Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

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Beecher Tool
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Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 05 May 2013, 12:46

I want to carefully preface this thread in that I haven't posted much here...but have been in a very intense exploration and investigation mode given the current situation with respect to ammo and reloading. I have a 2000 sq. ft. tool & die type shop in a commercial location so I am starting beyond typical "home workshop" [e.g. vertical mill, engine lathe, three phase power]. My current reloading presses are a Hornady LNL plant and a Redding Ultramag. I started digging around and ran across the Corbin website.

Corbin is the next substantial step up into the world of commercial reloading [no necessarily for high speed production volume] but for custom bullet forming, swaging, creating jackets, and assembling rounds clearly up to 25mm cannon rounds. Much of their equipment is beyond the needs of most individuals save for very serious benchrest shooters....however, the bullet formation and swaging material is a fascinating read http://www.corbins.com/terms.htm.

I am going to continue my exploration....which is much more heavily focused on 5.56, 7.62x51. and. 338LM but, not that I have acquired a pistol that "eats" 5.7x28....if adds to what I am open to learning about. I did some limited searching on the site, and didn't identify much......hoping this is an area where there may be some expertise , however my guess is that if I am curious someone else may be so I thought I would share

http://www.corbins.com/swaging.htm - How To
http://www.corbins.com/books.htm - Technical Library
http://www.corbins.com/kits.htm - Kit Building for Bullet Swaging Operation

Enjoy the reaad.

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grimmond
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Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by grimmond » 05 May 2013, 14:38

I have also looked into Corbin's. I have been contemplating on getting their setup to be able to make lighter FMJ for my FSN. But at a start up cost of about a grand I have held off. I'd rather spend a grand towards a new MK II FSN.
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Beecher Tool
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Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 05 May 2013, 16:27

Ok........I have spent the major portion of an afternoon reading through the details of the Corbin site. Given everything that I am involved with in terms of number of different calibers, lack of available product, etc. my view is that there is tremendous value in being able to produce what one wants, when it is wanted, and that doesn't need to become a commercial venture at any level to achieve cost savings. At this juncture, I have lots of 5.56x45 and 7.62x51brass....e.g. thousands of cases.....powder is not easy but reasonably available, not having to invest in all different types of projectiles, the ability to make .224 bullet jackets from spent .22LR cartridges, and the ability to potentially make .224, .30, and .338 projectiles with the size, geometry, meplat as desired has appeal. I haven't investigated the. 5.7x28 situation be able to speak with any level of competence, other than to now understand [or think I understand] what seems to be a minefield with regard to projectile metallurgy.

As an aside....based upon a suggestion I did buy and read through Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting by Brian Linz.....which provides a really solid overview of the science of exterior ballistics.

So....next step...I need to finish going through their catalog tonight, will send the Corbin people a list of questions and see if they can help me decide which press is the best place to start....I am thinking the smaller press with the hydraulics.......many questions to work through.

If anyone has first hand experience with this stuff I am very interested in hearing about it. However, I have pretty much decided that the way to do this is with a swaging press not trying to attempt it in even a Redding Ultramag.

Beecher Tool
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Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 05 May 2013, 16:38

I don't intend to produce a monologue thread however....there are a few more links that I think might be of interest.

This one contains several hundred of their downloadable documents with respect to projectile production. http://www.swage.com/download.htm

This one discusses the economics of custom projectile production...and is fascinating given the current market http://www.corbins.com/speed.htm

This one is a collection of "how to" topics http://www.corbins.com/topics.htm

If nothing else...it makes it very clear how difficult it must be to maintain a successful effort at this.....

NLVMike
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Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by NLVMike » 05 May 2013, 17:17

Beecher, it may feel like a monologue, but I'm sure I'm not the only one reading it. Interesting stuff. My work hours and general garage space issues don't really let me tackle such a venture, but one never knows when that all might change. It's nice to know others are paving the way.

500SWfan
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Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by 500SWfan » 05 May 2013, 18:00

NLVMike wrote:Beecher, it may feel like a monologue, but I'm sure I'm not the only one reading it. Interesting stuff. My work hours and general garage space issues don't really let me tackle such a venture, but one never knows when that all might change. It's nice to know others are paving the way.
Ditto, Beecher. I've toyed with the idea of getting into making jacketed bullets before, and have wondered just how to go about that. Thanks for the info. I already cast my own lead bullets for target loads for many calibers, which has especially proven useful for calibers like 9mm where available jacketed bullets are few and far between these days.

Beecher Tool
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Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 05 May 2013, 18:03

Thanks...my serious intention is to talk to them..pick a set up...buy a swage press and set it up...and we shall see from there

Beecher Tool
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Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 06 May 2013, 13:29

I went ahead today and ordered a H series mechanical swaging press, complete sets of dies for 5.56x45, 7.62x51, and .338LM and equipment fo form jackets from copper [or other metal] strip today. There is a 8-10 week lead time on getting everything in place, and they are sending quotes for dies/tooling for 5.7x28. The initial investment is fairly significant [roughly $6K], however, the intention is that everything is fully compatible with the full sized hydraulic unit. If everything works out and proves successful the upgrade path is to the hydraulic unit.

The intention at this point is limited scope for my own needs and perhaps a couple of friends, however, after speaking to counsel and BATF, I am going to submit the paperwork for the FFL Type O6 for Ammunition which becomes an add on to my existing licenses as it removes any issues with regard to providing primed brass to others, etc. However, while I have commercial space there is no way that the local zoning would facilitate ammunition production.

Based upon comments and suggestions..while I am more than willing to share the results of my experimentation, I am not going to address specifics of tooling, etc, though am willing to discuss through a private channel. My hope is that this represents a balance that doesn't offend existing sponsors, etc while seeking to share what I learn going through the process.
Last edited by Beecher Tool on 07 May 2013, 14:04, edited 1 time in total.

Beecher Tool
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Posts: 114
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 06:15
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 06 May 2013, 18:39

See post above.....hopefully reflection has produced the proper balance.....to reiterate....while I do intend to experiment with 5.7x28 it is certainly not my priority.

Beecher Tool
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Posts: 114
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 06:15
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Bullet Swaging, Jacket Forming and Hydraulic Presses

Post by Beecher Tool » 09 May 2013, 14:28

A very fast update.....commercial hydraulic swaging press ordered with a full set of H dies, semi-automatic equipment for forming jacketed projectiles, and full tooling dies and punches in 5.7x28, 5.56x45, 7.62x51 and .338LM.....I made a fairly substantial investment..not more than 3-4 FN carbines with fancy glass or the same number of custom 1911's but the notion of never having to go shopping for projectiles again is rather appealing. Also filed the FFL - 06 paperwork....at this juncture is for self use, but it avoids issues down the path. Initially intend to produce everything OTHER THAN 5.7x28 as having had numerous conversations this week with friends and contacts at the alphabet agencies is absolutely clear that they have a hard on for the caliber. No I am not going to post specifics or share contacts in a public forum....all it generates is biting in the backside. However, what is clear is that our dear friends view the caliber as having about as much genuine sporting use as 25MM cannon rounds. I have no issue with whatever they choose to think...just going to follow a very careful path.

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