Swaging .50?

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The Wizard
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Swaging .50?

Postby The Wizard » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:45 pm

So, after shooting a friends Barrett 82a1 and talking about ammo prices I got to thinking about swaging .50 BMG bullets, I know .22LR brass is used to make .223 bullets but is there any common (cheap) brass that can be used to make .50 bullets? I ran my calipers over some of my fired brass and the closest i had was my 8mm brass comes out around .470 where a .50 BMG bullet should be .510, since brass cased 8mm isn't free or all that easy to find laying around I was hoping someone had an idea on what brass could be made into .50 jackets which is reasonably cheap/free and fairly common. Thanks

Included is a pic of 9mm brass as .40 S&W jackets.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby 308Mike » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:12 am

That's a FULL seamless copper jacket covering the ENTIRE CASE AND BULLET without any break/weak-point to separate the bullet from the case? Might that not cause case head ruptures before the bullet separates (unless it's scored around the top of the case) - or possibly causing issues with protruding primers?
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby First Shirt » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:26 am

Now THAT'S pretty cool!

I had a friend back in Omaha who used to use .22 LR cases to make "practice" bullets for his .220 Swift. They were almost as accurate as his factory bullets, and a lot cheaper to shoot (unless you counted his time to make them).

Of course, this was a guy who would regularly re-barrel his rifle every two or three years, and I've seen him hit prairie dogs at over 800 meters. So he shot a LOT!

You may need to look at Corbin bullet swaging options. I can't think of an available case that would work.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby Kommander » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:37 am

Mike I think that the idea is that those are just bullets, not entire cartridges.

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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:46 am

yeah, well there's that whole etymology of RCBS naming thing after all..

On my bucket list for sure.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby 308Mike » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:06 am

Kommander wrote:Mike I think that the idea is that those are just bullets, not entire cartridges.

Okay, I claim ignorance - WHERE would the cartridge end and bullet begin (in that picture)? Would that actually be a "caseless" cartridge?? If so, WHY haven't we been doing so for years?

I'm just looking for education, and if such a thing is possible, why are we holding back on such production?
POLITICIANS & DIAPERS NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON

A person properly schooled in right and wrong is safe with any weapon. A person with no idea of good and evil is unsafe with a knitting needle, or the cap from a ballpoint pen.

I remain pessimistic given the way BATF and the anti gun crowd have become tape worms in the guts of the Republic. - toad

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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:24 am

that IS the bullet. The 9mm case is swaged over a lead core to form a finished bullet. Don't let the rim distract you -- that's a red herring.

It's just the bullet base now. The rim is just an artifact that remains from it's previous live as a cartridge case. It's a brass jacketed lead core bullet instead of a copper jacketed lead core bullet.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:28 am

just follow the bouncing ball from cartridge casing to bullet jacket to loaded in a .40SW cartridge
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby PawPaw » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:33 pm

That is cool. It takes bullet casting to a whole nuther dimension.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby HTRN » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:09 pm

Usually, they use copper tubing to make bmg jackets, or if a full base is absolutely required, caps.

Swaging, is not economical, the presses, and dies can cost truly stupid amounts of money - a Walnut hill press from RCE is what? 400 bucks these days, with a how many month wait?

Swagings big advantage is you can make bullets for anything no matter how oddball the size - 227, 318, 298, 318, 435, etc. Even bonded bullets are now easy for something where a commercial offering doesn't exist, has few, or spotty suppliers.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby Yogimus » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:16 pm

Would make for a hell of a coroner's report

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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby The Wizard » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:40 pm

308Mike wrote:
Kommander wrote:Mike I think that the idea is that those are just bullets, not entire cartridges.

Okay, I claim ignorance - WHERE would the cartridge end and bullet begin (in that picture)? Would that actually be a "caseless" cartridge?? If so, WHY haven't we been doing so for years?

I'm just looking for education, and if such a thing is possible, why are we holding back on such production?

Here Mike this might help you visualize what's going on, the 9mm fired brass is stuffed with a lead core and swaged into a bullet then it is loaded into a .40S&W case like a normal commercial bullet would be.
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Keep your booger hook off the bang switch.

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby The Wizard » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:53 pm

HTRN wrote:Usually, they use copper tubing to make bmg jackets, or if a full base is absolutely required, caps.

Swaging, is not economical, the presses, and dies can cost truly stupid amounts of money - a Walnut hill press from RCE is what? 400 bucks these days, with a how many month wait?

Swagings big advantage is you can make bullets for anything no matter how oddball the size - 227, 318, 298, 318, 435, etc. Even bonded bullets are now easy for something where a commercial offering doesn't exist, has few, or spotty suppliers.


So is there no common brass that would work? I figured .50 GI, .50 AE, or .500 Mag/Spl would work but I don't exactly trip over piles of that anytime I'm at the range. I've heard 7mm mag works but again I don't have one so I'm not drowning in fired unreloadable brass. I say unreloadable not to (only) imply berdan primed but also to include cases with split necks or ones that otherwise wouldn't be able to reloaded into their original form again.



My thoughts are if I do get into swaging my .223/5.56 brass will get reloaded into more .223 with .22LR cased bullets, then after the necks split or they otherwise become too used to be reloaded into .223 they get cut down to .300 black and loaded that way until they wear out then they turn into jackets for a .30 caliber bullet. Reduce, reuse, recycle and all that.

.50 BMG seems to me to be another round that would be good to do that with being that everything .50 is so damn expensive.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby HTRN » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:29 pm

The Wizard wrote:I've heard 7mm mag works but again I don't have one so I'm not drowning in fired unreloadable brass.


7 mag will work... If you remove the belt. Which you won't be able to do with a regular press. A hand swaging press, like the Corbin Megamite or RCE Walnut hill, probably. Easiest would be one of the various Hydraulic units. But then that pesky economics thing enters it's ugly head again.

The Wizard wrote:.50 BMG seems to me to be another round that would be good to do that with being that everything .50 is so damn expensive.

Again, it's a money losing proposition - 450 to 9 thousand for a press. Another 700 or so for dies. Then there's the cost of lead wire(or more likely a core mold, which means casting equipment and raw lead), and the brass.

So before you make bullet 1, you're in the hole for probably 2 grand, minimum. When you can buy pulled M33 bullets for less than a buck a pop..

Also, if you're willing to do somewhat reduced loads, and you're careful, you can shoot cast out of a BMG rifle.
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Re: Swaging .50?

Postby PawPaw » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:43 pm

Yogimus wrote:Would make for a hell of a coroner's report
I was thinking the same thing. Especially if the investigators weren't schooled in such things and tried to match the extractor marks on the base of the fired bullet.
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