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Thread: lightweight pistol bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    lightweight pistol bullets

    Has anybody tried making lightweight copper bullets for pistols?
    Liberty makes a 9mm 50 grain that has a 2000 fps muzzle velocity.
    I was wondering if you could make a truncated cone HP or other design from a copper rod that could get down to that weight. Or is there another material that would work such as a soft aluminum?
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  2. #2
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    I would think a light material like aluminum would be a goid choice. You would want some length in the bullet. If you have a mini lathe just make a handfull and see what happens.

    If you get a 9mm auto to function it may be too harsh on the gun. Would be a cool idea for revolver
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  3. #3
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    Zink is self lubricating, tough and light (ish) and easy to machine.
    Used for cattlekiller rounds in europe back in the day.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master ofitg's Avatar
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    Back in the 1980s, Kendall International marketed "Equaloy" .38 Special ammo (sorry, no 9mm that I know of). The aluminum alloy projectile was the same size/shape as a lead 158-gr SWC, but only weighed 38 grains. Muzzle velocity was supposed to be 2000 fps. The projectile had a nylon coating, reportedly to prevent shedding aluminum in the bore.

    I second 17nut's suggestion for zinc - it can even be cast - this RCBS mould would drop zinc bullets weighing close to 60 grains -

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    Boolit Master Reverend Recoil's Avatar
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    Ammo made with wooden bullets was used by the Japanese in the late stages of WWII. Wooden bullets made nasty wounds is close jungle fighting.
    DRB #2276

  6. #6
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    Last I heard people were having to spin cast Zinc bullets (centripetal force helping fill the molds), did they figure out a better way?

  7. #7
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    Company called guncrafter industries turns solid copper bullets for their 50 caliber handguns. The 185gr is 1200fpm nice hollow point that butterflies well.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    Last I heard people were having to spin cast Zinc bullets (centripetal force helping fill the molds), did they figure out a better way?
    That could get interesting for the home caster!
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

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    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Don't forget light projectiles loose speed/energy fairly rapidly.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master ofitg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    Last I heard people were having to spin cast Zinc bullets (centripetal force helping fill the molds), did they figure out a better way?
    When I was casting zinc slugs 20-some years ago, I kept the mould blocks hot by sitting them on a small electric heating element - vaguely similar to this thing -



    It was still a challenge, though..... it takes a forceful whack to swing the sprue plate aside, and my bottom-pour LEE pot didn't hold up to the molten zinc very well. By the time I had cast a couple hundred slugs, the "Drip-O-Matic" was turning into a "Dribble-O-Matic".

    I finally lucked out and bought an ammo box full of 9mm ZEE slugs on Gunauction.com...... my zinc-casting days were over.
    Last edited by Pressman; 05-11-2018 at 08:56 PM. Reason: No eBay links, ever
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  12. #12
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    I used to make my own "Glazer" slugs for the 38 SPL. I melted the core out of 125 gr Jacketed then filled the cup with #12 shot mixed with epoxy. They weight 60 gr and I pushed them at 1600 fps (just under the SAAMI +P MAP). They were absolutely devastating. I put down several injured deer and smaller animals with them.
    Larry Gibson

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I used to make my own "Glazer" slugs for the 38 SPL. I melted the core out of 125 gr Jacketed then filled the cup with #12 shot mixed with epoxy. They weight 60 gr and I pushed them at 1600 fps (just under the SAAMI +P MAP). They were absolutely devastating. I put down several injured deer and smaller animals with them.
    I might try melting the lead out of some FMJ bullets and putting a lighter core in it with epoxy.
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  14. #14
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    i like to triple load 60 grain wadcutters in 38 special.lots of fun on the range throwing extra holes into other people's targets just to fux with them.

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    Many moons ago (1903) a mad Dane (Schouboe) made a .45 pistol and that with pure blow back, no delays of any sort.
    To make the thing work and not destroy itself in short order he had DWM develop and make aluminium jacketed (later nickel clad copper) wood projectiles. 62,5grains for a .45 how's that for light?

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    https://www.arma-dania.dk/public/tim...hp?editid1=185
    https://www.arma-dania.dk/public/tim....php?editid1=2

  16. #16
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    Many moons ago (1903) a mad Dane (Schouboe) made a .45 pistol and that with pure blow back, no delays of any sort.
    To make the thing work and not destroy itself in short order he had DWM develop and make aluminium jacketed (later nickel clad copper) wood projectiles. 62,5grains for a .45 how's that for light?

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    https://www.arma-dania.dk/public/tim...hp?editid1=185
    https://www.arma-dania.dk/public/tim....php?editid1=2
    Very interesting ! Wonder what the reasoning was for his creation ? Short range target? Maybe just because he wanted too and could ?
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  17. #17
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    Web page implies / says the weapon was rather weak and couldn't stand pressure/recoil with a heavy bullet, but was OK with these light ones

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    And as i said blow back with no retardation to slow reloading timing down.
    You can do that with mass in the bolt (most MPs) or some kind of mechanical locking (1911 and the lot) between slide and barrel.
    The Schouboe had a light slide and no locking mechanism.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I tried some of the home made glasers (including one for 223 with the jacket from the old 70 grain Speer SP) and have tried wooden bullets and the like. But I came to the conclusion that, for me, they have no use. They have limited range and are troublesome to make. With the very limited exception of dispatching animals at close range with limited penetration, there is nothing that they can do that a typical bullet will not. So yes, you can certainly make light weight solids from copper rod. I just don't see an advantage.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I forgot one more use. Light, frangible bullets can blow up water jugs in spectacular fashion. A lot of fun and a big Wow factor for spectators.

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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