Machining Bullets?
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default Machining Bullets?

Has anyone here ever machined their own bullets?

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #2
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jacketed bullets arent machined they are swaged under pressure. plain lead bullets are poured into molds.

here is a good explanation of the proccess:

Making Your Own Copper Jacketed

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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For some experimental loads that were non lead- yes. Turned some copper, phosphor bronze, and aluminum. If you are looking at a lead bullet, lead simply does not machine worth spit, it is too soft. You melt it and cast it.

We enlisted the help of a machinist that knew HOW to turn those metals on a lathe. The tool, the angle of the tool, shape of the cutting tip, speeds, etc all need to be appropriate to the metal you are turning. The hardness of the metal will influence the finished diameter, and how well it will obturate in the bore.

PS- you would not BELIEVE the velocity you can put on a 45 grain aluminum .357, but getting them to stabilize is another matter entirely.

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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The .408 was milled.

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Old 11-09-2011, 01:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
jacketed bullets arent machined they are swaged under pressure. plain lead bullets are poured into molds.

here is a good explanation of the proccess:

Making Your Own Copper Jacketed
Not what I was asking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
For some experimental loads that were non lead- yes. Turned some copper, phosphor bronze, and aluminum. If you are looking at a lead bullet, lead simply does not machine worth spit, it is too soft. You melt it and cast it.

We enlisted the help of a machinist that knew HOW to turn those metals on a lathe. The tool, the angle of the tool, shape of the cutting tip, speeds, etc all need to be appropriate to the metal you are turning. The hardness of the metal will influence the finished diameter, and how well it will obturate in the bore.

PS- you would not BELIEVE the velocity you can put on a 45 grain aluminum .357, but getting them to stabilize is another matter entirely.
Not lead. I already cast my own bullets and slugs. That I understand.
I also have 20 years experience in machining and manufacturing.

Copper alloys for starters, UNS C36000 which is a free cutting brass. I will
do the prototyping on my lathe at home I have a shooting buddies that will
do "production" at his shop, he has 2 Bar fed Mori Seiki lathes and a robotic
fed Mori for doing the secondary operations, the boattail in the back. If he
had sub-spindles on the lathes we could do it in one set up but a $40,000
option is not in the equation. Once we have the basics down we have
ideas to develop designs that incorporate multiple metals for several
purposes.

I am looking at Von Kármán ogive or Sears-Haack profile for nose geometry
I have experience with the Von Kármán ogive from High Power Rocketry, but
not the Sears-Haack profile also looking at various methods to have the
rifling engage the bullet but minimizing turbulence after leaving the barrel.

There is not alot of published data on high performance machined projectiles.
Guessing everyone is keeping their secrets to themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
For some experimental loads that were non lead- yes. Turned some copper, phosphor bronze, and aluminum...The hardness of the metal will influence the finished diameter, and how well it will obturate in the bore.
Do you have any data you could share?
Phosphor bronze sounds interesting.

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PS- you would not BELIEVE the velocity you can put on a 45 grain aluminum .357, but getting them to stabilize is another matter entirely.
I think I could.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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Shade, sorry, do not have data can share- HOWEVER- do be very careful here. US law (and I am NOT a lawyer- just want to avoid NEEDING a lawyer) may define an armor piercing bullet based on the makeup of the bullet- and while POSSESSION by a private citizen is not a problem under Federal law, the MANUFACTURE is regulated, licensed, and taxed.

Many of those were were trying would be illegal under current law if we had been private citizens then. Sounds like you have the machining covered, get the legalities covered, and then start looking at differences in weight and rate of twist.

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
...and while POSSESSION by a private citizen is not a problem under Federal law, the MANUFACTURE is regulated, licensed, and taxed.
C3 thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate the warning.

Actually I looked into the legallities of "Specialty Projecties" and as long as
they do not explode (BATFE gets involved then) the manufacturing is not
regulated however the sale of them is regulated. I have no intention of ever
selling these. Just like alcohol, you can make all you want but you do not
break the law until you sell it.


And I did not say anything about armor piercing. Actually our first project
is some high performance hunting bullets. They would not do well against
steel at all.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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It depends on the caliber of the bullets. A .308 diameter boat tail siolit brass or bronze bullet is classified as Armor Piercing, but legal as it is a RIFLE bullet.
A solid copper/brass/bronze pointed .358 diameter bullet for a .357 magnum IS prohibited under Federal and most State's laws. Making them w/o proper licensure will get you a nice, all expenses paid trip to Leavenworth Kansas for 5+ years.

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Old 11-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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if i'm understanding shade correctly, i think his objective is to hand make some very accurate bullets. if i remember correctly, correct me if i'm wrong, i read several years ago that some benchrest shooters would turn their own bullets on a lathe to try and make the most accurate bullet possible for their rifles. seems very time consuming, but it was a another area of getting the most from their rifle.

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Old 11-10-2011, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
It depends on the caliber of the bullets. A .308 diameter boat tail siolit brass or bronze bullet is classified as Armor Piercing, but legal as it is a RIFLE bullet.
A solid copper/brass/bronze pointed .358 diameter bullet for a .357 magnum IS prohibited under Federal and most State's laws. Making them w/o proper licensure will get you a nice, all expenses paid trip to Leavenworth Kansas for 5+ years.
Do you have any references to the Federal or State Regulations?

Banded Solids | Barnes Bullets
Cutting Edge Bullets Welcome
Corbin Bullet Swage Dies
http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/centerfire/premier-copper-solid/premier-copper-solid.aspx

Quote:
Originally Posted by axxe55 View Post
if i'm understanding shade correctly, i think his objective is to hand make some very accurate bullets. if i remember correctly, correct me if i'm wrong, i read several years ago that some benchrest shooters would turn their own bullets on a lathe to try and make the most accurate bullet possible for their rifles. seems very time consuming, but it was a another area of getting the most from their rifle.
Many BR shooter do manufacture their own bullets, and do not share their
findings openly, hence my question here. I am on the front end of this project
everything I am doing is legal and for my own use.
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