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Thread: Bumping .264 jackets up to .308?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Bumping .264 jackets up to .308?

    Hey guys,

    I think this may be my first post, but I'm a longtime lurker!

    I purchased several thousand RCE 1.25" .264 jackets from a fellow forum member to start swaging for my 6.5 calibers, but I'm also interested in swaging for my .308s. Is there a way to bump those jackets up to the required diameter to make .308 bullets? I'm not sure if it matters, but I'm planning on using a BSS setup from Larry Blackmon with a Rock Chucker conversion. The jackets have very thick walls, as they're designed for use with the laser beam calibers.

    Thanks!

    Steve

  2. #2
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    I don't think so. Jackets are drawn from big to small. Don't know of a method to bump them up that much.
    Last edited by Zbench; 01-29-2018 at 12:35 PM.
    Zbench

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    that is 0.044in difference.. i have actually bumped up .308 jackets to .323 a few times. i used a special punch i made to expand the jacket the little extra and seated the core like normal. it is a pain but doable, provided the jacket is malleable enough to not split and provided one side does not end up slightly thinner from stretching.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Yes you can do it, but factor in time etc, Loss from splits.. Id just buy new 308 jackets

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Fair, thanks guys.

    Any advice on what else I can use to make jackets inexpensively? The goal for this caliber is to load cheap plinking rounds for my 30-06 and 7.62 NATO milsurps.

    I've read about drawing down 9mm brass, but Larry said it would be excessively time consuming and very inconsistent.

    Thanks!

    Steve

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    the cheapest i know of if you have the drawing dies is salvaged sheet copper. i buy my copper sheet from scrap dealer for 2$-3$ a pound..

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauser 98K View Post
    the cheapest i know of if you have the drawing dies is salvaged sheet copper. i buy my copper sheet from scrap dealer for 2$-3$ a pound..
    Hm, I've read about that option as well and it sounds like a lot of specialized dies would be required, and it would probably be at least as time consuming as drawing down 9mm brass, albeit with much better results.

    I am an engineering student and can order $50 worth of raw materials per week for free through my university's "tinker lab" program. That includes lead wire, copper tubing and even bar stock to make dies or punches. I also have access to a mill and a lathe, but I have no idea how to make anything yet. The lab has a CNC mill and lathe too, but I think I'd need even more training to operate those. Unless of course there's code written for die sets... Do you guys think anyone might have code they'd share?

    Thanks!

    Steve

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    i did all my drawing dies on an old 1940s Van Norman mill... used truck spring to make my dies for drawing and grade 8 bolt for the punches. got all the material from scrap dealer. im using a converted tabletop punch press to do the drawing so that is what i ended up using.. for the regular hand press you would need bar stock and a lathe.you would have to cut threads and match the punch and the die to the thickness of the material you are using. too thick a material for the die/punch combination and it will blow the bottom out of the jacket or jam the punch in the die. too thin a material for the die/punch combination and the jacket will wrinkle and crease with each drawing step producing a unusable jacket.

    but ill tell you now, for just doing one of or two of a part a CNC sucks big time..would be a lot faster using a manual machine. for the time it takes to change the tooling and program the machine you could have machined a single piece on a manual machine. and then you run into after you make that one piece having to retool for the next part and then reprogram for the next part. but as for a universal code being written.. it all depends on the machine used. is it a FANUC with a 10T controller? does it run on G-Code? etc.... the code would have to be written for that particular machine and control setup to work.

    but to draw down the .308 jackets i do i am using 5 drawing steps, so 5 drawing dies would be needed as well as 5 drawing punches if doing it like i do. i tried less steps and the jump was too large and i blew the jackets up with my drawing press.. you would also need a blank die to make the copper disk blank for drawing. also you may or may not have to anneal the jackets several times throughout the drawing process.. with the setup im using im annealing the jackets at least 3 times to keep from blowing the bottom out of them when drawing with the super fast press im using. the best way is to batch anneal them in a kiln in a wire basket and then bung them in a metal bucket of water when they are still red which usually causes any oxide that forms to fall off. my entire setup is geared more toward large batches, and i do large batches of jackets at a time when i make them (upwards of 2,000-3,000 at a time). im also gonna tell you now that hand presses are extremely slow and your lucky to be able to make 100 jackets a day if you bust *** for several hours. and you still have to make the cores, seat the cores, and then point form the bullet.. that is why i went all power equipment when i designed my setup, because im a lazy bastard. if your looking to make large quantities then manual equipment will not do it without eating up large amounts of time and labor. there is a lot more goes into making your own die sets and making jackets from strip than most people think.
    Last edited by Mauser 98K; 01-25-2018 at 06:21 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Spent 5.7 brass is an option, but you’ll always make a better Bullet with a real Jacket.

    The time and effort to bump the 6.5mm Jacket up will quickly pay for just buying 30 caliber jackets.

    We draw jackets down on a regular basis. When then swage up to caliber. The amount of wiggle in a 6.5 jacket inside a core seat die for 30 cal would be too much to not have some bullets formed crooked.

    Learn how to run the manual lathe and also the bench metals class. You’ll be rewarded with the ability to make your own punches and enough to tinker with other parts of your swage setup.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master tiger762's Avatar
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    I like the 5.7 brass option. It is so bloody close to the diameter you need, you can sometimes get by with using it as-is, although drawing it down to 0.305" is better, so that the swaging process can bring it up to 0.308". You want the last process done on the bullet to be one of increasing its diameter, so that it snaps back to the diameter you want, gripping the fool out of the lead core

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohnomrbillk View Post
    Spent 5.7 brass is an option, but you’ll always make a better Bullet with a real Jacket.

    The time and effort to bump the 6.5mm Jacket up will quickly pay for just buying 30 caliber jackets.

    We draw jackets down on a regular basis. When then swage up to caliber. The amount of wiggle in a 6.5 jacket inside a core seat die for 30 cal would be too much to not have some bullets formed crooked.

    Learn how to run the manual lathe and also the bench metals class. You’ll be rewarded with the ability to make your own punches and enough to tinker with other parts of your swage setup.
    I'll definitely get some training on the lathe. Thank you for the reply.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger762 View Post
    I like the 5.7 brass option. It is so bloody close to the diameter you need, you can sometimes get by with using it as-is, although drawing it down to 0.305" is better, so that the swaging process can bring it up to 0.308". You want the last process done on the bullet to be one of increasing its diameter, so that it snaps back to the diameter you want, gripping the fool out of the lead core
    Makes sense! What kind of results are you getting out of 5.7 brass? I'm currently shooting surplus 147 FMJs for my plinking ammo. Do you think the 5.7s would produce better or worse results than the surplus FMJs with their high weight variation? Also, what weight range can be produced from these? It seems like the jackets would be rather long for 150 gr -
    range projectiles.

    Thanks,

    Steve

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauser 98K View Post
    i did all my drawing dies on an old 1940s Van Norman mill... used truck spring to make my dies for drawing and grade 8 bolt for the punches. got all the material from scrap dealer. im using a converted tabletop punch press to do the drawing so that is what i ended up using.. for the regular hand press you would need bar stock and a lathe.you would have to cut threads and match the punch and the die to the thickness of the material you are using. too thick a material for the die/punch combination and it will blow the bottom out of the jacket or jam the punch in the die. too thin a material for the die/punch combination and the jacket will wrinkle and crease with each drawing step producing a unusable jacket.

    but ill tell you now, for just doing one of or two of a part a CNC sucks big time..would be a lot faster using a manual machine. for the time it takes to change the tooling and program the machine you could have machined a single piece on a manual machine. and then you run into after you make that one piece having to retool for the next part and then reprogram for the next part. but as for a universal code being written.. it all depends on the machine used. is it a FANUC with a 10T controller? does it run on G-Code? etc.... the code would have to be written for that particular machine and control setup to work.

    but to draw down the .308 jackets i do i am using 5 drawing steps, so 5 drawing dies would be needed as well as 5 drawing punches if doing it like i do. i tried less steps and the jump was too large and i blew the jackets up with my drawing press.. you would also need a blank die to make the copper disk blank for drawing. also you may or may not have to anneal the jackets several times throughout the drawing process.. with the setup im using im annealing the jackets at least 3 times to keep from blowing the bottom out of them when drawing with the super fast press im using. the best way is to batch anneal them in a kiln in a wire basket and then bung them in a metal bucket of water when they are still red which usually causes any oxide that forms to fall off. my entire setup is geared more toward large batches, and i do large batches of jackets at a time when i make them (upwards of 2,000-3,000 at a time). im also gonna tell you now that hand presses are extremely slow and your lucky to be able to make 100 jackets a day if you bust *** for several hours. and you still have to make the cores, seat the cores, and then point form the bullet.. that is why i went all power equipment when i designed my setup, because im a lazy bastard. if your looking to make large quantities then manual equipment will not do it without eating up large amounts of time and labor. there is a lot more goes into making your own die sets and making jackets from strip than most people think.
    Thanks for the reply. I hear you on the difficulty of doing CNC stuff. I'll definitely lean the manual method and probably just buy my point-form dies rather than trying to make them.

    By hand-press, do you mean the RCBS conversions? If so, would I be better served using a Walnut Hill or similar press? You also may have meant any hand-operated press, as opposed to a hydraulic one, in which case I guess the WH wouldn't work either.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Last edited by s11033; 01-28-2018 at 10:58 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    well for drawing jackets on a standard reloading press there is really not enough room through the die threads for the larger calibers like .308.. the jacket blank itself for a 150gr .308 jacket is over 1in in diameter... if you got the RCBS Rock Chucker like i got you might get away with it as it has a threaded die bushing that necks down a very large thread to the standard reloading die thread.. but im not sure if it would allow enough pressure to draw the jackets. ill have to experiment with mine and see if i can come up with a set of drawing dies.

    but yea, the point forming dies require the making of a reamer. also depending on how your going to do it (ream b4 heat treat or after heat treat) it can get complicated real fast.. im beginning to ream after i heat treat my dies as when i was trying to ream b4 heat treat it was almost impossible to hold the tolerances exact. reaming b4 heat treat requires you to know the exact shrinkage/growth rate of the material and the heat has to be computer controlled to get the exact growth/shrinkage and then it is still not guaranteed to be within 0.0005 of the correct size. you might end up with a die that pops out 0.309-0.310 all the way down to 0.306-0.307 out of the exact same piece of bar stock.. it can become a real PITA real fast..

    the drawing dies and the all the other dies on the other hand are relatively simple as they do not need to be exactly perfect in tolerance like the point forming die. all you need to watch out for is the final drawing die that the jacket comes out 0.001 smaller than the core seating die and the point forming die so it slips into the dies easily without binding up. you never been frustrated till you jammed a bullet in the die and had to pull it out..
    Last edited by Mauser 98K; 01-29-2018 at 06:04 AM.

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