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Thread: Expanding 22 lr brass

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Expanding 22 lr brass

    Expanding 22 lr cases

    Read where guys on Cast Boolits .com were expanding 22 brass to make jackets for .223 and some were having trouble getting the expanded brass off the punch. Pondered this problem for a while, then decided to try my hand at expanding 22 lr brass to make jacketed bullets. Wondered how much the case can be expanded before
    failing. Next thought was to use water hydraulics. Threw the 22 brass in a pan filled with water. You have to agitate them to get all the air out.

    Beginning the process I made the proper size rods to drive into the 22 brass with a small rounded end and strike with a small brass hammer.
    As the rod is struck, hydraulic pressure inside the brass helps hold the shape as the rod is driven to the bottom.

    Water will escape upwards around the rod toward your hand and in the process expands the brass a mite larger than the rod. Then you can remove the brass from the rod with ease and no damage. Next anneal the brass. Expand in steps in approximately .020 steps up to whatever size is needed.
    Fit the Lee.308 113 grain Hi-Tek coated bullet that comes out .312dia. inside the expanded jacket. Run through sizer die to .3075.
    This was the first effort. Next time just size the bullets down to when you add the jacket and run through the sizer the bullet will be the right size and you would not have to expand the brass as much. This little bullet would go good in the 30-30 and other 30 caliber firearms.

    This process is labor intensive, and messy, but it can be done. Here are pictures of the sized rods and the finished product.
    Should there be some interest in the process we can go into more detail about diameters of the rods and such. Since I find it can be done, I am thinking that an inline press could be made to apply even pressure to do the process and rotate to the next step moving down the line with each pull of the handle. Still would have to pull the jackets from each rod and refill with water, add a new hull, and remove the finished on the other end.
    The finished thickness of the 22lr brass measured .oo5.
    The jacketed boolits weigh 123 grains.
    Punch sizes used: .220 -- .238 -- .25825 -- .2695 -- .2845 -- The last one .3075 left the brass at .3095 ID. The escaping water causes the .002 bigger size. Getting the case expanded up to 30 caliber was my goal and here we have reached the goal.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Pictures

    Now for the pictures of tools for expanding 22 lr cal brassClick image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you for this post. This is quite interesting to me, as I have tried expanding 22 casings to larger sizes, to make into various powder dippers, with limited success. Do the cases ever collapse or split, and did you anneal once or several times? This sounds fun, but am not going outside today to try it, it's -28 below.

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    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    Thank you for this post. This is quite interesting to me, as I have tried expanding 22 casings to larger sizes, to make into various powder dippers, with limited success. Do the cases ever collapse or split, and did you anneal once or several times? This sounds fun, but am not going outside today to try it, it's -28 below.
    As long as the case is filled with water, they expand with no problems. On annealing I think you may can do two steps then anneal, may need to anneal each time. Planning to do a batch of 50 at a time and go with anneal each step up and see how big they will get. And, yes it is fun. Thinking about a little umbrella fit on the punch to deflect the spay of water coming out.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Very interesting! Did you hammer against flat surface? Wood? i am thinking of using arbor press. Didn't think it was possible to expand this much.



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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    Very interesting! Did you hammer against flat surface? Wood? i am thinking of using arbor press. Didn't think it was possible to expand this much.



    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
    An arbor press may not do it. The hammer impact causes the hydraulic shock you need to expand the case. The press would be quite a bit slower and probably allow the water to bleed out before the case expands.
    That'd be my guess, anyway. Nothing to lose by trying it.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    An arbor press may not do it. The hammer impact causes the hydraulic shock you need to expand the case. The press would be quite a bit slower and probably allow the water to bleed out before the case expands.
    That'd be my guess, anyway. Nothing to lose by trying it.
    That makes sense. What about surface what did you hammer the case on? I though that perhaps you had some kind of die to put in?

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    In the process of building a press. 22 brass was sitting on a polished hard metal surface. When the brass is annealed it can be expanded and thinned unless the brass get ruined with too much heat. These cases measure .005 thousandths now. Personally, I am not aware of how thick the jacket needs to be. It looks as if I am getting ready to find out loaded in 30-30 brass. Marlin style.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Glad to see this post. And success. Nice job. I started a similar project with 22 mag. cases to have longer and slightly thicker jackets. For 30 cal bullets. Made a few temporary tools and bullets then couldn't find anymore 22mag cases to continue. Only 17HMR and the necks would split even when annealed.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Trim the neck and shoulder, then expand the case.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    That would make a nice light weight hunting boolet or plinker. Going to have to try this and load some up. Do you use anything to bond the brass to the lead or just size down to a tight fit?

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Trim the neck and shoulder, then expand the case.

    They were too short for my desired bullet cores then. I have since accumulated enough 22 mag cases now. But that project is way low on my current priorities list.

    Also. I like the water release method. I'll have to try that as well. I put a very coarse and shallow thread on my mandrels to remove the stretched cases.

    Many ways to skin that cat. I would imagine others will chime in with even better methods. I love this site.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Oldbearhair. Me and the wife lived in porter for two years.my wife lived in Baytown Tx growing up. I worked for Anaheim conversions truck van and suburbans in 1990 91. I would like to try this when it gets warmer its been to cold here. It's going to be 60 Friday and Saturday so I might at least go shooting. Would like to know more about how you make your punches .I really want to try this . I got 5 kids sitting at home that need a job.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Jniedbalski --Would like to know more about how you make your punches .I really want to try this . I got 5 kids sitting at home that need a job. Check back to the top post #1 , it tells the sizes of the punches and they were turned on the metal lathe.
    Last edited by OldBearHair; 01-09-2018 at 05:26 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ok thanks got the sizes

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Push through dies

    Moving along with toolmaking process for expanding 22 brass. January 12 in the shop, 42 degrees, near Conroe Texas. Worked on making two push-through dies plus push rod and slugged the bore of a Marlin 30-30 Finished one die at .296 to size down cast bullet from Lee 113 grain .310. The bullet will sit in an expanded 22 brass .298 and then pushed through the .307 die that is not finished. No correct reamer on hand, so drilled with .299 drill and began reaming process with 150 grit sandpaper up to 600 grit and the die is now .303 diameter. More reaming with 100 grit and 2000 grit slowly up to .307. ( Whew)Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    You might want to look at multiple dies to draw that .310 Lee boolit to .296. This morning I was sizing a boolit/core (about 190 grains) from .302 to .298 and the boolit/core buckled and mushroomed at the head.

    In my application; I have been using a 6.5mm Lee Cruise Missile boolit (about 170 grains) to swage into a .301 boolit for paper patching over the last couple of years. Wanted a little heavier (and Longer) boolit to paper patch; so I was drawing down a Lyman 311644 boolit from about .309, to .305, to .302 as a potential core of ~ 190 grains to be swaged into a .298 core (Corbin Core Swage Die). The .302 diameter to .298 was too large a draw to make as it buckled at the top and stripped the base. In my case (alloy 96% lead, 3% antimony, 1% tin) the core will need another intermediate draw to .300 before going into the final Corbin 0.298 core swage die.

    You may find that your draw from .310 to .298 is TOO Much; and you may need intermediate draws also.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Hey Mustang thanks for the input. Although, the die has a gradual taper for 2/3 the way before is gets to .296. The bullets were WW lead with some pewter. I do not know what the percentages are on these or the BHN hardness. It was a little hard to size the 64 bullets, but not too much. The die has a high grade polish on the inside that might account for this. Using my old Lyman single stage press. A 190 grain bullet is a different story altogether. A lot more lead to deal with . Good luck with your progress. The 30-30 slug measured .305. The second die is now at .306, so I ran some lubricated Hi-Tec Gold 113 boolits through it to give them a trial run before I bring it on up to .307. They sized readily through the die. The Speer manual lists a starting load for 110 grain jacketed boolit at 1900 fps. I really want to get that down to about 1200 fps. Need to find load data for that.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Very different approach. But hey whatever works, right? Thanks for something else for me to ponder.
    " CANCER SUCKS" I swage .224, 6mm, 7mm, .308, 9mm, .40, .429. Also 9 to 30 jackets, and 9 to 9 jackets.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldBearHair View Post
    The Speer manual lists a starting load for 110 grain jacketed boolit at 1900 fps. I really want to get that down to about 1200 fps. Need to find load data for that.
    Why do you want to shoot jacketed bullets at 9mm velocity? you don't need jacket f or 1200 fps.

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