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Thread: Cast core or buy wire

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Cast core or buy wire

    Im new to swaging. I have a Corbin kit coming for 224 using 22lr jackets.

    Is there a benefit to cast core rather then buying wire? I did get the mold with my kit since I can just buy wire anytime.

    I plan to cast with range scrap since itís softer then wheels weights.

    Greg
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    The cast cores as far as monetary value goes will be a lot cheaper than wire. I take it that you are getting a core forming die. If so, cast your cores slightly larger than needed and bring them to weight with the core sizing die. If you do this you do not have to worry about the cores being perfect.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  3. #3
    As stated above. Casting cores will be quite a bit cheaper. I've got a couple cutters and molds.... the cutters and extruded wire have just been collecting dust in my drawer. If you've got the Corbin adjustable mold, set the pistons to throw 5 grs over the desired weight and then bleed off the excess. The 5 grains seems to be the sweet spot for repeatable weights in a single stroke of the core Swage. The range scrap will work just fine for .224.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    if you get a custom dedicated core mold, you dont need a bleed die.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I agree with Sasquatch-1, to get the exact weight you're looking for a core swaging die will be required.
    Which other method used the cores will always be several grains lighter or heavier than the actual finished weight desired.
    For 200-400 grain bullets I can cut cores to within plus several grains. With that heavy of a bullet, I don't think you're going to notice any accuracy issues. Swaging a 1000/pc lot would save me an additional three hours of swaging.
    I also make my own core wire using Corbin's extruding die but you're going to need a hydraulic press.

    If you're going to swage bullets to within one grain, you're going to have to swage the cores.
    The only way I can consistently get bullets to within less than half a grain is to use copper jackets and swaged cores.
    Even sorting cases to the same head stamp will deviate more than five grains which may be acceptable for a heavy bullet.

    Of course, you can weigh each case and core and add the required weight, which I have done but at what cost. Currently using a hydraulic press, I can make any 1000/pc pistol caliber in ten to twelve hours depending on if cores are swaged or not. Most if not all of these calibers are costing me around $0.10 each or less. The time it takes me to make these is very acceptable. If I were to individually weigh each bullet and add weight, I'm sure my time would more than triple which for me is far too much time involved. Another reason I started with an automated hydraulic press, to save time and every step is 100% repeatable, no fatigue involved.

    Just some more information to review, I've tried them all.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Boston - I have made many Thousands of .224 bullets with the Corbin set up since the 1980's. I cast cores in a Corbin 4 cavity mold. I too cast about 4-5 grains heavier than final core weight then bring them down in the core swage die to desired core weight. 22LR brass is generally 10 Grains + or -. I swage a 50 grain core from a 55 Grain cast. This gives me a 60 grain final bullet with the lead just almost at the opening when a 6-S Nose is swaged for the final bullet. Depending on your specific swage die; you may need to go + or - one or two grains to get that perfect filled in 22LR 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.

  7. #7
    Casting cores is certainly cheaper, but if your time is worth anything, wire is sure fast. I haven't had to buy wire recently and from what I've see, its sure pricey, but a 50 lb spool makes a lot of 22 cal bullets. It just depends on what you value your time at. I can cut a lot of cores in a hurry. I still use a dedicated core swage die to get a consistent core weight.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I extrude my own wire and cutting cores beats casting cores hands down for speed. I also do .165” lead wire and you can make a metric sh#t tin of 20gn projectiles out of 10kg of that size wire. Core swage die is a must for consistent weights.
    Once I have trimmed the jacket to length both 17 and 22 cal projectiles are easily within .2 and if anal within .1gn

    Bill
    The bloke out in the field is always right until proven otherwise.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    midnight's Avatar
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    I’m with Bills Shed. Swaging cores from cut wire is by far the best way to produce bench rest accurate bullets. Find a way to extrude your own wire. I use a Richard Corbin HydroSwage. I make my own button inserts and can produce any diameter wire i want. Swage each core twice and your cores will vary by only .1 gr. Quality jackets will give you the most accurate bullets you have ever shot. Using cartridge cases for jackets will only give you plinking quality bullets which is not a bad thing.

    Bob
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnight View Post
    Quality jackets will give you the most accurate bullets you have ever shot. Using cartridge cases for jackets will only give you plinking quality bullets which is not a bad thing.

    Bob
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/images/smilies/lol.gifThose are fighting words but I understand what you are saying. Easy to make junk out of rimfire jackets, but if you are selective you can make very good projectiles. The drawing process to 17 cal irons out a lot of imperfections that arise when derimming a rimfire case and once trimmed to length there really is not much left of the original case. A 20gn projectile jacket is only .490” and weighs 6gn. My best group is under .2” but most are about .8”
    More than good enough for hunting let alone what you call plinking. Home made swaged cores and jackets that shoot <21mm @ 109 m (.8”@100yards) is more than adequate for busting bunnies at 200m.
    Besides I do not know a single manufacturer that will supply 17cal jackets in Australia.
    Anyway…..
    Cutting and swaging cores is fast and very accurate.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bills Shed; 11-02-2022 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Spelling error
    The bloke out in the field is always right until proven otherwise.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    firefly1957's Avatar
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    I form my own .185" lead wire In a 10 ton manual log splitter I need to heat the lead to 300-350 degrees to get it to extrude .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    When I think back on all the **** I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all ! And then my lack of education hasn't hurt me none I can read the writing on the wall.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Alex_4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boston View Post
    ...

    Is there a benefit to cast core rather then buying wire? ...
    No. The wire makes it possible to form a better (uniform) core
    Viam supervadet vadens.

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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
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