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Thread: Swage 240-gr .44 Mag Jacketed Bullets from .40 S&W Brass Using 7x57mm Mauser Die

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Swage 240-gr .44 Mag Jacketed Bullets from .40 S&W Brass Using 7x57mm Mauser Die

    I may have posted this before, but this process works, and combines several skills you already have to produce jacketed 240-grain .44 Remington Mag bullets from pure lead 40 caliber slugs and .40 S&W spent brass.

    Watch Mannyca's video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC2Ad3k3kgg for exact procedure.

    I've done this and it works. My old Rock Chucker handled the stress just fine.

    Here's a summary board I made showing the process:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Manny has moved his channel to https://www.bitchute.com/channel/eNHKe2S3e6YZ/

    Just be very sure to anneal the .40 S&W brass so it's really soft.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
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    Liberty1776, thank you about the input: very tempting trick!
    I could try to feed my S&W 29s and maybe my .444 lever.
    I have several 8Maus. dies, a RCBS Ammomaster, .429 and .430 Lee Bullet Sizing dies at hand.
    at my local range I can scrounge some .40 spent case.
    at the end, it seems I should only fork some cash to order a Lee .40S&W mold_

    I've never done this, never swaged, therefore forgive my questions as comin'from a plain newbie:
    can I use Imperial Sizing Wax as lube in this job ?
    can I use swaged soft lead .41 bullets, (intended for use in 57 S&W, offered free by a buddy) after removing the lube, instead of .40 cal. slugs ?
    can 10Auto cases be used to be shortened instead of .40 S&W ?
    thanks for any answer...
    Last edited by wilecoyote; 06-15-2021 at 01:39 AM.
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilecoyote View Post
    Liberty1776, thank you about the input: very tempting trick:
    I could try to feed my S&W 29 and maybe my .444 lever.
    I have several 8Maus. dies, a RCBS Ammomaster, .429 and .430 Lee Bullet Sizing dies at hand.
    at my local range I can scrounge some spent case.
    at the end, it seems I should only fork some cash to order a Lee .40S&W mold_

    I've never done this, therefore forgive my questions as comin'from a plain newbie:
    can I use Imperial Sizing Wax as lube in this job ?
    can I use swaged soft lead .41 bullets, (intended for use in m.57 S&W, offered free by a buddy) instead of .40 cal. slugs ?
    can 10Auto cases be used instead of .40 S&W ?
    thanks for any answer...
    If you watch MannyCA's video, he offers several variations as to rifle dies, but recommended the 7x57 Mauser. When I made these bullets, I didn't have the components, but found a very reasonably priced used 7x57 Mauser die at my local gun shop. In those days (early 2019 -- seems so long ago), Lee 401-175-SWC bullet molds were $20 at Amazon, too, so I bought one online. Now, they are "unavailable."

    I'm betting the Lee .41 slug (.401 bullet diameter) is designed for the Model 57 .41 Mag. It should work, because you are jamming that lead into the case as a lead core. The ram is forcing the soft lead to conform. Point is to end up with consistent weight bullets around 240 grains. Do your .41 slugs weigh around 175 grains? The point is to crush the lead into the case until the lead is flush with the mouth of the .40 case (or 10mm Auto) that has been shortened to .700 inch. The first action also reduces the .40 shell's rim to a boat tail so it never touches or harms the barrel and makes it easy to load into the .44 Mag shell. Then you reverse the bullet in the same setup, relube, and ram it in again. This puts a chamfer on what will be the front and pushes some lead out to form a conical softpoint.

    10mm Auto cases should work -- you need to cut them down to .700 inch anyway. You'd simply be trimming off more brass. 10mm brass is way harder to come by than .40S&W in my area. I see 10mm every once in a while at the range and pick them up. But .40S&W used to be all over the place.

    Just be sure to anneal the brass until they are soft. You should be able to distort the case mouth into an oval with your fingers. Manny says run them through a self-cleaning cycle in your wife's oven. They should reach 750-deg F, then slow cool.

    The lube is simply so you don't get the swaged brass stuck in the steel rifle die. Your Imperial Sizing Wax should work. Don't skimp. I used a concoction of lanolin, beeswax and petroleum jelly melted together, as I recall. Very gooey. Never had a stuck case, though.

    I shot them in my .44 Mag Marlin lever action.

    Funniest thing: by sheer coincidence, I was visiting my local gun shop one day (where I bought the Mauser die) and a customer was in there holding the star-shaped brass from one of my rounds that I had test-shot into the embankment at the local outdoor range. He was asking the owners how this weird piece of brass had been turned into a bullet. Somehow, he had found it at the range. I just happened to come into the shop, ran home, and showed him my bullet board (the picture above) and explained him the process.

    It's a convoluted process, but entirely possible. The bullets may not be the most accurate because their weights vary a bit, but with that brass jacket and soft nose, they can go fast and do serious damage.

    More to the point, 240-grain jacketed soft point bullets run $32 per 100. But they are out of stock.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Liberty1776; 06-16-2021 at 08:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
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    ...I've immediately downloaded the video, and I thank you again about your multiple info & answers.
    I really enjoy the hypothesis of this new project, together with the possibility of freeing myself from the commercial .44sjsp which are not only expensive here too, but quite heavy when I bring the 500pc. box at home!
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

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    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    If you are annealing prior to cutting the brass try cutting first. It makes the step much easier. Also, I have found that the Harbor Freight saw does not cut the brass straight. I switched to using a Lee Universal 3 jaw chuck in a drill with a plumbers tubing cutter. I place the edge of the cutter against the chuck and it cuts just the right amount of to make a very nice soft point.

    You can also use Sig .357 brass cut just below the neck.

    I have left many a "Range Star" on the steel plate range at my club.

    Not range stars but here are some fired bullets I have recovered.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

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    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
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    Sasquatch-1 thank you !
    HF saw would also have constituted an additional expense but above all I am glad to be able to work more quietly with a small tube cutter and the suggested tools, which I have at home, and I really appreciate all your added info !
    Last edited by wilecoyote; 06-15-2021 at 07:22 AM.
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    This is my set up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch-1 View Post
    This is my set up.
    I am very relieved: this apparatus is vaguely familiar to me ....
    thanks again !
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch-1 View Post
    I switched to using a Lee Universal 3 jaw chuck in a drill with a plumbers tubing cutter. I place the edge of the cutter against the chuck and it cuts just the right amount of to make a very nice soft point.
    That 3-Jaw Chuck looks to be very handy! https://leeprecision.com/3-jaw-chuck.html (out of stock at LEE, of course).

    At the moment, Amazon has the chuck (90608, $20) and the drill adapter (90607, $11) so the chuck can attach to a drill. Good ideas. I'll try it!

    Setting up the Harbor Freight cutoff saw is a pain, for sure, but worked adequately for me.

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    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    I made a simple jig from a small block of aluminum. It allows me to set depth of cut with the left adjusting screw; and apply side load with the long screw to keep the .40S&W brass stable and square.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This saw did previous duty trimming .223 brass so I could make .300 Blackout.

  11. #11
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I always cut the brass a little long on the HF saw and tubing cutter (rounds over the end a little) and trim it to length on my case trimmer

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
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    I just got home with a heavy donation of .41mag. swc swaged & lubed comm.l bullets.
    now I will weigh them and check their hardness, which I think is very modest.
    this will cost me a supply of custom cases for an M14 N.M. obtained from Lapua .30-06, inside and outside turned necks measured following the donor's Springfield chamber dimension, all bell & whistles, etc.etc._ win-win for both.
    I still see here precious information, and I confess that I have worked satisfactorily with the pipe cutter also inserting the hex Lee case tr. base with screwed shellholder into the drill, despite having the 3 jaw univ. chuck somewhere.
    meanwhile, thank you all for info & support !
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
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    ... two sizes of .408" bullets, nominally .41 cal., 215 and 170grs._
    measured:
    height 0.700”> weight 217,7 grs. _
    height 0.603”> weight 168,5 grs.
    More or less 15 lbs,all of them
    if suited to the task, pros & cons welcome, before proceeding do I need remove the old solid lube or not ?
    thanks to all

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    Last edited by wilecoyote; 06-16-2021 at 05:42 PM.
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

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    Boolit Master
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    I getting itchy to try this myself just ordered a mould to make the core for my 44 henry big boy. Was wondering about he accuracy tho.

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    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilecoyote View Post
    ... two sizes of .408" bullets, nominally .41 cal., 215 and 170grs._
    measured:
    height 0.700> weight 217,7 grs. _
    height 0.603> weight 168,5 grs.
    More or less 15 lbs,all of them
    if suited to the task, pros & cons welcome, before proceeding do I need remove the old solid lube or not ?
    thanks to all
    Using pure lead, my Lee TL401-175-SWC mold drops a 176.3 grain bullet that has a diameter of 0.4035 inches and is 0.6125 inches long.

    In normal reloading, the slugs must be seated into a .40 S&W case, of course, so they fit tightly and don't shave any lead if the case mouth is expanded/belled.

    Your bullets are .408 in diameter -- about .005 inch larger, and either shorter or longer. They might shave a bit as you swage them into the trimmed .40 case, but will probably work.

    Per MannyCA's process, the slug is swaged into the trimmed .40 case, nose first.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Left: .40 S&W orig shell; Center: Finished .44 Mag Soft Point bullet in trimmed shell; Right: Lee 175gr .40 SWC pure lead)

    When you swage the lead into the TRIMMED .40 case, the nose of the SWC slug is shmooshed into the brass so hard it disappears, and bevels the rim into a boattail shape. The lead ends up even with the mouth of the case. This process is why pure, soft lead should be used, not a harder alloy. You want the lead to flow into the .40 case.

    You then turn the lead-filled shell around, lube its exterior again so it does not get stuck in the Mauser die, and shmoosh it into the Mauser die again.

    This chamfers the mouth of the case and extrudes some of the lead out to form the soft point. (The final step is to size them using a .429 sizer.)

    If you used your lighter bullet, you may end up with less soft point. If you used your heavier bullet, you may have more soft point.

    Since you have both, I'd try both and see what happens. Not sure if you're going to get shaved lead. But it's only a few thousandths difference.

    Per Manny, the trick is to adjust your Mauser die up or down in the Rock Chucker press (make sure your press is the stronger "O" shaped press and not an open-front "C" shaped press -- you're putting a lot of pressure on that slug and case) so you don't have to adjust the die between first and second swage actions.

    Finally, I can't stress enough that the .40 S&W brass cases need to be annealed into softness. You don't want to wear your gun barrel out with hard brass messing up the rifling.

    I got yelled at on another forum for asking about annealing whole cases -- rim included. Most guys only want to anneal the mouth and shoulder, and leave the case head and rim strong and not soft.

    We want the entire case to be soft, like a copper jacket.

    They say to anneal the whole case, cook the batch of brass in a self-cleaning oven at 750-850 degrees F. i don't have a self-cleaning oven. Another method is to float the brass in melted lead until the lead does not stick to the brass, then tumble it to clean it of any impurities.

    On my first go, I put the cases in a cast iron skillet and blasted them with a propane torch. I have no idea if they became fully soft. So I'm thinking of melting down my supply and starting over with new brass. I certainly don't want to damage my .44 Mag Marlin's barrel or my .44 Mag 629's barrel over a silly experiment.

    I'd remove the bullet lube. You don't lube the pure lead slug; you lube the parts that come in contact with the sizing die. Hit the .41 slug with a torch and melt the lube off, or dissolve it in some kind of solvent, like alcohol. Wax is a tricky substance to remove.

    Hope this helps.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brass410 View Post
    I getting itchy to try this myself just ordered a mould to make the core for my 44 henry big boy. Was wondering about he accuracy tho.
    This is a fun project. It's not sophisticated casting: you're using pure lead, not some tin/antimony or even wheelweight alloy. Easy. You don't even need to size the slugs used as cores. They're going to be swaged into unrecognizability.

    Heck, you could use lead rope cut to proper size, if you can find it.

  17. #17
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    This is my process for making .429" bullets from .40 S&W brass.



    Another view.



    The tools I used to use. I now have a Corbin CSP-1 Swaging press for these chores.

    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.

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    This is a batch ready to anneal. I like to anneal the cores and cases at the same time. I stumbled on a way to make bonded core bullets without the use of flux, which is hard on swaging dies.



    After annealing. I raise the temperature of the kiln to 1,125 degrees F after loading the cores and jackets. I use that temperature because it's what Starline uses to anneal their brass between case forming stages, and I figured if it works for them, it'll work for me, and it does. After the kiln gets to temperature, I turn it off and let it set overnight. The next morning the cores and cases will still be over 250 degrees F. I remove them and let them finish cooling, and after cool, then give them a bath in Citric Acid to remove the debris left from annealing. After they've dried, then the forming steps begin. My bullets are just as accurate as factory bullets from my S&W 629 revolver, and in my Marlin and Winchester rifles.

    It's very important to have clean jackets/cases when swaging, as it produces a better bullet. A good swaging lube is also necessary. And before anyone asks, Imperial Sizing Wax isn't up to the job.....

    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.

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    Another view of my older ceramics kiln for annealing brass for swaging.

    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.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    This is my process for making .429" bullets from .40 S&W brass.

    The tools I used to use. I now have a Corbin CSP-1 Swaging press for these chores.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    Wow! Those are absolute gems. They even have a cannelure! Beautiful. I'm really envious (which is a sin, but you know what I mean...I hope.) Great job.

    Fred, What did that press cost you? What dies form the crimp and hollow point? Appears you don't even need to trim the .40 brass.

    What's the bullet weigh, and what is the core?
    Last edited by Liberty1776; 06-17-2021 at 01:21 AM.

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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