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  1. #1
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    Making Your Own Bullets

    A post on the "Thoughts on Benchrest Competition" thread includes the following comment: "Today...More and more good shooters make their own bullets." (http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...petition/page4) That comment prompts me to ask the following questions:

    1. Why do folks make their own bullets when good bullets are available from other sources?
    2. What is needed to make your own bullets and what's the approximate cost of the equipment?
    3. Excluding the cost of the equipment and the value of your time, what's the approximate cost per completed bullet?
    4. About how long does it take to make, say, 500 or 1,000 bullets?

  2. #2
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    Roll Your Own

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    A post on the "Thoughts on Benchrest Competition" thread includes the following comment: "Today...More and more good shooters make their own bullets." (http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...petition/page4) That comment prompts me to ask the following questions:

    1. Why do folks make their own bullets when good bullets are available from other sources?
    2. What is needed to make your own bullets and what's the approximate cost of the equipment?
    3. Excluding the cost of the equipment and the value of your time, what's the approximate cost per completed bullet?
    4. About how long does it take to make, say, 500 or 1,000 bullets?

    Response--not necessary the only answer.
    1. Availability in timely fashion ie;
    My bullet maker is out of jackets, he has changed jacket suppliers, he only gave 1/2 of my order, other orders ahead of mine, etc, etc
    Quality control
    You know each bullets history---Jacket supplier, lead supplier, jacket spin thickness variation, Jacket lots, any difficulties with jackets/lead core seating or pointing up
    Just because bullets are from the same bullet maker, same weight, same olgive, they can vary from batch to batch--not much thankfully
    This is why when you buy bullets you want from the same production lot if possible.
    One should always keep a record of the measurement of the bullets your shooting--especially if they shoot good.
    I think Randy Robinett (Of BIB'S Bullets) is to have said something like "I want to know each bullet by their First, Middle and Last name".
    You are correct, their are a lot of great bullet makers selling bullets.
    2. Equipment is covered under the Questions/Answers of the Benchrest Central home page.
    An excellent group of articles on bullet making.
    Cost of equipment varies with how elaborate you want to start.
    Minimum of $2000.00 Up-- If you buy used there are some good deals out there.
    3. Jacket cost about 8-10 cents each
    Lead Core is about 10-20 cents each
    Each of these numbers is assuming you order in some volume of each.
    Buy in large volume and cost per item can be less but you have inventory cost now.
    When you order small the shipping can greatly effect your cost/bullet
    4. Time to produce--speaking here from my experience--
    I only make 1 bucket of jackets at a time (2000 of .790 jackets or 1800 of .825 jackets)
    My lubing mixture is per 1 bucket of jackets---don't want to change for smaller numbers of bullets
    I think this would induce errors for me if I tried to portion it out!!!!!
    I buy my cores pre cut from Charlie Hood therefore no core cutting time is included below
    1st Day------30-60 minutes
    Wash the jackets and cores, and let them dry completely
    2nd day-----60-90minutes
    Lube the jackets and cores(Some don't lube the cores)
    Load the jackets and cores into bullet boards
    3rd day----2-4 hours
    Run the jacket/core through core seater die--let rest for 24 hours
    4th day---3-5 hours
    Run the above seated jacket /core through the point up die
    Wash the bullets
    Box up and label boxes
    5th day and thereafter go to the range and test your MAGIC PIlls

    If it shoots tell everyone that will listen.
    If it doesn't shoot--well you have a lot of fowler's or case former's.

    CLP

  3. #3
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    1. Why do folks make their own bullets when good bullets are available from other sources?
    Because I don't trust the other bullet makers. I will not mention names, however at one time their bullet was second to none. As their DIE started going away so did the quality of the bullet and accuracy. As an individual you will never run 500,000 bullets. As a wholesaler you must run 500,000 bullets plus. Eventually the die will go away. Duplicating dies is almost virtually impossible, if you don't believe me ask George Ulrich.

    2. What is needed to make your own bullets and what's the approximate cost of the equipment?
    RCBS RC2 Which is no longer available and must be modified to make bullets. I just bought one on one of the bidding networks and paid $140 for it. It was relatively new. A good set of dies can cost you between $1000-$2000 depending if you getting a complete set or not. To make everything from scratch you need a core cutter, a core die ( forms the core to your weight), boat tail core seater, or flat base core seater, and point Up die. I have one core cutter, one core die, one flat base seater, one boat tail seater and 2 point up dies ( both different shapes, ojives , pressure rings etc. etc.). You will also require a lot of miscellaneous equipment such as Coleman fuel, Acetone, anhydrous lanolin, Vaseline, three in one oil, snap gauges ( a Mitutoyo can cost you $1200 I have 1) a good beam scale, or a good digital scale, I have both ($650) a bunch of towels, A bunch of Mason jars, and a lot of patience. Also required would be a great teacher. I also have one of those who has helped me More than I can elaborate.

    3-Excluding the cost of the equipment and the value of your time, what's the approximate cost per completed bullet?
    PRICELESS !!!! You have complete control over the weight and other aspects of construction. I use J-4. The cost of the 790 jacket is approximately 8 cents. The cost of a 50 pound spool of lead wire is $130 ( now 150) and you can get approximately 7000 cores from one spool. That is approximately 2 cents per core. Lube is under $1.00 You can create any weight you desire (custom Bullets).

    4. About how long does it take to make, say, 500 or 1,000 bullets?
    I make batches of 2000 at time. That is the amount of 790 jackets in one pail. Between the core cutting, core forming, core seating, point up, and other aspects of lube,cleaning and all the other miscellaneous steps you are probably looking at 20- 30 hours per batch of 2000. I have a T.V. in the gun room and take my time.
    On a side note when I first started, I only put batches of approximately 200 to 300 together so I got the hang of the necessary steps. With only one press, you have to master the ability of changing the dies for each necessary step to get the dimensions you want. There are some that have multiple presses and once they set the dies they don't touch them. There is no learning curve involved. I have experimented with different amounts of lube to create undersized bullets (.242875) and found that they shot very well. I also experiment with the opening of the hollow point for maximum Air displacement. This is only a theory but I found a difference in not only point of impact, but the way the bullet prints on the paper (looks like a 22 hole when the gun is in tune).

    Joe P.
    Phoenix Az
    Last edited by classcat; 11-24-2015 at 01:15 AM.

  4. #4
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    I left out the core punch, about 5-10 core seating punches( size needed will vary based on core size and jacket thickness), and 3-4 point up punches( not ALL point up punches are created equal ) There is another $500

  5. #5
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    Call george ulrich. I bet he knows where plenty of setups are that were used long enough to see how hard it is and can be bought for pennies on the dollar

  6. #6
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    A useful forum for swaging is Castboolits.

  7. #7
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    Wilcox, PA
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter View Post
    a post on the "thoughts on benchrest competition" thread includes the following comment: "today...more and more good shooters make their own bullets." (http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...petition/page4) that comment prompts me to ask the following questions:

    1. Why do folks make their own bullets when good bullets are available from other sources?
    2. What is needed to make your own bullets and what's the approximate cost of the equipment?
    3. Excluding the cost of the equipment and the value of your time, what's the approximate cost per completed bullet?
    4. About how long does it take to make, say, 500 or 1,000 bullets?
    as i needed more bullets i added more presses i now have 48 set up so i dont have to change dies.

  8. #8
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by billbrawand View Post
    as i needed more bullets i added more presses i now have 48 set up so i dont have to change dies.
    just walk in and go to work.i am now burning new carbide dies in 7.5 and 8 ojiveand desiged new ejection pin to get rid of all the threaded rod slick.alsonew system for puttig jackets in boards in i fourth the time all on rockchuckers new design 814 335 0450 .

    M

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by billbrawand View Post
    just walk in and go to work.i am now burning new carbide dies in 7.5 and 8 ojiveand desiged new ejection pin to get rid of all the threaded rod slick.alsonew system for puttig jackets in boards in i fourth the time all on rockchuckers new design 814 335 0450 .

    M
    one die will handel 1 million cals.

  10. #10
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by billbrawand View Post
    one die will handel 1 million cals.
    with one press. But6 3 presses wors nicer.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=BillBrawand;847505]with one press. But 3 PRESSES WORKS NICER

  12. #12
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by billbrawand View Post
    just walk in and go to work.i am now burning new carbide dies in 7.5 and 8 ojiveand desiged new ejection pin to get rid of all the threaded rod slick.alsonew system for puttig jackets in boards in i fourth the time all on rockchuckers new design 814 335 0450 .

    M
    also making jacket boards for 105 gr. Bullets and filling with lead in minutes.

  13. #13
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    Bill are you telling me you make a 222gr 7MM Match bullet???

    I don't own a 7mm of any sort but I'll build one to try out a 222gr bullet.

  14. #14
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    bill are you telling me you make a 222gr 7mm match bullet???

    I don't own a 7mm of any sort but i'll build one to try out a 222gr bullet.
    i meant 222 spitzer bulletand 160 gr spitzer in 7mm.used them for hunting unbeleiveable.

  15. #15
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by billbrawand View Post
    as i needed more bullets i added more presses i now have 48 set up so i dont have to change dies.
    old way 8 hrs. A 1-000 for 6mm

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