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Thread: Swaged vs. Cast

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Swaged vs. Cast

    Another noob question, do most the large manufactures swage their lead bullets instead of casting them? I take it this process is somewhat like a forging and the lead is formed into bullets by pressure instead of being poured. Making brass jackets from empty brass is also swaging. When I first read about it in a gun mag it sounded like the craziest thing forming jackets for .223 from empty .22lr.

  2. #2
    Yes, the large ammo makers have been swaging their bullets for more than a century. Your understanding of the basics of the process is fairly accurate - it is something like a "cold" forging process (the lead is not molten at all).
    Vietnam Veteran "GunnyBob" (Marines) on the effectiveness of the 1911A1 pistol & .45 ACP round in combat:

    "Hit the target high center of mass and it dropped without nary a twitch. Lots faster than drilling little pinholes with the 5.56. Lots."

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    On the Colorado River in Arizona
    All swaged booits i have seen are soft lead, so that rather restrics their usage to certain calibers or low pressure/velocity loads.

    Wife got a deal years ago on few thousand .356" 95 grain swaged boolits and they work fine in her .380's.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Wal''s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    High Country, Australia
    Most swaged boolits are used in dedicated target pistols, paper punching bullzi's at a much lower velocity than a jacketed or hard cast boolit.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    williamwaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Dallas Texas
    Swaged bullets are a lot more work but in my experience they are significantly more accurate.

    The only swaged bullets I actually make and use are very soft BNH 8 +/- 148 grain .357 wad cutters lubed in a sizer lubricator to fill the lube grooves then swaged into hollowpoints.

    I only actually use them when I want to show off.
    They are very accurate but way too much trouble for normal use.

    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the
    government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    - Henry Ford

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check