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Wax bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jeff-portnoy, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. jeff-portnoy

    jeff-portnoy Active Member

    Can I use wax bullets for home plinking? (primer only or primer with slightly powder)
    What wax need use in this case? (Synthetic wax or beeswax?)
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    Primer only, no powder.

    Paraffin canning wax from the grocery store.

    You have to drill the primer flash holes out to 1/8" to prevent primer set-back tyeing up the revolver cylinder.

    Melt the wax in a shallow baking pan until it is 1/2" deep or so.

    Let it cool until it is hard, but still soft.

    Cookie Cutter the bullets out with sized cases.

    Then prime them and shoot them.
    If you prime first, air pressure inside the case will blow the bullets out when you cut them out.

    You can catch them in a cardboard box with an old throw rug in it.

    Use with adequate ventilation as you don't want to fill your house with primer smoke.

  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can, but you have to do some things to make it work.

    Depending on caliber, you should enlarge the flash hole for the brass you're going to use. An 1/8" drill works just fine for this. The enlarged flash hole allows the pressure from the primer detonation to all go in the case, and not back the primer out of the pocket, which will lock up a revolver.

    The second is to buy some slabs of canning parafin. You take an unprimed case and push it through the slab of parafin and that makes your "bullet". Then after the "bullet" is seated flush, seat a primer in the case. You do the primer last so the air pressure won't push the wax "bullet" back out of the case.

    Don't use any powder with these, or you'll never get them to group. The primer is all you need. It's been done this way for decades and there's no need to change it.

    Be prepared to clean the wax out of your firearm after the shooting session, as it will build up. You also want to have some good ventilation when using these, since the priming compound is lead styphnate. You don't want to inhale any more of it than necessary.

    Hope this helps.


    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs
  4. jeff-portnoy

    jeff-portnoy Active Member

    I planned just use Lee mold for 9x19.
    Why no powder? (because this wax,...no lead)
    Because even a blanc cartriges have powder!
  5. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    Or just by some Speer plastic bullets. They are reusable....Just a primer will drive them thru heavy cardboard.
  6. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    That's funny. RC and I were typing the same information at the same time..........


    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    A mold will be more trouble then it is worth.

    Just cookie cutter them like I said.

    No powder, because just a primer will drive them fast enough to shoot your eye out.

    And wax bullets won't stand any more pressure then a primer provides.

  8. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    If you already have the Lee mold, use hot glue instead. Lube the mold with Pam or some other lube and squirt the hot glue into it. It helps to cool off the mold in the refrgerator or an ice water bath. Put some more lube on the bullet and seat the bullet all the way down into the case so it is right up against the flash hole.

    Shoot outdoors because, while the shots are not very loud at all, the smoke is 100% primer which contains Lead. Your shots should be able to puncture a shopping bag or cardboard box and get trapped in a towel. You can reuse them over and over again.

    Be sure to clean the mold after you're done so you don't drop wrinkled lead boolits!
    38/357 gluestick bullets made from the Lee 358-158-RF mold (some have been shot multiple times:
  9. jeff-portnoy

    jeff-portnoy Active Member

    I understood. Thanks guys
  10. jeff-portnoy

    jeff-portnoy Active Member

    glue bullets??? non wax?
  11. jeff-portnoy

    jeff-portnoy Active Member

    I desired use slightly powder for happy work to rats! ))
    (for obvious reasons much safer use wax instead lead )
  12. Bwana John

    Bwana John Well-Known Member

    Yes, glue stick!

    A 44 cal gluestick stick from the store doesn't even need to be cast when used in a .45 caliber, just shove the stick into the case and cut off with ~3/16" sticking out. It helps to drill out the flash hole to 1/8" and use a magnum rifle primer.

    Shoots to "Minute Of Dogbowl" at 25 yds.

    Penetrates 5 pieces of cardboard pointblank.

    If you do use a bullet mold you can make "armor piercing" gluestick bullets by dropping in a .177 cal BB before adding the molten plastic to the mold.

    If you use the cast in a mold bullets dont forget the lube (and even add a grain or so of fast powder and wad) or you can stick a bullet in the barrel!

    The gluestick bullets do bounce back at tempertures over 70 degree f., they shatter on impact at temps under 35 degrees f.
  13. grumpy66

    grumpy66 Well-Known Member

    I use foam earplugs for "in-the-house" target practice.

    Primer only, roll the plugs up and stick 'em in the shell.

    Reloadable too.
  14. Kp321

    Kp321 Well-Known Member

    Brings back memories of childhood. I was shooting across the house with wax bullets in my 30-06, missed the catch box. The bullet stuck in the wallboard, almost flush. My dad took a razor blade and shaved it off flush, gave it a coat of paint. Needless to say, that was the last time I shot in the house.
  15. Fanky

    Fanky Well-Known Member

    As to using these indoors, are non-toxic primers available to reloaders? It's never really concerned me when looking for primers, but they could eliminate harmful vapors if you don't have that great of ventilation.
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I don't think so now.

    Fiocchi was selling Sm Pistol lead free primers, but I think they have been discontinued.

  17. Baryngyl

    Baryngyl Well-Known Member

    If you drill the flash holes, be sure to mark these and save them for use only with wax bullets, NEVER FULL LOADS once drilled.

    Michael Grace
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Or not.

    Have you looked at the 1/8" flash holes in everyones lead-free ammo lately?

    Seems to make no difference in pressure or velocity when you reload them normally.

  19. springer99

    springer99 Well-Known Member

    Thirty years ago, I played with those Speer plastic, reusable cartridges in 38cal. and also played with beeswax using standard cartridge cases with oversized primer holes.

    What I learned was that in either case, if all you want to practice is hitting a 12" size target at 15ft or so, then they have a role to play.

    What I also learned, in the case of the beewax experiments, is that they really end up making a mess of my firearms. Personally, given a choice, I'll stick to gun-powder and lead.
  20. total recoil

    total recoil Well-Known Member

    I shot wax 25 years ago. Only trouble was the parafin was very hard after it chilled out in the pie pan. The NRA suggested adding a few drops of motor oil in the paraffin, while a hot liquid, this will soften the hardened paraffin and make the brass easier to penetrate the wax when forming bullets.

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