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I'm thinking very seriously of getting a class 6 license, and producing some bullets for sale.

What bullets would you guys buy, and what would you pay for them? For, say, 100, or a 1,000?

My rough plan is swaging, so I can include full metal jackets.


"A bunch of us went down to Gettysburg.
Some of us didn't come back.
If you weren't there, you'll never understand." --Unknown Infantryman
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Seattle | Registered: 13 September 2008Reply With Quote
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I have been making my own 6mm and 308 bullets for several years. I use these to shoot score, and group, 100,200,300 yd. benchrest. I do not make any bullets to sell. I do not have the time to do so. Making quality jacketed bullets takes time and attention. From cutting cores, lubing them, forming them, then degreasing and seating them to degreasing jackets then lubing them, seating the cores and pointing up the bullets, many minutes tick off of the clock. When I was buying bullets, (2-3000 at a time) from a friend, I had no real respect for the amount of time and labor involved.
I'm not trying to discourage you. There is always a market for good bullets but, it does require a lot of time and labor. Rising copper and lead prices have not helped either. Buy good quality dies and presses. Cheapo equipment will wear out quickly and produce sub quality results. Good Luck in your venture.
 
Posts: 868 | Location: maryland | Registered: 25 July 2004Reply With Quote
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It was my great good fortune to talk briefly with a customer of Dave Corbins who was close to retiring and said he was being frank with me.

Surprise. He said that Mr. Dave presents all the positives and makes it sound easy. It is a business. Recently someone remarked that many a "loved" hobby has been turned into a HATE by trying to make a business out of it. (And per small bus Ad', 8 out of 10 new businesses fail).

You willing to do the work, build the business, etc... Yes, you can succeed. Mr. Pope moved to San Francisco and planned to open the day of the famous "Quake." That would hurt. (But who knows, FEMA might restart things for you, today, and buy your first 100,000 bullets at any price you ask... ha, ha).

If you don't want it so bad you can taste it, not likely. luck
 
Posts: 519 | Registered: 29 August 2007Reply With Quote
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I am reminded of a story about the author Sommerset Maughm. Supposedly a young fella handed Maughm a manuscript, very, very thick and asked, "Should I be a novelist?" Maughm hefted the book and handed it back to the fell and said, "No" politely. The young fella whine, "How can you tell? You didn't even look at my work." Maughm said, "If you are meant to be a novelist, you won't have to ask."
 
Posts: 519 | Registered: 29 August 2007Reply With Quote
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correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the type 6, ammo manufacturer ffl not needed for bullets, only loaded ammunition?

I've been debating getting the corbin swaging dies to swage .224 fmj's for fodder ammo in my AR. I'm currently buying pulled mil-surp bullets and loading those, they run about $65 a thousand, and I doubt you would want to beat that.

Not to go off topic but can my lyman orange crusher press swage? Corbin says a rockchucker can, and I don't see how the OC can be any weaker.

If you start swaging 270gr or 300 gr soft points for .375 and can do better than $50 a hundred shoot me a PM.
 
Posts: 226 | Location: south carolina | Registered: 05 March 2005Reply With Quote
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if you are going to sell them you need a class 6 lic.
 
Posts: 82 | Location: az | Registered: 26 April 2005Reply With Quote
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You've probably noticed that there a lot of big bore shooters who would love to be able to buy bullets in their odd calibers that aren't premium hunting bullets. In other words, paper punching bullets for calibers like the 416 Rigby, the 404 Jeffery, the .505 Gibbs, etc. I'll be a buyer of reasonably priced 400 grain bullets in .423 for my 404 Jeffery.


_________________________________

AR, where the hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history become the nattering nabobs of negativisim.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: Rambouillet, France | Registered: 25 June 2004Reply With Quote
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Being in business myself there is one thing I learned and one thing I would change if I was to go into business again…. killpc

Learned: People will think nothing of wasting your time.
Change: What ever you do, do in increments of a thousand.

Cool
 
Posts: 213 | Location: ┌\oo/┐ Tick infested woods of N.Y. | Registered: 26 March 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by vinnyg:
Change: What ever you do, do in increments of a thousand.


Not sure I could sell a thousand $2.50 boolits...


"A bunch of us went down to Gettysburg.
Some of us didn't come back.
If you weren't there, you'll never understand." --Unknown Infantryman
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Seattle | Registered: 13 September 2008Reply With Quote
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I think a good business exists in the less popular bullet sizes, or even in the more so.
Priced a Nosler Partition in big bore lately?

I got a set of swaging dies yesterday to go with my Walnut Hill press. .458" caliber.

Rich
Buff Killer
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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I would love to see a larger choice of 6.5mm/.264cal bullets. I have found less then 5 different types that work in my rifle, the rest are the wicked light stuff that dose not.
Larger/heaver bullets work in most surplus and rebarreled 6.5x55 rifles. Wink You would probably be selling to me if you did such a thing.Wink


Disabled Vet(non-combat) - US Army
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Hunter, trapper, machinest, gamer, angler, and all around do it your selfer.
Build my own CNC router from scratch. I installed the hight wrong. My hight moves but the rails blocks 3/4 of the hight.....
 
Posts: 934 | Location: North Anson Maine USA | Registered: 27 October 2008Reply With Quote
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I saw some nice 15-caliber radius ogive 6.5mm 180gr softpoints yesterday. Is that what you mean?

Rich
Buff Killer
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Idaho Sharpshooter:
I saw some nice 15-caliber radius ogive 6.5mm 180gr softpoints yesterday. Is that what you mean?

Rich
Buff Killer


YES!
I have yet to see 180's!!!!!
clap


Disabled Vet(non-combat) - US Army
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Hunter, trapper, machinest, gamer, angler, and all around do it your selfer.
Build my own CNC router from scratch. I installed the hight wrong. My hight moves but the rails blocks 3/4 of the hight.....
 
Posts: 934 | Location: North Anson Maine USA | Registered: 27 October 2008Reply With Quote
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I m looking for a few bullets I can use on small game, med game and fur baring critters.
Now for me the less I need to buy the better. I do cast but I would love to make SJ's or find someone who dose.
SJ's - Short Jacket
I knew of these a while back but I m about to test some out in the M1 carbine. They Look to me almost like a cast bullet that has a larger gas check so I can push at jacketed speeds. So if I was able to get a swage kit for that, damn I d be one happy camper!

Best of luck in your new business!
James


Disabled Vet(non-combat) - US Army
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Hunter, trapper, machinest, gamer, angler, and all around do it your selfer.
Build my own CNC router from scratch. I installed the hight wrong. My hight moves but the rails blocks 3/4 of the hight.....
 
Posts: 934 | Location: North Anson Maine USA | Registered: 27 October 2008Reply With Quote
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You will need lead and jackets and I think only a few places make them. J4 makes them or at least use to. And your arm and press are in for a workout.
 
Posts: 67 | Location: Possum Hollow, IN | Registered: 09 February 2009Reply With Quote
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proplinker,

yep, know what you mean. You need a good limit credit card, so when good jackets in a size you can use come up, you can buy 5-10,000. I am still waffling between a core mould and shelling out for wire. So far, it's just the .458's, but I would like to make 375, 416, 470, and .585's for myself.

Rich
Buff Killer
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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I buy my jackets from Sierra, or did. Haven't bought any lately, so don't know if they still sell them, but don't see why they wouldn't.

Never tried to buy any from any of the other majors.

David


DRSS member

Do what you can with what you've got where you are. TR
 
Posts: 82 | Location: Cody, Wyoming | Registered: 17 March 2006Reply With Quote
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with hornady now making, even if not entirely in the market yet, .416, .423, .458, .475, .510 bullets -- and "only" at 1.20 each, OR LESS, that doesn't leave very much margin for a guy to break in with an unbonded bullet...

remember to get your licenses to make-for-sale bullets


opinions vary band of bubbas and STC hunting Club

Information on Ammoguide about the416AR, 458AR, 470AR, 500AR
Order AR/AccRel Brass
What is an AR round? Case Drawings 416-458-470AR and 500AR.
476AR,
http://www.weaponsmith.com
 
Posts: 36096 | Location: Conroe, TX | Registered: 01 June 2002Reply With Quote
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what the jeffe says, with one exception; I doubt they will offer brass/bullets/loaded ammunition for some of the obsolete less popular cartridges.
Somehow, I don't see Hornady selling .700 NE bullets, or things like the .465 H&H or such.
If you plan to sell enough bullets to pay for your equipment to a F-E-W people, and buy components that is a different story.
IE, I got a set of swaging dies for a .458" bullet. I can make softpoints or solids, or TMJ bullets. I wouldn't try to compete with Hornady, but a set of .550 or .700 caliber softs and solids would be enough extra income to make the difference.

You got to pick a caliber that would only have competition from the (expensive) custom bullet makers.

JMHO...

Rich
Buff Killer
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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What happened to June 30 /09 encoding laws ? seems to me that making bullets would be a waste of money and time unless you have encoding equipment ! 2011 is or was deadline for all bullets to be destroyed unless encoded ! or was it all ammo ? I worked for a company 1982 That tried bullet making , FAILED ! went to making battery lead connections ,molds coast then $50,000 + today Japan or Asian made $12,000 or less ! Bullet making is not a good investment !


Don't take the chip !
 
Posts: 578 | Location: PA | Registered: 21 March 2007Reply With Quote
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boy, a lot of people who make cast or swaged bullets are going to be surprised to hear bullet making is not a good investment. Especially people like Barnes who have been at it nearly forty years. Thank you for that pearl of wisdom.
Watch me go after the deadline, which currently exists only in your fertile mind! In your honor I cast up about 300 350grGC bullets for my .416 Rigby CZ.


Rich
Buff Killer
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Concho42:
What happened to June 30 /09 encoding laws ? seems to me that making bullets would be a waste of money and time unless you have encoding equipment ! 2011 is or was deadline for all bullets to be destroyed unless encoded ! or was it all ammo ?


aint no such thing --


opinions vary band of bubbas and STC hunting Club

Information on Ammoguide about the416AR, 458AR, 470AR, 500AR
Order AR/AccRel Brass
What is an AR round? Case Drawings 416-458-470AR and 500AR.
476AR,
http://www.weaponsmith.com
 
Posts: 36096 | Location: Conroe, TX | Registered: 01 June 2002Reply With Quote
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It's really tough to swage and sell bullets that are made "one at a time"... I did it back in the 70's when there weren't so many good quality premium bullets forsale, but today???

I still have all of my swage equipment, but there's no way i'd try to compete with what's forsale today... Back in the 70's there were only about 2 or 3 of us making "bonded core" bullets, and it was still hard to make any money when i figured in my labor...

DM
 
Posts: 696 | Location: Upper Midwest, USA | Registered: 07 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Hello,

If you were to make Plinker bullets and sell them as such. You might get away with using 40 S&W cases for jackets. They will work in .410 to .424 easily, are very accurate and make a good light hunting load.
They are also stupid cheap to make.

Just a thought,
John


Give me COFFEE and nobody gets hurt
 
Posts: 1608 | Location: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: 04 January 2010Reply With Quote
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Hello,
I've had a few days to think on this and one of the posters had it nailed.
There are no cheap cup and core bullets for the larger African calibers.
For every one guy that goes to Africa with his 505 Gibbs,there must be 500 who own one and dream of going.
See just how cheaply you can make the bullets for, lets say a 600 OK, and factor it from there.
As far as breaking into the market, if you make a decent product at a good price and can make the delivery dates. Then you could sell them on this forum and many other forums for that matter.

Cheers,
John coffee


Give me COFFEE and nobody gets hurt
 
Posts: 1608 | Location: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: 04 January 2010Reply With Quote
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You have to produce something that nobody else does but that has a volume use. Also that they cannot make themselves by casting.

I did this in England (before the handgun ban) using Corbin equipment to swage lead bullets in the original factory style for the 455 Webley. The 265gn HBRN and the 218gn Mk III and Mk IV "Manstopper".

The problem is is that others then see the market you have created and also start to move in on it.

So I sold the Corbin stuff and had RCBS do a special run of one hundred moulds for the 265gn HBRN.

Less effort and about the same profit!

I actually think that you might have a better market in "bumping up" ready bought factory bullets to exotic sizes.

For example making 243" bullets into 245" for the Holland 240 and 244 as except for the "bumping" all the work is done for you!

Another bullet maybe would be concealed hollow cavity for magazine rifles as was once made in England.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by enfieldspares:


I actually think that you might have a better market in "bumping up" ready bought factory bullets to exotic sizes.

For example making 243" bullets into 245" for the Holland 240 and 244 as except for the "bumping" all the work is done for you!

Another bullet maybe would be concealed hollow cavity for magazine rifles as was once made in England.


I think EnfieldSpares has made a good point here.

Once you have enough customers to have problems of finding enough time to fill orders, it might be a very advantageous strategy. Especially if you are bumping already-made bullets UP, so the jackets stay tight and the bullets accurate.

Until then, though, you might do well to try both sized up bullets AND ones you've made completely "from scratch". The ones made from scratch will likely be at least a wee bit less expensive to make, and you'll have the time to spare at first....not only for making the bullets, but for finding scrap lead, jacket bargains, etc.
 
Posts: 9685 | Location: Cave Creek 85331, USA | Registered: 17 August 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by cv1973:
if you are going to sell them you need a class 6 lic.


Only need the Type 6 if you are going to sell loaded ammunition.

John
 
Posts: 8 | Location: SW Virginia | Registered: 15 March 2010Reply With Quote
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There are lots of folks still shooting th .348 Winchester.
Hornady and a few others make jacketed bullets, but those do not meet California non-lead standards. Hornady only makes a 200 grain jacketed bullet.
Unfortunately, the all gilding metal bullets that were once available from Barnes are now obsolete, but there is still a very high demand for them. (When a box appears on Gunbroker, it does not last long.)
If you add 180 grain and 230 grain monolithics in the 348 caliber to what you would consider making, they would be in demand if you could make them at a competitive cost.I have traded messages with Dave from Leihigh Bullets and he is considering making all brass (frangible) 348s. (Frangible means they break up on impact. Dave's bullets send petals flying and the core holds up for deep penetration, unlike the Barnes X bullets which have petals that open and the bullets retain over 90% weight.)
Bob Nisbet


Bob Nisbet
DRSS & 348 Lever Winchester Lover
Temporarily Displaced Texan
If there's no food on your plate when dinner is done, you didn't get enough to eat.
 
Posts: 799 | Location: Texas and Alabama | Registered: 07 January 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by John Buchanan:
quote:
Originally posted by cv1973:
if you are going to sell them you need a class 6 lic.


Only need the Type 6 if you are going to sell loaded ammunition.

John


Wrong
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Jammer Six:
quote:
Originally posted by vinnyg:
Change: What ever you do, do in increments of a thousand.


Not sure I could sell a thousand $2.50 boolits...


If you are thinking of selling bullets that will cost $2.50 each (lets say .270 .375) IMO your business will crash and burn because your prices will be out of reach.
Noslers, Barnes, swift, Woodleighs, etc would all be selling below what you are pricing yours at.


My biggest fear is when I die my wife will sell my guns for what I told her they cost.
 
Posts: 6351 | Location: Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee | Registered: 22 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Jammer Six,

We think it is great that you are considering a new bullet business. Be us, it is very rewarding (lots of shooting) but it is very difficult. You just have to determine which 16hrs of the day you want to work. Try to find a niche and then read as many books, autobiographies, technicial designs, patents as you can choke down. Determine if there are some good ideas that you can mold into your own. Once you do this, then you will have to put out lots of cash for tooling, marketing (most important), and government. Then try to get a story posted in a shooting magazine. Then get ready for everyone to ask you for free samples.

Please call us if you have any questions, and good luck. The more competition makes us all better and brings better products to the market for those of us who still just like to shoot and hunt.

Regards,
North Fork Technologies


North Fork Technologies
www.northforkbullets.com
 
Posts: 158 | Location: Philomath, Oregon | Registered: 26 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by North Fork:
Jammer Six,

We think it is great that you are considering a new bullet business. Be us, it is very rewarding (lots of shooting) but it is very difficult. You just have to determine which 16hrs of the day you want to work. Try to find a niche and then read as many books, autobiographies, technicial designs, patents as you can choke down. Determine if there are some good ideas that you can mold into your own. Once you do this, then you will have to put out lots of cash for tooling, marketing (most important), and government. Then try to get a story posted in a shooting magazine. Then get ready for everyone to ask you for free samples.

Please call us if you have any questions, and good luck. The more competition makes us all better and brings better products to the market for those of us who still just like to shoot and hunt.

Regards,
North Fork Technologies

This is a good post from a company that makes very good bullets.
 
Posts: 908 | Location: Western Colorado | Registered: 21 June 2006Reply With Quote
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Dear North Fork Tech:

You earned my respect with that post.

Have a good day!


"A bunch of us went down to Gettysburg.
Some of us didn't come back.
If you weren't there, you'll never understand." --Unknown Infantryman
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Seattle | Registered: 13 September 2008Reply With Quote
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I have made bullets both swaged and cnc lathed. The material cost is high and there are many things that will increase your cost. If you do the labor yourself you will find it can make a profit but the profit may not be enough to justify the cost. If you really are serious start with a hand operated press and do not spend a ton of money until you learn how to make them. I found it not worth the time and effort and now see that bullets like north forks are not expensive but really a bargain when you know what it takes to make a profit
 
Posts: 149 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: 02 September 2010Reply With Quote
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I have been working with a friend of mine who ran a custom bullet making business for several years. He was making something like 30 different calibers with many variations. He started the business after suffering several bullet failures as an animal control officer in Rhodesia. When a cupro nickel 11.2 slug won't stop a buffalo or explodes on the surface of a Bull Elephant it is time to get a tougher bullet. He ran his business until 2002 and still receives letters of interest on a regular basis from his comrades in Africa. We have been looking at starting up production again specializing in niche markets. I am selling off all the loose stuff now.
As I understand it there are many ways to make better than average bullets for those interested and willing to pay for the extra quality. Having shot many of his heavies and seeing the differences in average and some so-called premium bullets I can see where these tougher bullets will sell.
Some may be selling the swagged bullet for as much as $2.50 or $3 and by using Corbin's business plan there can be a profit for the small business to succeed. It is a measure of "success" that anyone interested in starting needs to evaluate for themselves.
Will it be a One-person endeavor?
Will there be a retirement plan in the future? Is this for the retired who may believe that time is of a lower hourly worth?
Are you providing bullets for yourself and selling to pay for your own use. ? I know I am doing this to fill my need for calibers not easily found on the shelf!
Anyone able to send me a thousand 425 grain 11.2 bullets?
How about a thousand 130 grain .257 solids?
Maybe a couple hundred .620 900 grainers, or 875 grainers or whatever.
Material costs are high and distribution costs are high and so is coffee and fuel and meat and so should premium hand made bullets be. So for those who know and are willing to accept the higher price there will be a niche to fill. That is why we still see power-wagons and hummers and all the other gas guzzlers out there on the road.
I agree about starting small and growing. I did that with a couple of businesses and grew them and sold them when I began to hate them. Be aware that you may do the same with your hobby here as well.
Frank
 
Posts: 6935 | Location: hydesville, ca. , USA | Registered: 17 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Think of starting out with a manual press.

Then think of having a really bad case of tendonitis (tennis elbow) that may take years to heal.
 
Posts: 13978 | Location: http://www.tarawaontheweb.org/tarawa2.jpg | Registered: 03 December 2008Reply With Quote
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Frank,

I like to order 425 grain 11.2 bullets, both soft and solids when you get the business going again.

Good luck,
Jim


Jim
 
Posts: 436 | Location: Winter, Wisconsin, USA | Registered: 19 December 2010Reply With Quote
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Sorry about the long time in between. I am traveling at the moment.
I need to ask about your rifle. When adding the extra weight, you will end up with a longer bullet. The 11.2 I have was opened enough to handle that difference in length. I want to be sure yours was as well. Otherwise you will need to stay with the 401 gr.With new powders you can allow the bullet to seat deeper in the case but the intrusion might create loss of velocity as well.
We are waiting on the #6 license and everything else is in place.
Would you like them in brass or copper. I chose brass as it adds a little more strength. I also opted for the open tip which will aid on any longish shot.I am not sure if solids are really necessary as my Brass open tips act a lot like the solids I have tried. Bill tells me in his experience they drove as long and straight as any solids he tried in his day. There have of course been huge changes with the Mono-metals but I have faith that these will be very effective.
If you prefer copper, I would recommend .065 thickness for strength and added penetration at typical 11.2 velocities.
I will be back home in about three weeks but as soon as we get that license Bill is read to begin. I have already passed my order but he cannot sell anything until he is in legal status. I was lucky to have gotten a lot of his old inventory including the 11.2 which he loaded for himself. I now own the rifle he used which in Rhodesia doing control work on Buffalo and Elephant.
I will probably take it with me when I go again.
I will send a pm when I get back.
Frank
 
Posts: 6935 | Location: hydesville, ca. , USA | Registered: 17 March 2001Reply With Quote
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