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CNC Turned MZ Bullets
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Since I work in a machine shop I decided to try my hand at making some CNC turned solid copper bullets for my new Omega. The goal was to design a bullet in between the Barnes Spitfire and Expander series.

Test gun: T/C Omega
Test load: 2 Pellets Pyrodex 50gr w/ 777 209 primer
Range: 15 yards
Test Media: Water
Est. Velocity: 1700 FPS

Bullet Weight: 285gr
Bullet composition: 99.9% copper
Initial Diameter: .4515"

RD: .855"
RW: 280gr

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j275/bernieb90/P1000823.jpg
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j275/bernieb90/P1000824.jpg
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j275/bernieb90/Picture003.jpg
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Nice work!

If you have some extra time maybe you want to make a few for me....say....about 50,000 or so??

Big Grin
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I hardly have time to make any for myself. Also I have no FFL so I can't sell right now. That is something I may consider in the future. What exactly is required?
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Someone who is willing to work for $1.27 per hour 7 days per week for a couple years or maybe 5 years and then die of exhaustion!! That's generally what's required to make bullets besides all the FFL, business paperwork, yada, yada.

You do nice work though Ernie. What kind of equipment did you use?
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Macifej:
Someone who is willing to work for $1.27 per hour 7 days per week for a couple years or maybe 5 years and then die of exhaustion!! That's generally what's required to make bullets besides all the FFL, business paperwork, yada, yada.

You do nice work though Ernie. What kind of equipment did you use?


That part I figured out just from this project. I work in my dad's machine shop and I am a mechanical engineer by trade. We have an old Daewoo Puma 4 that is about the ssame age as I am, but getts the job done. I would not mind doing short custom runs in the low 100s, but anything over that becomes a problem.

As far as the FFL goes is there anything special that you need. I already have a federal tax ID and all the other stuff needed for retail sales.
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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FFL - 6 License to manufacture Ammunition of the non-military type.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I understand that there are several concepts regarding manufacture of projectiles.

The most common is using a lead core with metal cover formed in a mechanical press. Advantage is fast production (40/minute) and low cost. Quality deteriorates as die system wears, so q/c is critical.

Many with either N/C or Automatic Screw machines have attempted to manufacture bullets. Advantage is more accurate form than method above. Disadvantage is primarily material cost for solid projectile metal(eg. Cu-Ni), and relatively slow production rates.

Relative bullet cost run on average $.50 for formed bullets and $1.00 (up to $3 or more each) for turned bullets (See Lost River Ballistics for example)

Turned bullets are a benefit for extreme performance (heavy, very long range) rifles for experimenters, such as .408 CHEVYTAC, etc.


--------------------

EGO sum bastard ut does frendo

 
Posts: 2821 | Location: Left Coast | Registered: 23 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by DMCI*:
I understand that there are several concepts regarding manufacture of projectiles.

The most common is using a lead core with metal cover formed in a mechanical press. Advantage is fast production (40/minute) and low cost. Quality deteriorates as die system wears, so q/c is critical.

Many with either N/C or Automatic Screw machines have attempted to manufacture bullets. Advantage is more accurate form than method above. Disadvantage is primarily material cost for solid projectile metal(eg. Cu-Ni), and relatively slow production rates.

Relative bullet cost run on average $.50 for formed bullets and $1.00 (up to $3 or more each) for turned bullets (See Lost River Ballistics for example)

Turned bullets are a benefit for extreme performance (heavy, very long range) rifles for experimenters, such as .408 CHEVYTAC, etc.


Another big advantage with turned projectiles is the ability to customize the projectile to the customers needs vitually on the fly. Fot example changes in bore diameter can be accomodated with simple changes to the program or tool offsets. The production rate is limited and the material is expensive you are absolutely right. I am a tinkerer at heart and there is a satisfaction of taking a game animal with a bullet that I designed and manufactured.
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by DMCI*:
I understand that there are several concepts regarding manufacture of projectiles.

The most common is using a lead core with metal cover formed in a mechanical press. Advantage is fast production (40/minute) and low cost. Quality deteriorates as die system wears, so q/c is critical.

Many with either N/C or Automatic Screw machines have attempted to manufacture bullets. Advantage is more accurate form than method above. Disadvantage is primarily material cost for solid projectile metal(eg. Cu-Ni), and relatively slow production rates.

Relative bullet cost run on average $.50 for formed bullets and $1.00 (up to $3 or more each) for turned bullets (See Lost River Ballistics for example)

Turned bullets are a benefit for extreme performance (heavy, very long range) rifles for experimenters, such as .408 CHEVYTAC, etc.


20-30 per minute with extreme accuracy is easily done with "proper" CNC equipment. Speed of production isn't really an issue - precision and set-up costs are an issue. If you are going to bang them out with some high volume swaging equipment then you'll have obscene tooling and maintenance costs which are not jusified.

Making bullets from Cu Ni isn't useful as it has the same density as pure copper, is extremely soft and stupid expensive. It also chews up tooling at a very high rate.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Do you think that we will ever see BR quality CNC bullets? I know some have tried, but just couldn't hold the tolerance need for benchrest shooting.
Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by butchlambert:
Do you think that we will ever see BR quality CNC bullets? I know some have tried, but just couldn't hold the tolerance need for benchrest shooting.
Butch


Butch...er...uh?? Pardon my French but I'm wondering what the hell you're talking about?? Big Grin

If you're trying to compare a cup & core traditional BR bullet in performance to a machined bullet I think it'd be a cold day in hell when a traditional BR cup & core jobber matches the precision of a machined bullet.

First thing to ponder is how you constructed the dies for your "sqwashed in die" bullets?? Guess what! That die was made by machining so it's shape isn't any more consistant than the tool that made it.

Second thing to consider is how you control the dimensions of the internal surfaces of the cup and the interface of the core???????

Third thing to look at is the consistancy of the material used in swaged BR bullets. When you smash (cold form) material, the material flows in whacky ways so in the extreme sense you can't predict CG of the end result.

What we make for big ol DG rifles is more "precise" than any BR bullets you can buy at the store (or make at home). If you could come up with an application where it mattered we can produce the following for you Butch:

Pick a caliber and weight and we can hold the diameter to .000005", the weight to .05 grains, and the finish to 5 RMS.

I think the reason you don't see machined bullets at BR matches is because of tradition, rules, and $$$$
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Actually I belive that we are refering to on paper accuracy, so far I have yet to see a turned bullet shoot better than costum BR bullets,

perhaps you can show us, manufacturing tolerances mean nothing when they cant be shown on target.

Sure money could be factor but as we all know BR guys have enough of that to use whatever they think/know they can/will win with.


The proof is in the pudding or in this case the target.

Best regards Chris
 
Posts: 978 | Registered: 13 February 2006Reply With Quote
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Chris - what happens on paper is all about the shape and BC and a whole lot of other things most of which have nothing to do with how the bullet was manufactured.

When the BR Clan start spending $5 per bullet and buy thousands of them at a whack, they'll get someone to invest the time to produce the bullet. Very small market, too many calibers and weights, and therefore no interest for a manufacturer.

On the other hand, we do customs all the time. If a BR guy asked us to make something very specific or brought us a print we could make a short run (500 pieces). The result may be perfection or junk - it's your design for your gun.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I guess that you haven't seen any BR bullets. If I sent you a print of a 66 grain boat tail double ogive 6mm bullet, would you give me a quote for 1000 initially? I normally buy in lots of 5-10,000 at a time.
Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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No problem...

E-mail it to me as a .DXF, .DWG, .DOC, or PDF

I'll e-mail back with any questions.

query at 2-Bore.com

You can send me a sample of your preferred BR bullet too - that would be great!!
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I can provide you with any of the documents that you require. Send me a mailing address for a sample bullet. Is the email address on your website good for sending the documents. I will have to create them, so it will probably be next week sometime. What type metrology and controlled environment do you have to check the measurements? What material that is affordable can you use to meet the dimensions and weight of our existing bullets?
Thanks Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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Yes - the e-mail on the site if fine for a drawing. Let's see what you have in mind as far as weight and dimensions. There are lots of materials we have experimented with. On a bullet that small the material cost isn't a major factor. Density might be an issue as it can be when you dump the lead.

Metrology - anything you can think of we have or it's a couple blocks away.

Environment - can measure inside a walk in freezer or a Sauna - whatever you like. Big Grin
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I still need an address to send a bullet. You can email me at: papawlambert@starband.net
Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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Sent you the info.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Macifej,

What is the typical cost per 100 of the FN monometal that you sell...say the 416FN-2A-360?
 
Posts: 171 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 03 December 2004Reply With Quote
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$275.00 shipped
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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A few bullets are packaged and ready to go to you Monday. You realize that Lost River tried to make competition bullets with CNC equip. They made a real first class bullet, but they couldn't make them shoot. This is the problem that you will have. To make the weight of a copper jacketed leadcore bullet the same, the bullet will be very long. We would need new reamers and different barrel twist. All of that is OK if they will shoot. I don't care how perfect you think that you can machine it, the proof is on the paper. We pay $260 a thousand now for the best. I believe that there is a potential market of over a million a year in 6mm bullets in the 66-68grn. range.
Let me know when you get the samples.
Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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Butch,
I think you're referring to Lost River, Not Clinch River. Clinch River bullets are J-4, lead core and have produced records at 600 and 1k yds.
Greg
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 07 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Butch - I hear what you're saying - We have experimented with some heavy alloys but the cost is off the map for BR work.

We'll take a look at what you're sending us and see if we can make a short run for you to work with.

We'll need either a loaded dummy or some case length and COAL dimensions to see how much snout we have to work with.

Thanks
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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20-30 per minute with extreme accuracy is easily done with "proper" CNC equipment.


I am curious. How many CNC lathes do you use for a production rate of one completed bullet every 2 to 3 seconds?
 
Posts: 2848 | Registered: 12 August 2002Reply With Quote
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One or two 6 or 8 spindle machines...

OR

Cycle time of 20 seconds x 4 sub-spindle machines = 12 per minute = 17,000 per day....
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Gerard,
I had a few questions for you regarding your GS Custom bullets. I have visited your excelent website many times and what I saw was part of the reason for trying this project.

I have read somewhere that your bullets are patented, but am unsure as to which part the patent effects. I have seen banded projectiles from several manufacturers now.

In order to get my bullet to form petals I needed to make punch die to score the inside of the cavity. I notice your bullets tend to form 3 petals (unless they shear off at high velocity) Barnes bullets are internally scored and form 4 petals. Do you use a die to score the hollowpoint cavity? If so what point in the process does this happen?

I believe the issue is that we are using traditional single spindle machines which is MUCH slower than the method that Mac suggests. However it allows time for the operator to check critical dimensions of each bullet while the machine is running and make adjustments as needed. It also allows rejections of out of spec bullets immediately.

Thank you
Steve
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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I am a CNC machinist and the tolerances of .ooooo5 are too small to be measured thus impossible to produce. On the other hand tolerances of + or - .ooo3 are very possible. I feel this is more than adequate for hunting bullets but still would prefer a swaged bullet for match shooting as the barrel is the final arbitor of diameter in this case. And $275./ 100 is a lot of money for something that just might not outshoot something Sierra puts out.


Leftists are intellectually vacant, but there is no greater pleasure than tormenting the irrational.
 
Posts: 2899 | Registered: 24 November 2000Reply With Quote
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Rick

Totally agree - you can buy top notch swaged BR bullets for about a quarter the cost of machined bullets. If they shoot as well or even better cause you have tweaked them to your platform then there is no point.

Machined bullets start to make sense when you need a larger bullet with a more complicated form. Pretty tough to swage grooves into the shank.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
tolerances of .ooooo5 are too small to be measured thus impossible to produce


Forgot about this tidbit....can be measured and are produced all the time. Just need the right gear Rick... Wink

You should check out the stuff used in the semiconductor industry. Very smaaaaaaaaaall.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Gerard:
quote:
20-30 per minute with extreme accuracy is easily done with "proper" CNC equipment.


I am curious. How many CNC lathes do you use for a production rate of one completed bullet every 2 to 3 seconds?


A few interesting facts:

CNC Single spindle lathes usually produce "simple" parts with cycle times of 1 to 3 minutes.

CNC Screw machines with back working and live tooling can reduce this by 30 to 50% if simultaneous operations are programmed. Non-ferrous (Copper) alloys permit the use of form turning which is more difficult than single point turning, but can significantly improve cycle times for "simple" parts.

CNC Multi-spindles with back working can reduce time to less than one minute again with "simple" parts.

Limit of normal metrology equipment accuracy is about .000040" or larger. Absolute limit in today's world is .000004. Environmental control requires typically 20C +- .4 C to allow for reduction of thermal deformation of artifacts.

New screw machines are capable of accuracy numbers of approximately .0001" to .0005" on average. Shop worn equipment for standard parts generally operate in the .002" to .005" range.


--------------------

EGO sum bastard ut does frendo

 
Posts: 2821 | Location: Left Coast | Registered: 23 September 2001Reply With Quote
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New screw machines are capable of accuracy numbers of approximately .0001" to .0005" on average. Shop worn equipment for standard parts generally operate in the .002" to .005" range.


With all due respect DMCI...you're waaaay off base here. Screw machines are making parts that aren't much too much larger than your "shop worn" tolerances.

Cycle times are a function of the part shape, programming and the type of screw machine. Big machines are very slow relative to smaller ones. New machines are significantly faster than ones of only ten years ago.

A small machine running small parts is VERY quick especially if there is no back working required....

Where did you get your "Interesting Facts"?? Big Grin

If you'd like to see some parts made I can arrange that.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I guess that I will go back to what I originally asked. Can BR quality CNC bullets be made at this time? If so, will they shoot as good as lead core copper bullets? If you have new machines with air bearings, you may hold .0002 best in a production setting. It appears that you would need a special land and groove configuration to be able to use them. A comparable brass, copper, or bronze bullet would have to be longer to match the weight of the BR bullets. The faster twist barrels needed to be able to use these bullets would torque a great deal more in the bags and cause a problem.
Lastly, who would pay 3-4 times more for an unproven bullet and have to purchase several thousands just to try them out?
Macifej, this is by no means a knock on your product. Without seeing your product, I will give you this. You may machine a nice bullet, but under the circumstances I don't see them in the Benchrest scene until they are proven.
Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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Butch I absolutely agree. There is no way I can guarantee they will perform in any particular way since I haven't made them and thus no one has tried them. There is also no way to get into the cost range of a swaged bullet regardless of the quantity unless maybe the job goes to China but then you lose all control over material etc.

At some point I will make a short run for you guys to test. If they shoot as well as you want I can make them in quantity. If they shoot substandard then they will still make a great varmint bullet with the leftovers.

Can't help you on the twist. You could try them with the slower twist and see or find someone with a faster twist to try them.
 
Posts: 13301 | Location: On the Couch with West Coast Cool | Registered: 20 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Thanks Jay,
That is all anybody could ask.
Butch
 
Posts: 8854 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Macifej:

With all due respect DMCI...you're waaaay off base here. Screw machines are making parts that aren't much too much larger than your "shop worn" tolerances.


Where did you get your "Interesting Facts"?? Big Grin



Can't say for security reasons. However, if you need a two flute 1mm carbide ball end mill or matching drill, I can help. (Shown with .17HM2 and .204 Ruger for scale.)



PS: By "Shop Worn", I mean 50 year old Davenports and Brownies, which seem to populate some of the older shops.


--------------------

EGO sum bastard ut does frendo

 
Posts: 2821 | Location: Left Coast | Registered: 23 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Interesting topic...

I have a retired engineer friend with a CNC machine that is lying idle.. it's not worth selling, but he and I are inveterate 'tinkerers'...

We got talking about making bullets, just for us, just for fun... and not for profit or resale - we both know too much about tooling and setup costs to even contemplate commercial production.... it'll be a fun experiment.

What's the best material, and how are the slots (to form petals on penetration) made in the point?

Thanks,

RU


********************************
A gun is a tool. A moron is a moron. A moron with a hammer who busts something is still just a moron, it's not a hammer problem. Daniel77
 
Posts: 1275 | Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Registered: 02 May 2002Reply With Quote
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rugeruser,
This is a great project to do and is very educational. I used copper alloy C11000 which is a common material used in electrical components. I used it because I have access to remenants through our material supplier. A better choice for extensive machining is C14500 which has better machining characteristics, but is more expensive. Bullets can also be made for various Brass, or Bronze alloys.

If you are doing a hollowpoint design I recommend annealing the finished bullets.

In order to get petals you need to score the inside of the hollowpoint cavity. To get six petals I made a simple hexagonal punch. You can get 4 petals with a square punch. The punch only needs to be a few thousanths larger than the cavity diameter.
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Thanks Bernie,

re the punch - does it have to go all the way into the cavity, or just score the entrance?

Could be some good fun coming up! Cool


********************************
A gun is a tool. A moron is a moron. A moron with a hammer who busts something is still just a moron, it's not a hammer problem. Daniel77
 
Posts: 1275 | Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Registered: 02 May 2002Reply With Quote
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For pistol or MZ bullets I would score to the bottom of the cavity. I have looked at Barnes rifle bullets and they are only scored 1/3 or so down the cavity. High velocity rifle bullets tend to need less help than pistol bullets do.
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 25 April 2008Reply With Quote
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