View Full Version : Buckshot, others, hollow basing bullet
04-21-2005, 04:36 AM
I've got one (modified NEI) mold for the .41 Colt on the way, and I'm waiting to see if I win the 386177 on ebay now. These are heeled bullet designs for the .41 Colt, base pour.
That heel needs to expand from .386" to .405" as the bullet exits the case and enters the forcing cone. I'll be casting of pure lead, but I'm wondering if there is a relatively easy (cheap) way to hollow base these bullets.
I'm thinking some sort of drill press based jig that would center and limit travel of a cutter in the drill press. That's all I have, and all my tools are basically woodworking tools, not machine tools.
Maybe it's my lack of imagination, but I can't imagine how this could be done in/on the mold, it being base pour and all.
Then, o'course, there's the question of: If it can be done, is it worth it?
04-21-2005, 06:14 AM
What about swaging them in ?? I remember a post about a swaging die for 58 caliber minies, you would lose the grease grooves I suppose and you would have to run them in the die base first to retain the heel.
.001" off center would probably throw accuracy away and it is going to be tough to do that on a drillpress.
04-21-2005, 07:26 PM
willibird's right. You might be able to swage the HB in.
You'd have to size and lube first. I've swaged a few HB jobs in a sizer with soft lead and it works but you don't get too deep of a cavity.
The lube needs to be in the grooves or you'd collapse the grooves.
I once swaged HPs in 358156 sized and lubed cast bullets and it worked pretty well.
HB moulds can be made but being as a nose pur is required, it's a lot of work./beagle
04-22-2005, 04:17 AM
I guess I don't know enough about swaging, (read 'nothing'!) but I imagined that swaging the hollow base would destroy the heel. Especially if it would destroy greese grooves.
04-23-2005, 12:53 AM
.............Wayne, for my S&W Victory model in 38 S&W I was at first doing everything wrong (naturally). Too small boolits and too hard allow for the pressures. Then BruceB was kind enough to sell me a 4C Lyman 35863 for a 158gr DEWC that dropped at .363". With that boolit I for sure had enough girth. One problem rectified.
Then with that new mould, I was STILL casting slugs too hard, in the WW hardness area. I knew that 38 Special factory WC match ammo is basicly just soft swaged lead. I loaded the pot with pure lead, cranked up the T-stat and commenced casting loverly soft WC's.
I thought that while I had all these nice pure lead WC's some of the factory match stuff had hollow bases. Cranked up the lathe and made a simple swage die for wadcutters, that would add a hollow base. As Beagle mentioned, they had to be run through a lube-sizer first to fill the grooves to keep them from closing up under the pressure.
The little Smith went from shooting rather indifferent 5 shot groups of 5-6 inches at 25 yards to this 10 shot group at 25 yads:
When you consider the slugs were not scaled, the charges were thrown, the case was crimped into a drive band and the pistol was wartime produced, fixed sights and all, the difference is truly amazing. The solid based slugs did about as well, but required a charge 0.2 grs heavier. I all testing instances to date, I can say that the HB'd slugs shoot better with lighter charges.
Obvious to me, the hollow base DOES make a difference if you're restricted to modest pressures, as you are in the 38 S&W. You can see them in a post I made on the 'Special Projects' forum under the "Lathe jewlery and hollow pointers" thread.
Making a HP setup isn't a big deal, except your rebated heel presents a special problem. Another problem is trying to make a die to use in a standard reloading press, which isn't handy to set up for a ejector deal. Due to that heel, the slug as to go out one way. CH/4D and a couple others used to (or still might) make simple swage dies to work in a reloading press. But the slug went in from the bottom and ejected back out the same way. No can do with that heel unless it went in heel first.
About the only way I can figure to do it in a reloadng press is to screw the die in the normal position, which would contain the base forming plunger, which would also act as the ejector. A rod would extend up through the top of the die, and when the swaging was done, could be thumped to eject the slug. The press'es ram would have the nose forming punch. The bullet would go in heel up. As a consequence of the nose punch applying the pressure, you'd have to have a SWC type nose. If you had a RN type punch, the very thin walls formed by the nose radius would be expanded tightly against the die walls.
It WOULD be nice to explore the HB question without having to invest anything in equipment of possible limited gain. I can't figure how you'd hold the soft slug without damage, to hollow base it via a drillpress. Let alone get it to be repeatable?
A possible alternative might be a 3 piece pound die. These were used long ago for several bullet swaging operations. However, they all took a slightly undersized slug which was upset via a rod which was given a few swift licks to bring the slug up to size.
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