ACR Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's something I took up a few years back. I had heard about being able to take a fired 22LR case and swage it into a bullet jacket and then press it into a bullet from a gun rag some years back. That's how RCBS got their start (Rock Chuck Bullet Swage if memory serves me correctly).


Here's the die and punch. Mounts right into a 7/8x14 press. Swages out the rim and gives you a bullet jacket. Sometimes though it'll punch right through the base and it gives you trouble coming off of the punch. Heat treating the cases is pretty important.


Here's a mess of completed jackets.


You can cast your lead cores or buy lead wire and cut to size. This die swages it to the correct weight but bleeding the excess lead off in a sprue you snip off. Not necessary but makes it more accurate of course. It's very consistent actually.



Next you press the core into the jacket in one die and the form the bullet in another. You're done. A ready to load bullet. Though, I do accomplish one more step and that is run through a canneluring tool so I can crimp them in the case. My semi autos do NOT like these to be uncrimped. The top photo shows a factory 55gr FMJ for comparison. If you look at some of the bases you can see the "Rem" or "W" headstamps still!


These bullets have very thin jackets so you have to keep velocities low or they will spin themselves apart. But this means less powder too so your $$ stretches a little farther. I buy cheap plinking bullets in bulk (those boxes are like a planet's core when they show up, the mail lady makes me get them out of the truck. oops.) so the price comparison given the time investment might be lopsided but it's still very fun to do nonetheless. A little pricey getting into, the full kit is several hundred dollars but what I did was buy the dies incrementally as I needed them over the course of several months. First was the jacket making die and once I had made several hundred jackets then I got the core swage die, and so on and so on. Corbins is who I get the stuff from.

By the way, anyone have a heat treating oven? I use a propane torch to heat up the jackets (1200 degrees F) until they glow so I can finish them but that's pure tedious. It'd be nice to be able to get a batch of them done all at once and more consistently than the torch method.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cjt50

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
That's really interesting. I've only recently become aware of people making their own bullets and the different methods used in such. Thanks for sharing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
That is so cool!! Always heard about the process, but never seen pictures.

Just curious, how do they function? Is accuracy tolerable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Accuracy is "good enough". There's a steel gong on the 200yd line there to the range and they ring it every time. Never really benched them to see to be honest. Maybe I should do that here sometime! :D
 

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
What's the cost per bullet? Rough estimate.....my matchking is maybe 25 cents if my drunk math is right. Steel at 200 is good. I feel like johnny five...."information! "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
Accuracy is "good enough". There's a steel gong on the 200yd line there to the range and they ring it every time. Never really benched them to see to be honest. Maybe I should do that here sometime! :D
If a gong at 200 yards isn't safe. thats good enough.

Thanks for sharing those pictures, always woundered about the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
What's the cost per bullet? Rough estimate.....my matchking is maybe 25 cents if my drunk math is right. Steel at 200 is good. I feel like johnny five...."information! "
http://www.corbins.com/kit-224.htm
Here's Corbins' page on their stuff.

As far as price, and if we're assuming the cost of dies is out of the equation, you're really only paying for the lead wire (you get several hundred cores from a 10# spool) and the sizing lube. You can get 22LR cases from just about every range in the world for free. The $64,000 question is how much you value your time to do all the work really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
My ultimate goal would be to replace 100% of the plinking ammo I load and shoot with these. If I stuck to it in the months when I'm hiding from the winter cold and snow I could maybe pull it off but it would be a lot of time spent at the bench. But, I can still offset it a decent amount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Apparently there is a way to take a spent primer and use it like a partition in the lead core. I don't know how that would work with this style of bullet but I can also buy standard copper bullet jackets to swage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
Apparently there is a way to take a spent primer and use it like a partition in the lead core. I don't know how that would work with this style of bullet but I can also buy standard copper bullet jackets to swage.
Really?!?

That would be interesting to see,,,,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I've never seen them but they also have a kit to turn fired shotgun primers into .25 cal bullets. I don't know if that's for .25ACP or if it could be a really light rifle round.

After I got off the big press last night (finished up some bulk Hornady 55gr FMJ I had bought awhile ago) I loaded up 15 of these homemade pills. If history repeats itself my barrel will back from Adco by this weekend so that'll give me an excuse to hit the range and group them to see. If they'll group around "minuteo f tin can" I'll still be more than satisfied.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #14



Used my A4 forgery to test accuracy a little with these pills. Was just down in one of the plinking bays so just did about 25m but they shot decently enough for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
Oyea, that works. Really impressed with entire process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I could probably get it a little tighter yet. I brought a 6x Leupold you can see sitting in that rack by the rifle but since that ACOG is zeroed I knew it would be close enough to get something useful at that distance. I love the reticle on the ACOG (TA31F) but it's easier for me to be more pinpoint with a crosshair. End of excuses...lol!


As far as the bullet swaging process, if you already reload and don't mind working at the bench it's something I recommend. Next time you're at the range (if it's an outdoor range of course) take a look around at all those .22LR cases on the ground. Those are FREE bullet jackets in waiting. You need almost pure lead or at least very soft alloy to swage on a reloading press so that might cost a few bucks. In the end though, if you're just going to plunk those bullets into the berm doing drills or just having fun that target don't know if it was shot by a home made bullet or a $1 super match pill.

Oh yeah, still looking for someone with a heat treating furnace! 1200 degrees to anneal the cases, makes jacket forming easier and has to be done for point forming. Anyone? Bueller?
 

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
I've seen the rotisserie type annealing machine. $400 I think. I may look into this bullet thing since match bullets are pricey and the cost today of my ten year old surplus stuff has doubled since then and will run out.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top