Corbin announces the world's first practical, true sprueless ROUND BALL SWAGE for home use! Most swaged round balls are really multi-faceted polygons, with dozens of tiny flat surfaces applied by passage through a "meat grinder" helix. The BSK-1-S Ball Swage Kit consists of two dies that make precision, round balls of exact weight and spherical shape, in two quick operations, in the Corbin S-Press. The BSK-1-H Ball Swage Kit does the same in the Corbin Mega Mite and Hydro Press, allowing larger diameters to be swaged.
We do not stock ball swages because there are an infinite number of sizes between the smallest .20 calibers and the big 1-inch balls. We make these dies to your order, and there is usually a waiting list. Each diameter of ball requires a different BSK-1 ball swage set.
The first die is a CORE SWAGE, which produces a lead cylinder with rounded ends, of a weight that is approximately 1 grain heavier than the final ball. It accepts lead wire, cut from a spool with a Corbin PCS-1 or PCS-2 core cutter, or cast in a Corbin CM-4 or CM-3 core mould. The diameter of the wire is not critical, so long as it fits into the die and isn't so small that a sufficient weight projects from the die.
The core swage die adjusts the weight automatically by extrusion of surplus lead from precision bleed holes in the die wall. You simply set the position of the punch holder, in the Corbin S-press, Corbin Mega-Mite, or Corbin Hydro-Press, so that the lead weight is about 1 grain heavier than the desired ball (information on the proper weight comes with each set).
Then, after making a quantity of these precise cylinders, you change to the ball swage die and reform the cylinder into a perfect spherical shape. Rotate the ball a quarter turn so the parting line is vertical and press the die together again, and you have a true round ball.
Each BSK-1 Ball Swage Kit comes with specific instructions giving the formula and the calculated exact weight of the ball, plus the suggested weight for the finished core. The volume of a ball is 4/3 times Pi times the radius cubed. Multiply this times the density of the lead used to make the ball, and you have its weight. The Corbin software program called "DC-LEAD" calculates lead wire extrusion values, such as the pressure required to extrude any given length, weight, and diameter of wire starting from a given billet diameter, and it also calculates bullet weights and effective densities for mixtures of up to four powdered metals. The most recent version also includes a lead ball calculator that instantly gives the weight and number of balls per pound for any density material used to make any diameter of ball within its range.
Swaged balls have the advantage of no sprue marks or flats, no air pockets or voids, and uniform diameter because each ball is swaged at room temperature. The balls may be loaded immediately after swaging, without a cooling down period, and the equipment can be put away quickly since no molten lead is required at that time. The lead is swaged under tons of pressure, so it is compacted as densely as possible.
Lead wire is available up to .430 diameter. Core moulds are available to make lead cores up to .70 inch diameter, which introduces casting into the picture again, but lets you make a stock of lead cylinders ahead of time, and then turn them into balls later. The closer the core is to the final diameter, the less chance there is of having fold marks on the surface from using undersized cores. However, a core diameter of .430 can make any size ball from .440 to .540 without undue surface lines. Larger balls begin to show signs of the collapse of the long column of lead core, unless the core is swaged several times in the CSW-1-H core swage die to work out the lines in the surface. These are purely cosmetic, and result from using such a long core that it has to bend several times while being compressed. The solution is to use a larger diameter core.
The BSK-1-S Ball Swage Kit is available in any caliber from .22 to .54, for the Corbin CSP-1 S-Press. The BSK-1-H Ball Swage Kit for the Corbin Hydro-Press, Hydro Junior, and CSP-2 Mega Mite Press can swage nearly any size ball up to an inch in diameter. Prices may be seen at www.corbins.com/prices.htm.