View Full Version : Making cast handgun hollow points
With a growing trend to have the capability to "cast your own" as a result of economics and/or availability, does anybody have experience on how to make hollow points out of normally cast handgun bullets?
May 19, 2009, 09:32
May 19, 2009, 13:45
You can purchase bullet molds that are set up to cast a hollowpoint. Every one that I have seen was a single cavity and it involved a removable pin that the molten lead flowed around to make the hollowpoint. Most of them were Lyman as I recall. I do believe that Lee produces or at least used to produce a number of their aluminum block single cavity molds for hollowpoints.
The problem with cast hollowpoints is the lead alloy you are using. Soft alloy will produce a HP which will probably expand. The down side is that you will get serious barrel leading at anything over 800 fps. If the alloy is hard, then the HP will not expand at all and is no better than a solid point SWC.
Forster makes a tool for making hollowpoint lead bullets. I used to have one. It consists of a drill and center piece that fits over the loaded round. You have to have the Forster case trimmer tool and the necessary collet to fit the rim of the cartridge. Pretty much a waste of time and money IMHO.
I know that jacketed HP bullets are getting very expensive these days. But you could several hundred for what a good quality single cavity HP mold will set you back.
And so it goes.
The Retired One
May 19, 2009, 16:25
Forrester and probably other trimmer manufacturers makes a hollow pointing attachment with guide.
You just chuck up a loaded round then crank the bit and drill a hole into the cast bullet. You can control the depth and the size bit you drill with.
May 19, 2009, 16:39
There is a guy who modifies multiple-cavity molds to hollow point configuration - I have his website bookmarked at home, but I'm at work now. His prices are very reasonable as I recall.
I'll try to remember to post his website here when I get home. If I don't any anyone is interested, shoot me an e-mail or PM and I'll do so. I'm old and have CRS, so bear with me! :wink:
May 19, 2009, 17:03
What the Bum said pretty much goes for me too. Single cav moulds are slow, add a HP pin and they are even slower.
Good read on the subject an' a link to a guy that mods moulds for HPs.
May 19, 2009, 18:30
I drill mine with a fixture I made. For all the more I use it does fine( maybe 10-20 rounds a year). They shoot the same as the standard bullets do.
Thanks guys. After reading the above comments I'm inclined to try to machine a fixture that will hold a loaded bullet fairly firmly (like the chamber of the barrel), and that will have a smaller pilot hole (maybe 1/8 inch) to guide a drill bit into the center of the bullet. Then I can set the depth of cut of the drill bit on a drill press for uniformity. Each caliber will require its own fixture.
I don't anticipate any significant danger of detonation unless I were to drill through the seated bullet, or slam the fixture around too much. Comments ?????
Don't know how harder lead will expand upon impact. Maybe fragment ? Guess I could experiment though. Thanks again. If I go ahead with this idea, I'll share my results.
May 20, 2009, 11:17
If you want an expanding bullet cheap, consider using a soft hollow base wadcutter lead bullet. Reverse it in the case so the hollow base is forward, propel it with a moderate charge of Bullseye powder. It won't be accurate at more than handgun defensive ranges, but will allow fast follow up shots due to low recoil. And that soft lead HUGE "hollow point" will REALLY open up on impact. If you do a penetration test on it, it will make you giggle like a little girl with a new doll that pees itself.
That used to be a good trick for .38 Spl. It made it into a VERY effective personal defense load. Neither .38 Spl. or .45 is any good for more than maybe 7 yards, but inside that range, they are devastating. At 10 yards or more though, they go keyholing off God alone knows where. I used to fill my ex-wife's Chief's special, 3 rounds of it with 2 rounds of full power HPs. They are bad ju-ju for BGs.
You may have to modify your feed ramp to feed and chamber the flat cartridge in a .45 ACP semi-auto though. In a revolver, they work fine with no problem.
Try it single loaded first, and see how you like it before you modify your feed ramp. Even so, most .45 ACP semi-autos feed and chamber regular ball or HP ammo with a feed ramp modified to handle flat-nosed shorter cartridges.
May 20, 2009, 13:24
If you are going to drill the hollowpoint, you might try a centerdrill to make a better cavity than a straight drill.
You can get these anyplace that sells machinist supplies: enco, MSC, ect.
May 20, 2009, 19:46
George I shot the HBWC base first and have for 25 years. With my J frame S&W and this load I have shot rabbits at 20 to 25 yards. Makes a hole you can reach through.
May 21, 2009, 11:38
For close range, they beat even the hottest high velocity hollow points in utter devastation of the target.
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