View Full Version : Bullet making pics.

Al Nyhus
12-12-2010, 12:44 PM
Well, it's snowy and freezing cold, so it's a good time to make bullets. I hate making cores with a passion, but unless you buy 'em from Charlie Hood it's something that needs to be done before anything else happens.

I'll start from the beginning and add pics as my process goes along. Hopefully we can exchange info and learn something from each others process. :)

For cutting the wire, I use a table that hinges along the side of one of the work benches. It has a 1" NPT pipe flange screwed to it for a 'spindle'.


I flip it up, screw in a couple of legs and mount a 'spindle' on the pipe flange. The 'spindle' is a 1" NPT nipple.


Closer look at the lash up. It's pretty sophisticated, so don't drool all over your keyboards. ;)


The spool of core wire drops over the spindle. Now I can pull the wire to the right and cut it to length.


Pulling the wire off the spool.


For the cores I'm making, I cut the wire into 15" lengths. This gives me 27-28 'cut' cores per stick. Basically, I figure 1,000 cores per 40 sticks and a few (115-120) 'free' cores left over. The 'free' cores fools my brain into thinking that makin' cores isn't completely horrible. ;)


After I get 40 sticks cut, they're bundled together and marked. Next step will be cutting them to length.


12-12-2010, 01:04 PM
For those of us the aren't bullet makers good pictures really do help a lot. The other threads helped out a lot but a pictures is worth a thousand words as they say.

Gene Beggs
12-12-2010, 01:51 PM
Thanks Al,

Another thread on bullet making. :)

Although I do not make my own bullets at this time, I wouldn't rule it out for the future.

Judging by the views and responses other threads on this subject have generated, I believe there is great interest in the process. Looking forward to following this one. :p

Gene Beggs

12-12-2010, 03:12 PM
Nice Photos Al" Good idea""'

12-12-2010, 03:26 PM
Al it will extra work taking pics but we all appreciate it! I'm sorta a newbie and shoot rimfire but i will be following your thread with interest! thank you.... joe

Boyd Allen
12-12-2010, 05:17 PM

12-12-2010, 06:44 PM
I just want to say this thread is going to ROCK in my world. Keep things coming in your progression to making bullets from scratch.

Everyone says it is NOT WORTH IT. I'll tell you. When you live in Manitoba and the cold winters that would be a way I could pass time. The best part would be when you see the results on paper and they are FAVORABLE results.

Keep it coming and great pictures.


12-12-2010, 09:18 PM
Al those look like they could be real Klein pliers there..... do you have a sordid construction history you're not telling us about?

Thank you for taking the time to do this pictorial


Al Nyhus
12-12-2010, 10:14 PM
Al those look like they could be real Klein pliers there..... do you have a sordid construction history you're not telling us about? al

Yep, those are Kleins....good stuff and made in the USA. Never worked construction as a real job, but would probably be classified as an advanced diy'er.

Al Nyhus
12-12-2010, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the positive comments. I'll add some more pics in the next day or so.

I would encourage anyone else that's making bullets to hop in and join this thread. Pics are always a plus.

Good shootin'. -Al

12-13-2010, 03:07 AM
Hi Al. Great pictures. And a great idea. Thank you.
I am just getting started.
Went to a score match today. WWCCA during "The Great Blizzard of 2010". 1/2" when we started. 1-2" on the way home.
Got to shoot some of the bullets, that I made recently. Conditions were tough. Mostly white out. Some guys said they could not see target.
One guy stayed clean. I dropped a point. Last match there was a gust of wind. The only wind all morning. And I shot at the same time. Otherwise, the experiment was a success.
Yes. It is a great feeling to shoot your own. And come close to winning.

Dan H
12-13-2010, 08:06 AM
I don't have any spools of lead right now, but I have mine set up a little differently. I put a old barrel through the spool and lay it between two folding chairs, having it come off the spool so it is always pulling itself back into the chairs. My setup isn't nearly as pleasant to the eye or as neat as Al's, all of Al's operations are first class. I also cut the wire into sticks in lengths of 32", I like a little more wiggle room and I get 50 rough cores per stick. When I cut my wire to length I have a stop on the table so I don't have to measure each stick. On the last spool that I cut I got 86 sticks, that gave me 4300 rough cores,(roughly):).The next step for me is to lay the sticks on the table and straighten them by rolling them one at a time between a flat board, I them move them to another table and line them up twenty to a row, this gives me just over a thousand/20 sticks. The reason I strighten the sticks is because they feed into the cutter nicely without getting into a bind. I want to add here that this operation is for 118gr, 30 cal. bullets. Also like Al said, making cores is not nearly as fun as it should be.

Dan Honert

Al Nyhus
12-13-2010, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the input, Dan. Like you, my next step is to straighten the sticks of core wire by rolling over them with a piece of hardwood.

Now it's over to the core cutter where we'll make big sticks into little pieces. Here's how the cutter is mounted. The white tray underneath is a disposable, single-use epidural anesthesia package. You'll see them a lot during my process.


Top view of the core cutter. In practice, the holes are lined up and the handle rotated to shear the material. The bushings that the wire goes through are fitted pretty closely to the core wire diameter, so it's well supported during the cutting operation. If you look closely, you can see the Allen head set screws that hold the bushings in place.


Here's how it looks with the bushings in alignment and ready to go. The Allen headed adjustment screw coming up from the bottom is how the weight of the cut core is determined.....shorter is lighter and longer is heavier.


The wire is fed through the cutter bushings, goes up against the stop screw, the handle is operated and viola'....a cut core plops into the tray. There's always a bit of a nub on the end of the sticks of core wire from the cutting plier, so I trim that off first.


Another shot with the stick of core wire loaded into the cutter. Now, repeat as many times as you want or until your sanity is at risk.;)


A cut core that's 2.5-3.0 gr. over what the finsihed weight will be works well for this setup. With other makers dies, this may be too much waste. My Blackmon core die has 3 'squirt' holes for excess material and unless all three of these are completely filled with 'squirt', the cores will drift a bit from the desired finished weight. Other dies with a fewer number of 'squirt' holes may be able to use use a cut core weight closer than what my setup requires. Don't know about that for sure...just know this setup.

Good shootin'. -Al

Al Nyhus
12-13-2010, 01:10 PM
Dan, here's another idea on how to possibly work with your core wire.

Initially, I mounted my 'spindle' on the leg of one of my work benches and fed it off that. I changed it around to better fit the space I have to work in and also so I can sit on a chair and pull wire. I mean, if the brain is going to be numbed from repetition, the butt should at least be comfortable...don'tcha think? :D


Dan H
12-13-2010, 05:08 PM
That looks like something I'm going to try Al, it is a better setup than I'm using and once done with the spool of
wire I could just unscrew the spindle and put it away.

Dan Honert

Al Nyhus
12-14-2010, 02:49 PM
Okay....here's 1,000 'cut' cores. These took about 1 hr. to do, more or less.


Lube is applied to the sides of a glass jar, then the cores are dumped in. Lots of lubes work for this step...Marvel Mystery Oil is a good one. I've also used a 50/50 mix of STP and Mobil 1 5W20.


Then the glass jar is plunked into the Thumblers Tumbler for 30 minutes. This model Thumbler (AR12) has a hexagonal shaped rubber barrel, so the jar just kind of flops around inside as it turns. This ensures a good distribution of lube. You don't want the jar too full of cores, as they need some room in the jar to move around.


After 30 minutes, they look like this...sort of a dull grey. Now, they're ready for the core swage (squirt) die.


12-14-2010, 03:09 PM

I know damb little about making bullets but I have question with the process at this point. You mentioned cutting the little nub that is left on the end of each stick first, that is the mis-shaped nub caused by the linemen's pliers, correct? Would it be possible to mount the spool of wire above the core cutter and run the lead wire through a "track" straight down to the cutter? This "track" would help straighten the wire and since you would be cutting right from the spool you wouldn't have a bunch of little nubs as waste. I assume both ends of each stick end up as a form of waste.

By the way, thank you for your time and efforts this is really turning out to be a great thread.


12-14-2010, 03:28 PM
Define Track...

As refered to in my post above I am thinking about a track similar to that of what the wire for a wire feed weld runs through. Since you wouldn't want the wire distorted in any way, the feed mechanism with is a knurled wheel would have to be left out. Anyway this knurled wheel goes against the wire and is powered as the wire runs through a sheeve, (grooved roller bearing). I'm thinking the wire could feed through a set of small bearings or pulleys, to a forcing cone and through a long spring. The spring would end at a tube and the tube would output to a free area where you could pull the wire straight to the cutter. The spring would help keep the wire inline until it got to the tube which would take the curl out of the wire.

You would pull down gently each time to get the core wire to hit the stop, once at the stop, cut the core and ease the next one into place to cut.

With this method you might want an anti free wheel device on the shaft which holds the spool, you could get humming right along so fast that when you stopped you would get a "birdnest", much like on a baitcasting reel.

Al Nyhus
12-14-2010, 04:25 PM
Paul, something along those lines would sure work. Randy Robinett has a slick core cutter that is made from a motorcycle crankshaft....it's 'way cool. Hopefully, he'll post a pic or two of it on this thread.

Thanks! -Al

Al Nyhus
12-14-2010, 04:50 PM
Time to squirt (swage) cores. The core die is screwed into the ram of the press. The press I use is the horizontal one from Larry Blackmon. I know most people use an upright press, but like Led Zeppelin sang: "The Song Remains the Same".


Then the punch holder with the core punch is threaded into the press.


A cut core is held against the core punch and the die advanced over the core and punch. The small extrusions of material coming out of the squirt holes in the die are the excess material (weight)....thus why a core swage die is often refered to as a 'squirt' die. Plus, 'squirt' is way more fun to say than 'swage'.....;)


As the handle is raised, the die retracts into the press and the 'squirts' are sheared off. What's sticking out of the die (on the rt. side) is the finished core. You can see how nice and square the ends are. The core is also perfectly round, since the swaging process brought it up to the i.d. of the die. You can see the squirts of core material lying on the white drop chute.


You adjust the lock ring on the punch holder to move the core punch in/out until you get to the desired weight of the core...just like adjusting a f.l. die in a press. With the weight of the jackets I'm using, a 77.3 gr. core is what I'm after.


The 'squirted' cores roll down a styrene chute and into a plastic tray. The lubed 'cut' cores are in the tray at the top, waiting their turn in the squirt die.


Things can get a bit messy at this point as you're handling the lubed cores.


12-14-2010, 09:45 PM
Al just a few questions. The core cutter just shears the lead wire as the handle is moved without any sort of sharp edge?

The other, is there a advantage to making your own cores over buying ready made cores for seating? Or is there still the squirting process for bought cores?

What about wearing surgical gloves when handling all the lead???????

Thanks in advance.


R.G. Robinett
12-15-2010, 08:23 AM
Hey, Al, reduce the [core-lube] tumble-time to 4-5 minutes . . . all of that lead-dust will, "go away"! ;)

GREAT pics!:o Please, no more of those rancid heavy-matal quotes - stick to more comprehensible lines, like, "Same S*^T, different day" ! :eek::p Remember, the Blackmon tools work 'upside-down', so you'll have to hold-off basakwards . . . Keep 'em ON the X!

Paul, Terry Meyer, pulls his wire straight off the roll (over-head mount), and into the core-cutter, skipping the straightening - I certain others do the same - but look what happens to his bullets! :p

Keep up the good work, Al!:) RG

12-15-2010, 08:35 AM
Thanks for you time in posting these Pics, Best bullet thread so far!

12-15-2010, 10:54 AM
Ditto to what Stevie Wonder said. Great Work Al!

Nobody calls me Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I'm the Dude, man


12-15-2010, 01:41 PM
also if you cut back on lube as randy said you won't need to squirt as much off. george

Al Nyhus
12-15-2010, 06:29 PM
George and Randy: Thanks for the tips..I'll try that next time. :) You know how I hate gettin' my delicate fingers all greasy and grimey. :D

Calvin: The edges of the bushing in the core cutter are fairly sharp edged. If you look at the ends of the cut cores (in the jar), you can see that the cut isn't exactly perfect, though. The squirt process squares up the ends. Never tried gloves.

Redrock (Steve): You've got the same setup..hang some pics of what you're doing on here and tell how you got into making your own booolets.

Apollo: The Dude abides.....:cool:

Al Nyhus
12-15-2010, 07:24 PM
Time to clean the cores. Coleman lantern fuel (white gas) works good. So does acetone, but it's tough on the hands. I put 1,000 cores in the 'wash' bucket, cover 'em with the lantern fuel and slosh 'em around to get the bulk of the lube off. Then, they go into a 'rinse' bucket with clean lantern fuel for the final rinse. The small stainless strainer fit inside the J4 buckets and catches any of the small bit of squirt, etc. Then, the cores are laid out to air dry.


Once they're dry, the cores go into this expanding colander that fits inside a stainless stockpot. The colander has several small standoffs on the bottom, so the cores are never directly against the bottom of the pot...just suspended in the boiling mix of Simple Green Concentrate and water. Some of these pics I'd posted before on the infamous other bullet making thread. After boiling them for 10 minutes, they're rinsed off with hot water and spread out on a cloth to air dry.





Now that they're dry, it's time to seat the cores in the jackets. Lots of guys use bullet trays that let you drop the cores right into the jackets, but I just use a simple piece of Delrin stock that I drilled with a 3/8" Forstener bit for 200 jackets. The cores are dropped one-by-one into the jackets. Like I said, this is a very simple setup.

The jackets are lubed just like the cores, but I only put 200 in each jar to make sure the lube is evenly dispersed. I tumble them for 30 minutes using R.G.'s 'Madrid Magic Jacket Lube and Hair Gel'.


Jerry Dailey
12-15-2010, 07:38 PM
Would you clarify the jacket lube? I have heard of all sorts of recipies but wonder what you use.
Thanks again

Al Nyhus
12-15-2010, 08:06 PM
Here's the core seater setup. From left to rt: punch holder with core seating punch, jacket with core installed, core seating die, internal die punch, ejector pin. The die shims give the ability to fine tune the last few thousandths of core seating pressure, rather than having to adjust the lock ring on the die.


The cored jacket is slipped over the core seating punch.


The die goes over the jacket, the punch seats the core and expands the jacket.


The handle is raised, the cored jacket is ejected from the die and rolls down into the tray.


The jacket on the left hasn't had the core seated. The jacket on the right is after the core is seated. You can clearly see that the flat base has started to be established. If you look closely, you can tell the jacket has been shortened by the core seating process.


Repeat 1,000 times.


There's a lot more to be said at this point as regards core seating pressure, core material makeup, and jacket shortening. All of these are interrelated and not everything exactly crosses over from one type of setup to another so there's no point in making statements that may be misconstrued as 'facts'.

I just know how my junk works.....:)

Melvin Calliham
12-15-2010, 08:25 PM
Good stuff!!! One of the best threads posted here:o

12-15-2010, 09:06 PM
Hey, Al, reduce the [core-lube] tumble-time to 4-5 minutes . . . all of that lead-dust will, "go away"! ;)

GREAT pics!:o Please, no more of those rancid heavy-matal quotes - stick to more comprehensible lines, like, "Same S*^T, different day" ! :eek::p Remember, the Blackmon tools work 'upside-down', so you'll have to hold-off basakwards . . . Keep 'em ON the X!

Paul, Terry Meyer, pulls his wire straight off the roll (over-head mount), and into the core-cutter, skipping the straightening - I certain others do the same - but look what happens to his bullets! :p

Keep up the good work, Al!:) RG

Yeah, they all get flattened in the burm after knockin the "X's" out!

12-15-2010, 10:59 PM

Neat setup. I use Blackmon dies and 3 RCBS RC presses. Once I get things adjusted and locked down, I leave them set. Can store presses with dies installed in 40 MM ammo cans. Toss in a sheet of gun wrap paper and I'm good to go.

I swage 224 bullets by the way. One could buy a bunch of fine bullets for the price of my setup, but making your own is sort of fun when it is raining or cold.

Keep up the good work and good shooting.


12-16-2010, 03:08 PM
Got a question: Any of you guys with top line BR rifles ever test to see if washed vs unwashed swaged cores really made a difference?

I don't mean the old "my buddy's dad's uncle's grandfather's bullet maker said" deal.

I mean a real test, of say 50 each, repeated enough times to be a valid test. It has been about 40 years since I took statistics so I don't know the necessary # of samples or the required repetions to be valid.

I don't have a top line rifle and I don't shoot in competition so 1 chance in 500, or even 1 in 100, isn't going to ruin my day.

Thanks and have a good one.


12-16-2010, 03:38 PM
Wow, Great interesting thread Al, thanks for taking the time to post it... Awaiting next installment....


12-16-2010, 08:10 PM
Wow, Great interesting thread Al, thanks for taking the time to post it... Awaiting next installment....


Me too.... I get home every night, and the first thing I do is fire up the computer to check this thread. Really got me thinkin'.

12-16-2010, 09:01 PM
Not knowing about the bullet making process how does one come to determine or know when you achieved a good core seating pressure?

Still waiting for an answer what the advantage of cutting your own cores over getting them cut allready?

I am loving this thread as well.


12-16-2010, 09:28 PM
Not knowing about the bullet making process how does one come to determine or know when you achieved a good core seating pressure?

Still waiting for an answer what the advantage of cutting your own cores over getting them cut allready?

I am loving this thread as well.


The only advantages that I see to making your own cores are 1---you're in control of the finished product,but Charlie Hood's cores are excellent IMO, and 2--- you save about $12/thousand cores. I'll buy mine.--Mike

Fla mac
12-17-2010, 08:08 AM
The only thing I do different is that I lubricate my core sticks before I cut them. And I have started to use Charlies' core (saves time).
Mims, Fl.

12-17-2010, 10:23 AM
Great thread Al,
the question that begs to be asked is, what does it cost to get started making your own bullets and how many need to be made before you really start seeing the savings over buying them from "X" maker.

Matt Guthrie

12-17-2010, 10:35 AM
I'm with George. I feel like I'm in Calfee country.

Al Nyhus
12-17-2010, 05:23 PM
.......how does one come to determine or know when you achieved a good core seating pressure? Calvin

That's one of the hardest aspects of bullet making to explain. I will say this:

Core seating pressure is the single most important thing you do when making bullets.

Different core material makeups (the % of antimony) may 'pressure up' differently when the cores are seated. Different lots of jackets may respond differently to the same amount of physical core shortening during seating. Not all the core material is as homogeneous as we expect it to be...there can be areas in the wire that are 'softer' or 'harder'. And the list goes on.

A small die like the Blackmon will actually flex a bit..it's possible during core seating to actually make the o.d. of the jacket larger than the i.d. of the die, given enough seating pressure. A big-bodied carbide die like the great one George Ulrich or Neimi Engineering make are not going to act the same way, for example.

At the very minimum, you need to seat the core with enough pressure so the jacket o.d. measure at least what the i.d of the die measures.

Al Nyhus
12-17-2010, 05:55 PM
Been busy with basketball games, on-call duty at work and family stuff...wasn't intentionally leaving anyone hanging.

But like John Wayne would say: "Let's get to the rat killin' ". :)

Here's an exploded view of the point die setup:
Punch holder with shims and internal punch, cored jacket, point die, ejector, ejector pin for the press. The press ejector fits into the slot in the ejector pin. The ejector pin remains stationary in the rams i.d. and the die moves over it. The shims are again used for final tweaking.


The jackets are relubed. I leave the lube from the core seating operation. A cored jacket is held against the base of the internal punch and the die advanced over the cored jacket by moving the press handle down. The punch holder is adjusted by moving the lock ring until the jacket goes far enough into the die so the metplat is fully formed and is small enough for the ejector pin to bear against so it can be ejected.


Now you've got a bullet. :cool: Make a few, then verify the bullet shank o.d. and the pressure ring o.d., plus measure the distance from the base to the ogive. The shank/pressure ring dimensions can be influenced by the amount and type of lube used. I have my own thoughts on base-to-ogive dimensions...but what I do may not be what others do in this area. Make sure the bullets measure consistently in your small sample before going any further. The most common cause of dimensional wandering is usually too much lube, in my experience.


Make up 40-50 bullets, then head out to the range and test 'em with a known good tuneup in your gun and in decent conditions.


Repeat 1,000 times.


Al Nyhus
12-17-2010, 06:30 PM
Great thread Al,
the question that begs to be asked is, what does it cost to get started making your own bullets and how many need to be made before you really start seeing the savings over buying them from "X" maker. Matt Guthrie

Hi, Matt. 'Ya know...that's a hard deal. Honestly, I didn't get into making my own bullets for any type of cost saving. I was intriqued by the whole process, had seen R.G. making bullets at his place and basically just wanted to see if I could make a good bullet. I knew from talking with Randy that Larry's dies made excellent bullets and he was kind enough to offer to mentor me through the process. One of R.G.'s gifts to me when I started was a bucket of 1.00" J4's to get me started and some of his lube, which I still use to this day. Heck, with that kind of support, how could I say no? ;) R.G. continues be be a fantastic source of info and we kick ideas back and forth on a regular basis. I continue to be thankful for all he's done for me...and in case I haven't said so publicly before:

Thank you, Randy Robinett! :cool:

As far as 'saving' money, at some point you do realize and save on a per-bullet basis. But the other side of the coin (pun intended) is that you generally have more up front costs when rollin' your own. The intial cost of the dies and other equipment is pretty easily amortized over time, but buying 6,000-8,000 jackets at a crack and several spools of core wire could be a bit burdensome, depending on a person's situation.

I know that if I ever tire of making bullets, I'd happily go back to shooting BIB's and pass over the money gladly.

Stay warm, buddy. -Al

12-17-2010, 06:44 PM
Thank you Al !

This brings back some great memories of sitting in Al Mirdochs shop watching the bullets being made and long talks with a good friend .

Merry Christmas everyone.


12-17-2010, 11:38 PM
Thanks for taking the time to explain the way you make bullets. I have just started making my own recently, and to this point, everything seems to be working well for me. I can core seat and do the point up 1000 times with little problem. To this day I haven't figured out how to repeat the .074" group 1000 times, but I'm not giving up on it.


12-18-2010, 08:29 AM
Thanx Al,
I like the thought of making my own but it sure sounds like a huge commitment of funds.
I sure am glad there are guys out there that offer such good bullets to BR shooters.

Matt Guthrie

12-18-2010, 08:46 AM
I just ordered my die set from blackmon. I didn't even ask what the current lead time was when I ordered them. If I get them in a year I'll be happy as I know he's real busy right now.

12-18-2010, 08:55 AM
Matt, I do not make bullets at this time but occasionally I think about it. After seeing this thread I am beginning to feel more like I would like to make my own. Living outside of the US it is definately HARDER to get the bullets. I shoot Opel bullets made hear in Canada but he is one maker. How long can and willing is he to go on????? I hope a LONG time. For me I am not sure if it is the big commitment of funds to get started but I would not let that scare me away. One may not get going in one year but could buy the tools as the money allows. I would shop around for 3 used RC presses or any other heavy duty presses. The dies would be the biggest expense. I am not even sure what they run cost wise and who all makes dies?

The bottom line is I basically hibernate from the time it gets cold out and snows till it starts to warm up out there and melt. It would be a good way to pass some time. It would even feel that much better if you can produce a winning bullet for yourself like Al has for himself.

Thanks again for your time Al. This was an enjoyable read.


Al Nyhus
12-18-2010, 08:58 AM
Matt, I should rephase what I said about cost....the up front component costs can be trimmed significantly from my example.

J4 will sell a single bucket of jackets. And a single roll of core wire from Crown Metals isn't much more than you'd spend taking the wife or girlfriend out for a nice dinner, a movie and a couple of drinks. If a guy approaches it from that angle, it's more realistic from a cost standpoint. And if you make some bullets for a pal or two, you get to the break even point pretty fast.

Randy told me one thing that's always stuck in my mind:

The problem with making good bullets is that people want to buy 'em from 'ya. :eek:

Al Nyhus
12-18-2010, 09:15 AM
Seems like we're off to a decent start. My hope is that this will continue as others add their thoughts and expertise. There's a fair amount of people out there that roll their own.

The floor is yours......:) -Al

P.S. If anyone needs help posting pics, I'd be happy to assist.

12-18-2010, 09:54 AM
Okay so I decide I want to start rolling my own 6mm bullets on 790 jackets for my own use. Knowing there are numerous die makers out there what would work for me? Recommendations?


Al Nyhus
12-19-2010, 10:49 AM
There are a couple of positives to making your own cores.

Jacket weights can and do vary from run to run. In the three years I've been making bullets on the 1.00" J4 jackets, the weights have run from a low 39.7 to a high of 41.3. Using cores with a 'fixed' weight, the finished bullet would have varied 1.6 gr., depending on the jacket weight. Smart money would be to have Charlie make the cores either based on the average jacket weight (if you've used enough different lots of jackets to find an 'average') or determine the high and low weights of the jackets and have the cores made to plop squarely in the middle of the variance.

Another reason is if you like to experiment with the percentage of antimony in the cores. I like a higher percentage in my cores than most use. That goes hand in hand with my thoughts on core seating pressures in these .30's. A higher antimony percentage also keeps the lead build up at the edge of the core seating punch to a minimum.

My core squirt die makes a .252 diameter core, which plunks nicely down into any of the jackets weights. The Hood cores I've used were more like .257 and needed a bit of light encouragement to get to the bottom of some of the heavier jacket weights. I always worry about air getting trapped between the bottom of the core and the base of the jacket internally....though that's probably just some of my preconcieved notions of "what if's?". :rolleyes:

All that said, I've used Charlie's .05 % antimony 77.3 gr. cores in the 39.7 gr. jackets and they just shoot great. I had a pretty abbreviated season this year, but did manage a 100 yd. Agg. win at the IBS Score Nationals with this combo, followed up a couple of weeks later with a 100-200 yd.Two Gun Score win at Webster City, Iowa with the same core/jacket combos.

Reality sometimes makes us rethink what we 'know' as 'fact'......:o

Bill Scheider
12-19-2010, 10:53 AM
Okay so I decide I want to start rolling my own 6mm bullets on 790 jackets for my own use. Knowing there are numerous die makers out there what would work for me? Recommendations?


For new dies, I would recommend George Ulrich's as the most cost effecrtive carbide dies.


Pete Wass
12-19-2010, 04:54 PM
I have wondered if the meplat is scrunched in or drawn up to it's cone? Sorry, I realize this is a dumb question but I'm old :)

12-19-2010, 05:44 PM
Good points about making your own cores, Al.--Mike

12-20-2010, 10:37 AM
Great thread, Al - thanks a million!

12-20-2010, 11:52 AM
I have wondered if the meplat is scrunched in or drawn up to it's cone? Sorry, I realize this is a dumb question but I'm old :)

Pete, the meplat is formed during the point up operation i guess you could call it scrunched in,actually it is a by product of the ejection pin dia. i'm talking about open tip bullets soft points are a wholr different deal.bullet is pressedin forming tip and meplat is formed to a dia. that is small enough for the ejection pin to push bullet back out. george

Melvin Calliham
12-20-2010, 02:20 PM
I just ordered my die set from blackmon. I didn't even ask what the current lead time was when I ordered them. If I get them in a year I'll be happy as I know he's real busy right now.

Does he have a website??

12-20-2010, 04:33 PM

not much info on the page, just a template really. but his contact info is on the site.

Steve Grosvenor
12-27-2010, 10:19 AM
Great Thread, thanks to all that take there time to document and post pictures, very helpful. Just a Couple from my setup, have a LONG ways to go but with the Help of Al Nyhus and others the learning curve time is decreasing.

Will have to change this spool setup for sure, this is temporary.

Mounted core cutter @ end of bench with c clamp, wasn't sure that's where it would stay.

I just hang a jacket bucket under the core cutter

I followed Al's advice and built a jacket holder.
Seated cores

More to come as I build a more permanent set-up.

Al Nyhus
01-02-2011, 12:07 PM
Pointed up 1,000 this morning and decided to add a few more pics. Filled the coffee cup with Island Blend, tossed in Springsteen's 2010 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' double disc set and got to it.....

I like to warm up the point die using a small hair dryer. Every 1,000 jackets, the pivot pins get lubed with a mixture of Permatex clear Ultra Lube and moly paste. A gawd-awful mess, but it works.


The jar holds 1,000 core seated jackets that have been lubed and ready for pointing. A couple hundred are dumped into a new plastic tray and I work out of that. You can see a small rubber cap over the end of the point up punch to protect the end of the punch from getting dinged. Unless I'm actually pointing bullets, it's always on. Don't ask how I learned that lesson. :o


Probably the most important thing I have is this little notebook. It contains jacket lot numbers, weights, actual jacket length, how much the jackets shorten with different cores/lubes and basically any other pertinent info or observations. For a beginning bullet maker, I can't stress enough how important it is to keep careful notes.


Another 'K' done. The lube is left on until they're ready to be used, then rinsed off with acetone. The acetone flashes off quickly and does a nice job of removing any lube that may get behind the hollow point. The black streaks on the styrene drop tray are from the bullet as it rolls down...one from the back end and one from the front.


Dan H
01-11-2011, 05:45 PM
First picture I'm showing an O Ring between the squirt die and the ram. Mr. Robinette gave me a heads up on this as without the o-ring my die kept getting loose and my core weights were all over the place.

Second pic shows the shoulder bolt that I got from Al Nyhus (to replace the orginal pivot pin), it works great and is kept well lubed. The old pin was always working out and sometimes caused a problem with consistancy in all three stages.

Third pic show some squirted cores in the jacket pail and some rough cores that have been lubed and waiting to be squirted.

My operation isn't nearly as neat as Al's

I need some help getting the pictures and comments like yours Al

Dan Honert

Al Nyhus
01-11-2011, 06:46 PM
Dan, I sent your pics to Photobucket and uploaded 'em here in a larger format.




Glad to hear the replacement shoulder bolt worked well. :) I know it improved the consistency of my press. Good tip on the 'o' ring. I found a small little strap wrench and that lets me tighten the dies enough so they don't back off....though the 'o' ring may offer the added benefit of making the die 'float' and self center.

Photobucket is a great site to use for hosting pics. I'd be happy to walk you through the steps, if you'd like.

Good shootin'. -Al

Dan H
01-11-2011, 07:31 PM
That would be great Al, I would appreciate the help.


Al Nyhus
01-23-2011, 12:51 PM
Randy Robinett and George Ulrich gave some advice about dropping the lube time down on my cores. Today, I finally had a chance to do that and it helped quite a bit. I've been experimenting with different lubes for the core squirting operation....Marvel Mystery Oil, Kroil, a 50/50 mix of STP and Mobil 1 5w30, plus a few more.

What I used today was R.G.'s brew of anhydrous lanolin and pure neats foot oil and a 5 minute tumble time. The cores were cleaner, I didn't have to 'squirt' off as much and the finished cores showed less weight variance than before. Plus, my fingers are really smooth and soft from all that lanolin......:D

Thanks, Randy and George!


01-23-2011, 02:31 PM
and that box in the background sais a lot too.... Rock, .30 cal, 1in17 twist, LV taper Looks like a new vfs barrel in the makes.

Thanks Al and Dan and Steve and George and Randy.

01-23-2011, 06:00 PM
After see that i will never cuss at the cost of my bullets again

Fla mac
01-23-2011, 07:54 PM
When I make cores I lube before cutting.
john Mims, Fl.