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Thread: Civil War Bullet Manufacturing Process

  1. #11
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    There has got to be a way to make a compound multi-part die to work with a Corbin swager.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post
    There has got to be a way to make a compound multi-part die to work with a Corbin swager.
    I see a business opportunity here...

  3. #13
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    Go with swaging an Enfeild style bullet and the grease groove problem is solved.

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    Go with swaging an Enfeild style bullet and the grease groove problem is solved.
    True, but that bullet is currently useless in N-SSA competition.

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  5. #15
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Actually, I have found a lot of them in the backstop at the range in Winchester. They are using standard oversize Pritchett type bullets with lube in the hollow base.

  6. #16
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    I have a NOE mould for those and they shoot incredibly well. And of course that would be the way to go with normal swaging dies. But where is the challenge in that?
    BTW, I am not a N-SSA shooter since there's none of that here in NM but I do spend a lot of time playing with rifled muskets. Just wonderful why Pritchett bullets aren't allowed? They're certainly period correct, is the paper patching not allowed because of fires?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobade View Post
    I have a NOE mould for those and they shoot incredibly well. And of course that would be the way to go with normal swaging dies. But where is the challenge in that?
    BTW, I am not a N-SSA shooter since there's none of that here in NM but I do spend a lot of time playing with rifled muskets. Just wonderful why Pritchett bullets aren't allowed? They're certainly period correct, is the paper patching not allowed because of fires?
    Partly. We do permit combustible paper rounds for sharps and revolvers so that isn't the whole rationale; I think part of it too is the fast loading we do with rifled muskets and not wanting bits of burning paper potentially left in the bore. It is a recipe for cook offs when the next round is poured down as we don't have time to swab between shots. The bullet STYLE is fine and as John Holland said I have found them in the backstop, and if someone wants to shoot an Enfield style bullet without the paper, well that's certainly fine.

    As for making a die that makes a minie via swaging including the grease grooves, I am sure the technical aspects of it could be overcome; but whether it fit the Corbin machine or required a hydraulic press, it would be an added piece of gear that most skirmishers don't have, and most would never need; and as so many are shooting different types of bullets there would be a discussion of bullet style and diameter to address too. While not practical for any given shooter, if one of the larger teams had one and they all shot the same bullet that would be another matter. I know that for a thousand or 2 bullets a year I wouldn't want to spend thousands on the set up. Besides, the lead wire is still going to cost money, will have to be of a specific diameter, and you will need to have either a cutter that precisely cuts THAT or have a way to address run out on the finished bullet. Certainly an option would be a basic mold that cast slab sided barrel shaped slugs just the right size for the swage die, but if you are already melting lead and casting it....

    In short, it was a useful invention for making millions of the same type of bullet for the army but not so useful for our sport, sadly.

    This said if someone makes the die I wanna see it!
    Last edited by jonk; 04-09-2020 at 01:05 PM.

  8. #18
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    Just wonderful why Pritchett bullets aren't allowed? They're certainly period correct, is the paper patching not allowed because of fires?
    As John pointed out, you can shoot them "naked" just fine in the N-SSA. It's not a period-correct way to use the bullet, but if it works, it works.

    The N-SSA does not allow any paper down the barrel in any muzzleloading arm. The fear is probably that residual embers could cause a cookoff. I don't think fires are a concern because paper cartridges are allowed in breechloading arms (and they have caused fires - I saw it on the field at Eva, though nothing that could not be stomped out in short order. At least, I assume it was paper that caused the ground fire).

    I personally think this is an ungrounded fear. The British developed the paper-patched Enfield cartridge to the zenith of the muzzleloading era. If cookoffs were an issue, they would have noted it. During testing there was an Enfield musket at one of the testing facilities that was deliberately not cleaned for years, and had countless rounds put through it. No mention of cookoffs.

    I'm currently casting up from time to time to get to 500 Pritchet style bullets that I intend to make up in to Enfield style cartridges. I want to do my own "torture test" of rapid firing dozens of them without cleaning to demonstrate that there is no risk of cookoff.

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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobade View Post
    I see a business opportunity here...
    Very surprised that no one has set up to mass production of the bullets we make and shoot.

    After it is set up only new costs is in lead and a way to heat lead.
    For the price of what they cost now it is hard to not justify buying the pots, molds, dies and so one.

    I know there was a time when only big companies sell fishing weights. They cast virgin lead, shipped everything several times before it hit the end user. You would pay 6 to 7$ per pound.

    Now on the fishing side of things there are many new businesses fired up selling weights for the same or lest than most pay for lead.

    They work with places to buy scrap,.some new, anyway to get it then cast away.
    not long back they were able to cast and sell fishing weights for 1$ a pound or less.
    Now a little more but not much.

    One would think even if you were only doing 69 cal or other round balls they sould be able to sell for 1 ro 1.25$ a pound anything under the 1.50$ or more people are paying for lead.

    If I was retired I know I would be casting round balls and selling them. They are cheap, easy to make and you can use mixed lead. Dead soft is not needed.
    Last edited by MR. GADGET; 04-09-2020 at 01:27 PM.
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  10. #20
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    Thanks for the replies! I thought the fire danger might be the reason.

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