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Instruction Leaflet
for the Wamadet Hydraulic Decapping (uncapping) Tool

The black text is the original from the leaflet that was delivered with the unit that I purchased in about 1969 or 1970. The red text inserts are my comments based on using the equipment myself. The references to 'cylinders' are just different usage of words, I have always considered them as 'bottles'.



Your new de-capping machine consists of a heavy steel container with strongly welded base and welded centre pillar which is bored out to take the hydraulic de-capping cylinders and hold them upright. A hole will be noticed at the bottom of the pillar through which the expelled caps will pass.

The hydraulic cylinders have different size bores. The smaller one will take 9 mm and all smaller based cases, the larger one will take larger based cases up to and including base size of .303 British

The sequence for using your WAMADET is as follows :-

  1. Place correct size cylinder, for the cartridge to be de-capped, into pillar in the steel container and remove the plunger.

  2. Mix a generous squirt of Washing Up Liquid dish washing soap in US? into some water in a separate container and pour some of this mixture into the steel reservoir until the level comes above the holes in the side of the hydraulic cylinder.

  3. Drop a Cartridge case base first, into the cylinder and replace the plunger as far as the hydraulic seal. (If hard crimped once fired military ammunition is to be de-capped it is usually best to push the plunger between 1/4" and 1/2" into the seal). The case will automatically fill itself with liquid, but with small necks, such as .22 Hornet, it is best to take cases from a bowl of liquid so that they are already full when dropped into the cylinder otherwise the operation my be slowed down. I find this is good practice whatever the calibre of case being used. Sometimes a dry case will have bubbles adhering to the inside and the bubbles absorb all the shock so you waste a stroke.

  4. The plunger is now struck with a hammer of about 1 1/4 lb. or 1 1/2 lb. in weight. (I use a 2lb club hammer with a longer than normal ash handle.) The amount of effort necessary will depend on whether the case has been de-capped before or not.

  5. The complete cylinder is now removed from the reservoir, the plunger is removed and the case is tipped into the hand over the reservoir so that the water is returned to source. The cylinder is replaced and the operation is repeated.

With a little practice the sequence becomes easy and automatic and cyclic rates of over 600 cases an hour have been obtained. I have never bothered to count this rate myself, I think 600 may be possible, but I doubt that I have ever achieved more that 400 per hour myself.

Failing to de-cap is usually caused by insufficient liquid in the reservoir to run through the holes in the cylinder and fill the case.

When striking the plunger retain the weight of the hammer on the plunger to avoid "bounce". If the hammer remains solid on the plunger the case will have been de-capped, but if it bounces a harder blow will be necessary.

With hard-crimped caps the machine must be stood on a very solid surface such as a concrete step or brick wall, but on subsequent operations it may be used on an ordinary bench.This is optimistic... The more solid the base, the easier it works.

Immediately after use dry thoroughly all parts of your machine and well oil with "Young's .303" or a similar good gun oil. Two spare hydraulic seals "O" rings are included, put them in a safe place, you my not need them for a long time. True! I still have my original ones! Old seals are easily removed with the point of a safety pin, new ones can be replaced in a similar way, but do not stick the pin into new seal.

WAMADET is designed in such a way that no damage can occur to the cartridge case (such as bulging, enlarged flash holes or damaged anvil), the pressure is exactly the same on the inside and outside of the case and the case does not become part of the machine.

WAMADET is a strongly built and extremely efficient machine.


The hydraulic fluid should always feel 'silky', if it gets scummy or badly discoloured... Throw it away and make some up fresh (the cost is negligible).

 Originated... 19 September 2002, Revised... 28 September 2002, New Domain... 12 February 2004, Upgraded... 30 January 2007, Code Altered... 18 May 2008,
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