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Swaging Bullets

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Redneck Rampage, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Redneck Rampage

    Redneck Rampage Rainier, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Does anyone swage there own bullets?

    I got into it about a year ago. I make 44 an 45 bullets right know.

    Looking into .224 swaging next.
     
  2. Spec.-K

    Spec.-K Longview, WA Active Member

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    I have a great article on making 224 out of 22lr brass.
    I always wanted to try it, but didn't have time for that project.
     
  3. Redneck Rampage

    Redneck Rampage Rainier, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have found a lot of info on making .224 bullets from 22RF. But not having $700 to send to Corbin to get a set of his dies I have starting making my own. I have the de-rim die, core swag, core set dies all dun an working. I have not started on the forming die yet. last one to do, but going to be the biggest pain.

    But I do make JHP 238gr 44's and JHP 234gr 45's for about .04-.05 a piece right know.

    Like these one's
     
  4. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    I would love to see how this is done / learn the die making process, etc. I know a friend who was thinking of turning some solid steel cores for swaging on a CNC lathe.
     
  5. Redneck Rampage

    Redneck Rampage Rainier, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    die making is some voodoo magic, there are a few really good sources for information out there. The Castboolits web page redneck rampage pointed out is very good with lots of practical knowledge on the subject. There are a few guys on there who make their own dies.

    If you want to learn what it takes, there are a few really good books that are open source on the subject. The first:Cartridge manufacture: a treatise ... - Google Books

    The most current book on the matter is "Ammunition Making" by George E. Frost. It was originally published by the NRA, and is now out of print. Unfortunately, some of the information in it ran afoul of the patriot act. So as much as the second amendment is under duress, so is the first. If you look around, you can find copies of it people have scanned and converted to PDF and download it via torrent. "ammunition making" frost torrent - Google Search would probably be a good place to start.
     
  7. Redneck Rampage

    Redneck Rampage Rainier, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    LOL first time I have herd it called Voodoo Magic. But with some looking an time on a lathe it can be dun. Plus half the fun of reloading is saying you can do it. I am looking for copy's of the books you are talking about. there are a few others out there as well. "Bullet Swage Manual bye Ted Smith" an "Handloading bye George Nonte" I have yet to find hard copy's of these books.
     
  8. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I've made swaging dies, most normal dies are pretty easy to make, but when you start dealing with spitzer type pointed bullets a whole new series of hurdles come into play. This is part of the reason corbin wants everyone making hollowpoint or soft point bullets, as getting that nice sharp spitzer point on an FMJ bullet is really difficult to do. It requires an extra die, an extra drawing mandrel, and a whole extra step.

    I've only made swage dies for spitzer type lead bullets (with a large flat meplate) and some round nose FMJ type bullets. To make the dies themselves, I will lathe turn the cutter first, and then hand grind it, checking it frequently with an optical comparator. Then send it off for hardening, and bring it back for finish grinding and lapping. It's requires more art than science. Making draw dies is much more science, and they are fairly easy to make, blanking them is kinda've a pain though.

    The books I posted come much more from a commercial perspective, most of the time using commercial cold header and assembly presses, which if you're not content turning out a few bullets at a time with manual or hydraulic swaging equipment is the only way to go.

    I've been looking more and more into doing all of my cores out of metal powder as it's a lot faster to run on a tableting press, and then punching the cores into a jacket.
     
  9. Redneck Rampage

    Redneck Rampage Rainier, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have been playing with more of the corbin type dies. I have just started trying my hand at swage dies.

    COOL so are you making paper patch bullets with the lead bullets? What cal. have you worked with?

    How do you cut your bullet profile/ogive ? I am trying the D bit made from O-1

    I do all my swaging on a RCBS Rock Chucker.

    I have seen some people playing around with powder metal core. Kinda cool idea.
     
  10. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I don't do PaperPatch, the lead bullets we make at the shop are coated with a thin-film polymer as it's much easier to load the bullets into the cartridges. The TFP eliminates leading issues, and lets us make bullets to full bore diameter without having to deal with patching... We use a waterbury-farrel cold header press for swaging.

    Typically when cutting the ogive, you need to use a radius cutter, however these are somewhat rare, and usually don't have enough adjustment... a 6 caliber ogive for .458 is nearly 3", if you wanted to do an 8 or a 10... well.. If you want to, you can cheat a bit, and leave the bolts loose on your compound, and swivel the compound around to make an ogive, it's crude, and doesn't work too well, but you can cut the large radius this way on most lathes. I wouldn't recommend it with O1 in the hardened state. You may want to take a look into A2 air-hardening alloy steel instead of O1, it's a bit tougher on the final grinding, but it stays sharp longer than O1, and isn't as much a pain to heat treat.
     
  11. Redneck Rampage

    Redneck Rampage Rainier, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That is a new one on me, so no lube groves an you are not getting any leading that is cool. Do you have any pic's of these bullets?

    I might have to go find some A2 but right know all I have is O1. Thanks I did not think about leaving the bolts lose on the compound. Going to have to remember that one.