Modifications to a press to swage bullets

Fuzzy HoleFuzzy Hole Member Posts: 18 ✭✭
Can anyone enlighten me (pictures would also help a lot) regarding the best modifications needed to a reloading press to hold the punches etc. to swage bullets? I wish to get either an RCBS A2 or RCBS Big Max press to swage with rather than a new swaging press all set up. Also if anyone knows the value of these two presses it would help in the purchase. Thanks much!


  • fire for effectfire for effect Member Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Reloading presses are really not strong enough to swage Bullets. There are swage dies available so that you can make .223 bullets out of .22LR brass, and there are dies made so that you can swage lead bullets. If you are wanting to swage copper jacketed bullets, then you need to get a swaging press.

  • B17-P51B17-P51 Member Posts: 2,066 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There was a pretty good article on this matter in shooting times magazine just recently. maybe oct or nov issue.
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,535 ******
    edited November -1
    Fuzzy Hole,

    Here are some examples of standard presses being used for making jacketed bullets. These happen to be from Spencer's Rifle Barrels:




    Lots of bullet makers that I know use reloading presses to produce some of the finest bullets available.

  • Fuzzy HoleFuzzy Hole Member Posts: 18 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks everyone!
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    I would think that any of the really beefy presses- Rockchucker or above- would handle it. I don't think any MAJOR mods are needed, though I've not done it. The pics above show a few threaded metal rods and a few beefy metal plates added to the presses. So I think someone with a drill press and lathe could probably manage; I'd be curious to know myself. CH4D has a line of swaging stuff I'd check there first.

    On the other hand, to swage lead bullets you don't need any thing major.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 30,917 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi all; the weak link is the mouth of the ram where the shell holder fits in. There is precious little true strenght in that area. You can collapse the ram in that spot by swaging bullets.

    I have used a RCBS BIG MAX press and swaged Dave Corbins 22RF bullets with great success. I have NOT used a bullet swage press but can see where the design would make life a lot better.
  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    From the pictures nononsence posted all you need is a A-2 or Big Max press and the dies. If you can locate the issue of Shooting times, there was a very good story about swaging in it
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