Bullet Casting Questions


July 18, 2009, 09:07 PM
Well I have started casting my own bullets. but I have a few questions for those with alot more expierence.

Im casting .45 bullets for my Ruger .45 LC/ACP Conversion. I bought a 45 mold at a local gun show, one of those bin o'casting molds sellers. It says .45 Cal on it and has the numbers 297 on the upper portion. It is a single bullet mold, The Cast bullets diameter is .452, and the cast bullets weight between 237-239 Grains according to my dig scale (so for reloading I'll be going with 240 Grain loads). Now the bullet style reminds me of a hunting round, it is pointed, and has 2grooves in the side.

Now a few of my questions are these:

1) By my description does anyone know what bullet mold I have (I've attached a crappy pic from my cellphone, sorry)

2) How do I know if I need gas checks on these, the base is where I measured the .452 diameter.

3) Lube, I know there are a few types out there, A) do I need to lube these bullets, B) I read the reloading helpful info post but dont remember if someone posted about this(all 18 pages of it) does anyone know of a substitute bullet lube that can be located as for example lowes/Hom Depot Etc. if these bullets do need to be lubed. A ALOX substitute if you will.

4) What MV should I stay under to avoid "Leading" of the Barrel, and is there a way to test the hardness of my lead? I am using a Lee pot that I got from a buddy a few years ago, he used it for making sinkers, Im using the lead that was left in it, plus I added in some deep sea sinkers, and some store bought cast bullets that were jacked up. Im planning on hitting up some auto places to try for some wheel weights.

Im sorry about all the questions, hopefully you all will be able to help me out.

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July 18, 2009, 09:15 PM
That bullet is for a Thompson Center muzzle loader

July 18, 2009, 09:17 PM
figures, so it couldnt be used for a pistol could it?

July 18, 2009, 09:22 PM
That's gonna be a tough bullet to use because where do you crimp it? (rhetorical question; there's not an answer)
You don't need gas checks with any .45 Colt loads.
Johnson's Paste Wax is supposed to make a good bullet lube. Or you can use a mixture of beeswax and moly grease. (don't use paraffin instead of beeswax, it won't stick to the bullets, don't ask me how I know) Toilet wax rings might work, especially if you melt in a little STP or castor oil; I haven't tried it.

July 18, 2009, 09:23 PM
The bullet is to long for the 45acp. Its not made for a cartridge gun. In the 45 colt you would have to use light powder charges and work up, if it could be used at all?? The bullet should measure larger in diameter on the nose compared to the base. Maybe some one will post that has tried loading it. Best to sell it and buy a proper mould

July 18, 2009, 09:26 PM
Do you have any freinds work for the railroad. If so ask if they have any of the sticks for checking brakes and wheels on rail cars. Makes great bullet lube. I made so that it melts at certain temps and sticks well.

July 18, 2009, 09:26 PM
well anyone need a .45 cal bullet mold for a thompson contender LOL??

July 21, 2009, 01:23 AM
Well I sold that mold on ebay, and have a Lee .45 230Gr RN mold on the way, do I need to lube these bullets once I cast them, and if so does anyone have some homemade bullet lube reciepies?

July 21, 2009, 01:44 AM
Do yourself a favor and buy some Lee Liquid Alox, or some Rooster Jacket.

July 21, 2009, 01:47 AM
Get the Lee sizing kit, comes with a tube of lee Liquid Alox, real easy to use stuff. Castboolits.gunloads.com have TONS of casting info.

July 21, 2009, 01:10 PM
have a Lee .45 230Gr RN mold on the way, do I need to lube these bullets once I cast them, Yes, they need lube. The diameter of the bullets as they drop from the mould will determine how you lube them. Bullets should measure .452" +\- .001" if you want to TL (tumble lube) without sizing. Use the Xlox from here http://www.lsstuff.com/lube/index.html Follow Lee instructions, warm and apply. Liquid Alox application

Best results in applying liquid alox are when the alox is heated before applying, or thinned with paint thinner. This makes it flow more easily, and results in a more even coat. One technique is to boil water and pour it into a coffee mug, and then drop the bottle of liquid alox into the mug for about five minutes.

Place your freshly cast bullets into something about the size of a Cool Whip bowl and drop a few drops of liquid Alox on the bullets. Mix the bullets around until they are all coated. Lay the freshly coated bullets on some wax paper to dry. Liquid alox will usually dry enough overnight to reload the next day, depending upon the humidity. Tacky bullets can be dusted with powdered graphite.

If you subscribe to the "more is better" line of thought, your coated bullets may never dry. Don't go for a "golden" color but rather just a light varnish. If you discover that your bullets are sticky the next day, you can get by with using a little less the next time. Keep reducing until the "stickiness" is gone by the next day.

If you are sizing your cast bullets, it is necessary to lube them first. Because the sizer will remove some of the surface of a larger diameter bullet, you may need to re-lubricate the bullets after they have been sized.

Many of our bullets are of the "TL" or Tumble Lube design. These bullets have many shallow grooves that are perfect for allowing Liquid Alox to adhere to a great amount of surface. It has been reported that the accuracy of these bullets is high.
Both TL & regular cast bullets can be lubed this way. If the bullets as they drop from the mould are to large, they must be sized.

July 21, 2009, 04:49 PM
What MV should I stay under to avoid "Leading" of the Barrel, 900fps when using soft alloy, to 1400fps using Lyman #2 alloy.is there a way to test the hardness of my lead? Yes. Lee makes a hardness tester. I have never used or needed one. Im planning on hitting up some auto places to try for some wheel weights. Do not add Zinc wheel weight to the pot, zinc is harder the lead alloy WW's. A blend of 50/50 wheel weight and misc lead will be good to 900fps with proper lubing. Click photos for larger view [/URL][/IMG] How to blend metal for #2 alloy. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_Alloy_20090610_2.jpg (http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/Alloy_20090610_2.jpg) http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_Alloy_20090610_1.jpg (http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/Alloy_20090610_1.jpg)

July 21, 2009, 05:40 PM
By the numbers:

1) Answered above

2) Bullets designed for a gas check will have a reduced diameter shank at the base where the gas check crimps to the base. This bullet does not require one.

3) About any waxy/oily substance can be used for lube. Some work better or are easier to work with than others.
A) All lead bullets must be lubed
B) Beeswax or paraffin wax will work. Check out cast boolits and look for lube recipes for a number of make at home variants. For less up-front trouble, get the Lee sizing die that comes with a bottle of LLA.

4) This question has no proper answer. It pre-supposes that leading is always or primarily caused by excess velocity. This is not the case.

Poor sizing, poor lube and too-hard bullets are more likely causes of leading than velocity in 45ACP/45 Long Colt. Your bullets ideally should be .001 over groove diameter, have a good lube (lla works fine for me), and should be a hardness around 10-12. If you experience leading, trouble shoot in that order, and try softer lead first, not harder. The bullet must 'obturate' or bump up to seal the bore.

For example:

I shoot 10mm. I size to .402. My gun barrel slugged to .4005. I lube with Lee Liquid Alox (LLA). Initially in my enthusiasm for bullets that were hard enough, I was water dropping from the mold to quench harden them. I had some leading with 'practice' loads using Blue Dot. Nothing serious. Didn't impact accuracy over 100 rounds, so many guys would not consider it leading at all. But it did take a swipes with a brass brush to clean the bore.

I finally got a Lee Hardness Tester and found that my alloy (isotope lead) is a 30 BHN when I water drop it. It air-cools to a 10-12 depending on summer/winter casting.

I switched to air-cooled bullets and the leading disappeared. I also could make the leading go away with the harder bullets by using full bore loads in Blue Dot, or by using Unique to get my practice velocities.

In all three cases I changed a variable the resulted in a peak pressure that could obturate the bullet: Softer bullets with the lower pressure Blue Dot loads. Higher pressure with full power Blue Dot. Higher pressure with the faster Unique giving the same practice velocity.

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