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Old June 29, 2012, 01:34 AM   #37
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,183
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...
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 2012-06-28_01-01-25_47_600.jpg (96.1 KB, 263 views)
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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