I've  already  written seven books and my editors tell me I  have 
     over  400 articles in print,  describing the various things you can  do 
     with swaging.  It would be ridiculous to try and explain every possible 
     bullet style in this book -- you'd need a flat-bed truck to haul it out 
     and a crane to flip the pages!  
          Rather  than  that,  I  will try to explain how  each  of  several 
     examples of bullets can be made,  selecting very simple and very exotic 
     kinds of bullets,  including features that shooters find exciting,  and 
     designs  that  appear difficult or impossible until you have  seen  how 
     simple swaging makes it.   From these few examples, you should begin to 
     gain  an understanding of the process and how much more you can do with 


          Lead  wadcutters with hollow base can be made in a reloading press 
     in  the calibers from .25 ACP to .357/.38,  up to .458 caliber  in  the 
     Mity  Mite,  and up to .75 caliber in the Hydro-press.   The  reloading 
     press makes as accurate a bullet in regard to diameter control, but for 
     superior weight control, you should use the Mity Mite or larger swaging 
          Select  either  a core seating die or a lead  semi-wadcutter  die.  
     The  core seating die should be ordered with a wadcutter nose  external 
     punch,  and a hollow base internal punch.  So should the LSWC-1 die, if 
     you  wish  to  use that one.   (I would -- it isn't  available  in  the 
     reloading press system, however.)
          Prepare  your  lead cores by either casting them in the Corbin  4-
     cavity  adjustable  weight core mould,  or by  cutting  uniform  length 
     pieces from a spool of lead wire.  Specific instructions are found with 
     the tools or in other sections of this book.  More detailed information 
     can be found in the book "Rediscover Swaging".     
          To  establish the proper weight of core,  make one and put it in a 
     scale pan.  Then adjust the next few until you get what you  want.   If 
     you plan to use a core seating die (CS-1) without a core swage (CSW-1), 
     then  what  you  put in is what you will get out in regard  to  weight.  
     This is the case with reloading press die sets,  since there is no core 
     swage for them.  It isn't necessarily a bad situation.  I shot a lot of 
     good groups when I was in the Navy using bullets that had 3-5 grains 
     variation in my trusty .45 Colt Government pistol. 
          If you do use the Mity Mite or other special swage press, and plan 
     to use a core swage or the all-in-one lead semi-wadcutter die (LSWC-1), 
     then  make  the cores from 2 to 5 grains heavier than you want  in  the 
     bullet.   That  gives  you some extra lead to extrude  along  with  any 
     variation in weight.
          Lubricate  the  core by one of two methods.   If you want a  clean 
     lead bullet with no lubrication,  use Corbin Swage Lube on your  finger 
     tip  and thumb,  and just give each core a little rotation between them 
     as you pick them up to put them in the die.   It's simple and  natural, 
     no  big deal.   Let the benchrest rifle fanatics worry about  measuring 
     out  lube  with a hypodermic needle on a special stamp pad:   it  won't 
     make any practical difference in where the bullet lands.
          The other method is for placing a wax jacket on the bullet itself.  
     Instead  of lube grooves which apply a little band of lube and let  the 
     rest of the bullet scrape along the bare metal contact with your  bore, 
     the whole surface of the bullet can be covered by a thin,  hard film of 
     high temperature wax.  
          The  product  that  does this is Corbin Dip Lube.   Some  call  it 
     "Liquid  Jacket".   That's what it acts like.   You dip the core  in  a 
     small  container  and  put  it wet into  the  swage  die.   Then  apply 
     pressure,  swage the bullet,  and it comes out nearly dry.  Let it cure 
     for  fifteen  minutes,  and  you are ready to load and  shoot  it!   No 
     sizing, no lubricating, and more lube contacts the bore than if you had 
     it plastered with conventional drag-producing grooves.
          Drawback?   Alox-beeswax  lube works at somewhat  higher  velocity 
     levels  than  Corbin Dip Lube.   If you are pushing the bullets  toward 
     magnum speeds, you may be in for some leading.  On the other hand, that 
     is  what  Corbin bullet jackets are made to prevent.   From  1,200  fps 
     down,  I have had excellent results with the Dip Lube.  Many commercial 
     firms purchase it in gallon lots for their bullets,  so I know that  it 
     works  as  well  for their customers.   Any lead  bullets  can  produce 
     leading  in some guns and with some loads,  of course.   I certainly do 
     not claim this product is the best lubricant made, but it is one of the 
     most convenient and easily used, especially with swaged bullets.
          Before  swaging the bullets,  you may want to know how to put  the 
     dies  in  the press.   For the Hydro-press,  you should have  the  book 
     "Power Swaging" at hand.   You need it,  period.   Without it you  will 
     break  dies.   For  the Mity Mite,  a brief reading of the  instruction 
     sheet  that comes with the press and dies should make the  installation 
     and operation fairly clear.  For the reloading press, ditto.
          But here's a quick run-down:   the Mity Mite die goes into the ram 
     of  the Mity Mite press.   The ram is the steel cylinder that moves  in 
     and out of the press frame when you pull on the handle.   It has a 5/8-
     24 TPI thread in the working end,  and the handle forks attached to the 
     other end.  
          There  are  two punches with the die (each and every die  has  two 
     punches that are required to operate it,  except for draw dies).   Lead 
     tip dies come with one punch,  but use your existing point forming  die 
     bottom  punch.   We  are  not going to be using those  dies  now.   The 
     reloading  press  has  an  internal punch  captive  inside  the  black, 
     threaded adapter body.   It's external punch slips into the press  ram, 
     and the die screws into the pressd head like any reloading press die.
          In the reloading press, you would be using the CS-1-R core seating 
     die,  and you would have the hollow base internal punch inside the die.  
     If  you  wanted to install this punch (because the die  normally  comes 
     with a flat base internal punch, and you order the other base shapes as 
     optional punches),  you would unscrew the die insert from the bottom of 
     the  die and then pull the original flat base punch straight out of the 
     top  of the die insert.   You would clean the new punch,  and press  it 
     gently  into the top of the die insert,  then screw the die  and  punch 
     together back into the adapter body.
          In the Mity Mite press,  you would see that the die has threads on 
     one  end and a venturi (funnel-shaped) opening at the other end.   This 
     venturi  opening  helps align the external  punch.   The  threaded  end 
     should  have  a steel cylinder with two diameters protruding  from  it.  
     This  is  the head and tail of the internal punch.   The tail is  about 
     0.312 inches in diameter, and the head (right next to it) is about 0.50 
     inches in diameter.   The rest of the punch is the same size,  minus  a 
     tad, as the die bore.  It is a diamond-lapped sliding fit.  
          If you want to change the base shape,  you slide this punch out of 
     the die, clean the new one carefully of all grit and dust, and slide it 
     carefully  into the die from the threaded end.   Flat base,  cup  base, 
     hollow base, and dish base shapes can all be made this way.  Bevel base 
     can  be simulated but remember that all end shapes which are formed  by 
     pressing  against  a  punch will have some degree of shoulder  or  step 
     where the edge of the punch contacts the bullet.   A true bevel base is 
     not made in this simple kind of die.
          Screw the die into the press by hand.   In the Mity Mite, screw it 
     in all the way.   Don't use tools.   Hand-tight is tight enough.  Don't 
     confuse the swage die,  which is about 3/4-inch in diameter,  with  the 
     black threaded floating punch holder (FPH-1-M) in the press head!  Many 
     people  think  the  punch holder is the die,  because it looks  like  a 
     reloading press die.  
          The  external punch is held in the punch holder.   In  a  previous 
     chapter this was covered with photos and detailed description.  The hex 
     bushing  unscrews  from the end of the FPH-1.   Inside is a  collar  or 
     bushing that slips over the punch.  (If the punch is smaller than  .375 
     diameter  -- if not,  the punch already has the bushing and hex bushing 
     assembled  to it.   Just remove the one in the FPH-1 and set it  aside, 
     take  out  the  round rocker bushing  but leave  in  the  solid  rocker 
     button.  Install the punch as one unit.)
          Assemble  the  round rocker bushing and then the hex bushing  over 
     the  external  punch.   If you have any doubt as to what  part  is  the 
     external  punch,  look for the one part that does NOT fit into the  die 
     full  length  so  that it comes to the mouth of the die  and  fills  it 
     completely  from end to end with some left over! 
          The die is the round steel cylinder with the hole through it.  You 
     can see through it if you pull out the internal punch.    The  internal 
     punch  will NOT fit into the floating punch holder properly.   It has a 
     tail section that keeps it from fitting. The head of the internal punch 
     and  the  head of the external punch are the  same  diameter,  but  the 
     external  punch has no projection or tail section.   It steps down from 
     the  head (about .50 inches diameter) to the shank (about  0.36  inches 
     diameter)  to  a section that is just below bullet diameter,  having  a 
     portion that is closely fitted to the die bore.
          The punch should be held finger-tight in the floating punch holder 
     at this point.   The adjustment of the punch holder is made by  putting 
     one  of the lubricated cores into the die mouth,  and carefully  moving 
     the  ram forward so that the external punch can be aligned with the die 
     and  moved into it.   The object now is to adjust the punch  holder  so 
     that  the  press  handle  can be moved to the point where  the  die  is 
     forward  as far as it can go.   If the punch and holder stops  the  ram 
     from  going  forward  now,  back off the punch holder.   If  the  punch 
     doesn't contact anything yet, that's fine.  Just get it into the die.
          Make  sure  that  the ram is capable of going as  far  forward  as 
     possible, unlimited by coming against the punch or holder.  No pressure 
     should be generated,  no particular force required.   The weight of the 
     handle  should be more than sufficient to move the ram forward all  the 
     way.   Have you got that adjustment made?  Make sure the ram is free to 
     move back and forth on both sides of its foremost extension.   You  can 
     tell  if it is right,  because the pivot pin that holds the ram to  the 
     press  handle will line up on the same plane as the bolt that holds the 
     handle to the two links.
          Now,  holding  the  handle  so that the ram  is  at  the  furthest 
     position forward, screw the floating punch holder toward the ram.  Keep 
     turning  it by hand until the punch contacts your lead core and you can 
     no longer turn the punch holder by hand.   If,  at this point,  you are 
     able to screw the punch completely into the die and the die face  comes 
     up against the hex bushing on the punch holder, something is not right.  
          The  possibility is that you didn't have enough lead core for  the 
     set  the way it is.   The cure is to obtain a hardened steel bushing to 
     slip over the tail of the internal punch, extending it forward.  Do NOT 
     try to machine or modify the external punch or die to cure  thholder by hand.   If,  at this point,  you are 
     able to screw the punch completely into the die and the die face  comes 
     up against the hex bushing on the punch holder, something is not right.  
          The  possibility is that you didn't have enough lead core for  the 
     set  the way it is.   The cure is to obtain a hardened steel bushing to 
     slip over the tail of the internal punch, extending it forward.  Do NOT 
     try to machine or modify the external punch or die to cure  thward again.  
     Did  any  lead come out the bleed holes in the side of the LSWC-1  die?  
     Or, did you feel a rather sudden increase in the resistance in the CS-1 
     die?   Back  off the ram,  eject the bullet,  and see if it  is  nicely 
     filled out.   See if it stays in the die,  or if it comes back out with 
     the punch. 
          Normally,  the  bullet will stay in the die even if it is somewhat 
     undersized  at this point.   Jacketed bullets often come out  with  the 
     external punch until enough pressure has been applied to expand them to 
     die  diameter.   When  you run the ram all the way back,  the  internal 
     punch comes up against the stop pin in the back of the press and pushes 
     the  bullet  out  by holding the internal punch  still  while  the  die 
     continues to move back with the ram.
          If the bullet is poorly formed, adjust the punch holder a fraction 
     of  a turn forward and try another core.   When you get it  right,  the 
     bullet  will  be properly formed and will measure the correct  diameter 
     from one end to the other.   The internal punch will have formed a deep 
     hollow  cavity  and the external punch will have transferred  its  nose 
     shape to the end of the bullet (in this case, a wadcutter nose).  
          If you have voids or unfilled edges on the bullet,  then you might 
     have a bit too much lube.  Wipe the lube off the external punch and try 
     another core without so much lube applied.   If that still doesn't come 
     out well,  adjust the punch holder slightly forward again.   But do NOT 
     keep adjusting the holder forward until you feel an extreme resistance.  
     One hand force is all you should ever need to apply.   If it feels like 
     you  should be using both hands,  something is wrong and you may be  on 
     the verge of breaking your die.  Stop and find out what is wrong.
          If the lead is too hard, this can be a serious problem.  Hard lead 
     does not flow or swage very well.   Soft lead swages very nicely.   The 
     pressure  required  to swage even a 3% antimonial alloy of lead  is  at 
     least double that of pure lead.   When you first start,  it may be hard 
     to judge how much pressure is enough.   The press is so powerful that a 
     very  light pressure on the handle produces a very great force  on  the 
     ram.   With  calibers in the .375-inch range and up,  you can break the 
     die  without  seeming  to apply undue effort,  so be  careful  to  stop 
     applying  force  or adjusting the punch holder forward as soon  as  you 
     reach the point where the bullet begins to form nicely.
          With a little pressure on the ram,  while swaging a bullet,  cinch 
     the hex bushing on the punch holder up snugly by hand.   This keeps the 
     punch aligned with the die,  so you don't have to do more than check it 
     from time to time.  Swage all your bullets with the punch holder set at 
     this position and the locking nut secured against the face of the press 
     head.  If you want to repeat this setting soon, lock down the set screw 
     on  the  punch holder.   Having several punch holders gives  you  quick 
     repeatability by leaving each punch in its own holder with pre-set lock 
          Now,  back to the reloading press.   The adjustment is exactly the 
     same,  except that you put the external punch in the slotted  ram,  and 
     adjust the die downward toward the punch,  while the punch is raised to 
     the topmost position of the ram.  It is important that you realize that 
     the  furthest extension of the ram is what controls consistent results.  
     If  you swage by feel entirely,  you may get widely  changing  weights.  
     Use  feel  to  judge whether or not a core is a great deal  lighter  or 
     heavier as you approach the top of the stroke.  
          Do  NOT  continue  to  press if you  meet  resistance  before  you 
     normally did on similar bullets during a run.   You will probably swage 
     a  heavier than usual bullet,  at best,  and at worst you may break the 
     die or mash the punch flat.   Set aside any cores that either developed 
     less  or more resistance to swaging than your usual bullet  during  any 
     given run.   Those are light or heavy cores.  They can be used for some 
     other weight, or melted down for a cast core.  
          We have covered a lot of elementary material here.   Refer to this 
     basic  bullet  and adjustment procedure for just about any  other  die.  
     The concept is the same:   approach the right adjustment from the loose 
     side,  where you have no pressure,  and increase it in small bits until 
     you  achieve  the desired result without exceeding moderate efforts  on 
     the handle.   It is a lot like experimenting with a new powder  charge:  
     build  the  load in small increments and watch for signs  of  pressure.  
     Here we are dealing with pressures that could destroy a rifle when they 
     are normal.   But they don't contain much total energy, so no parts fly 
     around  when a die breaks.   You hear a crack,  and you see one in  the 
     die.   That's about it.   With just reasonable care,  you'll never know 
     what a broken die sounds like.
          For  the  rest  of the bullet styles,  I will give  only  a  brief 
     description  of  the process,  detailing only the  unusual  aspects  of 
     making  the  bullet.   Please  remember the basic  rules:   swage  dies 
     increase diameter,  never reduce it.   Lubricant is required for  every 
     swaging  operation  (I won't keep mentioning it).   The punch must  fit 
     easily into the die, or it is the wrong one to use.  The force you feel 
     should  on  the handle should be mild,  never  requiring  double-handed 
     effort.   And while you can experiment,  do get a good understanding of 
     the basic operations for each die first.

          The hollow point is made during core seating.   Instead of using a 
     flat  faced punch to push the core into the jacket (in the core seating 
     die), you need to order the optional hollow point external punch.  This 
     punch has a conical probe on the face, which presses down into the lead 
     core  and forms a cavity at the same time that the lead is  pressurized 
     to move the jacket walls out and meet the die.
          A more uniform hollow point can be made if you first seat the lead 
     core  with  a flat punch,  then change to a hollow point  to  form  the 
     cavity.   This  step is for the perfectionist,  and may be  unnecessary 
     even then, depending on how deep the lead seats in the jacket and other 
          In  any press,  this operation takes place as a result of using  a 
     hollow  point  punch  during the  core  seating  operation.   The  dies 
     themselves  are  the same,  regardless of whether you select  a  hollow 
     point or a soft point,  an open tip or a full jacket.  In a single core 
     seating die,  for making semi-wadcutter or wadcutter hollow points, you 
     can use the HP punch either before or after using another nose punch.  
          The  key  to  successful use of more than one punch  on  the  same 
     bullet  is  to realize that you do not have to press the punch all  the 
     way into the die.   Using a portion of the possible extension into  the 
     die and lead gives you almost total control of how deep and how big the 
     cavity  will be.   Whether you swage the HP first or use another punch, 
     such as a Keith nose punch,  first,  determines the cavity size and the 
     shape of the bullet.  
          A Keith punch and a hollow point punch can produce a wide range of 
     shapes,  including  a simulated round nose!   Experiment  with  various 
     insertion  depths.   In other words,  adjust one punch to go in further 
     and the other one to stop short of going in all the way.  Using both to 
     the  full extent possible only means that the bullet will be  primarily 
     formed by the last punch you press against the lead.   Whichever  punch 
     is pushed in hardest and further against the lead is the one that gives 
     the bullet most of its final shape.
          If you use a point forming die,  then of course you do not need to 
     experiment  with  semi-wadcutter nose punches.   The point forming  die 
     will  shape  up the ogive for you.   It will also  smoothly  close  the 
     hollow point to a more long and narrow shape, depending on how far into 
     the  point forming die you wish to push the bullet.   If you adjust the 
     press  and die so that you just barely push the bullet into  the  point 
     forming die, then you will have a very large hollow point.
          On the other hand,  if you push the bullet into the die as far and 
     as  hard  as you reasonably can,  you may well close the  hollow  point 
     completely.   This  can  produce an unusual result:   you can fill  the 
     hollow point cavity with a fluid or powder,  or a steel ball,  and then 
     cause  the end of the bullet to roll over this material and trap it  in 
     the cavity.   If the hollow point is much deeper than the ogive length, 
     a good portion of the cavity will remain at its original size while the 
     part toward the end of the bullet becomes more narrow.  
          This  means  you can make   hollow  point 
     completely.   This  can  produce an unusual result:   you can fill  the 
     hollow point cavity with a fluid or powder,  or a steel ball,  and then 
     cause  the end of the bullet to roll over this material and trap it  in 
     the cavity.   If the hollow point is much deeper than the ogive length, 
     a good portion of the cavity will remain at its original size while the 
     part toward the end of the bullet becomes more narrow.  
          This  means  you can make th 
     your more experimental designs.

                            BOATTAIL HANDGUN BULLETS   

          With a long shanked rifle-style bullet,  a special set of dies  is 
     required to manufacture a good boattail base.   At Corbin,  we make the 
     rebated  boattail  base,  popularized by the fine Lapua match  bullets.  
     But in a short,  stubby handgun bullet, it is easy to make a rebated or 
     a regular boattail using only a special punch (and not really all  that 
          Usually,  it's necessary to seat a lead core in the jacket using a 
     core  seating  die.   The  die is sealed on both ends  by  punches,  so 
     pressure can be built up inside the jacket to expand it like a balloon.  
     If  you turn the jacket over so the closed end is toward to top of  the 
     cavity  in  a point forming die,  then you can apply a fair  amount  of 
     pressure  inside the jacket with an external punch that fits down  into 
     the jacket.  The fit must be close, to keep the pressure from extruding 
     lead around the punch. But it is practical and works well.
          If  you  put  a core inside a handgun jacket,  then  use  a  punch 
     (ordered as an open tip core seating external punch) that fits into the 
     jacket to press against the core,  and put the assembly into your point 
     forming  die (base first),  you will produce a full jacket,  open  base 
     handgun bullet.  
          Should you have a truncated conical point forming die, rather than 
     a  round nose shape,  you will actually have what could  be  considered 
     either  a  nose or a boattail base!   To use it as a  base,  eject  the 
     bullet and change the external punch to a regular Keith nose punch that 
     fits  into  the  point  forming  die  by  hand.    (Remember,  in  your 
     experiments,  to  try each punch by hand first -- you don't want to fit 
     the punch to the die permanently!)
          Now,  with  the Keith nose punch installed in  die, rather than 
     a  round nose shape,  you will actually have what could  be  considered 
     either  a  nose or a boattail base!   To use it as a  base,  eject  the 
     bullet and change the external punch to a regular Keith nose punch that 
     fits  into  the  point  forming  die  by  hand.    (Remember,  in  your 
     experiments,  to  try each punch by hand first -- you don't want to fit 
     the punch to the die permanently!)
          Now,  with  the Keith nose punch installed in  point 
     (depending on how much lead you moved forward) TC nose,  a short shank, 
     and a rebated boattail base -- what a combination!   But give it a try.  
     You  can load it either direction.   I like to make these bullets  with 
     about  one  caliber  length of straight shank.   That usually  means  a 
     bullet with one of the longer jackets and toward the heavier end of the 
     weight  scale.   But  as  you can see from some of  the  tests  in  the 
     magazines   (one  of  which  is  reproduced  in  the  Corbin  Technical 
     Bulletins)  this  design can result in a 40% improvement  in  ballistic 
     coefficient and as good or better accuracy than conventional shapes!


          This  is  a  task for the  Hydro-press  system.   There  are  many 
     possible kinds of highly accurate slugs you can produce.  One is a slug 
     that  fits  inside the Winchester Red Wad,  and is thus  made  slightly 
     under  normal diameter to use the sabot effect of the standard  plastic 
     wad.   Another is the slug with wad attached to it.   This operation is 
     quite  simple.    A die set can even be produced to stamp out excellent 
     wads from various materials.  The details of operating the press are in 
     the book "Power Swaging".  
          I will just outline the process here.  The wad is made with a hole 
     through the center.   The hole is precisely centered as a result of the 
     die-forming  process.   The pre-swaged core and wad are put into a  die 
     with a nose cavity punch in the die,  and a base punch having a  slight 
     depression in the face,  like a smooth rivet head, follows the wad into 
     the swage die. A core seating or lead semi-wadcutter type die is used.
          As  pressure  is applied,  the lead flows up into the  nose  punch 
     cavity and forms any desired shape of nose.  Usually a conical flat tip 
     or a domed shape is made.   The lead also presses hard against the wad, 
     and  finds a pressure escape through the hole in the middle of the wad.  
     The lead flows through this hole,  and fills the cavity in the head  of 
     the punch that is backing up the wad.
          The wad is compressed under tons of pressure,  and so is the lead.  
     The  lead  extrusion through the hole in the wad forms a perfect  rivet 
     head on the other side of the hole.   When the bullet is  ejected,  you 
     have a lead slug firmly attached to the wad,  which now tries to spring 
     back to original size and keeps pressure on the base of the slug.
          Another  unique twist on this is to form a hollow base cavity with 
     a  post in the middle,  and with a hole in the middle of the post  that 
     will take the threads of a number six or eight metal screw.   It  might 
     seem very complex, but in reality all you have to do is imagine a punch 
     having  a mirror image of this cavity and post and hole formed into the 
     steel  face.   The reamer and polishing work required  is,  of  course, 
     somewhat expensive.  But it is well within reason for anyone who wishes 
     to manufacture a unique kind of slug.
          The idea is to shift the weight forward, maintain a longer bearing 
     surface  for alignment,  without having a massive weight,  and  provide 
     solid  support in the middle of the cavity so that the wad is not blown 
     into the cavity upon firing.   The screw attaches the wad to the  post.  
     It  might even be possible to fill the cavity with cornstarch and  then 
     swage  the wad to the slug,  but this has not yet been tried (maybe  by 
     the time this book has been out a year, it will be common).

                            PRECISION AIRGUN PELLETS

          Airgun  pellets are really no different from any other hollow base 
     semi-wadcutter bullet.  The dies have smaller punches and cavities than 
     most calibers.   Corbin makes .20, .14, .17, .224, or anything else you 
     like.  Diameter is critical.  Rather than the waisted design, these are 
     like a precision handgun bullet in minature. 
          They  have  a deep hollow cavity and thin skirts to  give  a  good 
     seal,  and they usually are made slightly smaller than a waisted pellet 
     so that the bore friction is reduced.   Swaged with a Dip Lube coating, 
     they  provide  good  lubrication  that is consistent  and  dry  in  all 
     temperatures.  The  nose  can  be conical or of the  Keith  style  with 
     equally  good results.   Such pellets in .2235" diameter make excellent 
     indoor practice bullets or mouse shooters in a conventional  centerfire 
     rifle used with a primer only.
          There  are complex ways to swage the waisted pellet,  but it isn't 
     usually  worth  the  effort compared to the results you  get  with  the 
     simple  single die method in either reloading press or Mity  Mite.   In 
     the reloading press,  only a .22 pellet is offered,  unless a run of at 
     least 100 dies is ordered (for resale).   But in the Mity Mite, you can 
     have anything you wish.

                            PLASTIC TIP RIFLE BULLETS
          Several  of the common plastic rod materials swage nicely to  form 
     lead  tip  replacements  in any  conventional  rifle  caliber.   Nylon, 
     polyethylene,  and other "soft" plastics that can be shaped by pressure 
     and retain that shape after pressure is removed make nice tips for your 
     hunting  bullets.   The  idea of the plastic tip predates  the  current 
     Nosler design by many years,  as seen in the early Norma nylon tips and 
     in  home-swaged  bullets using Nylon tubeless tire patches  (plugs)  in 
     stark black or white.
          The  FBI  once  contacted Corbin about making  Nylon  bullets  for 
     handgun  use  in  an indoor training facility.   The  idea  came  about 
     because  a  conventional Speer Nylon bullet had a sharp  shoulder  that 
     prevented the use of speed loaders.   When these bullets were re-swaged 
     in  a  simple  Corbin point forming die,  right  off  the  shelf,  they 
     acquired  a  more bullet-like profile and worked  in  the  conventional 
     speed loader.  
          A side benefit turned out to be that the agency could reload these 
     plastic  bullets seemingly without end,  after reswaging to remove  the 
     rifling and other impact marks.   I have one left in my collection that 
     was shot and reloaded and reswaged over 25 times, and it could still go 
     on without any apparent change.  
          Nylon rod can be obtained from most plastic suppliers.   It can be 
     cut to short lengths in a lathe or bandsaw.   The bullet is made in the 
     same  way as any open tip design,  by seating the lead down inside  the 
     jacket with a punch which fits into the jacket.   But before the  point 
     is formed,  the short piece of Nylon is placed inside the jacket.   The 
     diameter should be close to the jacket ID.  
          When  the point is formed the jacket and Nylon plug smoothly swage 
     into one profile.  The ogive locks the plastic in place (it crimps into 
     the material since the plug is larger inside than at the external tip).

                               FRAGMENTING BULLETS 

          Bullet  swagers  have been making their  own  fragmenting  defense 
     bullets  for years.   It is extremely simple.   Just dipper a charge of 
     number twelve lead shot into a jacket,  and seat the shot like it was a 
     solid core.   Press a bit of soft wax or a thin cardboard wad over  the 
     shot.   A  wad can be made in a regular swage die of smaller caliber by 
     putting  a  bit  of cardboard between the punch  and  die  and  pushing 
     through it.  
          Then,  form  the  ogive in a point forming die.   To increase  the 
     fragmenting  effect,  first  roll or tumble a quantity of shot  with  a 
     little  dab  of  Corbin Swage Lube.   This lube  keeps  the  shot  from 
     sticking  together  -- it may appear solid when you swage  it,  but  on 
     impact it break up nicely.  

                               HYPERSPEED BULLETS

          What  would you call a bullet that goes 2000 fps from a snubby .38 
     Special?  Impossible?  No, you can develop an ultra-light bullet in any 
     caliber  and  then find a fast-burning charge of the  right  powder  to 
     propel it at unbelievable speed.  Some of the effects are dazzling.
          Here  is how you retain enough bearing for a semblence of accuracy 
     and still keep the bullet weight down:  use cornstarch as a core!  
          The  secret  is  out...but  only bullet  swagers  know  about  it.  
     Cornstarch  swages under high pressure to form a sort of  hard  plastic 
     material that is much lighter than any conventional jacket filling, yet 
     expands the jacket as well as lead under swaging pressures.  
          Because of the low density of the material,  even when swaged to a 
     plastic  state,  you  can make a regular length bullet that  seats  and 
     balances as it should, yet has very low inertia.  The sectional density 
     is  very  low,  which means it doesn't penetrate very far and  it  also 
     doesn't  fly  very  far before losing its speed.   Those  can  be  good 
     features in a defense bullet used in populated areas.  
          When  you top the cornstarch with a small amount of lead,  you can 
     produce  a method of delivering a devastating high velocity  projectile 
     without  nearly  as much danger to people behind the  intended  target.  
     Make the filling out of swaged lead shot of small diameter, rolled with 
     Corbin  Swage Lube,  and you have just produced a superior  fragmenting 
     bullet  with ultra-high velocity.   You need nothing special to do  all 
     this,  except the right punch to fit into the jacket at the depth where 
     you want to swage the material.


          Putting  a partition across the middle of a bullet is as  easy  as 
     telescoping  two  different  diameters of  jackets  together.   This  is 
     covered  in some detail in the book "Rediscover  Swaging".   Basically, 
     the inside jacket is of smaller caliber and is about half the length of 
     the  outside jacket.   When jackets do not exist ready-made to fit this 
     way,  a  Corbin JRD-1 draw die can turn some available jacket into  the 
     right size.  
          In  the Hydro-press system,  it is possible to make partitions  by 
     folding  and  pressure-welding the actual jacket wall material  into  a 
     band across the jacket at any desired point.  Copper tubing is normally 
     selected,  so  you have both the benefit of the soft copper tubing  and 
     the partition effect.   If you want to go one further,  add Corbin Core 
     Bond and a little heat, and you have a bonded core, partitioned, copper 
     tube  bullet  -- something none of the famous firms who are  known  for 
     making one of these features apiece have managed to combine.


          I  group these two styles because they are made the same  way.   A 
     set of special punches is made to seat a very light core in the  bottom 
     of the jacket.   One punch seats the core,  and the other puts a center 
     in  the  core.   Then  a long hollow point punch slips  down  into  the 
     jacket,  finds the center, and starts extruding lead up along the punch 
     sides.  Plenty of good lube is required on the punch. 
          The  punch  is withdrawn,  leaving a long,  deep cavity  precisely 
     centered  in a lead sheath inside the jacket.   A carbide,  uranium  or 
     other heavy metal core can be placed in this cavity.   It works best if 
     the  insert  material is slightly larger than the cavity for  a  gentle 
     press fit.  A punch can also be made to do this.  
          Corbin  does  not provide these heavy metal  cores.  Most  of  the 
     people  who  do  this work are able to obtain their  own  from  defense 
     agencies  or  suppliers.   Such  bullets are usually made  for  special 
     projects  within the military and are discussed here only to  show  the 
     possibilities.   Liquid  filling  for  the  same cavity  can  easiy  be 
     substituted.   A  lead ball is placed in the end of the cavity to  help 
     seal  it,  and then the bullet is put into a point forming die and  the 
     ogive  shape extrudes lead over the widest part of the ball  and  locks 
     the assembly together.


          The quality of the bullets you can make in a typical Corbin  swage 
     die  for the Mity Mite or Hydro-press will equal or exceed that of  any 
     bullet  made  today.   You do not need to pay thousands of dollars  for 
     special "benchrest" quality.  The best quality that money can buy comes 
     far less dear than some folks imagine possible.  
          On  the  other  hand,  I do not recommend the  die  sets  that  we 
     manufacture  for  use  in a reloading press as benchrest  bullet  dies.  
     They  are  good dies,  and have often been used to  make  match-winning 
     bullets.   But the system does not lend itself to what I would call the 
     ultimate control over the bullet weight and style.  
          Reloading  press  dies are made to work in a press  that  was  not 
     designed specifically for bullet swaging.   Corbin Mity Mite and Hydro-
     press  dies  were  designed along with the  press,  without  having  to 
     consider factors necessary for reloading.  The Hydro-press and the Mega 
     Mite  press both handle reloading as a side benefit,  not as a  primary 
     goal that might restrict optimum design for bullet making.
          Alignment,  sensitivity of control ("feel",  if you like), balance 
     of  the  forces that tend to produce ram torque,  amount of press  head 
     movement under stress,  maximum leverage potential,  and other  factors 
     from  how ejection is handled to where the top of the ram comes to rest 
     in relation to the press head,  are all optimized for bullet making the 
     the special swaging presses.   These things simply are not there,  in a 
     reloading press.   It doesn't matter how big or strong or expensive the 
     press  is:   if  it was made primarily for reloading  ammo,  it  wasn't 
     optimized for making bullets.  
          I  have  had  a few perverse clients shoot  winning  matches  with 
     bullets  made  in our standard reloading press dies,  and they  enjoyed 
     telling their fellow shooters (who had spent thousands of  dollars,  in 
     some  cases,  for  the  "right" benchrest equipment) how  little  their 
     equipment  cost (usually under $250 for everything -- dies  alone  cost 
     about $160).   But while it can be done,  I certainly feel that you are 
     better  advised  to  use equipment made with all the  benefits  of  the 
     special swaging press in mind.
          There  are two secrets to making benchrest  bullets.   First,  the 
     jackets  themselves  must be very concentric and should be  weighed  so 
     that  you  can cull out any over or under a nominal  value.   Different 
     weight by itself has little effect on the bullet path,  within a factor 
     of from 1 to 2 percent of the total bullet weight.  (Calculate the drop 
     difference and you will see that one-hole groups at 100 yards are still 
     possible  with  bullets that weigh plus or minus half a grain in  a  55 
     grain .224 caliber,  or bullets that have 1.5 grain variation in a  150 
     grain .308 caliber).
          The  problem  with weight variation is that it can be caused by  a 
     thicker  base,  thicker walls,  or even a difference in wall  thickness 
     from one side to the other.   If it is merely a bit longer  jacket,  it 
     won't  have  much  effect.   And the heavier  or  lighter  jackets,  by 
     themselves,  do  not  cause bad groups.   It is a mixture of  different 
     jackets that can throw off the group size.   A heavier or lighter  wall 
     is  not  bad,  it  just  can't be used with something  different  in  a 
     benchrest match.  
          The  next  secret  is  consistency in the  method  of  making  the 
     bullets.   The  little  rituals and weird theories about what  makes  a 
     bullet shoot are a lot of fun for the people who believe in  them,  and 
     even  if  they make little sense to rational people,  I see no harm  in 
     following the latest fad in regard to many of the rituals.   But for  a 
     person  who is mainly interested in fact,  and wants to see what really 
     does  and does not make a difference,  it doesn't take too long to  see 
     that a machine rest in an indoor tunnel easily proves that  consistency 
     makes more difference than any specific method.
          In  other words,  whatever you do in regard to how you apply  your 
     lubricant,  whether  or  not  you  "rest" the  cores  overnight  before 
     swaging,  or  whether  or not you spin and weigh each  bullet  in  some 
     questionable  fixture or tool made to point up some mysterious accuracy 
     factor,  the real effects will come from doing things the same way each 
     time,  so  all the bullets do indeed come out looking and shooting  the 
     same way.
          Some of these rituals help produce a more consistent bullet, often 
     for reasons not entirely related to the goal that the shooter feels  he 
     is  trying  to  reach by that ritual.   Benchrest  shooting  originally 
     brought  a  great many serious benefits and pointed out errors  in  how 
     bullets were being made during the 1940's and 50's.   To some extent, a 
     level  of mystique and fraternalism has moved into the place that  used 
     to  be  held by serious investigation,  with the quirks of  the  latest 
     winner being slavishly repeated by next year's would-be winners.
          But this is true in all competitive sports.   Winning matches does 
     not necessarily make the shooter an expert on every aspect of the tools 
     and  equipment  used  to win.   Sometimes a good  deal  of  winning  is 
     attitude  and  practice,  especially when equipment differences  become 
     very slight at the top levels.  All of this is merely to point out that 
     making benchrest quality bullets is not necessarily the exclusive realm 
     of  a white-bearded wizzard who knows cosmic secrets  which  you,  mere 
     mortal, can hardly be expected to understand.
          As  a matter of fact,  nearly anyone with a reasonably good set of 
     dies  and  careful attention to what he is doing can turn  out  bullets 
     capable of one-hole groups.   Then it is up to the rest of the  system, 
     including the handload and the gun, the shooter and the fates that blow 
     the winds, to let that one-hole group appear on any given day.
          This  information  doesn't play well with those who would like  to 
     have you believe there are dark secrets beyond your reach,  which  only 
     certain  people  (who happen to have something they might -- hold  your 
     breath!  -- be persuaded to sell you) have in their posession.  But you 
     can prove it to yourself, and to anyone else who doesn't have too big a 
     stake in keeping it quiet!   There is no fundamental difference in  the 
     potential  quality  of a .458 bullet,  a .600 Nitro bullet,  or a  .224 
     benchrest bullet made by the process of swaging outlined here.
          All  swaged  bullets  made  by  hand  on  good  equipment,   using 
     consistent components, can be made carefully and well.  They can all be 
     benchrest  bullets  of their caliber.   A heavy  recoiling  .458  isn't 
     likely  to  produce as tight a group as a conventional .224 short  case 
     benchrest  cartridge  using  specially selected  primers,  but  if  you 
     compare  similar kinds of guns and loads,  you will soon see that  your 
     own  home-built  bullets  stack up in the same way  as  benchrest  .224 
     bullets stack up against the average factory offering.
          You have nothing to fear in the accuracy department,  in regard to 
     the  dies  or the bullets you can make,  given the  material  and  care 
     necessary.   Do not, however, make the error of assuming that a perfect 
     bullet  will turn an average rifle into a benchrest gun.   It will not.  
     The errors caused by poor bedding,  a light barrel,  gas cutting in the 
     throat or leade,  improper powder charges,  or even a less than  steady 
     shooter,  will  completely  overwhelm the slight errors produced  by  a 
     bullet of average quality.   No difference between a perfect bullet and 
     an  average one could be told with most of the guns that are capable of 
     being  carried afield,  if the load is right and the shooter  does  his 
          A  good discussion of accuracy and bullet design can be found  the 
     the  textbook,  "Rediscover  Swaging".   The techniques  for  obtaining 
     greater  than  usual  core weight consistency and proper  core  seating 
     are  also  discussed in this book.   Multiple passes at  core  swaging, 
     holding the pressure for a consistent length of time,  application of a 
     precision film of lube rather than the usual transfer of lube with  the 
     fingers, and other factors that increase the consistency of results are