Cartridge Case And Bullet Dies

As special cartridge cases are usually made by necking-down an existing case of larger caliber, a full-length die to neck the case down is required.

This can be made in two different ways, the first of which is to turn up a reamer blank in the lathe to the form desired for the special cartridge. This reamer blank, instead of being fluted as a regular chambering reamer is made, is usually cut away between the pilot and the shank, to one-half its diameter. This is done either in the milling machinc or is rough-ground to approximately half its diameter and is then filed with a fine flat file to just over half-diameter. The reamer is made of carbon steel and, after being hardened and then tempered at light straw color, is honed down with a hand stone to exactly half its original diameter.

A piece of drill-rod one inch in diameter is chucked to run truly in the lathe and a hole is bored and then reamed through it slightly longer than the case to be formed. The reamed hole should be .001" larger than the diameter of the pilot on the reamer. The compound rest of the lathe is set at the angle of the body-taper of the case to be necked-down and a taper hole a little smaller and a little shorter than the body length of the case is bored in the die blank. The die is then reamed with the reamer and is polished inside to a very smooth finish.

A case is now necked-down by pressing it into the die with the arbor press or a heavy vise. The case should be very lightly oiled with a thin oil before being placed in the die. After being pushed out of the die with a rod inserted from the muzzle, the case is carefully examined and measured to make sure it is correctly formed and if it is not, then any changes necessary in the die can be made while it is still soft.

The one-piece forming or full length case sizing die.

After the die is correct, it is coated inside and out with bone-black mixed with sperm-oil and is hardened and very slightly drawn at very light straw color. In hardening the die, it is best to have a small stream of water rising through the quenching bath from a tube in the bottom of the bath, so that the opening in the die can be placed over this stream of water in quenching the die, for otherwise enough steam may form in the hole of the die to prevent it hardening properly on the inside.

If the water tap has a hose thread upon it, a piece of copper tubing can be inserted in a hose nut by soldering it to a heavy piece of galvanized iron, cut to fit inside the hose nut. A rubber hose washer is inserted and the hose nut screwed onto the water tap. The lower end of the copper tubing can be bent in a

Cartridge Firearms

curve so that the end points upward and when the quenching bath is placed under the tap with the curve of this tubing on the bottom, inside the bath, a small stream of water will rise through the water in the quenching bath.

Difficulty may be encountered in necking-down a 7 m/m or .30 caliber case to .22 caliber in one opera-

Arrangement of quenching bath used in hardening sizing dies.

tion, as this amount of reduction may cause the case to buckle. For that reason two dies may be necessary, the first necking to .25 caliber and the second necking from .25 caliber to .22 caliber. As this would require two reamers to be made, it adds to the expense of producing the special cartridge case. This may be overcome by adopting the alternate method of making the necking-down die.

This second method is to make the die entirely in the lathe, by boring it with a small boring tool instead of making a reamer and reaming it. This type of die is made in two pieces, A piece of drill-rod one inch

Snmg2 523 Small Boring Cartridge

in diameter, just long enough to form the body of the case to where the shoulder starts to drop from the body to the neck, is chucked to run true in the lathe and a hole is drilled through it, from end to end, smaller than the smallest diameter of the cartridge case body. The compound rest is set at the proper angle to bore this out to the taper of the body of the case, but is so angled that the shoulder end, or smallest diameter of the hole, is at the outer end, where the boring tool enters, the hole tapering out to larger size at the inner end of the die.

After this body taper hole is bored out as smoothly as possible, turn down the outer end of the die, for a distance of to an outer diameter of Remove the piece from the chuck and reverse it with the larger end of the hole outward, replace it in the chuck and polish the hole, rounding the edges of the outer end of the hole slightly, but not the edge of the inner end.

Place in the lathe chuck a shorter piece of one inch drill-rod, a little longer than the length of the cartridge case from the upper end of the shoulder to the outer end of the neck, plus y&". Drill a hole through this, smaller than you wish the outer diameter of the neck of the necked-down case to be. Machine a recess in the outer end of this piece %2" deep and just large enough so that the turned-down end of the body portion of the die will enter it to the bottom without any shake. Bore out the drilled hole to neck size.

Now set the compound rest of the lathe to the proper angle to bore the shoulder taper and bore this in the outer end to about .005" greater diameter at its outer end than the small end of the hole in the body portion of the die. Where this shoulder taper joins the straight neck portion, round off the edge on a radius of to V/'. Polish the shoulder taper and neck portion.

Test the die after assembling it by necking-down a cartridge in it before hardening, so that any correc tions necessary may be made. Harden it as directed for the previous described die, coating it inside and out with the bone-black and sperm-oil before heating it.

With this type of die, if it is necessary to put a cartridge case through two necking operations to bring it down to the required size it is only necessary to make two neck portions of the die, interchangeable upon the body portion, instead of making two complete dies to accomplish the result.

It is sometimes desired to produce a special cartridge case with a shorter neck and a more abrupt shoulder slope than the original case has, from which

Forming Die Case Neck

The two-piece cartridge case forming or necking die, showing the two different size nccking parts interchangeable upon the body.

the special case is being made. This type of die is made in one piece in the lathe by drilling a hole slightly below neck size through a piece of clrill-rod and reaming and polishing the hole to correct diameter for the outer diameter of the neck of the finished cartridge. The outer end of the hole is then bored out to the same taper as the body of the case used for a slightly longer distance than the length from the head of the case to be necked-down to the beginning of the neck of the case. After the chamber desired is cut in the barrel of the rifle, the cases are necked-down in the die, then loaded with a charge a few grains lighter than the load to be used and are fired in the rifle chamber to shape them to the new shoulder and shorter neck. It may be necessary to load and fire each case two or three times to bring it out to a close fit in the chamber, but once is usually enough to accomplish it.

The chambering reamer for these special or experimental cases is usually made from carbon-steel and is made without flutes, as was described for cutting the one-piece die for necking down cases. As this type of reamer has but one cutting edge, it cuts slower than the fluted type and during the cutting operation it will often be necessary to hone the reamer to keep the cutting edge sharp and smooth, to prevent scratches. The barrel is chucked in the lathe and the body portion of the chamber is bored out undersize, to reduce the amount of metal to be removed by the reamer, or sometimes a smaller reamer that you have on hand with the proper size pilot is used to rough-ream the chamber first.

Usually for these special jobs only one reamer, the finishing-size reamer, is made, for you may never be called upon for another chamber of the same type. The chamber is polished out after this finishing reamer is used, either with a high-speed hand-type electric grinder using fine carborundum cloth discs followed by crocus cloth discs on a long mandrel, or a hardwood dummy cartridge is turned up in the lathe and a fine grained carborundum powder is mixed with light oil to form a paste and the chamber is given its final polish with this.

It may be necessary to make special, jacketed bullets in developing an experimental cartridge, to get the weight or shape bullet to give the best performance. If commercial bullets of the desired weight can be obtained, it will be best to buy these where it is necessary only to change the shape of the bullet point, as open-point bullets can readily be changed to sharp-pointed soft-point ones in a simple die with an arbor press.

A reamer blank is first turned up from drill-rod to the shape and size desired for the bullet. This blank is highly polished and is then ground or filed and honed down to just over one-half its diameter. It is then hardened by heating to cherry-red, after being coated with bone-black and sperm-oil, and quenching in oil. The temper is then drawn at straw color and

Making Jacketed Bullets

Details of swaging die for making jacketed bullets. A is the punch and B is the type of reamer used to cut the die.

the reamer is honed down to exactly one-half diameter with a hand stone.

The die is made in two pieces, from tool-steel, the body having a straight hole at least twice as long as the bullet and having one end recessed to a depth of half-an-inch or a little less. The base is turned for a distance a trifle longer than the depth of the body recess to a size which allows it to fit tightly into the recess without shake. The die should have an outer diameter of at least one inch. While the body portion is in the lathe to be recessed, drill a hole lengthwise of it smaller than the body diameter of the bullet and while the base portion is in the lathe to be turned to fit the recess step, drill this for the point of the bullet. To do this, carefully center this base with a center-drill smaller than the bullet, then drill a short distance with a drill smaller than the bullet point near where it joins the straight body of the bullet. Drill the hole a little deeper with a smaller drill, then deeper again with a still smaller drill, etc., until the hole is drilled almost as deep as the length of the bullet point. Clamp the two parts of the die together and, using the reamer made for the purpose, ream the bullet die. Use plenty of good cutting oil and remove the reamer frequently to clean it and the hole of chips. Also inspect the edge of the reamer and hone it, if it is necessary.

After the die is completed, make a plunger of drill-rod .0005" smaller in diameter than the hole in the die and a little longer than the body portion of the die. Leave a larger portion on the upper end of this plunger about one inch long to act as the head. The lower end of the plunger, which rests against the bullet when in use, should be turned to a diameter about less than the bullet for a distance of .012" to .015" back from the end, leaving the central portion of this end longer than the edges. This puts a little more pressure, or rather a quicker pressure, on the central portion of the bullet than upon the edges and seems to reduce any tendency to raise burrs at the edge of the base of the bullet.

The die is coated inside and out with bone-black and sperm-oil and the plunger is also coated with it. They are then heated to a cherry-red and quenched in oil to harden them, after which they are tempered at very light straw color.

In use, the two parts of the die are placed together and a bullet is placed in the die, point down. The plunger is put in on top of the base of the bullet and the die is placed on the arbor press or in a heavy vise and pressure is applied to the outer end of the plunger. When movement of the plunger stops, the two parts of the die are separated with a twisting pull and the bullet remains in the body portion of the die, which is replaced on the arbor press, or in the vise with a brass ring between the lower edge of the die body and the vise jaw, and pressure is again applied to the outer end of the plunger to push the bullet from the die.

This die will usually leave a slightly raised ring around the bullet, where point and body meet. This ring is very narrow and, if the die is well fitted, not more than .001" greater in diameter than the body of the bullet so it will not matter if it is left upon the bullet, but it can be easily removed by pressing the bullet through the body portion of the die once more.

If no commercial bullets can be had in the weight desired, jackets of gilding-metal drawn in the form of straight cups of the right size can be made for you by any company specializing in the deep drawing of sheet-metal, or if the bullets wanted are of .22 caliber and the velocity is not to be more than 3200 foot seconds, the copper cups from which .22 caliber rim-fire cartridge cases are made can be purchased from ammunition companies. These .22 rim-fire cases are first drawn as a straight copper cup and are trimmed to length. The cup is then held in a machine while the closed end of it is bumped or pressed out to form the rim, so order them as straight cups before the rim is formed upon them. Fired .22 rim-fire cases can be used for jackets by pressing them through a taper-

Dies For Arbor Press

Plate XXI

Pressing .22 rim-fire fired eases through a die held in the arbor press* The <lic has a tapered mouth and is fastened to the bed of the press while a shaft small enough to enter the mouth of the case is scrcvvcd into a tapped hole in the end of the press ram. The fired case is put through head first in order to remove the rim, leaving a cup suitable for jacketing bullets.

mouthed die, base first, which will remove the rim, drawing them again into a straight cup. This operation is best performed on an arbor press or it can be

202 Bullet Cases Arbor Press Dies

The special die and punch, together with their setup on the arbor press for removing the rim from 22 rim-fire fired cases, preliminary to using them as jackets for metal-cased bullets.

done in a fairly heavy drill press. First, make a short die, with a hole through it of the diameter you wish the outside of the jacket to be. A diameter of .221" is about right for .22 caliber jackets. This hole in the die is tapered out larger than the rim diameter of the case, at the end where the fired cases are to enter, and this taper is blended into the central hole in the die with a sweeping curve and the taper and the hole are highly polished. The die is threaded at the bottom end on the outside so that it can be screwed into a plate which is clamped down upon the arbor press base or upon the table of the drill press. Be careful not to taper the hole in the die at the lower end and leave this lower edge of the hole sharp.

A punch that will just slip easily into the inside of the fired case is made and the lower edge of it is rounded off. so that it will not cut the head out of the fired case. A small hole is drilled lengthwise into this punch, from the bottom end, longer than the length of the case and at some point above the length of the case a hole is drilled into this first hole at right angles. This is to break the air lock in the case around the punch, so that the case will strip off the punch easily after it passes through the die. If the punch and die are to be used in the arbor press, the upper end of the punch should be threaded and the punch screwed into a drilled and tapped hole in the end of the press ram. If the punch and die are to be used in a drill press, the punch can be left unthreaded and can be held in the drill-chuck.

The fired cases are rolled on a felt pad oiled with a light oil and a case is picked up, set head down in the tapered opening of the die, the punch is brought down into the open mouth of the fired case and the case is pressed through the die. A box is set beneath the die and as the punch is drawn back up through the die, the lower edge of the die strips the case off of the punch. Sometimes a case sticks upon the punch and that case is usually ruined in getting it off, but this does not happen often if the punch is well polished and the lower edge of the die is square and a close fit is made around the case by the die.

Now that we have the jackets made, the next thing is the core. This is lead wire, bought on spools from any of the large lead companies. It usually is supplied on 5-pound and 50-pound spools and should be purchased in a diameter that is not more than .005" smaller than the internal diameter of the jackets or the jacket may wrinkle in the forming die. This wire is cut to the proper length to make the correct bullet weight with the jacket. It may be cut in the lathe by making a fly-type cutter and mounting it on an arbor in the lathe chuck. This cutter is ground perfectly flat on the side toward the tail stock of the lathe and is tapered down to an edge on the side toward the chuck. A piece of steel with a smoothly ground face toward the chuck and a hole through it, lengthwise of the lathe, just large enough to take the lead wire is clamped down upon the tool rest, with the ground face carefully squared to the fly cutter and a close fit against the cutter. A second piece of steel is clamped on the tool rest between the first piece and the lathe chuck just far enough away from the first piece, with the hole through it to act as a length gauge for the cutting of the wire. The lathe is operated at a low speed and the wire is pushed through the piece of steel with the hole in it until it comes against the second piece, which stops it. The slowly revolving cutter cuts a piece off the wire and the wire is pushed forward against the stop again while the cutter is revolving to make a second cut.

This wire can be cut in a simpler way by using ordinary cutting pliers if you are careful. A length gauge is made by drilling a hole lengthwise into a piece of round rod a little larger in diameter than the lead wire. This hole is the proper depth, so that when the gauge is placed over the end of the wire so that the wire touches the bottom of the hole, a pair of cutting pliers placed against the open end of the gauge will cut the wire the correct length to make the weight desired. Be careful, in using this method, to press the gauge against the end of the wire with the same pressure each time, as the cutting pliers leave a chisel edge on the wire and if the gauge is pressed very hard against this edge the edge is turned back, causing a longer and thereby heavier slug to be cut from the wire. This method is quite fast and is very simple as far as equipment needed.

Instead of using lead wire, a mold may be made and slugs may be cast of junk lead,,just the right diameter and length for bullet cores. By this method longer bullets may be made by alloying some light metal with the lead, thus getting a longer bullet to obtain the weight wanted, or cores of tempered lead of any temper desired may be made by alloying tin and antimony with the lead.

After the cores are prepared they are inserted into the jackets, placed in the bullet die and pressure applied on the punch, either by the arbor press or a heavy vise as was done when changing the shape of factory bullets.

In making pointed, soft-point bullets with just a small amount of lead exposed at the tip the jacket should be yk" or more longer than the core. If a larger soft-point is desired, the jackets themselves may be used as length gauges in cutting lead wire cores. To do this each jacket is placed over the end of the lead wire and the wire is cut off against the mouth of the jacket with cutting pliers, leaving the lead core in the jacket. This type of bullet is suitable for muzzle velocities of about 2400 foot seconds or less.

Making jacketed bullets in this type of a die is necessarily a slow process, as the die must be taken apart and reassembled for each bullet, so where bullets are required in numbers of an hundred or more it is better to make a bullet press which will turn them out faster.

This press is not difficult to make and will handle bullets of various weights, shapes and calibers by merely making up different sets of dies or parts of dies.

The back-bone of the press is a piece of flat steel, l"x 2"x6%" long. Measure off 1%" from one edge, on the center line of each end. Using these marks as centers, drill and ream a hole lengthwise of the piece. Next measure off from each end on the edge of the side on which the hole was drilled and reamed. From these points cut a square notch, 1" deep and 1" long, extending from the marks toward the center of length of the piece. This leaves the backbone shaped like the letter E. Now drill and ream a %" hole through the flat side of the piece, 3%" from the top edge and from the back edge. Drill and ream another %" hole through the flat side 1 from the bottom edge and from the back edge. Make two steel straps long, %" wide and thick. Drill and ream %" holes at each end of these straps, apart on centers. Make two more straps 4" long wide and % c" thick and drill and ream %" at each end of these, 3}&" apart on centers. Take a piece of square steel and bend it at a square right-angle, leaving the ends 2" long measured on the inside of the bend. Drill and ream a %" hole near one end, from-side to side. Bend a piece of x %e" strap-steel into a square-U, %" between the legs and braze this on top of the leg of the bent l"-square steel, open side up, on the leg in which the %" hole is drilled and reamed, its center 1%" from the center of the hole in the leg. Drill and ream a %" hole from side to side through the legs of this U, near the top ends. Take a piece of 1 "-square steel 30" to 36" long and drill and ream a %" hole through it from side to side, near one end. Make a second square-bent U of x strap-steel and braze it on one edge of the 30" long piece, parallel to the hole drilled with the center of the U 1%" from the center of the hole. Center the ends of a piece of % "-square cold-rolled steel, long and turn down 2%" of its length to round, leaving a % "-square head %" long. Through this head, from side to side, drill and ream a %" hole and in the end of the part turned to round, drill and tap a hole, lengthwise into the end, threaded with a %"x24 thread, deep. Make a second piece just like this but only 2 y2" long.

Set the square head of this shorter plunger into the square-U brazed onto the l"-square steel piece bent at right-angles and slide the round part of the plunger into the bottom of the V2" reamed hole of the backbone piece, using a %" hardened steel pin through the sides of the U and through the square head of the plunger. This pin should be a free-turning fit in these holes. Using the short pair of 4" long steel straps, connect the l"-square bent piece to the hole drilled through the back-bone piece from side to side, l1//' from the bottom edge. Use %" hardened steel pins in each end of the straps.

Place the square head of the longer plunger in the U of the l"-square piece 30" long, which is the handle of the press, using a %" hardened steel pin to connect the plunger to the U. Now slide this plunger into the top end of the hole reamed in the back-bone piece and, using the long pair of 6 %" long steel straps connect this handle, by the hole in its end, to the hole drilled from side to side through the back-bone piece 3%" from the top edge, using %" hardened steel pins through each end of the straps. These pins may have holes drilled in the ends, through the diameter, for cotter-pins to keep them in place, or they may be threaded on each end and fitted with nuts.

The press is now complete except for the dies and plunger. The press is set upright in a heavy vise by clamping the down-bent 2" long end of the l"-square bent piece in the jaws of the vise. You will note that when you apply pressure on the handle the two plungers are forced toward each other through the hole lengthwise of the back-bone piece.

This size press will handle .22 and .25 caliber bullets. For .30 caliber bullets a larger size would be required.

The body part of the bullet die is made of %" diameter round drill rod, 1" long. Of this 1" length 15/{o" is turned to a diameter of leaving a flange y16" thick and %" in diameter. This body part is drilled and reamed lengthwise with a hole of the proper size for the bullet. The opposite end from the flange is then recessed, b}' being bored in the lathe, with a recess ys" deep and %" in diameter. This body die is now placed in the hole in the central portion of the back-bone piece, between the ends of the two plungers, with its recessed end down. It should be a close fit in this hole. With this die clamped in place, drill a small hole through the central portion of the back-bone piece, from side to side, near the top of the die, with half the diameter of this small hole in the back-bone piece and half its diameter in the side of the die. Ream this hole with a small taper-pin reamer so that a taper-pin can be driven in here to lock the die in the back-bone piece.

Chuck a l"-long piece of round drill-rod so that it runs true in the lathe and step-drill the end of it and ream it out for the point of the bullet, using a flat bullet-die reamer of whatever shape point you wish. Reduce the diameter of this end of the point die to %" so that the recessed end of the body die will just push over it with no shake whatever. Round the outer edge of this end of the point die so that it bottoms perfectly in the body die around the center hole. The reduced diameter portion of this point die need not be longer than necessary to clear the end of the body die.

Reverse this point die in the lathe chuck, making sure it runs true, and turn the opposite end to %" diameter for a distance of %", leaving a square shoulder, and thread it with a %" x 24-thread die so that it will screw into the top of the bottom plunger of the press.

The bullet plunger is also made of diameter round drill rod, about 1%" long. Turn down one end of it to %" for a distance of %" and thread it, against a square shoulder with a %" x 24-thread die so that it will screw into the bottom end of the upper plunger of the press. The other end of this bullet plunger is turned to a diameter .0005" less than the hole in the body die and it should be about .010" longer than the hole through the body of the die. The end of the bullet plunger is reduced in diameter about for a distance of .010" as was done on the plunger for the type of bullet die used in the arbor press or vise previously described, leaving the center of the plunger longer than the edge.

Both parts of the die and the plunger are coated with bone-black and sperm-oil, heated to cherry-red and quenched in oil. They are then polished, heated to straw-yellow and again quenched. Now assemble the two-part die and the plunger in the press and we shall make a bullet.

Lift the handle of the press, which will withdraw the plunger from the bullet die, and drop a bullet or a jacket with the lead core in it into the body portion of the die, the hole of which is slightly relieved at the top so that the bullet will enter. If a soft-point bullet is desired, place the bullet in the die point-down or in the case of the jacket and core, open-end down. If a so called full-jacketed bullet is desired, reverse the bullet in putting it or the jacket and core into the die.

Pull down on the handle which will cause the bullet

Making Jacketed Bullets

Special bench press for making jacketed bullets, together with interchangeable dies and punches. A is top punch. B the body die and

C is the point die.

plunger to force the bullet into the die. When all movement of the plunger ceases, do not lift the press handle but push straight back on it, which will cause the back-bone of the press to swing back on the lower strap pins, which in turn withdraws the lower plunger taking with it the bullet-point part of the die. Now continue the down pressure on the press handle and the plunger on top will continue its downward travel and push the finished bullet out of the body part of the die. The bullet will drop loosely into the point section of the die, from which it can easily be picked up.

This die, just as the previously described one for use in an arbor press or vice, will leave a narrow ring around the jacket at the junction of the point and body of the bullet. After ail bullets have been formed in the press, the point section of the bullet die may be removed and the bullets pushed straight through the bod}' portion of the die with the bullet plunger, which will remove this slightly-raised ring from the bullet.

The operation of this press is fairly fast, enabling one with a little practice to turn out 300 or more bullets per hour.

To make bullets of different shape points, it is only necessary to make a new point section for the die. The body section is long enough to make bullets of different weights simply by using longer jackets and cores. If bullets of extreme sharp-point shape are desired, it is necessary either to vent the die with a small hole drilled in from the point and connected with a side hole to the open air, which will allow the bullet to be formed with one pressure, or to put the bullet through the press twice, with a light pressure each time. The reason for this is that air is trapped in the die beneath the bullet, and the extreme pressure necessary to force this air out and form an extremely sharp point on the bullet, with one pressure in an unvented die, may cause fins around the edge of the base of the bullet.

In putting open-end jackets, with a core inside them, open-end down into a die, the core may slide downward and partly out of the jacket unless it fits quite tightly within the jacket. When the core slips downward, it makes a larger soft-point than when it is retained against the base of the jacket. If cores fit too loosely in the jackets, a punch can be set upon the core and tapped once with a light hammer while the core is in position, to upset it tightly in the jacket.

Making Cartridge Cases

Cartridge cases, in obsolete types that may no longer be purchased, can be made in the lathe from yellow brass rod by boring them out with a small boring tool and turning the outside to size and shape. The straight-type cases are the easiest to make, of course. The inside is bored out in a straight hole but the outside is turned on a slight taper, being thicker in the wail at the rear end and thinning down toward the mouth of the case. The brass should be turned at the highest speed of the average engine lathe, around 600 R.P.M., to give the case a good finish.

If a sample case is at hand, or can be obtained, it is simple to take measurements from it, but if none can be found a sulphur cast can be made of the gun chamber and the outside dimensions for the cartridge case obtained in this manner. As you know what the diameter of the bullet is, the internal dimensions can easily be figured from this. The internal size of the neck should be .003" to .0035" smaller than the bullet, in order to give a good friction grip. In taking the outside dimensions from a sulphur cast of the chamber, remember to make the case small enough outside so that it will easily enter and extract from the chamber. About .002" is enough clearance to allow all over, except on the outside of the neck where the bullet will raise the diameter of the neck .003" to .0035", so .005"

clearance should be allowed for on the outer diameter of the case neck.

To make a sulphur cast of the chamber, get a cork that is a good tight fit in the bore and run a wire through tliis from the small end of the cork, making a knot on the end of the wire at this small end of the cork. The wire should be eight or ten inches long, so that when you insert the cork into the chamber and push it forward about an inch into the rifling, the wire will extend well back of the action. Melt the sulphur in a small container with a cover on it and do not use an open flame to melt it either, as the sulphur will catch on fire. Tf you use a gas burner or an electric hot plate to melt the sulphur, place a piece of sheet-iron over the burner and set the covered container with the sulphur in it on top of this. Add a small amount of lamp-black, 3 grains to 2 ounces of sulphur, and dissolve some gum-camphor in alcohol and add 3 drops of this to the mixture. This formula will make an almost shrink-proof cast. Heat the mixture slowly with a low heat and stir it gently, so that the lampblack mixes evenly. As soon as the ingredients are well mixed, pour the composition into the rear end of the chamber, with the gun in a muzzle-down position. After allowing to cool, place a rod in the barrel from the muzzle and gently push the cast out of the breech. Handle it carefully, as it is brittle, and measure it as soon as possible so as to give it little chance to shrink.

Straight-bodied cartridge cases are not the only ones that can be turned out of brass rod on the lathe. Bottle-necked cases, from .25 caliber up, can be bored out with a small boring tool. Drill a hole first with a twist-drill, smaller than the internal neck diameter, then rough-bore the body from about the body-shoulder location on back. You can then take a small boring tool and, setting the compound rest of the lathe on the proper angle for the shoulder taper, bore the inside shoulder taper, after which the body back of the shoulder can be finish-bored. The outside, of course, is easily turned to shape by setting the compound rest to the proper angle. You may spoil one or two bottle-neck cases before learning how to do it, but it can be done. Be very careful about all internal dimensions in making cartridge cases so that all your cases will have the same capacity, for if they are of different capacities the pressures will vary with the same load and your accuracy will suffer.

Brass is not the only material from which cartridge cases can be made in the lathe. It is very little more labor to turn these cases out of mild steel, commonly called cold-rolled steel, and their tensile strength will be much higher, or if made from carbon-tool steel their strength will be still greater. Cases for some of the high-velocity foreign rifles have, I understand, been made from nickel-steel.

The steel cannot be turned at as high a speed with ordinary lathe bits as the brass, so the time involved in making steel cases will be greater than in making cases of brass rod.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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