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Author Topic: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases  (Read 17907 times)

intel6

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Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« on: January 22, 2011, 12:14:24 PM »

This may be a new concept for some of you but it is very easy (with the right tools) to make jacketed bullets using fired cases as the jackets. Some are easier than others due to having an available case that is close to the finished diameter to use as the jacket and that case is cheap enough.  The two easiest ones are using 9mm cases to make .40 bullets and a 40 S&W case to make .44 Mag bullets. I first got interested in the concept when I realized I could make heavy (200 grain plus which aren't easy to get)  .40 cal bullets for my 10mm’s and cheap 250 gr jhp’s to shoot in my .44 mag since I have tons of brass and cast my own lead bullets for cores. 

Didn’t plan on really getting into the specifics but basically you drop a core (cast bullet) into an annealed case and run it up into a swage die to form the bullet. Clean off the lube and they are ready to load and shoot.  For the bullets I shoot in revolver (10mm and .44) I have a cannelure tool so I can put the cannelure exactly where I want it.  It makes it nice to seat the bullet out further for more case capacity.  Once you have the dies all you have to do is change the length of your “jackets” and the weights of your cores to get the desired style and weight. 
For more info got to the Cast boolits forum http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php and there is a swaging subforum.

Here is a pic of some of my work.

In the pic Left to right:
300 gr. JHP for the .44 mag with dual crimp grooves this was made out of a 10mm case   
250 gr. JHP made out of a .40 S&W case with cannelure to load long in my .44 Mag
210 gr. JSP made out of a9mm case with a cannelure to load long in my 10mm revolver
190 gr. JHP made form a 9mm case with dual cannelures 



So why am I posting this here?  Well one bullet that can be made relatively easy are .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases. Since we all know how expensive .458 bullets are I wanted to show an alternative.  I already am casting a few different gas checked lead bullets to shoot in the SOCOM but wanted to try and find a cheaper way to get jacketed bullets.

The guy that modifies the swage dies made himself a personal set of .458 dies to see how they worked out.  I immediately saw the value for making bullets for my .458 SOCOM and my .460 Weatherby. I kept bugging him for a set of dies and he finally caved and sold me his personal set.

I had some cases ready and did some calculations on weights and found I could easily make a 325 gr. JHP and 350 gr. JSP with regular .45 ACP cases. I figure I can go up to 400 grs. If I have an exposed lead soft point.   

So in the first you will see L to R:

.45 ACP round for comparison
250 gr. JHP – made with a 40 S&W case
310 gr. JHP
325 gr. JHP Small Cavity
325 gr. JHP Large Cavity – tried cleaning up the lead squeezed out
350 gr. JSP
427 gr. JSP dual cannelure
400 gr. JSP Speer
500 gr. JSP Hornady



One of the other benefits to making my own is with my cannelure tool I was able to place the cannelure exactly where needed on the bullet to put the base of the bullet right at the bottom of the neck.  On the 325 and 350 grain bullets which I made you can see the difference from the other weights where the guy just put the cannelure closer to the top of the bullet. 

In the second pic you can see the bullets in .458 SOCOM cases and how much they protrude out of the case when seated to the cannelure. Being able to control the cannelure location/seating crimp depth on these is great due to them being fired in an autoloader where OAL can be important.   

 

So now I have to make up a batch of bullets and get some loads worked up. The .40 and .44 bullets shoot great so I expect these to also.

I think am going to initially work with the 325 gr. small cavity JHPs since they are the easiest to make.

Neal in AZ
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GeneT

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 12:20:32 PM »

Was that "BTSniper"?  I haven't been on Castboolits for a while, but I have one of his 9mm brass to 40 bullet swage dies and it works nicely.  If you have the 9mm/.40 die, I'd be curious to hear a comparison of the force required to swage.  I also look forward to some of your accuracy results.

GsT 
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TonyM

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 01:14:41 PM »

I noticed in the thread from castboolits, that you said you had Brian MAKE you a set of dies...are these dies available anywhere else? Do oyu think Brian would be willing to produce more sets? I would be interested in getting some if they were to be made available.
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intel6

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 02:15:11 PM »

Yes, These are BT Sniper or Brian's dies. I didn't really want to recount the whole history and where I got them on this post because it woudl dilute it.  I figured if someone was interested they could go look for themselves which is why I posted the link.

These dies are actuallly C4HD dies but Brian found that while the die bodies are good,  the punches and ejector parts etc.. aren't made very well.  What he does is take a factory die body and makes all the other parts necessary and then he also "tunes" for lack of a better word them if needed.  In this case this was a set of dies that he worked over for himself I think just as an experiement. I bugged him for a while and while he said he was going to make me a set he ended up just selling me his personal set due to the work involved in making them. 

Neal in AZ
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TonyM

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 02:59:07 PM »

good info. Thanks
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Charlie don't surf.

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Mjollnir

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 10:38:25 PM »

cool.
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GeneT

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 11:08:26 PM »

Yes, These are BT Sniper or Brian's dies. I didn't really want to recount the whole history and where I got them on this post because it woudl dilute it.  I figured if someone was interested they could go look for themselves which is why I posted the link.

Excellent.  Your link just goes to the CB board rather than a particular thread - that's why I asked the question.  Brian (BTSniper) is good people - I'll have to hit him up for another die...

GsT
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458MADNESS

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 02:11:19 AM »

ya great writeup info intel6.

BradIXXI

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 10:52:24 AM »

The thread your looking for is "SWAGING"

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?f=41

Brian (BT Sniper) also has some How To videos out on You Tube that are helpful for anyone that is unfamiliar with the concept.
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Ruel

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 07:45:25 AM »

never heard of this but it seems really interesting. they cant have a very high bc thou  :-\
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intel6

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 09:03:51 AM »

Yes compared to the Barnes and Hornady bullets but compared to most 45-70 bullets I bet they are slightly better.

 I broke my press while making up some bullets to test so I was delayed in trying them out.  Got the new parts in and have some test loads ready to chrono today.

 
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GeneT

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 10:49:14 AM »

Yes compared to the Barnes and Hornady bullets but compared to most 45-70 bullets I bet they are slightly better.

 I broke my press while making up some bullets to test so I was delayed in trying them out.  Got the new parts in and have some test loads ready to chrono today.

 

Ouch!  What kind of press is that?

GsT
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intel6

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 10:57:50 AM »

It is just the big Lee classic cast?  Big frame and large ram and the handle is adjustable but that adjusting feature is what is breaking because of the quality of the metal used.

I load just about everything on my Dillons and used a small RCBS partner press for years but when this swaging thing started I needed a bigger press. It is actually a good press for the money and I am sure it was never made to swage bullets like I am doing so I can't complain too much.  The part that broke is $4 so I got a few extra in case I break another one.
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fasttwist

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 05:55:18 AM »

What diameter is the 45 acp case after you draw it down?
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intel6

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Re: Making .458 bullets out of .45 ACP cases
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2011, 10:28:10 AM »

The core seat die is right at .450" and then it bumps to .458 in the form die. 
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