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Thread: Swaging of pure lead bullets for the .224 caliber

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Swaging of pure lead bullets for the .224 caliber

    Swaged lead bullets yield good accuracy in .22 rimfires. They appear to be more consistent than cast bullets

    Casting .22 bullets is difficult and accurate bullets need at least visual inspection if not weighing. But they can be cast relatively quickly.

    It appears that either BBL, HyTek, or PC will lube successfully at 2000 fps.

    So my little pea brain is wondering if there is a niche for a swaged smooth .224 bullet for coating. No GC. Velocity range of 1200-2000 fps.

    How simple would it be to produce a swaging die for this? Would it run in a Rock Chucker?

    Please add ideas and suggestions.

    Thanks

    Don Verna

  2. #2
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    It can be done and is available. Yes one could use any decent reloading press. All you need is a point form die. What would you be using for initial lead slug before it is swaged?


    I offer my BTSimple point form die separate that would work well for this task.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ity-swage-dies!

    Brian
    When you stop learning you are dying.

    Check out available BTSniper products and prices at
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    Say hello and like my FB page as well.
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    Good shooting and swage on!

    Brian

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Sure you would want a core form die? Im pretty careful when im cutting my lead wire, and they are all over the place weight wise.. And even the cast cores i did when i was a kid, they core weights were till a grain or three different

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Brian,

    I am hoping 7/32" lead wire will serve as the lead supply for testing the concept. If you feel that is not good enough, I could make a mold or modify a .224 mold to produce a grooveless bullet. I assume if a .224 mold is modified, it will be necessary to size the bullet to less than .223 before swaging?

    I gather the $300 point form die is the only item I will need in terms of a die. I am thinking of a bullet in the 40-45 gr range. What will be the nose shape from the point form and can it be modified? Would prefer a HP.

    In your experience, what will be the weight variation of a swaged bullet from one of your dies?

    Sorry for all the "dumb" questions but this is new territory for me.

    Thanks

    Don Verna

  5. #5
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    It so happens my BTSimple mold is going to be machined to drop cores at around 45 grains (equals a 55 grain bullet with typical 22lr brass for jackets).

    Yes $300 point form die would do it, hp is possible but costs more money to machine. The point of the nose is a 6s ogive with a .092 meplat. This is constant for the BTSimple offering. For something more custom cost goes up considerably. Meplat could be made larger but not smaller.

    Yes, anything going into the die would have to be slightly smaller then the diameter of the die, exp. .2240" die would require a chunk of lead smaller then .2238" for example.

    Die would work best, and bullets would have most accuracy potential if they where very close in weight, like within +/- a half of grain. Casting simple cores from a decent mold should achieve this tolerance but certainly cutting cores from wire would require bleeding off excess lead some how, typically with a separate core swage die...... but wait! a bleed hole could be machined into the point form die to possibly do everything in one stroke.

    Weight variation from an all lead boolit swaged in a point form die with a bleed hole should be as good as the cores swaged in my core swage dies, typically within plus or minus a tenth of a grain or less. If the point form die was good and had a bleed hole it should be able to achieve the same success. With developed feel one could use my 45 grain core mold and swage bullets all within the weight tolerance of the mold and their ability to cast well, I would guess all within 1 grain or less of each other at the max variation, possibly better.

    Certainly no "dumb" questions. I think I answered them all. Swaging all lead bullets with a simple die like this is something I have been looking into for a while now.

    Brian




    I expect my BTSimple dies back next week, I'll post some pics of what a 45 grain lead boolit looks like from them soon.

    BT
    When you stop learning you are dying.

    Check out available BTSniper products and prices at
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    Good shooting and swage on!

    Brian

  6. #6
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    it is interesting we are not getting the know it all nay sayers on this one. i welcome this post. when i made a similar post here a few years back someone posted that any idiot can swage a lead bullet and this fourm was for the serious swagers of jacketed bullets. so now after a few years i can offer a little advice to us simpletons who just want to do lead swageing. i have 40 cal, 448 cal, 451 cal, 459 cal, and .50 cal swageing dies. i swage lead bullet for handguns and muzzle loading fast twist rifles and my 2 45,70/s. now as to how to make a perfect bullet, get a good swageing die from RCE or make one your self. buy a cheap mold blank from lee and drill out the size and length of bullet you want, but just a few thousands under sized. this is your core. now cast these cores witrh avout 40 to one tin in the lead. ALSO, and this is very important, add i little and i mean a little piece of 700 degree silver solder to the pot. this will make a beautiful core that is easy to drop out of the mold. now do not try to extrude this bullet. just shape it in you expensive swageing die. you can get the feel for it on the handle. their you are and nice bullet made by your self that gives you what you want. then learn how to powder coat these on that spot on cast bullets. then with a push through resizer from, again, from lee, resize them to the diam. you want. this will true up the bearing surface and make the powder really tight to the bullet. their you are and no one has yet called you a dumb a----- for just swageing lead and not putting a jacket on it. i love my swaging equipment and have never ever made jacketed bullets. swaging equipment along with push through reduceing dies from lee has got me some very accurate consistant shooting. again, when your not useing pure lead, dont extrude lead through your expensive die, just reshape. also if you die is a little to big in diam for what you want, no problem, just push the swaged bullet through a reducing die. go for it and let us know how it all turns out. you will love the results.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Will the swaged bullet have to be heeled like a 22 Rimfire bullet, so that you can get proper seal in the bore?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    nope.
    I use a squirted core, and a large rifle primer as a gas check.
    then shape everything in a point form die.

    I'm working on 100% removing the swaging lube for coating.
    washing in mineral spirits removes most of it, and I think washing in laundry detergent and hot water will get the rest of it.
    this will allow a 226 final diameter after coating.
    I'm slowly getting there it's just down my list right now.

    but I know the primer and core will form into a nice slick side boolit I been making and shooting those for a number of years.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    You guys are way ahead of me. I feel like a dufus.

    I never even considered the issue with swaging lube and the problems it will give with coatings. Good point R5R. It is not a deal killer but an annoyance. Washing bullets will be worse than tumbling brass. I wonder if BLL would be more forgiving at sub-2000 fps.

    Using a LR primer as a gas check is brilliant. Even though my initial concept was something in the .22 LR to .22 Mag area, a gas check is intriguing....so many added opportunities (AR?).

    I tend to agree with R5R that a squirt die is needed. If I could cast uniform bullets, none of this is necessary. My thinking was that swaging allows greater uniformity, but that means starting with a bit more lead than the finished bullet and bleeding off the excess.

    Brian, your post offers more excellent information. Meplat preference was for something larger so that seems doable. After reading R5R's post, I would defer to his opinion of what that should be.

    I am traveling the next week or so, but I will be following up and thinking about where to go next.

    R5R, it sounds as if you have already gone well down the path. How do your current bullets perform? It seems pointless for me to rediscover what you have already learned. Neither do I wish to "steal your thunder" so to speak. I am prepared to invest funds in a die (or dies) but if you think a different bullet profile would give better results that could benefit both of us. It may be best if I PM you....let me know your feelings.

    Johnson, sorry to hear of you past experiences with some in this forum. Anyone who is that closed minded will never learn. It seems you succeeded in spite of the naysayers. Good job! BTW, if you read Brian's post, he has been looking at this for a while.

    My interest in this project is to achieve .22 Mag performance with 1.5MOA accuracy (10 shot groups) without use of a GC. Neither do I wish to invest in a swaging press.

    Don Verna

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    "large rifle primer as a gas check"
    That sir, is one of the niftiest ideas in 30 years i have never come across and wish i had of thought of the idea 30 years ago...

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I got lots of fired primers.
    generally just before I dump them in the recycle bucket I pour them out and pick out the ones that drop the anvil on their own.
    and save them in a cup.
    regular gas checks will work too but meh.. they cost like 2 cents.

    if Brian could do a little flat point similar to or slightly smaller than the various lyman cast boolit molds have.
    which I'm positive he could just by drilling the punch hole larger and using a slightly larger flat stem to punch the boolit back out, the nose would come out flat.
    he could maybe even get creative with a pin point below the flat to give a small hollow point.

    the flat would still make good jacketed bullets too.
    I generally push mine in short anyway and let the lead flow right short of the nose then slowly lower the die and bump everything in until it's just short of touching the h-point pin.
    then lock it down.
    a naked boolit would be set up the same way so the alloy is just flowing to diameter then slowly bumped near the pin.
    then a couple tenths either side would not try to lock the die up and allow something like ww alloy cut 70-30 or 50-50 with lead to be used. [for heat treating or P/C]
    a 6-s ogive, or a TC type nose would be strong enough to take the punch out without deformation, will feed in an AR rifle, is strong in the rifle under acceleration, and the flat point is a bonus in the field.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    Been playing with coated/cast/swaged bullets as time permits. The 2 rifle bullets on the left are swaged & the 9mm bullets on the right are cast. The rifle bullets are for the 308 and 223.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    I've swaged the 223's anywhere from 55gr to 100gr. The longer/heavier bullets were more stable/accurate. Planned on making another point forming die to try for swaged 223 bullets. Thinking of making a 4r nose with a flat point around .125"/.135". The longer tc profile I've been testing is just to unstable/not accurate unless driven hard and in the 70gr + wieght range.

    Don't forget to swage for the 30cal's!!!
    That short sp nosed wc bodied 180gr 308 bullet pictured above flat out shoots.

  13. #13
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    Do you make the rifle primers bigger in some way? They are about .210 dia as is. A little small for .224. I'll admit it would not be hard to make them bigger.
    n.h.schmidt

  14. #14
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    When pressure is applied from the press in a point form die everything expands to conform to the final diameter of the die. In this case swaging a small LR primer into a .224" gas check would be easy.

    BT
    When you stop learning you are dying.

    Check out available BTSniper products and prices at
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...?114-BT-Sniper

    Say hello and like my FB page as well.
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    Good shooting and swage on!

    Brian

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    if I anneal the primers and Cam over the press on an alloy with some antimony 224 Is doable.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  16. #16
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    50 bmg primers make great 30 cal bas checks!




    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...50-cal-primers!
    When you stop learning you are dying.

    Check out available BTSniper products and prices at
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...?114-BT-Sniper

    Say hello and like my FB page as well.
    https://www.facebook.com/bt.sniper/

    Good shooting and swage on!

    Brian

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    those look like a miniature of the 44's I do with your 1 step die.
    which reminds me I need to get with you to make me some threaded punches for the 44 set.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by BT Sniper View Post
    50 bmg primers make great 30 cal bas checks!




    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...50-cal-primers!
    Brian, great thread on the .30. Have you weighed 20 of them to determine ES and SD? Something like that HP nose, maybe a tad smaller, in .224 would be interesting especially coupled with R5R's idea of using LR primer cups. Btw, how did these bullets shoot....these were done before PC....did anyone ever try to PC them recently?

    At this point, my concern is using currently available swage dies will mean bullets will need to be PC'ed to yield a bullet slightly larger than .224. It is unlikely either BLL or Hi-Tek will yield accuracy on a .224 swaged bullet. Can your .224 dies be honed out to .225 by the customer or is that a service you would provide?

    Thanks for sharing your experience

    Don Verna
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    polishing out a point form die is not something I would even attempt.
    Brian could do it in his sleep [and probably has when he was first getting going]
    the point form die is the hardest one to make and takes the most skill.

    I have a 228 point form die, 228 is too big for everything except the savage Hi-Power.

    227 is a fairly tight scuff seat in the 223, 22-250, and 220 swift.
    I wouldn't even try 227 in an AR type rifle.
    this leaves 224-225-226
    224 is sloppy with naked lead and the bhn has to go up to handle the rattling around.
    225 is better not the better fitment choice, but workable for feeding and accuracy.
    which leaves the middle man 226 and is what a boolit of this type should be.
    but it still depends on the nose shape to make things work properly with lead, because of the throat angles in the various rifles.

    when I get all the way back around to this project.
    I will make the cores and such, point form at 224, then powder coat and shoot as coated.
    which should yield a 2255-226 diameter.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I have been using the 50BMG primers as 3/4 jackets for my 32S&W for a couple of years now. I anneal the primers and use a 69gr lyman 25cal mold for the cores. I'm using and old Swag-O-Matic press and a home made die and top punch. It makes a neat little 85gr SWC.

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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