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45 ACP Bullets. Lead or Jacketed?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chagasrod, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. chagasrod

    chagasrod Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Lynnwood, WA
    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.
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    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.
  3. emb

    emb Member

    Aug 16, 2007
    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.
  4. RVenick

    RVenick Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    North Florida
    I buy FMJ from Roze (Zero Brand) 230g they are $117/1000 with free shipping shoot great I am very happy with them.
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    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
  6. MikeS.

    MikeS. Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Mid-Atlantic region
    Just buy from Missouri Bullet. They even give us a 5% discount.
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    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.
  8. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    South-Western North Carolina
    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.
  9. jfh

    jfh Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    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.
  10. Burrito

    Burrito New Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    I'm a fiscally conservative reloader, and my favorite bullets are from Roze for jacketed bullets, and Dardas for lead.
  11. Seedtick

    Seedtick Senior Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    Central Arkansas
    Hey chagasrod,

    The place to purchase lead bullets is Missouri Bullet Company.
    And if you need some top-notch plated bullets or jacketed bullets you should get them from Rocky Mountain Reloading.

    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.

  12. sqlbullet

    sqlbullet Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    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.
  13. Rugg_Ed

    Rugg_Ed New Member

    Sep 13, 2009
    North West USA
    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.
  14. rondog

    rondog Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2007
  15. okierifleman

    okierifleman New Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Houston TX!!!
    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
  16. Noveldoc

    Noveldoc Member

    Jul 13, 2009
    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. ;-)

  17. nulfisin

    nulfisin Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Ditto on Rainier

    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.
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    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.
  19. 196scoutmaster

    196scoutmaster New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    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
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Now right...there...is a man who has been a boolit caster at some point. :D

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