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Thread: Ball swaging die

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Hdskip's Avatar
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    Ball swaging die

    This is a project I made years ago. it is a swaging die for a .45 cal round ball. A pre cut slug was placed in the cavity then the die was closed as far as possible. The die was struck with a heavy soft faced mallet. A relief was around the ball cavity to allow some place for the flash to go. The ball was removed and pressed through a flash removal die. the process was somewhat labor intensive. It produced a beautiful ball.
    Testing was done using cast balls vs. swaged balls. There was no noticeable difference in accuracy from my left handed flint lock Tennessee rifle. Both types of balls shot to same point of impact. After shooting all balls produced I felt that cast was the easier way to go.
    The die was made from O-1 tool steel and hardened to about 56 Rc if my memory serves me right. The die also serves as a cutter to cut slugs to proper length by pivoting on one of the pins. It was a worth while experiment even though it is seldom used any more.


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    dondiego's Avatar
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    Looks like an arbor press could be employed to increase productivity. Cool project.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub Hdskip's Avatar
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    I tried the arbor press but the impact type extrusion seemed to work more efficiently. I never got an opportunity to try a hydraulic press which I think would have worked very well.
    Last edited by Hdskip; 09-07-2018 at 10:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Would you make one for a .490 diameter round ball possibly? Please.
    John

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub Hdskip's Avatar
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    John,
    I'm now retired and do not have access to the equipment to accomplish what you ask. I have a mill and a very small lathe and no access to heat treating and surface grinders. Could it be done? Yes but time and effort would make the cost prohibitive. Best I could do would be part with this one. but that would not solve your need for one for a .490 though.
    Nevertheless if anyone has an interest in this one it could easily find it's way to a new home. I don't use it anymore and it truely is a nice piece of equipment. I don't mean to brag but it was done correctly.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good evening
    That was very interesting ! Nice work .
    I do wonder what a "chunk gun" could do with a perfect RB ?? That would be a very good test platform to determine whether your work was indeed "worth the effort". I do not have a chunk gun and my only caliber .50 Green Mountain barrel has not been mounted for near 20 years. That flinter (a swap barrel) has the caliber .36 mounted which is my small game muzzle hunter.
    Mike in ILLinois
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Fantastic craftsmanship as always, Gary.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missionary5155 View Post
    Good evening
    That was very interesting ! Nice work .
    I do wonder what a "chunk gun" could do with a perfect RB ?? That would be a very good test platform to determine whether your work was indeed "worth the effort". I do not have a chunk gun and my only caliber .50 Green Mountain barrel has not been mounted for near 20 years. That flinter (a swap barrel) has the caliber .36 mounted which is my small game muzzle hunter.
    Mike in ILLinois
    The issue is that perfectly round ball is only in that state until it's deformed when you load it . And then it's deformed again from the opposite end when it's launched back out the barrel . Yes it's still a mostly round shape but it is not in the original perfect form .
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

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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