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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.corbins.com/prrfjm.htm

So I've been looking into this stuff for a little while. I just ordered the jacket making die to try it out and see if it is for me or not. Ordering the entire kit at almost $800 was not an option at the moment but if it seems like it is something I can get into I can get the rest incrementally. Has anyone had any experience with this or any of the other kits out there?

I'm not looking at making 'match' bullets or anything, just a steady supply of 'good enough' or 'minute of tin can' bullets. Reading on their site they recommend that the velocity be kept low because the jacket is so thin they can spin apart, same for some other varmint/match bullets too. That seems fine for plain target shooting; you'll use less powder so you get more bang for your buck too.

22 rimfire brass is EVERYWHERE at my range since it is the only brass they don't make you pick up for whatever reason. I own rimfires (hopefully an XCR rimfire...RA I'm looking at you!) so shooting those and then being able to crank something useful out of the leftovers seems like wise policy. I've reloaded for several, several years so when it comes to 'rolling your own' this just about sums it up.
 

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When I can't buy any more .223 or 6mm (.243) bullets this would be an alternate source of bullets. Probably be a better idea to buy, and put away, the bullets I load the most now. :2cents:
 

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My best friends grandpa has been doing this for years (read probably 30). We went out shooting jacks with a .222 with the bullets made from .22 brass and those little suckers were moving. They say keep the velocity low but coming out of a .222 loaded right they will scoot. They almost have a different sound too, at least they seemed to when shooting them and factory loads.

This is something I am very interested it. This guy does it the old fashioned way and takes a while to make some bullets (melting lead, casting it and sizing it to go inside the casing). The newer methods available now seem to shorten the time considerably. I will eventually get one of these setups but I am also looking at about that much money to start casting my own so that comes first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gunner, I looked into the cost analysis a little and here's what I came up with....

The cheapest (off hand, quick search) 55gr FMJ slugs I could find ended up being about $.07 per.
With this kit, assuming brass is free, is $.03 per, buying a spool of lead wire. If you cast your own cores from whatever source then that cost can drop further.

What I had planned to do was stockpile the factory slugs and then use these for the bulk of my shooting. I like the idea of being a little more self-sufficient of course but in the end another excuse to buy some neat tools and piddlefart around in the basement as the spousal unit would say! The way I see it is eco-friendly because it reuses an already made resource! Ed Begley Jr would be proud.


Aziator,

At least someone has heard of it! I've known about it ever since getting into shooting from some gun rag but never really looked into it. The dies and such for this kit are for reloading presses so I don't think it is too far removed from your buddy's gramps. They do have hydraulic hoop-a-joops that can draw jackets from strips and all sorts of stuff like a miniature Hornady plant in your garage!
The casting part has always intrigued me but the idea of working with molten anything keeps me from doing it. (I had a cheese whiz/nacho incident that hurt like a sonofagun!) Later on I might get their core casting tools and a little Lee furnace in case times get lean but I think I'll stick with the lead wire method for now.
Look into their swaging dies if you want to shoot lead. They look like they can crank out some great bullets.
 

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yeah, when I asked my buddy why he didn't have more of these bullets he said it took grandpa forever to make them. I looked it up online and saw the lead wire and showed it to him. He said that would definitely save time. I will be doing this, just don't know when I will be aquiring it.

Man, this is really going to confuse my kids when I tell them it is OK to pick up the little ones (.22 brass) at the range. It took my forever to get them to stop picking it up (they are 5 and 3 now).
 

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Also, I am not sure if I like the lead formed tip on these. The ones that I shot were completely lead encased brass. The tops looked like a little hollowpoint. I think I like that design a little better but either one would be fine for plinking. I know there are a few manufacturers that offer kits, I will see if I can find the link for the one I was looking at. I want to say it was under $600.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It says you can do either/or, SP or HP style. I was actually leaning towards the SP design because reading through the stuff it seemed that it was a little more forgiving when forming the bullet ogive and point since the jacket was supported by the lead, less chance of crushing it. In an AR the SP might be a little more prone to gumming something up so something to think about, might have to experiment with both types, good point. But the XCR has a totally feed geometry so I don't think it would matter.

My goal is to make a 60gr slug. Their literature says you can make up to an 80gr slug though. I might try my hand at a 70-75gr SP. In terms of rapid fragmentation; soft lead, thin jacket, that'd be one heck of a close-in bullet. I already have their hand crank cannelure tool, that'd make that bullet deform even faster. The one thing I don't like is it is not boat-tail. FB bullets work just fine but when loading on the 1050 I have to go slower to make sure they go in the die straight. They have a rebated boat-tail die (like some arty rounds) they say works better but not in the reloading press type dies. I don't know if the investment in a custom die would be worth it. Will have to wait until I press out a handful to know. This is stuff I like to work on in the winter time when it is too cold to shoot up here.

My jacket making die should be here by the end of the week so I'll post some pics of it in operation (hopefully in successful operation!). Does the .mil 'puters over there allow the photobucket pics? If not, I can forward from my mil e-mail.
 

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No, we can't see photobucket. Send them to me directly at

christopher.damato at iraq.centcom.mil

I look forward to seeing how they come out. I have been wanting to do this for a while, I wish I could join you in the adventure. I love experimenting when loading and love the idea of making my own bullets (hence me wanting to get started in casting). I figure the more self sufficient I am the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AZ-

The Corbin rep called me yesterday afternoon, apparently I fat fingered the keyboard when I ordered but we're back on track now. :duh: Might get here tomorrow but I think more like Monday. It'll give me somthing to fiddle with over the Thanksgiving break. (The spousal unit is out your way.)

Went to the range after work to try out a new AR upper (ZM LR300) and picked up a mess of rimfire shells to try it out. Also ordered some other stuff to get doing with. Looking forward to learning the drill. It's all off a reloading press so it's not like I'll have a miniature Hornady plant (that's a cool tour is you're out in the wilds of Grand Island, NE!).
 

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Thanks for the update, I look forward to seeing pics. My wife has standing orders to pick up a bulk pack of .22 every time she goes to walmart so I will be stocking up for a while. My local range has .22 for days, they even have a big broom and dustpan to sweep it all up in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·


OK, so here's the beginning of the process. In this first pic you'll see the rimfire jacket making draw die and punch. I used my single stage press with the Hornady L-n-L bushing and it seemed to work fine. The setting of the die is not super critical but very, very important to utilize the maximum leverage of the press and minimize the number of "blow throughs" you'll have. It only has a couple, two, threads engagement, jsut enough to hold it secure without ripping it from the bushing.

It takes some getting used to and some trial and error to get it set up and to get the feel of what is going on. Once you get into a rythmn you can process the jackets about as fast, maybe a touch slower than, full-length sizing on a single stage. There is a point, more by feel than by explanation, that you have to ease up pressure or punching clean through the case will be an on-going problem. I lost quite a few cases at the start but that number decreased greatly once I got going. Luckily I have a small hobby lathe and securing the busted case in the lathe head made pulling the punch off easy. I lube up the punch/wipe off any leftover residue before running another jacket every time. The residual swaging lube left on my fingers I use to lightly lube the case. That helps a lot. It takes three jackets (no longer cases now!) to start pushing them out of the top of the die. Grab it, check it, dump it either into the good pile or the bad pile.

You can see a normal, fired case on the left. The jacket next to it is not usable as the firing pin indent cut a little too deep and made the jacket split as it was drawn. I lost maybe 15% of what I processed to this. Eventhough they can't be made into .224 jackets now I can still use them as an insert to a larger jacket to make a partitioned bullet, so in the end not a huge loss. If you sort through your cases you can lessen these rejects by just plain not running the cases that look too pinched from the firing pin.

The other jackets have been drawn and are good to go. You might be able to see the headstamps still on the cases too. I didn't notice a difference in which were easist to draw, maybe the CCI cases, but this isn't a steadfast rule by any means of course.



Here's the pile of jackets I did last night. The next step is to anneal/stress relieve them. Corbins says you can use a propane torch or run them through a self-cleaning oven cycle. So, since we have a gas oven here at the bunker I have to ask one of my friends with a self cleaning oven. What I think I'll do though is process a buttload of the jackets first and then worry about that step later.

I've got some more tools en route, hopefully they'll get here this coming week before the holiday. I'll be able to cut and swage the lead cores to weight. The next step after that is to seat the core and then form the bullet and then she'll be ready to load. That's a 2-die set.

These will be open tip flat base bullets w/ cannelure and a target weight of 60gr, maybe lighter to keep the core from being exposed. Well, that's my goal anyways we'll see what we end up with!

AZ- I'll forward the pics to my work acct and then send them from there.
 

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Neat! 60 grains should be a good all over weight too. Be sure to give us a range report too. :ninja: :crossedfingers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went out to the range again this afternoon. It gets dark about 5 anymore but shot my little Sig Mosquito. That's a fun little gun, especially if you like Sig pistols. I shot some CCI Stingers because I wanted to see if they would cycle its big, heavy slide a little more reliably than the cheap, bulk pack crap I usually buy. What a fireball is all I have to say!

So, picked up another few handfuls of regular LR brass and what I could find of my Stingers and ran them through the deal this evening. A little bit better results this go 'round so I'm hoping that means I'm getting the hang of it. Had only about 8-9 punch through. I didn't want to fudge with the setting so doing the stinger cases at the end was slower since they're longer, had to do each one individually and then use a second punch to clear it from the die so the next case wouldn't crush it. I think some "silver bullets" would look neat. Longer jacket so I should be able to get around 70gr out of those.

I'll keep a running report on here as I progress through this little crazy little adventure.

Anyone know which 22LR maker uses an "S" headstamp? I picked up a few of these and they drew really easy for me.
 

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Sounds like it is pretty easy thus far. Looking forward to the pics. I think this would be a great activity to do while the boss is watching dancing with the stars or something along those lines. I wonder how much more work it would be to cast the bullet instead of using the wire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
These guys sell an adjustable core mould that can do 4 cores at a time. I don't know how fast you can cast , I imagine pretty fast once you get into a rythm. You use a way softer lead for swaging as compared to casting though.

Since the next step is to swage the cut cores to weight there will be a minor amount bled off. I'll throw those into a receptacle and and save them until I have enough to make it worth getting a melter and then recycle them back into the mix.
 

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I wonder if the Brass wears the bore faster than copper?
 

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I am not a metalurgist but I think that brass is one of the softer metals that we use in shooting. We use brass bore brushes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mickey-

You have to anneal the brass prior to swaging it, also it uses the exact same die so it can't be much different in hardness compared to copper methinks. Because the jacket is thinner than even a lot of varmint slugs you're supposed to keep the velocity low to keep them from blowing apart, they recommend under 3200fps (still pretty fast if you ask me). I can't find the exact page on their site that mentions it.

For just plain ol' plinking I don't think there would be much to worry about. I'm still a little bit away from actually making a full on, shootable slug but I'll be happy to drop a few in a box and get them out your way.
 
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