Air cooled vs water cooled cast bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bfh_auto, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. stormshrike

    stormshrike Member

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    Pro-tip - when adjusting the angle that you're holding your mold under your bottom-pour pot, don't rest your forearm on a newly dropped bullet, even if you're wearing a long sleeve cotton shirt. :eek:
     
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  2. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I think appropriate protective gear is a much better idea. I wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants, leather shoes, a hat, a face shield, welding gloves, and a leather apron. Never been burned in years of casting.
     
  3. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I'm of the opinion that your actions and focus are far more important than saftey gear. Ridden a motorcycle for three decades and no matter how good your gear that semi is still going to kill you. The same theory applies to load selection, and guys that blast in mines for a living.
     
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  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I agree with that to an extent. When I do things that increases the risks involved, I generally gear up appropriately.

    When I cast bullets, I don’t put on the same gear that I smelt with. My actions are directly related to the safety gear. Not sure I would call if focus, just an understanding of the different risks between the two.

    Like the added risk of a drop of water contacting molten lead, the closer the two are together.
     
  5. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    There are two different equally important things being conjoined here.
    1. Know understand and moderate risk
    2. Attention to task. No phone TV radio kids and so forth.
    Driving isn't hard but holding your phone and facetiming a kid while your motoring down the way is a huge distraction.
     
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  6. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I wear the safety gear but in 33 years I have still got some small burns. So my wife as couple of those plants and I use them once in a while.
     
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  7. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    Read up on Water dropping been around for at least the last 100 hundred years. Maybe longer but my reloading manual library only goes back to 1920.
     
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  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I understand that. Football players used to be able to hit each other and back then they wore leather helmets with no face mask…

    The Romans drank from lead vessels, even before that. I don’t do that either.

    I don’t have any problems with people that do though, if they are happy with their results, I am happy for them.
     
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  9. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Have you ever screwed up on purpose just to know what it looks like. I dropped a wet bullet in with tongs as far back as I could just to see what not to do. No damage no injuries but it's no joke. Dam lead volcano. Ever wonder why I weigh every single load. Squibs are better than doubles but my dad's reloads while sick from cancer resulted in squibs by the dozens. I pulled down the rest and weighing every one is my fix.
     
  10. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I don't screwup intentionally my job for 19.5 years was working on the flight decks of Navy ships with 12 ton aircraft, so making a mistake usually sucked.

    I have had only 4 squibs out of 192,825 rounds loaded and luckily they were in Ruger Blackhawk.

    Definitely sorry about your dad and your loss my wife has been cancer patient for 22 years. It sucks.
     
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  11. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I understand all that but the guy was asking about water dropping bullets.
     
  12. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    That was a progression of the discussion. AKA rabbit trail.
    @jmorris was explaining why he never has water near casting. It morphed into safety gear vs attention. To that comment.
     
  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I was in charge of thermal nuclear weapons for the last 13 years on a trident. ORM is applied every day of my life, but a little water in lead is by far not even close to the dangers I lived every day on the sub. It may have been an extreme experiment but learing is worth the danger if you control the environment....
     
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  14. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I definitely appreciate his views on safety but there a lot of bullet casters that water drop their bullets safety all the time and if done properly they work great.
     
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  15. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    Spent years on the back of ships trying to find Subs. Underway we were more scared of a diesel boat than a boomer.
     
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  16. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    It's like the blue dot thread. There are two sides. Both sides have to admit the other is partially right. It's dangerous and can lead to disaster if don't incorrectly. But the chance of disaster can be mitigated by safety precautions. Your idea of the extent is your free will.
     
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  17. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Me to. But i add linotype. From Online tests & some of my own, I find......

    Adding 3% tin to the WW would make a more flexible bullet. Tin is not needed to heat treat. The antimony makes bullets brittle.

    Mold to water bullets, not as accurate as oven heat treated bullets placed in water, Lyman method. Size before heat treatment.
    Bullets from the mold to water are not all at the same temperature. Makes a difference

    Water cooled bullets with 2% antimony take up to 2 weeks to fully harden. Using 6% antimony, bullets reach maximum hardness within hours.
    The hardness is same thru the whole bullet. Sizing after hardening makes the surface of bullets softer..

    Bullets in storage- Air cooled tin based bullets will get softer after a few years.
    Oven heat treated, water cooled, retain there hardness.

    Casting bullets is part witchcraft. :evil:
     
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  18. Yooper Smoker

    Yooper Smoker Member

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    its a part of ''rite of passage'' casting
    your gonna get splattered sooner or later
    hopefully just small spots

    Mike
     
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  19. BBarn

    BBarn Member

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    It's probably worth noting that water quenching is only effective with alloys containing at least 4% antimony such as Hardball, clip-on wheel weights, Lyman #2, and Linotype. It has a negligible effect on pure lead and simple tin-lead alloys.
     
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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    There was no question in the OP or title of the thread. Just a video someone made destroying two bullets, one air cooled, the other dropped into water and a statement on the OP’s decision to not water drop based upon said video (assumed).

    I simply relayed my experience, in an attempt that a potentially unknown to others, risk/hazard, is involved before they get burned by molten lead.

    You suggested obtaining house plants to help treat burns.

    I was looking at it more from an avoiding burns standpoint.
     
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  21. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Pretty much. I have read about water quenching and was contemplating it. Seeing how brittle they can become along with the continual changing of brinell hardness turned me off.
     
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  22. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I powder coat my bullets so see no need for dropping them in water as you are just going to heat them back up with the coating process.

    As a long time welder I am very familiar with burn prevention. As a caster paying close attention to what you are doing is the most important thing. My clothing in hot weather for casting is a t-shirt and jeans. I don't even bother with gloves. I cast by myself and don't add any distractions just as I do when loading. Total attention on the process plus taking my time gets the job done.
     
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