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Thread: Lathe turning slugs

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Lightbulb Lathe turning slugs

    Anyone lathe turning 12 gage full bore slugs for smoothebore or rifled barrels?
    Seems a cost effective way for experimenting with slug design without going broke buying moulds that may or may not work.
    Also making plastic wads.
    Anyone ?

    Regards,

    Steve
    Last edited by Steven Dzupin; 10-17-2017 at 07:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I can be done. If you have a turret tool post or quick change (repeatable) tooling its much easier. Lead can be a bear to turn but it can be done. What might be easier is to find some slugs close to what you want and remachine them to what you want. Several are making copper slugs now to so that's an option also. Maybe make a mold to pour a Base core to start machining with. Another handy tool might be a little turret for the tail stock.

    Youll need to play with the tools geometry a little to get good clean cuts in lead. For cutting fluid beeswax or lard ( Crisco as it dosnt go rancid as fast) should work well. A collet and stop with the base cores should allow accurate set ups and machining. I would recommend a collet or 6 jaw chuck due to the softness of lead. Even then you will need to watch the chucking force.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    look up uncle dino on here. he is also in the vendor section under furys custom bullets.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Thank you all!

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Today's experiment.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Result!

    I used 3/4" Black Pipe lined with Parchment Paper and a wooden plug to cast oversized blanks out of 1/2&1/2 Lino / Pb alloy.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    If you can lathe turn a slug you can make a simple slug mould. Much easier and more consistent than lathe turning each slug!

    I've made several moulds in various calibers and gauges for boolits and slugs. Ideal had their own design out about 100 years ago and it works just fine. I make mine from 1 1/2" round bar.

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    Easy to make and can be done in base pour as shown or nose pour if you have some imagination. They make perfectly cylindrical boolits or slugs. I've done both in hollow base and hollow nose and solid:

    - 12 ga. full bore solid, HB, HP & Brenneke style
    - 12 ga. wad slug, HB, full bore & Brenneke style
    - 20 ga. full bore
    - .44 paper patch
    - .44 full bore
    - .303 full bore
    - .303 paper patch (0.304" core)
    - .308 paper patch (0.301" core)

    They can be paper patched, knurled or just plain tumble lubed. All have worked well for me.

    So much easier than lathe turning each one! If you have a CNC machine then maybe lathe turning each one is okay.

    Longbow

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for the tip.
    For a production run casting is the way to go.
    For experimenting 5 pieces or so the lathe seems to be
    so much more flexible.

    So far 1/2&1/2 Lino/Pb turns beautifully, with hss tooling.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Lino PB dosnt even need the HSS a piece of cold rolled key stock ground to the cutting angles needed will cut lead as well maybe need sharpened a little more often though. When working nylon Teflon wear plate at work we used key stock for the cutter in the shaper. worked fine and saved the 1" X 1" HSS cobalt bits for steel brass stainless and other metals. Use about 8*-10 relief with the same top angle for lead.

    On side note a form cutter could be ground and the bullet plunge cut in one shot. Set up the form tool square and straight find your size and zero cross feed. then just plunge in to 0 and cut off. In this way you can easily repeat slugs if further testing is warranted. Also can run a few bullets if a custom mould is desired to send with the order.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    If you make a cylindrical mould of correct diameter to suit the bore then you can cast as many slugs as you want and vary the nose form and/or hollow base form to get solid slugs, HP slugs, HB slugs, any nose shape you want. I haven't managed HB with HP slugs but other than that there is no limit.

    The only thing you can't do is add lube grooves but knurling takes care of that if you want to lube. You can also knurl for diameter experimentation... knurl over size then size back to whatever diameter you want. I make hammer sizers for that.

    Once the mould is made making changes to nose form or HB plug don't take any longer than turning a slug.

    However, turning the slugs works fine too if you are careful or make a form tool for consistency as county gent says.

    Different strokes.

    Longbow

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    At a point many years ago, I used to turn slugs for my smooth bore cannon that had a 1 5/16" bore. I'd take a block of hardwood and bore 1 3/8" hole, about 1 3/4" deep and fill the mold with lead. The finished slugs were machined with a pointed tip and a hollow base. Finished slugs ended up weighing in at a little over a pound and were 1 5/8" long. Early experiments showed that the slugs needed to be patched to get a good seal, so I machined back the OD to be able to use old Levies for the patch to seal the bore. First firings showed that although the slugs were somewhat accurate, even with large charges of single F cannon grade powder, these slugs fired more like a morter than a cannon and could never make it super-sonic. Later moved to a ball bearing as a projectile and the round ball was much faster with less powder. Casting and turning slugs can easily be done successfully, but after that set of experiments, I decided that in a smooth bore, round ball ended up being the better projectile, used less powder ( 1/4 cup ) and was easier to get.
    Chris

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Some light weights and some heavy hitters.

    Just need time to get to the range. j

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    3/4" Black Pipe moulds with Parchment paper liner.

    Just long enough to fit under Lyman's spout.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Cerrosafe cast of Remington rifled barrel.

    0.7325" diameter grouve to grouve.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I made an adjustable mold many years back that turned out okay for making various lengths of bullets from the same mold with a movable base plug.
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    Home of Carnauba Red- Premium High Speed Lube.
    http://www.lsstuff.com - Bussiness email: LsStuff@AOL.com -

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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ID:	205357Remington BuckHammer copy,thanks to biker beans sample.

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    Last edited by Steven Dzupin; 10-07-2017 at 06:34 AM. Reason: Add photo

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy stillwell's Avatar
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    What material are you using for the wad on the buck hammer copy. I tried using ldpe , it went badly. Think machining a glue stick
    We the willing lead by the unknowing have done so much for so long we are now able to do anything with nothing.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillwell View Post
    What material are you using for the wad on the buck hammer copy. I tried using ldpe , it went badly. Think machining a glue stick
    UHMW Polyethylene rod. Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene rod stock.
    Bought it from McMaster 3/4" diameter cut up into 5" pieces as there's a lot of bow in the product.
    I migh try the 1" stock next ,might have less bow.
    Machines nice with Warner high speed tooling,just keep the tools honed to a sharp edge.
    Deburr with 400 wet or dry paper.
    Last edited by Steven Dzupin; 10-10-2017 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Poor spelling

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    Attachment 205623
    Composit group 5 control shots Winchester BRI slugs,small holes
    and 3 Buck Hammer copies , large holes, thanks to a biker beans sample slug.
    Now I have something for low cost 50 yard practice.

    Regards,

    Steve

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    Here’s a group photo.
    5 shots Winchester BRI slugs as control.
    3 shots BuckHammer copies.

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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