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Swage Your Metford-Pritchett Balls at Home! (Read 761 times)
Aug 5th, 2010 at 5:04pm

Southron   Offline
Senior Member
Georgia, USA

Posts: 304
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Continuing my comments on swaging Metford-Pritchett Balls:

A decent machinist can make up a set of swaging dies for the .550 diameter Metford-Pritchett Balls that will fit on an "off the dealers shelf"  RCBS "O" Press. I know because I swaged thousands and thousands of Metford-Pritchett Balls on my RCBS "O" Press back in the 1970's & 80's!

The last swaging die I had for that RCBS was designed so that the part of the die that formed the base cavity was screwed into the top of the press. The ram that came on the press was replaced by a special ram that was the die for the body and nose of the bullet.

The Hollow Point former also served as the ejector.

Keep in mind when you are swaging these Metford-Pritchett balls you must have a die that is TOUGH to withstand the stresses created during the swaging process. You are also nearing the stress limits of the RCBS press. You have to use a "Cheater" pipe on the handle to swage bullets because you need the leverage!

The only problem with using the Hollow Point former as the ejector is IF the core is not adequately LUBED, during the ejection process, the HP former will punch thru the bullet and you will be left with a bullet stuck in your die!

What I found that the best way to go is to cast your cores out of pure lead-weigh them-and then run them thru the swage. I FOUND THAT BY LEAVING THE BULLET (formed from a weighed core) IN THE PRESS FOR 60 SECONDS (To let the bullet "weep" its excess lead) I COULD HOLD MY SWAGED METFORD-PRITCHETT BALLS TO "Plus or Minus" 1/2 Grain!

So, I am rather suprised that the long range shooters in England aren't using swaged Metford-Pritchett Balls today. The top British NRA P-53 shooters certainly did back in the 19th Century!

Like I said, any decent machinist can make up a set of dies for .550 Metford-Pritchett balls. Hopefully some of Y'all will take up the callenge on your side of the pond.

I am sure that the long range shooters will be pleased with swaged balls!
 
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Reply #1 - Aug 8th, 2010 at 5:22pm

Southron   Offline
Senior Member
Georgia, USA

Posts: 304
****
 
Oh Yes, one last comment:

During the swaging process, your lead cores must be adequately lubed or you risk getting a bullet stuck in the die.

For years I used expensive lube concoctions sold by commercial sources. I even tried lanolin (highly recommended by some!) I would apply the lube to each core individually by rolling it on a pad containing the lube.

The problem with the commercial lubes was that you get a "build up" of lube in the die and sooner or later, start getting "hydraulic dimples" (usually in the nose or HP area of the bullet.) Then you have to stop swaging to clean out the die.

Then I discovered the kitchen sensation, spray on "PAM." This is a product sold in supermarkets. You are supposed to spray PAM on a frying pan before you start frying in it on the stove. PAM is designed to keep foods from "sticking" to the frying pan during cooking.

Instead of hand lubing each and every core before inserting it in the swage die, I would spray PAM on a pan containing several hundred cores, move them over, spray the other side and happily swage away with out worrying about getting "hydraulic dents!"

Being naturally cheap, I have started using a "Generic" cooking spray rather than PAM. The generic cooking spray works just as good as PAM, but is cheaper!

So, if you do decide to try swaging your own bullets, try the "PAM" or "Generic Non-Stick Cooking Spray" lube-It works wonderfully and it takes only a few minutes to harden after it is sprayed on!
 
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