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Casting - does it save money?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lovesbeer99, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. Lovesbeer99

    Lovesbeer99 Member

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    Using approximate numbers it looks like I can get about 450 rounds or 158 grain bullets (give or take 20) with 10 lbs of lead. So where can I get lead to make this worth my wild? By the looks of buying lead it would cost me about 50.00 and for that much I can buy 500 rounds of laser cast and that includes shipping.

    Also, it looks like a 10 lbs electric pot kit is under 150.00 from lyman. Is this a good way to start? Is there a way to save money by using a cast iron pot and an open flame with high heat potential?

    I see wheel weights, but is there a reliable source for these? Honestly? Anywhere else?

    I'd like to start doing this and I've starting reading post so I'm please be kind.
     
  2. scrat

    scrat Member

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    your initial start up may cost you. the biggest mistake would be buying a lyman. all you need is a heat source. if you want to drive up the cost of your bullets go ahead. Some people top cast out of a pot on a stove. can it be done yes. man has been casting bullets for hundreds of years. it wasnt till the last 100 years we started using electric heaters. With this in mind you can get a very good bottom pour for about 50.00 a lee production iv. Best two places to buy lead and a pot is ebay. last time i bought lead i bought 60lbs delivered to my door for $60.00 Thats a lot of bullets for 60lbs of weight. its all about timing. if your really interested in casting do a search on this forum. As there are about a million threads on this. some done within the past week.
     
  3. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    It all depends on what you shoot. I mean when you can get 1k 38 bullets for under 55 bucks plus shipping it is kind of hard to justify the work but if your casting more expensive bullets like 45-70's it can pay off pretty quick. A Lee pot works just fine no need to drop a lot of money on the stuff. The cheap Lee dies work ok to get started on too. As far as lead goes look around locally. You can get it cheaper than ebay. I usually pay about 50 cents a pound when I buy it.
     
  4. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    Buy a Lee pot. Get Lee molds. Pay $.40/lb for wheel weights, worst case situation, and get 44 bullets/lb, or 110 bullets/1.00$. Over 1100 bullets per $10. Seriously. I don't pay for lead most of the time, so I can run that number down.

    I would say that casting is THE best way to save money... start getting cheap lead by salvaging from clay fields, ranges, linotype, tire shops, x-ray rooms, anything. Saddle up.
     
  5. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Riddle me this........

    I would be making a 530-550 gr bullet I can get then $20 per 50 including shipping, would I be saving any thing?
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Bullet casting and saving money

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=391990 Some general info. Click my links to find Lyman info and other companys. http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4889032 To save money on casting, you should find a source of free alloy/wheel weight. Always tell them that they will be used for fishing sinkers. To many anti gun people out there. The wheel weights may need some tin, or linotype to possible harden the alloy. A Lee bottom pour spout will work, but best to make ingots and clean the alloy in a larger pot. I use an old coleman camp stove. You can use any heat source, with an old pot, a ladle that works too. If you shoot a lot, you will save money. Bullet casting is very simple, dont over think it. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=393106
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  7. Lovesbeer99

    Lovesbeer99 Member

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    Quote - "I would be making a 530-550 gr bullet I can get then $20 per 50 including shipping, would I be saving any thing? "

    Can you please restate the question.
     
  8. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    Assuming you paid $0.40 a lb, which is about average for lead scrap, you'd cast a 550gr bullet that would average to $20/255... help yourself. That's way better than $20/50.
     
  9. ants

    ants Member

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    No one in my area has scrap lead at 40 cents per pound. It's all a dollar a pound around here. Lotsa demand for it.

    Different regions in the country have different local economies. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for you, and vice versa.
     
  10. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Oh I see now, duh I had a calculator and a brain once even knew how to do math, dont know what happened to me.

    Any way I have a chunk of lead I dont know the quality but it weighs 250 pounds it was a keel weight on a ocean going sail boat that wrecked. I went out and cut it off an abandoned boat that washed up on the beach 5 years prior. So really I dont know why I even posted I have lead for years now any way..........WHAT WAS I THINKING?
     
  11. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Well lets see. I get free wheel weights. I have around 700 pounds in ingots. So if you want to figure in a little propane and electric I am loading 45 auto with 200 Grain LSWC for $30 per 1,000. I think 100 WWB 45's cost more than $30.
    Rusty
     
  12. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Rusty you Rcmodel and Reloaderfred. im begining to think what dont you have.

    700lbs wow
     
  13. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I am still waiting for some more, have about 30 pounds of WW right now, love casting, but has been too hot all summer. Now it'scooling off, casting time!
     
  14. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    The big place it saves money is on calibers where the bullets are $.40, $.75, and even a buck apiece. It saves money on .38, 9mm, and .45 also, just not as much.

    If you do not shoot in volume, it will not amortize out, except if you shoot odd-ball calibers.

    If you are not up to scrounging Lead and Tin, your costs will be much higher. I do buy Tin, but really cheap. I cannot ever remember buying Lead in any form, and I'm 51.
     
  15. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Let people know you're looking for lead. This is what happened when a co-worker that knew I cast boolits told me about SOME lead that was available at work. Free for the hauling.

    [​IMG]

    That chunk weighs 90#. I got 13 of them!:):evil::D It's nearly pure lead. Alloyed with linotype metal, it makes great boolits. Cast as is, it makes wonderful black powder boolits/round balls.

    The lino I get from a local gunshop owner, he also casts and shoots lead boolits. The last batch cost me $1.50-#. At 3 lino to 17 of the above lead, my material cost is very low. I also scored some lino on fleabay, that cost a bit more delivered, $1.60 #.

    I also volunteered to clean out the bullet trap at my clubs indoor range. We are re-doing the plates that deflect the bullets into a sand trap. I figure there 4 -500 pounds in there. I will have to have help for that project, some beer and food will most likely be enough, maybe have to share some ingots?:D
     
  16. lawboy

    lawboy Member

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    I get lead free, as much as I want, seriously.
    I have to smelt it into clean ingots, of course, and I do roughly 2000-4000lbs each year. Some I give to friends, some I sell, A Lot I turn into bullets and shoot. It saves me a ton of money. When you are shooting 10k of 45 acp, 2000-3000 of 45-70 and another 3000-5000 of other assorted rifle and handguns rounds annually, you better find a cheap source of lead and cast your own!
     
  17. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    Lovesbeer99 - the hardest thing to do is to get that first bucket of wheel weights as it takes a little bit of persistence, but honestly once you have that first 110-120lbs of wheel weights it's all down hill as you'll be busy casting/smelting and looking for more and it just seems like it gets alot easier. (But I had the same concerns) I think I had to hit about 10-12 shops before I hit the first one that gave (yes GAVE) me any weights.

    I would say on average I'm paying about .10 - .20 per pound for wheel weights, you'll hit one shop that gives you 300lbs for nothing and another guy wants $35 for a 5 gallon bucket. I don't ever lie to them about what I'm using them for (and you do hit "some" antis). I do find that taking my drop dead gorgous daughter with me helps. (She's the reason I had to start casting as she was shooting my .45's to death). It's funny, I can have a guy turn me down flat but she walks in, gets the "ok" and then her troll father walks up to carry the heavy buckets. :)

    I think you got good advice on the Lee Pro Pot IV, that's what I started out with and with one cheap lee mold you'll have less than $100 into your startup equipment. (I"m assuming you can scrounge a turkey fryer and cast iron pot and some muffin pans for smelting) I don't know where you're located but if you're near Central Illinois I could probably help you get started.

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If you are shooting the big ones, you just gotta cast, and scrounge free lead, it's out there. Easy answer. :)
     
  19. James Thomson

    James Thomson Member

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    It certainly allows me to shoot my 44 Mag more. I bought 44 mag ammo the other day from Bass pro shop. I don't usually buy new ammo but I got a gift card and wanted to spend it on ammo that I could recover the brass for future reloads. It cost me damn near $30 for a box of 50. I can reload my home spun lead bullets for the price of a primer and powder. I've got more lead and lynotype to last me a life time. I believe I can load those 50 for under $5.00 a box. A box of 9mm would be less than that. Once you start scrounging lead, people will save it for you. I got a bunch of wheel weight lead from tire shops and bought 900 pounds of lynotype at .50 a pound many years ago. I hate to think what that would go for now.
     
  20. Griz44

    Griz44 Member

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    Don't spend that huge chunk of cash on an expensive pot or overpriced molds. The Lee pots work just fine and are a fourth the cost of the Lyman. Yes Lyman makes a great product. No one will argue that. However, you are just melting lead, you don't need a Ferrari to run to the corner store and get milk. Casting is a real pleasure for me. Sometimes I think casting and loading is on an equal basis with shooting. Go for it. Just follow the good rules of casting and keep your lead contamination under tight control.
     
  21. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I wish I had a hook up on cheaper lead. I usually just throw adds on craigs list to get mine but it is unreliable at best. I only cast rifle bullets at the moment so I am not using much lead but it would be nice to get a few extra pounds to stick away.
     
  22. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    [​IMG]
    Snuffy nice score.
     
  23. scrat

    scrat Member

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    very nice score
     
  24. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    If you enjoy it and shoot a lot it is worth it, (if you shoot lead):uhoh:

    I have known some old timers that wish they never were around it the health they had in old age was not good because they were not real good about not breathing the toxic fumes...

    One persons skin problems were all about lead poisioning. There are some things that you can take to help leach it out of your body (detox the liver) stay away from it is another good thing to do :)
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Call your local tire dealer and make an appointment to have your tires rotated. While you've got him on the line, ask, "By the way, do you have any wheelweights I can have?"
     
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