Bullet Casting Temperature

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Jul 28, 2008
Dear CBO's

Please comment about the following statement I found on internet:

"The ideal temperature for casting wheel-weight alloy bullets should be only
slightly higher than the melting point of lead (621° F). However, to get good
filling out of the mold most casters run about 625° to 675° F."

1) What's your advice to someone who doesn't want to reinvent the wheel?

2) Which thermometer (Lyman, RCBS, or other) would you advise me to buy to
monitor this temperature range?

Notes: I have learned that clip-on wheel-weight alloy reaches its "slushy" melting
point at about 463º F and its "molten" melting point at about 505º F.
Pure lead melts at 621.43º F.

Thank you again for your time and interest to help out someone new to the hobby.

I don't even own a lead thermometer, or find one particularly necessary.

I suppose it could help identify an unknown alloy by melt temperature, but I'm not that much of a metallurgist, or smart enough to know.

I just keep turning the heat up until I get good complete mold fill, without frosting on the bullets, and go for it.

Once I find that setting, I mark the thermostat dial with a lead pencil so I can go back to it again the next casting session.

When I fire up the next time, I turn it up all the way until the pot is almost melted, then turn it back down to the mark and start casting.

Soon as the mold gets hot, I'm getting good bullets again.

I'm using the RCBS thermometer and have no complaints. I tend to do most of my casting hotter than what you've listed . .typically around 700-725 ...I could run it lower with more tin I'm sure . . .but tin is expensive. :)

Have a good one,
I cast at around 780 degrees. I add a little bit of 95/5 solder for the tin to get a good flow. I smelt just below 700 degrees so the zinc won't melt.
I cast at about 700 degrees. I use a Lyman thermometer, but am sure the others work just as well. #4 on the Lee Pro 20 -- but I'll bet each Lee pot is an individual.
I use a Yokogawa PID controller and a K type thermocouple to control my homemade pot depending on the alloy I set it from 650-700 (wheel weights are at 650).
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