Corbin Manufacturing and Corbin manuals

I have a 1977 Corbin manual for swaging bullets. May someone provide me with the elementary basics of swaging and its importance. Is it a wildcat technique? Is it cheaper than buying pre-manufactured projectiles?


Making your own bullets has nothing to do with wildcats and is not money-saving either. It’s a way of tailoring bullets to your specific needs.

On Corbin’s site you’ll find a very good video of the steps involved.


Its definitly not cheaper. Over here it tends to be associated with producing bullets for rare or obsolete calibres.

It really got it’s start during WW-2, when bullets were not available (in quanity) to the general public. It continued on after the war for the manfacture of speciality bullets. Now it’s more a labor of love than anything else.
Note that RCBS (the reloading equipment company) stands for Rock Chuck Bullet Swadge. IOW guess how they got into busness. Other companies we recognise today got started the same way, IE: Speer, Sierra, Nosler
Someone here posted (on the old forum) photos of 22 cal bullets where you could still see the headstamp and firing pin marks on the base (due to the metal shortage they were using 22LR cases for bullet jackets)
Basicly it involves cold forming a lead core inside a GM jacket, and than through a series of dies closing the nose and forming the ogive profile.


I have made many of my own bullets, both cast lead and jacketed. Back when I first started shooting I had to cast my own bullets in order to shoot because I could not afford anything else. I made my own jacketed bullets because it was the only way to get exactly what I wanted.

But times have changed. Today’s shooters have got it made. They can buy anything they want or need at prices that would have amazed shooters 50 years ago.

I compare making your own bullets with making your own toothpicks. I have everything I need to make toothpicks at no cost. But I prefer to go to the store and buy a box of ready-made for 49 cents.


There is a company in Britain making swaging systems similar to Corbin called Nalan. Their address is 8 Broom Rd, Parkstone, Poole Dorset, BH12 4NL England.

I can’t find a website but I know there are collectors out there who like to record details of such things so I have mentioned them. I think they buy their jackets from Corbin.

They seem to be involved entirely in keeping the vintage rifle shooters supplied with bullets for odd calibres.

There is another company in Oregon called rceco who make swaging gear

Years ago people used to make bullets with hand swagers which involved hitting the dies with a big hammer. Very slow but the advantage was the dies were adjustable so you could vary the length and hence the weight of the bullet produced.
I have a pet theory that the products of these hand swagers were the origin of the nickname “slugs” as applied to bullets.