A good buy, but honestly, I don't like the dipper method. I started out with an electric burner (modified to eliminate the thermostat), a cast iron pot, and a dipper. When pouring the lead into the mould, it can take some practice to ensure you get plenty of lead into that mould (leave a puddle on top of the sprue) when casting for larger calibers.
Since then, I've gotten a free lee bottom pour pot and life is WONDERFUL! Bullets are a better quality with more consistent shape (sharp edges and fewer wrinkles). The only problem is, it's faster, so you'll be going through lead really quick.
As for a kit, if you get the lee bottom pour pot (the Lee website didn't offer a kit), you will spend around $80 brand new. Then, another $25 or so for the mould, and another $15 for the sizer (lube is included).
May 30, 2012, 12:36 PM
I've used a Lyman dipper, cast iron pot and a Coleman campstove or electric hotplate for many years. It's fast and fill out is excellent.
Use the same set up basically. I even have the same dipper, except mine sure doesn't have any varnish left on the handle :)
I use my old cast iron pot for smelting and found a nice heavy gauge SS pot for casting.
I rigged my propane Coleman camp stove with the adapter so I can run off a 20# bottle.
I've thought a few time about getting a fancy electric bottom pour pot, but don't know if I ever will.
That old dipper rig I use has poured and cast a LOT of bullets for me.
May 31, 2012, 12:51 AM
I do have one thing to add about the bottom pour pot. It helps if you elevate the pot a bit higher than the base is made. This gives you more room if you decide to cast other things like fishing weights.
I just recieved mine this past year and didn't think I'd like it, but I was wrong. I love it!
May 31, 2012, 11:54 AM
A year ago I was where you are. My strategy was to spend the least amount of money possible until I could determine:
1. That I could actually successfully cast bullets.
2. That I enjoyed doing it.
I started with
1. A used Lee 10 lb bottom pour pot I bought off another caster.
2. Thermometer bought used from the same caster.
3. Lee 2-cavity mold
3. Lee Lube and Sizing kit
4. 50 lbs of lead ingots made from reclaimed wheel weights bought from another caster on the castboolits forum.
5. Spoon, cake pan, disposable roasting pan, and a couple kitchen towels from the dollar store.
6. Goggles, welders apron, and welders gloves from Harbor Freight.
1. The 'customer satisfaction rate' on Lee's 20lb pot seems to be much higher than the 10lb pot. I'd get the 20lb pot if I were buying it new. (I have since upgraded to an RCBS Pro-Melt but that's in an entirely different price range).
2. As soon as I knew I could successfully make boolits, I bought a 4-cavity brass mold from Tom at Accurate Molds. It has been money well spent.
3. I cast and shoot enough (5000 rounds per year minimum) that I plan on buying a Ballisticast Mk VI for sizing and lubing.
May 31, 2012, 04:24 PM
Thank you all
May 31, 2012, 05:53 PM
Casting is a good little arrow to have in your pocketses. Thank you indeed.
June 2, 2012, 09:47 AM
Congratulations on your decision to join the Brotherhood of the silver stream !!!
Your INDEPENDENCE grows !! enjoying flux & lead fumes since `82 , that`s 1982:D
June 2, 2012, 11:22 PM
When I first started I bought a few Lee things.
Bottom pour pot
45 cal mold and sizing die
44 cal mold and sizing die
From the good will store I bought
I bought a blue speckled pot from wal-mart ( I can't bring my self to ruin good cast Iron, yes it's all good, and meant for cooking food!)
I bought the Lyman casting book and logged onto the castboolits web site for further knowledge.
June 3, 2012, 06:20 AM
Like operating a backhoe or dancing a waltz, casting with a dipper is more art than science. Some people pick it up quickly, others never will.
Let's just say that I'm not an artist.
Many moons ago (after I'd been casting for several years with a dipper:banghead:), a friend took pity on me and my wrinkled, misshapen Boolits and gave me an old RCBS bottom pour pot.
It was like being reborn! All of a sudden I could cast lots of good bullets quickly and more importantly, consistently. I still use that same RCBS pot more than two decades later.
If you need to start out with a dipper due to monetary concerns, by all means do so, but if you can't pick up the skill in a couple of months, don't give up. Just get one of the Lee bottom pour pots and go on casting.
June 3, 2012, 09:56 AM
Dixie is another place to look. Casting is fun and if you go with larger (6) cavity molds you will be glad to have a bottom pour. Too bad your to far. I have an extra 10lb BP collecting dust.
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