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Thread: Is There Anyone Reforming Cast/Powder Coated Bullets?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Is There Anyone Reforming Cast/Powder Coated Bullets?

    I know "Traffer" has made dies to swage/reform bullets and I am wondering how many others have or are doing this also?

    I believe the path to full power rifle accuracy at distance for cast bullets is to make them concentric. I assume most know a cast bullet is not concentric (lopsided) when it come out of a mold, regardless of the mold, user or technique. As far as I can see swaging/reforming a cast bullet in a concentric die should, realine the bullet, making it concentric, which should make a huge impact on accuracy, or at least that is my supposition. To date I know of no one that has done this and posted the before and after results.

    So is anyone making their own dies to reform bullets and have bonafide positive results? i am in the start up process and any suggestions or help would be very much appreciated. Possibly a number of others may be interested also?

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    Is There Anyone Reforming Cast/Powder Coated Bullets?

    I can’t speak to the reforming query, but will say I am doubtful as to the notion that modern bullet molds are not concentric enough for the type of accuracy you’re after. Besides, if tight tolerances for the sake of accuracy are paramount to your needs, jacketed would seem the better choice.
    R/Griff

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    I think you would benefit from doing a search on "RPM Threshold" and reading those posts. Concentricity is just one factor. I don't know how powder coating helps. You can push velocities up to pretty close to 3000 fps without leading being a problem with a gas check, the right lube and good bullet fit. At those velocities a cast bullet the bullet is not strong enough to handle the twist and spin, they get bent out of shape. Swaging lead makes is softer, not a helpful thing.

    Tim
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    I've been swaging PC'd lead bullets since about 30 minutes after I started PC'ing. Results are another matter. If I take care in casting and culling, I generally get the same accuracy from cast as I do with meticulously swaged lead bullets. Swaging allows for more experimentation with designs and weights than casting really does (at least easily). I do both because it's a hobby and I enjoy it.
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  5. #5
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    Dragonheart:

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    I cast cores, squeeze them to weight, powder coat them and then swage them to shape with my 22 caliber point forming die.
    In the photo is the core swaged to weight, then it is powder coated and then swaged into a 70 grain 0.224 dia slug. There is also a 60 grain slug set in the photo.
    They work great in my 223 AR15.

    Lafaun
    Just staying at home and playing with multi-color boolits.

  6. #6
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    I have swaged a lot of cast boolits using a Swag-o-matic to uniform them and to change shapes. I have not yet tried swaging a PC boolit, but I probably will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alfloyd View Post
    Dragonheart:

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ID:	270576

    I cast cores, squeeze them to weight, powder coat them and then swage them to shape with my 22 caliber point forming die.
    In the photo is the core swaged to weight, then it is powder coated and then swaged into a 70 grain 0.224 dia slug. There is also a 60 grain slug set in the photo.
    They work great in my 223 AR15.

    Lafaun
    Very interesting, did you make your own dies? Have you been able to get a flat base or do you have alloy squeeze out? Have you checked them for concentricity? Are you loading full power and what kind of groups are you getting at 100+ yards.

    Have you reformed other calibers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I have swaged a lot of cast boolits using a Swag-o-matic to uniform them and to change shapes. I have not yet tried swaging a PC boolit, but I probably will.
    I've done a lot of this to make RN bullets into SWC-HP bullets. As long as the alloy is soft enough, it works very well, and makes a mean looking bullet.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfloyd View Post
    Dragonheart:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1977.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	51.8 KB 
ID:	270576

    I cast cores, squeeze them to weight, powder coat them and then swage them to shape with my 22 caliber point forming die.
    In the photo is the core swaged to weight, then it is powder coated and then swaged into a 70 grain 0.224 dia slug. There is also a 60 grain slug set in the photo.
    They work great in my 223 AR15.

    Lafaun
    Very interesting, did you make your own dies? Have you been able to get a flat base or do you have alloy squeeze out? Have you checked them for concentricity? Are you loading full power and what kind of groups are you getting at 100+ yards.

    Have you reformed other calibers? Thanks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangitgriff View Post
    I can’t speak to the reforming query, but will say I am doubtful as to the notion that modern bullet molds are not concentric enough for the type of accuracy you’re after. Besides, if tight tolerances for the sake of accuracy are paramount to your needs, jacketed would seem the better choice.
    R/Griff
    You are absolutely correct modern bullets molds are about as perfect as it gets, but no more perfect than molds made by H&G, Saeco, etc. that are older than me and I am 72. But perfection in cutting the bullet cavities has nothing to do with the thermal dynamics of the cooling of the alloy. It is this cooling that alters the shape of a bullet, as well as some tolerance in the mold to allow the operation of the mold.

    If you put a cast bullet on a concentricity scale you can quickly see the bullet is not round. The bullet bands can be sized to make them round, but the remainder of the bullet remains non-concentric. When fired the rifling imparts a stabilizing spin, but a lopsided bullet at some point is going to start to wobble and once the wobble starts it only gets worse. This is the reason full power cast bullets can exhibit very good accuracy at 50 yards, but at a 100 look more like a pattern than a group.

    You are also correct about requiring a jacket for full power loads. This is reason I was asking about powder coated bullets. The polymer if properly applied and cured can form a polymer jacket capable of withstanding the pressure and torque spin up full power loads.

    The limiting factor is not the polymer, it is concentricity, the inherent flaw on all cast bullets. I believe swaging to realign the bullet is the answer to the concentricity problem. I am just wondering how many others are trying this route so we might share information.

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    Thanks for explaining in more detail, I appreciate that. Sounds like what you need is a tiny little bullet lathe to spin the cast bullets and make them concentric. The shavings can be saved for the pot! Shouldn’t have to take so much off that a few coats of powder won’t bring the diameter to the required bore size.
    I think this idea has legs.

  12. #12
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    No, I did not make my own point forming dies.
    They are commercial made ones.
    The bases are flat and no bleed by if the punch is tight.
    100 yard loads are as good as any other slug that I shoot.

    Lafaun
    Just staying at home and playing with multi-color boolits.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    You are absolutely correct modern bullets molds are about as perfect as it gets, but no more perfect than molds made by H&G, Saeco, etc. that are older than me and I am 72. But perfection in cutting the bullet caviput a cast bulleties has nothing to do with the thermal dynamics of the cooling of the alloy. It is this cooling that alters the shape of a bullet, as well as some tolerance in the mold to allow the operation of the mold.

    If you put a bullet on a concentricity scale you can quickly see the bullet is not round. The bullet bands can be sized to make them round, but the remainder of the bullet remains non-concentric. When fired the rifling imparts a stabilizing spin, but a lopsided bullet at some point is going to start to wobble and once the wobble starts it only gets worse. This is the reason full power cast bullets can exhibit very good accuracy at 50 yards, but at a 100 look more like a pattern than a group.

    You are also correct about requiring a jacket for full power loads. This is reason I was asking about powder coated bullets. The polymer if properly applied and cured can form a polymer jacket capable of withstanding the pressure and torque spin up full power loads.

    The limiting factor is not the polymer, it is concentricity, the inherent flaw on all cast bullets. I believe swaging to realign the bullet is the answer to the concentricity problem. I am just wondering how many others are trying this route so we might share information.
    When you say "put a bullet on a concentricity scale you can quickly see the bullet is not round" do you mean measure the runout? Often times a bullet might be out of round but it is balanced with the high spots being 180 degrees from each other. Many people shoot nice groups at 100 yards with cast bullets. I shot three 5 shot groups under an inch two weeks ago and only one of the 8 groups I shot was more than 2 inches. Cast bullets will not out perform jacket bullets made with precision equipment but you don't have to settle for weak loads or pattern sized groups. If you want high power and small groups with cast bullets you need to build a cast bullet rifle. You can't beat jacketed bullets but you can get a high level of performance.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

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    i dont reform powdered bullets but i reform either cast or swagged ones. ususally i can reform a lead 250 grain bullet with grease into an smooth sided hollow based bullet. makes it perfect for a paperpatched bullet for a thomson hawken 45 cal. i also turn swagged 450 grain pure lead 451 daim into 50 cal cupped base swagged bullet. all you need is the tools to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    When you say "put a bullet on a concentricity scale you can quickly see the bullet is not round" do you mean measure the runout? Often times a bullet might be out of round but it is balanced with the high spots being 180 degrees from each other. Many people shoot nice groups at 100 yards with cast bullets. I shot three 5 shot groups under an inch two weeks ago and only one of the 8 groups I shot was more than 2 inches. Cast bullets will not out perform jacket bullets made with precision equipment but you don't have to settle for weak loads or pattern sized groups. If you want high power and small groups with cast bullets you need to build a cast bullet rifle. You can't beat jacketed bullets but you can get a high level of performance.

    Tim
    Yes, in the machinist world it would be called runout, but runout, non-concentric mean lobsided- one side lower or smaller than the other.

    You can get reasonable accuracy out to 100 yards by lowering the velocity. but for long range accuracy you need more speed.

  16. #16
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    It sounds like you've got a hypothesis, and you're looking for supporting evidence. Since it doesn't seem that folks have been able to give it to you. It sounds like a good excuse to do some experimenting.

    My personal experience doesn't support your theory, but I stopped testing at 400 yards, as that was the longest convenient range I had at the time, and I admit I'm not as good a shot as many. My experience was my own, and certainly not scientific enough to warrant a broader conclusion.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoZombies View Post
    It sounds like you've got a hypothesis, and you're looking for supporting evidence. Since it doesn't seem that folks have been able to give it to you. It sounds like a good excuse to do some experimenting.

    My personal experience doesn't support your theory, but I stopped testing at 400 yards, as that was the longest convenient range I had at the time, and I admit I'm not as good a shot as many. My experience was my own, and certainly not scientific enough to warrant a broader conclusion.
    I and I think a lot of others would like to hear specific input as to what you have done.

  18. #18
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    I have been powdercoating slightly undersized cast bullets and swaging them up in BTSnipers point forming dies for some time. I diddnt know it was a big deal. Works great!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatpuppet View Post
    I have been powdercoating slightly undersized cast bullets and swaging them up in BTSnipers point forming dies for some time. I diddnt know it was a big deal. Works great!!!!!

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    You sir are doing exactly what I believe is the answer to making cast bullets rival commercial copper jacketed bullets in speed & accuracy. I know a full power reformed PC borerider design bullet can hold a MOA passed 300 yards. What I believe is a spitzer design bullet, which is a better long range design for modern firearms has the potential to do as well if not better. As far as bullet casting, is not the final goal to be able to economically produce bullets at home that perform as good as you can buy?

  20. #20
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    Well I made my first attempt at making a swagging die. The bullet came out concentric, but unfortunately .002" over size, so a failure this go round. It was a learning experience, the next attempt I an going for a .224" die, that way if I fail I can go for the next size up.

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