Solid brass bullets

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by best defense, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. best defense

    best defense Member

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    I was wondering if anyone on this site has made any solid brass bullets?

    If you have, what was the specific purpose of the bullets, and were you successful in satisfying your quest for the answer to why you made them?

    I have an idea for making bullets from brass in that I can make them long for caliber relative to weight, and I don't need to spend thousands of dollars on special punch presses and dies. I will just turn them out on a CNC lathe. However, if someone else has already tried it, I don't want to waste my time reinventing a wheel that won't roll.

    My idea is to make the bullet with a straight tapered point that will bring the bullet point past the lands in the barrel without engaging the rifling when the cartridge is chambered.

    I can't put a photo in here, and don't have one if I could, but the paragraph above pretty much describes what I have in mind. Other than that, it's just a bullet. Any comments would be appreciated. (positive comments prefered)
  2. gehrheart

    gehrheart Well-Known Member

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    I would watch for earlier high pressures. Beyond that should work. I would make them with plenty of groves to help with the pressures.

    This just for target?
  3. best defense

    best defense Member

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    Yes, just for target. I am trying to get the highest possible bulistic cofecient possible.
  4. chemist

    chemist Well-Known Member

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  5. best defense

    best defense Member

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    I can see where a sabot would work nicely for this purpose, but since the projectiles from a firearm (at least in this case) do not need to conserve fuel, and will not travel more than 1000 yards, I am trying to get as close to .5 as possible. I could put a point on the back of the bullets as well as on the front, but I am not sure that employing a sabot would make the bullets work better than simply employing a sharp nose and tapered back end. If I do employ a sabot, it would also increase cost by about a factor of 2, maybe 3 depending on the material the sabot is made of, and how hard it is to manufacture, and assemble. These are supposed to be target bullets made to fly as fast as possible and drop as little as possible during the duration of their flight. That boils down to they need to go as fast as possible with the same acceleration as other bullets of the same weight. Here I am limited by interior bullistics. Just for reference, these bullets are being made for a .308 Winchester.
  6. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Well-Known Member

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    Nah, just silver. ;)

    Seriously though, how about 303 Stainless or some 12L14?
  7. Gunner69

    Gunner69 Member

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  8. best defense

    best defense Member

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    Great info Thanks!
  9. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Specific gravity brass 8.56, steel 7.93, lead 11.39, mercury (32 degrees F) 13.61 (Ideas! Talk about explosive bullets, I'd like to see the wound cavity from a mercury bullet.)
    Anyway, 303 would be 1.01 (Approximately) times heavier than steel. The lighter the bullet the less "carry" it has.
    I've heard that some folks are making solid bronze and/or brass projectiles for .50 shooters. I have a little CNC lathe that would happily run 24/7 lights off making them. The line would also need an automatic scale that would classify the bullets by weight to very fine tolerances.

    Of course solid steel and 303 would doubtless be hard on a bore, and brass would want "bands" turned on the OD to limit pressures engaging the riflings, a jacket bullets core of lead "gives" to limit pressures. A sabot wouldn't care though, and a solid shot should work fine, though there is that sectional density problem.
  10. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    By the way, I wonder if anyone has ever made solid tungsten boatails for those accelerator sabots, now there would be a "carrier" and penetrator.
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    Barnes has production bullets turned from solid brass stock. You can certainly turn very nice bullets in just about any caliber you like to and it's a good way to "proof" designs. It's certainly cheaper than making custom swage dies for drawing and making new bullets.

    The most important thing you can do is make sure you have the bullet near bore diameter (.300 for a .308) with shorter bearing bands that will engage the rifling and make a good gas seal.

    For the most part, I tend to ignore the BC of most bullets as it's something of an arbitrary number which is more useful if you are computing trajectories rather than learning your sight adjustments from field work. If you really want to measure the BC over the flight of the bullet you need some pretty exotic equipment like MM-wave radars and the like.

    If you wanted to do some things more interesting than standard bullets, try making some with von karman ogives.
  12. best defense

    best defense Member

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    There are some good thoughts.
    I considered making a bullet that was a two part with the inside being something other than brass, but all I want to do with these bullets is punch paper, so I figured making a particularly hard bullet would be a waste of time and money. the idea is to make bullets on a CNC instead of making swedging dies. The latest iteration of my idea has a point on both ends with driving bands near the back. No ogive at all. If what I have been reading is correct, the shock wave in front of a bullet makes any ogive irrelevant as long as the bullet is supersonic, so the tapers both front and back are straight, the one in front being about one third to one half longer than the one in the back.. There is a very small radius at the front, which leads back to a .300 diameter body, then it has two driving bands that are actually .307 diameter. The reason for the .307 instead of the standard .308 is that the bullets will not collapse into a lead core where the lands are, and having a full size .308-diameter bullet may be hard on the barrel.
    Another part of the design is based on the fact that the brass, being lighter than lead will allow me to make a long for caliber bullet without adding any weight to the bullet. I am hoping that with the proper twist, I can spin the bullet at about 4000 rpm, which should be enough to stabilize the long for caliber bullets.
  13. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Wouldn't a hard rigid bullet take the lands out of your barrel?
  14. best defense

    best defense Member

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    Yes, a hard bullet that touched the lands would ruin them. Probably with the very first shot. If you try to use a hard material, you must surround it with something that is soft like copper, bronze, or brass. That is why I never tried to work with anything harder than brass.
  15. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    To a point, I think your assertions are correct... bullets create a shock front at the tip, with turbulence and a number of other factors being key to performance. While the idea probably doesn't scale, the aerospike may be something to consider. However, what the ogive normally gives you is a shape which contains the most volume (volume = weight) in the most streamlined package available. I have seen people in the past do some strange stuff as far as getting bullets to fly straight... One guy I knew who was all into sub-sonic loadings, would load 168SMK's backwards. However, if you want to make the bullet radically longer, you need to start looking at spinrate. 4000RPM is way too low to stabilize a bullet in flight, most bullets are spinning at more like 100K-250K RPM to be stable. The greenhill formula is probably the most well known formula out there... however there's a constant number of like 10.2 in there... replace that with the specific gravity of whatever material you are using. (10.2 is the specific gravity of a copper/lead bullet taken as an aggregate)

    Under the circumstances, your potential for failure is relatively low, so go ahead and experiment. My main suggestion however is to look at what other people have done, people rarely publicize their failures, so you know what they've done right.
  16. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good point, and one that would tend to limit one's enthusiasm for bullet design, since "There's nothing new under the sun" and someone's tried it before. Of course that way of thinking about invention would have kept the electric light bulb from being invented. :bluelaugh:

    I seem to recall a "ring bullet" many many years ago, it was a round loaded by an ammunition company that was an aerodynamic ring form. I seem to remember an advertisement. The point was that an aerodynamic ring form is very stable in flight and makes a "plug" wound channel that pops out and turns into a blood pipeline. Does anyone else remember that one?

    The reason I ask is that I'm doubting my own memory these days. :paranoid:
  17. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    I've seen some stuff that was like a heavy rubber ring, about 2" in diameter... but it was a less than lethal system.