Casting balls.


August 3, 2008, 11:11 PM
Cast my first round balls today. But something happened that pissed me off and confused me.

The holes on the top of my mold, one of them ovaled on me. How could this happen?

The mold was too cold, could this be why?

Once I figured out how hot my mold needed to be, they stopped wrinkling and I got some good balls.

Really enjoy casting, anybody have some advice for me about casting in general?

And can you seperate other metals from lead? Like if I wanted to do wheel weights?

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August 4, 2008, 12:37 AM
Good start.
Several points to remember:

-For black powder revolvers, soft is good, softer is better. Use your purest lead for this. Wheel weights are usually too hard for this. I've used .451 hardball in my '58 Remington but I didn't like the results.

-Don't hesitate to put your shiny new castings right back in the pot if they're not right. Better bullets make for better shooting.

-And keep trying!

August 4, 2008, 03:00 AM
Yeah, I'm anal when it comes to something I've made.

The whole time I was doing it, if a ball wasn't perfect, it went back in.

The funny thing is, I got the lead from underwater. I was out boating and I found a 3 pound bag of lead shot underwater.

Made 143 balls out of it. And my 1851 Navy .44 cal, it loves .451, not sure why, but it's most accurate with the .451 balls I have found.

I went and bought some .454 balls after people on here said that the .451 might be too small. I tested them and the .451 were most accurate, and wouldn't chainfire, even without grease or wads.

I shot about 100 .451 balls without grease or a wad, and didn't get a single chain fire. Of course, I like the wads, and will be making my own shortly.

August 4, 2008, 05:36 AM
If all you have for a source of lead is Wheel Weights then it is better to use Adhesive Wheel Weights for your Muzzleloading/Cap & Ball Bullets than the Clip on types because the Adhesive Wheel Weights are 98% pure Lead with only .25% Antimony & 1.75% trace elements which although are a tad bit harder than 99.9% pure Lead, they are still plenty soft for Muzzleloading/Cap & Ball Bullets.

Clip on Wheel Weights are 95% pure Lead, 2.5% Antimony, & 2.5% other trace elements which adds to a way too hard of a bullet for Muzzleloaders & Cap & Ball Revolvers.

Flux can be as simple as a pea sized ball of wax or as complicated as a two part commercial flux that requires a fume hood to use. I usually use Marvelux -it doesn't smoke like many of the other fluxes do.

The oblong shape in your sprue is usually because you waited too long to cut the sprue with the plate & the ball moved in the mold "what I figure happens being that it only happens to me when I go slow," Smoke your mold & cast away but try to pick up the pace & you should be fine, & like theotherwaldo said "-Don't hesitate to put your shiny new castings right back in the pot if they're not right. Better bullets make for better shooting."

August 4, 2008, 07:43 AM
Ditto the lead shot as a great source for making balls - One of our local sporting goods stores was liquidating all their lead shot (reloading supplies) about 14 years ago. They were selling it for $5 bucks per 25 pound bag just to get rid of it. I loaded the wagon. Still have 2 unopened bags.

August 4, 2008, 08:51 AM
That bag of lead shot found underwater might have been weight used by scuba divers and lost ...I use to find those bags alot when I was doing scuba ..different body weight people need different amounts of the lead to keep them down they use the bags of shot`s uasually shot gun pellets ...they are a little hard for good round balls ...but I`ve used them mixed with wheel weights to cast 45/70 bullets .

August 4, 2008, 04:33 PM
They ended up being real soft, just a tiny amount of pressure from a finger nail put a nice dent in it.

I wonder if there were a way to seperate tin out of an alloy.

If you could do that, clip on wheel weights would work well, and be a very nice source of lead. But I don't know how you would do that, or if you would need special equipment.

August 4, 2008, 06:04 PM
The ammount of Tin in the mix isn't the biggest factor that makes Clip On Wheel Weights so hard it's the Antimony which also makes them a little brittle and if you just cast your balls using Clip ons wait a week or so & it'll get a little hard "sortof tempering through time."

Now if you just used adhesive weights then your fine.

August 4, 2008, 07:46 PM
Check the Lyman web site on lead alloys. Turns out with a little tin (About 10%) plus clip on wheel weights you get a Lyman #2 alloy (or a close approximation anyway) which has a bnh around 15, pure lead is in the neighborhood of 5 (IIRC).

#2 is good fer slugs in BPCR (what I use in my Sharps) but not really all that hot when one wants the alloy to upset during firing. With RB the patch takes up the slack where the harder lead doesn't so WW are actually a good choice cuz it holds its size in casting better than lead. The disadvantage to WW is that they wont weigh the same as pure lead, they will weigh less due to the tin content... ;)


August 4, 2008, 10:56 PM
check out this site... GREAT info on casting...

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