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Backlog For Corbin Swage Dies

A series of events beginning about March 2020 have caused huge increases in the number of orders for our swaging equipment. There are only six of us in this 50-year old pioneering swaging technology business. Three are highly skilled and experienced swage die makers. Every day we are now getting more orders than three die makers can process in a week.

Prior to the forest fires and evacuation orders, COVID-19 quarantines, looting and riots in the major cities across the country (where some of our supplies originate), and the election of avowed advocates of restricting individual freedom (basically Marxists in all but their titles), we had our average delivery time, even for custom items, down to 45 days or less. This was a remarkable reduction from the delivery time in the 1970-1990 era: back then, we had up to 2 year backlogs!

But now the orders are coming so fast that we can only estimate a 4 to 6 month delivery time for the dies. It is a guess. We have no way to determine exactly what date a given order will be completed. Sometimes we have everyone at work, sometimes a person has to self quarantine. Any sniffle means skipping work under current regulations, getting checked for COVID-19, etc.

Each order is different: some have pages of dies and some have one die; some are custom work and some are standard parameters. They are taken in order of receipt, except where we can reduce delivery by grouping identical jobs for the same set-up. No one is ever put behind, but often an order will be done sooner if it matches the oldest job and can be run at the same time. We don't take extra payment to put someone at the head of the queue; it isn't fair to the people who ordered first. We used to do overtime on week ends for the difference in labor cost, but now we are working as much as the time allows. There is no "rush" time available.

BOTTOM LINE: If your order includes one or more swaging dies, then plan on 4-6 months for the dies. If we can do it sooner, we will, and then everyone will be happy. But please don't order if you cannot wait, since we don't have time to explain repeatedly why an order is taking so long, instead of spending that time moving the work along. Every email reply and phone call just means more time repeating the same thing instead of putting that time toward finishing orders.

When someone calls every week to see where their order is, the answer is the same: it is one week closer than when you called last time! We still don't know exactly when a given order will be completed, tested, pass the tests, not have to be made over in some respect, and actually be approved for shipping. Until we have built and tested the complete set, we really do NOT know when it will ship. By that point, it's ready to go out the next business day. And when an item ships, you get an email notice with tracking number right away. You will know the shipment date within a day of when we do!

Notes on Selected Items

  • Hydro Presses.
    Now shipping within 30 days, and sometimes within a week depending on what just sold prior to your order. We try to keep at least two ready to go all the time, but if they sell at once, then we will need to make more before we can ship them. The Hydro-Press (CHP-1) is detailed on the Hydro Press page.

  • Air gun slug swage systems.
    Estimated 4-6 month backlog. Corbin's one-step and two-step (hollow ogive) air gun slug swages are now in use around the world making match winning, game-getting precision long range slugs for air guns. These are in huge demand. We make them to order for size, style, base shape, hollow point size, and of course every caliber known to man and some that are yet to be invented! The punches for dies you already may have now do not take as long. We are making standard punches every day to fill orders, and can usually make extras while tooled up for an older order without putting anyone further behind. For standard hollow point shapes, see AIRGUN SPECS.

  • Hand Swaging presses, accessories, jackets, lead wire, and other supplies
    We generally can ship the CSP-1 or CSP-2 press from stock, or if not, usually within 30-45 days if the inventory gets purchased all at once (it happens sometimes). The lead wire, core cutters, core molds, lube, and other items that are not swage dies usually are in stock. If you order a complete system and would like everything that is in stock sent right away, we can do that. The dies can be sent when finished.

  • There are a couple of advantages to getting everything in stock now even if the hand-made diamond-lapped dies are backlogged:

    1. Getting items now means you have them, regardless of what happens tomorrow. If we get shut down temporarily by COVID-19 restrictions, forest fires, illness, government interference, whatever, the items are finished and in your posession. Eventually one way or another the dies will be done too, but the more that is in your hands, the more secure it is against unknown future events.

    2. Having the press and other tools means you can unpack them, mount them on the loading bench, and get familiar with how they work. The presses all work as high quality precision reloading presses and come with adapters for general purpose reloading (7/8-14 standard reloading dies fit into the CSP-1 directly or into the larger presses with adapter bushing provided with the press). You can see how the core cutters or core molds operate, decide where to mount them, and have that knowledge ready for when the dies come.

  • "Standard" centerfire bullet swages.
    The term "standard" applied to calibers and shapes means the ones we list as standard, generally have the tooling on hand to build, and make in groups to put on the shelf (in normal times, anyway!). They have "standard" dimensions meaning the diameter and shape is what we would normally ship if you didn't tell us otherwise.

    If you specify the angle, length, diameter, etc., then it may not necessarily be a standard. If you choose a .308 6-S ogive, for example, that's standard. We list it as such. If you say you want a .30 caliber die but want it to make a .3082 bullet, or to produce a 6.5 caliber radius tangent ogive, that's custom. We can't reach in a box of dies and pull one out, assuming we had inventory. It has to be made to order, including the laps and reamers used to produce the die cavity. Same with rebated boattail angles and lengths.

    The standards are posted on SPECIFICATIONS . Asking for a different size of ejector pin from standard means making a new die with that size of hole for the ejector rather than using the standard for the caliber. We can't put one of the standard dies in that caliber with your other items to build a die set. So that is a custom job as well.

    We are glad to do custom work. Just be aware that it will take longer than standard dies in most cases.

    When we run out of these normally-stocked calibers and shapes, we try to plan for at least a short run of them to fill the oldest orders, and have some extras for new orders -- the latter is what we used to call "inventory" until it started selling out before it hit the shelf! That means in general if you order one of the following listed calibers of dies in a standard shape for that caliber, your backlog time probably won't be nearly so long as the 4-6 month potential wait we are estimating at this time.

    How long? I do not know. But generally much shorter than the one-off, special or less popular diameter and shape combinations, or for custom configurations made to order instead to the "standard" we generally make for stock. (Stock? What's that?)

    It really depends on exactly what the die makers are working on when the question is asked. If they are working on a huge group of special custom jobs, it may be a couple of months just getting through those before they can even think about setting up for standard runs again. If they just finished such a group of custom jobs, maybe within a few weeks or even days. If you ask the question at the moment that they just finished a run of that particular caliber, it might be headed for the shipping bench and there may still be one unsold that you could take. Impossible to say in advance, but the odds are much better for quicker shipment on the following standard items:

    1. .224 (5.56mm) caliber
      Ogive shape 6-S = most popular.

    2. .355 (9mm) caliber
      Ogive shape 3/4-E = most popular. also the 9mm Luger ogive or the TC shape.

    3. .308 (7.65mm) caliber
      Ogive shape 6-S = most popular. also the ULD and ULD-TIP styles (metal insert)

    4. .452 (45ACP) caliber
      Ogive shape 3/4-E = most popular, also TC shape.

    Adding lead tip or rebated boattail die sets won't significantly slow down your order, if at all. The most likely die sets to be in stock, if any should be, are the FJFB-3-S or FJFB-3-H type (3 die set, for flat base open tip styles). But we make runs of RBT-2-S and -H dies, as well as the LT-1-S or -H dies, since these are usually just a standard shape everyone can use who orders that caliber.

    The things that take more time than usual are non-standard shapes or diameters, since we have to make new reamers and laps first to create a die or punch cavity in a non-standard shape. Specifying a hollow base depth or diameter, selecting a different than usual size of ejection punch in a point form die, making the die set for a specific diameter that isn't the normal one for that caliber, or making the point forming die with an unusual ogive shape would all require custom tooling first, before using the tooling to create the die. That certainly takes more time than using one of our ever-present standard sets of reamers and laps -- or, with any luck, just taking the particular punch or die out of a box of them made on the last "standard" stock run.

  • For example, if you ask for a 9mm die set, we would normally ship a .355 diameter. But if you specified a .354 or a .356, we would need to built the set including the core seater, point forming, and three of the punches (all but the ejector punch) to meet the new dimensions.

    If you wanted a .224 point forming die, but asked for a 7-S ogive shape rather than our standard 6-S or 8-S shapes, we would need to build reamers and laps in that shape first, even if the caliber is standard. Likewise, if you wanted a standard 6-S ogive but wanted it in a caliber which normally does not use that shape (such as a 9mm or just about any pistol caliber), we could do it only by making new reamers and laps that combine the two standard parameters in a non-standard combination! Whatever requires new tooling, in other words, requires more time and custom work.

    Often the standard IS a standard because it usually works best. Unless you have specific reasons for the non-standard combo, it's better to shift the design slightly and get it sooner and for less cost. (If you DO have a specific requirement, no problem. We do that: "Ours is not to question why; ours is but to make the die!")

  • PCM-2 Power Cannelure Machines are available for immediate delivery or within 30 days.
    Usually that is true even if we sell all inventory at once, and even if you need a special size or shape of cannelure. Standard calibers and shapes of cannelure wheels are often in stock for immediate delivery. If not, generally 30 days or less is needed to make a new run of cannelure wheels.

    The machines are capable of being set up for either 115v 50/60hz or 220-230v 50/60 hz, and can run about 30 bullets a minute on a continuous production. These are built into the production lines at major bullet producers' plants. They can be manually fed as fast as you can push bullets into the input side, for doing rapid cannelure grooves on any bullet. The tool comes with one wheel in a standard shape and caliber of your choice.

  • HCT-1, HCT-2, and HCT-3 Cannelure, Knurling, and Bullet Grooving tools.
    Normally in stock. Because these tools are assembled from finished components rather than individually constructed in their entirety (like dies) we can replenish that one part before we run out entirely, or only shortly thereafter. Sometimes we get so swamped with other work that we may inadvertently fail to plan the next run soon enough, and then delivery might be 30-45 days. That is rare but can happen.

  1. New primer/extrusion catcher tray for CSP-2 or CHP-1 -- faster production, less mess.
  2. New J-50-177, J-70-130, J-26-125 jackets -- see list of new bullet jackets available.
  3. Improved steel frame CSP-2 press -- available from stock. Tensile strength increased from 80,000 to over 100,000 psi.
  4. TB-4 Print Edition -- Updated Technical Bulletins Vol. IV, Power Swaging! Both print and e-Book versions.
  5. WD-CMB Print Edition -- Undated World Directory of Custom Bullet Makers! Both print and e-Book versions.
  6. New Adjustable Floor Stand -- updated, new adjustable height self supporting press stand.
  7. Complete Airgun Slug Kits -- 3 basic types including 1-stroke and 2-stroke to finished product.

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