1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Casting your own

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Duncaninfrance, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    I know I have asked this one before but I can't find the thread ( story of my life!!!)

    Can ANYONE give me any web sites that explain how to cast your own BALLS step by step, sortr of an idiots guide and describe the kit that is needed to do it. :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Cheers from the loony bin!
  2. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    I don't know of a web site to explain casting, but maybe my experience(s) will help: I bought a Lee Electric Melter (bottom pour). Works great. Put the lead in, wait till it melts, lift the lever and it pours from the bottom into your mould (Lee double cavity moulds from Track of the Wolf. I bought .375, .380., .454., .490). I like the bottom pour melter because the crud floats to the top of the pot (add flux, burn it off, scoop it out with a ladel). The bottom pour nozzle does clog - keep a paper clip handy to clean it out. But...BE CAREFUL. Cast outdoors, wear eye protection, hand/arm protection, no bare feet, watch out for splashes when you add anything to the pot, especially water. The mould must be hot or the balls will come out deformed. It's really a simple, time consuming procedure that saves alot of CASH over buying the balls. And, only use pure lead - no wheelweights. The other method is to melt the lead in a melting pot and scoop it out with a ladel and pour it into the moulds - I like electricity and bottom pour.
    Ask me about Tap O Cap...
  3. Bummer

    Bummer Active Member

  4. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member


    I shot an arrow in the air, it came to earth I know not where - BUGGER, that's 17 I have lost this week!!

    Thanks for the link Bummer
  5. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    Does that mean..sniffle sniffle...that I didn't help you at all? sniffle sniffle
  6. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    On the contrary my dear chap, very interesting and informative. I am putting everything I get in a file which I will read a little later and pick the best bits out to try.
    I am casting lead balls cos I have run out of arrows!!
  7. gmatov

    gmatov member


    Just buy a Lee mould in your calibre. There is an instruction sheet with each mould that tells you in a general way how to cast. Tells you to clean the mould, tells you to smoke the mould with a smoky match or whatever, tells you how to heat the mould, dip the corner into the melted lead till it hots up.

    It IS a rather simple thing to do. People have been doing it for hundreds of years. A lot of them a little dumber than us.

    I specifically mention the Lee brand, if you can get it, because the moulds are aliminum blocks, heat quickly, cool quickly, so the balls are ready to drop quicker, and they come WITH handles, and they are cheaper for the WHOLE thing than most other brands blocks alone, indeed, cheaper, I think, than the handles alone for Lyman and the like.

    A double cavity is less than 20 USD, and a bottom pour melting pot, 10 pound capacity, is less than 40 USD.

    Should you decide to get these, would you please let us know what they cost in either the UK or France?


  8. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    Hi George.
    I already have a Pedersoli double mold which came with my 1858. I also have some roofing lead, about 10lbs so I was really looking for how and what kit. I have a bottled gas stove and a small, heavy stainless steel pan but no ladle.

    This is an exercise in ' convincing the wife it's cheaper' so I am sure you can see my problems!!

  9. sundance44s

    sundance44s Well-Known Member


    Cabelas sells a ladle and also i bought a new one at a local sportsmanswarehouse store here local .. its made by Lyman and is a little bigger than the one i bought at cabelas .
  10. Dienekes

    Dienekes Well-Known Member

    Started casting around 1962 or so and have been at it ever since. I know lots of people use Lee molds but I have never cared for them. Last one I tried was a .380 round ball double cavity, and I pitched it in frustration. I think you get what you pay for and that goes double when it comes to bullet molds. My modern ones are Hensley and Gibbs (now scarce) and Lymans are okay.

    Casting is an art form--simple but not easy. I cast over a gas burner, use a ladle, and rely heavily on a good thermometer. Wear eye protection, a good shop apron, long sleeves, and welder's gloves. Have good ventilation and be careful. That stuff is hot.
  11. gmatov

    gmatov member


    In that case, just hunt around for a ladle. You can melt the lead, you have the mould, just hot it up till it makeas a good ball.

    If you can get a thermometer to tell you how hot the melt is, so much the better. Don't have to guess.

    If you don't, when you have a good ball, remember that setting for your burner. Should be the same next time.



    If I have time, I will scan my own little flyleaf of instructions, post for you.



    Casting is not an "artform", as I said, dumber people than you and I have done it for hundreds of years.

    1/4 ounce of melted lead into a heated mould? An ARTFORM, f'r chrissake!!!!

    Some people have a very high opinion of themselves, "I can do it, YOU can't"!!!!

    BULL****, and if that is censored, BULLSH*T!!!!
  12. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

    I dunno I have xlint castings with Lee molds, got 5 of um from .380 2cav to .58 minnie balls 500gr. They heat fast cool fast mold faster than steel molds do. For the most part spruless, and about $17 to $20.
  13. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    'C' day Wednesday!

    Thanks all for your input. I am casting next Wednesday with a pal from the gunclub who is going to show me how. Will post results and pics.
  14. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

    Duncan do yourself a favor and get a small Lee cast iron melting pot and ladel with the pourspout. I have had both that and thesmall Lee electric pot for about 20 years. I still like the way the cast iron pot and ladel work.
    Have fun on "C" Day...
  15. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Well-Known Member

    I've been casting for many years...not only bullets but toy soldiers and cannon to fantasy figures.
    I own Lee, Lyman, RCBS, and Saeco molds useing pure lead, wheel weights and linotype and rarely have ever had a problem with Lee molds. They cast good bullets just as well as the other molds I mentioned. Take care of them and they will last a lifetime or two.
    (The only mold I had a problem with had Shiloh Sharps name on it for a hollow base .58 caliber bullet...never worked properly so threw it in the drawer and left it there.)
    It's true it's not an art form but it does take a lot of practice to gain the experience to cast excellent bullets consistently. Once you gain that experience you never seem to forget it.
  16. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

    Cast bullet experience available for competitors

    The Original Saeco Company bought The Cramer company in 1947 and started making Custom Precision Molds for top marksman competitors. Their motto was Match Winning Molds and were limited to 4 cavities so that 4 identical bullet could be cast with the help of machinists with decades of experience and a Space and Aircraft contracting Machine shop in addition to the Saeco Machinists. They were so successful they put H&G out of business of selling to the top ranking match competitors.

    A English company bought the H&G name years later witha limited market since the owner of Saeco died from his WW2 injuries in 1979. Later companies buying the Saeco name used cheap materials and workmanship smearing the great Saeco name and no molds made today compare with the many lifetime quality of the Original Saeco molds that can be recognized by their dark colored Patterned gunstock Walnut handles that very seldom show up for sale as they are kept in families and with competitor friends when a Saeco mold owner's competing days are done.

    Anyone wishing to know what are Original Saeco Markings and those of later companies with the name can ask me.

    Little known was that I had made a line of the same competitor lifetime molds in .45 & .50 Thompson Center Maxiballs and 11 sizes of round balls from .320 to .458

    Paul Fitz Jones
    Original Saeco Co. Distributor
  17. gmatov

    gmatov member


    I agree. Like riding a bicycle, practice is required to learn how to make a good ball. After you have learned, as for casting, after a year's layoff, you may make a few wrinkled balls but you will soon be back into the swing of things.


  18. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that my main problem is going to be "wrinkled balls"!!
    Hope Tess is not reading!! Where did she go?
    Am off to the range cos it is annual comp weekend and of course, it just started to rain, first drops for 3 weeks - typical!!
  19. Dr.Doug

    Dr.Doug Well-Known Member


    Lots of good advice here. The only other thing I can think of is a word of caution: DON'T pick up your work to admire it until after it cools! (guess how I learned that pearl of wisdom...)

  20. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    Well I did some casting today and finished up with 67 good .457 balls of 9.38 grams ± 0.7 grams ( 144.73 grains ± 1.08 grains ). The Hornady balls I have been using are 9.115 grams ( 141 grains ).

    Lead was heated on gas in a stainless steel pan and the dross skimmed with a tablespoon. Although I was using new roofing (flashing) lead there was a lot of dross. I added some beeswax and it flared up but am not sure if it helped to clear the dross.

    I used a 2 ball Pedersoli steel mould and warmed it over a low gas flame to start with. I had a second pot going on another burner and put the imperfect balls in there to melt down thus keeping the casting pot at a good temp.

    Balls were ejected into a bucket of cold water and the duff ones returned to the backup pot with a spoon.

    All together it was a simple job but I think one that should be done in the winter months instead of the summer heat.
    ps No pics cos I didn't think there was anything worth photographing. D

Share This Page