surplus projectiles


February 28, 2008, 09:07 AM
I have a question for all you guys out there who try to save a buck like I do.

I ordered many thousand 55 grn 223 tracer bullets for dirt cheap for blasting ammo. These bullets have bite marks from the pulling process and I have found a few that are out of round. I noticed on some web sites that sell surplus bullets advertise some of their bullets as being sized. My question is: if someone out there is resizing these bullets, can i do the same? At a gun show I was looking a Lee's cast bullet size and lubers, but they only had .225 in stock. I think I would need the .224 for jacketed bullets.

Has anyone else done this? Sizing them would smooth out the traction marks as well as make some of them round again.

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February 28, 2008, 09:22 AM
You might better try the .225" first.

The Lee dies are made for sizing LEAD bullets. The surface finish is not as smooth as those intended for jacketed bullets, and WILL require you to use some sort of lubricant to get the bullets to pass without seizing in the dies.

I'd try regular furniture- spray wax such as "Pledge", and the .225" die will substantially reduce the pull marks and sufficiently straighten any out of round, or bent bullets. This failing, Imperial Sizing wax intended for brass cartridge cases would work splendidly, but lubing and cleaning would be labor intensive. I'd recommend that you tumble the bullets before attempting to load them to remove any lubricant accumulation to prevent contamination of the powder charges. Also, lubricant might do strange things to accuracy by depositing in the bore..........

For what it's worth, I size my cast bullets for use in .22cf's to .225". They have to obturate to bore diameter less, and accuracy is superior in all instances.

Also, use a good sturdy loading press as the amount of force required to push a jacketed bullet through a sizing die can be considerable.......

February 28, 2008, 12:00 PM
I'd be pretty cautious trying to resize Tracer bullets!

If one of them lights off in the sizer die, it's probably gonna come out going a lot faster then it went in!


February 28, 2008, 01:34 PM
Yeah, what RC said!:what:

The lee sizer dies are a "push through" die. You put a bullet in it, the pin pushes the bullet into the die, but not all the way through the die! The next bullet pushes the last bullet the rest of the way out the top of the die. That means the point of the next bullet will be pushing on the base of the last bullet!:uhoh: Guess where the tracer material is?:scrutiny: I don't know if it would set it off, but it sure would mess it up, crack it, maybe knock it out.

cracked butt
February 28, 2008, 02:30 PM
As far as resizing the bullet goes, I don't think that would be a problem- Lee reccommends resizing .338 jacketed bullets in a .329" sizer when reloading for 8x56R, and I've heard of other reloaders doing the same. I've never tried it but if that can be done with .338 bullets, the .224 bullets should be a cinch.

I wouldn't try to resize the tracer bullets though.

February 28, 2008, 04:21 PM
Probably splitting hairs for this application, but be aware that when you size DOWN a jacketed bullet, the jacket springs back some while the lead does not. Just the properties of the metals involved. Result is you might separate the jacket from the core which would not do anything for accuracy. That's why jacketed bullets are made by expanding UP. That said, you'd probably get away with it for practical purposes as long as the sizing is mild.

February 28, 2008, 04:54 PM
That is true about the spring back, but we're talking about pulled tracers. There won't be great accuracy evident any way, most likely.

February 28, 2008, 07:02 PM
:banghead:As I said, whamo bamo ammo won't matter. Just thought I'd mention it in case the idea of sizing of jacketed bullets took root somewhere else. If the jacket rotates with the rifling and the core doesn't..............

April 10, 2008, 09:23 PM
I had a Lee sizer for cast bullets and when I got the pulled tracers I ran a bunch through it after lubing without any problems. Not sure if it is worth doing but I did it any way.

April 10, 2008, 09:44 PM
If one of them lights off in the sizer die, it's probably gonna come out going a lot faster then it went in!

C'mon RC.

You know there's not enough thrust there to push a bullet thru a sizing die.

Main thing to worry about tracers is making sure you clean your barrel real good after you shoot 'em. The residue is supposed to be worse than black powder.

April 11, 2008, 09:45 AM
I have resized thousands of surplus just get the lee sizer and use the alox let dry for 24 hours so it isnt sticky. Have done tracers not much to worry about just dont go so fast that the sizer die turns red hot from friction!!!!

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