example of near-useless swage die

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 2 weeks ago

while looking for an old zinc casting, i found this swaged 22 wadcutter ... no doubt i thought it a wonderful idea at 4am some years ago ...  anyway, these made great round holes but not very good accuracy ...  the problem that did not occur to me in time to stop, was that the nose end wound up seated about 3/4 inch from the rifling ... flopping about in the beginning of the throat .

had i cut a special chamber for this die it might have worked to some extent.  wadcutters need to be almost " breech seated " ...

the moral of this story is to write down these wonderful schemes, but do something else for a couple days while reality sinks in.

kinda cute nose button, tho, dontcha think ?? ...

ken

 

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 2 weeks ago

Hmm, depending upon diameter, thumb seat over a light charge in a single shot contender.  Might be a fun plinker with better accuracy than a #3 buck shot pellet.  This is the time of year when we do things like this to fill the hours.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 2 weeks ago

hey look what i found ... an old target with those wadcutter 22 ....  222 rem., 8 gr. 4227, about 40 yards ... but make pretty holes .  trying seat depths etc.  never quite squirrel head consistency. yeah, wadcutter chamber ... ?? ...  edit::  no tumbling ( g ) .

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 2 weeks ago

That WC appears to have a Gas Check at each end.  I have to wonder what it would do without the top check and a nice tumble lube at a similar velocity to what you tested.    Or maybe without the base gas check to allow the base to seal easily.  Some seem to think the heavy front band positions the projectile squarely in the throat for best support when fired. Should keep you busy a few days trying different combinations.  :-)

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joeb33050 posted this 2 weeks ago

At a guess, the bullet is too long to stabilize in a 222, maybe 14" or 12" twist. Probably will stabilize in 9" or 7" barrel. The lower density of zinc requires faster twist. Do you have any more? (Wadcutters/square bullets, we are told, don't stabilize much beyond 50 yards.)

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 2 weeks ago

I do not think it was suggested that this was a zinc alloy casting.  It would be nice to know the diameter, length and weight, just for discussion. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 2 weeks ago

guys, this was from about year 1985 or so ... the bullets were re-swaged 225438 lyman ( 45? gr. ) , of unheated 92-2-6 hardball, with gas check front and rear ...

they shot about the same ... 3-7?  moa with or without the gas checks, i never tried them over 50 yards.   the best group in the above target was with no neck sizing, a loose bullet ... looks like 4 shots, there were 3 in the center hole ...  hah, we always think we have found something ...

i wouldn't mind giving them another " shot " after my upcoming 4 months of projects i am grinding through ... i really like the round holes...  since i have reamers with separate throaters, i could make some shorter chambers just for the wadcutters .... 

i don't have any more bullets left, but the swage was very simple ... like the color sketch here recently ...   just the dimple in the nose punch to form the " button " ... i have a bucket of old swages, it might be in there somewhere ...

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i am curious about that old zinc bullet splitting ... i didn't crush it, it must have been stress cracking from case clamping pressure ?? ...  as i remember, commercial zinc bullets were/are made from the " kirksite " variety of zinc . 

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anyway, we don't hear much about wadcutters in rifles ... i suppose they might tumble at over 50 yards, won't feed through a magazine, and have a terrible BC ...  no real reason for their existence ...  but 22 wadcutters still seem interesting for some reason .....  hey, they would seriously vaporize a house fly !! ... hmmm ...

ken

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Eutectic posted this 2 weeks ago

Ken,

The reason you don't hear much from wadcutters in rifles is they are quiet. I have shot hundreds of 100 grain 32 wadcutters in 30 caliber rifles. The 32's cast over 0.313 but I size them to 0.310. 6 grains of Red Dot in my 30-30 invites squirrels to dinner right now. Yes, over 50 yards they tumble, but 50 yards is a way long shot. The wadcutters always gave me smaller groups than shooting buckshot in the rifles. 

Steve

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 2 weeks ago

Buck of the various sizes will usually do a nice ragged hole at 15 yards, one inch at 20 and hope for the best at 25 and beyond.  Very inexpensive for a new shooter for trigger time during the next 22 RF shortage.  The wad cutter bullets can be cast if you can fabricate a plug to drop in a mold to fill the nose area and then cast as usual.  I believe an article about that was in the Art of Bullet Casting from Handloader Mag or Cast Bullets by E H Harrison. 

Edit:  The Art of Bullet Casting page 113 "Chicken Loads".  Looks like about any mold could be used with a plug to form an appropriate caliber WC. 

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