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Old February 12, 2012, 11:30 PM   #26
Rusty W
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I have a one step die from BT Sniper over at castboolits. It works great. I heat up the 40 brass in a grill to aneal it so it's easier to swage. I cast a boolit from a Lee 40cal mold out of pure/soft lead and drop it in the case. I don't have the notched die but the hollow point comes out great. Too bad I sold my 44 before I got to shoot some.
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Old February 13, 2012, 04:16 AM   #27
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Between you and BT Sniper over on Castbolits, you fellows are going to get me to swadgeing my own yet.

He uses C&H dies he modifies to work a bit better than the standard version and there are quite a few folks who are putting out some GREAT looking bullets from all sorts of different caliber cases.

Thanks for sharing yours.
Yep, yep. Totally different methods, but the same end result: cheap jacketed bullets that we can claim as our own.

One of the reasons I decided to try this method is because Brian is taking so friggin' long getting his next batch of .44 One-Step dies finished. (And he bought out CH's inventory. )

I have a plan for a 'notch' die, but it requires an investment of about $45. So, that might not happen until I have some proper swage dies.


When I have an update for this thread, I'll post it. For now, I'm working on the things listed in my previous post (bench, core mold, etc), and trying to let my thumbs heal up. Sorting, cleaning, and packaging all of the hulls and brass from Saturday has annihilated my thumbs and fingers. Both thumbs, both index fingers, and a few other fingers are cracked and bleeding.

Edit: The up side is that Cornbush's kids picked up about 200 pristine pieces of .40 S&W brass, that will make fantastic bullets. So the bleeding fingers might be worth it. ...not very easy to type with all these fingers taped up, though.
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Old February 13, 2012, 04:25 AM   #28
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This is so cool. Tag.
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Old February 13, 2012, 07:16 PM   #29
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Man, that is really neat! Too bad I cashed in a lot of scrap metal over the last year or two. I had about 700# of lead......

For now I'll just worry about learning to reload with purchased components. Maybe some time down the road I'll give this another look. In the mean time, I'm subscribed, too.
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Old February 14, 2012, 04:25 AM   #30
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Well I have two of Brians sets in mind, but it will be a while before I am able to advance them any further than having them on my wish list.

I have plenty of brass, and lead for when the time comes, and will probably go with something for a .452, that I can squeeze out a 275-325'ish grain out of. As for the nose, well the ones he has that are coming out looking so much like a XTP would would my purposes just fine. Since these will be for the 454, it won't take much to get them opening, it is the thickening of the base which I am hoping will keep them from turning inside out. I just simply cannot afford the XTP's in the numbers I like to shoot, and I like to practice with what I hunt with.

The other I want would be for my 41mag. While I have plenty of JHP's in the 200 - 220 range for it, but I really loved the now discontinued Remington 170gr SJHP. Loping along at around 1550 - 1700 it was an awesome performer, very muck akin to the way the much acclaimed 125gr .357 loads work. Those big exposed soft lead, deep hollow pointed noses, with that scalloped jacked really do a number on mid sized critters.

So when the time comes I will get with him and see if between the two of us we can devise something comparable. What I have seen already has been nothing short of great, so who knows.

As the old saying goes, patients, patients, patients....
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Old March 2, 2012, 07:03 PM   #31
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Frankenmauser, I (we) need an update! and one question: Are you bonding the core to the jacket?
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:12 PM   #32
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It is in fact a bonded core, it really is a pretty impressive bullet.


They shot pretty good out of my Model 29 too......
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Old March 3, 2012, 02:44 AM   #33
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I've been waiting on bullet molds to show up, so I could cast some cores.
The molds arrived last week, and I did get some experimental cores cast. But, I didn't cast enough for a full batch of bullets.

Next time I crank up the casting furnace, I'll punch out a few hundred cores. (.401" 175 gr TC, and .410" 195 gr SWC) Then, I'll be able to do some proper accuracy testing.

In the mean time, I made a new ejector rod out of .295" polished O-1 drill rod, and have been experimenting with case lengths and die adjustments for various different results (taking notes for HPs, SPs, protected points, etc).

I'm juggling quite a few projects right now. Once I get my new reloading bench done, I promise I'll post a video of the process.

The one thing I have definitively decided is: Wheel Weight alloy is not appropriate for this application. It's too hard on the press. I'm sticking to alloys of 5-8 BHN, from here on out.


Quote:
Are you bonding the core to the jacket?
Some of the test bullets were bonded; some weren't. (The ones in the photos are labeled as bonded, if applicable.)
In the future, I'll probably bond everything going in the .444 Marlin, but not the bullets for the .44 Mags.

The initial tests used bullets that were bonded with paste flux, but I plan to upgrade to Corbins Core Bond in the future. (The cost and results are almost identical, compared to cheap flux (or liquid flux), but the Core Bond is designed for the application.)
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Old March 3, 2012, 09:39 AM   #34
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right on man!
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Old March 4, 2012, 02:58 PM   #35
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Tag :-)
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Old March 4, 2012, 10:52 PM   #36
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Old June 29, 2012, 01:34 AM   #37
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I finally made it back into the reloading room, for the first time in more than 3 months.

I really felt like I was making progress at knocking out a large run of 275 gr bonded bullets ....until some problems started popping up.

I'm not entirely sure what ALL of the problems are being caused by, but I know a big factor is the liquid flux I used for this round of bonding. It works too well, and makes any lead that boils over instantly adhere to the outside of the jacket. And, this flux takes longer to boil off, so it causes more lead to boil out of the jackets, as well. Having lead on the outside of a jacketed bullet kind of defeats the whole purpose...

So, I'll have to experiment with this flux a little more, or just go back to the paste flux I was using for bonding. The paste flux is a giant pain in the butt to use (and about 2 minutes per bullet ), but it works very well.

I also had a large number of cases in this batch of jackets that were deformed when picked up (stepped on, run over, or otherwise out of round). I straighten those cases with my Lyman M die, in order to trim them, and haven't had a problem in the past. However, those cases kept returning to their deformed state as soon as the lead reached its melting temperature, during the bonding step. Once they go back to that out-of-round condition with a core bonded to the jacket, it's nearly impossible to salvage them, because the mouths snag on the seating punch and cause deformities. So, they're pretty much instant rejects (like the ones with lead bonded to the outside).

Bottom line:
I got a lot done, but of the 40 bullets I bonded, I was only able to declare about 15 usable. ...and now I'm questioning whether I can trust them.

I would like to keep using the liquid flux to save time, and it does produce a better bond. So, I might experiment with a heavier bullet, made with a duplex core, in the same jacket length.

It would be a Lee 400-175-TC (or lighter bullet) for the primary core, that would be bonded to the jacket. It would be swaged to eliminate air pockets, in the normal fashion. Then, a smaller core (35-50 grains) would be swaged on top of that. When the nose is formed, the extra lead would extrude out of the case slightly, and form more of a soft-point than the current protected point/hollow point appearance.

I was hoping to have some serious in-depth accuracy testing done by now, but it seems that the development cycle is never-ending. Whatcha gonna do?

Everybody likes pictures, so.....


125 prepped jackets


125 weight-matched cores and jackets
(Cores are pure lead Lee 410-195-SWCs. The mutant noses were trimmed, due to over-weight cores.)


One at a time, the redneck way. It takes about 45 seconds, apiece; not counting pulling the bullet out of the case, applying the flux, and sticking the bullet back in nose-first.
(Note the boiled-over lead sitting in the burner, due to the excess boil time of the liquid flux. Every bit of lead down there means a bullet is going to be off 0.2-0.5 grains {or more}, and might be a reject. )

A minor note... Apparently, I am too stubborn for my own good. I kept wanting to plug along with the bonding process, even though my welding glove was getting seriously hot on the back of my hand. When I was done, I discovered that I had given myself a 1st degree burn, by not taking a break. Idiot...
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Old June 29, 2012, 01:40 AM   #38
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Instant rejects



The "sink" in the top of these indicates that they did bond, but the fact that they're all off-center means they're marginal, at best. Also note that almost all of them have some kind of lead ring bonded to the case mouth. That is NOT desirable, and causes problems during swaging. So far, this liquid flux is looking like a failure, other than the fact that the bond is stronger.


Some examples of a process I've been playing with, to try to save some of the out-of-round rejects, that are otherwise on-weight and bonded well.

Instead of feeding the jacket and core into the die base-first, I start by feeding it nose-first (if it will enter the die). Then, I turn it over and run it back in base-first. And, finally, nose-first again.
After the abysmal results from yesterday, I may have quite a few of these to experiment with.

I know everyone wants to see some serious accuracy testing, but I need to work a few more bugs out before I can commit to a large batch again. Trust me, I want to shoot a bunch of these even more than you want to see the photos.
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Old June 29, 2012, 01:49 AM   #39
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And, one last post for the night...

I just want to point out that the unbonded versions of these bullets suffer from absolutely none of the problems I've discussed above. It's just the bonding process (and components) that are causing problems.

But... my primary motivation right now, is being able to hunt Elk with my own bonded bullet this November. So, bonding is my priority. While working out the bugs, I may throw together 100 or so of the unbonded 250-275 gr bullets for use in .44 Mag; but that can be done very quickly (if the cores are available) and isn't a high priority.

I do hope to have enough good bullets to do thorough testing on the 4th of July, though. So, I do have a bit of a deadline. We'll see...
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Old June 29, 2012, 02:58 PM   #40
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They will definitely be loaded in my model 29, and if at all possible.... used on a nice fat cow or yearling bull
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Old June 29, 2012, 03:10 PM   #41
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I agree with your father....sacrilege!

I do think the method has merit with 9mm cases though. 9mm to .40/10mm bullets.

Like this:


Jonblack at arfcom did those in 2010...got quite a following.

Alas, I'm too lazy to do either one....probably too dumb too. Interesting ideas though!
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Old June 29, 2012, 09:54 PM   #42
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GWS, I would be using a proper die for these, as well, if I CH4D hadn't had their entire inventory of .44 swaging dies and parts bought out by a single person. ...and/or if that person would get their own production run finished, instead of just jabbering about it all the time, and blaming his suppliers for delays.

I would really like to be putting a proper ogive on these bullets. It would eliminate at least half of the problems that are created by trying to work with the sharp, short nose profile the 7x57 die provides.

But, until some one makes a reasonably priced die available, I have to keep working with what I've got.
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Old June 29, 2012, 11:37 PM   #43
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I love this kind of poor man technology. Anything home rolled is better than store bought. Dangit, I had a couple thousand 40 S&W brass and traded it off. That's not a very big shopping list to add J 44's to the lineup, I think I may just put this on the list and try some.

I'M wondering if I took one of your 44s if I could bump it up to .451 on my Corbin press (s dies). Prolly too hard to.
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Old June 30, 2012, 04:50 AM   #44
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I'M wondering if I took one of your 44s if I could bump it up to .451 on my Corbin press (s dies). Prolly too hard to.
There are a few people doing just that, even with reloading presses; but you need to anneal the cases first. Failing to anneal them results in the body not expanding uniformly. So, the base and body are not concentric. Obviously, that is not conducive to in-flight stability.

I believe BT_Sniper on castboolits even sells a "one step" die in .45 caliber, designed to use .40 S&W cases as jackets.
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Old September 20, 2012, 03:02 AM   #45
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A minor accuracy and velocity update; since it may be all I can manage before the Elk hunt.

I got another chance to shoot some of the 275 grain bullets across a chronograph last Saturday. I was quite surprised at the result. The velocities are as much as 150 fps faster than I had estimated.

Whether it's due to decreased bore friction, from the zinc in the brass; or due to using slightly under-sized projectiles (by 0.0005"); I don't know. But, they are running faster than expected.


Back in post 17, I had estimated 47.5 grains H4198 to be pushing these bullets at 2,225 fps. However, Saturday's testing showed that load to be averaging 2,363 fps.
From there, the velocities consistently increased.


I was having a bad day and couldn't really hold things together. So, I only managed to print a 4-shot group of about 3" @ 80 yards (I didn't bother measuring).
However, my father was 'on his game', and managed to hold on to a 1-3/4" 4-shot group, at the same distance.

So, these bullets appear to be perfectly capable of "hunting accuracy" at a minimum; and further load development may even tighten things up.


I say "may" because I wasn't able to finish testing everything I had loaded. I had barely gotten started with the .40 S&W bullets.
My experimental "One Ounce Suppository" cast bullet loads managed to shift the scope in its rings, and I didn't have the tools to fix it. So, the .444 had to be put away for the day, without finishing what I had started with either set of tests.
--The one ounce suppository being a 428 gr bore-rider bullet, whose load increments got it to 1,855 fps in a 6.3 lb rifle, before recoil took revenge on the scope. (I can't say that the shooter was really enjoying the recoil, either, though....)


If all else fails before then... I may just do some more testing during the Elk hunt.
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Old September 20, 2012, 03:09 AM   #46
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I just noticed, I never posted an update about the failed bonding process.

I still haven't figured out how to get the liquid flux to work for me. So, I may just go back to using the paste flux. It's more cumbersome and doesn't bond as well, but is cleaner and more reliable.

I haven't had a good batch of bonded bullets, since that previous post. If I end up using these on the Elk hunt, I'll be using the unbonded bullets. I have faith that they're tough enough for the job.

And, the Elk hunt is in October, not November. (Idiot...)
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Old September 20, 2012, 05:02 AM   #47
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Franken,

I am not a bullet maker (yet). Matter of fact, I just started reloading, but I have done a lot of soldering and brazing in my trade.

Regardless of what type of flux you are using, you only need a scant film on clean brass to make a bond. Maybe you could get a round wire brush and mount it in a hand drill to score/clean the inside of the cases for flux prep. Then make an oversized Q-tip (also sized to snugly fit inside the prepped case) that is just damped with liquid flux. That way you get a thin, even film of flux inside the case before the lead is set in there.

Interesting thread, BTW.
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:56 AM   #48
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I believe the bonding process would have less failures if the inside of the cases were deoxidized. Think how plumbers clean their copper & brass fittings with a wire brush so the solder will bond properly. Flux stops the oxidation from occuring from the heat of the torch as you (solder). As noted, it takes less flux than you think it might, but the case will have to be squeaky clean first.
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Old October 14, 2012, 01:11 AM   #49
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The 275 gr unbonded version of these bullets was used to successfully take a 6x6 Bull Elk, this last week.

.444 Marlin (Handi-Rifle)
Winchester .40 S&W case with pure lead core
2,335 fps (muzzle)


This Elk was taken on top of a mountain (literally 30 feet from the peak), and took 3 days to pack out (note the pack frames in the photo). So, I didn't really have the time, energy, or motivation to document hits, wound channels, or bullet recovery efforts. That's why there aren't any photos of that (unless one of my hunting partners has some).

First shot was not an ideal shot, but I took it none-the-less ... it was all I had, and I had faith in the bullet. I fired through a tree for a left-hand, broad-side, liver shot at ~75 yards, that tore the diaphragm and blew the liver into 3 pieces. It was a fatal shot, although not immediately fatal. The entrance wound was about 54 to 58 caliber (presumably from the bullet going through the 5/8" tree branch it cut off). The bullet caused some minor damage to the far-side ribs and soft tissue, but did not exit. The bullet was lost in the gut pile, but no fragments were found. It is presumed to have held together well.

Second shot was, again, not ideal. I had to shoot through a tree, again, for a left-hand, broad-side neck shot. But, this shot was at about 25 yards, and through a much thinner new-growth Doug Fir branch. The bullet blew the spine up (as intended), severed both arteries and veins, left a few jacket (brass) fragments in the wound channel, and stopped part way through the nearly-3/4" thick hide on the far side of the neck. Gravity took over, and he was done.

The second bullet was recovered. I'll post photos and a (clean) recovered weight as soon as I find the macro adapter for my camera. The jacket did not separate, as some people (including myself) suspected may happen without bonding.


(I somehow managed to get the angle just perfect, so it looks like a 5x5 in the photo. But, I assure you, there's one tine hiding on each side.)

I've never been a big fan of hanging antlers all over the house, even though my wife is pretty excited about it. (This is my first Elk.) But... she's mad that I didn't get a chance to shoot the big one in the herd. This was, after all, the "little" guy. But... I'm very happy to see all of this redneck R&D proving worthwhile.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:38 AM   #50
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Very cool Frankenmauser!! congrats of course on the research and development.
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