Swaging 5.56 brass?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by twoclones, May 4, 2012.

  1. twoclones

    twoclones Active Member

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    I'm prepping military brass for my first go at reloading .223 for my AR on a Dillon 550B. After decapping a few, I set-up the Dillon Super Swager to see how that worked. I am not sure of just how much of a taper should be put into the primer pocket.

    I adjusted the locator rod so my brass barely misses the backup plate when set down. There is resistance when pushing down the swager handle but even under a magnifying glass the taper (swage) is barely visible.

    Am I doing this correctly?
  2. mcathcart

    mcathcart Active Member

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    :eatpop:
  3. speedtriple

    speedtriple Member

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    Don't have experience with the swag tool you are using, but have you tried pressing in a primer?
  4. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Best way to tell, is to try priming 4 or 5 in a row. If primers seat uniformly, fully, and undented, you are good.
  5. twoclones

    twoclones Active Member

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    Not yet... Appears that is the next step :)
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    Dillon's instructions are pretty simple for this tool. The "taper" you are referring to is really a "radius" and it just has to be enough to break the sharp edge of the primer pocket left by the original crimp. Make sure that you sort the cases by headstamp/manufacturer or you'll have issues with the varying thicknesses of the case head.

    Just look at the case from a side view of the primer pocket. If you can see a slight radius at the primer pocket mouth you're good to go.

    Some cases, especially those with deep military crimps, may take a little touch up with a primer pocket reamer. I keep a Lyman tool handy to finish knocking down the sharpness on those that got a real heavy crimp. Most will be good without this extra effort.
    FarmerTed1971 and (deleted user) like this.
  7. twoclones

    twoclones Active Member

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    This is becoming a reloading adventure as it's a lot different than loading pistol rounds.

    - First I decided to prepare all 3,000 rounds of brass. Just wanted to have that 'out of the way'. It's a big job!
    - Then I learned that I wasn't using enough case lubricant. Fortunately I had the pieces on hand to make my own brass extractor using the photo at MidwayUSA as a guide. If you do not have a "stuck case remover", you might want to buy one before loading rifle cartridges.
    - Now I've tripled the lubricant and it's going smoothly but about 1 case in 100 is significantly harder to get into the sizing die.
    - All this decapping has led to the cotter pin {hinge} for the ejected primer chute bending. The chute doesn't always open which allows spent primers to go wherever they please. Some fly away and some get in the way of the press operation.
    - 600 more rounds to decap and then off to the swager :) Sounds like I might need to buy a pocket reamer...
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

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    I use the simple $30 RCBS swager and it works like a champ. I can't say for yours. I have a small dedicated press for that.

    If I have trouble with 1/100 cases in any area, I just toss them.

    $.02
  9. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    I started out with one of those too. Got tired of how much effort it took to get the cases off the "punch". Only had to swage ONE case on a Dillon Super Swage to see how much easier it was. Also got more uniform radius on the primer pocket mouths.