Wax Bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by RunningOnMT, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    My local gun rights group had a meeting last week, that unfortunately I was unable to attend, where someone demonstrated how to make wax bullets. Someone else who attended gave me a quick run through about how to do it by reloading primers in fired brass, then without adding powder, somehow dipping the cartridge into hot wax (at least that's what I thought he said), resulting in a wax filled cartridge which can be safely shot indoors, like say in your basement, or outside in your backyard.

    Now in thinking about this later it didn't make sense to dip the rounds in hot wax, as I would think it would just run back out. Also he said the wax bullet was flush with the casing. The only way I can see to do that is to pour the hot wax into a shallow pan, then allow to cool. Then once the wax sets to press the casings into the wax like a cookie cutter to the bottom of the pan.

    Has anyone here done this before? If so, can you tell me exactly how to do this? Also, is any special equipment required in order to replace the primers?
  2. Twicepop

    Twicepop Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    NW Ohio
    I had some wax bullets for a .44 Mag revolver years back. The bullets were cast in regular .44 caliber bullet molds. The difference in what you've described and what I had was the cases were modified to accept a 209 shotgun primer, and to be used with no powder. It sounds better than it actually worked, the machining wasn't uniform on the cases and the primers would bind on the recoil shield of the gun. Had the cases been uniform in the way they were modified, it might have worked like a charm.

    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't

  3. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    NW AR
    were they allowed to set before being removed maybe? If you had the shallow pan filled with wax and then put the cases in to let it fill and the end harden I guess it would work. It wouldnt take long to let them set so that the end would harden. Especially if you put the pan over ice or something. What is the point of a wax bullet anyway??
  4. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    That is the way to do it. A friend of mine does it all the time. Like said, no powder, just the primer. He doesn't do anything special with the primers. Of course you WILL have to clean the firearm more than usual. LOL
    And extra clean before you run any regular ammo through it.

    We sit out back and shoot cans that are about 15 - 25 feet away. Fairly accurate all things considered.
    He does have a place set up in his house to shoot it, but I have not been in there to see it.
  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    ROMT I did it several years ago for .45 acp. Just took some cases and drilled the flash hole a little larger and primed them. The wax was what I believe they called canning wax.
    Got it at the grocery store and it came in sheets about 3"x5" and about 1/2" thick. I just warmed those wax sheets a little by floating them on some hot water just to soften them a little and then used what you called the cookie cutter method of pushing the primed cases down into the softened wax. Wax is just soft enough as not to crumble when you push the case into it. Should work with any center fire round. Of course they may not feed well and won't work the action of a semi auto. I just loaded one at a time in the 1911. That wax came out of a 1911 with surprising power. It would sure enough raise a welt if it hit you. Accuracy was not great. I never experimented with making the wax thicker so the bullet would be longer than its diameter. Using 1/2" wax may have been too thing to stabilize a .45. I loaded maybe a couple hundred and shot them in the basement. I finally switched to the factory plastic case and bullets that are out there that use just the primer. Less hassle and a bit more accurate.

    Might be able to use a micro wave to soften the wax now but I didn't have one then, ha.
  6. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Wax bullets became popular in the late 1950's and early 1960's during the "Fast Draw Craze" with a SAA type revolver. A lot of would be "speed demons" shot themselves in the leg or foot with a .45 Colt trying to draw faster than "Marshal Dillon" on "Gunsmoke".

    While a wax bullet, propelled by primer only, is not a toy; and will easily shoot through both sides of a sturdy cardboard box at 7 yards; it does not do the damage to a leg or foot that a lead bullet does. They are very messy relative to your revolver. Benzine (C6H6) was the preferred way to clean a gun after using them. Benzine is a very dangerous, expensive, and hard to get material for private persons, today.

    For a while, in years past, Speer offered special reusable plastic bullets and cases. However, they seem to have been discontinued for product liability reasons. Modern primers are lead based and should not be fired indoors, without an indoor range grade ventilation system.

    If you want to experiment with wax bullets, here is how it is done.

    First you will need some cartridge cases (like 50) that you are going to ruin for future use with powder and regular bullets. Next you must enlarge the flash hole diameter significantly, so that the primer does not back out when fired with the wax bullets. {I do not remember exactly how much bigger to make the holes; but would estimate that the diameter needs to be increased 1.5X which makes the hole 2.25X bigger in area. You should experiment with a case or two until you determine the necessary size for your primers.}

    Next you must get a one pound box of paraffin wax slabs that are about 3/4' thick and sold for home/farm canning and candle-making. {You can find it on Ebay, Amazon, and in some grocery stores. "Gulf Wax" is a well known brand.

    OK, you have your modified and primed cases and 4 bars of wax. You warm a barr or two in a oven on very low heat until it is soft enough, all the way through, to take a primed case like a cookie cutter, and press int through the wax, putting a wax bullet in the primed case. In a short time it will be cool enough to fire.

    Hope this is informative; but be warned that wax bullets can cause serious injuries, and are very messy.
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
  8. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    NW AR
    Ah. Ok, I guess I can see them as a quick draw type load. Might be good for balloon shooting too, in cowboy action or something.
  9. res45

    res45 Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    Wax bullets,can be use with stand primed cases or special modified cases that take 209 shotgun primers.

    I make my own using a Lee 38 cal. TL Double Ended Wadcutter mold an a hot glue gun. I push them into the case with finger pressure and use a SPM primer. I don't really shoot a lot of them it just something different to play with.
  10. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    After reading through all of your posts, I guess I'll pass on these. Don't want to make a mess of my bore, and I never realized there was lead in primers.
  11. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    A lot of years ago I did the wax bullet thing with .45 ACP just to see if it worked. I got a block of paraffin (canning wax) at the store. This is the kind that comes in a box and is several slabs about 1/2 inch thick. I pushed an unprimed case all the way into a slab and then primed it. I figured it was better in that order so the air would have somewhere to go. The only time I fired it was to kill a mouse that got into my waste basket. Yep, a Colt .45 auto as a mouse gun.
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