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What is Swaging?

1701 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Cat Whisperer
:D Howdy, ya'll. I'm sorry to bother ya, but my curiosity has been piqued. I'm not a bullet maker yet, but plan to become one within the next couple of weeks with the arrival of already ordered mold and ladle.

I've heard of swaging for years, but never knew what it meant other than a form of resizing.

Thanks in advance

Butler Ford
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Swaging is forming metal using pressure. Casting is forming using heat. That's the simple defination. In swaging bullets a person uses one or more hollow dies and 2 punches, one at each end of the die cavity, to compress lead, lead alloy, or copper, into the shape of that cavity. Pressure needed varries, but is usually so high that a press made for swaging is needed (a reloading press is OK for pure lead bullets up to .45 cal or jacketed bullets up to .38cal). Recommend you go to the Corbin Co web site for more details. Set your search engine on "SWAGING" to find the site. Swaging, in my opinion, is about 2000 times more interesting than casting, and several orders of magnatude more productive. 8)
:D Hello all,

Talon is right, when he says swaging is more interesting. In addition to the Corbin Co.'s web site you might also check out my web site at:, then go to both the "Elemental Metals" & "Cartridges & bullets" there are some good information there on different metals and material that can be swaged to form light weight bullets or extra heavy bullets, beyond lead.

Swaging is a way to customize your bullet to whatever your shooting needs are. I made a jacked bullet with a core of very fine lead shot to minimize collateral damage and have used powdered Tungsten, copper, aluminum, and even non-metal powders to play with the balancing point of a bullet. Those are just a few of the things you just cannot do with casting. :wink:
:grin: I thank ya both. Donna, I had already been to your site, but didn't know what to look for, I'll try it again.

Again, thanks

Butler Ford
Donna -
It's obvious that you're into the game of swaging on a very professional level.

You got my attention when you mentioned playing with the ballance point of the bullet. It reminds me of Dr. Mann and his experiments in cast bullet ballistics.

There are several folks that bring up the possiblity (in cast bullets) of having soft lead on the front and harder lead on the rear. Swaging opens up some new and potentially very repeatable and workable designs.

It does seem to me that swaging takes a bit more than just casting AND that it offers the home-technican a lot of options.
ButlerFord45 -
I remember something of Heinlein when the book came out (early 1960's) about a cat being called a 'fur lined crum eradicator'. Many good memories of his writings.

Everything qualifies as a cat-toy.
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