squishing lead

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  • Last Post 02 September 2019
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Ross Smith posted this 27 August 2019

I'm gaining new respect for lead. My ML benchrest rifle uses a 2 piece bullet. The nose is cast of 20:1 and the base is pure lead. The halves are swaged together to form the final bullet. The bullet is 2 strip paper patched and force fed thru a false muzzle system.

In order to swage the bullets I was told to whack the punch with a hammer. After doing that a few times I figured there had to be a better way. The swage body and base with the punch will not fit in a reloading press so I tried my friends 20 ton hydraulic press. Granted, the press is getting old but I pump on it till the cylinder stops moving and the fluid starts to by pass. And that is not excessive pressure on the bullet. I'm just starting to get flashing around the base of the bullet and the punch face. Gonna make a better fitting punch. This makes a good bullet. My point is the 20 ton press is not overkill. Also the 3lb hammer and 3 good whacks accomplished the same thing, just hard on the dies and punch. It takes a lot to make lead move. Also makes you wonder how much pressure the RCBS Rockchucker produces.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 27 August 2019

the force multiplier of a press is the same as the ratio of how far your hand moves on the handle to how far the ram moves .  at some point in the travels, if the ratio is 10 to 1, and you lean on the handle about 100 pounds worth, you are creating a force of 1000 pounds at the ram.

for pounds per square inch, divide that 1000 pounds by the area of your squisher rod.  scary ! ... don't get your finger in there !! 

ken

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Ross Smith posted this 27 August 2019

That I know Ken. Also, if the handle on my lube sizer flops down the top punch will go right thru your finger to the bone.

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mashburn posted this 27 August 2019

Hello Ross,

Man, you have some interesting stuff. I would love to see this thing in action. I have never had the opportunity  to witness these old bullets being made .I swage jacketed bullets but this seems much more exciting. I would also like to see the rifle and I bet I'm not the only one who would like to see it. I would sure like you to  post pictures of the rifle and the bullet operation.  Hey you readers, contact Ross and tell him how much you would like pictures.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Ross Smith posted this 27 August 2019

I'll work on doing that. My wife has an Ipod and can take pics and put them on the 'puter. You can also go to nmlra videos on facebook and there is a video of loading and shooting ml  bench rifles. Quite the process. Making the bullets and loading the rifle is the major part of shooting this beast. And extremely accurate. The barrel is 2.5 inches thick! Still kicks like a train. 767grain bullet and 135 grains ffG.

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jchiggins posted this 27 August 2019

I'm imagining a pistol version of this firearm..... look forward to seeing your pictures.

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gpidaho posted this 27 August 2019

I bet that load does have some recoil.  A 640gr. slug over 40gr. of Blue Dot out of my 12ga. is plenty enough for me.Gp

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Ross Smith posted this 27 August 2019

JC: a pistol version would be simple, it's an under hammer so a pistol grip would bolt right on. It has no fore stock. Also the recoil is more like trying to stop a rolling car but a wrist brace might be good for a pistol version. There is a reason it weighs 36 lbs. And that is well below the weight of some of its brethren.

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Squid Boy posted this 27 August 2019

Actually the force goes up dramatically as the ram approaches the top of the stroke. Swaging works best by setting the dies to start as high as possible. Thanks, Squid Boy 

"Squid Pro Quo"

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Ross Smith posted this 27 August 2019

I've heard that, but don't really know enough to say for sure.  All of you that swage probably know what it takes to move lead or brass and that is a lot. My rockchucker would never swage these .510 bullets, it's all it can do to swage(form) 308x1.625 cases from 30-06 cases. Now I can appreciate the power it takes to move that hunk of lead a mile or more.

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alphabrass posted this 27 August 2019

The ratio of handle movement to ram movement is not constant throughout the stroke.  As the ram approaches the top it moves very little so the mechanical advantage is highest at the top.  When the handle "cams over" the elasticity of the links and pins allows that to happen.  I have broken the press of the bench trying to swage .284 Win. brass into 7.5 MAS size.  Also did the die no good, radial fractures around the base of the die.  RCBS was very good and replaced the die on warranty and said "don't do that any more".  Since then I am simplifying my ammunition types though.

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45 2.1 posted this 02 September 2019

  I have broken the press of the bench trying to swage .284 Win. brass into 7.5 MAS size.  Also did the die no good, radial fractures around the base of the die. 

It is quite easy to form the 7.5 MAS from 6.5x55 Swede. A tapered expander makes it easy. I've done this for the semi-auto French rifles with no swelling at the case base with full loads.

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longhunter posted this 02 September 2019

.311 yes, for my Springfield's and a custom .308 Win. Your gun may very!

One other step that I do.  I have an NOE neck sizing die that is .310 dia. It  opens the case up and with a little snap back to the brass it gives good neck tension with out sizing the bullet down.  

Jon

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret. 608 797 0056

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