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Thread: Looking for best methods for making Point Form Dies accurately every time

  1. #1

    Looking for best methods for making Point Form Dies accurately every time

    I was wondering how some of the more experienced out there makes their point form dies . Is there any formula for making the ogive like a measurement formula or do you just turn a piece of steel/aluminum or brass/copper on a lathe , file it down , measuring until it looks close to make a reamer ? What material works best if the dies are made from A2 steel ,which I'm planning on using ,maybe O1 ?
    Also wondering how to lap these . I've got acro laps blind hole laps w/ spare barrels and they appears to be great for the straight thru part of hole but how to get the ogive and bullet face ? I read where one memeber uses a correctly sized ,swaged piece of lead and another drills a jacketed bullet using it on a post chucked up in the lathe . Then I plan to use diamond paste in decreasing sizes . I hadn't really found a source for custom diameter laps anywhere ,so looking for some ideas that will work and I don't happen to have a sunnen honing machine , but wish I did for times like these . Just started collecting metal working equipment and have a little more then basics for now but really interested in trying to make some of my own dies and other equipment for Swaging . I've got plenty of time and think it makes a great hobby while gaining items I will keep and use for a lifetime ,if I can figure out the smal, details - thanks for any advise guys !

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    unless you have an ultrasonic drill or EDM machine then the best way for consistency is to make a reamer. the way i make my reamers is i take a template from an existing bullet design and turn the piece of annealed drill rod in the lathe to match the template. i then use a spin indexer and a mill to cut the flutes on the reamer. i then heat treat the reamer and cut the reliefs on the back of the flutes so they clear the die and allow reaming the die. i make my dies out of standard grade-8 bolt material. i first anneal the material, machine the die blank out of it with the hole a little undersized, and then i heat treat at 1,400*F and quench in water. i then draw the temper to where a file will barely cut and then hand ream and polish the inside of the die. i have found that reaming after heat treating the die makes the most consistent die. i tried reaming b4 heat treating and the variations were always too great for an exact sized bullet.

    but be aware that the reamer must be made a few thousandths undersized from the size bullet you are wanting to make. if you make the reamer dead on size then during the heat treating of the reamer it will grow and then your die will be oversized. the best way to know how much the reamer will grow is to take a piece of the material and heat treat it like you would the reamer and take measurements b4 and after heat treating and compensate when making the reamer. also if you are going to go the lapping road then the inside of the die would also have to be undersized or you will lap it oversized also.. if you do a good reaming job proceeded by a proper polishing then i have not seen the need for lapping. either way i always ream my dies 0.001in small and the polishing usually brings them to size.

    but on the reaming. i do it by hand so i can feel it cutting. power reaming has many risk and you can take too much too fast and also break the reamer easily. also hand reaming builds no heat and the reamers last a lot longer as long as you keep them well oiled. when reaming, if you ever let the reamer come off the surface of the metal then you must clean the hole of all shavings. failure to do so will sometimes trap a shaving under a flute and can cut groves into the inside of the die or can make the die bell shaped and you will never get a swaged round to eject. either way, do a little reaming and then clear the hole and check. if you step drill the hole in the die then there is less metal to remove and reaming goes much quicker.. also there is a little spring back from the swaged round, and that means the die must be around a half thousandth to one thousandth small least the spring back of the bullet make it a little large. one thousandth larger might not be enough to worry about, i just got OCD and want my stuff exact measurements.

    yea this stuff gets involved real fast..
    Last edited by Mauser 98K; 04-27-2018 at 04:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master BlackoutBuilder's Avatar
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    I used to think these things were overpriced until I learned how they were made , then I decided to let BT Sniper make mine. Im handy, but dang.
    NFA = Not Freaking American

    It would be less disrespectful to burn the flag than to put a thin blue line through the middle of it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackoutBuilder View Post
    I used to think these things were overpriced until I learned how they were made , then I decided to let BT Sniper make mine. Im handy, but dang.
    I'll second that notion!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Try making one in Carbide.........

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I figured out how to grind a point forming drill bit. Now with the same drill bit I can make maybe a half dozen point forming dies before taking it back to the grinder. Not that hard to make but takes some practice.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  7. #7
    Would you care to explain how you go about the grinding process so I might learn the procedure ? I've got a lathe and mill but lack some of the machinist know-how . But I am a quick learner with the right instruction .

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I do it by hand with a diamond blade on a dremel type tool. I make very crappy videos but this will give you the idea of how I do it:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pypyay5y21...20bit.mp4?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yk8mjckxd7...ntDie.MP4?dl=0
    Last edited by Traffer; 05-23-2018 at 12:07 AM.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  9. #9
    Boolit Master BlackoutBuilder's Avatar
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    Nah, just get a drill from harbor freight, plug and then bore out an old Lee die, that should do it.
    NFA = Not Freaking American

    It would be less disrespectful to burn the flag than to put a thin blue line through the middle of it.

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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