The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting > Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 9, 2011, 08:48 AM   #1
chasep255
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2009
Location: NJ :(
Posts: 688
Is it possible to cast FMJ bullets?

Is there a way to cast your own FMJ bullets like the ones we order from the factory?
__________________
I have mostly non-sporting firearms
In NJ, technically speaking, ALL guns are illegal
Also in my state there is such thing as a Class III BB gun :barf:
Happy to say that despite the NJ AWB I still manage to make my guns look scary
chasep255 is offline  
Old April 9, 2011, 10:27 AM   #2
reloader28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2009
Location: nw wyoming
Posts: 929
You can cast the same shapes.
You cannot cast a FMJ. The key part here being JACKET.
You can make a bullet core and swedge a jacket on it or cast a boolit with the same shape as a FMJ.
reloader28 is offline  
Old April 9, 2011, 12:57 PM   #3
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,079
Swaging is the only way that I know of to get FMJ bullets. Home swaging is more $$$ than I can afford so I just cast my own. One of my favorites for 45 ACP is Lymans 225 gr. Round nose bullet. Same shape and close to the same weight as typical 45 ACP FMJ bullets (much cheaper too).
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old April 11, 2011, 09:55 PM   #4
45 2.1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2011
Location: Little Egypt, fifedom of Chicago
Posts: 7
Its quite possible to cast an extremely hard bullet from linotype, monotype or some of the bearing alloys via heat treating (either water dropping or oven heat treat). The problem is that they are fairly brittle in nature when the hit something hard.
45 2.1 is offline  
Old April 17, 2011, 04:38 PM   #5
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,247
To the original question: I did see recently some pictures of bullets board member Kraigwy posted of bullets cast by putting copper tubing into a mold. He shows a kind of half-jacketed bullet, but it's not typical of factory bullets.

The basic answer to whether you can cast a bullet that looks like a factory bullet is still no, because factory bullets aren't made by casting. If you want to try swaging jacketed bullets, like the factory does, then Corbin is the best known supplier of dies and materials. But even their cheapest hand press that's strong enough for swaging is $600. By the time you get out with the different dies and the supplies you need I'd guess you'll have at least $1500 tied up in it just to try it out. They're getting around $0.09 each just for jackets, if you don't want to buy dies to form your own from strips of copper or from copper tubing.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member

Last edited by Unclenick; April 17, 2011 at 04:44 PM.
Unclenick is online now  
Old April 18, 2011, 07:28 PM   #6
jinxer3006
Member
 
Join Date: May 6, 2010
Posts: 24
Don't know about the cost of equipment, but there's always this:

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=24952
jinxer3006 is offline  
Old April 19, 2011, 09:21 AM   #7
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,247
That's a great thread. I just assumed new equipment, but there are a lot of old presses on eBay that have pretty beefy castings. Someone on another forum suggested the Lee Classic Cast single-stage was strong enough for making .22's, as well.

The dies are pretty pricey (several hundred bucks each at Corbin), but if you have a lathe you could probably make all but the pointing die.

I think Vernon Speer or one of the other old timers started with making bullet jackets from .22 LR cases during WWII, when jacket copper was scarce. I don't know how uniform they are, but obviously you can make them shoot.

I don't know that I'd use wheel weight cores. I'd be concerned about getting failure to flow into the corners of the heel of the base. Accuracy will tell whether that's a real problem or not, though.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is online now  
Old May 21, 2011, 03:22 PM   #8
dikko
Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2011
Posts: 22
No. But you can copper plate a cast bullet. The result is something like a full metal jacket. Frontier in South Africa hard casts a core and plates it 11 thousandth thick. The resulting bullets are very nice.

I am a commercial caster. A few years ago I had a local plating company plate a few thousand bullets. The objective was to see how thick the plating should be to eliminate leading, ie to do the same as jacketed bullets. I found that two thousandths was enough. Strings of 100 fired from a 9mm and a 357 Mag left the bores clean with no leading at all. I never took it further because having an outside contractor do it was too expensive, and the equipment was too big for my small workshop.
dikko is offline  
Old June 14, 2011, 08:05 AM   #9
Gunn Smithy
Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2011
Location: CA's central valley
Posts: 99
Quote:
I am a commercial caster. A few years ago I had a local plating company plate a few thousand bullets. The objective was to see how thick the plating should be to eliminate leading, ie to do the same as jacketed bullets. I found that two thousandths was enough. Strings of 100 fired from a 9mm and a 357 Mag left the bores clean with no leading at all. I never took it further because having an outside contractor do it was too expensive, and the equipment was too big for my small workshop.
There was a company in business a few years back that sold a home brew kit for the home caster to plate their own bullets in copper. It had a plug in electric unit and all the chemicals necessary to get the job done including contracting out a series of undersized molds (not sure who made them for the company) that allowed you to plate yourself back into proper bullet diameters after the whole process was done and over with. It took off for a while but quickly lost interest and I believe the company went bust (I may be wrong on this?) The business end of the unit was a rack that had a series of spring loaded clamps or pins that were lifted so a cast bullet could be placed between the pins and held captive. The pins made the electrical connection and the rack was placed into the chemicals which were in a standard 5 gallon plastic bucket. Real simple equipment and I don't believe that the set up cost all that much either. The other neat thing was it was the only way to get a jacketed Keith type of bullet in 300 grains for your 45. All sorts of nifty combinations were then available with that unit. Smithy.
__________________
Salvation is through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
Gunn Smithy is offline  
Old June 14, 2011, 09:27 AM   #10
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,247
Caswell says their flash copper plating kits may be used on bullets. See here for specifics of use. A few hundred dollars to set up.

I don't know what the custom mold stuff is about unless you are determined to plate the bullets as-cast. Otherwise, just size them down a couple thousandths and clean the lube off before plating. A custom sizing die from Lee cost less than a custom mold. last time I looked.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is online now  
Old June 15, 2011, 09:47 AM   #11
teeroux
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2006
Posts: 1,492
Ammosmith at youtube has a tutorial on bullet swaging with CH4D dies. He also uses a standard single stage press.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pwl4x-Lb-g

Sorry that was the wrong vid but still good. try this one.


http://www.youtube.com/user/ammosmith#p/u/0/OzqyOfrhqZY

Last edited by teeroux; June 15, 2011 at 08:43 PM.
teeroux is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09077 seconds with 9 queries