Having done this for a few yrs, figured I give some thoughts for those who are looking at the process, or have never even thought about it.
I got interested in swaging back in the early 80s, the survival subject was growing more and more, many conversations were of, making or getting jacketed bullets, this was before all the cheap surplus, and 55gr fmjs by the case, so after reading some articles from different magazines, I saved up and ordered a swaging set, of core seat die, point forming die, core moulds, and jacket maker, for 22 rimfire cases from Corbin mfg.
Upon making my first batch, you definitely have a learning curve to go through, from folded jackets or wrinkled bullets, hint, follow the Corbin swage manual CLOSELY, you will stick a bullet or two, when you do donít panic, get up walk around and come back to it, things go easier (believe me!), you will find, the jacket making process the most aggravating and time consuming part, some batches of jackets just donít want to form up no matter what all you do in the heat treat department, but I do say this, the slower you let them cool down the better it went for me, but you donít want to get too hot to turn the color of the brass real dark, (canít remember the exact temp, been a while since doing some, I make up a big batch, and then use them, still on my last batch from 10 yrs back, been using j-4 jackets too)any way, rim fire jackets when they cooperate, will shoot well, some lots have shot under an inch at 100yds, , the copper jackets (j-4) when you do your part on the dies, will shoot right with factory bullets, and surpass many mfgs out there, I n making cores, make sure to use a depth mic to check your mold settings, and also, at least for me, I surface ground the sprue plate and the top of the mould body, it made for things coming out more consistent, my cores would weigh in within a grain, if you get the core swage die, then you can get the cores right down to tenths of a grain, but even with a grain variance, they shot well, for their intended use.
In seating your cores, had little go wrong here, but you donít want to leave lube on the lead when you seat it, seems the lead donít want to stick to the jacket at all, plus they donít shoot well.
On the point making die, hereís where things get tricky, with rimfire jackets your points will fold up in stead of forming on up to a nice point, you will learn to feel it before you even see the bullet, with regular jackets (copper) you don`t have this problem, something to think aboutÖ.., then you have a fine balance on lube, too much, you dent the bullet (yes it still flies ok, but looks ugly), and uh, not enough, PANIC!, THE DANG BULLET STUCK IN THE DIE!, there is a procedure of using the lube, and a partial core to remove the bullet read the Corbin manual over several times before doing it, but you can get the bullets out fairly easy once you do it, and understand the process.
Over all, now, with every thing really cheap, and plentiful, the RFJ bullet making kit a lot of money, and a lot of time at the bench, if that doesnít bother you , by all means do get the RFJ die and jacket, mold kit, you will learn a lot, other wise, save your money , and just buy the bullets, then you only play with them once at the bench in stead of 4 times, making the jacket, pouring the core, seating the core in the jacket, and forming the point, then finally, you load it in a case.
Have fun which ever way you decide to go
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