Am I trying to be too cheap??


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FROGO207
March 27, 2011, 11:55 PM
I was policing the local range and found a LOT of used bullets that had stopped in the snow and now appeared when it melted. They were not damaged at all it appears. They have rifling marks and are mostly 230 GR 45 ACP hardball. I am running them through the corn cob now. Tomorrow eve I will try to run them through the 44 cal sizing die. If they come out OK I will try to load them in the 44 Mag and see if I can reuse them.:D Anyone else tried this yet? If it works OK I will have a couple hundred recycled bullets to fire again.:cool:

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jcwit
March 27, 2011, 11:59 PM
Been talked about before. Some have done it. Not in my guns they won't tho. I'm cheap, no wait, lets say frugal, and what you're talking about is just going to far, but hey, they're your guns.

Sin City Shootist
March 28, 2011, 12:00 AM
Sounds like a squib just waiting to happen.

jcwit
March 28, 2011, 12:04 AM
Altho I say I wouldn't do it, just how is this a squib waiting to happen? What would this even have to do with a squib?

bds
March 28, 2011, 12:05 AM
Although fired bullets may appear normal, there's deformation of the bullet when the expanding gas bumps the bullet base during firing and when the bullet struck something to slow it down, ultimately bringing it to a stop. Even water, when struck at high speed acts like concrete. I am not sure about snow.

I would be concerned about the deformation of the bullet. I guess you can take some measurements to see if the diameter/egocentricity is OK. If the diameter is larger than .451", I guess you could resize the bullet.

hogshead
March 28, 2011, 12:06 AM
Why not in the 45 again?

jmorris
March 28, 2011, 12:10 AM
I reused a bullet once when I was a kid. I shot it out of my S&W and Colt 357's so I had a bullet with both right and left hand rifling marks. Now when I have too much time on my hands I do something productive.

If the came out of the dirt I wouldn't reuse them but that doesn't mean you can't. There are more than a few folks that have reloaded aluminum and steel cases to save money or just be different. Some have been problem free so far while others have had to spend more on repairs than they saved.

What ever you do don't try to use a 230 grain 45 (.452") in a 44 barrel (.430") or you will have problems for sure.

EDIT: sorry missed running them through a 44 sizing die. If there is any grit imbeded in the bullet at least you can see what it does to the inside of the die before it does it to your barrel.

Hondo 60
March 28, 2011, 12:19 AM
I found some 230 gr bullets at the range 2 weeks ago.
They too had no deformation, but had rifling marks.

But they were too small when I checked with my calipers.

So before you make ammo with 'em, check the size with a calipers or micrometer.
I'll bet you'll find the same thing I did.

hogshead
March 28, 2011, 12:25 AM
To small?

bds
March 28, 2011, 12:32 AM
Just reuse your 9mm cases as JHP bullets for 40S&W and 40S&W cases as JHP for 45ACP - http://www.youtube.com/user/ammosmith#p/u/17/Mdzm7zM16r4

Now, talk about recycling!

Centaur 1
March 28, 2011, 01:17 AM
I have been given range lead in the past by a friend. The deal is that I smelt all of it into ingots and I keep half and give half back to him. A couple of months ago he gives me two more 5 gal buckets that were 3/4 full. Before I started to smelt, this same topic appears on castboolit website. I pulled out close to one thousand 9mm fmj's that looked perfect. The range they came from uses a crushed rubber backstop, kind of like rubber landscape mulch. The bullets are very clean. I washed all of them in an ultrasonic cleaner with citric acid, so I know they won't be getting any dirt or grit in my barrel. I tumble them all with a light coating of LLA and I pushed them through a Lee .356" diameter sizing die. I just had neck surgery so I won't be shooting them for another few months, but I loaded a hundred and they look good. When I eventually get to try them I'll be sure to give a range report.

788Ham
March 28, 2011, 01:23 AM
Send pics with your range report...... wanna see what happens!

MattTheHat
March 28, 2011, 01:59 PM
If they're run through a resizing die, I don't see the issue. I've never resized bullets, so without seeing the die I could believe the resulting bullets may be slightly less accurate than unfired bullets. I assume the resizing die doesn't touch the leading and trailing surface of the bullet. A slight deformation of either would make the bullet spin slightly out of round.

Centaur...

I'd be happy to load some up and try them for you if you don't want to wait. I'd mic them first, and then check the loads in my Dillon case gauge. If they pass that test I have a 9mm Star 30 pistol I can range test them with, and could post the results here. (Heck, I could probably be persuaded to purchase a Ransom rest and test the bullets against my normal loads. Twist my arm!)

Drop me a PM if you're interested.


-Matt

Remo223
March 28, 2011, 02:06 PM
what the?!?!

you are planning on resizing 45ACP to 44 and using it in a 44mag revolver?

ReloaderFred
March 28, 2011, 02:21 PM
There's no mystic magic in bullet swaging. It's quite possible to run the .451" bullets through a .429" sizing die, as long as there is enough taper at the mouth of the die and enough lube on the bullets. The press also has to be up to the chore, as not made of aluminum. He said he was tumbling them to clean off any residue, and they were recovered from snow.

There was an article in one of the gun magazines about 20 years ago on just this subject, only the author didn't resize the recovered bullets. He just reloaded them and tested for accuracy, and as I recall, it wasn't bad at all.

FROGO207,

Inspect them under a magnifying glass and make sure there isn't anything imbedded in the jackets prior to resizing. If they show clean, then lube with Imperial Sizing Wax, or something similar, and see if you can push them through your .429" sizing die. I've done this, only I used a bullet swaging die and press. I've made .429" bullets from .451" bullets, and .410" bullets from .429" bullets.

If nobody ever experimented, we'd still be throwing rocks at targets.........

Hope this helps.

Fred

snuffy
March 28, 2011, 02:22 PM
Sounds like a squib just waiting to happen.

HUH? Just how does a properly sized bullet cause a squib? Read and comprehend.

I'll bet they shoot just fine. The rifling will be all but erased by sizing down from .451 to .429. The bullet will also be longer, the diameter has to go somewhere. Without a die to shape the front, it could be off center, but at close range, it shouldn't matter.

Frogo, I just had a thought, so I went to measure my .429 lee sizer. The opening at the bottom is too small to take the .451 bullet, it's ,443. So you won't be able to size in one step. Since lee doesn't have anything between 44 and 45 sizers, you're SOL. Besides, the pressure to size down that much would be tremendous. I'm sure it would require more than a reloading press could generate. To say nothing of the bench!:uhoh::what:

Remo223
March 28, 2011, 02:24 PM
Ok. So after he shoots these things in his 44, he can pick them up and resize them to 41?

LOL

ReloaderFred
March 28, 2011, 04:36 PM
"Ok. So after he shoots these things in his 44, he can pick them up and resize them to 41?"

Anything is possible. I take fired bullets and smelt them into ingots, then into bullets. Who knows what the original caliber was? All I know is I'm doing my part by recycling the bullets over and over and over again.

And yes, I knew what you meant.

Fred

DM~
March 28, 2011, 04:48 PM
Am I trying to be too cheap??


Yes.

DM

harvester
March 28, 2011, 05:20 PM
I re use bullets all the time but I melt them and re cast into a new bullet. Too cheap, yes, but I would pick them all up too...

Remo223
March 28, 2011, 05:25 PM
"Ok. So after he shoots these things in his 44, he can pick them up and resize them to 41?"

Anything is possible. I take fired bullets and smelt them into ingots, then into bullets. Who knows what the original caliber was? All I know is I'm doing my part by recycling the bullets over and over and over again.

And yes, I knew what you meant.

Fred
I think you mean you melt them. smelting and melting are not the same thing.

Sin City Shootist
March 28, 2011, 06:57 PM
I missed the part where he said he was running them through a sizing die. Sorry about that. I thought he was just going to reload them without doing anything to them.

ReloaderFred
March 28, 2011, 09:27 PM
Remo223,

I'm fully aware of the difference between smelting, melting and casting, having done it since about 1968 or so. There was a comma in my sentence, indicating another process for casting into bullets. I don't throw recovered bullets directly into my casting machine, which is a Magma Master Caster. I smelt the lead into ingots to alloy with other bullets, scrap, etc. and fluxed to remove all impurities and to thoroughly mix the lead, tin and antimony. Then the ingots are placed in the casting machine, where they melt. Then the alloy is cast into bullets, sized and lubed, then loaded and shot.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Walkalong
March 28, 2011, 10:16 PM
Smelting video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRS9EtdzQzE

snuffy
March 28, 2011, 11:48 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRS9EtdzQzE

Amateur!:neener: Didn't see him fluxing. Also he should get a bigger pot, a 6-8 quart dutch oven is just about perfect. Also, some shelter for that set-up would result in less lost heat. He's so worried about fumes----what fumes? Unless he's got the heat up beyond 1200 degrees, there's no fumes to be worried about.

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/arrow/websize/P4110007.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/arrow/websize/P4110009.JPG

Proper use of the word smelting refers to the act of getting a metal out of an ore bearing that metal. Smelting is the word commonly used when rescuing scrap lead from just about any source, or when making a large batch of alloy.

FROGO207
March 29, 2011, 12:13 AM
Hey guys I spent the evening melting down the lead only bullets I recovered first. Next I melted down about 40 lbs of recovered plumbing lead piping that I removed from a house last week. I am at a standstill re guarding the sizing for sure as I need to make an intermediate sizer type die. Thinking of buying a carbide sizing button (from Sinclair?) and taking an old die and fitting it into that. Might not be worth it for the price but it sounds like fun.:D
Yes I was going to size them for a 44 Mag revolver. I think my Rock Chucker would be able to take the stress of sizing OK so no worry there. I will get to this some day soon.

DM~
March 29, 2011, 11:17 AM
I melt any old bullets/lead i find, cleaning the lead and casting 20 pound ingots,

http://www.fototime.com/5133F5B9485B253/orig.jpg

Then store them away for later use,

http://www.fototime.com/8B5FA14AE0E0564/orig.jpg

I think this is the best use for old bullets and i KNOW once i recast them, they are high quality bullets that won't hurt the bbl of my guns.

DM

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