April 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm #8429
This is probably a good idea. Hopefully there is a lot more info out there. Looking forward to hearing from other also.
Another thought, because black powder is bulky, some modern cartridges may not hold enough powder to get the velocities you would like. Of course, some like the .38 special were originally designed for use with BP. So should work great. Just my opinion, of course.April 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm #8442
I agree 1974t150v. Basic stuff/overview for beginners. I highly recommend folks learn from someone they know with experience at reloading. That’s what I do with my father-in-law who has 50 years of experience.April 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm #8486
Thanks to all of you who replied to my reloading inquiry re lead for bullets (bushrat, 1974, freedom).
Lots of interesting info and ideas. I looked into the Corbin copper swaging equipment; pretty expensive endeavor. Have you guys actually invested in these tools to make your own bullets or do you buy them? One would have to be doing a lot of shooting, or selling ammo supplies to justify the investment.
One thing that was not clear is how do you go from say, scrap copper wire, to swagged bullets in a SHTF situation? Corbin spoke of starting the swaging process with their copper sheet or tube stock. What works when the Corbins of the world are not available?April 14, 2014 at 2:17 am #8511
Right now I buy bullets. Some time down the road I might cast lead. It’s just easier. But when times get tough there is always copper. After shtf and you need bullets your going to use what you can. Not perfect bullets that Corbine makes for bench rest.April 14, 2014 at 3:02 am #8516
I cast lead bullets. I can cast approximately 4430 .358 caliber 158gr LSWC from 100 lbs of lead for my .38/.357 guns. I cast them at around 15 BHN and I already have over 3000 of those bullets produced. I still have 300lbs of lead in stock. I think I’m set for some time.
For my 9mm’s I load 115gr copper-plated RN from X-treme Bullets for practice. They’re consistent in the manufacturing process, seat easily in the case, and are accurate. I load them around 1150-1200 fps, so they are not much different from shooting factory JHP’s. http://www.xtremebullets.com/“>
I also stock a considerable amount of factory ammo for all my weapons. So unless I get into some heavy fire fights (which I have no intention of doing), then I should be good for quite some time.April 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm #8540
This is basicly how to do it. Melt the copper and pour a rod shaped ingot close to the desired bullet diameter. After the ingot cools run the ingot through wire drawing dies. Make your final wire die the finished size of the bullet. Make a bullet die for swaging the ogive of the bullet then use a hydraulic jack press with your die setup. Cut the bullets to the proper lenght and swage them.
Corbin dies used with tubing and sheet stock are designs for jacketed bullets.April 22, 2014 at 4:54 am #10138
We Use a type of Alloy called Linotype Alloy Ingot (4%-Tin, 12%-Antimony, and 84%-Lead) it is antimony and tin with lead you can get pre mixed or just the lead and antimony part for easier storage just mix into lead at desired ratios, can do this on a wood fire if you have to and cast the ammunition.
As for cheap corbin stuff you can find it at meets for guns and out door stuff a lot of guys buy it and never use after first time because cheaper and faster to buy pre done.
getting a progressive machine and multi set up for pistol and rifle is the best if you have $ to spare saves on changing out the machine all the time.
Dillon makes decent reloaders but the assembly instructions are worse than IKEA assembly written in Egyptian hieroglyphics
if you get one look and learn it now on you tube and feel the others pain before it becomes a dire situation.
But on plus side they are fast the 650 just get electronic primer flipper saves you aggravating time doing that.
as for lighter materials a long time ago a company called aguila made a bullet called IQ it was an alloy of extreme light weight 117 instead of 230 with a muzzle of 1800 fps.
demo of how to melt copper
This looks like interesting bulletApril 23, 2014 at 6:18 pm #10482
Where does one get linotype metal, is it from scrap sources or new material?
What about the mix ratios of alloys with the lead, is it by weight or volume?
Interesting vid on melting copper. ThanksApril 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm #10487
Right now it is available on ebay, probably many other internet sources.April 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm #10488
Where does one get linotype metal, is it from scrap sources or new material? What about the mix ratios of alloys with the lead, is it by weight or volume? – Bobby
An internet search will yield sources for just about any alloy you need. Since they closed Doe Run, I’ve been giving serious thought to making a bulk purchase of pure elemental lead. Like, one ton of lead. Many BP guns, muzzle-stuffers and BP cartridge guns, like soft lead better than the hard alloys. Bullet alloys are mixed by weight, not volume.
The others have covered the How-To when it comes to casting and swaging your own projos… I’ve used wheelweights, and they yield pretty good bullets. Any garage or tire place will usually have a 5-gallon bucket full of used wheelweights sitting around… they’re “supposed” to turn it in for recycling, but you can usually break some (or all) loose by waving a Jackson or two under the manager’s nose.
One thing I learned was when you melt your alloy, take a pea-sized lump of pure beeswax and drop it in. It burns off impurities and makes the dross easy to scoop away. If you’re investing in equipment, go for the “good” lead melter – the big 20lb capacity model with the bottom pour and plenty of room underneath for your bullet mould. Yeah, it’s a power hog, but it’s really, really nice… save the “iron pot in the fireplace” for when TSHTF. Oh, if you’re melting down wheelweights or linotype and making smallish ingots (and you will be), you don’t have to use the factory-made expensive ingot moulds… they’re cast iron and they got the name of the manufacturer in them, so all you’re doing is letting them have free advertising. The only important thing is that your ingot mould be cast iron. I bought a cast-iron muffin pan from a junk shop for 50 cents. Makes real nice ingots. Just don’t mix it up with your real muffin pan…
For higher velocities with lead bullets (not jacketed bullets) you can always run gas checks – these are small copper cups that go on the backside of the bullet, preventing gas cutting of the base of the bullet and are pretty useful. Not as great as semi-jacketed or full metal jacketed bullets, but they serve their purpose (driving a bullet faster, no lead stripping, etc). Paper patching bullets serves the same purpose, as well as bringing a bullet up to proper bore diameter…
Never liked base-pour moulds. The base of the bullet is critical. If it’s not perfectly flat and square (in the case of non-skirted bullets), then you will have accuracy issues. Not big issues, but enough. Nose-pour moulds ensure a perfectly flat bullet base, but almost nobody makes them because it’s way less expensive to cut a base-pour bullet mould. I’ll do a bit of lookin and see if I can find someone who makes nose-pour bullet moulds..
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1April 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm #10493
I am looking for information on BLACK POWDER cartridges, Should the SHTF go past 2 years the amount of ammo out there is going to trend to zero in a rather rapid manner, I think that having the ability to load the original BP cartridges might just be a good thing to know. – RROAMM
I’m thinking the same thing. First thing is that if y’all want to lay in a supply of BP, you’re limited by law to 50 lbs. Anything over that and you have to build a powder magazine. But, I’m thinking 50 lbs of BP will go quite a ways.
Primers, too. Couple thousand, at least.
I currently reload for the 45 Colt and the 50-70 Govt. As far as books go, SPG Lube puts out a good primer on how to roll your own BP cartridges. Even got their own magazine. I highly recommend SPG lube. JS Pubs also puts out good BP reloading info.
However, I have found that there really isn’t one “go to” book when it comes to BP reloading. Oh yeah, plenty out there to cover the basics, but when it comes to wringing every last bit of accuracy out of your charcoal burner, it’s caliber and rifle specific.
Example- I shoot a NY Militia Remington Rolling Block in 50-70 Govt. The books I have just to load this one cartridge are:
– Casting Premium Bullets for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle
– Black Powder, Pig Lead and Steel Silhouettes
– The Paper Jacket
– Loading the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle
– Shooting the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle
– The 50-70 Shooter’s Handbook
– How-To’s for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Shooter
– More How-To’s for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Shooter
– Cast Bullets for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle
So, depending on what you want to shoot, there’s specific information out there for you. Just have to look and poke around, is all.
The good thing is that it’s almost impossible to overcharge a case with BP if it was designed for BP in the first place… but, make sure you use a good lube. Shooting BP, you’ll notice that with each successive shot, the recoil becomes more stout. This is simply Newton’s Law in action… more crud accumulates in the barrel, the harder it is to force out, which results in increased recoil. Using the right lube minimizes this. I don’t work for em, but SPG Lube keeps the crud from accumulating. Seriously. Using a blow tube will help as well… .
Almost forgot… this here is pretty good too.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1April 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm #10507
Good info all around. On the black powder storage. Because it is a true explosive and easly ignites I wood take care in my storage practices with any volume. A reasonably safe method for storage is to keep it in a wooden cabinet constructed with 1″ thick boards. Wood is non sparking and the thickness will provide protection from fire, plenty of time for you to evacuate the premises. (Bty the same type cabinet can be used for flammable liquids).April 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm #10520
Good advice re: storage of BP. One of the things I am going to make is a proper storage box. Reinforced white oak, properly dovetailed together and lined with copper sheet. Keeping the cans sealed and in a cool, dry place (like a basement) will keep things tidy and ensure maximum longevity.
One of the things I was researching was how to make your own BP. One of these days, I will post what I have found out (no, it’s not just one recipe. BP has been around for a thousand years, so there’s literally dozens of recipes and all sorts of folklore behind making it). Which charcoals work the best, what you can use, what you should use, etc… Plus grinding the mix properly. You can use a mortar and pestle, but it will take you about 400 years to make a useful amount…
I keep a flintlock musket around and in working order just because. Powder, shot, musket wadding and flints and you’re good to hook. It’s okay for busting groundhogs, turkeys, birds, etc, but is so inaccurate with solid shot that trying to bust a deer with it is a waste of time. One of these days, I’m gonna have to learn how to cast my own shot. Buckshot isn’t a problem. For birdshot you need a copper shot pan. Looks like a great big copper ping-pong paddle with a bunch of small holes in it. Pour the lead on it and it drains through the tiny holes, becoming spheres as it falls into a bucket of cold water, which cools and hardens it…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1April 23, 2014 at 11:36 pm #10521
Check out Dixon’s Gun Shop, Kempton Pa. For muzzle loading.April 24, 2014 at 3:29 am #10554
Thanks for all the useful info and sources on bullet metal and processing. Always good to have for future needs. Pray we never need it.
1974, your comments on putting cast copper rods through “wire drawing dies” reminded me of my first job out of school at GE’s copper wire plant in Ft. Wayne. This was a mujlti-story building with many parallel lines of wire drawing ops. It was a maze of copper wire slowly moving around pulleys, b/t floors, from one end of the building to the other, 24/7. It was code Red if some wire broke in the process.
Now, about drawing copper rods for bullets………………?
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