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Thread: 22 rimfire bullets start to finish

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    22 rimfire bullets start to finish

    Since many have asked, thought I would share how I do it.

    I use two sources for my cores. lead wire I bought and cores I cast from melted wheel weights. My molds are actual bullet molds with a core hole drilled in the botton of the bullet mold. Then I but the sprew cutter on the bottom. The lead wire I cut with a home made cutter my dad made or a Corbin cutter I just got. pictures hopefully will attach to this as I go.


    After I collect all the rimfire cases I can I swage the rim off with a punch and die my dad made. now I have a jacket that has to be anealed.


    This last batch was anealed at a temp of 800 degrees by a friend with a oven for tempering steel etc. There are many other ways to do this step, but I like to do it in bulk. Here is what the jackets look like after heating.



    I swage my cores to a uniform weight using either a Herters press or my Corbin core swage dies. The herters gives me a little bigger core diameter than my current Corbin die. the cores look like this when smooshed.


    It does not seem to matter weather I am using lead wire or the cast wheelweights, when I swage the cores they all end up at pretty much the same weight. The wheel weights are harder than pure lead but I have not had any trouble seating them.


    After seating the cores I am ready to put points on them. I have used many different presses to do this. I think you can make 22 cal bullets on most any decent press. Here is a picture of my little Hollywood press making a bullet.

    I am sure there are better ways to do this but this is how I started making bullets to shoot at gophers and it works for me. Hope this helps anyone with questions.

    Added this set of pictures to update this sticky. I started using this jig to load cores into the jackets en-mass. It is a series of Lexan Plates with holes drilled so that the jackets are held while the cores are shaken or vibrated into them. Then the plates are removed and the cores can be seated. It will usually drop about 80% of the cores with a few shakes and the rest can be installed but hand. Normally there would be an outside box to keep the cores from rolling off, but I left it off for the pictures.

    Last edited by MightyThor; 08-09-2011 at 09:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    EMC45's Avatar
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    Very cool step by step! I was always curious about how exactly it was done. You have wanting to get on the lathe!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master At Heavens Range 2008 Swagerman's Avatar
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    Truly remarkable thoughtful thinking to arrive at such desired results.

    Great work, I'm sure you will give us more in the future as a fine bullet craftsman you are.

    The closes thing I've got to the little Hollywood press is my old Lyman All American. Wouldn't mind finding a Hollywood like that one...I can see using it for other swaging operations besides making only .22 caliber bullets.

    Jim

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Excellent tutorial on bullet swaging, Mighty Thor, and thank you for posting it.

    What is the press you are using for core seating and how are the seated cores ejected from the die on the bottom? Does the setup extend below your bench and have an ejector underneath?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    Excellent tutorial on bullet swaging, Mighty Thor, and thank you for posting it.

    What is the press you are using for core seating and how are the seated cores ejected from the die on the bottom? Does the setup extend below your bench and have an ejector underneath?
    That particular picture shows seating the core on an older Corbin press that I just acquired. It ejects the jacket with a bottom punch that is below the picture frame. I also have seated cores in the FLL dies that are shown in the picture of the little Hollywood press. They also eject from the bottom with a very small diameter punch. I had intended to include picture of some of the bullets but forgot, will show some of the results when I get the camera out to the loading room again.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thanks for posting this, Thor!
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks, Mighty Thor. The adaptations of punches and dies for operation by the various presses over the years makes the mode of operation hard to recognize in a single photo sometimes.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Part of the reason I am showing different press/ die combos is because I just got my Corbin press and dies and have been playing with them rather than doing a run of bullets. I have two different bullet shapes and have been playing with core weights, core diameters, core cutting, swaging cast and cut cores, etc. Thus I didn't have one press set up for the whole process and when I got the notion to post the pictures I just took photos of what I had in it's current configuration. The Hollywood was set up for my old FLL point dies and The Corbin was set up to seat the cores. I had just plugged up the Herters core form die with something so I didn't show it making a core. I also have my grandfathers Hollywood dies but a very limited number of jackets at this time so I have not set anything up with them yet.


    If anyone would like pictures of one particular set up I have I would be happy to oblige.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    "If anyone would like pictures of one particular set up I have I would be happy to oblige"

    How about a shot of the finished product ready to load.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master





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    I am waiting too.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Not trying to hijack the thread, but since thor hasn't yet posted a picture of the finished project, here is what mine look like. This one has just come out of the point form die:

    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Mighty-Thor good pics, question the seated cores look like they are close to the end of the jacket, with a 7 + oqive point up die does lead not squirt into the ejection pin hole??

    keep up the good work

    PART TWO.

    PB454 I have a set of ted smith dies that produce a 22 cal bullet like the one you show pics of. The ejection pin hole is so large that you can only produce a open point bullet or a large hollow point if you perfer to call it, Just a observation and not a picky asss but it looks like the bullet in the pic , the point went into the ejection pin hole that caused the pig snout point.

    I believe i have the last set of dies that ted smith made, he said that he quit the business and wanted to sell his equipment, and was in the business of making the the machine to re-ink printing ribbons for comp printers, but he talked himself into making me a set, only took a year.

    Larry

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    What weight bullets does this turn out? Can you use shorts for smaller bullets? Dale

  14. #14
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Swaging requires exact dies for exact bullets. Not any different than making boolits. If your jacket size is different, like a smaller length, then you can make lighter bullets, assuming you can cut off the core length to match. Required pressures are too high to form the bullets and any mismatch between cores and jackets will show up as an "error". Some core metals are soft enough to bleed through an escape hatch (top of die) when too long. Otherwise, you can break the machine and/or die trying to force the bullet into shape. Some finely tuned "professional" dies cost upwards of a thousand bucks or more. ... felix
    felix

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Dale,

    I use short shells by preference. I can make 52-53 gr bullets out of them in HP style. A couple grains heavier and the lead comes out like the photo 454PB has.

    Looks ugly but it is a soft point and they don't seem to be harmed much accuracy wise. A separate nose former would be needed to smooth the nose over nice to make commercial-looking soft points; I think the money is better invested in a core swage.

    Come to think of it, I've never used LR shells for jackets. There would be a gap between the top of the core and the tip of the bullet at the 50-55 gr weight, which of course shouldn't hurt anything if the core was seated squarely.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    The end result

    Here are pictures of the two styles of bullets I am making right now. The bullet on the left is a J4 jacket with a lead wire core. The middle bullet is the longer style, about 6.9 ogive I am guesing. The marking on the die is a little unclear. The bullet on the right is a 6 spitzer. These are all 54 grains. I have not used the 22 short but I know it can be done.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    Good looking bullets thanks for the pics

    Felix mentioned the price of professional dies, a set from steel is about a thousand dollars.
    A set of carbide dies used by custom die makers is around 5 thousand dollars.

    Larry

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    These dies were used, but new from corbin they are less than 300 each. I realize I am only talking about the 224 cal stuff, I am sure others are more.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks, they look good .

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Yes, I use .22 short rimfire cases to make Hornet bullets, and they weigh 39 grains.

    That "pig snout" that is left on some bullets is easily flicked off with a thumbnail, but you are right, it's not possible to make a sharp point.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

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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