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Thread: Sharing the SWAGING knowledge - Visitors

  1. #1
    I'm A Honcho!

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    East and South of you

    Sharing the SWAGING knowledge - Visitors

    I got an email a week or so ago, from one of the CB members, baddoglowder. He lives in KY, but has parents just 20 minutes away from me. He was visiting them for a couple of weeks, and was intrigued with my Swaging posts, and hoped to be able to come by and see my swaging operation first hand. We managed to arrange for a get together, and did that yesterday.

    baddoglowder, whose first name is Brian, has already made a significant investment in swaging equipment, including one of Corbin's hydraulic swaging machines. He also has a LOT of tooling, which he's just starting to figure out.

    By comparison, my RockChucker press with BT Sniper's tools is a hobby set up. His is a full blown manufacturing arrangement. He's not sure he wants to do the Class 6 license, and try to sell his bullets commercially. Even though MY OWN volumes are significant (thousands and thousands), my swaging is a hobby, and all bullets are used in my own cartridge assembly.

    I was able, however, to share a bunch of my learning curve experience with the BT Sniper tools (some of his tools were made by BT Sniper, albeit for the Walnut Hill press.)
    1) My recipe for my swaging lube
    2) Fine tuning of the set up of the point forming dies to get the nose of the bullet as closed as possible.
    3) The virtues of casting cores vs extruding them (He's currently extruding core sticks)
    4) Showed him my RockChucker press modifications (grade 8 pivot pin, threaded ram, handle extension, etc)
    5) Showed him a subtle way to apply the swaging lube to brass
    6) Explained the importance of keeping swaging tools free of excess swaging lube, and free of dirt and debris
    7) Reviewed the downsides of trying to swage too fast

    We also discussed boolit casting and the history of reloading.

    It was a very nice meeting of a fellow CB member, and I am sure we will stay in touch. When he left, he had a zip lock bag full of swaged bullet samples for reference.

    If anyone else is ever down in the Daytona area, I'd be equally delighted to show you the swaging setup that I have.

    I have a number of tools, and currently produce:
    * 55 grain .224" bullets from 22 LR brass
    * 150 grain and 168 grain .308" bullets from 5.7 X 28 FN brass
    * 380 auto and 9mm sized bullets from 223 Rem brass
    * .40 caliber bullets from 9mm Luger brass
    * .44 caliber bullets from .40 S&W brass
    * .45 caliber bullets from .40 S&W brass
    * .500 caliber bullets from 45 ACP brass

    NRA Life Member
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

    Author of a book on reloading

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I would appreciate the opportunity to share a bit of shop time with you Duke should I visit the Daytona area. It's been a number of years since I have been to Florida. Sounds like you all had a good visit and it's always nice to share and learn from and with others.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Time Killer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Hey Duke I would like to come by one day. I am up in North Florida. Sounds like a good day trip one weekend for me.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Pee Wee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Debary, Florida Volusia County
    Good job Duke👍

  5. #5
    What do you have from BT that's made for your Walnut Hill?

  6. #6
    I actually purchased his pneumatic .22lr to 223 jacket maker . It's worked great and it included the die that irons out the lr case to use as a jacket ...saves much time and all I had to add was a small compressor to power it . It works off of around 75lbs of pressure . Just use a lot of Swaging lube and you can really punch the out .
    I also have a die from him that allows me to make the hollow point XTP bullet ,though I hadn't used it a great deal yet .
    It's taken a while to add equipment and I've been also been learning how to operate a lathe trying my hand at dies eventually . It took a couple months to learn its basic operation , I was stumped on threading last winter . Cold weather will be coming to Ky so I will have more time to give it a whirl again soon

  7. #7
    I want to say think you again for letting me stop by . I had a great time and learned a great deal . There are a lot of tricks to this hobby that are real time savers . There are various ways to make bullets ,some more complicated ,some with more basic types of tooling , some that can be time savers. And some that will just plan save you money . It's basically just a choice in how fancy you want to be and the speed you want to make them . There are other variables involved too , but I initially become interested in making my own bullets just to shoot more for less money and to become more self sufficient . Then the bug caught and next came the question of just what can be done ,this is the next step that starts getting more expensive ,as some of you on here know well ,examples might be heavier jackets ,making your own jackets from strip and tubing ,then came tool upgrades to do it easier and faster . Plus I'm one of the tool guys ,love new tools and making things with them ! Plus I got interested in the Corbin CHP-1 because I have some back and neck problems that using a auto press would make things easier ,same goes for the BT Sniper pneumatic 22lr to .223 jacket maker . Although I still like to make them by hand and probably always will for short runs . But the automation is great ,really takes the work out of it especially using when dealing with thicker jacket and making you own lead wire is a real plus for a almost impossible task with a hand press ,that Duke also agreed .
    If I might suggest anything that I've learned so far from Swaging or from life in general , it would be to take time to see how others are accomplishing the same goal as it is well worth it to step back and take another persons view once in awhile to see how they achieve basically the same thing . You might just grab a few ideas of your own from it !
    It's also nice to know that there are really nice people that are willing to help a stranger out . I called Duke up out of the clear blue ski not knowing what his response would be to a question like mine - asking to come into his shop and watch what took him yrs to figure out . Plus the Daytona area is a big place and I'm from several states away .
    I soon found out that Duke is a very knowledgeable fellow who took a couple hours out of his busy day to show me the ropes of how he does it and even gave me some samples to take home to compare . What a super guy ! I couldn't have asked to meet someone nicer or willing to share ideas . I could have spent a lot more time talking and the fun parties he has in chain Swaging - a assembly line ,if you will . It would not be hard to make a lot of bullets if you can get several guys together doing stages of the process . Great idea if you know others who need to make bullets.
    Anyhow I just wanted to say thanks again for taking the time to let me stop by as well as for all you have contributed to cast boolits . It's really hard to say how many people guys like Duke on here have helped get started by posting ideas and pics on this site !

  8. #8
    Rayraywolf , I also believe that Bt mentioned he could make his dies work with the walnut hill press but you would need to ask him directly .
    Being that I already have the pneumatic jacket maker and it was a pretty good outlay of cash ,plus I believe that he made them in limited quantities , I could probably hook you up with all the .22lr to .223 jacket you could ever need .I'm sure we could work out something or there was a few guys on here that have made their own if your handy that way and want a project .

  9. #9
    baddoglowder, I have a 22lr to 223 jacket die set for my Walnut Hill press. But I have not purchased the 223 bullet making dies. I'm saving my pennies for it though. There are about $550 from RCE.

  10. #10
    Below is the link I was referring too , if anyone is interested I can say they work well for what it was designed for .

  11. #11
    I'm A Honcho!

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    East and South of you
    Sorry for my absence from the forum for the past week. On Thursday, I came down with some abdominal distress that had be MIA. I'm back on the mend, and delighted that my report of visitors gets the attention that it did. Everyone and anyone associated with our wonderful CastBoolits forum is always welcome at my home to see any of my reloading setup, including swaging.

    BTW, over the past couple of days, I have been in phone discussion with BrassMagnet, who along with rmatchell, is gearing up to do some serious swaging. They are building a pneumatic derimming station, more similar to the one that I made:

    That machine has served me well, and has derimmed many tens of thousands of brass 22 cases.
    However, since also adding the .308" bullets made from 5.7 X 28 FN brass (which needs one diameter reduction step), I have wanted to also be able to run that on the same machine.

    Well, the 3.25" diameter piston on that original ram wasn't ooomph enough to push the 5.7's. So, after a LOT of searching, I finally found a 5" diameter piston ram, and that should have everything we need to do both the 22's and the 5.7's. Just passing that along for anyone in a similar state of build.

    No doubt, BT Sniper makes first class products, and his derimming machine is no exception. However, for some of you, it's more about making things yourselves. Heck, some of you even make your own point forming tools. And, towards that end, I am happy to share what I know, what I have learned, and some of the learning curve I have been through.

    Let me know if any of you are in the Daytona area of Florida. Happy to arrange to show you the swaging ropes.

    NRA Life Member
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

    Author of a book on reloading

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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