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Swaging Your Own Pellets

Did you know you can make your own pellets? This is not something that the average airgun shooter would think about, given the tremendous variety of pellets on the market and the typical low cost of pellets, but shooters of big-bore (.38, .45 and larger)  air rifles have a very limited selection available to them. It turns out that Corbin, a long time maker of bullet swaging equipment for firearms, also makes swaging kits for airgun projectiles. Besides the standard .177, .20, .22 and .25 calibers, they stock kits in 9mm, .45, and even tiny .14 and .12 caliber. If that’s not enough, they can supply a kit in any caliber you choose.

The basic process is simple: You cut off a length of pure lead wire, insert in in a die held in a swaging press, and pull the handle. Release the handle, and out pops your perfectly formed pellet. That’s it.

So how much does it cost to get started swaging pellets? A stock  die set will cost you $189, and a core cutter, $70. If you’ve got a good, solid single stage reloading press, you can use that. Simple. If you’re interested on getting into production of really large bullets and jacketed bullets, you may want Corbin’s  basic mechanical press at $598 or one of their hydraulic presses, but you can make many pellets using only a standard single-station reloading press, something a lot of shooters already have.

The owners of .500 and .600 caliber pneumatic guns will probably want to spring for the $598 S-Press. Given what they typically have invested in their guns, it’s not an unreasonable expenditure.


  1. armando morel wrote:

    quiero saber cuanto cuesta esta herramienta para hacer pellets 177,20,y 22 calibre…………gracias

    Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    there are also other makers of pellet swage dies, and you can use a basic rcbs RC press for making them. Kaine dies is another maker of pellet dies. with retail pellets getting more and more expensive these days, and if you already reload, swaging pellets is a easy jump, and a great money saver. unlike firearms, you cannot change the charge of an air rifle unless you use a multi pump pellet rifle. most use a single break barrel rifle. in this case, to get an accurate pellet, you’ll need to find the correct weight of pellet that stabilizes for your rifle. chances are, you may only find one commercial pellet that can do that. but when you swage your own, you can easily find the best weight for your rifle. this increases accuracy 10 fold.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    for Remington 177 multi pump rifles, pellets under 10 grains stabilize the best, with gambo break barrel 1200fps rifles, 10 grain pellets stabilize the best.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink
  4. mje wrote:

    Great post, thanks. I’ll check out Kaine.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  5. mje wrote:

    One note about pellet weight: When I was competing, I noted that most of the British competitors used the heavier 10.5 grain pellets- even those shooting 12 foot-pound spring guns. The trajectory is not as flat as with a 7-8gr pellet, but there’s less windage to worry about and better shot-to-shot consistency.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

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