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Thread: Making ballistic tip cast boolits!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Making ballistic tip cast boolits!

    I was having feeding issues in my 35 whelen 7600 rifle so I figured I would have fun and try and make a rounded off tip for my hollow point cavity today. The wide, flat metplate was getting stuck on my magazine and feed ramp. I used an airsoft BB to do so. I first ran my bullet up into my 44 mag seater die with a conical seater pusher inserted along with an airsoft BB balanced on top. It widened my hollow point cavity so the airsoft BB would flow into the cavity better when melted and ran up into my conical seater again. If I didn’t expand the HP cavity first it was too small of a hole and the plastic BB would flow over the top.




    I soon learned if I didn’t use enough heat to let the BB melt long enough, and also pressing to hard to swage the plastic BB into the HP cavity, I was bending my bullet bases and also swaging my bullet to large in diameter to even fit back into my sizer die. So it took a little bit of finesse. I’m sure if I decided to make a bunch of these I would just set my adjustments on my press stroke so I could keep applying a consistent force.

    Here are my first one through six rejects.



    The two on the left were used used with more a flatter conical pusher. The other four were baked at 275 and 300° and I didn’t spread out the hollow point cavity first. You can see I squished some of the boolits as well with too much pressure.


    I then tried two with the HP cavity expanded first. The Hollow point cavity on the one in the middle and on the right was expanded with air soft BB inserted into sizing die. The airsoft BB I used to expand the HP cavity stayed stuck in the seater die so I could just keep running boolits up in into the die. I applied a light pressure each time doing so. If to much pressure was used I would bend the HP nose to one side. My alloy was pretty soft at only 7.8 BH. If I used harder alloy it might have kept my boolits a little more uniform I’m guessing.



    Then I stuck the boolits in my oven and heated at 350 degrees with an air soft BB in the expanded cavity for about 10/15 minutes. I then ran the boolits into the conical seater die again while the plastic BB was softened so it would take the shape of the conical seater and taper the nose back into place...



    I thought it looked pretty good!

    I made 13 like this and four were rejects. One got stuck in my lee sizer die because I pressed to hard to insert the melted BB causing the boolit to squish and swell in diameter. I had three more I pushed too hard on that really got squished down and out that were so large that they scraped off lead and PC when ran though my lee sizing die. I did size the boolits while they were still hot so I’m sure the PC was not cured which explains why it came off.

    Here are the three I used to much force on and then resized...



    ...and here are the ones that passed. I can see some had sizing marks above the crimp grooves from applying to much pressure when swaging the BB in place.



    I don’t know how consistent or accurate they will be but it was a fun project to try today. I’m sure it’ll solve my feeding issues but my guess is I’ll have to load them shorter.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 05-03-2020 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I love it when shooters try things "out of the box". Some things I've tried: Putting dimples on 420 gr. .40-65 boolit, and lathe turning base or nose off boolits. None of it worked.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

  3. #3
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    For me a major part of learning is following through on "I wonder if..." ideas. I figger as long as it's safe and won't hurt my guns, why not? Sometime it'll work and sometime it's a total failure, but I have fun and learn from it (My last experiment was re-priming shot shell primer battery cups with large pistol primers. Worked fine).Thanks for sharing the "Home Made Ballistic Tips" experiment...
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    As a what if thought , what if you used hot glue and before it sets use a pointy jacket bullet seating stem from something like a 30 cal die set or whatever fits the profile best to form the nose ?? Be a lot easier to work with since it's already soft outa the glue gun , but a little dab of oil on the seater stem as a release agent . Be near the same consistency as what the gummy tipped bullets are .
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  5. #5
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    If I remember correctly they offer air soft bb’s in a smaller than standard size as well, might look into it because you wouldn’t have to squish or form just simply dab of glue and drop it in.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Yeah I was thinking a smaller airsoft BB would be the ticket if they make them. Also I like the hot glue idea to. That way I wouldn’t have to use so as much force like I do to squish the BB down to swage it.

  7. #7
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    Be careful with the hot glue gun. You might burn your hand....again.

    Cutting Edge has sold just their plastic tips in the past. A friend bought some after measuring his HP and comparing it to their sizes. Fit perfectly.

    Thanks, Dinny
    Last edited by Dinny; 05-05-2020 at 08:27 PM.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I think this is a wonderful experiment!
    Things like this are what makes progress. Improving the ballistic coefficient and performance of your projectiles has always been a good thing.
    Keep after it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinny View Post
    Be careful with the hot glue gun. You might burn your hand....again.


    Thanks, Dinny

    Lol, got those blisters from digging out a tree and cranked a come-a-ong too hard with bare hands to finish pulling it out.

  10. #10
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    A steel bb might be an even better idea, smaller and will help deform the lead.
    I have danced with the devil, luckily she was stupid and didn’t hire a lawyer!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    I thought for a HP, the tip should be flexible...
    I started out with a typical household sealant, 'Big Stretch' but it shrinks over time...I had to fill the HP's from the bottom of the cavity up to the top so I used a syringe.



    Next, I'll try something like pure silicone sealant. Something that will not shrink.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Silicone will do me absolutely no good. The whole reason I did this is because I had feeding issues. I need a round tip that’s also hard to aid in sliding out of my Remington 7600 magazine and up my feeding ramp instead of having a flat metplate that jams into the front of my magazine and also the wall on the side of my feed ramp like a car that hit a brick wall.







    The gun is back at Remington because it won’t feed with jacket and ammo either. I’m sure when I get it back this round tipped cast bullets will slide right up and into the chamber where they would not before.


    The reason I did this wasn’t to aid in expansion but aid in feeding.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    My plan is to work up a load first and then see if I can duplicate the same group with these. My whelen will probably be at Remington for awhile I’m guessing so I took my Marlin 336 chambered in 35 Remington out the other day for the first time and shot just a hair over an inch group with 40 grains of Varget. I’ll have to load a few of these with grains of Varget. Also to make sure they chamber at the same length and then shoot a few groups at 100 yards and see if they shoot just as tight.


    I only have had one of those tips pop out so far and had to super glue it in place. The rest of them are still bonded in lace yet pretty solid from melt and swage.


    I’ll have to try and swage the daisy BBs and see if the “cold” boolots swage with a nice smooth fit with no edges to get caught when feeding between the BB and HP metplate edge. Itwould save reheating the lead. I’m sure the heat softened boolots aiding in expansion during the swaging process. The .177 cal BBs are smaller so the lead just might swage right up to it.




    I’m glad I saved these purple boolits.... I actually painted them purple because the hollowpoint cavities are oval shaped. I dropped them out of the mold too hot and they also were sticking which probably aided in the oval holes when releasing. Doesn’t make any difference when I’m swaging something into them.


    I just remembered this is a different alloy versus the groups I shot above. With this alloy the best I did was 2 inches and 100 yards in my 336. I’ll use that load and try it.


    I also have a pair of 10 round aftermarket USA metal magazines coming from member here to try and modify the feed lips and ramps. So one way or another i’m sure I’ll get the 35 whelen 7600 remington to feed these.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 05-07-2020 at 09:15 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    cool idea --- never thought of it--will try my own

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I read an article (1980s Guns and Ammo?) where a guy used plastic pointed plugs in his hollow points. The plugs were used for plugging holes on snow skis when moving bindings. Apparently, they were cheap and about 4.1MM according to the site I just checked, $5.95/100 in various colors. When used, the plastic opens up the HP and the pictures showed good controlled expansion.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I saw and read about the ski plugs before I tried this venture. I had some BBs on hand and don’t ski so I went the BB route.

    In my case I need to melt and swage down for smooth even flow so I going to loose the nice shape of the ski plug point anyways.


    If I had something to turn The bottoms of the ski plugs so the slid in flush and flared out like a nose cone I’d be set.


    I’ve been turkey hunting this week so I haven’t had a chance to try a swage a .177 steel BB yet. I’ll post of pic if it works. If it does it will be like giant gamo rocket pellet.


    The reason I tried this is my metplate is getting hung up on more than one of my rifle magazine and also the feed ramps.


    You can see my hp boolit tips have been swaged (tapered) down to the shape of the seater plug but in the process flattened the complete boolit down to a larger diameter. I’m wondering if a hotter heat to melt the BB so it’s softer might help? Maybe a different seater plug angle as well. I was hoping the plastic would take shape and even flow flow down to the lead but instead the lead tip was swaged and deformed the boolit diameters so I had to resize them again. I’m sure after resizing they will fly pretty true but probably as not as consistent because I didn’t have my seating die set and just kept pushing down till the boolits looked good to the eye. If they fly descent I’ll have to set my die up to apply even pressures to all of them while seating these. Also not apply to much pressure to increase the boolit diameters as a I did on a a few of the test subjects.






    I’m wondering if more heat applied to the Airsoft BB might eliminate that round “clown nose” on the tip. I was hoping for a smoother look and flow. I’m sure they will do what I intended them to do they way they are but I’d like to figure out how to make them even better. A smaller diameter air soft BB is probably going to be the answer.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 05-09-2020 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Spelling

  17. #17
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    The next smaller size airsoft is 4.5mm I'm assuming your using the 6mm size now ?
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I used the ones I bought from Smoke with my PC . Don’t know what size they are.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I have 2 Lee molds that are HP, a C358-158 SWCHP. and a 450-200 HP which is actually a tapered conical for an 1858 Remington copy. Fortunately, it casts fat a sizes to 452 no problem. Both HP pins are a perfect fit for a .177 BB, which I have used. Impact shoves the BB into the HP for excellent expansion. Curiously, the HP also fits a small pistol primer. I never tried it because exploding ammo is no bueno.

    I hope the BB works for your feeding problem. Regarding the ski plugs, when the article was written the bases were tapered and the points followed the contour of the boolit ogive. I did not find that style in my search yesterday. Kind of makes me want to rent some time with a 3D plastic printer owned by the school district. However, I don't have any HP rifle molds. I do have a Lee 309-150 RF that feeds well in my M1A, AR 10, 03A3, Mossberg Scout, and AR15 300 BO. However, most of the time, I load an NOE 309-150 3R SP and just shoot tin cans. The 150 RF did quite well accuracy wise, I just prefer the 150 SP.

    After reading all the comments I would love something in 35 caliber. 30 years ago, I wanted a 35 Whelen badly. I have an old Mauser that cries out for a re-barrel, and the Wife has an old Mauser that had been re-barreled in 243 W, not really usable for the type of shooting I would prefer for Elk, something the wife wants to do
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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