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Anybody make their own jacketed/plated bullets?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BigBlock, Dec 25, 2007.

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  1. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

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    Is there anybody here who makes their own jacketed or plated bullets? How do you do it? I was thinking about trying a copper plating kit...anybody tried such a thing?

    Or for that matter, anyone make their own solid copper bullets? I was thinking of trying to cast some from all the scrap copper I have...have to build a furnace first though. :)
     
  2. jrumsey

    jrumsey Member

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    Sell the copper for scrap price and use the money to buy bullets. You do not want to get into casting copper there is just way to much involved in doing it as far as safety and quality. To much oxygen will make it soft and to little will make it brittle, copper for wire is usually cast at about 21 parts per million oxygen content. Plus the melting point is about 1960 deg. F and casting temp is about 2100 deg F.

    Joe
     
  3. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

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    I'm going to be casting the copper no matter what...the only question is whether I'll make it into bullets or something else. :)
     
  4. jrumsey

    jrumsey Member

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    Good Luck !

    Joe
     
  5. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    You should probably cast it into something else. It would make good non-marring (on steel anyway) hammer heads if not cast brittle.
     
  6. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Member

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    I swage some types of pistol bullets in 9mm, .38/.357, .44 and .45. The current problem is obtaining pistol jackets - it seems that nobody sells them. I have a limited supply of jackets that are probably 40-50 years old, but when they're gone, I'll probably quit. The alternative is completely retooling and swaging lead bullets, rather than jacketed ones.
     
  7. spur0701

    spur0701 Member

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    I don't have any expirence with this but have looked through the Corbin site, look here:

    http://www.corbins.com/jackets.htm#rfjm

    Seems you can buy jackets from them or tooling to make your own, from exspensive setups to small cheap ones.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    You might look into tumble plating, I was told that it’s the process that berry’s uses.
     
  9. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    As far as plating goes, that's not so hard to do. The chemicals can be nasty and require careful handling, but it's not particularly hard to do. I haven't done it myself, but have done similiar things in chemistry classes in HS and college. (I'm sure my teachers wouldn't have seen any purpose for plating lead objects that resemble bullets -so why learn about it)

    There's a guy in our range club who used to make his own copper jacketed 22 cal bullets for competition. He claimed the only way to win was to have better bullets, and the best way to do that was to make his own. They weren't cheap though, he had over $250K in equipment, and could sell his seconds as high quality match grade. His firsts were hand selected out of a lot to match what he was looking for - but they all had to be good to be able to produce what he was looking for.

    Haven't talked to him about it in a while, so I'm not sure if he still does it. He may have sold the equipment, my memory from a conversation 7 or 8 years back isn't good enough to be sure.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well, according to Berry, their plated jackets are from .0035" to .008" thick per side, depending on the caliber & intended use.

    Or .007" to .016" added to the lead core by the plating.

    So where do you get suitable lead bullets that much undersized, in order to plate them and come up with the right bullet diameter?

    I know custom mold makers could/would do it for a price.
    But the price might make buying plated bullets cheaper.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you think a $60 custom mold is expensive you wouldn't want to see the price of most any plating system.
     
  12. jenrob

    jenrob Member

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    A lot of high quility molds that are not custom will run you close to $60 or more.
     
  13. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Swaged not cast

    Bullets that will be plated are cold swaged to a diameter under final diameter depending on how much copper will be plated on. Then AFTER plating, most are final sized,(double struck). Doing this on a DYI or do-it-at-home basis, is certainly possible, but would be extremely expensive. The power consumed would be frightful, and that kind of amperage is certainly not available through a house circuit.

    Molding, then plating WOULD require custom molds. But why? Home cast boolits are a better choice, either unsized tumble lube boolits, or traditional sized and lubed.
     
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