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Berdan Primers for .303

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peashooter View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 27 2010 at 3:19am
Does anyone know which Berdan type primer .303 British use and where I can get hold of some in the UK for reloading.

thanks
Richard.
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Kysusha View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kysusha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2010 at 7:50am

Hi,

 

I have a similar predicament – I just got 4 boxes of berdan primers in a Deceased Estate lot [that they guy had been using for .303 Mk VII  loads. Unfortunately, he has “re-packaged” the primers and all I can make out is NOBELS .

 

However, how do you go about seating them? They are a different size to the Boxer primer and don’t fit into the hand primer tool I have.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2010 at 10:11am
Sometimes a  standard large rifle primer cup will work. Wear glasses and try carefully.
Getting them out of the case is the tricky part!

Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kysusha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2010 at 5:31pm
Ed, a mate of mine said that he used a vise to seat them - placed a dowl in the cartidge and a block of wood on one jaw of the vise - insered the case between them [with the cap sitting in position] and then quietly tightened up the vise. I reckon I got a bummer anyway 'cause he also said that you get about two reloads from the cases as the anvil wears down and fails to ignite the cap! Makes sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2010 at 9:37am
I'm sure that would work, but I doubt it's NRA approved!  That's why I stick with working with boxer cases, I've reloaded some 6 times and they're still looking good.

Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kysusha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2010 at 7:57pm
Yeah, reckon it calls for some serious eye protections when doing it! Like a full face shield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tararuaphil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2014 at 3:28pm
If you want some Berdan primers for the 303 "Gunworks" of christchurch New Zealand has some @ the moment but they may be expensive for you to be sent back to England.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2014 at 7:01pm
At some stage you will need to replace the brass anyway. Why go through all that effort and expense of sourcing Berdans. Rather bite the bullet and just start fresh with Boxer brass.
 
Unless of course you have a massive supply of Berdan brass.
 
You can adapt a ram primer to accept one of the 3 sizes of Berdan primers. There is info on this on the net.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tararuaphil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2014 at 9:11pm
Like all cases they certainly will need replacing but because I do have a good supply of berdans & can get them regularly including the smaller berdans for 308 I may as wel utilise them & I get good accuracy from them.
I had a Simplex press left me by my nephew some years ago so I made up a new primer cup & stem for the 303 berdans as well as drilling out the seat hole to match, then using a small electric grinder I ground back the ram slot ( the disk just fits) & reload like normal. 
To take off the crimp I just use a drill chuck with an over size short bit with a recess on the point by putting it against a bench grinder wheel corner to create the recess.
It all may seem a lot of work but once set up you'd then have the capacity to do any brass cheaply.Big smileBig smileWinkWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 5:43am
There are actually 2 different sizes used depending on where the cases were originally made.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 5:58am
Sorry, Huntington makes 3 size primer seaters (.217 .240 and .255). There are about half a dozen different primer sizes. According to http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/berdan_supplies_dimensions.html .303 British MK-7 (K60, K61 and K68 head stamps) use a .250
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2014 at 12:51pm
I have a lot of berdan brass and a hydro punch for removing the primers, can't find any primers in the UK though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gun Nut 4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2015 at 2:42pm
I can't say, but I think it depends upon what armory they were manufacture in. i have .303 cartridge cases that have different Berdan primers sizes. I drill them out and insert shotgun primers.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gun Nut 4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2015 at 2:57pm
I actually make a punch out of a flat screw driver bit with a Dremel Tool. the trick was to get the right spread between the two points. If you take the head off one of the cases you can measure between the two flash-holes. However, it only works in that particular type of cartridge, if the cartridge uses a larger Berdan primer the flash-hole are space differently.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2015 at 3:12pm
The South African made ammo can be re-primed with the correct Berdan, assuming you can find them. The British used a bigger primer & I've never found a source for that oddball size.
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