Casting is the oldest method, as well as the one that most hobby reloaders use. Casting uses a lead furnace to melt the bullet alloys, mould handles,
a mould for each weight, shape, and caliber of bullet, then a sizer and lubricator device to correct the diameter and apply a thick bullet lubricant.
Machining from solid materials requires a large investment in precision machine tools but is more precise than casting. It is slow, and subject to
tool wear, chatter, and machine variables and is used only by a few custom bullet firms, or sometimes to build a prototype bullet.
Swaging uses room-temperature materials that can include solid, jacketed, or lead, plastic and powdered metals. The tools are a high pressure press
that can flow the bullet materials without melting them, and diamond-lapped, high precision dies with matching punches that instantly give the
materials their final dimensions (shape, caliber and even internal constructions) with no further processing, lubricating, or sizing.
Both casting and swaging are simple processes. Swaging is the most precise method of making a bullet. It is extremely fast, easy to learn, and has
many additional advantages over casting.
The newer method, and the one used by the major ammunition companies, benchrest bullet makers, and virtually everyone who is interested in making the
most accurate bullet possible, is swaging, or pressure-forming. Unlike casting, swaging does not involve heating molten metal, so it simply doesn't
have the same toxicity or danger of burns or fire. Moreover, swaging is a very flexible process, allowing one to make multiple variations on a theme
with a single set of dies. A single swage die is equivalent to thousands of moulds, since it can make virtually any weight of bullet in many styles.
You can even make your own jackets from common materials such as copper tubing, copper strip, or fired .22 cases, and produce bullets that outshoot
anything you could buy off the shelf (since you can control the bullet weight, shape, and style precisely for the best result in your particular
firearm). I'm a Swager and once you lean to swage you'll never go back...
This is probably the ONE concept (Swaging) most shooters have heard about, because the process of using fired .22 cases as jackets for centerfire .224
and .243 rifle bullets launched so many of the giants of reloading, such as R.C.B.S., Speer, Hornaday, and others. Fired .22 cases make the very best
varmint bullets, and probably the worst big game jackets (certainly not recommended or ethical from a hunters point of view to use such thin explosive
bullets on big game). As target bullets, they can be extremely good, beating even some benchrest bullets.... maybe not the best of the Match Ammo but
not far behind
Below I've included some video's of the equipment that is most common, the turret Press..and a .22 Swager
I on the other hand still use my old RCBS Rock Crusher and do em one at time... Why do I stick to the old fashion???... because I'm fricken crazy
that's why .... crazy like a fox
Excellent! I still prefer to reload shells over brass any day. My MEC Grabber was one of the better investments I have ever made nearly 10 years
ago. It has probably paid for itself 3x's since I have had it.
When I get into a Sunday reloading groove it puts me into a therapeutic like trance. Before I know it...200 shells are finished, boxed and ready for
the range. If I really hammered the pace, this machine can kick out 300-400 in one hour!!
Good Times!! I am still on the fence with reloading brass though.... We'll see
Forgot to add my dream machine.. Hydraulics
edit on 27-5-2011 by jibeho because: (no reason given)
Nice MEC dont know why but I keep forgetting those guys...
Corbin makes the best hydraulic presses non-wealthy people like me can afford...might want to check them out.
and for the rest of you guys... that last vid... the little Lee 1000 might be the cheapest way to get into reloading...
as long as your loading for, one or two calibers... for just a bit over $125 you can buy the kit... with dies... for one caliber... they make it for
most handgun loads but I believe in rifle size you can only get one in 5.56 NATO...
Great stuff, I always wondered and that was about where it ended, but more and more recently I have been thinking of having some dies made for a drop
style forge or trip hammer.
I am impressed and shortly after you put this thread up i have been looking.
Btw, my wife is angry with you!!!
But I will talk her down in time, maybe roses or a ring or something.
I have had ammosmith bookmarked and have seen alot of his vids but I guess I never put 2 and 2 together.
I did see a video of some 45 acp boolits made from 40 s&w casings, but the cost of each round ...well i could lose blood easier.
I would like to say, thank you, now today has a definate direction!
Pricing we go!
Like I said I still use my old LEE classic press single shot.
Takes a bit longer but with all things worth it, they take time.
It is not crazy, we reload precision ammo.
never had a round not fire, and that is most important especially if it is needed.
I believe the Dillon is the blue press, if so that is the one my dad bought about 10 years back.
Fully auto, he cranks out some rounds with that thing and he is an ollldd man.
Onto the main topic back when I was 18 I worked at a local gun store that did reloads too.
Binders Loading Room, we had some serious apparatus.
We did reloads for the city of L.A. up until a little after they switched to the Berrettas.
Those machines we had 3 of them 9mm, 45acp, and 38 spl.
They would stomp out around 60 rounds a minute on an average to slow feed.
All cases were deprimed and tumbled prior to going into the machines and depriming was done just as fast.
We used 3 cement mixers as tumblers.
Now that was a lot of rounds.
Gosh but I miss that place, favorite job I ever had, and we were permitted to fire in the City of Sacramento!!
No range just an angled steel test tube.
now I got to splain fireforming...
Fireforming is when you take the case for one type of cartridge and use it to make another...
it's pretty easy to do... but I have not always had the best of luck... esp when making cases with steep neck angles like for the 6mm BR... anyway
here a couple vids to give you insight on the how too
Originally posted by zookey
And what if you have no furance or dies to use?
Musket or tube and gunpowder packed into it then a metal projectile.
edit on 31-5-2011 by zookey because: (no reason given)
Field casting is as old as is Muskets.... you dont need a furance when the coals from a campfire work just fine
just because your field casting does not preclude you from making the best ammo for very modern handguns and high powered rifles!
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