Point Forming

The last step in swaging bullets is point forming – this is the final result:

55 grain bullets

55 grain bullets

One more die is used to form the point on the bullet.  Again, the jacket/core is pushed into the die with a punch; the pressure pushes the bullet into the cavity, which has been adjusted so the amount of force is just right to form the point, expand the bullet to its final diameter (.224) and form the base of the bullet.  As BT Sniper puts it, “this is where the magic happens”.

After adjusting and locking down the die, it’s a simple event… insert the lubricated jacket/core and out comes a perfectly formed bullet!  Assuming, of course, that everything leading up to this point has been executed correctly.  For example, if the brass wasn’t properly annealed, the point will fold over and create a blemish.  If the brass is over-lubricated, pressure dents will form near the tip of the bullet.  The goal, of course, is to create bullets with as few flaws as possible.

Since we’re using .22LR brass as jackets, they’ll never be truly perfect.  Often, the firing pin will punch a small hole in the brass which ends up near the base of the bullet.  Sometimes its visible; often the hole closes up almost entirely.

Again, the auto-ejection system is a tremendous aid to productivity.  A pin inside the die is pushed downward to eject the bullet as the press handle is lowered.  And, the catch tray is there so the bullet doesn’t fall to the floor.

Before they’re declared done, the finished bullets go through one more round of wet tumbling. This isn’t absolutely necessary…  but they look good!

55 grain bullets

55 grain bullets

So, the obvious next question is how do they shoot…?  That will be the subject of a more in-depth discussion, but my results indicate that at a minimum, they’re completely consistent with commercial, bulk 55gr FMJ bullets in my AR.  Other swagers report that they’re able to achieve less than 1 MOA when they have tight controls on their processes and quality.

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