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homemade brass question... no really

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dragon613, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. dragon613

    dragon613 New Member

    I've been doing a lot of research on the topic and I believe that it can be done. over the next year I plan to be purchasing a full set of machinist tools including a shop press in excess of 100 tons a lathe mill ect. and I think I've got the process thought through in it's entirety all I need to do is purchse the machinery and start making some deep drawing dies. what I wanted to know was if anyone had any advice as to what size press I would need for deep drawing the brass. im thinking that I will be buying at least a 100 ton but if there were any machinists out there who had experience with this kind of operation the advice would be gladly welcomed I did the math of the physics of this operation, converted newtons to tons and it said I should be able to get away with a 50 ton buy I wanted to know from someone with experience as a machinist I can get up to a 200 ton press at the local tool supply and larger ones yet from the manufacturer
  2. cowtownup

    cowtownup Well-Known Member

    Helluva first post.... Welcome to THR... I can't offer any advice, but good luck with your quest...
  3. Encoreman

    Encoreman Well-Known Member

    I 2nd the first post!! How about a much simpler question for some simpler mind like mine. Welcome to THR, if you get this accomplished we need pics.
  4. dragon613

    dragon613 New Member

    thanks if I can get this working it would be a great addition to reloading as I could potentialially produce new BRASS not steel cases around 10-15 cent each I just wanted to know if anyone had any experience drawing brass
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Finding Cartridge brass sheet in small enough quantities to make this possible might be real hard to do.
    Cartridge brass is not the same alloy as brass you buy at the hardware store.

    Then you need a 'coining' press to cut circles out of the sheet.

    Then you will need heat treating ovens to anneal the cups between draws.
    Then final anneal the necks and leave the heads work-hardened.

    There is much more too it then pounding sand down a rat hole.

  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm not trying to throw water on the fire but how many cases will you have to produce to recover the price of all the equipment you will need to purchase to produce those cases. Unless you are thinking about producing cases for commercial sale I highly doubt you will recover your costs within your lifetime. (50 ton press $1,995, 100 ton press $4,695)
  7. Kp321

    Kp321 Well-Known Member

    It would be much simpler to machine casings from brass bar stock.
  8. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Well if you get it effectively up and running, at least you'll always have brass for your needs should the Feds try to impede our hobby by forcing manufacturer's to use non re-loadable case components, like aluminum.

  9. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Well-Known Member

    Interesting, another man with an OMB gene. Do you intend to one pass press or two pass? What kind of annealing set up do you plan on? Rimmed or unrimmed cartridges? Good luck.
  10. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    No doubt....this is deeeeep
  11. clocker

    clocker Well-Known Member

    The general rule for machine tools is that you always want to go as big or bigger than you think at first. I'd stay on the upper end of the presses if you can swing the cost and working space.

    With regards to brass... Have you compared the cost of labor, tooling, materials with just buying out a container of military surplus? For most people, 1-10k pieces of brass per cartridge should set them up for life.

    Next questions... Are you doing this for independence? Are you doing it for quality? Are you doing it for curiosity? All of those will play into how expensive and extensive this plan will get.

    I never like to discourage a person from their dreams, but do like to encourage an overall picture.
  12. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Well-Known Member

    Stamping Brass

    How many pieces are planning to blank out before you go to the deep draw operation?
    A progressive die might be your best shot at drawing for cartridges. I'd think that you'd want al least a 35 ton punch press. Annealing to bring the metal back to a more malleable hardness is a must.
    A couple of jobs I had involved drawing "German Silver" a nickel/copper alloy for hermetically sealed relays.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    That will only work for low pressure black powder calibers.

    The drawing process imparts strength to the brass all out of proportion to a case machined from bar stock.

    As mentioned earlier, the work hardened case head enters into how much pressure the finished case can withstand.

    You don't get any of that when machining cases from bar stock.

  14. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...I did the math of the physics..." It ain't the physics, it's the cost.
    "...all I need to do is purchase the machinery and..." Got a place to put this stuff? Licences, etc? You don't need any press either. Cases aren't stamped.
  15. vongh

    vongh Well-Known Member

    Would'nt you also need a special lathe and form tools made for each individual cartridge to create the extractor groove?
  16. Fn-Scar 17 s

    Fn-Scar 17 s Active Member

  17. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    There is a video on this page that shows you everything you need step by step.


    The last 2 punch presses I bought were $500 each (20 ton and 30 ton) but then you would have to automate them and have tooling. By themselves they are nothing more than big hammers with a precise stroke.

    I bet one could get going for just a few millon if he did it just right.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  18. PapaG

    PapaG Well-Known Member

    You are going to need to investigate how to do batch annealing also.
  19. Conservidave

    Conservidave Well-Known Member

    weather you think you can, or weather you think you cant....either way you're right!
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    While I am not optimistic, I am very interested to know how it turns out for you. Please update us and good luck!

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