My current tooling is limited to these design features:
- A flat meplat of at least 0.18 inch diameter.
- Overall bullet length no greater than 1.375 inches.
- 30 caliber minimum.
- Base pour molds only.
- No flat-sided lube grooves. All side angles must be at most 55 degrees.
Ordered body diameter tolerance is (+.0015,-.000).
If you have a specific design in mind, e-mail or mail me a drawing. All new designs will be recorded in the catalog.
If an existing catalog design is about right, let me know the your specific dimensional requirements.
Lube and Crimp Grooves
For bullet body features such as lube and crimp grooves, I have standardized dimensions that work well. I adjust lube width to suit bearing surface, and most customers leave crimp and lube grooves up to me. However, you can dictate those details, keeping within my tooling limits. Groove angles are no less than 35 degrees, and lube grooves cannot exceed .030 in depth.
Radius lube grooves are also available.
Tumble Lube Grooves
Tumble lube style is also available upon request, and can be done with or without a conventional crimp groove and front driving band or gas check.
For gas check designs, traditional lube grooves are used when the body is long enough to accommodate. A grooved gas check shank, pictured at bottom right, can add a lube groove when space is at a premium.
The part of the bullet that extends outside the case can benefit the most from custom design. Some types of firearms require adherence to SAAMI specifications to ensure proper feeding. Bullets designed exclusively for revolvers often ignore SAAMI length specs, as they can extend as far as the cylinder will allow.
Magazine fed repeaters can be the most challenging to design for. Larger meplats will usually require a shorter cartridge overall length (COL), and therefore a shorter nose, to feed reliably. I have a growing database of feedback on designs in my catalog, and I may be able to make recommendations.
An important factor in bullet design is the length of full body diameter that extends outside the case. This is defined by the width of the front driving band on roll crimp designs, or is set by adjusting the seating depth when not roll crimped. Cartridges that headspace on the case mouth sometimes allow no more than about .010 of full diameter outside the case, especially with oversized bullets. Some rifles have .300 or more of freebore, and performance can be improved by extending full diameter out that far. Cast bullets usually perform best when this bullet jump is minimal. The measurement can easily be taken by inserting a proper diameter flat base bullet into an empty case backwards and seating to increasing depth until it will chamber easily.
It is much easier to control the degree of full diameter extension if a shoulder is incorporated into the design. Below left is a rendering of a typical revolver chamber. The example will allow .085 of .431 diameter beyond the case mouth. The first bullet is .431 for .08 out, then a tangential ogive, so it fits. However, if any bullet from this mold gets any part of its diameter bumped up just .001, which can result from changing alloys or just getting bumped when exiting the mold, it is now .431 for .040 further out, and will not chamber. This does not change whether its been run through a .431 sizer die or loaded un-sized. The .005 shoulder built into the third bullet solves the problem.