Fixing Berdan cases
I have read several articles on how to convert berdan cases to use boxer primers. I haven't seen a method I like very well yet. While browsing SW the other day I saw some Spanish made shotgun primers for only $29 per thousand and the gears started grinding. I bought a thousand and went home for some lathe time. Having a bunch of 7.62x39 berdan cases, I chucked one and center drilled the primer, then through drilled the case with a letter C drill. Then I used a 5/16 end mill and made a recess for the primer rim. Next I made a tool to drive the primer in the case similar to the way the Lee whack-a-mole things works. I made ten cases and primed them. The primers go in plenty stiff. I'm going to start with a low pressure cast boolit load and work up.
Now the question. Has anyone tried using shotgun primers in rifle cases? Any thoughts? If this works it will make loading for those hard to get boxer primed cases like the 7.62x54 and others fairly simple.
Only issue I see is you have a lot of flash hole volume and more primer surface for it to act on pushing it out.
I used to convert a lot and yup it's a pain. I have a berdan stem for one of my decaping dies, a pain to use but works. Once the old is out I drill the anvil out, I made a sleeve to fit the pocket for the bit to go through so it can't walk off the anvil.
Now now most just uniform the pocket and load boxers but I found they don't stay very well. I made a stake anvil the case goes over and a ring punch like an oversize punch for staking primers in, both tempered 4140 steel. Drop the case on anvil and whack with a big 2-1/2 pound hammer, this moves brass around choking the pocket in and also marks the case as boxer. Then swedge a good boxer pocket and your all set.
I have loaded a few 7.62x54r now with shotgun primers and have worked up as far as 40grs of H4895 and a 150gr cast with no issues. I need to find a few jacketed bullets around .313 and move up to full power loads to make sure they will handle the pressure. If nothing else, I now can convert the brass berdan to shotgun primers and shoot cast safely.