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 Post subject: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:45 pm 
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I thought I read that all Berdan primered ammo was corrosive but I was just looking at AIM Surplus and they have several different kinds of ammo that is listed as using Berdan primers but they say non-corrosive.

Are there corrsoive and non-corrosive kinds of Berdan primers or did AIM Surplus make a mistake?


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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Blagdaross wrote:
I thought I read that all Berdan primered ammo was corrosive but I was just looking at AIM Surplus and they have several different kinds of ammo that is listed as using Berdan primers but they say non-corrosive.

Are there corrsoive and non-corrosive kinds of Berdan primers or did AIM Surplus make a mistake?


Where did you come up with that assumption?

Not all berdan primers are mercuric. Almost all non-US manufacture ammunition has berdan primers.
Mercuric primers (berdan AND boxer) are generally in older ammunition.

If you're looking at the Brown Bear ammo at AIM, that is new production commercial ammo made in Russia. It is berdan primed and is non-corrosive.

Anyway, if you're ever uncertain about ammunition, assume it's corrosive and clean accordingly. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:34 pm 
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A lot of Berdan primed western European manufactured ammunition has been non-corrosive for years, in fact some european ammunition plants converted to non-corrosive long before the US did. I beleive the Germans invented non-corrosive priming. Swiss GP11 has been noncorrosive for quite a long while as another example.

Eastern european is more problematic, where its best to assume corrosive until proven not.

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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:02 am 
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CollectEmAll wrote:
Blagdaross wrote:
I thought I read that all Berdan primered ammo was corrosive but I was just looking at AIM Surplus and they have several different kinds of ammo that is listed as using Berdan primers but they say non-corrosive.

Are there corrsoive and non-corrosive kinds of Berdan primers or did AIM Surplus make a mistake?


Where did you come up with that assumption?

Not all berdan primers are mercuric. Almost all non-US manufacture ammunition has berdan primers.
Mercuric primers (berdan AND boxer) are generally in older ammunition.

If you're looking at the Brown Bear ammo at AIM, that is new production commercial ammo made in Russia. It is berdan primed and is non-corrosive.

Anyway, if you're ever uncertain about ammunition, assume it's corrosive and clean accordingly. :wink:


NOT MERCURIC!! That goes way back.
Corrosive surplus ammo we get today (surplus even from back to the thirties) is called corrosive because of potassium salt that is created when the primer is ignited. It's salt that is created and needs to be removed, and plain water does the trick.

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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:00 pm 
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Not all berdan primers are corrosive. Wolf, for instance has a berdan primer and isn't corrosive. You need to be careful around surplus ammo though, because it's all pretty much corrosive.


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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:48 pm 
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The mercuric (fulminate) primers are, indeed, old technology. It ruins the brass, and renders it unreloadable, be it Boxer or Berdan, after perhaps three reloadings. There was a reason the old Trapdoors and Krags were issued with broken case extractors.... The chlorate primer was standard from about WW1 through WW2 (except for the M.1 carbine, which always used non-corrosive priming, in US practice). The old salt primer was capable of extremely long-term storage, compared to the early non-corrosive stuff, and that's why Uncle didn't use non-corrosive primers during WW2.

It is a fact of military life that a round that goes bang, even if it corrodes the barrel, is far preferable to a *sweeter and gentler* round that won't fire. And military men, the ones that have that little blue badge with the musket on it in particular, tend to be very pragmatic men, so the corrosive primer has stayed around a while.

Many will tell us that the Berdan primer is not reloadable. That is the bunk. Berdan primers are available on the reloading market, and depriming is a matter of using a case full of water and a dowel to fit the case neck, and administering a swift rap with a mallet to the protruding end of the dowel. SPLOOSH!, and the primer squirts out onto the floor.

(The water also gets rid of the corrosive salts the first primer left in the case....) :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:07 pm 
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cosmo05 wrote:
CollectEmAll wrote:
Blagdaross wrote:
I thought I read that all Berdan primered ammo was corrosive but I was just looking at AIM Surplus and they have several different kinds of ammo that is listed as using Berdan primers but they say non-corrosive.

Are there corrsoive and non-corrosive kinds of Berdan primers or did AIM Surplus make a mistake?


Where did you come up with that assumption?

Not all berdan primers are mercuric. Almost all non-US manufacture ammunition has berdan primers.
Mercuric primers (berdan AND boxer) are generally in older ammunition.

If you're looking at the Brown Bear ammo at AIM, that is new production commercial ammo made in Russia. It is berdan primed and is non-corrosive.

Anyway, if you're ever uncertain about ammunition, assume it's corrosive and clean accordingly. :wink:


NOT MERCURIC!! That goes way back.
Corrosive surplus ammo we get today (surplus even from back to the thirties) is called corrosive because of potassium salt that is created when the primer is ignited. It's salt that is created and needs to be removed, and plain water does the trick.


Noted, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:54 am 
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Optimist, where are you finding berdan primers at?
PMC used to be a source for them, but not anymore. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:26 pm 
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Yeah, I thought "available" was a rather bold statement ... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Berdan primers
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:26 pm 
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spqrzilla wrote:
Yeah, I thought "available" was a rather bold statement ... :D


:thumb: And for me, "desirable" would be equally as bold. Depriming Berdan cases = wet, sloppy and slow. Moreover, you still have Berdan brass :shock: .

I have lots of Berdan-primed military surplus ammo, bought before I began reloading and because it was cheap. As it gets used up, it will be replaced by Boxer-primed ammo.

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