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Old January 18, 2013, 07:31 PM   #1
4V50 Gary
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Make your own bullet swaging press

Here are some photos and text Here

With the plans to the press HERE
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:24 PM   #2
FlySubCompact
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That is really neat.

Got a question about swaging bullets. I have no experience with this at all.

I assume you put a piece of lead alloy in the lower die then squish it into shape, right? I would also guess that the slug would have to be precisely the correct weight before swaging. A slug that was too small would not fill out and one too large would not compress fully, right? How are the preforms precisely sized before swaging? Thanks.
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:27 PM   #3
jimbob86
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Quote:
I assume you put a piece of lead alloy in the lower die then squish it into shape, right? I would also guess that the slug would have to be precisely the correct weight before swaging. A slug that was too small would not fill out and one too large would not compress fully, right? How are the preforms precisely sized before swaging?

I have not looked at the links yet, but all the bullet swaging dies I have seen squirt the excess lead out a hole in the nose, and this sprue is then broken off....
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:50 PM   #4
Newton24b
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actually if you got bored, look at the bullet making machine the british used to make enfield bullets. very simple in process, complicated to build.

what they did was, take a lead wire and cut it into pieces that had the same volume as the desired bullet, then it would be put into a hopper, and eventually fed ito a ram that would shove it into a die, and a perfectly shaped and sized and weighted bullet would plop out when the die opened. i believe each machine could make 1-1200 bullets per hour.
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:07 AM   #5
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Most "consumer grade" swaging dies fall into a few basic types, designed for a specific task in the overall process:

De-rimming dies, jacket making dies, trim dies, 'base guard' dies, and similar tools are not really 'swaging' dies; but used for making components to go into bullet swaging, or are niche products. So, I won't cover those.

Lead swage die (known by many other names) - These dies are designed to form bullets from lead alloys, without jackets. They can use nearly any form of solid lead as the core (due to the use of lubricant in the process, multi-segment bullets are not recommended). Most bullets formed by these dies must be cannelured, knurled, or grooved, in order to be lubricated -- exceptions made for some applications, such as black powder and paper-patching.

Core swage die (aka "Squirt die") - This die is used to squeeze pieces of lead alloy (wire, cast bullets, or cast cylinders) into a uniform cylindrical shape, with excess lead being bled off through vent holes. The extruded waste is collected and recycled. The finished cores are extremely uniform, and ready to get swaged into jackets; or used for swaging lead bullets in the dies mentioned above.

Core seat die - This die is used to seat the lead core in the jacket of choice, and expand the bullet to very near its finished diameter. Generally, the "bullet" comes out as a cylindrical hollow point.

Point form die (aka "Form die") - This die is used to form the ogive of the bullet, and uses the pressure created during the process to 'bump' the bullet up to its finished diameter. Most hollow point and flat point bullets are finished after this step (other than being washed or tumbled clean).

Lead tip die (aka "Pointing die") - This die is used to form a more attractive point on bullets that have exposed lead on the bullet tip. It is mostly cosmetic, for rifle bullets, with some minor impact on ballistic coefficient and/or feeding reliability. Most pointed bullets are finished after this step.

One-Step die - This die is used to form a completed handgun bullet, in a single press stroke (provided your cores are uniform, or you don't care about minor variances). Generally, 'one-step' dies only create a hollow point, due to the need for applying pressure to the core during the process. Most 'one-step' dies are designed to use some type of handgun cartridge case as the jacket - .40 S&W for .44/.45 caliber bullets, 9mm for .40 caliber bullets, etc.


Most swaging dies for swaging presses have the die mounted in the bottom of the press (whether it moves, or not), and the punch mounted in the top of the press. However, most swaging dies for reloading presses operate in the opposite manner - die on top, punch on bottom.
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Last edited by FrankenMauser; January 19, 2013 at 02:14 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:53 AM   #6
dahermit
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Quote:
I assume you put a piece of lead alloy in the lower die then squish it into shape, right? I would also guess that the slug would have to be precisely the correct weight before swaging. A slug that was too small would not fill out and one too large would not compress fully, right? How are the preforms precisely sized before swaging? Thanks.
The pieces of lead are usually cut from a coil of lead wire using a simple hole through which to push the lead wire, which contacts a "stop", and a leaver is pushed down to cut the core. The dies to swage the bullet has a "bleed" hole where the small amount of excess lead is forced out.
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Old January 19, 2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Thanks. The bleed hole make sense. That way you fudge a tad high on mass. I got to thinking it would be hard to get the fed slugs precisely the right mass for swaging. Kind of like a flash channel in diecasting setup.
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