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Did the tool to make bullet jackets out of 22lr cases work?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jaimeshawn, Mar 27, 2005.

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  1. jaimeshawn

    jaimeshawn Member

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    I heard that once upon a time, there was a tool that could make empty 22lr cases into bullet jackets and so I thought I would ask if anyone here had ever tried such a bullet.

    I was thinking of building my own to make jackets by crushing pennies, but I thought I'd ask if it had worked, or whether this was a deadend.
     
  2. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Dude... It's much easier and simpler to buy the jackets already formed. Call either Bruno's or Berger's.
     
  3. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    I seem to remember someone making .224 diameter bullets with .22 cases, yes. Whether the machine used was production or one-off, I don't recall.
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Member

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    Fred Huntington made his Rock Chuck Bullet Swage set with an optional .22 case reforming die to be used on a Pacific press even before he developed the bullet swage and loading press. He was able to get unprimed cases from one of the manufacturers at one time, but the idea was to use fired brass from the range. The cases were annealed first then the rim was pressed out, leaving the mark of the firing pin indent on the edge of the cup. That dent always bothered folks, but did not seem to have the deleterious effect everyone expected.
    Just about all the bullet swage people made such dies, and I believe all of them still do. I don't know anyone who continued to long use .22 cases as better ones are readily available in bulk for much less labor and time expenditure.
    If you have any machine tools, you can easily make the draw die that removes the rim, and can modify a case trimmer to cut the new jacket to length if need be.
    Cheers from Darkest California,
    Ross
     
  5. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    A company named Corbin makes those dies along with the presses to make bullets from 22 lr casings. I had bought some bullets made from such a kit years ago. I still have a bunch of them around here somewhere. They shot ok, I did not mess with them too much. I may dig them out and try them out again. I think they along with some other companies sel the jackets for people to use to make their own bullets. Corbin sells a lot of different bullet making supplies. Do a search and check out the site.
     
  6. ftierson

    ftierson Member.

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    I have the Corbin die set for making .224 bullets using .22LR cases and have made several thousand bullets with it...

    I also bought Corbin's core mold to cast the cores for these bullets.

    The bullets that I turn out are 53gr HPs, and I close the point in more than Corbin recommends.

    First, it is best to sort cases by manufacturer. I have found that the old Remington "U" headstamped cases work about the best. They also don't have any case cannelure, which means that the finished bullet won't have a groove (the original cannelure) near the tip.

    These bullets can be quite accurate. One critical step is annealing the brass in the rimfire cases. At one time, I had access to an industrial oven, and I processed many tens of thousands of cases at the same time. You must heat them to a certain temperature (which I don't remember off the top of my head, but I think that it's about 800 degrees F) and then quench in water. Unlike steel, brass is softened when quenched this way. A uniform hardness for the cases (which will be the jackets) is important.

    I also use an old C-H cannelure tool to turn a cannelure on the bullets. After the bullet is finished, I tumble them in short-grained rice (which is fatter than long-grained rice and doesn't get stuck in the HP as readily). This leaves the Rem-case bullets a nice, shiny brass color, which looks great when loaded.

    The die set itself consists of a die that irons out the rim, a core seating die and a bullet tip forming die.

    I've had really good luck with the bullets made with this set.

    I don't know if Corbin still makes this die set. I purchased mine so long ago that it was shipped in a dovetailed wooden box with a sliding lid.
     
  7. ftierson

    ftierson Member.

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    By the way, I should mention that the die set that I'm referring to above is designed to be used in standard reloading presses. I use a RCBS Rockchucker.

    Corbin also makes a dedicated bullet swaging press that is excellent, but it uses different dies...
     
  8. drcorbin

    drcorbin Member

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    Making free 224 bullets with fired 22 cases

    I've built the equipment to make 224 bullets from fired .22 cases for over 40 years now, hundreds of thousands of them in use world wide. There are drawbacks and benefits. I try to detail these clearly on my website at www.corbins.com, but here are some highlights:

    Benefits:
    1. Unlimited supply of free bullets if you use scrap lead.

    2. Can be extremely accurate if...
    (a) You take reasonable care in preparation and forming them
    (b) You sort by headstamp and, if possible, the gun in which they were fired
    (c) You clean and anneal them properly (not hard, just take some attention)
    (d) You follow guidelines for weight range and velocity range

    3. Recycles material that would otherwise just be a waste

    4. Lets you experiment with designs and constructions not usually found

    5. Lets you make any weight you want within the range of the jacket
    (this is usually in the 35 to 60 grain range for a .22 LR; weights lighter than about 50 grains typically use a low-density filler such as our polymer balls, or just plain corn starch which turns to hard white plastic under swaging pressure)

    6. Fun if you are a person who enjoys experimenting and handloading as much as shooting....(just more work if you are not, of course)

    7. Extremely easy on the bore because the jackets are only 0.012 inches thick and therefore engrave quite easily, and because they are a 30% zinc alloy which tends to lower their coefficient of friction (they are also "slick" because of the drawing process which burnishes their surface)

    But there are also drawbacks:

    1. Being only .012 inch thick, you can't drive them as fast as a commercial jacket like our J-22-705 Versatile Benchrest, the J-4 Benchrest, or the Sierra jackets. Top velocity depends on twist and rifling sharpness but generally is around 3,200 or so.

    2. You do have to make them... That is usually three steps...
    (a) gather and wash them in hot soapy water to which a little lemon juice or vinegar has been added (helps pickle and clean the oxides off the cases), then rinse in hot water to get rid of the soap and get them to dry out fast.
    (b) sort out the ones that have bad firing pin tears or really deep indents. This is where firing them in your own gun helps, since they will all have the same expansion and firing pin dent size...but it isn't critical.
    (c) push them through the RFJM-22R or 22S drawing die. That's it.

    I've done it for decades, so I can make around 1100-1200 jackets an hour. Most people get closer to 800-900 until they develop a good technique. There are tricks in setting up the die at the right point, etc., which make a HUGE difference in speed and effort... a small adjustment in die position makes a big difference in effort and results. Once you get it right, it is easy. But some few folks never get it right, unfortunately, and of course those would typically be the most vocal. Back in about 1975 a famous gun writer didn't realize that you use the end of the stroke to generate the power to unfold the rim, not the middle, and he broke his reloading bench trying to throw all his weight on the handle! (One phone call or reading the instructions would have prevented that.)

    3. The equipment to make your own jackets isn't particularly expensive compared to most other high precision tools (about $179 at this time) but the complete package, done up right, with powerful swaging press and benchrest quality swaging die set, can cost $1350 or so. Not for the casual plinker unless he also wants to sell some bullets and generate some income from it, in other words. I'm the first person to tell you not to buy my gear if you can't justify the cost by the number of bullets you will use over time.

    There is one other factor that is a "benefit" if you look at it that way: political pressures could make bullets harder to get, and certainly we've just seen how panic buying and fear of what might happen already has done that. If you can make your own from materials that are left on the ground by the millions, that's just one less worry you have about the future of your own shooting... and the main reason I'm still doing this after 40 years. It helps all shooters if some can provide supplies for everyone in lieu of conventional sources. Not enough people realize, yet, all the things they CAN do if they just knew about it...making bullets out of copper water tubing, fired shotgun primers, throw-away 9mm cases that are drawn to make fair (not great) 308 jackets, etc. The guns CAN be kept shooting by people who know how to make bullets at home.

    The process of making your own jackets isn't difficult but you must pay attention to the proper range of weights, use the right size (diameter) of seating punch for the thin wall jacket, and not load the bullet so it comes apart in flight! If you do any of those things incorrectly, you get poor results.

    Bottom line:
    For unlimited supply, free or virtually free bullets, and performance at least as good as most factory bullets (better if you tune the bullet weight to match your gun and load) within the limits of their velocity and weight, the rimfire jacket is hard to beat. But...only for someone who has reasonable mechanical understanding and doesn't believe (a) the answer to all problems is a bigger hammer or (b) instructions are just another man's opinion!
     
  9. interlock

    interlock Member

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    now that is straight from the horses mouth! Thanks Mr Corbin> I have checked out the site and would love to get into that. maybe a bit at a time.

    interlock
     
  10. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    Boy, does that hit the nail on the head.....
     
  11. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    for drcorbin - Would a Redding Ultramag press be suitable for use to make my own 22 caliber bullets? Maybe a better question is - which of the common reloading presses on the market today is best suited to your bullet forming dies mentioned above? Is there anything that needs to be done to the press to help the process? What needs to be done if I want bullets in the 62-68 grain weight range?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  12. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Mr. Corbin, bottom line is the complete kit for forming .224 bullets from .22 cases is $783.00?
    That's if we have a press like a lee classic cast? That's definitely something to think about, but the resulting bullets are hardly free. Even though I have a great supply of lead for the cores, and unlimited supply of rimfire cases from my gun clubs indoor range.

    Not that I'm saying the cost for the dies is too high. I know the precision they are made to is not cheap. Tolerances for swaging dies are extremely tight, making them expensive.

    Break even on the average cost of 1,000 55 grain .224 bullets of $100.00, your dies would pay for themselves at approximately 8,000 bullets. Then the rest is gravy!:D
     
  13. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    snuffy, can you provide a break out of the $783. Mr. Corbin mentioned $179 for the jacket forming die. What are the others? 8000 seems like an awful lot of bullets to hit the break even point. You could wear out a gun barrel in less than that.
     
  14. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    How awesome is that?!!!

    Mention swaging, and you get Mr. Corbin himself on here for his FIRST POST!
     
  15. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    That includes the whole shebang. The $179.00 is JUST for the jacket forming die. That alone would be useless without the core mold, core seating die, and then the point forming die. You could do without the core mold,(you'd have to have a lead casting outfit too), if you buy core wire, but then you'd need a core forming tool.

     
  16. THe Dove

    THe Dove BOOMER SOONER!!!

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    Pictures?????

    Of boolits, equipment, etc....?????

    The Dove
     
  17. Fractal X

    Fractal X Member

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    Dove, if you take a look at http://www.corbins.com/ they have the process overview with pictures of the equipment, process, and finished product.
     
  18. THe Dove

    THe Dove BOOMER SOONER!!!

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    Thanks FX.

    The Dove
     
  19. Roccobro

    Roccobro Member

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    March 28, 2005, 10:10 PM


    That is the date of the last post on this thread before Corbin posted yesterday. Glad he's here and hope he stays. But I wonder if the OP actually still logs on here... :D

    Justin
     
  20. sonier

    sonier Member

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    i cant find any info if these are 7/8 14 threads and will work in my rockchucker. i dont wanna buy one of his pricy high tech presses lol
     
  21. mp43sniper

    mp43sniper Member

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    Anyone interested in cooking up things like this on their own may want to check out ammosmith.com in addition to this forum. There are guys that are doing this and have shown some really nice pics and videos.

    I have been making my own cast linotype bullets for the 7.92x33 MP44 series of rifles for several months now. Instead of buying ammo for well over $.50/rd, shooting my guns with home made cases (made with RCBS forming dies) and cast linotype (very hard) bullets with gas checks costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $.07/rd at the most. I learned how to do it ALL including normal reloading fired cases on that website and with their youtube videos. Haven't tried making any jacketed bullets for it yet, but I haven't even been reloading for a year so I'll probably look into it someday.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  22. jbrown13

    jbrown13 Member

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    Take a look at this page and you'll see that dies marked with an R have 7/8 x 14 threads.

    http://www.corbins.com/starting.htm
     
  23. THe Dove

    THe Dove BOOMER SOONER!!!

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    These are from a buddy of mine. He's forgotten more about reloading than I will ever learn!

    The Dove

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    Interesting photos but what point are you trying to make?
     
  25. THe Dove

    THe Dove BOOMER SOONER!!!

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    Heck if I know. I just liked the photo's I guess. HAHA

    The Dove
     
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