Bullet making :)


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sonier
May 30, 2010, 07:01 PM
Alright a friend of mine has about 4000 pounds of lead only roughly 186 000 150 grain bullets. We both love machinery metal welding etc. and off course guns;) We are going to design a lead wire swage, we want to make lead cores for making actual bullets. Theres a few designs using 20 ton bottle jacks and a piston and a hole for lead wire too flow out. If we were able to make our own lead cores without buying lead we can make bullets for the cost of equipment and jackets. Buying 30 cal jackets are about .14 cents a piece.

My question is has anyone built a lead wire swag or Made there own bullets before any extra advice would surely help.

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JimKirk
May 31, 2010, 12:17 AM
I would check over in Cast Boolets, the swage section, there are all kind of experimental bullet making goes on in there. It is a good place to learn swaging.

Why not use a hydraulic cylinder and a pump, it would be much faster than a jack. Something along the lines of a wood splitter with a swage die instead of a wedge.

Jimmy K

fireman 9731
May 31, 2010, 01:49 AM
Corbins makes a setup that makes 22 bullets out of lead wire and used 22lr cases for the jackets. Its a pretty neat setup, around a grand though to get all the equipment. They also make a setup to make 30 cal jackets out of copper tubing. They would probably be your best bet.

http://www.corbins.com/sitemap.htm

snuffy
May 31, 2010, 02:47 AM
http://www.saubier.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4241

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=73664

A couple of sources of info that I turned up in a casual search. I'm sure there's much more I could find if I were interested. Notice that both require a bit of heat to reduce the amount of pressure required.

So you can make lead wire, IF your scrap lead is really pure. The expensive part is getting the bullet swaging dies and press. Jackets are another problem. Using copper tubing is mentioned, but pure copper fouls badly. Using brass casings is another way, but accuracy is poor at best.

I'll either shoot cast bullets, or buy my jacketed bullets.

sonier
June 1, 2010, 02:06 PM
interesting things listed here, im going to buy premade jackets, but a hydraulic cylinder is much better way to go and it is not out of our reach to do. thanks for great idea :)

MichaelK
June 1, 2010, 03:21 PM
I make my own bullets by swaging, and I completely discount the cost of the lead. It's the jackets that add almost all the cost to a manufactured bullet. My lastest projects have been learning how to make jackets out of fired cases that I pick up off the ground. Here's a pic of some of my bullets. The far right bullet in each group is a store-bought factory bullet. In the left series, I have .224" bullets made from .22 rimfire. Center is a .357 bullet made with a cast core and a commercial jacket. Right set is .44 magnum bullets made from 40S&W cases.
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r55/kawalekm/SwagedBullets.jpg

fireman 9731
June 1, 2010, 03:27 PM
I also remember seeing somebody making 45-70 bullets out of 45acp cases. I would be interested in that if the equipment was easily available...

snuffy
June 1, 2010, 04:04 PM
MichaelK makes a good point. Cores can be cast! Core making molds are available, you don't need to use lead wire.

I make my own bullets by swaging, and I completely discount the cost of the lead. It's the jackets that add almost all the cost to a manufactured bullet. My latest projects have been learning how to make jackets out of fired cases that I pick up off the ground. Here's a pic of some of my bullets. The far right bullet in each group is a store-bought factory bullet. In the left series, I have .224" bullets made from .22 rimfire. Center is a .357 bullet made with a cast core and a commercial jacket. Right set is .44 magnum bullets made from 40S&W cases.

Okay Mike, how do those with semi-auto cases for jackets SHOOT? maybe I heard bad info, but I heard they are not all that accurate.

I also remember seeing somebody making 45-70 bullets out of 45acp cases. I would be interested in that if the equipment was easily available...

The dies are probably available. BUT they would be expensive. If made by Corbin, they would be well made.

sonier
June 1, 2010, 04:07 PM
I thought this thread would start to get interesting, the whole swaging process would be nice if someone could write up a process of the steps with some pictures, i think this would give everyone a good idea on how to do this. Michael what is your press set up, i have a rockchucker i want to modify to do this with but i cant find any info on modifying presses for the swagging part.

sonier
June 1, 2010, 04:08 PM
core moulds sounds like a much better idea :) the more time i cast and size and swage the less i shoot lol

MichaelK
June 1, 2010, 05:37 PM
The die set to make .224 bullets cost me about 120$ a decade ago, but that company, Sportflite, went out of business since then. Another company that makes affordable swaging dies is CH, which can be visited at www.ch4d.com. Their die sets are running 130$ right now. I currently use a RCBS Rockchucker (series 4) for swaging. Be carefull! I cracked my series 2 Rockchucker in half during swaging. Home-swaged bullets CAN be very accurate! In truth, the quality you put into making the bullets is the primary determinate of the quality you'll get out.
Here are more bullets I made with CH dies out of .223 cases.
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r55/kawalekm/223caseto357jackets.jpg

sonier
June 1, 2010, 06:38 PM
Awsome link it appears that they have everything you would need to start swagging bullets:) I got tired of paying 30 bucks for 100 bullets so i think this may be worth it considering I have the lead, The only cost should be copper jackets but i can pick up once fired brass and make jackets that way.

fireman 9731
June 2, 2010, 02:54 AM
So what dies do you need to use brass for the jackets?

MichaelK
June 2, 2010, 12:25 PM
At http://www.ch4d.com/ you can buy a .357" two-die set for 129.11$+shipping. Your to the door cost will be about 134$ because it's a small box that weighs just a pound or two. It looks just like a two-die rifle reloading set.

That's what I used to make the .357" bullets in the above pic. I used lead cores cast in an adjustable core mold though you could just as easily use a bullet of smaller diameter cast in soft lead. A .32ACP bullet would make a nice core. Alternatively you can dip cases into molten lead and make hot-core bonded bullets. I've done that with .380 auto cases first sized down to .356". Size the used case .001" less than final diameter, fill with molten lead, set aside to solidfy, then swage final shape.

Fatelvis
June 2, 2010, 03:15 PM
Buying 30 cal jackets are about .14 cents a piece.


Wow, that seems pretty steep! Kinda takes the incentive to make your own away.

sonier
June 2, 2010, 04:19 PM
lol 14 cents is not that bad, but its a reason to start making my own jackets, theres a lot of good information here provided by michael. i think the cost in bullet making for materials dies molds etc. is pretty steep, but it pays off if you reload massive amounts. plus you can can make benchrest quality bullets for cheap :)

MichaelK
June 2, 2010, 07:24 PM
Plus, I live in the soon to be lead-free state of California. First, lead-core bullets have been banned for hunting in the "Condor range" of the state, and soon it will be the whole state. For now, lead bullets can still be bought in California, but you know how things go. That's another reason I wanted to be able to make my own.

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