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Thread: Swage 308 Jackets from 22 WMR – Finally Success in Tilting at That Windmill

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Swage 308 Jackets from 22 WMR – Finally Success in Tilting at That Windmill

    Over the years I have been collecting 22 WMR brass and throwing it into storage in clear plastic nut boxes from nuts we buy at Sam’s/Costco. Conventional wisdom says a .243 jacket; or .25/6.5 is the most that can be expected for jackets from 22 WMR. This week I picked up some more 22WMR brass at the range. It had been a few years since I had attempted to make 308 Jackets from this source (unsuccessfully); but decided to give it another try. This last effort resulted in successfully making jackets and 147/150 grain .308 bullets out of 22WMR brass. I have loaded some .308 Winchester with these swaged bullets and will attempt to test them over the next two weeks (We have friends visiting from Florida, so depends on changing plans). May discover that the jackets are too thin, and see bullet failure in this test; but we will see.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    To convert the 22WMR’s to .308 jackets I used my Corbin CSP-1 Press. Items I used in the press configuration are:

    The Corbin shell holder adapter on the ram (Press set up in the Reloading position for the handle – not the swaging position)

    A Lee Precision # 15 shell holder (22 WMR will fit in this 25ACP shell holder– sometimes a tight fit for the 22WMR depending on firing pin indentation).

    The Corbin top Floating Punch Holder, -S

    A Corbin “E” Punch; .290 inches in diameter.

    A Corbin BT-2-S Die (Rebated Boat Tail Set) – with a flat bottom punch; not the RBT Punch usually used to form Rebated Boat Tails. The goal is a flat based 147/150 grain jacketed bullet with the lead fully enclosed to the endow the Ogive for use in M1Garand and M1a’s.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 06-20-2021 at 01:04 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    I annealed the 22WMR cases by heating each one in the flame of a Propane Stove until it was cherry red. For this process; I need the rim to still be able to fit in the shell holder and have sufficient strength to pull the expanded 22WMR case off the E-Punch after expanding. I use a pair of stainless forceps to hold the case with the forceps all the way down by the base. I believe this gives a bit of a heat sink so the base does not get as much heat as the body of the case that turns cherry red. Let the Mouth of the 22WMR case turn Cherry Red; but do not allow the “Red” area to migrate down more than 1/4th the length of the case – If you do the case has a high potential for collapsing/telescoping when you try to expand the mouth and sides to form the jacket.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    After cooling, I then expand the mouth of the 22WMR case a little at a time. I use my thumb and first finger to lube the E-Punch where it meets the mouth of the 22WMR case, and cycle the press handle slightly. Lift the handle, and re-lube the E-Punch, then cycle a little more expanding the case wall step by step. Usually I will partially cycle, lubing between cycles, 5 to 8 times. It is important to NOT allow the bottom of the E-Punch to meet the bottom of the 22WMR case in the Shell holder. If you do it will make a dimple on the bottom and expand the rim making it nearly impossible to get the partially formed Jacket out of the Shell Holder. Do this for each 22WMR case you will be making into Jackets.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 06-17-2021 at 11:40 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    It is now time to remove the Shell Holder set up from the Corbin Press. Also remove the .290 inch “E” punch and install the Corbin BT-2-S Die set in the bottom and the floating punch (flat bottom – not the rebated punch) in the top Floating Punch Holder.

    The “Jacket” will have an expanded mouth down 50% or so of the old 22WMR case. The bottom will taper to the rim area, and the rim will still be intact. Important – I use two small cores – not a single heavy core when core seating. This is because the rim and bottom portion of the 22WMR/jacket is still too small and will need to be expanded in the Core Swage die to the .307/.308 diamater. If we attempted to swage with a single core of the desired weight; we would not get the bottom expanded adequately; and in all probability we would see the lead fold over and fail to correctly fill the entire case and expand the side walls of the Core Swage die; and probably damage the mouth of the case/jacket.

    In my initial fabrication of the nominal147/150 grain bullets I made, I found the 22WMR jackets to weigh in at ~ 18.6 grains. I had a small box of previously swaged .225 inch cores that weighed in at ~ 66.2 Grains. The jacket plus two cores weighed in at about 151 Grains for a finished Swaged Bullet. Core seating was accomplished in two stage. All jackets had a 66.2 grain core inserted, and then were fully swaged down to where the core was swaged down – the bottom walls expanded out, and the rim almost disappeared. All jackets were completed, and then the dies adjusted to swage the 2nd core into each jacket – fully expanding the cores to swell the jacket to die wall thickness; then ejected.

    All core swaged jackets are then “Point Formed” in the appropriate Nose Swage Die. In my case; a Corbin .308 die with an 8s nose.

    When loading these swaged bullets; I used a Lee neck expander die to slightly Bell the mouth; similar to what is done for cast boolits being seated. My concern was that the small indentation left where the rim was ironed out would hang up on the neck rim when seated and the pressure of seating would damage the bullet on seating. Given the wall thickness (thinness) of the jackets made from 22 WMR; damage could be a foreseeable occurrence on seating – particularly of the mouth of the case is sharp. I measure the wall thickness after expanding to “Jacket Dimensions” at about .007 or .008.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    I went to the Range yesterday to test these. I was fully prepared to see massive bullet failure; either indicated by keyholing or bullet yaw indications on the target – or even massive jacket failure with the bullet falling apart in flight. My fear of the bullet falling apart was based on that thin jacket of .007 or .008 thickness after making the jacket. I was also concerned about the “Double Core” technique I had to use for Core Swaging. Although we may see the two cores fully forced to fill the jackets to the walls, and firmly join together; the cores are still physically separate items and will have a weak junction area not present in a single cast core we normally use.

    I was pleased with the test firing results. I got a 1 and Ύ MOA grouping on target at 7 o’clock from my test rifle (Remington 700 ADL Varmint in 308 Winchester). All bullet holes were perfectly round; group is slightly vertical stringing – probably caused by a slightly loose bi-pod that I discovered cleaning the rifle later.

    Addendum. Wanted to post some pics - but I got a notification my account had reached it's size limit. I'll have to research and see what that means/how to resolve.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 06-17-2021 at 05:39 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    A lot of work making the jackets, don't tell Mustang he can't make jackets from .22 mag brass!
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Back to the range Today with 10 Rounds to test at 100 Yards. These swaged bullets were all 147 grains (+ or minus .1 Grain). This group was bigger than posted in #6 above; measuring slightly less than 3.5 Inches. All 10 rounds were in the 9 & 10 rings of the self printed SR-1; 100 yard NRA Target. Did not use the BiPod today; rather used a front and rear bean bag for stabilizing the Remington 700 in .308 Winchester. In post #6 I had used W760 powder. For this outing I used 48 Grains of W748 powder; should be clocking at about 2800 FPS with this bullet weight, powder charge, and flat based bullet. Did not take the Chrono to the range today (had a load of trash to take to the dump - so I swung by the range for a quick test) so these are estimated velocities.

    Appears that the bullets are "NOT BLOWING UP", so might have something to work with for making 147/150 grains for use in the M1a's and Garands downstream using free range pickup 22WMR for making jackets.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Went back to the range last week. Shot a few more of the 147/150 grain .308's swaged using 22WMR for jackets. Spent some time digging the berm - wanted to find some of the expended bullets. Was only able to find a single piece (Berm is steep and the impact area is a combination of sand/dirt/ and small shale rock). Below are the pics (Jacket base and side walls collapsed - and a 180 ° opposite side view with the lead showing.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weight was only 52 grains. I suspect that what I recovered was the Base and initial core swaged. As I reported in post # 5 above; due to methodology of expanding the 22WMR cases for use as .308 jackets; I decided to use two (2) lead cores. Swaging a base core - using it to expand the base in the core seating die. Then using a 2nd core to fill the top 50% of the jacket. I had speculated before my testing that the junctions at core #1 and core #2 would be a weak point - initially concerned that failure could occur in the jacket due to rotational forces. After shooting a hundred rounds of these - separation in flight due to rotational forces has not occurred. Looking at the recovered bullet piece; I am interpreting the piece I recovered as indicating the the core junction does provide a weak area - but it only occurs on impact (perhaps only impact on a significantly solid object such as the shale in the berm). Although I am making some bold leaps here; it appears to me that it is probable that impact on a game animal would result in two fragments in the wound channel. Not sure what penetration would be in a game animal; but we can be assured that if a properly placed .223 (55 to 60 grains) would kill an animal - this swaged bullet would do the same as the retained weight of what I recovered is in the range of the .223. In this case; the load used in the Remington 700 chambered for .308 Winchester resulted in a 2700+ velocity for the bullet. For game up to 250 pounds; this swaged bullet might be useable if more suitable commercial bullets are unavailable such as occurred in the 2019-2020 ammunition & reloading component shortages.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA's green with envy......

  11. #11
    Boolit Man SSG_Reloader's Avatar
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    Very interesting! I've got buckets of 22 wmr brass and will have to try this process. Thanks for the write up.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    Resurrecting this thread.

    Cleaning up the Reloading Shed early this morning and I came across a hundred or so .308's I had stored from swaging 147 grain bullets using 22WMR brass as jackets. Wanted to go to the range today so I decided to load up 10 and shoot for group and record velocities.

    The swaged bullets were 147 grains (ranged 147.1 to 147.3 individually weighed). These are Flat based, 8S nose profile.

    Rifle: Remington 700 ADL Varmint .308
    Barrel Twist: 1 in 12
    Wind: 10 Mph left to right.
    Temp: 65 degrees F.
    Boolit: Swaged . 308 - (jacket made from 22WMR brass)
    Ballistic Coefficient: 0.458
    Brinnel Hardness: N/A
    Bullet sized: .3085
    Nose Sized: N/A
    Alloy: 96% Lead, 3% Antimony, 1% Tin
    Bullet Powder Coated: N/A
    Gas Check: N/A
    Powder: 48 Grains BLC-2
    DUPLEX: N/A
    Primer: Remington Large Rifle
    Case: PPU
    OAL: 2.80 inches
    Distance: 100 Yards.
    10 Shot Group Size: 2.12 Inches

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I pulled the black pasty target spot and moved it directly under the Group for the photo. The rifle is set up for 200-210 Grain cast boolits and I did not want to change the Scope Elevations. Group center for the 10 Swaged shot today was hitting about 5.2 inches higher than the Cast Boolit loads. Average velocity for the 10 Rounds today was 2774 Feet Per Second ( compared to + or - 1780 FPS with several of my cast loads using BLC-2. Measured using my new LabRadar Chronograph.

    Velocity spread: Low 2747 FPS - High 2788 FPS
    Average Velocity: 2774 FPS

    I may explore some more; another 1/2 to 1 grain of BLC-2 seeking that 2800 FPS rating for the M-14. The original purpose of trying to make these swaged 147 Grain bullets using 22WMR for jackets was to shoot in my M1A's and M1 Garands. Have yet to do so with these in either rifle types yet.

    Group seems to be somewhat vertical stringing, that in conjunction with the 41 FPS velocity spread may indicate that I need to look at constancy in Manufacturing for future efforts. Swaged bullet weight variance of 147.1 to 147.3 grains is far tighter than I am used to seeing out of factory procured bullets years ago when I was buying for High Power Matches.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    Shot the 147 Grain .308 Bullets made using 22 WMR brass for jackets today at the 200 Yard Line. Larger group than I wanted (about 4 inches tall by 2 and 3/4 Wide); but that's still in the 2 MOA range and it appears some vertical stringing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Chronographed the 10 rounds string with the Labrador. Average Velocity for 10 rounds was 2796 Feet Per Second.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Todays load used 48 Grains of BLC-2 powder.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I don't swage, but I really enjoyed reading your post. Good work.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm new at swaging. When bullets were impossible to buy a few years ago, I found a set of dies on e-bay to try. It has turned into a fulltime hobby!
    Articles like this help show me what is possible with knowledge of the craft.
    Thank you!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    Fantastic thread,
    Thank you for sharing
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

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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