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Thread: Corbin base guard

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Corbin base guard

    30 some years ago I bought a Corbin press and a set of dies in 45 (pistol) caliber. Included was an internal base guard punch. Although I swaged a few pure lead bullets utilizing the base guard I never loaded or obviously then , never shot any either. Am wondering if anyone has experience shooting them at .45 Colt or acp (800fps) velocities. Would appreciate input as I hate cleaning lead out of a bore.

  2. #2

    I have a base guard setup for .38 caliber (.357" diameter). I swaged some pure lead 150 grain SWC with the base guards years ago for use in a 1:14" Douglass barrel at velocities between 750 - 900 f.p.s. My findings are that these bullets, lubricated with Corbin's Dip Lube, would leave leading at all the velocities cited. The leading was especially noticeable in the breech end of the barrel. It wasn't difficult to remove and did not seem to affect accuracy over a normal PPC or NRA Action Pistol match.

    I have since swaged pure lead, without the base guards, into 150 grain cup base SWC and 150 grain HBWC. These bullets were lubed with BLL. The leading is still there, but not a heavy as when using the Dip Lube. Perhaps I should try the base guard bullets again with BLL.

    I am rather disappointed in the base guard system and now prefer a cast bullet for shooting that does not require a jacket.


  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    SE Michigan
    The base guard system is a modern application of the Harvey cast bullet. You can find a write up in the
    first edition of the Lyman handbook of cast bullets. Jim Harvey designed a mold where a zinc washer
    is cast into the base of the bullet. Bullets were shot as cast, the zinc washer scrapped any lead left behind by the bullet.
    It also left a thin wash of zinc in the bore the helped prevent further leading.
    My TC Contender in 44 magnum the barrel shot clean --no leading at all. Just a few whisps of lead that went away with
    one or two passes of a brush. The draw back is bullets are pure lead not alloy like cast and mushroom when they hit anything.
    Went back to casting since lead wire was more expensive than scrap lead.

  4. #4
    Vendor Sponsor

    bullet maker 57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Hudson Valley New York
    I ran 250 45 acp 200gr base guard bullets thru a Springfield mil spec 45. There was some leading in the throat. The rest of the barrel was clean. Base guards work good if your barrel is on the tight side of the specs. My .02.
    New England Custom Bullets Inc.
    13 Maywood Rd
    Newburgh, NY 12550



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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