HOW DO YOU SWAGE BULLETS?  

          There  are  five different ways to swage bullets today.   You  can 
                    (1) A POUND DIE
                    (2) A RELOADING PRESS
                    (3) The CORBIN MITY MITE PRESS
                    (4) The CORBIN MEGA MITE PRESS
                    (5) The CORBIN HYDRO-PRESS

          Each  of the five methods has certain advantages.   The pound  die 
     requires no press, but instead, uses a mallet.  It is somewhat lower in 
     cost because you do not need to purchase a press, but it is much slower 
     to  use and doesn't produce jacketed bullets.   It is ideal for swaging 
     large  caliber lead bullets,  and is often selected by  replica  black-
     powder  rifle shooters who wish to use an authentic reproduction of the 
     earliest form of swaging die (from the 1890's). 
          The  reloading  press system is economical since most  handloaders 
     already own a suitable reloading press.  It is limited to smaller rifle 
     calibers (from .257 to .224) and medium handgun calibers (from .357  to 
     .25  ACP) because of the inherent weakness of the slotted  ram.   There 
     are certain design restrictions imposed on this system by the press, so 
     it  is  not ideal for special work or custom  calibers.   Corbin  makes 
     standard  calibers and shapes only,  in this system.   The cost is thus 
     kept low for the quality.  Speed is greater than the pound die but less 
     than the other, special swaging systems.
          The  Corbin Mity Mite system uses a special horizontal  ram  press 
     with more power than any reloading press built.  It is much faster than 
     a  reloading press since it ejects the bullet automatically on the back 
     stroke.   The dies for this system,  and the matching punches,  do  not 
     interchange with the reloading press system.  They are made to fit into 
     the RAM of the press,  instead of the press head.  Calibers from .14 to 
     .458,  tubing  jackets  with walls of up to  .030-inch  thickness,  and 
     weights up to 450 grains, can all be swaged with the Mity Mite.  Custom 
     work is done in this system.
          The  Corbin Mega Mite system is based on a massive machined  steel 
     press that can handle both reloading and bullet swaging.  It can accept 
     ANY  of  the Corbin dies,  including those for the  Hydro-press.   This 
     ability  to interchange various kinds of dies can be important to  some 
     owners.   However,  there  are limits to any hand-powered  press.   The 
     amount of force the Mega Mite produces is awesome,  but still less than 
     required for certain large caliber, heavy-jacketed production work.
          The   Corbin  Hydro-press  system  is  the  ultimate   in   bullet 
     manufacturing  today.    It  features  automatic  stroke  and  pressure 
     control,  electronic  sensors and timing,  programmable stroke control, 
     and  many other advanced concepts that place it at the top of the  list 
     for custom bullet firms around the world.  Any caliber from 20mm cannon 
     to a 10 gauge shotgun slug can be swaged, in virtually unlimited weight 
     or  style.   Solid  brass or copper rod can be  formed  instantly  into 
     bullets  of  higher  precision than lathe turning.   Lead wire  can  be 
     extruded  like  toothpaste.   And the press adapts easily  to  standard 
     reloading dies for the convenience of automatic sizing and seating.
          Any  of  the various swaging systems use the principle  that  cold 
     metal will flow under sufficient pressure and take on the shape of  the 
     vessel holding that pressure.   The swage die is a very strong,  highly 
     finished  vessel for containing the pressure.   You swage the bullet in 
     all  these systems by driving a punch against the material while it  is 
     held within the confines of the die cavity.   Upward expansion from the 
     internal  pressure  created is the key factor in forming  the  bullets.  
     Reduction in diameter is called "drawing".   Remember,  swaging  always 
     expands the bullet or material upward in diameter.  
          Drawing dies are used to reduce the diameter of an object, such as 
     a  bullet  or a piece of copper tubing or a jacket.   They differ  from 
     swaging  dies,  in  that the drawing die has an open top and  only  one 
     punch  is used.   The component is pressed through the die and out  the 
     top.   In passing through a hardened constriction,  it becomes smaller.  
     Drawing has serious restrictions when applied to finished bullets,  and 
     can  only  be  used for very limited amounts  of  reduction.   But  for 
     reforming  jackets  and  making copper tubing into  jackets,  it  is  a 
     valuable tool.
          If  you try to put a piece of lead or a jacket into a die that has 
     a smaller diameter of cavity,  the material will be forced down in size 
     and  will exert a strong pressure against the sides of the  die.   When 
     the pressure is relieved,  by ejecting the component,  the material may 
     exert a certain amount of springiness,  and become slightly larger than 
     the die cavity.  In making swage dies,  the die-makers have to  contend 
     with  the  various  amounts of spring-back in different  hardnesses  of 
     jackets,  different thicknesses of jacket wall, and other factors.  The 
     die  itself is normally a different diameter from the  actual  finished 
     bullet that comes out of it.
          What  this means to you as a potential bullet-maker,  is that  you 
     should  NEVER try to force anything into a swage die.   If it won't fit 
     easily,  don't push it in.  At best, it will make the wrong diameter of 
     bullet.   But  generally,  it  will stick fast in the die  and  require 
     special  techniques to remove.   And at worst,  it can generate  enough 
     pressure to break the die!
          In  the following chapters,  we'll discuss the various methods  of 
     making bullets in more detail, one system at a time.  Bear in mind that 
     there are hundreds of possible variations on the techniques,  depending 
     on  what you want to make.   It would be impossible to send this manual 
     to  you  by mail if every style of bullet were to be described  detail, 
     with each step required to make it.   We have to give you the basics of 
     making  two  or  three  styles,  and refer you  to  the  more  detailed 
     technical books for advanced techniques.
          It  is  far  more important for you to  understand  the  principle 
     differences between lead bullet swaging,  semi-wadcutter (and  jacketed 
     wadcutter) styles of swaging, and the styles that bring the jacket into 
     the nose curve or ogive portion of the bullet.  These three basic kinds 
     of  bullets form the basis for everything else.   If you understand how 
     to make them,  then variations such as rebated boattails, liquid-filled 
     internal cavities,  partitions,  and other advanced designs are  fairly 
     simple to pick up.   They aren't different:   they just expand a bit on 
     the basic techniques.