Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by crustyrusty, Jul 18, 2019.
What would it cost to buy a machine and make lathe turned copper bullets. I once read that screw making machine was used to make them in the early days. It would seem to me that this might be a way to make small batches of special bullets that don't have much demand. Have you ever looked into this Mr Ulrich?
There’s a video that applied ballistics put out that shows then turning prototype bullets on what looks like an off the shelf sherline CNC lathe, which can be had for a couple grand or so. I would imagine it’s slow going, but they’re neat little machines - I had one years ago (manual, not CNC), and they’re well made for their intended light duty purpose and are capable of surprisingly good precision for such tiny machines.
I don’t know how good the bullets turn out for them - I only saw the brief footage in the video.
Is lead easy to obtain? Are permits and filters for fume control required?
If you want lathe turned bullets most use a swiss type cnc so you can start there. Im sure you could get a good used one these days for $10-15k if you have the shop and power to run it.
Lead is not hard to get. Jackets can be. There are no fumes to control at all. No permits or anything of the sort unless you’re selling. In that case you need an FFL of the correct type and to follow all the rules, local and federal. For personal use, you can just do it.
Sounds very labor intensive. Every bullet would probably weigh different. How do you cut perectly square to the center line every time? Plus you would have to deburr each cut the same amount.
I have taken solid copper bullets, TTSX, GMX and E-tips in 6.5mm and chucked them in a precision collet on the lathe and turned the bases off with a form tool (plunge cut). 120gr GMX's were trimmed to an 87gr bt bullet for use in 6.5 Grendel rifles to increase velocity. The bullet was in a more comfortable expansion window. They shot very well, still MOA or better and performed very well on deer sized game.
Even loaded some up in a 6.5 Creedmoor for my niece for a low recoil deer round and they shot excellent...and she bagged her buck with one shot at about 175 yards.
FWIW sorry if someone already posted this, but a good article out of OZ on the 7x33 Sako, L46x rifles, bullets, and loading it:
April 1st is the only day i get propositions.
You need an ffl to make and sell bullets only?
Yes sir, class 6.
Type 06 is for making ammunition. A bullet is not ammunition unless they have changed the definition in the past year.
You need at least a Type 6 to manufacture and sell.
That sure is weird. Youd figure you need it for loaded ammo but not making components. Nothing surprises me
There is no logic. None. Even the bureaucrats can’t figure it out.
I just found a swiss screw cnc machine on Ebay for 2500.00,,,,, I havent the foggiest clue if its a fixerupper or if its a runner.. But it is within my price range to experiment... so what qualities do I look for in a good machine?
Factory support, modern control system, availabilty of parts, tooling such as collets, etc. $2500 isnt going to go far on a swiss machine. Gotta check on expense of moving it plus accessability of the machine. Also power requirements- they have multiple motors and need lots of power. Some spindles are 30-50hp and are 480v. With the controls they may not be supported now and you cant even put a program into it without going and finding an old tandy 386 computer. See if they will assist with loading it onto the freight truck (weight too) then check to see if your building will even support it. Some machines need isolated slabs that are 12”+ thick to get a good finish especially on something like a bullet
wow thats good to know....so I have to improve my site first... the floor in my garage is rough...next is power supply needs... all i have locally is one phase that i am aware of(I live down town white cloud and everything seems to be 220 and 440) no three phase? if i were to buy at ,say, 3000 dollars can i expect shipping to be near that price too? i am assuming that it can be hi-lo ed into place from the truck?
I can see where this is gonna get me in way over my head I need to make sure that once I start this project
I am in it for the whole deal...so I better study up on the various machines and years of operation
and find one that I can figure out and run and can afford to run in the first place
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