Thread: Swaging bullets
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Old June 25, 2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,183
I have about 10k .22 LR and .22 Short hulls saved up for .224" projectiles, and a few hundred .22 WMR hulls for .243" projectiles. But... all of my swaging fund got diverted some time back. So, I don't have a press or dies.

However, the urge to swage could not be ignored. So, I started working on this: .40 S&W for .44 caliber bullets
Total investment was under $50:
$5 - 7x57mm die set
$18 - Lee 401-175-TC mold
$7 - Hornady shell holder (for trimming)
$12 - Lee .430" sizing die
$.50 - "Ejector" rod from .295" polished O-1 drill rod

I do all of the swaging and sizing on my reloading presses.

Total cost is about 5 cents per bullet for bonded bullets (including flux and propane), and about 3.5 cents for unbonded bullets. They work very well in .44 Mag and .444 Marlin.

However.... this process doesn't convert easily to .35 caliber projectiles. If you really want something like a 115 gr RN, your best bet is a proper swaging press or a casting setup. Swaging pure lead (or close to it) in a Corbin Pro-Swage die will give you bullets that are too soft for 9mm pressure levels. And, you can't swage anything much harder than that on a reloading press (or in the R-type dies).

If you want jacketed 115 gr RNs, you definitely need a proper swaging press and matching dies. Modern reloading presses don't handle swaging operations very well, and modifications to make them stronger (and add leverage) push you up into the price range of a swaging press, anyway.

The problem with getting a Corbin setup, though.... is that it may take 2.5 years for you to get your dies. They'll ship the press as soon as it's available (and charge you for the full order), but the dies might not be produced for 24-30 months after the order is placed.
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