In the late 90's when I got my first Brigand in .375 cal, I wasn't satisfied with round ball accuracy, so I made a pellet swaging set for it.. It turned round balls into a round nose hollow base pellet. Accuracy increased enough to make it worthwhile.. I made about 10 sets for guys, and then forgot about it...
2012: I revisited the idea, improved it a bit and now can make round ball to pellet swaging dies in about any caliber.. Round nose hollow base, they allow me to load a round ball of my choice into the die and with a coupla whacks with a hammer, make a pellet.
For example, I make pellets for my CO2 30 caliber, the diameter I chose was .303.. Using ball diameters of.300. 310, 315, and 320, I get pellets that work well in my guns.. By using different size ball, I get different length pellets. heavier ball translates to a longer pellet... By using .304 diameter, I get less than full engagement in the rifling so it loads easier and with lower powered Co2, the velocity is good. When you shoot round ball, the engagement in the rifling is a really small amount, as it only engages on the largest diameter of the ball... By using this die set, rifling engagement is substantially more.. I am using 451 diameter for my DAQ 452, and a 445 round ball .354 for my DAQ 9mm by using a .350 ball. I make a sleeve for the punch so it will go only deep enough to properly form the pellet. It makes for consistent pellet lengths... And they come out with glass smooth side walls.
The best part is, when you're done shooting, any pellets you can recover can be driven back thru the die to remake the pellet.. Also if you dont like the looks of it, do it over..
I have reused some pretty flattened out pellets. it they're a little flat, just drive them back thru the die.. Distorted pellets are easy to remake, and I've reused really flat ones, by crumbling them up with pliers to get them to fit in the die.. The hammer will take care of the rest.. I've reshot the same pellet 3 or 4 times, I did notice that the pellet was a little shorter than the first time I made it, so some lead went away..
These pellets will generally be lighter than the bullets you use now, so keep that in mind.
The manufacturing speed depends on you.. I tried for speed, and made 4 in a minute
As far as the ball materials go, I use cast lead, swaged lead, and the harder shot available in bulk.. All easy to form, and all perform well in my guns...I form them using a 1 pound ball peen hammer on the back of my bench vise
Oh, and results will vary, just as using different pellets does.. But your pellet weight will be pretty consistent by using the same diameter ball for each caliber.
This setup can drastically reduce the costs of shooting big bore, as bullets aren't so cheap, and generally aren't reusable
This my contribution to the "Green" movement! ;>)
I ran this by Steve, who graciously allowed me to post this, and will be offering a kit for sale in the diameter of your choice..
Either email me for more info, or watch the classifieds..
" Ever have one of those mornings where it hardly seems worth the effort to chew through the leather restraints? "