Back into reloading. some casting ???'s


bomb dropper
December 10, 2009, 08:18 AM
Well Im thinking about starting to cast my own bullets. Ive been reloading with my dad since I was a kid but since I joined the Marines I haven't had a chance to do it because Im to cheap to buy a press, dies, scale.... And because I haven't found to many places to shoot.

I found out the other day that my mother in law is going to give me her late husbands reloading gear. then I told my old man about it and he said he hasn't even touched his stuff since us kids left (my little brother joined up too) so he said he'd mail me out all his stuff so Im going to have more than enough to load loads I dont even shoot :D

But something I have never done is cast my own bullets (besides when I was a kid in cub scouts and we did it for some old flint locks) but I know that my mother in law is sending a couple molds and maybe a pot not sure tho. and after reading about how cheap some guys are loading home cast rounds for I figured Ill give it a shot

First Ive seen some guys making hollow points on a case trimmer. good practice? I mostly plan on casting 9mm

Second will a cast .224 cycle my m4?

Do most people harden them in a bucket of water?

Are wheel wieghts a good source of lead?

Thanks in advance

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December 10, 2009, 08:27 AM
Here's a good 101: >clicky (<

1. There's a chance the bullet will go out of round and wobble in flight. I'd stick to cast LSWC's for plinking, and maybe load up some jacketed hollowpoints if you want some of those, too. Lyman use to make (and still may) a mold that case hollow points.

2. Probably not. Even if you ran a gas check (which is going to hurt the economoy of cast bullets) you still won't get enough pressure to cycle the bolt... and your gas system is going to get dirty in a hurry.

3. I drop them in water, some folks don't. That 101 should cover that.

4. Wheel weights are great, included in the sticky.

Good luck brother, thanks for serving! If you find free wheel weights, stack 'em deep; they're drying up.

December 10, 2009, 08:28 AM
Bomb Dropper,

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December 10, 2009, 09:06 AM
Bomb Dropper,

Wheel weights will meet most of your casting needs. Many people water drop to increase hardness but I wouldn't until you can understand the benefit; harder is not always better. You can easily fire 9mm bullets without water dropping.

In another forum (The Cast Bullet Association), I asked about firing cast from an AR-15. Most people think the gas tube become clogged but I interacted with a few people who have cast thousands without problems.

I recommend you get the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook and Join thCast Bullet Association. With that inexpensive membership you get a free manual on bullet casting.

December 10, 2009, 12:20 PM
Congratulations on the expansion of your hobby. A very good source of basic to advanced casting information is in Dean Grennell's ABC's of reloading. You can get one off Amazon for 9.99$ plus shipping.
Lyman's reloading manual is another rich source of cast bullet information.

I've never in my life water dropped bullets, and I shoot lead bullets at rifle velocities. My favorate bullet alloy is Lyman #2, which is 90/5/5% lead/tin/antimony. It's easy to make #2 alloy with 19lbs of melted wheelweight lead plus 1lb of lead-free tin plumbing solder.

What I'd suggest you do is start out casting for handguns, then later work you way up to rifle loads. Loading a .223 with cast will be more challenging than starting out with the 38 Special or 9mm.

I have a Forster bullet hollowpointer, and I'm not to thrilled with it. I've tried cast hollowpoints too, but they are more challenging to cast then regular bullets. For 9mm, a truncated cone bullet has worked best for me. One thing to think about is taper crimping 9mm cast loads. I have a Walther that would not feed 9mm cast that was crimped with my regular Lee crimp die.

good luck,

December 10, 2009, 01:11 PM
In addition to the above mentioned books Carlton Shy's little red book of bullet casting gets deep into hardening bullets, should you ever feel the need. Carlton provides other good to know info, as well. Ask around among old silhouette shooters to find a copy.

December 10, 2009, 02:04 PM
Bombdropper, welcome to two great hobbies.
And thank you for serving both us and your country.

bomb dropper
December 10, 2009, 03:40 PM
Thank you everyone for your insight I cant wait to start but im trying to take it slow and learn all about it before I start so I dont get in over my head.

Im pretty sure I had a copy of the ABC's back home but im going to go out and buy another tomorrow just so I can start reading back into it before my stuff gets here.

Thanks about the heads up on the plumbers solder I worked in a tool and die shop before i joined so I have a pretty good understanding in metal and alloys.

Right now where waiting on our base house (signed a year lease off base) all the new houses have good size garages. In fact my buddy that lives on base built the the reloading bench out of the ABC's book hes the one that has really got me wanting to get back into reloading. I saw on here under a thread titled something like "show off your setup" or something were a few guys had built a shelf and mounted on a bedroom wall Ive been trying to find that to look at how they made them. I think it will suit my needs till April.

thanks again

December 10, 2009, 04:05 PM
BD, what are you dropping bombs from?

bomb dropper
December 10, 2009, 04:23 PM
lol from artillery, mortars, fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

Im an 0861 USMC scout observer :cool:

oh I found that self

December 10, 2009, 04:32 PM
Okay. The term bomb dropper brings fighter/bomber pilot to my mind. You know, those guys who confuse themselves with God. ;)

P.S. You should have said "The Sky." LOL

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