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question - you tube video enclosed

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by tlfreek, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    I was reading on another forum and discovered something interesting - bullet swaging. I have no idea what this is, so I went to the all knowing youtube and typed it in. what I got i dont understand. can one of you tell me what this is all about?

    Swaging 44 magnum bullets - YouTube
     
  2. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Swaging is forming bullets from lead rod (or roundstock) by forcing it into shape with a forming die, as opposed to cast bullets formed in a mold from molten lead. Swaged bullets are softer than cast bullets in general.
     
  3. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    thanks sailor - good info. then is that guy making bullets out of 40 cases?
     
  4. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    I watched the you tube video. That guy is trying to use a swaging die to convert a .40S&W cast lead bullet into a jacketed .44 Mag bullet, by using a .40S&W case and a copper gas check as the jacket...Personally, I'm not impressed with his finished product. It was far from uniform from one bullet to the next...and I can't imagine the cost savings would be significant even if they were. Interesting concept though.
     
  5. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    So, in that video, he ends with the upside down bullet in the 40 S&W case. What happens then? Is that whole contraption the "bullet"? Is that what's flying downrange?
     
  6. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Federal Way Active Member

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    I remember reading somewhere that swaging .223 from .22lr cases gained popularity when bullet costs had gotten out of hand.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    .22LR cases are a far cry from a 40 S&W though. The .22 case is essentially a cylinder of brass with one end "upset" to form a rim. Not like the "40" case which has a thick brass head. When swaging .223 (.224 dia) bullets from one produces a one piece jacket unlike shown in the video. If this guy is happy, great, he can have these bullets. For all the effort and time invested he's not saving much. If he's looking for an expanding HP, using a cast bullet for the core is not the way to go. Far better if he were to just use lead wire like the rest of the bullet swaging "world" does.

    Jacketed bullets are made with thin jackets to allow the bullet to be "obturated" in the bore when fired. This provides the necessary gas seal to help send the bullet on the way. The solid brass web in the base of the 40 case will not obturate as much as a thin jacket with a soft lead core. Resulting gas leakage will limit the performance of the bullet.
     
  8. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    WOW - wont that hurt the barrel?
     
  9. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that those who are interested in making bullets like this really care much about barrels.
     
  10. Miravox

    Miravox Seal Rock, Oregon, United States Member

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    +1 on the obturation point. Another problem with his process occurs when his "dressing up" gas check is applied. The die punctures the gas check as it forms it to the neck of the brass case/jacket. Without a star pattern on the punch, the copper material in the very center of the gas check gets shoved off to one side before being pressed into the bullet's hollow point. Lack of concentricity = wobble in flight = lousy accuracy. Why not just go with the original expanding bullet; lead?


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  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Or just buy some drawn jackets from Corbin. $38 gets one 250 ready to go jackets that can have whatever lead you want swaged into it. The gas check this guy is using to dress up the nose of the bullet may well keep the bullet from expanding efficiently.
     
  12. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    If it's the end of the world I'll be copying this method. Otherwise; WTH, guy? Man up and trade that brass for something you can use!
     
  13. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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  14. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Swaging is the process of deforming metal under pressure, normally done at room temperature into a die, it differs from forging, in the way the force is applied. Swaging works very well for copper, lead, and most soft metals (even steel). It's the same process that's used to make bolts in most cases, that type of operation is called "heading" or "cold heading". It's one of the processes we use at work to make bullets using a 20ton waterbury farrel cold header. We swage everything from .38S&W 150gr hollowbase up to a 535gr monster we load into our .45-120 and .45-110.

    Extruding typically reduces the cross section of a part being swaged, upsetting increases the size of the material being swaged.

    The using the .40S&W cases as a jacket is just a quick and dirty way to put a jacket on something, it's far from ideal. I've done the .22LR jacket making from .22 shell casings, and it's fun to do occasionally, but damn is it slow, and the results are so-so. I've been more interested lately in just drawing my own jackets, which if I had more time I might be able to pull off.

    Most big companies do bullet swaging in machines called dial presses. Which have a rotary "dial" like on an old telephone, that rotates from filling, and then into swaging position where a punch comes down from the top, and another comes up from the bottom and squishes the lead into shape, usually extruding a little bit of excess lead from the bullet through a "squirt hole" this guarantees despite cores being of different sizes, they all end up with the same weight/volume.

    Might be above your head, but check out this video .22Long Rifle Ammunition Manufacture (Part 1 of 2) - YouTube that's how CCI used to make .22LR ammo, they have since updated away from so-called block loaders to a faster operation that looks like how they bottle soft-drinks.

    There's also a few books out there that cover this subject in industrial detail, not the little hand cranked presses corbin and RCE sell.

    ammomfg.com - Technical Library

    That page (off my website) has links to a jumble of books covering various subjects, the real gem there is a book called "Cartridge Manufacture" which was published in about 1917 and covers the way cartridges were made at the time (which didn't change much until recently).

    There's a few other good youtube videos out there, one of them from silver-state armory shows most of their manufacturing steps, but doesn't provide a lot of commentary on it, if you read through the Cartridge Manufacture book (at least skim) the whole process will make a lot more sense.
     
  15. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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  16. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    more like a stove out of a coke can, yea you can do it, doesn't work all that well, but it does work, and to some people that's good enough.
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    When I cast my own bullets, I always ran them through a swager to be sure they were round and to remove the lines left as parting marks by the two halves of the mold. I wasn't changing size or re-inventing the wheel though. I was just truing up my bullets and smoothing them.

    That's a legit deal, but a far cry from what's being discussed.