AND HOT LEAD. Water will cause the melted lead to explode. Scrounge lead from wheelweights at the gas station, sewer pipe joints in houses being torn down, the lead sheath around telephone cable, and scraps of solder. Sometimes you can buy scrap lead from Junk dealers.
The hardware store sells lead In $
lb. blocks. I scrounged 225 lbs. of lead from the last house that was torn down here.
Stand the bullets you have cast in a shallow pan and pour melted bullet lube on them. When the lube cools and hardens cut the bullets out of the lube by pressing a fired cartridge case down over the bullet. Punch the fired primer out first and use a stiff piece of wire to shove the bullet out of the case. The bullet shoots fair as is but for better accuracy, get a Lee Lube and Size kit. The lubed and sized bullets shoots very accurately with a litrle playing around with the powder charge. Excellent bullet lube is made by melting together a pound of parafin from the supermarket with a can of S.T.P. Better lube is made from one pound of parafin melted with one grease gun cartridge of Lithium Grease from the auto parts store. The best lube is Alox 2138 I bought at the gun shop. A stick will lube hundreds of bullets.
Now that you have loaded and shot a few hundred rounds of cheap ammo you can use blocks of plaster of paris or something to make your own molds. Use a drill or knife or something to drill holes in the plaster blocks. Pour the hot lead into the hoies.
Buckshot from the gunshop costs ahnut75d a lb. in 5-lb. bags and makes excellent rifle and pistol bullets for small game and practice. A 30-06 case loaded with 2-1/2 grains of Red Dot, Trap 100, or ^52 AA powder and a number 1 buck sounds, shoots, and kills exactly like a 22 long rifle. buck weighs ^0 yidins. A 22 short case holds about 2-1/2 grains of powder. You will get nearly 3000 rounds out of a pound of powder.
There are: Works in:
300 n buck / lb., .257 or .25 caI. 175 #1 buck / lb., 7mm to .30 cal. \h$ HO buck / lb., 8mm S .32cal. 130 #00 buck/ lb., .33 cal. 100 #000 buck/lb., Dmm,. 337, t. 38 cal. 50 §k5 cal buck/lb., 6 .¿»5 cal.
A 22 short or 22 long rifle case full of powder is about right tor nearly all cartridges. Use a fast shotgun powder. Use the buckshot as is and press it in flush with the mouth of the case.
Wood dowel rods make good bullets for close range. Saw the dowel into bullet sized pieces. They tend to explode inside the victim. Keep the the velocity down or they will explode in mid air. They seem to work best ar pistol velocities of 800-1000 feet per second.
Plastics make rotten bullets. Forget them. Bolts with the heads cut off make good bullets In a pinch but will ruin the accuracy of a rifled barrel so use them only when nothing else can be found or in zip guns.
You have probably heard of Dum-Duras. They are simply bullets with a deep "X" cut into the nose. They blow frightful holes In people and animals. They only work if the bullet is going faster than 1000 feet per second. Most pistol cartridges won't work. The lyman manual tells the velocity of factory cartridges. Hollow points seldom work below 1000 feet per second also.
Bullets with a copper or brass jacket -are easy to make. Copper tubing and fired 22 rimfire cases make good Jackets. You can also buy jackets. Even if you buy the jackets the bullets still cost less than one third of what bought bullets cost and are as good or better. Dave Corbin Is the best expert to consult here. Send $5 to Corbin Manufacturing and Supply, Box 758, Phoenix, Oregon 97535 for their Bullet Swedge Manual and Catalog. Their manual tells it in plain language how to begin.
Now that you have done some reloading for your rifle, pistol, or shotgun, you can start dreaming up your own special purpose loads with a reasonable amount of safety.
An excellent Velex type special purpose round can be made by drilling a 7/32 Inch or number 2 drill bit hole in the nose of a .30 cal. or larger bullet. Pull the bullet from a 22 rimfire cartridge. Press the 22 case, powder and all, into the nose of the bullet until the rim of the case touches the bullet. A 22 short works best and is a must
for short pistol bullets but a 22 long rifle will work In long bullets. For a bigger bang put some more explosive In the 2? case. Be careful of the explosive that you use. Sensitive explosives may go off in the barrel of the gun. The four that I like are nitrocellulose, picric acid, blank powder from noise making cartridges, and pistol smokeless or black gun powder. Never use blank powder for any reloading. It Is the fastest burning gunpowder by far and even the lightest bullet may raise pressure high enough to blow up the gun.The Velex type bullet will explode on impaet yet is safe enough to carry.
An excellent armor piercing round Is made as follows: .22 cal. - 3/16" drill rod. .30 eal drill rod. 8mm - 1/V. 3mm and 38 cal.» 5/16" drill rod. cal.- 3/8" drill rod. Buy hardened drill rod from a welder or machine shop In the correct diameter. It Is very hard. Nick the rod with a triangle file and hold the end In a pair of pliers or vise and snap the rod off like breaking a piece of glass. This stuff is too hard to file and will rapidly dull a file while trying to nick it. Cutting it with a cold chisel Is also difficult. If you have a bench grinder carefully grind a point on the rod before snapping off the piece. Don't get the rod hot or you will soften it. Dip it in water often and work slow. Grind the point quite sharp with about a angle to It. This works much much better than leaving the front flat, but you cannot file it, so If you don't have a grinder, tough luck. Part III Powder Charges :
Currently there are over 50 different smokeless powders on the market. Included here is a list of powders that I have experimented with and arranged In their approximate burning order from fast at the top to slow at the bottom. This list Is only correct by my experiences so a few powders may be slightly out of place.
Find the section In the Lyman manual running from .30 carbine to .300 magnum. Notice that the larger the cartridge case, the slower the powder that works best. Notice also that the heavier the bullet In a particular case, the slower the powder that works best. .2^3 Win., .308 Win., and .358 Win. all use the same cartridge case. Notice that the larger the caliber the heavier the bullet or faster the powder that works best. That is why 12 gauge shotgun which is .70 caliber, takes a very fast powder. 2-3/V' is very short for a .70 cal bore. So, the larger the case for a given caliber, the slower the powder. The heavier the bullet, the slower the powder.
The powder chart can be used for powder substitution. Say you have load data for IMR-4895 but you want to uSe the much cheaper
H-335. H-335 Is faster than IMR-^895 so you must reduce the powder charge. Most manuals will list the very popular IMR-3031. it is faster than H-335. so use the same weight of H-335 and work the load up slowly to safe limits as described in the Lyman manual.When substituting a faster powder, decrease the weight of the powder. When substituting a slower powder, Increase the powder weight.
So much for experimenting with factory smokeless powder. How a-bout making your own. You have to be a genius to make smokeless powder. If you want to try it, read Chemistry of Powder and Explosives and Gunpowder in Britannica Encyclopedia. Black Gunpowder is safe to use in all modern cartridges and most improvised cartridges.
Black powder is easy to make.Many formulas are given in PMJB and the Britannica Encyclopedia.Black powder Is very dangerous to make. The slightest static or metallic spark and BOOM .
Match heads and match head compositions make good gunpowder, frrush the heads If you want them to burn faster. Most firecracker compositions work fine. Some cannon cracker compositions are very fast so be careful. Flash cracker compositions are also fast. Nearly any mixture that burns violently without detonating will work. Anything that detonates like fulminates and high explosives will certainly blow up the gun.
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