Swaging 223 Bullets from 22LR Brass with a Blackmon Swaging System – Chapter 4 – Point Forming

Swaging 223 Bullets from 22LR Brass with a Blackmon Swaging System – Chapter 4 – Point Forming

In chapter three of this series, we seated some cast lead cores into our brass jackets using the Blackmon core seating die.  In chapter four, we’re going to complete our bullets by performing the final step in the process, point forming.

Dies

The point forming die set is composed of three pieces including an ejector, die and punch.  As with the other dies in this kit, a seated core and jacket are forced into the die via a punch, which applies enough pressure to gradually compress and swage one end into a point.  Once this is complete, the tiny ejector rod pushes the the bullet back out of the die, at which point it’s ready to load.

To install this die set, we’ll begin by threading the die and ejector into the ram.  With that done, we’ll insert the retention pin, ensuring it’s lined up with the groove in the ejector.  Finally we’ll install the punch, and tighten it in place with the retention nut.

Operation

As with the other operations, we’re going to apply some swage lube to the bullet core and jacket.  This time we’re going to be extra liberal with it, as the ejector pin is very narrow and can’t take the same stress as those used in the previous operations.

Now we simply place the seated core and jacket part way into the die, and lower the handle.  The incredible amount of force being generated here is gradually forcing the bullet further into the die which becomes progressively narrower.  When the press finally bottoms out, we’ll raise the handle, and eject our completed bullet.

As with the other steps, there’s initially some adjustment required to get the bullet tip to the desired diameter, but once it’s dialed in, point-forming becomes a simple process of feeding bullets and operating the press.

Bullet Styles/Types

Although the open tip made by using the ejector rod to form a small hollow point is by far the most popular bullet type, you can also feed them in backwards to make round nose bullets.  I generally prefer the HP’s, but the beauty of swaging is you can make them however you like.  As you’ll see in the video above, both the round nose and hollow point bullets are very consistent.  Hollow points can be made as deep or as shallow as you like; I’ve fired both for years with excellent results.  Best of all, the point-forming process doesn’t really change the weight, since that’s largely controlled by the core swaging operation.  None the less as you’ll see in the video above, each bullet, including the commercial one, weighs in at 55gr.  That’s perfect since it means I can alternate between styles/types without having to adjust my scopes or sights.

Summary

Swaging bullets is a slow and meticulous process, but for those looking to get benchrest precision from home-made projectiles, nothing else comes close.  The value of being able to produce a style and weight of bullet that perfectly meets your needs cannot be overstated, particularly if you’re in an area where jacketed rifle bullets are in short supply.

Hopefully you found this miniseries interesting; I get a real kick out of making these bullets.  In the future I’ll no doubt write an article on loading and firing them as well as some other custom bullets that can be produced using this and other die sets.

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