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How to make solid projectiles (the alternative method)

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How to make solid projectiles (the alternative method)

Unread postAuthor: zephir » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:44 am

I've already read the other topic about using plaster to cast lead balls.
There is a more modern style of projectile first known as the Minie Ball, used in the US Civil War (1860-65).

Lead balls are not only heavy, but also loses accuracy over distance because its not perfectly round. This method also suffers the same thing without professional equipment, but it looks much more like modern bullets.

This method uses pipe to make the mold. The pipe also becomes part of the round. The end result is various forms of jacketed bullets.
This method allows you to make:
FMJ (Full Metal Jacket)
JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point)
JSP (Jacketed Soft Point)
Semi-AP (somewhat Armor Penetration- depends on core)

Before starting, you will require:
1. Some metal pipe that fits inside your barrel. A sabot method can be used if there is more than 3mm on the sides. Sabot is when the sides of the round is wrapped in another material to ensure a good fit. So even a .50 cal round can fit in a .75 cal barrel. The pipe should have as thin walls as you can find.
2. A way to cut the pipe (like a hacksaw)
3. A hammer or something. adapt as needed depending on what type of equipment you have. I used a hammer, but you can use other stuff if you want to.
4. Lots and lots of lead
5. Someway to melt the lead. At least use a candle or something. Be aware that some leads may contain hazardous substances, such a mercury or other heavy metals that may come out hen the lead is heated. You will need about a 900 degree flame to melt lead.
6. Plaster, clay or just plain mud. Mud needs to be free of rock and needs to be very thick.
7. A large container to fill with water. Make sure the container can actually hold the water and not break. You will need to at the very least submerge an object completely that is the size of a 1L bottle. Get a clay or metal bottom for it.
8. A steel, copper, or alum pot/cup/bowl to melt the lead in. Make sure you're not going to eat from it ever again. Lead sometimes contain some very bad stuff.
9. Pliers, something to move very hot and heavy containers of liquid metal with. Surprisingly, wood doesn't catch on fire easily.

The guide. Its one MS paint pic.

Image

Some info not on the pic:
1. Lead is easy to get. The cheapest way is to reuse anything made of lead that you already bought. Other places to get lead can be your local scrapyard or gunstore feature super cheap shotgun loads or walmart. Lead can be extracted from shotshells by cutting them right thru the wadding.
2. Depending on where your lead is from, you may encounter hazards of trace metals in the lead. Do the whole thing outside. I use lead from real bullets, shot gun shot, and small lead block I find everywhere. My lead sometimes smells very heavily of ammonia. Like I said, do it outside.
3. a candle is the worst way to melt lead. Slow and tricky. If you have a more powerful way, please use that instead. Soldering guns also is a bad choice.
4. Lead can be mixed with other low-melt metals, such as tin. Do not use lead containing flux.
5. chopsticks can be used as handles to hold the hot containers of metal with.
6. Seriously, do not use steel or iron as a core. that makes it an AP round, illegal in almost all areas. It also increase penetration, increasing the chance of getting someone injured or killed.
7. Wax or plastic can also be poured in in place of the lead as a weaker alternative. Weight can be increased by adding some lead shot or large chunks of metals while it is being filled with wax or plastic. Put all metal toward the end or middle of the bullet. It will reduce it becoming shrapnel.

---

Its not really a practical way to make bullets. But its the best way if you want maximum power, penetration, and damage.

For some people, this is a very bad idea, because the more powerful the gun is, the more dangerous this type of projectile is. The most powerful all-metal spud guns may end up with more power than the most powerful legal gun you can buy (NFA class 3 not included).

Always be sure of the backstop before shooting.
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My interest on spud guns began when I couldn't legally buy guns.
Now its because my guns are too loud to legally shoot.

Its not like it was legal to being with, but they don't offer subsonic 7.62x39 or 7.62x54R. They only have subsonic .22 long. Thats no fun stuff doesn't explode.

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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:53 am

for smoothbore barrels - which the vast majority of homemade spudguns use - a hollow tail is essential to ensure stability, in the same manner as foster slugs for shotguns are made.
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Unread postAuthor: rna_duelers » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:54 am

I will have my newest copper musket ready soon,and I will see if I can get some pictures up of these rounds If I decide to make them they will have hollowed out end to make it fly straighter in the smoothbore barrel.If I have time,well mainly if my crazy neighbor isn't home I will see if I can do some ballistic gel shots.
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Re: How to make solid projectiles (the alternative method)

Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:14 pm

zephir wrote:6. Seriously, do not use steel or iron as a core. that makes it an AP round, illegal in almost all areas. It also increase penetration, increasing the chance of getting someone injured or killed.

Thats not true.
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:27 pm

I'm not sure on the legalities of the steel/iron cored rounds, but considering that steel cored spudgun rounds couldn't conceivably by fired out of an actual firearms, I doubt that they are considered "AP rounds", especially since they don't even include a propellant or casing. And what of the "6 ounce" thing? Why does that have any impact on the design. It seems as though the design could be adapted to any bore and mass, as long as the proper materials were available.

And the bit about killing people on the other side is rather generalised; one of my launchers can easily shoot a wooden projectile through both walls of a small building, and have it continue on with enough energy to kill several people. The solution to avoid property damage / killing things is to use proper backstops, and safe ranges (although the senior members will tell you that I probably shouldn't be telling other people to use better backstops :roll: ).

Apart from that, an excellent tutorial, although the round will need a center of mass forward of its center of length to avoid tumbling out of a smoothbore barrel.
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Unread postAuthor: schmanman » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:33 pm

pfft.......

DIY....... backstops? like you know how to make a backstop!!!!!

sheds are not backstops. remember that. :wink:


(If I remeber correctly, you did shoot through your shed. there have been several who have done that, so forgive me If I'm wrong)


old car batteries are a good place to get lead.


My grandpa has about 50-60 pounds of lead in his garage, and if not that, not much less.
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Last edited by schmanman on Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:45 pm

Lucky that was with the old 1k ft/lbs SCTBDCv.1. The new 6k ft/lbs version probably wouldn't have any trouble putting a slug through a wall or two or five...

Lead is pretty cheap to get in a lot of places, because it's used to weigh a lot of stuff down. When said stuff gets old and falls apart, voila!: free lead.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:39 pm

DYI wrote:(although the senior members will tell you that I probably shouldn't be telling other people to use better backstops :roll: )


:roll:

6. Seriously, do not use steel or iron as a core. that makes it an AP round, illegal in almost all areas. It also increase penetration, increasing the chance of getting someone injured or killed.


It would be an AP round if you loaded it into a firearm, but if there's no powder cartridge attached to it then it's just a piece of metal, I don't see how you could be prosecuted for having AP ammunition unless it's an additional charge if you used it to commit a felony.
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Unread postAuthor: zephir » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:07 am

The 6 oz limit is really for people who lacks very wide open spaces.
Its mainly a safety issue. The heavier the round, the more power it holds when it impacts with something. I'm sure many people are familiar with that. 6 oz of lead is roughly equal to the weight of 4x 12 gauge slugs. Thats a very heavy projectile. Add o nthe jacketing of the roudn, you have very lethal and dangerous projectile.

Jacketed bullets are different from non-jacketed ammo. The jacket keep the bullet together when it hits the target. It lets it hold its shape as it passes thru, say a person. You get a smaller wound channel than a HP or a non-jacketed round, meaning that less energy is lost passing through the target, and therefore it will take more material to stop that kind of projectile.
What different tips do:
- FMJ: keeps the bullet together so less energy is lost punching the hole and more material is needed to stop it.
- JHP: Best of both worlds. Non-jacketed HP makes a massive wound channel and minimal penetration. THe FMJ does hte opposite. the JHP combines the larger wound channel with more penetration.
- JSP: Many hunting rounds uses this. I've never shot this before, so I can only relay what the ads say. Like a JHP, but sounds less deadly. Supposedly makes a larger mushroom than the JHP. JSP is for killing deer. JHP is for killing people.

And about the coring, its always to be o nthe safer side of the law. Using steel or iron cores, if you did hit someone or something, you'll have a hard time proving that you did not make it to kill people. Most military ammo unless it says its for AP use, doesn't have a steel or iron core. The steel iron core is design specifically for armor penetration and does an excellent job. Even adding a steel ball to a .25acp you will have a hard time explaining why you added a steel tip to it.

And for more proof: steel vs jacketed lead:
Two pics, one steel round thru a monitor, and the other a FMJ remains.
Image
Image
WOLF Military Classic 123 gr 2320 fps 10 yds into cinder block
Lead bullets wouldn't even make it into the cinder block.

Image
Steel mouse ball (22mm) with wadding shot into a malfunctioning monitor.
I used a PVC pipe, cap, a a shotgun shell to make it work. The gun did blow up, but it was intentional and so it didn't matter.
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My interest on spud guns began when I couldn't legally buy guns.
Now its because my guns are too loud to legally shoot.

Its not like it was legal to being with, but they don't offer subsonic 7.62x39 or 7.62x54R. They only have subsonic .22 long. Thats no fun stuff doesn't explode.

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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:20 am

Most military ammo unless it says its for AP use, doesn't have a steel or iron core.


The M855 which is the standard ball round for 5.56mm weapons like the M16 is not classed as armour piercing but still has a steel core, a reflection of the fact that body armour is becoming more common on the modern battlefield.
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Unread postAuthor: raptorforce » Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:14 am

wouldnt you want the lead at the core and a steel or copper jacket so it keeps its shape longer to penetrate and not deform?
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:18 am

raptorforce wrote:wouldnt you want the lead at the core and a steel or copper jacket so it keeps its shape longer to penetrate and not deform?


That wouldn't be as strong as a solid steel core and therefore penetrate less. Also, having a steel core surrounded by lead means that it is of smaller diameter and therefore places greater unit pressure on what you're trying to penetrate, and the soft lead actually "lubricates" the passage of the core through the target to some extent.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:14 am

Interesting this should come up, I was melting down old airgun pellets last night with a view to doing something like this sometime.
I've been experimenting with a new variety of backstop for my target shooting, one which catches the pellet, but without rapidly disintegrating like the piece of old wooden kitchen work surface did (I left it out in the rain. After that, it was sufficiently damaged that the pellets started firing straight through it. Fortunately, there was a brick wall behind it, but I still didn't want to be destroying the brick wall).

This new backstop is a large quantity of cotton wool affixed to 1/4" steel plate, which does the job well. Either alone wouldn't work (the pellets shoot through the cotton, and smash to bits against the plate), but together, the pellets get retained pretty whole, although very much deformed.

They're obviously useless for firing from my air rifle again, but when the wool is due to be changed (every few hundred pellets or so), I can extract the squashed remains from the wool and get left with a couple of hundred grams of lead, which I then melt down into crude "shot", partly to burn away and filter out any remnants of wool (and wood the first time round, as I dug out the pellets from my old destroyed backstop), partly because it's finer than the pellets (for various reasons).

At some point, I might try replicating a proper shot tower and see if I can manage to make some decent quality lead balls that are the right size for my air rifle (the current results are too small) just out of curiosity - and the novelty of being able to fire the same lead several times over - but the main aim is to make heavy lead slugs for my cannons.

Recycling at it's best. :)
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:28 am

Rag: Why do you not just buy a pellet mold, or if you insist a shot maker, makes your life easier, and for larger sizes of lead balls you would need very high shot tower so building it is not really an option, maing a mold would be better...
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:57 am

casting pellets is a cool thing.. but in the end I think it would be cheaper and more convinient to simply buy ready made pellets.. there are lots of places selling pellets or lead balls..

do you really have time to mold 100 ammo for several hours just to fire them in several minutes ? practicality is what matters here
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