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Make .30 Jackets from Pennies

Using the Corbin JMK-P-H Jacket Maker Kit, you can convert copper pennies into rather good inch-long 308 bullet jackets, assuming you use either the CHP-1 Hydro Press or the CSP-2 Mega Mite press with long handle option.

The JMK-P-H requires copper or 95/5 alloy pennies, not the post-1962 zinc pennies which have a copper plate or wash. Those will not withstand the heat treatment, nor the drawing operation, and will either turn into a silver puddle when you try to anneal them, or will crumble and crack if you try to draw them.

Here are the steps to turn a copper penny into a 30 caliber bullet jacket (which can be redrawn to make smaller jackets such as 284, 277, 264, and 257 caliber -- smaller sizes may or may not be satisfactory unless annealed again to restore the drawing capability)...
  • Anneal the penny. Heat it to a dull red glow and let it cool (or quench to handle it quicker).

  • Lubricate the penny with Corbin Swage Lube.

  • Place the penny in the retainer area of the cupping punch, which is in the press ram.

  • Raise the ram carefully so the penny goes into the cupping die, which is in the press head.

  • Adjust the cupping die so you can press the penny through the die at the top of the stroke.

  • Note that adjustment is critical: too much effort means incorrect setting of the die.

  • After making a pile of penny cups, change to the 1st redraw die.

  • Lubricate the cup again, place lube 1st redraw die punch, and push the cup through the die.

  • Again, note that position of the die is critical to achieve reasonable effort.

  • Redraw again using the next draw die, until you reach the size desired (typically 308).

  • Other sizes can be drawn by adding more draw dies. Trim dies are used to adjust length.

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