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"Boxer vs Berdan Primers - What's The Difference?"

This topic can be found at:
http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/410601935/m/8220094734

February 09, 2018, 09:00 AM
Sigmund
"Boxer vs Berdan Primers - What's The Difference?"
I knew they looked different but was unaware of the functioning details. My Berdan experience has been shooting Blazer aluminum and South African 223 & 308. I collect all my brass for pals but do not give them Berdan-primed brass.

https://www.ammunitiontogo.com...r-vs-berdan-primers/
February 10, 2018, 11:11 AM
45 Cal
quote:
but do not give them Berdan-primed brass.


You are a good man and the recipients will appreciate that.
Boxer is smaller and is easily reloaded ,bearden mixed in breaks decap pins
Can be reloaded but it takes a claw thingy to remove and I don't know of any places to get fresh primers in this country right off hand.
February 10, 2018, 12:09 PM
RogueJSK
You can also decap Berdan brass hydraulically, using water pressure to force the old primer out. Potentially messy, but easier than using the claw tools to mechanically decap Berdan primers, and less likely to damage the case or anvil.

Wolf and Tula offer Berdan primers, but supply is sporadic, since demand is very low. There are a few other foreign companies producing Berdan primers, like RWS, CBC, and PPU, but they haven't bothered to try to bring them into the US yet, due to the aforementioned low demand.

You can occasionally see old stock Berdan primers for sale at gun shows or on Gunbroker.
February 10, 2018, 12:48 PM
newtoSig765
Back about 40 years ago there was a discussion in one of the gun magazines about reloading Berdan-primed cases, and there was a concern that the primer would go off while being seated, since the anvil is in the case.

When Blazer aluminum cased ammo was introduced, CCI-Speer said they were using Berdan primers to discourage reloading, since the cases were weaker than brass cases.

Is it really worth the trouble?


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken

I always prefer reality when I can figure out what it is.
-- JALLEN 10/18/18
February 10, 2018, 04:37 PM
RogueJSK
quote:
Originally posted by newtoSig765:
Is it really worth the trouble?


Usually not, hence the very low demand for Berdan primers.

Only really useful for older obscure calibers, where Boxer brass is tough/expensive to obtain but surplus Berdan brass is more readily available.
February 10, 2018, 07:10 PM
sigfreund
Many years ago a well-known writer (Ross Seyfried?) discussed a technique of depriming Berdan cases by driving a punch through one of the flash holes. It obviously must be done manually with a small punch, but it appeared to be relatively easy and effective, and is obviously much less time consuming and messy than the hydraulic method.




“ Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
March 12, 2018, 09:04 AM
rogn
Its progress I guess but all the Blazer aluminum Ive seen has been Boxer primed. And just because it cant be done, Ive reloaded 9mm aluminum cases 4 times without any issues. I dont recommend it however since aluminum can fatigue with repeated stresse and fail catastrophically. Its silly 'cause 9mm brass is so cheap and plentiful.
March 12, 2018, 12:05 PM
Sigmund
quote:
Originally posted by rogn:
Its progress I guess but all the Blazer aluminum I've seen has been Boxer primed...


I just checked my large bag (I'm trying to find a recycler that will take it) and found a mix of one flash hole (Boxer?) and two (Berdan?).
March 12, 2018, 02:54 PM
sigfreund
quote:
Originally posted by Sigmund:
a mix of one flash hole (Boxer?) and two (Berdan?).


As I recall, all Blazer aluminum cases had Berdan (two hole) flash holes at one time. In recent times, though, Boxer has become more common, and perhaps they only type used now. I’m no authority on ammunition case manufacture, but it’s always seemed that the Berdan system might be a little more complicated and therefore more expensive. It was obvious that it was originally intended to prevent the cases from being reloaded, but they probably just decided “If people want to do that, that’s their concern, not ours.”




“ Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
March 14, 2018, 01:16 AM
KyCoo
quote:
Originally posted by Sigmund:
I knew they looked different but was unaware of the functioning details. My Berdan experience has been shooting Blazer aluminum and South African 223 & 308. I collect all my brass for pals but do not give them Berdan-primed brass.

https://www.ammunitiontogo.com...r-vs-berdan-primers/


This actually is a very useful article. Explains the difference well.
March 27, 2018, 06:43 AM
sourdough44
Yeah, a recent article in Shooting Times covered both types. I’ve only seen a few with the older, foreign cases. I just trash them, see no reason to fiddle around with the ‘Berdan’ type.

As I recall, the Boxer type was European, Berdan USA? There were ahead of us on this one.
March 27, 2018, 03:17 PM
sigfreund
quote:
Originally posted by sourdough44:
As I recall, the Boxer type was European, Berdan USA? There were ahead of us on this one.


Berdan type was invented by an American; Boxer by an Englishman.




“ Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage [immaturity]. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance.”
— Immanuel Kant
March 27, 2018, 05:55 PM
jhe888
I can't imagine why you'd bother to reload cases that took Berdan primers. Easier to just get the Boxer primed cases.

Maybe there is some old oddball out there for which Boxer cases can't be had.

I don't think Berdan primed cases were designed to make reloading harder, it is just a by-product of the method. Berdan invented his system just a few years before Boxer invented his. They are just different designs. Berdan primers are easier to make because they don't have a separate anvil in the primer (and are essentially just like percussion caps). But Boxer cases are easier to make since you don't have to build the anvil into the case.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
March 28, 2018, 12:32 AM
flashguy
Theoretically, Berdan primers offer a less obstructed path for the primer flame into the case than is true for the Boxer primers. I don't think anyone really thinks much about it, though.

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth

When they ask me, "Paper or plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual."
August 18, 2018, 08:18 PM
captain127
If you fiddle around with old obsolete calibers, sometimes all you can get is berdan primed brass
I have several rare European calibers and am happy to reload the berdan cases. I am talking about rifle calibers where you might only shoot 40 or so per range visit so slow reloading is no big deal
August 24, 2018, 06:29 AM
RogueJSK
quote:
Originally posted by House Stark:

Berdan primed=non-reloadable
Boxer primed=reloadable


As discussed in various earlier posts, Berdan cases are certainly reloadable. They're just more difficult to reload than Boxer, and Berdan primers are harder to find since lower demand has caused lower supply.