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Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 02:15 ET


There has been a little talk around here of late regarding the manufacture of a home-made bullet mould . I think it can be done without making a two-half type of mould mainly because I read a thread over at the castboolits website where one fellow had done just that. A conventional two-half mould is necessary for making grooved bullets but I propose to make a smooth sided design that can be cast in a one piece mould and ejected by inverting the mould and pushing it out . The casting will be in 30 caliber and I believe that paper patching a boolit cast out of wheel weights will allow factory velocities out of both my Chicopee 30-30 and my Hammodee 7.62x39 .
A whole heap of knowledge about paper patching and cast bullets  is available over at www.castboolits.gunloads.com . I have lurked there and occasionally posted for several years and as a tribute to the ideas and information I have gleaned from them I will be describing any projectile I make from this mould as a "boolit"

The first step is to get a chunk of aluminium and roughly square it up .

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 02:20 ET


I am not working to anything other than a mental plan . For those who are interested the piece of metal cleaned up at 1.250" x 1.350" . It is essential however to get the end-face , upon which the sprue plate will ride , perfectly square to the sides .

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 19:14 ET


Can't wait to see this one :D :D :D I've got a 450 marlin just begging for some heavy paper patched boolits.

Zeb

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 19:30 ET


Wow, Heath, this is great. I will have to research the paper patching idea. :)

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 19:33 ET


I am looking forward to this one too, I love these serial project descriptions.

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 19:59 ET


I have used gas-checked boolits for years with good results.Paper patching reduces both the cost and time expended making home-brew projectiles .My intention is to cast a boolit of about .302" and patch it up to .310" with two wraps of note-paper and lube with a smear of Lee Liquid Alox . Not much work compared to the sizing and gas check seating and lubing of a conventional cast boolit.

The picture shows the mould block squared on both ends . I squared it in the lathe . The first attempt in the mill failed , probably because the vice needs to be adjusted . I have also cut out a small piece of 1/4" steel plate that is to become the sprue plate . A Lee 200 gn boolit is shown for scale .

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 20:12 ET


Neat. I just joined cast boolits so I can read about paper patching.

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 20:25 ET


Heathy, You can use just plain old notebook paper? :D

Zeb

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 20:48 ET


Quote (zebdeming @ Aug. 06 2009,20:25)
Heathy, You can use just plain old notebook paper? :D

Zeb

Surely can . I have had good results from a badly eroded Winchester low-wall in 32-20 using a 113 gn Lee "soupcan" sized to .307" and patched up to .315" using plain old notepaper.

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 21:16 ET


I can't figure out how you get the bullet in the case without scratching off the paper... Still reading. Any tips on that?

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 21:23 ET


This should be cool - I've always wanted to build a .45-120 and launch paper patched bullets from it.

GsT

Posted: Aug. 6 2009, 21:59 ET


I remember a short series of articles in the American Rifleman magazine, back in the 1970's, about paper patching. They were getting very impressive velocities with such bullets. I think those articles also were reprinted in one of the NRA books. I turned up a cherry for a .357 Magnum paper patched bullet once, but sold my rifle in that caliber before finishing that project.

Any talk of increased barrel wear from those in the know? Seems like paper might be mildly abrasive, to me. But maybe less so than steel jackets.

Posted: Aug. 7 2009, 09:17 ET


Ross Seyfried also had a few articles on paper patched bullets and got good accuracy and velocity.
Think it was in Guns & Ammo mag.
Very interresting topic.

Posted: Aug. 7 2009, 15:01 ET


I don't think the paper patches will be too abrasive. Unless you make them from sandpaper. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Especially if you lube them with liquid alox after the glue dries.

Posted: Aug. 7 2009, 17:33 ET


As far as I can figure out the glossier types of paper can contain kaolin and titanium dioxide which are definitely abrasive to a degree . What do you do though? Barrels wear out no matter what kind of bullet passes through them .Lubing the patch will reduce the abrasive effect.

I have drilled the holes for the sprue plate pivot screw and the sprue plate stop 5mm . The pivot hole is further from the edge because the hole will be drilled out to a larger diameter to house a little sleeve similar to the method Lee use on their moulds.

Posted: Aug. 7 2009, 17:36 ET


Using the sprue plate as a template I then drilled the mould block 4.2mm and went on and tapped the holes 5mm x 0.8

Posted: Aug. 7 2009, 17:38 ET


Posted: Aug. 7 2009, 23:25 ET


I believe the shiner papers actually have a coating of very fine clay.  Isn't clay finely ground stone?  Scasa might be able to shed some light on the composition of paper.

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 04:45 ET


Quote (Cobbler @ Aug. 07 2009,23:25)
I believe the shiner papers actually have a coating of very fine clay.  Isn't clay finely ground stone?  Scasa might be able to shed some light on the composition of paper.


I'm not sure if by 'shiny' paper you meant magazine pages, but slick paper such as magazine pages are coated with clay, that's what makes them slick, or at least called slick.  Don't know if there's anything on them besides the clay, but don't recall ever hearing, or reading, that there is.  Regular note paper is supposed to be good for wrapping, or patching, boolits.  I would imagine typing paper would be good also.  I understand that 'onionskin' paper is used also, I believe this is tracing paper, I think this is used when you have a slightly larger boolit than is satisfactory for regular paper.

I've only heard of clay being dug out of the ground as clay.  I don't know if it originally originated as some type of rock or stone that was somehow finely ground and became clay, or what.  Interesting thought, I hope someone knows and will post the answer.


Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 11:47 ET


Yep, clay is weathered rock: Clay minerals are typically formed over long periods of time by the gradual chemical weathering of rocks, usually silicate-bearing, by low concentrations of carbonic acid and other diluted solvents. These solvents, usually acidic, migrate through the weathering rock after leaching through upper weathered layers.
There is a good discussion at Cast Boolits of the type of papers used for patching and which ones are more abrasive than others.

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 12:16 ET


I seem to recall that notebook paper has calcium carbonate in it to make it whiter. Also, I think that the slight abrasiveness helps pencil graphite transfer from the pencil to the paper better. Newsprint may have clay as filler. Not sure if any of this is correct or not, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

BTW, cool project!


Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 13:09 ET


How about brown paper bag style paper? Since it's naturally colored, no titanium dioxide?

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 13:49 ET


What about cigarrette papers? I know some of them are pure cellulose plant fiber.

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 15:31 ET


You could try soaking the paper in a fairly concentrated boric acid solution. Once dry wrap the bullets up as you regularly would. Boric acid is an excellent lubricant and it should allow you to overcome some of the paper induced friction.

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 17:16 ET


Quote (nevadablue @ Aug. 08 2009,11:47)
There is a good discussion at Cast Boolits of the type of papers used for patching and which ones are more abrasive than others.

This the thread?  [URL] http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthr....atching [/URL]

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 17:21 ET


Quote (theoldsarge @ Aug. 08 2009,17:16)
Quote (nevadablue @ Aug. 08 2009,11:47)
There is a good discussion at Cast Boolits of the type of papers used for patching and which ones are more abrasive than others.

This the thread?  [URL] http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthr....atching [/URL]

Look at "Paper Patching 101" at the top of that page by Catboat . This guy is seriously knowledgable .

Posted: Aug. 8 2009, 22:57 ET


I commenced making the D bit which I will use to cut the cavity in the mould . My plan is to have the D bit overly long so that I can use it to cut cavities of different depths , the first one being the shallowest ,to get a boolit weighing about 150 gns or so . If everything works out the D bit can then be used to make other moulds which will throw a heavier boolit . I do not want to get too clever with boolit designs so I have just decided on the profile shown ; a round nosed boolit featuring a meplat of about .200".
The D bit has a diameter of .300"immediately behind the round nose which then tapers out over the next quarter inch or so to .302" ; this diameter continuing all the way to the end.
Two Lee boolits are shown in comparison . The 150 gn FP and the 200 gn RN.

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 01:43 ET


I take it you mean this page.  [URL] http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=34782 [/URL]  I've got it saved, to read in its entirity later.

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 02:09 ET


Quote (theoldsarge @ Aug. 09 2009,01:43)
I take it you mean this page.  [URL] http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=34782 [/URL]  I've got it saved, to read in its entirity later.

Yup . Thats it .

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 09:39 ET


Looking good Heathy! So I take it that the mold will have a nose punch that is integral to the mold that will act as an ejector of sorts?

Zeb

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 17:43 ET


Quote (zebdeming @ Aug. 09 2009,09:39)
Looking good Heathy! So I take it that the mold will have a nose punch that is integral to the mold that will act as an ejector of sorts?

Zeb

Yes Zeb . A captive ejection rod which also determines the shape of the nose will be housed in the bottom of the mould. The first ejection rod will give a flat nosed boolit but other ones can easily be made to give any nose shape desired ; round nose or hollow point for example .

I got to thinking about the D bit diameter and decided to reduce its size to .300" over the full length , on the grounds that if it cuts oversize I can easily hone out the mould with some emery paper on a stick , where as the other option will mean that oversize boolits need sizing , which is an extra step I wish to avoid.

After I was happy with the diameter , the D bit was set up in the mill and carefully cut in half with my little fly-cutter. To limit chatter and vibration cuts of only .005" were taken as I got closer to the final dimension .

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 17:46 ET


Here is the result . A whisker over half-way .

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 17:55 ET


I failed to mention the material from which the D bit is made . It is  half inch drill rod . This stuff readily machines and heat treats easily at home. In this case all I am doing is heating the cutter a bright orange color and quenching in water . I am not going to temper the metal after this  - just sharpen it . It is only going to scrape out a few thousands of an inch of aluminium and does not have to withstand any shock loading or high feed rates so I will leave it as is .
The photo is out of focus but he color of the bit is fairly typical of the heat to which I bring the part before quenching .

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 18:04 ET


To complete the D bit it needs sharpening. This was achieved using a diamond impregnated lap . Thirty minutes work  was enough to have the flat side of the bit almost to a mirror finish . This is probably over-kill . In the past I have cut the bits in half with a file and sharpened them after heat treating on a bench grinder.

Posted: Aug. 9 2009, 21:48 ET


I just realized I have a self centering vise. It is on my engraving ball. Not sure I can fit the thing in my mill. :D

Looking forward to seeing you cut the cutter for the mold, Heath. :)

oops, missed a page :D

Now to cut the mold.

Can I use the same method to make a cutter with lube grooves? Seems it would work.


Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 04:14 ET


I am enjoying your post verymuch Heathydee. I was wondering. Where do you get your drill steel from? I have had a look around on the internet but have come up with nothing.

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 08:28 ET


Quote (Mortein @ Aug. 10 2009,04:14)
I am enjoying your post verymuch Heathydee. I was wondering. Where do you get your drill steel from? I have had a look around on the internet but have come up with nothing.

McMASTER CARR  

# 8893K45

It is called Oil Hardening Drill Rod.

This will be O-1 Tool Steel ~ ½" Dia. X 36" Lg.

This should cost less than 10 bucks plus shipping.

You can also get it from MSC, or any of the other tool supply houses.

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 10:07 ET


Nevada, using a D reamer and bringing two mold halves into it, I think would be pretty hairy. I think it might be best to use a multiflute for a two piece mold. I'll see If I can steal the wifes camera tonight and take some pics of how I've been playing around cutting multiflute cutters using only a lathe.

Zeb

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 16:25 ET


Fastenal should have it too.  [URL] http://www.fastenal.com/web/products.ex [/URL]  They're supposed to have 2,300 stores, and one of them is now about 2-3 miles from my house.  I'm sure that if they don't have something in stock they can have it within a day or two.  How handy is that?  
:D

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 17:37 ET


Nevada    : I don't think a D bit would cut very well in that application. As Zeb says a multi flute cutter would be needed where the mould halves are being fed into the cutter , at least two cutting edges and three would be better .

Mortein   :  The other guys have chipped in with the answer to your question . I usually get mine from the local engineering shop where they usually have offcuts in various diameters for only a couple of bucks .
For this application , where only aluminium is being cut , a D bit could be made out of a high tensile bolt and an adequate hardness will be reached by a simple heating and quenching in water. The edge would not last as long however.

Boring the mould.
This operation is commenced by setting up the mould block in the four jaw chuck and with the sprue plate attached , center-drilling the sprue plate , and on into the mould block .

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 17:48 ET


Dear Nevada,

You could still make your own tool, but it wants 4-6 grooves like a "proper" cherry.  If your bullet mold is aluminum, it takes surprisingly unsophisticated grooves (to form cutting edges with some relief) to get it to cut.  Even a little careful work with a dremel and a cutoff wheel can often produce a functional tool.

The big advantage with no lube grooves is you can use the cutter like a drill bit and plunge drill into the mold body.  Then a D-bit works great to finish the hole.

If you have to have lube grooves, you have to push the mold halves onto the multi-edged cutter, simultaneously and carefully.

Or, cut a single edged tool with the correct profile, lube grooves and all. Mount the mold on the lathe.  Drill a little starter hole to remove most of the material, then use the profile tool to finish off the profile.  Insert the cutter into the predrilled hole, then move the tool back toward you until you hit the magic diameter.  That part can take a little figuring ahead of time.

HTH,

troy


Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 18:04 ET


The sprue plate is then removed and the mould block has been carefully drilled all the way through with a 5mm drill , withdrawing the drill often to clear chips and minimise the tendency of the drill to wander from center .The boolit cavity has been roughed out with a 9/32" drill before using the D bit.

I run the lathe in reverse at 50 rpm when using a D bit. This causes the cutting edge to be on top and I believe it reduces the chances of chips getting behind the bit where they will scar the workpiece . I have never used a D bit on aluminium before and was pleased to see the bit was cutting well .The bit was advanced only .040" at a time and then withdrawn to clear chips . Lube was WD40 and I cleaned the bit and mould cavity out with compressed air after every cut.

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 18:22 ET


I took a guess on the depth of the cavity at a bit over 3/4" . The D bit left an ammount of displaced  metal as shown , so a facing cut was taken across the front of the mould block to clean it up .

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 18:28 ET


The sprue plate was re-attached and the opening was enlarged using a small piece of tool steel ground as a boring bar , with the cross slide set at a 45 degree angle.

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 21:44 ET


I fired up the lead pot and while the lead was melting I machined up a rod to plug the nose end of the mold .I needed first of all to ascertain the diameter of the casting the mould would throw , and secondly , how heavy it was going to be . The mould was de-greased with brake cleaner , grasped in a set of multi grips and pre-heated by dipping a corner of it in the molten lead for a few seconds . The sprue plate was similarly pre-heated.
This is the first casting . The good news is it measures .301" , which is right in the ball-park, and weighs 152 gns . The bad news is I will have to set it up in the lathe again to machine the cavity 50 thousandths deeper to clean out the step left from the roughing drill pilot hole .

Posted: Aug. 10 2009, 21:59 ET


Quote (heathydee @ Aug. 10 2009,17:37)
Mortein   :  The other guys have chipped in with the answer to your question . I usually get mine from the local engineering shop where they usually have offcuts in various diameters for only a couple of bucks .
For this application , where only aluminium is being cut , a D bit could be made out of a high tensile bolt and an adequate hardness will be reached by a simple heating and quenching in water. The edge would not last as long however.

If you were only making one for yourself, maybe one or two for buddies, and using aluminium for the molds, then sounds like a bolt would be best, save the good stuff for something else.  After all, how many of the same mold will you be making?  Different boolits, different cutter.  Great thread by the way, hope to one day make my own mold (s) and learning a lot.

Posted: Aug. 11 2009, 17:41 ET


With the boolit cavity cut a little deeper it was then time to reverse the mould block in the lathe and enlarge the through hole to house the ejection pin/nose form . The block was aligned in the four jaw chuck using a wiggling center as described earlier , and a cavity was bored 3/8" wide by 3/4" deep .The ejection pin was machined to suit out of a piece of scrap.The pin has extra material left on the lengths of both diameters for fine tuning its operation once the mould is assembled .

Posted: Aug. 11 2009, 17:52 ET


A large washer is used as a retainer for the ejection pin .I drilled and tapped the mould block 5X0.8mm . My idea is to have the ejection pin fall by its own weight when the mould is held vertically ,leaving the nose level with the bottom of the boolit cavity . Once the molten lead has cooled , and the sprue plate knocked aside , inverting the mould and pushing on the base of the ejector pin , through the hole in the washer ,with a suitable tool ,should eject the cooled boolit .

Posted: Aug. 11 2009, 18:02 ET


Ah Ha. that's what I was waiting for, I'm heading out to the shed tonight! Is your ejection pin steel or aluminum?

Zeb

Posted: Aug. 11 2009, 18:17 ET


Quote (zebdeming @ Aug. 11 2009,18:02)
Ah Ha. that's what I was waiting for, I'm heading out to the shed tonight! Is your ejection pin steel or aluminum?

Zeb

It is steel Zeb . The steel will expand less than the aluminium as it heats up which should prevent binding .

Posted: Aug. 12 2009, 17:20 ET


There is just a little work to do on the sprue plate . First the pivot hole is drilled out to 3/8".

Posted: Aug. 12 2009, 17:39 ET


In this picture the sprue plate pivot sleeve has been machined and installed . All it is , is an upside down "top-hat"about five thousandths thicker than the sprue plate. The sprue plate pivots easily on this sleeve and sits down squarely over the mould block .

The machining operation shown in the picture is probably not recommended unless you are confident and careful in what you are doing. I have set up the mould block with the sprue plate firmly attached squarely in the mill vice. The sprue plate has a piece of paper between it and the mould block so that it needs a fair effort to swing it around . I have to turn the other hole in the sprue plate into a curved slot and the easiest way to do it is to put a 3/16" end mill into the hole and push the sprue plate through the cutter .

That is the mould finished apart from a handle . I think I will fire up the lead pot tomorrow and hold the mould in a pair of vice-grips for now .

Posted: Aug. 12 2009, 21:18 ET


Looking good. Heath, you and Zeb inspired me enough to cheat! :D I just bought a Lee 158 grain SWC double mold. I think I can make a D reamer like you did, except it will just be the round nosed part. That way, I have the lube grooves and I'll have the longer round nose I want. There is enough meat in the mold to allow me to make the bullet slightly longer and that should raise the weight to about what I'm looking for. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Posted: Aug. 13 2009, 07:34 ET


Here is some pictures that might inspire you...
This is the way I do all my moulds.
New or old mould is mounted in the 4 jaw chuck, indicated (outside) to zero the split-plane.
Drill te majority of material with a twistdrill
Two homemade cutters are used.
One shaped as the nose.
The other shaped as the bearing bands.
The Maxiball uses only one cutter though.









BR/ Blackpowder

Posted: Aug. 13 2009, 18:09 ET


Nevada  : You will have to use  a pre-drilled hole before scraping out the round nosed profile in your Lee mould. A D bit will not plunge cut into fresh metal .It re-profiles an existing hole .

Blackpowder   : That is fine work .


I fired up the gas ring and melted some lead today . I had a pot of soft lead that probably would not be suitable for  high velocity boolits so I sweetened it up with a couple of pounds of linotype .The mould was held in a pair of vice grips and once a technique was learned I found I could get about two boolits per minute out of the mould . A couple of problems were encountered in the use of the mould . First one being the ejection pin would not always fall back down when the mould was tipped upright after the ejection of a boolit . If lead was poured into the mould with the ejection pin up it would solidify around the pin and lock up the mould . the only way to get the lead out was by heating the mould with the oxy torch until it melted out . Then , if any melt had migrated down the ejection pin hole the mould would have to be dis-assembled and cleaned out .

The technique I came up with was to first push the ejection pin fully down with a wooden skewer I liberated from the kitchen , tilt the mould slightly to ensure the sprue plate was hard against the stop , pour the molten lead into the sprue hole and leave a puddle on top . After the sprue had hardened the sprue plate was tapped aside with a rubber hammer using six or eight small hits , rather than one or two big ones and the mould was then inverted and the ejection pin pushed with a piece of copper rod to eject the boolit ,which was caught on an old blanket .

Posted: Aug. 13 2009, 18:51 ET


The boolits measure .301" and weigh 139 gns .This is lighter than I wanted but they are worth trying . I should be able to get about 2200 fps out of them in my 7.62 x 39 and perhaps more in my Chicopee 30-30 .I think the Chicopee will be the first rifle used because the barrel can be cleaned easily in the event of a massive barrel leading episode .

Posted: Aug. 13 2009, 19:57 ET


Looking good Heath. I'm gonna build myself a mold later on down the road. :thumbs:

Posted: Aug. 13 2009, 20:25 ET


Yes, Heath, that's my plan. I figure drill to depth, slightly undersize. It will probably require a couple of steps so I can cut a nice round nose profile.
Thanks Blackpowder for the pix and ideas.
Your boolits are looking good, Heath! :)

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 17:51 ET


I have been busy and have a lot to post today . I laboriously cut out a heap of patches after making a template . The patches are .002" thick and they are designed to wrap around the boolit twice.

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 17:55 ET


After a couple of minutes soaking in water I wrap the boolit like this. First align the boolit and get the patch started .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 17:59 ET


I roll the patch on with my finger while keeping an eye on the right side of the patch to ensure the patch is going on straight .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 18:03 ET


The ends of the patch did not quite meet . Should be good .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 18:06 ET


Twist the tail .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 18:11 ET


Repeat the above operation forty or fifty times .It took about 15 minutes  to wrap these boolits and I expect it could be done faster with some practice . I placed the tray of wrapped boolits in the truck (warmest place) and two hours later the patches were bone dry and firmly attached .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 18:15 ET


The wrapped boolit measures .309" , which is two thousandths over the bore diameter of both of the rifles I am going to use .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 18:19 ET


The tails of the patches have been snipped off and the patches given a hand applied rub-over with Lee Liquid Alox .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 21:24 ET


Ok, now, how do you get them in the case? :)

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 21:53 ET


Quote (nevadablue @ Aug. 14 2009,21:24)
Ok, now, how do you get them in the case? :)

The case mouth needs flaring the tiniest ammount Nevada .

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 21:54 ET


Heath' I read some awhile back on paper patching and from what I understood the paper was supposed to extend up past the ogive of the bullet some so it would give some start in the ball seat of the throat instead of an abrupt edge ?
Just a question on my part.

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 21:58 ET


The case in the previous picture has already had a healthy hit with an inside neck de-burring tool and was flared with the simple hand held tool shown in this picture. The paper patched boolit is then seated normally.

Posted: Aug. 14 2009, 22:02 ET


Quote (Bubba45 @ Aug. 14 2009,21:54)
Heath' I read some awhile back on paper patching and from what I understood the paper was supposed to extend up past the ogive of the bullet some so it would give some start in the ball seat of the throat instead of an abrupt edge ?
Just a question on my part.

I believe your are right Bubba . I will have to play with seating depths and patch lengths .

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 01:46 ET


Cant wait to see the field test of these little buggers :p

This is the way to go to make expandable subsonics bullets methinks..
Just cast really soft lead and paper patch it.

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 12:28 ET


Excellent.  

You have been a busy guy.

I am still digesting a lot of the info that has recently been posted and referenced about paper patching.  Would someone care to post a summary of the advantages and disadvantages.

I'll start.

Pros:

Gives more latitude about what alloy to use when casting boolits.  i.e. it should reduce or even eliminate leading problems when using very soft, pure lead projectiles.

It gives the reloader the ability to tune the bullet's final diameter to play well with whatever barrel you are using, even if the barrel is somewhat worn.

You might be able to do without gas checks, which makes you somewhat more insulated from the supply problems that we have seen lately.


Cons:

Might be more abrasive and wear out your barrel faster.

Somewhat labor intensive

Adds another variable to mess with to get a gun to shoot well.  This is sort of a pro and a con I guess.

There are 8,009 opinions about which paper is "best" if there is such an animal.

Finest regards,

troy

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 18:39 ET


I haven't done much today but I did load a boolit in front of 2 gns of clays and push it out of the Chicopee's barrel where it was caught in a bag of shop rags .I wanted to see whether the patch would make the journey down the barrel in one piece and am pleased to report that it did .The picture shows the recovered boolit . Interestingly the point where the ends of the patch did not meet is clearly visible . There is no evidence of lead to steel contact to be seen anywhere on the recovered slug and all that was left in the barrel was primer/powder residue which was persuaded to leave with some WD 40 and a patch .
I have been consulting with one of the paper patch Gurus over at castboolits(docone41) and he recommends full power loads ,so ,to that end I will start the testing process in the 30-30 with 30 gns of Varget behind the 140 gn PP boolit and build up from there. I will load a few up tomorrow and hopefully get to the range soon thereafter.

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 19:15 ET


Cool!! What did the patch look like after firing?

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 19:39 ET


Quote (Bubba45 @ Aug. 15 2009,19:15)
Cool!! What did the patch look like after firing?

I could not find it in amongst the rags Bubba . Since the muzzle was against the side of the bag as I fired I assumed it would not provide much information anyway.

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 19:44 ET


I was just curious how it fared on its way down the barrel. But from the looks of boolit it looks like it held together well as there isnt any drag marks on boolit !

Posted: Aug. 15 2009, 21:22 ET


Excellent, Heath. This is a real useful thing! Thanks!

Posted: Aug. 16 2009, 17:53 ET


Ready to go. These are loaded with 30 gns of Varget and the seating depth was established by dropping a boolit down the barrel ,where it was prevented from going further down by the start of the rifling , measuring from the breech with a depth micrometer and doing a couple of sums to come up with an cartridge overall length that has the patch started into the rifling. I expect velocity to be in the 2200 fps ballpark and pressures to be less than my standard cast boolit load which features a 15 grain heavier boolit and 1.5 gns extra powder.

Posted: Aug. 16 2009, 22:32 ET


Quote (heathydee @ Aug. 16 2009,17:53)
Ready to go. These are loaded with 30 gns of Varget and the seating depth was established by dropping a boolit down the barrel ,where it was prevented from going further down by the start of the rifling , measuring from the breech with a depth micrometer and doing a couple of sums to come up with an cartridge overall length that has the patch started into the rifling. I expect velocity to be in the 2200 fps ballpark and pressures to be less than my standard cast boolit load which features a 15 grain heavier boolit and 1.5 gns extra powder.

Some of those look like hollow points and some flat.  I suspect that's the lighting.  VERY cool.   :anim_sniper:  :thumbs:  :anim_beer:

Posted: Aug. 17 2009, 17:52 ET


I had a big day at the range with a mix of good and bad results . The good news is there was absolutely no sign of barrel leading in either the Chicopee 30-30 or the Hammodee 7.62x39 despite velocities of around 2400 fps achieved in the former . Patches disintegrated at the muzzle and a cloud of confetti blew past neighboring shooters . Barrel cleaning was a two minute job ; only needing a couple of patches wet with WD40 and a dry patch to follow .
The 30-30 had loads to trial ranging from 30 to 32.5 gns of Varget in sets of ten rounds . The first one over the chrony for velocity and the remaining nine fired in groups of three at fifty meters . Conditions were poor with a strong and gusty wind . The best target is shown . This load was an after-thought and I added 0.3cc of Grex between powder and projectile to take up empty space and hopefully protect the base of the boolit .

Posted: Aug. 17 2009, 17:58 ET


Two loads were trialled in the Hammodee . This one is pleasing and shows potential .

Posted: Aug. 17 2009, 19:13 ET


Cool stuff Heathy !!! Good velocity and starting groups too .

Posted: Aug. 18 2009, 17:26 ET


No shooting today so the mould was trimmed up and a handle made . When I make more moulds I will make them to fit this handle . Undoing the set screw opposite the handle allows the mould to fall free .

Posted: Aug. 18 2009, 19:58 ET


As usual Heathy,
welldone!! Great write ups and very nice presentation of idea.

Thanks mate!

Posted: Aug. 18 2009, 21:19 ET


Excellent write-up Heathydee, and the results speak for themselves.

Colin

Posted: Aug. 18 2009, 21:58 ET


I was wondering what you were going to do for a handle, slick.  I take it you will stamp, or engrave, the size and weight on each individual mold then?

Posted: Aug. 19 2009, 02:44 ET


Have you had a chance to pour a batch since you added the handle?  Just wondering what you are coming up with for a production volume/rate.

Posted: Aug. 19 2009, 09:43 ET


You are one of my heros Heath.
I love the way you dig in and do it.
:thumbs:

Posted: Aug. 19 2009, 18:06 ET


Thanks for the "attaboys" guys . It means a lot.
Cobbler . I can get about two boolits per minute out of the mould once everything has gotten up to temperature.Once cooled I weigh every one and scrape of a feather of lead from the nose while giving it a visual inspection . Again about two a minute. Cutting patches is slow but can be done while watching TV so it doesn't count . Wrapping the patch on and lubing is done while I am talking to my wife before dinner in the kitchen . I would guess that each boolit has 4 or 5 minutes invested in it before it finds a temporary home in the neck of a case .

I took the best performing load from the other day in the 30-30 Chicopee and increased both the powder charge and the overall length of the cartridge . The target shows the results . Not a good result by any means but all part of the learning process.The best that could be said is that it is a nice round group exhibiting no flyers . I am thinking the boolit may be a tad undersized and might require a thousandth or so removed which is easily done by putting it back in the lathe and polishing the excess out with a piece of emery paper on a stick .
The Hammodee however , showed potential with the boolit and I might explore that avenue of development first before I alter the mould. Stay tuned.

Posted: Aug. 22 2009, 10:29 ET


Any pictures of recovered bullets from the higher velocities? Cast Boolits is a great recourse.  I have done a lot with cast gas checked bullets for many .30 caliber applications.  But have not yet tried paper patching.  I think I need to keep my open for an old .30-30:D

Posted: Aug. 22 2009, 16:55 ET


Quote (gds @ Aug. 22 2009,10:29)
Any pictures of recovered bullets from the higher velocities?

No GDs. Not yet.It is all part of the plan though to compare the expansion of the paper patched boolit to a similar weight "ordinary" cast boolit with a gas check and lube grooves . As anyone who has cast their own knows , it is easy to get velocities over 2000 fps with reasonable accuracy if the lead used is hardened to a degree by alloying or heat treatment . Once the boolit is toughened in this way  expansion is often a thing of the past , with terminal performance on game resembling that of a FMJ ; a deep penetrating wound , often allowing  game to get a considerable distance before expiring .
The paper patch should allow a softer alloy to be used which hopefully , should disrupt more on impact . I do not have a hardness tester and I compare boolit hardness by tapping two together and listening to the sound they make . Soft lead gives a "thunk". Linotype boolits give a "clink" . The alloy used for the paper patch trial is softer than any I have used at the velocities achieved and I have high hopes for them as far as expansion is concerned .

Posted: Aug. 24 2009, 20:49 ET


I have been out to the range for further testing with results that have not improved on what has already been tried. Velocities in the 7.62x39 were good with 2300fps achieved with one load . Patches are shedding at the muzzle and barrel cleaning is easy .
I have begun to make another mould using the same D bit but this time I will aim for a weight of around 160 gns that will better suit the 30-30 and I will polish the mould out to try and achieve a patched diameter of .310". this size and weight will match the dimensions of the ordinary cast boolits with which good accuracy has been achieved in the past.

Posted: Aug. 24 2009, 21:31 ET


hmmm... I wonder if paper will foul the gas port on gas operated guns? Otherwise this looks like a great idea!

Posted: Aug. 27 2009, 21:17 ET


I have been out to the Heathydee Outdoor Ballistic Testing Facility today to see how the PP boolit compares to a standard Lee 150 gn offering that I have been using with good accuracy in the Hammodee 7.62x39. I soaked some old paperback novels in water then placed about 14 inches of them in front of a polyethylene container filled with water . A stout tree backed up .The aim first of all to check energy transfer and secondly to capture the spent projectile .

Posted: Aug. 27 2009, 21:31 ET


I fired the Lee boolit first from a range of 30 yards . The boolit has a muzzle velocity of 2080 fps . The boolit penetrated the lot ; every book plus the foot of water in the container and ended up in the tree in two pieces judging by the two exit holes in the water container . Damage to the books was progressively worse , or better , depending on which way one looks at these things , as the boolit penetrated .

I re-stacked the books and plugged and refilled the water container to repeat the test with the PP boolit . At the report , pieces of torn paper from the books were thrown into the air ; not a snow storm but satisfying non the less . Examination revealed the books were torn up much more than from the first test and the boolit had been trapped in the water container.

Here it is . Starting weight 139 gns . Finished weight 111 gns .

Posted: Aug. 27 2009, 23:35 ET


Quote (nevadablue @ Aug. 24 2009,21:31)
hmmm... I wonder if paper will foul the gas port on gas operated guns? Otherwise this looks like a great idea!

If it doesn't burn off, it will clean up easier than lead.

Posted: Aug. 27 2009, 23:38 ET


My next question is, which one is more accurate?

Posted: Aug. 27 2009, 23:49 ET


Quote (theoldsarge @ Aug. 27 2009,23:38)
My next question is, which one is more accurate?

Currently the Lee boolit is the more accurate ; about 1.5 MOA . The next objective is to get the PP boolit up to that standard without having to harden the boolit up to a point where expansion and thus energy transfer is lessened.

Posted: Aug. 28 2009, 01:08 ET


For your next one, I think it'd be neat to have a hollow base - ala Minie (?) ball.

Posted: Aug. 28 2009, 15:27 ET


healthydee,

Have you thought of making a top punch similar to Rodgervich's?  Made for some really nice mushroomed HP's...

Posted: Aug. 28 2009, 17:50 ET


Sarge   This mould  cannot have a hollow base because is is a base pour design . I would have to make another mould which fills from the nose which would then have to be flat .

Marine     Yes . Simply making another ejection pin with a protrusion would add a hollow point to the boolit. It is something to consider especially if the boolit is to be used at lower velocities .

Posted: Aug. 28 2009, 18:27 ET


That's what I meant, next mold.  

Or, you could just drill out the base of some boolits to make a hollow, just to see if it's worth the trouble of making a hollow-base mold.  Now that I think on that, if hollow bases improve accuracy, this way would probably provide more size and shape consistency.  Would probably be quite fast to do, using something along the lines of a hand cranked case trimmer, except a hole to accept the boolits, and a hand crank that slides over, with adjustable stop for precise hollow depth each time.  I would think something like that would be quicker to rig up than a hollow-base mold, and should be easily adaptable to different size boolits, and hollows.

Posted: Aug. 29 2009, 00:25 ET


I ran across this a day or so ago.  Quite possibly of no help to you, but I thought it an interesting read.  [URL] http://www.researchpress.co.uk/firearm....e07.htm [/URL]

Posted: Aug. 29 2009, 00:36 ET


Just ran across this picture on another thread.  I don't know how hard it would be to make a mold, or how accurate they would be, but it would sure be fun to amaze people who saw them.  My eventual plan is BP .303 loads, with the boolit handloaded in the bore, then the round.  Wonder how paper patching would work on them.

Posted: Aug. 31 2009, 04:27 ET


Thanks for the information Sarge. A guy over at castboolits tried slugs like that not so long ago with dismal results . Apparently the fins are not in the air stream ; they are in the vacuum caused by the slug's forward passage through the air and end up doing nothing to aid stability . They sure look cool though.

I managed a quick trip to the range after work and tried two loads in the Hammodee which differed only the addition of 0.3cc of Grex shotshell buffer in the second load. Interesting result . I would suggest the pressures in this load are fairly high . Primers are well flattened .The boolit must be distorting when protected only by a wrap of paper yet maintains its shape when protected by the Grex .
I really will have to come up with some sort of hardness tester so I can measure the hardness of each batch of alloy and be able to duplicate results down the track. The boolits are softer than any I have ever pushed at the speeds achieved .A fingernail leaves a visible impression on the boolit . I am thinking a slower powder might be needed but there is not a real lot of room in the 7.62x39 case and so velocities achieved would drop . Might have to go back to the 30-30 Chicopee .

Posted: Aug. 31 2009, 07:24 ET


Wow, that made a huge difference. This thread is interesting to no end. Have you tried a harder alloy of lead just to see if it works better?

Zeb

Posted: Aug. 31 2009, 07:33 ET


Quote (heathydee @ Aug. 31 2009,04:27)
Thanks for the information Sarge. A guy over at castboolits tried slugs like that not so long ago with dismal results . Apparently the fins are not in the air stream ; they are in the vacuum caused by the slug's forward passage through the air and end up doing nothing to aid stability . They sure look cool though.

No prob.  Interesting.  I'd have thought that if the slug started to tumble a bit the fins would keep it in line - which does not necessarily mean accurate.  I don't spend much time over there, I'll have to go over and see if I can find the thread.

Posted: Aug. 31 2009, 09:33 ET


Don't know how you would do it but it might be an ideal solid lead projectile to have dead soft lead on the front half and some harder lead alloy on the rear half.

Posted: Aug. 31 2009, 14:57 ET


If anything, the fins will fight the gyroscopic spin.

Posted: Aug. 31 2009, 16:59 ET


Quote (Cobbler @ Aug. 31 2009,09:33)
Don't know how you would do it but it might be an ideal solid lead projectile to have dead soft lead on the front half and some harder lead alloy on the rear half.

Here's one way of doing it, but I'm not at all sure this is the way the old-timers did it.  [URL] http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearmsforums.yuku.com/topic....an.html [/URL]

I've got a book somewhere in the back room, that tells how they did it.  I'll give a shot at find it.

Posted: Sep. 2 2009, 04:31 ET


I have a bit of success happening at last . I believe I was driving these soft boolits too hard and distorting the bases which resulted in  poor accuracy . This picture shows the results from the Hammodee 7.62x39 . Two four shot groups at 50 metres and only one flyer . The velocity is as good as achieved with a Lee 150 grain cast boolit and the accuracy is comparable ,with the prospect of better boolit expansion upon impact .

Posted: Sep. 2 2009, 04:44 ET


That's certainly a mighty fine bullet design. I've not yet had the courage to try paper patching, but I may well have to experiment with my .45-70 after seeing this... :D

Posted: Sep. 2 2009, 05:12 ET


A load using AR2209 which is similar to H4350 (if not the same) was tried in the Chicopee 30-30 . No filler was used . I figured the slower powder , which incidentally is too slow for the 30-30 and is not listed anywhere , would reduce the pressure below the "distortion threshhold" and help the quest for accuracy , without the need of the aforesaid filler.
Ten shots were fired. Two three round groups and one four . I am fairly happy with the results and would not feel handicapped using the PP boolit when hunting.

The bottom two groups were four shots each of some left over factory ammo which I shot to provide a control sample .

I have learnt a lot about paper patching in the course of this thread . In the light of 20 20 hindsight the boolit should have a more rounded ogive which would allow it to be seated out further , leaving more room for powder in the case .With the current profile , accuracy has improved the deeper it has been seated into the case ,limiting the ammount the patch has been engraved by the rifling to about one eighth of an inch .
The mould would benefit from a protruding ejection pin to speed production .

Despite the shortcomings of the current mould I feel goals have been reached in the home brew of one's ammuniton. Being able to make a mould from a few scraps of metal and then combining scrap lead with a piece of paper to send it downrange at over 2000fps, with hopefully devastating terminal effects ,has been a satisfying thing to do .

Posted: Sep. 2 2009, 15:42 ET


Those latest groups look real sweet. i would like to try patched bullets myself some day.

Etced

Posted: Sep. 7 2009, 12:50 ET


OK, found your next project.  Now you can make two-part composit boolits, the base hard, the top soft.  Piece of cake.  [URL] http://www.muzzleblasts.com/archives/vol1no3/articles/stutz_3.shtml [/URL]

Also interesting.  [URL] http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearmsforums.yuku.com/topic....an.html [URL]

And even more interesting.  [URL] https://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum....o=11557 [/URL]


Posted: Sep. 8 2009, 11:02 ET


You guys irritate me.  Eventually I plan on a .303 (not sure what action yet), using blackpowder loads, and cast boolits.  You've got me doing my homeworkin on the boolits waaay ahead of schedule.  Ran across this today.  [URL] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrPKivrETZs [/URL] Part 2 [URL] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUjyl4izD88&feature=related [/URL] Conclusion [URL] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY6ecEQY_CY&feature=related [/URL]  Interesting, but I think it's a bit more complicated than need be.

There's a couple of ways I ran across that appeal to me more.  One is, use a dipper made from a cut-down casing (or other) that will give you a precise amount every time, use it to get your soft lead nose poured into your mold.  Then immediately use another dipper, second pot of whatever lead alloy you want for the base.  Let it cool, repeat.  This seems to me that you would get similar results, with less time and effort.  In fact, with this one theoretically you could even get by without a sprue, just have the boolit come to slightly lower than the top of the mold.  Varying dipper sizes would also give you different weight boolits.  Sounds good in theory anyway.

The other way is to cast your lead front out of soft lead, with a mold that would make a tail on it.  You could then pour the hard base, and the tail would keep the base in place.  I believe tho that this was meant to be done by also casting the base, with a hollow running thru it, then the base fit over the tail, and the two swaged.  I believe also that this was meant for paper patching.  I wonder if you made the tail a bit long, could you just beat the part sticking out flat, akin to a rivet and have it work well.  I saw a picture of some copper looking washer things with small holes that looked like they had been done that way, did not see any explation, so don't know.  

I'll keep on encouraging you, that way when it comes my turn to do this I won't be making too many mistakes.   :thumbs:

Oh drat, looked at a couple of my earlier posts and I seem to be repeating myself here.  I attribute that totally to needing another cuppa.


Posted: Sep. 8 2009, 18:36 ET


Thanks for all your input Sarge but this thread has achieved all I set out to do . I have arrived at a result which has given me what I want ; adequate hunting accuracy with a soft , home poured boolit . Making the mould was a simple machining task that anyone with basic machine tools can duplicate . Once a mould is completed there is no longer a reliance on factory bullets and that is a goal worth reaching ; especially with todays prices .
There is work to be done on load development but it is just "more of the same" that has gone before and the task has lost its urgency for me. I know ,with the data I have already accumulated  , I can go out to the shed and inside a short period of time have a hunting cartridge assembled using one of these boolits , that will be accurate ,effective on game at reasonable distances and satisfying to use .
I hope the knowledge I have gained in the course of this thread can be put to use by others here .
               Heath

Posted: Sep. 8 2009, 19:03 ET


It was certainly educational for me, thanks for sharing Heathydee.

Colin

Posted: Sep. 8 2009, 20:01 ET


Great thread, learned a lot, enjoyed it a lot.   :anim_bounce:  :anim_beer:  :thumbs: