45 ACP Bullets. Lead or Jacketed?


October 28, 2009, 02:34 AM
Should i cast my on bullets or just buy them?
Is it worth casting them?
If i were to buy them, what's the cheapest company to go with?

I live in the Seattle area.

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October 28, 2009, 03:21 AM
If you're already set up to cast bullets you will save a lot of money. (as long as you have a good cheap source of lead) Since lead prices jumped .45 Auto bullets are very high because of their weight. It's hard to find 230gr .452" bullets for less than $40/500 these days without shipping. Add another $10 for shipping and they aren't a cheap shoot anymore. Jacketed bullets are much more at ~$100/500 and plated bullets aren't much cheaper.

I'm sure you can find a deal on the NET but most times when you buy cheap bullets you get cheap bullets that aren't accurate at all.

October 28, 2009, 07:56 AM
It's become difficult to find .45 FMJ bullets for practice, and when you do find them, they can be price. So, I went with lead for practice and target. There are quite a few sources for lead bullets. I'm real happy with Missouri Bullets, and I so are a good many of THR members. The prices are very economical and service is terrific. There is also no downside in performance.

It keeps me away from casting my own. However and I may be somewhat deranged, I think that casting my own bullets may be interesting and fun. I just haven't committed to it yet. If and when I do, Missouri Bullets also sells lead. Also, read the warnings about handling lead at the top of this forum.

October 28, 2009, 08:15 AM
I buy FMJ from Roze (Zero Brand) 230g they are $117/1000 with free shipping shoot great I am very happy with them.

October 28, 2009, 09:19 AM
Is it worth casting them?
If you don't count your time it is. If you end up enjoying casting it is just a bonus. Problem is it will turn you into a lead scrounger. Digging bullets out of the berm, begging wheelweights on the corner. It's a sad thing to see someone hooked on casting begging for their next "fix". :D

October 28, 2009, 09:22 AM
Just buy from Missouri Bullet. They even give us a 5% discount.

October 28, 2009, 09:30 AM
If you have very little going on in your life, casting is a great way to fill empty time.:D

Casting is time consuming. Very time consuming. You have to find lead. Going to scrap yards to find pure lead, sorting through wheel weights to get rid of the zinc and steel ones, finding a source for tin, these all take time.

Then you have to melt the stuff into ingots.

If you buy premixed lead, it is not cheap, and shipping is expensive.

Then, you get to cast bullets. This is not something you can just start and stop in five minutes. Expect to spend a day on your first batch.

Then you have to size and lube the things.

I only cast Minie balls and rifle bullets. No one around here makes those.

I have been doing business with a caster since the late 80's. He is a three hour drive away, so I buy bullets in bulk. His price is good enough that I would rather drive down there, buy handgun bullets , than spend all the time and effort casting.

Marlin 45 carbine
October 28, 2009, 09:55 AM
as slamfire I cast my own black powder gun slugs and balls due to the pure lead requirement. my smokeless slugs I buy from mike at mastercastbullets. 500 .45 200gr slugs last me a year no more than I get to shoot. it's costly but I would have to find time and mike has to make a liveing I suppose. good fella to deal with.

October 28, 2009, 10:14 AM
IMO--at your stage in reloading, Rodrigo, I wouldn't take on another part of the reloading hobby. You have a lot on your plate now, getting up to speed on building .45ACP rounds on a Load-Master.

There's numerous good retail sources that sell good cast bullets at reasonable prices--mastercast bullets, missouribullets, true-cast (out your way), and chey cast are some of them.

Jim H.

October 28, 2009, 10:22 AM
I'm a fiscally conservative reloader, and my favorite bullets are from Roze for jacketed bullets, and Dardas for lead.

October 28, 2009, 01:45 PM
Hey chagasrod,

The place to purchase lead bullets is Missouri Bullet Company. (http://www.missouribullet.com/)
And if you need some top-notch plated bullets or jacketed bullets you should get them from Rocky Mountain Reloading. (http://www.shop.rmrbullets.com/main.sc)

These 2 are both supporting members here and good gentlemen to deal with. Plus, they have their prices right and they are sudden with their shipping.


Disclaimer: No I'm not affiliated with either of these places nor do I receive anything for suggesting them. I'm just a satisfied customer.


October 28, 2009, 06:34 PM
I decided some time ago I would like to cast my own bullets, but that I had the wrong personality to beg for lead at the local tire store. Didn't have time to dig it outta the ground at the range.

Time went by. Then one morning I was on my way to a gun show with a friend who is a pharmacist. Got talking about component prices, and I mentioned that I would like to cast, but didn't want to buy lead alloy (too expensive) or beg for WW.

With a twinkle in his eye, he reminded me that he worked as a radio-pharmacist. Gave me the number to the lab manger, and a year later I have several ton's of lead, and have sold several ton's to other casters in the area. Good deal for me, good deal for them.

I cast for relaxation. It is not hard to turn out a thousand bullets while shooting the breeze with a friend for an hour. (Gotta love those 6-cavity molds).

Moral of the my story? Keep your eyes open for the right lead source. Once you find it, you will have a new hobby, and near free bullets.

October 28, 2009, 07:29 PM
Living in the Seattle area you may try contacting:
There just down the road from you other than that I go along with Walkalong.
It can get habit forming trying different combinations.

October 28, 2009, 08:08 PM
See post #19 here. http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=482834

October 28, 2009, 09:22 PM
I shoot Rainier pretty much exclusively. I love their quality. The indoor range I shoot at doesnt allow lead or I would load it. I think I am paying around $130/1K

October 28, 2009, 10:28 PM
I have found some nice medium hard cast bullets from Friendswood Bullet Co. on the net. Check and there are several others out there that do quality work.

Just do not buy the cheap junk at the gun show. ;-)


October 28, 2009, 11:31 PM
I shoot them for the same reason mentioned above at about the same price, or perhaps a bit more. They are clean and accurate.

My wife told me she'd use a lead bullet on a certain vulnerable part of me if I were to start melting the stuff in our around our house and four small kids. It pains me to agree with her on this, but she has a point.

October 29, 2009, 12:26 PM
I cast bullets for all my guns, so when I finally got a 1911, naturally, I wanted to cast for that too. Unfortunately, cast in the .45 ACP was a real learning experience.

I picked Lyman's 200 grain SWC, a short, stubby bullet. When I first started to load it I foilowed the published recipes exactly, including a published OAL of 1.160". It would not feed worth a damn. Every other round would jam the pistol. Could not solve that problem till I went into the .45 literature and read that going above the published OAL solved other people's problems. I started trying OAL's of 1.170", 1.175" and 1.180". Above 1.180" and the bullet was engraving the rifling. Found that 1.175" fed perfectly!

Then, problem #2 was discovered. The cartridges would feed into the chamber but the action would not lock up. The slide would stick out about 1/32 inch before lockup. I could lift my thumb and push the slide into battery, but that's not a great feature for a handgun.

I figured out that the diameter of the brass at the case mouth was .473", about 3 thousandths larger than factory jacketed ammo. I bought a Hornady taper crimping die and reduced the case mouth to about .470"-.471". That solved my problem and now I get 100% reliability with my cast reloads. You might jump into casting for your .45 and not have problems, but I hope my troubles will be value experience for you.

October 29, 2009, 02:56 PM
MichaelK - thanks for that post. I'm getting ready to reload for my 1911. If I can ask - what powder are you using? I use my .45 primarily for non-competitive target shooting. I'll also look for other threads on powder for a .45

October 29, 2009, 03:05 PM
It's a sad thing to see someone hooked on casting begging for their next "fix".

Now right...there...is a man who has been a boolit caster at some point. :D

October 29, 2009, 03:19 PM
Begged for wheelweights like it was my next meal.

October 29, 2009, 03:25 PM
WA...It's a sickness. I swear it is.

Casting is a neat hobby that can save money as long as you don't apply "The Math."

"Wow! I can cast bullets for a 4th what I can buy'em for! That means I can shoot about TEN TIMES as much for the same cost!!!"

It will become the tail that wags the dog. You've been warned.

Cast lead bullets are also easier on the gun, and in more ways than bore wear.

October 29, 2009, 03:27 PM
I use Blue Dot for everything, from 9mm to 44mag. I load the 200 grain .45 SWC with 10.0 grains of Blue Dot.

January 7, 2010, 04:39 PM
no begging here...

I got Bob and Rog(er) down at the Garage...

they provide the fix for my car

they provide the fix for my WW

It helps that Roger used to cast a lot himself...

Fortunately for me he no longer has the time....

but I'll never get out of the place without a conversation about guns, casting, hunting, etc...

that's O.K. too.

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