Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by straightshooter, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

    I have been tossing around getting into reloading but when I go to the stores and see the prices on the brass with no primers and the bullets and then the equipment I just can't plunk down the cash for doing it. Many of the stores don't even have any powder. I have just restocked my 9mm,40 and 45 and that was a chunk of change. I need restock my 32 and 38 ammo but it is seldom found on sales.
    I had read some about glue bullets and wax bullets. I asked on another forum about this and was told it was a fluke and don't bother. Well I was reading some more about it and found out cowboy fast draw competition only allows wax bullets. So evidently it isn't a fluke, although I do understand the accuracy is not that great over 15'. But for paper punching or can plinking it or gaining trigger control and such it would probably be ok. The wax and glue reloads only use the primer to propel the bullets.

    So I read some more about reloading with wax and glue sticks. So I took the plunge today and bought me a Lee hand primer and casing holders for 32 and 38 calibers, and 1000 small pistol mag primers. $85 all said and done out the door. The store didn't have any hand primer removal tool.

    I watched a couple videos on removing the primers with a nail or a punch and one even with filling the casing with water and pounding a center punch causing primer to pop out. I also saw a hand tool for removing the primers that worked really well. When I got home I decided to try removing the primers and drilling out the center holes which you do so the primers will work to propel the bullets.
    Drilling out the center holes was kind of a pita since the brass gets pretty dang hot to hold and holding with pliers messed up the casing a little bit. The primers took several hard hits to pop them out also. I saw the casings were taking a bit of damage.

    I could buy new casing already drilled and ready for drop in primers but I figured BS on $37.50 for 50 of them when I have a bunch of once fired brass. Also I just didn't like having to put in the drop in primers as I load the revolver. I can buy premade wax bullets 1000 for $25 but again I have a huge old candle I can melt down and make my own. Did I say I am cheap and if I can make something myself and save a bunch $$$ I am going to do it? So after doing a p-poor job on two casings I ordered the tool for removing the primers. $55 delivered.
    I figure once I got the system down I will only have the price of primers for cost in reloading with wax. $.03 a round for any caliber is my idea of inexpensive shooting and plinking. I have plenty of time to do the manual labor part of it. Once drilled the casings supposedly last forever using wax and no powder. I figure I will make ready about 100 in 32 and 38 cal.
    Anyone got some advice for me to make this happen with better results I am all ears.
    If interested check out
    and the hand de-primer at
  2. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

    I started out with the LEE wack-a-mole tool ..Now have a bench and some toys.....So beware the reloading bug it`s very addicting

  3. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]this is all you need
  4. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

    I got my de-primer tool in the mail so I got after this new experience in half a$$ reloading. The tool works so easy and didn't take much time to de-prime fifty .38 special and fifty .32.
    After removing the old primers I then drilled the casing holes with 1/8" drill bit so the primers will have bigger opening for better pressure thrust of the wax bullets.
    I have an old- old huge foot diameter candle that is about four inches tall. I used a hatchet to bust out a big chunk of it to melt down for my bullets. While the wax was melting I was installing the new primers.
    I poured the melted wax into a pyrex dish and set the depth about 3/4 of the .32 shells. After the wax cooled I pushed the .32 shells into the wax till they bottomed out on bottom of dish. I then pushed the fifty .38 shells into the wax.
    Now I was removing them from the wax per instructions and a few did come out with the wax still in the dish. Now came the real surprise. I stuck a nail down the primer hole to see how close to primer the wax bullets were and dang most all only had maybe 3/8" deep wax bullets. Only thing I can figure was I was covering the primer holes so pressure was keeping the wax from going any farther up into the shell. I then pushed the shells back into the wax to fill them deeper with the wax.
    Now most shells had wax just under the primer holes now. LOL I guess I will find out tomorrow when I shoot them if they have any accuracy to them or if I only will see the wax pop out the end of the barrel.
    Well this is a learning experience for sure. Will let ya'll know the results tomorrow if it isn't raining.
  5. Gumpy

    Gumpy AKA Richard Prestage

    Yeah man, for sure let us know! Sounds like fun.
  6. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

    Well that was fun and interesting. I had two cases that the primers were not set low enough. I had to knock the cylinder out by using palm of my hand. I remember when I was loading them that two primers even though I tried twice to set them in farther just didn't. One primer was a dud even after trying twice to fire it off. Good strong hits but no pop.
    Speaking of pop that's about how loud these are. A kids cap gun makes more noise by far. These did smoke quit a bit out the barrel. Nice cowboy effect.
    Accuracy I think there is a bit of variance and they seem to shoot a bit low at 30'. I think the variance probably has a lot to do with getting first good full setting of solid wax. Have to try and be more precise loading the next batch. I think the .38 rounds were more accurate than the .32 rounds. I am sure a second push into the wax has got to be a crap shoot on accuracy. One solid chunk of wax has got to have better results.
    I was shooting from about 10' and also 30' with the latter shooting a few inches lower than the even low hitting from 10'. The .32 definitely shot lower compared to the .38. I was often hitting a one liter plastic bottle from 30' so that is decent. LOL no doubt a better shooter would have better results than I had.
    All in all it was fun and I enjoyed learning something about reloading. Next batch coming up.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  7. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

    I have a question for you re-loaders.
    I de-primed 50 more 38 specials and I wanted to see how not drilling the shell primer holes would function. When I tried shooting these the primers backed out of the shells but the shells I drilled out didn't have this problem. The primers are backing out and causing cylinder to either jam or be very hard to turn which I don't want to be causing.
    So why are the primers backing out? I never heard of primers backing out on reloaded ammo. These wax bullets with no powder there isn't any recoil.
    I read not to install primers before waxing because waxing can push primers out. I am putting in the primers last step so what's up?
  8. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    I have never experimented with wax bullets. Sounds like drilling out the flash hole is a must.
    Thanks for this thread. I'm finding it interesting.

    As for the primers backing out, I'm not surprised. With a normal shell, there is a process that occurs within mil-seconds. Most people aren't aware that this happens.
    When the firing pin hits the primer, the primer ignites. It may or may not back out the primer at that instant. Then the powder ignites. The primer is pushed back by the force of the powder ignition (or the primer flash itself). The shell case is then forced back against the bolt face and re-seats the primer as the pressure builds and pushes the bullet out of the barrel.
    This is the reason that checking the primer as an indication of over pressure (hot) reloads. If the primer on a hot load looks like a miniature 22 rim-fire case, it's too hot.
    Wax loads w/o powder wont have the force to re-seat the primer. Makes perfect sense to me.
    Just a suggestion; After you enlarge the flash hole, you might consider using magnum primers if you want more pop.
  9. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

    I think you are onto something with your explanation. I am using CCI Magnum small pistol primers No.550
    The big bore 45LC and 44 caliber quick draw revolvers use the primers used in shotgun shells. It is suggested not to use the SG primers installed in the 357/38/32 because just the SG primers alone will cause 1000fps in these small calibers. One of the main companies making these shells for these primers to fit don't even make small caliber shells machined for the SG primers because of the possible unsafe possible factors involved.
    I just loaded another 50 of the drilled out 38 special cases and will try them tomorrow if it isn't raining. I made sure all the primers are under the shell case and that no wax is on the brass that could likely get between the shell lip and the cylinder that could keep the shell from flush fitting against the cylinder.
    I am enjoying this experiment and glad it's cheap around .04 per round.