Bullet design for hammer swage application.

mocons
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Bullet design for hammer swage application.

Postby mocons » Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:17 pm

I want to design a bullet to "near" final shape/size to be finally sized by a hammer swage. This is not a new idea, as the mid-1800's this was THE way to make an accurate bullet for the muzzleloading target rifles with the false muzzle starter. I am wondering if there is anyone out there that has had experience with such a design? How much does the bullet need to be undersized (probably only a few tenths?) so that it will slip into the swage die? Again, it may be silly to go that route when we have the ubiquitus plastic sabot available to help to keep an undersized bullet alligned properly.
I am thinking that a secant design with a bevel base and a minimal flat point, no grooves at about .405 would fit in a high pressure sabot for a 45 cal muzzleloader bore with .458 bore dia and a .4675 groove diameter. What would work best for a 30 or 40 to 1 alloy?

mocons
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ADD: Bullet design for hammer swage application.

Postby mocons » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:43 pm

The last (above) refers to a bullet for a plastic sabot. I would like to use a little tin to help the cavity fill out better. I think that a 305 grain .401 bullet with a bevel base and a .450 secant point, NO grooves, would be about 1 inch long and have a 275 sectional density. It may be a bit long to center without a cant in a standard length 45 cal sabot? what do you think?

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mtngun
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Re: Bullet design for hammer swage application.

Postby mtngun » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:12 pm

I don't know a darned thing about hammer swaging or about sabots, so ......

What is the point of casting a bevel base ? Won't the bevel be flattened out during the hammer swaging process ?

I presume you have the ability to machine the swaging die, including the nose shape ? If not, then what is going to support the nose while you hammer on the bullet ?

Sorry for the dumb questions. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this.

The #1 rule about cast bullets is that they need to be supported, because otherwise the unsupported nose will tip, as you suggested. A rough rule of thumb is that no more than one caliber of the bullet -- in your case 0.401" -- should be without support, and less is better.

mocons
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Re: Bullet design for hammer swage application.

Postby mocons » Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:53 am

Thank you for your comments! Sorry about the scattered thoughts. I was in too much hurry. I have been experimenting with a paper "sabot" that I designed for my muzzleloading rifle. I am looking for someone with experience or knowledge in the desgn for a process that seems to have died out. In the earlier to middle 1800's all long range target shooters used a bullet that was cast smaller than the final dimensions, and then placed in a simple die that , yes, supported the nose profile. the bullet was followed by a punch that had the base shape turned onto the end. The bullet was shaped to the final dimensions by striking the punch with a hammer a "certain number" of blows. The bullets so worked were then all exactly like each other, same nose, same diameter, same base prifile, etc. The bullets made this way did not have the grooves to hold the lubericants, so they were designed to be about 1/2 the rifling depth over the bore diameter, and a high grade of "oiled" paper was placed in "2 strip" or cross shape (some used linen patches or 3 strip paper patches) over a special fitted false muzzle, the bullet was pushed into the aligning false muzzle, and a starter rod was used to push the bullet and the paper patch about 4-5" down into the bore of the rifle. The most accurate of these rifles were amazingly accurate at very long ranges to 1,000 yards. I have seen representative targets from that day with up to 50 shot groupings, that made a ragged hole in the center of the target, from unbelieveable ranges, though the most common range was "40 rods" or about 220 yds. The earliest of these had a very short bearing surface that was easily tipped if the bullets were not started correctly, and the later versions had a much longer bearing surface and of course a better S.D. that made for even more long range accuracy. The "boattail" design was developed in the later 1840's.
Many of the bullets were of two piece design (similar to your soft point idea) and the two piecees of each bullet were actually swaged together in the swage die unlike the welding that you would see in the softpoint design that you have developed.
This is a very short description of the bullet making process that was developed then, and leaves out a great amount of detail. (or this would become a book)
I saw the neat softpoint idea that you have here, and I hoped that maybe someone had some dimensional detail of the bullets that were made to be swaged back then. I have seen the shapes, and there were about as many as there were shooters.

The muzzleloaders today use those plastic high pressure sabots to align their under sized bullets in the modern muzzleloading rifles. I shoot muzzleloaders and I want to design a cast - maybe swaged bullet that I could use with the paper sabot that I have designed. I have had some fair results so far, but not the consistancy that is needed to call it a success.
Sorry about the long post, but the short version that i made yesterday presupposed that there might be someone reading your excellent forum that was knowledgeable about the process. I believe that I will have the best possible chance to come up with a suitable design from your site, and having discovered this venue, I was a bit over excited.
The bevel base would best mate up "as cast " in a plastic sabot that has a radius in the bottom of the slitted cup.

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mtngun
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Re: Bullet design for hammer swage application.

Postby mtngun » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:52 am

Perhaps hammer swaging was used in those days because reloading presses hadn't been invented yet. No one had a reloading press, but everyone had a hammer.

This is not a black powder forum, so I doubt if you will find much information here. Good luck with your project.

mocons
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Re: Bullet design for hammer swage application.

Postby mocons » Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:00 pm

That was good... :D Thanks for the good wishes.


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