Bullet swaging, at last!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by sharps4590, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    It's those little things. Those things you learn when something didn't come out the way you wanted and you see how to do it...different...so you get the desired results. And, learning to use a set of tools you'd not used previously.

    As of this morning I have all the bugs worked out of swaging 38 and 44 bullets. In the picture the bullets on the far left are .429, 240 gr. that I swaged this morning. The second from the left is the first .429 bullets I did. They're fine, they just weigh 280 grs. which is more than I want for my 44 Spl's. The 3rd from the left is the first .357 bullets I did. They're fine and weigh in at 160 grs. However, if you look you'll see the jacket completely covers the sides of the lead core. I guess there's nothing wrong with that but it looks weird and there is supposed to be something about having that rim of lead showing above the case mouth that somehow helps lock the core in place....beats me how. The last bullet on the right is the .357's I did this morning after calculating the core weight and cutting back the jackets on my mill. They're dead on 158 grs. I ordered a CH-4D cannelure tool this morning and when it is applied they will be ready to shoot. I guess they don't need a cannelure and I might try some without one but, I'd sure like a place to crimp better than the sides of the jacket. We'll see.

    I imagine I will get faster at this. Right now I don't see any advantage over cast bullets, especially considering what it would cost if all that stuff was bought new. Still, it's interesting and something new to learn about and do.

    Now to do the same "cipherin'" with the .312 die set....THOSE will work in my 32-20's!! Now I will have to get a rifle in 32-20.....

    P1010016 (2).JPG
     
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  2. howlnmad

    howlnmad Old Guy Doing Things Moderator Supporting Member

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  3. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle TFF Chaplain Supporting Member

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    Nice work. Hope they shoot well. Let us know when the time comes.
     
  4. Firpo

    Firpo Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Dang Sharps, that’s taking things to a whole other level. They’re all good but those 357’s are beauties.
     
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  5. pdkfishing

    pdkfishing Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Yep, yep and yep. Waiting on progress / range reports. :popcorn:
     
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  6. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Probably not until next week....I have to WORK tomorrow!!!!! Well, just a little in the morning and it shouldn't take but a couple hours. Hope I haven't forgot how to be an electrician!
     
  7. howlnmad

    howlnmad Old Guy Doing Things Moderator Supporting Member

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    WORK :yikes:?
    Haven't you heard, the dems are wanting to shut down the country again.
     
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  8. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    What I have to say to the demofascists and the news media isn't fit for a Christian to think, let alone say. Those thoughts are a struggle I have every day.
     
  9. Dragstrip trash

    Dragstrip trash Member

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    You done very well Mr. Sharps
     
  10. ms6852

    ms6852 GUNZILLA Supporting Member

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    Hey Vic, I've been thinking about swaging and have been researching the Blackmon swaging system. What are you using?
     
  11. Bigdog357

    Bigdog357 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    They look great, I would like to learn more about making bullets using the swaging method vs casting. Looks like a fair amount of investment to get started.
     
  12. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Manny, Dragstrip Trash sold me a pile of Corbin stuff. It's older and they no longer make the Mity Mite press but it's all perfectly serviceable. Dies are still available for it but like all the Corbin stuff, it's expensive when new. There was an old price list in the stuff from DT that I think was from the 80's and it was expensive back then. I'm just learning so I'm completely ignorant of the Blackmon equipment.

    Bigdog, castboolits has a swaging forum....which is typical. Lots of info there but you have to dig through it. Corbin bullet swaging has books on the subject as I'm certain others do as well. As with you and Manny I'd been interested in swaging for many years. I just wasn't going to spring for a couple thousand dollars to try something I didn't know if I'd like it. For handguns I just don't know if it would be worth the outlay given the difference in cost between casting and swaging when cast bullets shoot so good. If a fella just HAS to shoot jacketed bullets and shoots a LOT I expect it would be worth it. For rifles it might be worth it but if a fella wants to make bullets in more than a few calibers, he's gonna have a lot of money tied up in dies. The upside is you can make any weight, nose shape, jacket thickness or about anything else you can think of. The weight of the core can be adjusted which changes the balance point of the bullet and can make it more or less stable on impact. That can all be done with the same set of dies.
     
  13. mudman35962

    mudman35962 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    keep talking about how expensive it is. a little less about how much fun it is. this is the kind of stuff that could mess up a good marriage. she doesn't say a lot about the money i spend now, but there is a point of no return. "know what i mean Vern?"

    rick

    OK go on about it i can dream.
     
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  14. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Corbin's web site is very good. You can go there and see what you would need and price it. Their...entry level press, I guess that's what you'd call it...is $739.00. A set of three dies is $650.00. Then you have to have some means to produce a core, either from a mold or lead wire. If you buy Corbins mold, which is adjustable for weight and length, it's $170.00. I've read one mold can do a few calibers. If you use the wire, it's $55.00 for 10 lbs. then you need a means to cut it to the proper length. I've been using a set of calipers and a hack saw. It works but isn't very efficient. A "core cutter" is another $70.00 or $90.00, depending on which one you get and if you use different size lead wire you need another set of dies for the core cutter. They aren't bad at $8.00 per set. The right size bullet mold, like from Lee, can be used to cast cores but you have to find the right size and weight.

    It's a process and has been fun. I especially like the learning part and having to figure out how everything worked, went together and how to make what I had do what I wanted. I think I mentioned there was no directions and what I found on line and the book I bought weren't much help.. The jackets DT got with what he bought and subsequently sold to me were long so I had to figure out a way to shorten them. I figured out a quick and easy way to do it on my mill and I can do one a minute but, it's another step. If a fella was buying jackets he can get the length he wants. Right now it seems like a lot of effort for not a lot of results when compared to casting but, when I sit down to swage I do get a bullet in short order that doesn't need sized and lubed. For time expended, right now it seems to be a wash when compared to casting. I expect I'll get faster as the process becomes more familiar. Cost wise, casting and swaging can't be compared if buying either set of tools new....or used, probably. DT was more than generous but, I still could have bought a sizer/luber, a die or two, a furnace and a couple or three Lee molds for less. Adding molds and sizing dies is a lot less expensive than adding swaging dies, even if you buy custom molds.
     
  15. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

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    I have shied away from swaging my own bullets, mainly because I know what would happen. I started reloading with jacketed bullets, then I bought cast bullets, then I bought a mold and now I have 14 molds and about a 1/2 ton of different alloy lead (not counting the 4 different powder paints and sprayer/equipment for PCing my cast bullets). I went as far as "swaging" zinc washers to the base of some bullets, but I have a tendency to take each "new hobby" to the highest possible extent, and If I made some beautiful bullets like Sharps did I'd be spending my whole SS check on books and tools to swage my own...