Dillon Super Swage 600

Dillon Super Swage 600

By far the biggest difference between civilian and military brass cartridge casings is the inclusion of a primer-crimp.  As military ammunition is subjected to conditions civilian ammunition was never designed for, such as heavy precipitation, rough transport and extremes in temperature, primers are crimped into place to ensure they remain tightly sealed.  While this practice does render ammunition more reliable in rough conditions, it also makes it nearly impossible to reload as the primer pockets restricted diameter is too tight to seat a replacement.  Though not present in all military ammunition, crimped primers do turn up regularly in .223, 5.56mm, 9mm, .38, .40 and .45.

Why Swage?

By applying mechanical force to the inside of the primer pocket, the reloader can expand the pocket back to its original diameter, allowing a new primer to be seated during the reloading process.  Essentially this transforms an otherwise useless casing into a usable reloading component.  This can be a major advantage to reloaders on a budget, as military surplus brass is often substantially cheaper than civilian casings, not to mention readily available.

As very few reloading presses include a primer pocket swaging station, it’s generally necessary for reloaders to use either a kit mounted in a single stage press, or a standalone device.  The advantages to using a stand-alone system are numerous, including speed and accuracy.  As the stand-alone system only needs to be set and configured once, it can be left in place and used without having to change out components or otherwise interrupt the reloading process.


Dillon’s Super Swage 600 is a premium model stand-alone primer pocket swaging system.  The tool includes everything you need to normalize primer pockets on several different calibers and can be installed in a manner of minutes.  To operate the Super Swage 600, the user begins by placing a casing over top of the locator rod.  The rod is then lowered into place and the handle actuated.  This in turn forces the swage rod into the primer pocket where it expands the diameter by a few thousands of an inch.  The casing can then be removed, and a new primer seated in the pocket.

Once configured, the Super Swage 600 is incredibly fast; even a novice operator can expect to churn out 300-400 casings an hour with very little effort.  Though cheaper options like drilling or filing do exist, the build construction, precision and above all speed of this tool more than justifies the expense.  Regular use of military surplus brass vs civilian casings will also allow reloaders to quickly recoup their initial investment.

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