getting started in casting


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mek42
April 29, 2008, 08:45 PM
Bullets are getting expensive. I don't know if I'll be taking the plunge, but the prices sure do have me thinking about getting into casting my own. Could I get some advice on on what is involved in getting started?

My plans are to do 45 ACP mostly also with some 44 mag, 38 / 357 and maybe 45-70. I will be doing some casual target shooting and competing in various club leagues of the bulleseye, rather than "practical" variety.

Things I think I need:

Lead furnace
Molds
Resizer / lubricator press
Dies for above / top punches for above, matched to molds
Lead (I think it is ok to harvest from my club's indoor range)
Lubricant (no idea on what kinds are best - will it be different for rifle / pistol?)

Regarding the press, I was browsing some previously enjoyed equipment earlier - do the model 45 and model 50 size / lube presses take different dies?

Thanks!

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Encoreman
April 29, 2008, 10:44 PM
I am about ready to cast myself. I can either quit shooting or cast my own. One suggestion is to get or use a fish cooker with cast iron pot to smelt your wheel weights if that is what you choose. A good site to check out is
www.castboolits.com they are a good bunch to get you going on casting. Mac

scrat
April 29, 2008, 11:06 PM
oh you guys are in so much trouble. just so much trouble.


first of all been there done that.

lee production pot iv is the best way to go. i did the propane stove bit. always start of with a single or double mold until you get the hang of it. for smokeless i drop the bullets in a bucket with cold water. with a towel on the bottom to cushion the fall. For black powder i use pure lead cast the bullets then let them carefully fall on a slightly wet rag. sizing been through too many size types. now i just use the lee liquid alox and sizer way easier and faster. get ready hold on your going to learn a lot. glad im post #3

cracked butt
April 30, 2008, 01:22 AM
Lead furnace Lee pro pot IV
Molds-
For the pistol moulds, get the lee 6-cavity moulds, they will spee dup production immensely and are of much higher quality that their 2-cavity moulds.
Resizer / lubricator press-
Skip it unless you plan to cast/shoot the 45/70 alot. For pistols, use the Lee push through sizer dies- they size bullets a lot straighter than lubrasizers unless you buy an expensive Star sizer. Use lee liquid alox for lube, or pan lube the bullets. I only use my lubrasizer for a few different rifle bullets.
Dies for above / top punches for above, matched to molds
_see notes on sizers above.
Lead (I think it is ok to harvest from my club's indoor range)
Wheelweights, if you can get them will cover most of your shooting needs.
Lubricant (no idea on what kinds are best - will it be different for rifle /
pistol?)
_Lee Liquid alox- I use it on everything.

socaldan
April 30, 2008, 01:55 AM
RICHARD LEE (of LEE PRECISION ) Published a book titled "MODERN RELOADING-second edition"...it has a section on casting thats pretty good.
(I read it and i still don't know where to start...but i know i want to now!)
Have fun and tell us how you did.

RugerBob
April 30, 2008, 05:04 AM
Hi all, I myself just got into casting earlier this year. Depending on how much you want to spend to get started. I bought the Lyman Master casting kit (midway or cabelas140.00). It has the 4cavity ingot mold and dipper and 10 pound melting pot. If you get this you will need to spend 30.00 more to get the heater for the 4500 lube/sizer. I melt my dirty lead in that pot for ingots.I then bought the Lee pot the guys earlier were talking about. I use that to melt ingots into bullet molds. At the cost of bullets I consider my stuff about paid for as I have 2700 250gr bullets cast and lubed so far.(45LC).Theres alot more to it. You will get a good Lyman how to book with the Lyman kit . I hit the range in spring and got about 170 pounds of bullets out of the back stops. So far I have gotten 106 pounds out of it. Still have 2 full 2 pound coffee cans to melt. Plus I get some wheel weights here and there. Good luck, Bob

jmorris
April 30, 2008, 09:58 AM
When I started casting I didnít want to make another career out of it so I built the machine in this thread http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=158478&highlight=bullet+casting.

So I could size bullets concurrent with casting them I built the machine below. The bullets fall down the clear tube from the same collator I use on my reloading press bullet feeder (so they are base down). The gear motor on the left constantly rotates the white UHMW part that has a pocket machined into it, thus flipping the bullet nose down. The gear motor at the bottom runs another piece of UHMW (with an appropriately sized hole) back and forth, like a childís gumball machine. This carries the bullet from the tube to the size die. In the photo you can see the feeder is all the way in, the limit switch at the bottom is triggering the solenoids (the blue part in the back) running the pneumatic ram down and back. The bullet falls out the bottom into the basket at the very bottom of the photo.

After that I dunk them into my dip lube and lay out to dry. Once everything is plugged in and heated up I can finish 1000 rounds in about 2.5 hours.

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