So instead of doing what I was supposed to be doing today, I went ahead and tackled the wax bullet cartridges. I more or less followed the instruction from the America Rifleman that I posted before but not quite.
The materials are quite cheap. Got the pan and the cup from Walmart under $5, the wax was about $7 for one pound , the cases I already had (range pick ups) and primers bought before the craze.
Started with melting the paraffin wax doing the double boil thing.
I did half a pound of wax on low medium as I did not know and did not want to know what would happen if paraffin suddenly boiled and touched water. Having the experience of knowing what happens when water touches molten lead has left me very wary and careful.
Next, I poured the wax in an 8 x 8 pan:
Those are .38 special HP bullets that I used to determine the thickness required. The article said that about half an inch was good and those bullets are just a wee over that.
While waiting for the paraffin to harden, I went ahead and expanded the flash holes of the .38 special cases I was going to use. Again, on the article it says to use a 3/32 drill bit and amazingly I had one available! I selected 16 cases that got resized and de-capped.
The one in the middle is expanded and the other three are factory size so you can compare.
Next came the seating of the “waxcutter” bullet.
And no, just driving the case with your thumb ain’t gonna do it. I had to use a small plastic mallet and tapped gently till it reached the bottom. Twist the case and the “waxcutter” will release the pan without issue.
Next was the test. The noise is about half to 1/3 of those cheap firecrakers sold on the Fourth July (Black Cat?) I put four out of five rounds in a cardboard box at 10 feet and here are the results:
The bottom one was the first test inside the house with the box placed against a safe at about 4 feet. The other four were outside at 10 feet.
The “waxcutters” were shot out of a Rossy Snub Nose revolver but I will upgrade to my 4 inch S&W 65 tomorrow.
Now, are they dangerous? Anything coming out of the barrel of a firearm is implicitly dangerous. Of course the level of damage cannot be compared to a real lead bullet, but embedding itself in cardboard is not a gentle caress. So, if you are planning on duplicating this recipe, no butt-shooting your roommate as it will probably leave a very nasty bruise and probably skin breaking.
Summary: Wax bullets (waxcutters) are easy to make (From saying “Let’s do this” to last shot fire, it took me less than an hour,) fun to shoot and probably an easy continuation to the dry-fire exercises.
You may want to think about it.