Anyone Practice with Wax Bullets?


July 16, 2008, 04:53 PM
I was introduced to the concept of shooting wax bullets a couple years ago and I'm just curious to know if anyone uses them for training. Other than the $ savings, I can see where they'd be useful for room clearing exercises in a house/barn and perhaps draw and fire training as well. Any thoughts?

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July 16, 2008, 05:07 PM
They work, but they are messy. Don't skip the part where you drill the primer pocket out, it'll spare you the hassle of fighting your cylinder open when the primers backout.

July 16, 2008, 05:10 PM
What is a wax bullet?

July 16, 2008, 05:28 PM
I've never used wax bullets but I have used Speer plastic and X-Ring rubber bullets. Primer powered and pretty accurate. The Speer plastic bullets are hard enough to penetrate 1/4" plywood to my surprise. Know your backstop and don't shoot the pets.

July 16, 2008, 05:35 PM
"What is a wax bullet?"

That's the preferred round at Madame Tussauds'.


The Bushmaster
July 16, 2008, 05:55 PM
Clean gun...Now it's real messy, believe me...Great on the neighbor's dog when it comes into your back yard to crap...15 yards with just a primer and sting like hell according to the neighbor's full sized poodle...:D

Easy to make. Prime some cases. Get some canning parafin (6" X 3" x 1/2"). Warm parafin in the sun until plyable. Push cases in like a cookie cutter. Seal case mouth and parafin with match. Done...:)

July 16, 2008, 07:05 PM
I messed around with them some, about 20 years ago. They are messy. I shot them in my S&W 586. Here's what I did:

1) I took some old .38 special cases, deprimed them, and drilled out the flash holes to a larger diameter. This prevents the primers from backing out and tying up the cylinder.

2) IMPORTANT! I used a narrow slitting file to make a big, deep X right across the head of each drilled out case. You must ensure these modified cases are never used for "real" loads.

3) Optional: I used my chamfering tool to sharpen the case mouths. This makes it easier to cut out the bullets.

Here's how you use them:

4) At the grocery store, I got a box of Gulf Wax Parafin:

It's used for canning. You get slabs of parafin wax about 3/4" thick. (You can melt the leftover scraps and pour new slabs of wax in a shallow pan. Melt in a double boiler, i.e., a tin can sitting in a pan of water, NOT over a flame. )

5) To load the rounds, just press the unprimed case into the block of wax. It will cut a plug of wax which will fill the case mouth. That wax plug is the bullet, like a full wadcutter. It will be flush with the case mouth. You have to let the air escape out the flash hole. (If you prime the cases first, the compressed air will push the wax right back out.)

6) Now you seat the primers, using your favorite method, and that's it.

I just put some newspaper in a cardboard box, tacked a target on the front, and blazed away indoors at about 4 yards.

> The room will quickly fill with smoke.

> The room will smell like someone blew out a bunch of candles.

> Primers are pretty loud. Wear your earplugs.

> After a dozen rounds, take a look at the bore of your revolver. What a mess! Huge chunky gobs of black crud.
But it's only burnt wax, and cleans up with no harm to the gun. Make sure you clean it out before you fire any real loads though, as I'm sure it would jack up the pressure, possibly to dangerous levels.

> It's great fun, and you should try it.

> I was a bachelor when I did this.

July 16, 2008, 08:51 PM
I played with it, but it goos the bore up pretty bad. I prefer those plastic bullets from Speer. I made up a bullet trap for 'em once and would put a bad guy target up in the house when the wife was at work and kid was at school on my off days and play burglar scenarios with my .38. It was fun to do when I couldn't get to the range and some pretty decent practice, actually.

July 16, 2008, 09:04 PM
As everyone has said, they can be fun & you can do it with .22s also.
I got my first rifle, a Winchester 62A, when I was 13,...50 yrs. ago.
I would pull the bullets, save the powder for other endevours, press the cases into a block of moms canning wax, & shoot my wax Colibris in my room.
All was well 'till mom questioned all the boogers on the wall of my room.


July 16, 2008, 09:39 PM
I have been thinking about some indoor home shooting with wax or plastic bullets, but I am worried about lead exposure (from the primers). Risk level? I don't have great ventilation in the basement.

I was also thinking about shooting some Colibris, lead bullet .22 with primer only.

July 16, 2008, 09:53 PM
Hell, I cast bullets in the kitchen. Can't see a problem with lead. But, then, I've got 30 years in the chemical industry. You don't even WANNA know what I've been exposed to. :D

July 16, 2008, 10:24 PM
I usually prime my cases, then melt the wax into the case, works great for me

July 16, 2008, 10:44 PM
I've never heard of this before. Very interseting.

Colt Smith
July 16, 2008, 11:47 PM
Uh oh, sounds like someone didn't read his copy of "No Second Place Winner". :D

July 17, 2008, 07:42 AM
I understand you can also make practice bullets out of hot gue. Supposed to be re-useable too.

Thread from reloading section of THR (

July 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Been a loooonnnnnngggg time, but I have experimented a bit with wax bullets.

Gooed up my Blackhawk pretty good.

.38 Special
July 17, 2008, 08:28 PM
Most of the complaints about messiness and fouled bores come as a result of "home brew".

I shoot a lot of wax, and by far the best approach is the ready-made bullets from C&R ( These are spectacularly easy to use and leave the bore clean enough that I never have to clean it -- though I do run a Boresnake through before firing live ammunition, just to be on the safe side.

C&R also offers cases drilled for shotshell primers, which are the height of convenience. The primers simply drop right in and, after shooting, drop right back out. No tools necessary. The only downside is that they are about as loud as high speed .22 rimfire. I stopped using them in my suburban garage because the neighbors wanted to know what I was up to.

So I am forced to use standard cases with the flash hole drilled. This means I am constantly decapping and repriming cases with standard reloading tools, which isn't really a any big deal.


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