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Thread: pistol bullet making: the fast way.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    pistol bullet making: the fast way.

    this is the entire 7.62x25 swaging operation from jacket blank to finished bullet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkeIq31P4iM

    this is how i do it, except this time i used an arbor press to trim and swage the bullet as anyone can go down to Harbor Freight Tools and pick up a small arbor press. this usually goes a lot faster. having to hold the camera, using only one hand, and using the arbor press slows me down a bit. i usually use my pneumatic press that is many times faster, but i used the arbor press as it is easier to get hold of for most people...

    im using aluminum flashing, the same stuff they make gutters out of that i get for scrap prices. aint got **** in the bullets as far as price.. maybe $0.01 per bullet, if even that much. the lead is just soft lead like plumbers use that i cast into cores and trimmed to length. these end up being a shade under 85gr. im loading them to around 1,500fps using reformed .223 brass for my CZ-52..

    but these are the ones that mushroom so well that i posted about in another thread. these transfer all 450ft/lbs of energy in around 5 inches of wet newspaper. they totally shuck the jacket and the core turns totally inside out after turning into a flat disk about 1/3 of the way in b4 folding back in on itself. i wouldn't want to get hit by them. that much energy transferred in that short a span would be like getting hit in the chest with a sledge hammer. i did manage to just about totally eliminate the possibility of over penetration. should make great defense rounds for my pocket artillery..

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I'm looking for someone who can make primer cups and anvils. Would you consider doing something like that?
    AKA hans.pcguy

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    id have to make the dies and punches as i don't have any to make cups or anvils.. the cups probably wouldn't be too bad as it is a simple draw die. the anvils will be the bugger. not only do they have to be punched out, they also have to be bent the correct way.. what sort of cups and anvils are they?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master




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    I love the quart oil bottle tray. Cap and neck serve as a handle. Something I would do.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for the link.
    I had heard of pinch dies on this site, but could not visualize their construction until I saw your video.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauser 98K View Post
    id have to make the dies and punches as i don't have any to make cups or anvils.. the cups probably wouldn't be too bad as it is a simple draw die. the anvils will be the bugger. not only do they have to be punched out, they also have to be bent the correct way.. what sort of cups and anvils are they?
    I am asking because of viability of reloading primers. There is a member here from a south american country who posted a method of reloading primers that had to withdraw his post because of the chance of being caught by his repressive government. He has a punch press and had the tooling made by one of his friends who manufactures findings for the jewelry business. With the tooling for cups and anvils he makes primers from scratch. There is a thread here about making priming compound. A member named Marshall has come up with several excellent formula's for priming compound. He reloads used primers which is very time consuming and when done they still have at least a ghost of a firing pin dent. Having new cups and anvils available would enable us to make primers at a reasonable rate.
    This process would not only avail reloaders another phase of independence from having to rely on manufacturers but would also greatly cut the cost of reloading.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    well it is hard to compete with the high speed production equipment that the big ammo manufacturers have. while it is possible to make the components, it takes longer and is a slow tedious process. they can turn out tens of thousands a day on the automatic presses while it would take hours to days to do just 1,000 on a manual press. if you take into account the time it takes it actually cost more. but when you are doing it yourself then it is cheap. to come out on it if i was selling the parts id have to charge at least 6x-8x what the big companies do or i would be backing up. the only way it would be a viable option to make and sell the small stuff would be if the parts are no longer available commercially..

    but a warning on the aluminum jackets in the video. if your barrel is rough then it will leave aluminum in the barrel. i just spent an hour getting aluminum transfer out of my CZ-52 with a cleaning rod, some lye, and some Scotch-Brite.. im thinking on stepping back to copper based jackets as they do not seem to do it as bad, and there is commercial cleaners out there for removing copper. the bullets will not be as nasty when they hit the target as the aluminum jacketed stuff, but im getting lazy in my old age.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    i know what's going on...

    sat down and studied on my aluminum jackets.. i have shot rifle bullets at 2,800fps that had home mad aluminum jackets quite a bit and never had any problems with aluminum transfer.. i got to researching the aluminum i used that was meant for seamless gutters. turns out that while i drew the aluminum with the paint on the inside of the jacket, the other side of the aluminum sheet is coated with a protective coating. some coatings are a clear plastic and some contain Teflon. i was wondering what was going on being the usual solvent had no effect on the coating that formed inside the barrel. i was effectively plastic coating the inside of my barrel. ya learn something new every day. good thing i don't have any more bullets swaged up yet, cause now i gotta remove the coating. im thinking annealing temperatures for aluminum followed by a quench. should burn all the **** off.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have to say I am impressed with your process, but I have to question why not just cast & powder coat your handgun bullets?

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Dragonheart;4385899]I have to say I am impressed with your process, but I have to question why not just cast & powder coat your handgun bullets?[/QUOTE
    This is the swaging section, we do it because we can...d

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    My comment about powder coated handgun bullets was not intended as an insult it was just a question of what advantage you see to swaging a pistol bullet, since typically a handgun bullet will be used under 50 yards?

    I do understand it is a swaging section and that is the reason I am checking it out because I believe the answer to full power rifle loads with accuracy at distance is to swage a powder coated bullet. I personally have fired plain base powder coated bullets in excess of 3500 fps with no leading. We know the polymer will remain intact and withstand the force of spinup in excess of 3000 fps. However, because a cast bullet is not concentric and powder coating and sizing does not make it so, it will never be accurate at full power at distance. Swaging I believe should make the bullet concentric.

    It looks as if you have gone a long way in developing your own tools. I am considering an attempt at making a single swage die to first swag a cast rifle bullet to finished dimensions, then gas check, powder coat and swage again. Do you have any thoughts?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    Mostly so I can drive them to 1,700fps without leading the barrel.. Also I'm using a really soft lead so they deform all to hell when they enter the target..

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    My comment about powder coated handgun bullets was not intended as an insult it was just a question of what advantage you see to swaging a pistol bullet, since typically a handgun bullet will be used under 50 yards?

    I do understand it is a swaging section and that is the reason I am checking it out because I believe the answer to full power rifle loads with accuracy at distance is to swage a powder coated bullet. I personally have fired plain base powder coated bullets in excess of 3500 fps with no leading. We know the polymer will remain intact and withstand the force of spinup in excess of 3000 fps. However, because a cast bullet is not concentric and powder coating and sizing does not make it so, it will never be accurate at full power at distance. Swaging I believe should make the bullet concentric.

    It looks as if you have gone a long way in developing your own tools. I am considering an attempt at making a single swage die to first swag a cast rifle bullet to finished dimensions, then gas check, powder coat and swage again. Do you have any thoughts?
    I have been developing a viable way to make 22lr bullets. The latest technique I have been using is to mold a core that is undersized but close enough to limit the expansion when swaged. I powder coat the core. then swage to final size boolit. It is working out very nicely so far. But obviously they are not being shot great speeds and I haven't tested them for accuracy yet. But I intend to use the same process for pistol bullets. It is easy to make hollow based hollow point boolits that way. The whole system is surprisingly easy.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    I have been developing a viable way to make 22lr bullets. The latest technique I have been using is to mold a core that is undersized but close enough to limit the expansion when swaged. I powder coat the core. then swage to final size boolit. It is working out very nicely so far. But obviously they are not being shot great speeds and I haven't tested them for accuracy yet. But I intend to use the same process for pistol bullets. It is easy to make hollow based hollow point boolits that way. The whole system is surprisingly easy.
    Interesting, the only difference is I was thinking of taking an existing cast bullet like my NOE #225-48 or others, swage it, realizing the swage process is going to alter the the bullet's original design somewhat. PC then swage it again.

    Testing the limits of the polymer jacket I fired a number of these .22 plain base cast PC bullets in excess of 3500 fps out of my 22-250 with no barrel leading. Checking the as cast bullets after sizing on a concentricity gauge showed what I expected, they were not concentric. NOE makes good molds, but the bullets are not concentric out of the mold and regular sizing does nothing to correct this. Accuracy under 50 yards was fair, but stepping out to 100 and the lack of concentricity was evident.

    Since others have had great success with PC bore rider design bullets sized to the barrel, the firing process swages the bullet, making it concentric. It would seem to me that swaging other bullet designs like a spire point would work, but there is a big difference in theory and fact.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    Interesting, the only difference is I was thinking of taking an existing cast bullet like my NOE #225-48 or others, swage it, realizing the swage process is going to alter the the bullet's original design somewhat. PC then swage it again.

    Testing the limits of the polymer jacket I fired a number of these .22 plain base cast PC bullets in excess of 3500 fps out of my 22-250 with no barrel leading. Checking the as cast bullets after sizing on a concentricity gauge showed what I expected, they were not concentric. NOE makes good molds, but the bullets are not concentric out of the mold and regular sizing does nothing to correct this. Accuracy under 50 yards was fair, but stepping out to 100 and the lack of concentricity was evident.

    Since others have had great success with PC bore rider design bullets sized to the barrel, the firing process swages the bullet, making it concentric. It would seem to me that swaging other bullet designs like a spire point would work, but there is a big difference in theory and fact.
    It's not that hard to make swaging dies if you are swaging lead without jackets. I do it without a lathe.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  16. #16
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    Dragonheart.. No worries... A couple of things about pc and swaging.. Always remember bullet or core must be smaller than the die. So if you cast a bullet, then swage, powder coat, then swage again. Bullet will be oversize on the second swage. Unless you use 2 dies.. The other consideration for high velocity pc bullets is lead hardness.. Most swage dies are designed for pure lead. If you start getting much harder than 8-10 bhn...internal die pressures become excessive and die failure will be inevitable.. Larger dies can be purchased that are designed for higher internal pressures.. Just food for thought. D

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    It's not that hard to make swaging dies if you are swaging lead without jackets. I do it without a lathe.
    I would like to get any information you can provide.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle dino View Post
    Dragonheart.. No worries... A couple of things about pc and swaging.. Always remember bullet or core must be smaller than the die. So if you cast a bullet, then swage, powder coat, then swage again. Bullet will be oversize on the second swage. Unless you use 2 dies.. The other consideration for high velocity pc bullets is lead hardness.. Most swage dies are designed for pure lead. If you start getting much harder than 8-10 bhn...internal die pressures become excessive and die failure will be inevitable.. Larger dies can be purchased that are designed for higher internal pressures.. Just food for thought. D
    Thanks for the information. Since I have not gotten into swaging I am pleased to get all the advice available as I have no need to reinvent the wheel.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    I would like to get any information you can provide.
    I will give a quick synopsis here of how I do it:
    I make my dies from 5/8-18 bolts because I do not have anything that will chuck a standard 7/8-14 die. I have made some sleeves from old broken/worn out dies that will allow me to screw the 5/8-18 bolt/die into a Lee Classic Cast press.
    The point forming die is on the top while a ram type die is in the shell holder.
    Starting with the 5/8-18 bolt chucked into table top drill press with a 5/8" chuck, I bore the cavity for the swaged boolit into the bolt.
    The cavity is bored with a drill bit that has been ground to a bullet point. I place the bullet point drill bit into an old 3/8" chuck that I salvaged from a hand drill. The base of the chuck fits nicely into a timing belt idler pulley that was salvaged from my 1999 Honda Civic.
    With the boring bit able to spin with friction from boring into the rotating bolt above it in the drill press, I can allow the boring bit and it's chuck to turn a bit while boring the hole. This keeps it cutting on center.
    When the point forming die hole is finished, I continue the hole up through the bolt with a 2MM drill bit to make the hole for the extraction pin.
    When these two operations are done, I polish the die a bit with a diamond impregnated rubber burr in a dremel type tool.
    It took 3 years to develop that process but now that I have it down it is easy.
    I use it to swage 22lr boolits. Which are far more complex and difficult to swage because of the rebated heel and hollow base. It requires a second die on the bottom and a cavity around the union where the dies meet so the inevitable bit of lead that bleeds off there has a place to go. I have made videos of the process but I make very poor and crude videos.
    These are some videos of the drill bit grinding and the die for 22lr:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pypyay5y21...20bit.mp4?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yk8mjckxd7...ntDie.MP4?dl=0
    AKA hans.pcguy

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    I will give a quick synopsis here of how I do it:
    Thank you very much as this has given me some ideas, as they say one picture............ I think your videos are quite good, better than the majority of those posted on YouTube.

    I have an old General #825 grinding attachment I use to re-sharpen drill bits. I think that changing the angle and it should work well in uniformly reshaping a drill bit. I also own a Grizzly Mini Lathe, not something I would recommend to anyone as it is more toy than lathe, but the price was right. I set lathe up with a collet chuck for more precision so I can work on round stock up to and a little over 22mm collet, which allows me to chuck 7/8" threaded stock.

    At the present my interest is in reforming 7mm & 30 caliber rifle bullets. My normal alloy is range scrap typically 11-12 Bhn, but I think I can soften it up some if that will help with the swaging process. A 3 mill polymer thickness for bullets, recommended to me by a polymer physicist, should withstand the tork of spin up. I guess the question to myself is can I make a swage die that will be accurate enough to produce a concentric bullet? Thanks again for you input.

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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