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Casting bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tjcolt45, Jan 9, 2013.

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  1. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    With regards to zinc, it melts at over 780° F where WW's should melt around 700° give or take. I use my inexpensive digital volt ohmeter and a temperature probe to keep track of temps when I'm smelting. The zinc and steel weights, clips and trah float to the top when the lead melts.

    35W
     
  2. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Free
    Yes
     
  3. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    I know what you all mean when you say lead is hard to come by, I just went to work for a friend who is taking over his family auto salvage yard. Its tough to weight for the bucket to fill up before I can take it home.:D

    Plus we are developing some good relation ships with a few local shops. I hope to soon have more lead than I know what to do with.
     
  4. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Yes.

    Occasionally- they are getting hard to find. I can usually get sheet lead and lino ingots cheaper.

    Not before melting them. They float to the top, pick them off then.

    I've gotten about a coffee cans worth of free lead in my endeavors. Old timers tell folklore about finding vast mountains of it curbside, and "pick as you please" troughs at "service stations" from days of olde. I have yet to find either- and I've looked. I've even tried BeerBribery. But I don't have a Tardis- so I doubt I'll personally ever see it.

    Casting ? You bet your heavy ingots. I laugh all through the process. When I get to that point in a 3k or so bullet run when I can't lift the mould anymore, I think of the faces of all those guys at Bi-Mart at the reloading counter with the long faces over the last two weeks.... looking for bullets that aren't there. Then I Tap the bullets out of the mould, and keep goin'
    IF you use alloys, for certain. Sawdust, motor oil- there are a lot of things that are cheap to use.... You are looking for a lot of free carbon, essentially.


    As you can tell, not really necessary......... I'm fairly certain we can provide just about all the info you need :D

    I really need to move........ Congrats ! It just got that much cheaper, now didn't it :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  5. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Yes I got started in order to feed the appetite of my Raging Bull. I simply couldn't count on the supply, nor afford to keep shooting commercial bullets. It has sort of morphed from there to include just about every handgun and rifle caliber I own.

    I found very little to no local wheel weights. Not that they aren't in my area, but there are plenty of other casters who have already established connections and for the most part have the local supply sowed up. That said, and as mentioned above there are sources to be found in the classifieds of this and other sites. You might have to pay for the alloy but usually it is around $70 per 65# delivered to your door. Figure in the cost of time and fuel to run around all over town trying to find a partial to full bucket of weights, I found it is just as cheap if not cheaper.

    The clips, and most other trash, as mentioned will float to the top when the weights melt. They are easily removed especially if you use some sort of strainer type spoon.

    As for the fluxing, yep I do so several times during the main smelting into ingots, and again when in my Lee 4-20 when pouring my bullets. I use sawdust twice in the big pot followed by once with paraffin for a final flux before pouring ingots. Then in the 4-20 I only use a pea sized chunk when the alloy comes up to temp and then after each filling of the pot afterwords. It seems to work as I don't get near the dribble or plugged up spout I see others dealing with.

    One thing which hasn't been mentioned is when you DO get to the point you have ingots ready to melt into bullets you might also pick up a 1# roll of 95-5 Silver Solder. When you melt up the alloy and before you start to pour bullets you might add in a couple of Oz's to help with fill out in your mold. this will only be necessary if when you pour you find your bullets aren't filling into the sharper corners of the cavities.

    As for sources of info, the one site mentioned above is a great source as is the following, The Cast Bullet / Hunting Articles Of Glen E. Fryxell. Also be sure to check out the Cast Bullet Notes and From Ingot to Target.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Skip Sackett

    Skip Sackett Member

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    IMG_1672.jpg
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    4546402.jpg

    Questions answered via photo journalism! The last there is a 45 Colt load that you will not find on any commercial shelf. THAT is the best part of casting and reloading.

    p.s. I have some videos/pictures of doing range scrap from an indoor trap too, if you are interested. :D
     
  7. blarby

    blarby Member

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    someone else who makes pizza ingots :D
     
  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I prefer muffin tins myself they are easier to put into the 5 gal buckets to store. Also Thick ones are WW alloy and thin ones are pure lead.:D
     
  9. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    I use both pizza ingots and the "corn" bread ingots. The corn bread ones fit in my furnace easier. The other I have to manipulate to get into the pot.

    Of course, if you use a ladle to cast and a cast iron pot, any ingot size will work .
     
  10. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Skip,thats a nice looking set-up! My smelting operation is about the same,except that I use several ingot molds that I bought at a gun show for $2 apiece. I have a few cornbread molds,too,but they don't stack as well as the 1# ingots. Lightman
     
  11. Skip Sackett

    Skip Sackett Member

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    Thanks ALL!
    I like to reload and cast almost as much as I like to shoot! :)

    Here is another setup I have for smelting. This one is from an indoor range bullet trap. LOTS of jacketed stuff in this mess!
    107lb.jpg

    Video, click on it to watch:
    th_First_load_heating.jpg
    Video, click on it to watch:
    th_Second_load_heating.jpg
    Video, click on it to watch:
    th_Second_load_heating_2.jpg
    The "pie" ingots were from my #1 son's setup. These are from mine:
    60lbs_3pm.jpg

    Culls are not pulled from this pile yet but, this is WHY I cast:
    452200RangeScrap.jpg

    :D
     
  12. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Member

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    Surprisingly nobody mentioned to the newbie OP the basic difference of the stick on vs. clip on wheel weights. The stick ons which look like thick metal tape are near pure soft lead and should be kept seperate from the harder clip on weights. Be sure to sort these too as will have lettering on them and sort the ones that say zn ( zinc ) or fe ( steel ). Scrap the steel ones but hang onto the zinc as can be used for fishing sinkers, downrigger weights, anchors or anything heavy except bullets. Same goes for the zinc clip ons as can keep them too. I try to pre sort my buckets of weights when I get them now as only appx. 50% is useable lead anymore and dont want to run the risk of contaminating what little yield I am getting.
     
  13. Hillbillyz

    Hillbillyz Member

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    I've had very little sucess with getting free wheel weights. What I do is go to the local recycle yard, they sell wheel weights for .55 a pound. He has a 55 gallon drum of them and I fill a 3 gallon bucket of the ones I pick out. That way I have very few steel or zinkers.

    Even when you figure waste from the clips a pond of smelted wheel weight lead costs @ .60. Still beats having to buy bullets.
     
  14. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Since we're showing pictures :)
    EB9A1060-24E4-4283-8B9D-B66761DB7C1F-23892-00000D4B9EBD9C5C.gif

    20 degree ambient temp leads to this after a long session
    5928177D-052B-40DD-9E2A-6D1024D757C9-23892-00000D4BA91548D7.gif

    Some of the finished product
    F9FB0FE7-7815-4B9A-AEE5-490A95189832-4518-000001D9B2D2DC85.gif


    Brought to you by TapaTalk
     
  15. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Hey Skip, that bullet looks awefully familiar, is that from the MP mold?

    If so look over at my Photobook album under shooting/ Casting/ Alloy testing. I did some 45 ACP test with it that really surprised me.
     
  16. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Not Skip, but Yep, that's from the MP .452-200 mould. I just lubed and sized a couple hundred of them yesterday. Great bullet.

    Don
     
  17. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I purchased a 50# roll of roofers lead flashing for $1 a pound when we built our addition, but then the contractor showed up with one that he bought.

    I made sure he used his and mine became an "off the books" reloading expense ;)

    I'm mixing it in with my WWs at about 25% pure to 75% WWs when I smelt and pour ingots. Then when I cast boolets, I add ~ 12 inches of 98 tin - 2 antimony solder to a 2/3 full Lee 20# production pot.

    As you can see, I'm very scientific about it.
     
  18. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    You people ought to be ashamed of your selves ruining good cast iron like that.

    I just could not bring my self to use good cooking cast iron for any thing but cooking.
     
  19. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    USSR,
    I have the heavier one that throws around a 260'ish grain one depending on the alloy. It sure does make a nice wide flat spot in the soft dirt I use to catch them.

    This is the pic comparing the ACP's,
    P1010018_zps7ed53667.jpg

    And the same, 9far right) from my 45 Colt @ 50yds,
    P1010011.jpg

    Gotta love those MP's they throw great bullets for sure.

    grubbylabs,

    I hear you on the cast iron, I have my cookin wear and now a couple of pieces of castin wear. I purchased the latter specifically for smelting. The other stuff is cared for like a good old huntin dog, very tenderly.

    I have one of my grandmother's 10" skillets, that "was" used for who knows how many years. I came home from work one evening and my wife then pretty young and and new to all things cooking then, said "Look honey I cleaned up this old skillet today, and it almost looks new again!" Yea I kept her, probably the best thing I ever did, but she did learn that the old black baked on gunk is good on cast iron, and not so good on the other stuff. LOL
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  20. USSR

    USSR Member

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    260gr bullet out of a .45 ACP? What do the travel at, 600fps?:D I have the MP .454-270SAA for my .45 Colt. With my alloy the hollowpoints come out at about 265gr. Yeah, gotta love those MP moulds.

    Don
     
  21. Skip Sackett

    Skip Sackett Member

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    Yes, 41, that is from one of those moulds! I have several including a 454640 that I was the Honcho for on castboolits.gunloads.com!

    Oh, and by the way, I have a load for that bullet that pushes it out of my M625JM 4" revolver @ 1100fps! How is THAT for 45ACP performance, Don?

    ;)
     
  22. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Hey.... I started a thread and have not finished but I left off going from WW to ingots. Next step is casting Rn230's so it will answer some of your questions...

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=690623


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  23. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Yeah, that's performance, but I don't think you will get anything like that out of a 1911.

    Don
     
  24. boommer

    boommer Member

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    USSR HI I run some heavy loads thru my 1911 springfield 9grs of unique 255 gr CAST RF and 22# recoil spring and show no pressure signs. 875 fps over a crony.
    I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS LOAD but I read a article on this and worked up to this load and its do- able. I don't use this load that much but it's possible and I might ad this is with new cases.
     
  25. Skip Sackett

    Skip Sackett Member

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