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Thread: resizing cast slugs???

  1. #1

    resizing cast slugs???

    I've been thinking... perhaps a bit too much, lol ... since i cast the lee 1 oz. slug, placing it inside my wad makes the combination (wad with slug) ever so slightly too wide of a diameter to push through the front part of my shotgun.

    So i was thinking perhaps the way to go is resizing the slug rather than finding a wad with thinner pedals... Has anyone tried resizing slugs? if so is there a resizing die that you can resize the slug with? I'm thinking something that acts as a ram with a leaver that you force the slug through the die which cuts or reshapes the slug. this way the slug will work with the wads that i already have. thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Have given the same thing some thought myself. Don't know if Old West Bullet Molds is in business anymore, but they did have a sizer that was for use with the larger Minie balls. It doesn't have to be that complicated as it doesn't have to put lube in grooves.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Not quite sure I am understanding so bear with me.

    When you say "ever so slightly too wide of a diameter to push through the front part of my shotgun" does the gun have a choke?

    If so then resizing will not likely have much effect as the slug will "slug up" at firing anyway... at least if made from soft lead. Most hollow base slugs become shorter and fatter at firing because they obturate to fill the bore. After that they have to squeeze back down to get through a choke.

    So, if you have cylinder bore then sizing may help as the slug/wad combo will get through the forcing cone as it is swelling to fill the barrel but if you have a choked bore then there is little point in sizing the slug down if it already fits the barrel ahead of the choke.

    It won't hurt to try especially if you can make your own sizer. It may be worth a try but don't expect miracles.

    Longbow

  4. #4
    In Remembrance

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    I just found a smoothbore open choke barrel (disassembled from the action) of same diameter as my desired slug, squirted some oil down the bore, and pounded it through with a wooden dowel; careful to keep it straight in the forcing cone.

    Expedient but not fast.

    At least I know its a 'slip fit' through my bore now!
    C-

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I made a series of push through sizer dies for my shotgun slugs. I made them to fit a spare Herters press I had laying around. I had to make the dies with a 1-1/4X18 outside thread, to fit in the press. I made .730 and .723 die for the Forster slugs, and .679 and .673 dies for the Lee !oz slugs. I made a ram that fits in the shell holder slot to push the slugs through. I just roll the slugs on my case lube pad for lubrication. I found you can increase diameter for in between sizes, by rolling a rasp over them, which knurls them. Amount of down pressure and number of passes determines the diameter.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Do you have pictures? It would help us to see the end result. What would you estimate the cost would be to have it made from a custom shop?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Not quite sure I am understanding so bear with me.

    When you say "ever so slightly too wide of a diameter to push through the front part of my shotgun" does the gun have a choke?

    If so then resizing will not likely have much effect as the slug will "slug up" at firing anyway... at least if made from soft lead. Most hollow base slugs become shorter and fatter at firing because they obturate to fill the bore. After that they have to squeeze back down to get through a choke.

    So, if you have cylinder bore then sizing may help as the slug/wad combo will get through the forcing cone as it is swelling to fill the barrel but if you have a choked bore then there is little point in sizing the slug down if it already fits the barrel ahead of the choke.

    It won't hurt to try especially if you can make your own sizer. It may be worth a try but don't expect miracles.

    Longbow
    Thank you so much for your reply Longbow... I'm very much a begginer so i don't have a good understanding of what happens to a boolit after its shot inside the bore. I definatly have a cylinder barrel NO CHOKE. I'm positive about that. However, from what i understand you are supposed to push the boolit backwards through the front of the barrel with a 6-10 lb. force. when i do this the slug with the pedals of the wad is wider than my barrel... cutting the pedals down to 1/4" from 3/4" works. But i'm not sure if thats enough support for the bullit during flight???

    hey, you mentioned making your own resizing die... any info. on how? I'm thinking tha would be an alternative to cutting pedals.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If you want to try sizing down, you can make a simple hammer through sizing die by boring a piece of steel bar at the size you want. I would bore the "in" end to fit the current slug and depth a little longer than the slug. Machine a bevel between the "in" end diameter and sizing diameter, then make a punch that is slip fit through the sizing portion.

    Drop the slug in nose first then drive it through with the punch and a mallet. You may have to lube the slug first depending on how much you are sizing down.

    Simple but effective and easy to make.

    Longbow

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GBertolet View Post
    I made a series of push through sizer dies for my shotgun slugs. I made them to fit a spare Herters press I had laying around. I had to make the dies with a 1-1/4X18 outside thread, to fit in the press. I made .730 and .723 die for the Forster slugs, and .679 and .673 dies for the Lee !oz slugs. I made a ram that fits in the shell holder slot to push the slugs through. I just roll the slugs on my case lube pad for lubrication. I found you can increase diameter for in between sizes, by rolling a rasp over them, which knurls them. Amount of down pressure and number of passes determines the diameter.
    I would love to see some pictures of that die and ram you built... it would sure give me an idea what i would need to accomplish. thanks

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    If you want to try sizing down, you can make a simple hammer through sizing die by boring a piece of steel bar at the size you want. I would bore the "in" end to fit the current slug and depth a little longer than the slug. Machine a bevel between the "in" end diameter and sizing diameter, then make a punch that is slip fit through the sizing portion.

    Drop the slug in nose first then drive it through with the punch and a mallet. You may have to lube the slug first depending on how much you are sizing down.

    Simple but effective and easy to make.

    Longbow
    will a drill press with the right size bit do this? it would be a straight drilled diameter throughout so no bevel... but i could drill the exact diameter of the slug half way and then resized diameter hole the rest of the way... I'm going to try milling that first and see if it works... I wish I had a lathe then i would make a beveled hole.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I doubt you will get what you want with a drill press but if you can find the right size drill bits/reamers (maybe number/letter drill bits and reamers) you might get away with it. Don't forget that drill bits cut oversize by a few thou so best to drill small then ream or drill again slightly larger to get close then you can cast a lead slug inside and use it to lap to smooth finish and final diameter. If you buy a reamer for the sizing diameter you need to drill about 0.003"/0.005" undersize to leave enough to ream to final size. The reamed finish will not need lapping unless you need it a few thou larger.

    It would be much easier to bore on a lathe.

    Longbow

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    I doubt you will get what you want with a drill press but if you can find the right size drill bits/reamers (maybe number/letter drill bits and reamers) you might get away with it. Don't forget that drill bits cut oversize by a few thou so best to drill small then ream or drill again slightly larger to get close then you can cast a lead slug inside and use it to lap to smooth finish and final diameter. If you buy a reamer for the sizing diameter you need to drill about 0.003"/0.005" undersize to leave enough to ream to final size. The reamed finish will not need lapping unless you need it a few thou larger.

    It would be much easier to bore on a lathe.

    Longbow
    You are probably right... i'm going to check into having this made for me. a lathe would be a much better tool to get the job done just right. TY

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	62975Here are some photos of what I have made up for sizing slugs. The first photo is of my Herters press, the second is some of my slugs, first is a Rapine 550 gr, second is a knurled lengthened Lee 1oz, third is a lengthened Lee 1oz, and fourth is a modified Lyman foster with a driving band added, snugging up the loose fitting slug. And last picture are of my dies, which I made up over a period of time from scrap stock.
    Last edited by GBertolet; 03-03-2013 at 05:01 PM.

  14. #14
    Hello MossBergman, once you get close enough with a drill bit, you can buy an adjustable reamer like the ones I use in the picture below:

    Hoping it helps.

    Warmest regards,
    Ajay
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    Blazing Sabots, LLC
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  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    GBertolet:

    Nice work! Those dies look really good.

    How do you find the Lyman slug for accuracy with the driving band added? I have been thinking of doing something similar.

    Are you casting your slugs from soft lead or harder alloy?

    Longbow

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Longbow, I have had accuracy problems with the Lyman foster cast out of soft lead. The base collapses, and folds inward due to the setback in firing, causing poor grouping. I have recovered several slugs showing this. I tried filling the base with hot glue, which prevents the collapse, and improves accuracy somewhat. Next I am going to try casting them out of #2 alloy or even linotype and see what the result is. When I try that, I will have to match the slug diameter to the bore size pretty close, to keep the pressures down. Despite all by best efforts, trying numerous shotguns, rifled and smoothbore, with all these slugs, I cannot seem to out perform the old .735 round ball in a rifled barrel.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I am shooting smoothbores so need a round ball or drag stabilized slug. So far to 50 yards I have had few slugs (except factory Foster rounds) shoot as accurately or consistently as a good round ball load.

    I have had some successes with home made moulds for Foster slugs but with thick skirts and heat treat for exactly the reasons you mention ~ the skirts collapse and distort.

    So far the best accuracy I have gotten is exactly what you found ~ 0.735" round ball in a borrowed rifled gun. I do like round balls!

    I have also had some pretty good results in the smoothbores with home made Brenneke like slugs but getting the attached wad consistent is difficult. I am still working on various materials and methods.

    I guess this is turning into a thread hijack so I better shut up now.

    Sorry!

    Longbow

  18. #18
    oh my gosh you guys are the best... special thanks to longbow, GBertolet and Ajay for all of the info and photo support. Much appriciated. I'm off to the man cave to get this resizing tool fabricated.

  19. #19
    oh and longbow... feel free to hijack my thread. Its no problem because what you call hijack i call education

  20. #20
    Hello MossBergman, you will need a strong press like RCBS Rock Chukker with 1-1/4X18" thread, based on the slug you wish to re size, you'll need the pins to match each slug
    hollow base etc to keep the slug in tact and not crush during the process!

    Hoping it helps.

    Warmest regards,
    Ajay
    BlazingSabots@Gmail.com
    Blazing Sabots, LLC
    www.BlazingSabots.com
    http://www.facebook.com/BlazingSabots?ref=hl
    www.PreciousVideoMemories.com

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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