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Thread: Civil War Bullet Manufacturing Process

  1. #1
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    Civil War Bullet Manufacturing Process

    So while in our current worldly situation I have been in my garage molding more rounds. While doing so I have been wondering how were bullets produced during the war between the States? I can't imagine you had a bunch of folks standing around molten lead and pouring it one round at a time as most of us do. I did a quick google search but most of the stuff I found most results revolving around current molds and our hobby. I did find one article about how bullets were made in a swaging machine of some sort.

    I figure with all the gurus we have in the N-SSA someone could educate me on the production of rounds in the 1800's

  2. #2
    geezmo is offline
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    Scroll back 2 days ago to a post by StonewallSharpsperson. He has an interesting post on this topic. He also has a link there to information from ordnance manuals from the 1840's to 60's.

  3. #3
    geezmo is offline
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    Correction, it's StonewallSharpeson. If you can't find him, enter in the search box the following: US Army Infantry Ammunition, 1841 - 1862

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    H.Liniger is offline
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    Civil War Bullet Making Process

    During the war there was a Confederate States Laboratory located on Brown's Island in the James River in Richmond. They produced ammunition,primers, percussion caps and other ordnance. It blew up during the war killing many young girls who worked there. HL

  5. #5
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    A fantastic resource is Round Ball to Rimfire by Dean S. Thomas. It is a 4-volume set.

    Many, if not most, bullets produced by modern governments were made by swaging lead under pressure. There were machines that extruded hot lead into wire, and this wire was wound onto spools. Then there were machines, like the Naylor bullet machine, that fed in the wire, cut off the appropriate amount, stuffed it into a die, and then a piston rammed it into a compound die to take shape, cannalures and all.

    I'd love to see this technology reborn. There are companies, like Corbin, that sell bullet swaging equipment, but nobody, to my knowledge, makes a compound die that can open to release a bullet with cannalures.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon
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  6. #6
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    Steve Sheldon
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  7. #7
    mgmradio is offline
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    They were made both by poring in a gang mould and by swagging . Some were also made by swagging and then turned on a lathe to cut the cannuleres.

  8. #8
    hobbler is offline
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    Relic (recovered) bullets show many swaged and many cast.

  9. #9
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    Good info, figured y'all would come through. Would love to see what one of these machines looked like.

  10. #10
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    WOW just read one of the PDF's, "One man can make with the machine 80,000 balls in 10 hours" THAT WOULD BE AWESOME, spend one day and have enough rounds to last me the rest of my skirmishing career. HA

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