Header Extrusion Progression from Wire Pictures

Does anyone have a picture of the from wire to pistol brass extrusion/draw/head/etc progression they can share?


The only set of machinery I have seen ( not allowed to photograph) was in 1993, and the recently Privatized Czech S&B Vlasim Plant.
It consisted of a (Steel) Bolt cutter and Slug header, forming a rough
“Cup” …like those coffee cups with two diameters, which fit in cup- holders…this then goes to annealing and further deep draw machines as normal.
70/30 brass is supplied in large coiled rolls, just as for steel bolt heading machines. Wire is straightened, sheared into Slugs, Headed ( by impact) into a two-diameter cup, and then tumble annealed.
When I saw the two machines, they were having consistency problems…the cup for a 9mm Para is quite short…most bolts are long.

Much less waste with Wire method…of course, for consistency, unless the Brass foundry can produce +/- .0005" on diameter wire, the wire will have to be calibrated by wire drawing dies before shearing and heading.

I think, on waste saving alone ( sheet vs wire) the process has its advantages.
But only for large production runs, and with properly adapted Bolt-headers.
Doc AV


Very accurate assessment. It sounds like they were ahead of the game in 1993. Yes, horizontal headers for bolt making are the basic equipment around the world. The the last 10 years cold heading has become a standard for pistol cases.

Bunch of information here -https://www.nickelinstitute.org/media/1647/coldformingstainlesssteelbarandwire_9019_.pdf

I have seen progressive headers (5 or 6 die) making pistols cases at around 300 parts per minute. It was a thing of beauty. Seriously amazing.

I saw one in 2012, however, they have been in Lewiston a lot longer than that - especially in aluminum. This has become the standard in the industry for pistol.


  1. Straight/resize wire - in off press machine
  2. Cutoff
  3. Box - 1st die
  4. Extrude - 2nd die
  5. Draw - 3rd die
  6. Upset or head plus headstamp - 4th die
  7. Pierce - 5th die
  8. Taper - 6th die

I have a picture and samples, however, I don’t have permission to share them. This picture shows a partial from another party which I am not under NDA. This is cutoff, box, pre-cup and extrude.

Thank for the information.

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Jay, I’m not sure if this helps, but George Frost’s book “Ammunition Making” (NRA, 1990) has a diagram of the first steps of the process from wire: