surplus .223 Ammo - Not Reloadable within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I was getting ready to load my first .223 ammo today. I had purchased several hundred rounds of South African surplus ammo a while back. ...

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Thread: South African Surplus .223 Ammo - Not Reloadable

  1. #1
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    South African Surplus .223 Ammo - Not Reloadable

    I was getting ready to load my first .223 ammo today. I had purchased several hundred rounds of South African surplus ammo a while back. I went to the range yesterday and put about 100 rounds down range.

    After cleaning the brass today, I looked inside to see what we had and noticed 2 little flash holes that were not centered - see pic.



    It did not appear that I would be able to deprime with my press, so I tried to punch the primer out with a nail and hammer - this accounts for the scratches on the bottom of the case. After not being successful, I got out the saw and cut off the bottom .75 inches of the casing to more closely see what we were dealing with. The case bottom is solid with only the 2 flash holes you can see in the picture.

    I got this ammo pretty cheap, so I am not too upset about not being able to reload it. My question to the group are:

    1. Have you seen this situation before where brass is not reloadable?

    2. If you have seen it, do you remember the brand?

    I think I will stick with the brand names that are designed to be reloadable. I have never run across this before, although until I started reloading, I can't say I ever paid much attention to the spent brass other than to pick it up for resale value.
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    You have what is known as "Berdan" primed brass and it is quite common in other countrys. Much of the military brass that is imported here is such.
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    Yep, Berdan-primed brass - common for milsurp.

    It can be reloaded, but decapping is a major PITA. The method I've heard of is to fill the case with water and then use a dowel that fits the neck ID closely to 'hydraulically' hammer the spent primer out.

    I think that makes sense for my 7.5x55 Swiss brass that costs almost a buck apiece for new, boxer-primed brass. But for .223/5.56, I've got better things to do with my time!
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    An odd quirk of history, Berdan was an American military officer who came up with this priming system. The Boxer system was developed in Europe. Boxer systems, however, were primarily adopted in the US, while Berdan systems were the primary priming system for European manufacturers.

    RCBS does make a tool for removing Berdan primers but as the OP and others have said it is not worth it for 223 brass.

    RCBS Berdan Decapping Tool - MidwayUSA
    Last edited by msgt/ret; February 28th, 2011 at 10:54 AM. Reason: grammer
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    Thanks guys. I agree - not worth the effort with these primers. I just threw them into my scrap brass bin.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

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    i just had some IMI mil brass that the fash hole is WAY under sized and would jam up the decapping pin, i tossed it all out

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