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Thread: Canning wax bullets?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy


    doghawg's Avatar
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    Canning wax bullets?

    I was thinking about using wax bullets as a squirrel deterrent on wifey's suet bird feeders. I don't want to kill the little buggers and I'm thinking about canning wax bullets in a .38 spl. Maybe set an unprimed case with drilled out flash hole in about 1/2" of melted canning wax. Could coat exterior of case mouth in something to keep wax from sticking...then after cooling prime with magnum primer?

    BUT...before I attempt to reinvent the wheel....has anyone attempted such a feat before? Could I hope for minute of squirrel accuracy at 30 feet?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    We used to play around with magnum primers in .38Spec.
    Wax would work, we just jammed the case down on a 1/2" or so thick bar of soap like a cookie cutter.

    There's a thread up now that talks about converting cases to take a 209 shotgun primer.
    It'll make a wax boolit zip right on along.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    We used to play around with magnum primers in .38Spec.
    Wax would work, we just jammed the case down on a 1/2" or so thick bar of soap like a cookie cutter.

    There's a thread up now that talks about converting cases to take a 209 shotgun primer.
    It'll make a wax boolit zip right on along.
    Post up on cast boolits? This I gotta see.

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    I’ve cast boolet using hot glue works real for targets. As far as a squirrel deterrent, I seriously doubt there effectiveness! I’ve tried everything from slingshots to electric cattle fence! It has been my experience that if a tree rat manages to leave the seen of its crime it’ll be back! My preferred method of deterring tree rats is a pellet gun administered to its furry little head! It’s the only thing I’ve found effective! GOOD LUCK
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I work with a guy who enlarges/drills the primer holes of .38 special cases. He then uses primers to shoot ear plugs. This is on my list of things to try.
    JM

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Airsoft.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I have made wax bullets buy pouring melted wax in cases, then priming. It didn't work to well. Pushing case through a block of canning wax worked a lot better but all I used was standard primers. I had some factory wax 38/357 bullets that were made of some kind of hard red wax that worked good. They were exceptionally good out of 35Rem for yard pests and out of K38 at 10' they were very accurate. I think they are for Fast Draw type competitions but never have seen them for sale.

    I found something better for yard pests in 410. A standard nipple for table lamps, avaible at most HWD stores will fit tightly in 410 shell. The inside OD is perfect size for pencil erasers. They are reusable, just use a punch to deprime and push another eraser to bottom. They will shoot through both sides of cardboard box. 3" size is the best.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Last Winter, for a guy I know who asked about something to use in his garage in order to practice with a .380 he had just bought, I just melted some candles in a small pan & then put in the reefer icebox to cool a short time so the wax was starting to set up but not yet hard as completely cooled.( I did not time it, just checked on it every few minutes)\
    Then taking some regular cases that I drilled out the primer flash-holes to 1/8", I pushed the mouths of the cases into the wax, ( this batch was approx1/4-3/8ths inch thick) & let them sit in the wax while it cooled down.
    After the wax cooled hard I pushed the cases thru the wax "cake" a little bit, then turned them a little bit & with drew them from the wax.
    This made the cases have the wax boolits int the case a reasonable depth so they would not fall out if handled.
    I then primed them using a Lee hand primer set up, using regular SPP, but I think even a bench mount or press ram type would have worked just as well.
    The wax boolits did not seem to push out from any air pressure, but they may have a little bit; it just did not seem like it to me that if they did it was not too much.
    I then gave them to him to try out.
    The only info I got from his shooting them was that he said they worked fine for him & his girlfriend shooting at upside down Solo cups at around 15ft, or so, he guessed, and the only drawback was have to rack the slide each time.

    I have not used them myself, but that is how I made them for Joe & he seemed satisfied.

    I supposed one could do the process using pre primed cases into the wax when it was getting hard, but I am not sure that the air pressure created would push the wax boolits out of the cases after the got hard & some time passed.

    That is all I can offer to try to give suggestions. I hope it was of some help.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I have a real old Lyman manual that has an article on doing this and had a recipe for making the bullets using wax and water pump grease (is that even still a thing?). They recommended melting it into an old cake pan so it was a half inch thick, letting it cool, pushing unprimed cases into it to seat the "bullets" and then priming last. Also recommended drilling out primer flash holes.

    I would think the slabs of paraffin wax you can buy at the grocery store would work fine.

  10. #10
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    Try these http://gunfighter.com/waxbullets/ I bought some in S&S a while back and they have been fun to play with though I have spent very little time with them. Might avoid a lot of aggravation for you.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    you could also use the plastic bullets they make, painted orange they could be recovered and reused.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I just push the case mouth into a bar of IVORY SOAP. BTW. IVORY is a very hard soap, works fine.

  13. #13
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    I first learned about shooting wax boolits as an 18 year old from reading gun magazines, in 1967. I got a new Super Blackhawk the following year and snitched a bar of mom's canning paraffin, took a couple of 44 mag cases and drilled the flashholes then proceeded to have a literal blast plinking at paper targets in the basement.

    Today I have an airsoft pistol, a Dasiy BB pistol and a Crossman CO2 pistol. But wax bullets remain my favorite for basement or garage plinking.

    A Lyman wax boolit set from 1960, all the tools needed, a bar of wax and clearly written, illustrated instructions.

    Plink On,
    Ken


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  14. #14
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    As far as I know the quick draw guys used wax bullets, might try a search using quick draw loads as a query.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Or you can get a powered or spring loaded bird feeder and sit back and watch the fun. At least until it's outlawed by peta, anyway.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3Ut-BA6WW4

  16. #16
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    Sure do appreciate the responses so far. I'm not delusional enough to think I had an original idea here but I'm surprised how many of you have been down this trail. Keep 'em coming.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Drm50

    Those red wax bullets were called "Red Jets" and were made by CCI. IIRC, it was a wax/plastic fiber bullet. I used to load them over a healthy charge of Bullseye in my 357 Ruger blackhawk. I still have some. They made them in 30,38,44 and 45 I believe

    doghawg---if you could find some, they would work great

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    doghawg -- Last Spring I acquired a .45 Colt Ruger New Vaquero, and the water, water, and more water kept both ranges closed (for handgun shooting). For "kicks and giggles" I spent $26.00 to get over 1,000 wax bullets in the mail, with super-quick delivery. I did a bit of reading, and I found two ways to "go": To wit, drill the flash hole in the case a bit larger, and use regular primers; OR, one can buy brass with enlarged primer pockets where one drops in a 209 shotgun primer. I use NO powder, having magic-markered 50 cases who's flash holes I enlarged. An interesting note is one loads wax bullets kind of reversed compared with normal loading. E.g, you insert the wax bullet first -- then, prime the case. (If you go the other way, the air behind bullet gets compressed, and pushes wax bullet back out.) To load the bullets, you can do it by hand, but I turned some aluminum on my Unimat lathe to make followers for a Lee Hand Loader which works great to ensure each bullet is same depth.
    At camp, my targets -- on a corrugated cardboard box -- prove remarkable accuracy , and most times the wax bullet will go through both the paper target + front cardboard, with a good percentage of the time going through the box back as well. I did quite a bit of reading re making one's own wax bullets, but got a wee apprehensive re the FIRE hazards involved, and... again at $26.00 per thousand, reckoned buying ready made being the way to go.
    I "started" NOT to be a wanna-be-cowboy or whatever -- just wanting to be able to shoot my new to me revolver until outdoors dried up. But... you want to know something? Shooting the wax bullets surely is a lot of fun. Quiet; no recoil; and... quite affordable to shoot lots!
    geo

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I have a older handloading book that discusses it in detail and a old friend of mine wanted me to buy his sp101 years ago with it he included his wax bullets and his cci red and black I believe plastic bullets , those plastic with a primer would put a heck of a dent in osb the wax was fun to lay in bed and shoot the brick fireplace across the room

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It'll be fun, but nothing short of capital punishment will keep them from coming back. They'll come back on 3 legs or with no tail or missing an ear.
    But.... have fun.
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

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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