1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bullet Swaging - any one do it?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by spelsh, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. spelsh

    spelsh Well-Known Member

    I was on the corbins.com site looking at swaging. Does anyone here do it?

    I'm just getting into reloading, and it seemed with the lead wire it becomes even more economical than purchaing bullets.

    Any thoughts or input are appreciated.
  2. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    ya the enourmous set up cost. you can get quality bullets but it cost a lot. for me i buy a mold for 25.99 and i can sit in the back yard and cast bullets that will perform with equal if not better results to swags. My gun does not know the difference but my wallet does
  3. everallm

    everallm Well-Known Member

    I have also been looking at this now I have gotten in reloading but the initial costs are definitely up there.

    The 2 Corbin brothers seen to have 90+% of the market

    RCE http://rceco.com/
    Corbin http://www.corbins.com/index.htm

    2 websites where people discuss this regularly are


    Other folks who seem to do SOME of the die making are


    One advantage of getting into this seems to be that if you decide after a while that it's not for you, you can resell on the presses and dies for at least your original price.

    There also seems to be a looooooong lead between ordering and receiving.

    I have to admit the "Make your own jacketed .223 from extruded lead wire and 22RF cases" has a definite interest for me. Considering how cack handed I can be, swaging seems a safer option than casting.....:D
  4. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    but same time i hear making jacketed takes a long time. and the cost is not that less then buying them. Unless you swag only then why not just lead cast
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Add up the cost of the extruded lead wire + the jacket cups.

    For 158 grain .357 bullets:
    .38 jackets = $90/1000 bullets.
    10 pound spool of wire x 2.3 spools = $81/1000 bullets.

    That equals $171 per thousand bullets.
    Or $17.10 per hundred.

    I don't think you can save any money over store bought bullets.

    Let alone save enough money to recover the cost of the swaging equipment.

  6. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    agreed store buy jacketed and cast your own for cast bullets.
  7. everallm

    everallm Well-Known Member

    If I got into it it would not be for at best marginal costs in saving but to produce rounds to my specification and weight.

    Say I want 55gr .223, approx 125 per pound of lead
    10 pound spool = 1250
    10 pounds pre-drawn lead wire at $132 for 25 lbs, circa $5.28 per pound = $52.80
    .22 RF jackets, free at any range

    4 cents per round

    No hazardous fumes, molten metal, waste through skimming, heat up and cool down times, energy costs etc.

    BUT set up costs are heavy.

    You can get a set of dies that you can use in a regular heavy duty reloading press, the full kit for .223 jacketed rounds is $783 from Corbin. The full press and dies set is going to set you back nearer $1400 new.......Not for the faint hearted and close of pocket......
  8. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    so what does that put you at lets say $ 10.00 a bullet at the $1400 price. i will stick to casting .01-.05 cents a round
  9. spelsh

    spelsh Well-Known Member


    I thought the website said 40lbs was 126? I will have to look again. I wasn't thinking jacketed bullets, just straight swc for practice and fun.
  10. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    40 lbs for 126$ that is like the highest price around. take a look again. the high price of lead is $1.00 to 1lbs of lead
  11. everallm

    everallm Well-Known Member


    As I said this path is NOT for cheap and cheerful rounds unless you go for the $8K hydraulic unit and set yourself up as a manufacturer and push out a few hundred thousand rounds.......:D

    Also lead at a buck a pound is no good for these projects as you need very pure drawn wire, wheel weights and other scrap would need to be melted, fluxed and skimmed several times then extruded or drawn. You can get it cheaper than the price I used, but it is a reasonable mean.

    If you just want cheap and functional plain lead boolits then casting is the route.

    If you are into experimenting with jacketed and unjacketed rounds in a variety of forms with very precise weight and dimensions that can be pushed at high velocities then swaging would be a route.

Share This Page