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Casting instructor wanted

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kmw1954, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Hello folks, Looking to see if I can find a caster that would be interested in mentoring me, to spend some time showing some of the ins and outs. I have been thinking of trying this for some time but just don't want to jump blindly in with both feet.

    I am in western Kenosha county Wisconsin and willing to travel about an hour to do this. At this time my interest is for pistol bullets and hope to start my own for the 380auto and the 45acp. Though I know the learning part is more about technic than actual product.

    Anyways would like to get an idea of the whole process before I start spending money on a furnace, molds and such.
     
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I am too far away, might try castboolits, a lot larger community of casters over there.

    I built a machine to cast for me so not a lot of technique involved. Pretty much a lead temp, mold temp and casting rate you can run keeping the two where they need to be.
     
    km101 likes this.
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I would not mind but on the other side of the us. Please ask if you have any questions there are lots of good people here. This does make me wish there was a live video chat.
     
  4. egd

    egd Member

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    I haven't looked and I don't cast, but have you tried you-tube? It seems there is everything there from brain surgery on down.:)
     
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  5. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  6. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Thanks all but am actually hoping to get some "Hands On" experience. Yes I posted this request over at Cast Boolits also.

    Asking questions, watching videos and reading forums is not the same as actually doing. Also being retired and on a fixed income really limits a budget and I would like to find out if this is something I truly would like to do or even if it is truly worth the time and investment for me to start before spending a ton of money.

    I see where one could easily spend a few hundred dollars in just the basics like a furnace and a couple molds w/o much trouble.

    For now I foresee some sort of electric furnace and probably 2 molds, One of which is yes a Lee .356-102-1R for my 380 of which I have already tried samples of. The other mold will most likely be a 200gr 45acp type mold. Then also I guess for now I would be buying processed lead ingots from either ebay or a vendor at Cast Boolits.
     
  7. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    You need to do the math on how much buying lead plus all the equipment is gonna cost and how long it will take amortized it. Versus just buying cast bullets, Depends on how much you shoot and if you just want a hobby.

    For $62 dollars I rather have someone deliver 1000 bullets to my door,
     
  8. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I understand that line of reasoning and it's not just the economics of it. Part is because there is an interest in doing it, also as a retired person another hobby to fill time is also a good thing. Keeps the mind sharp. Haven't tried to determine what the electric costs would be to run the furnace but then again really doesn't matter. Have a source for clean lead ingots for $1.15 per pound so just the lead works out to about $.017 per bullet for the 380.. So with bullet, primer, powder I figure material costs at about 6 cents a pc. compared to about 25 cents for factory 380.
     
    Jack Ryan likes this.
  9. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    It's a great hobby. I enjoy casting.

    Look at local gun clubs in your area. Especially those who specialize in competitive pistol shooting. Post a notice on their bulletin board. Every gun club I've ever belonged to had a whole bunch of bullet casters.
     
    Jack Ryan likes this.
  10. gifbohane

    gifbohane Member

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    You can cast and load your own 9mm for 3 or 4 cents a round. When I buy the bullets to load it cost me about 12 or 13 cents a round.

    So if money is an issue then casting is your answer.
     
    Jack Ryan likes this.
  11. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Might not be a bad skill to pick up, cost of equipment might not be a long-term factor, particularly for those in California and similar states who may be encouraged to further restrict ammo sales by Walmart dropping handgun ammo sales. You don't yet need an FOID or recent ID to cast bullets or buy the equipment. The way things are going....
     
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  12. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Where are you getting primers? Primers alone are running me $0.03 each.
     
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  13. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    The biggest hurdle is cheap lead. At $1-1.50/lb you can make it work. A Lee pot, Lee molds, Lee ladle, and Lee sizer for a single stage(Lee) press is about the cheapest way to get into it and what I have used for years. I have gone through at least 800 pounds of lead in the last few years with great results. 2 cavity molds work well, but 6 cavity can produce piles quickly.

    Go to goodwill and get a $5 toaster oven, Walmart for nonstick aluminum foil and harbor freight for red powder coat powder(or smokes powder on cast bullets), and either needle nosed pliers or latex gloves. Using a whipped cream bowl add a large scoop of powder and 2 handfuls of bullets, put the lid on, and shake the crap out of it for 2 minuets. Either with a gloved hand or pliers place the coated bullets on the foil covered pan and place in the preheated oven(400*) for 20 minuets then remove and let cool. Size, load, and shoot.
     
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  14. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Harbor Freight no longer carries the red powder coat. Just get some powder from Smoke at Cast Boolits. Or forget that and go Hi-Tek.
     
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  15. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    Let me save you a couple of the very first mistakes people make at your stage of learning casting.

    1. People who don't cast, never have cast a bullet, but yet can't help but offer their sage advice on a casting thread. Put them on ignore first thing.

    2. Don't buy those little one and two cavity molds. Get the 6 cavity version or some makers offer 8.

    3. Start collecting lead when you see it places. Under a dollar a pound pick up some. Under 50 cents a pound, buy all they have.

    4. When you think you should start doing something with that pile of lead you have out back, you are ready to buy a cheap little bottom pour Lee lead pot. First time you try to hit the hole, you'll remember I suggest buying an iron skillet next time you notice junk ones really cheap someplace. I'd bet you could pour 500 of those little 380 bullets from one pot of lead in the smallest melting pot Lee sells. Probably take an hour and a half to two hours after you've done it a couple times and established a routine.

    5. Watch for iron skillet at yard sales and auctions.

    6. Don't wait for someone give a personal lesson or you'll never get anything done.

    7. Come back to this thread and ask questions when you get that far, if you need to know something.
     
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  16. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I get mine from powder valley.
     
  17. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Ok, they are $0.03 each before shipping and hazmat, so how are you loading for $0.03 per round? Free lead and powder?
     
  18. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I never said I WAS? I haven't even added mine up a couple years, I don't buy stuff any more. It has been so long since I bought any I don't even remember what I paid unless there is an old tag on the box so far as I'm concerned mine is FREE!
     
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  19. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Thank you all for responding.
    Doesn't look like I will find a local caster and will be moving on, on my own.

    Still haven't decided on a pot or furnace as it seams I'm receiving mixed massages as to an adequate size. The suggestion to buy 6 cavity molds, well the one I want for sure only comes as a 2 cavity mold. Next there is a vendor on Cast Boolits that sells clean ingots in orders of 50# which I feel will be a good starting point as these small 102gr bullets 50# will make 3k+. At current usage that would be about 2 years worth.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  20. Sky King

    Sky King Member

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    I've been casting about 40yrs, .380, 9mm, 38-357, 44 and 45's, but I'm more than an hour away. I'm near Joliet, IL.
     
  21. DMF38

    DMF38 Member

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    kmw1954, if I were you I'd stick with the 2-cavity mould that you want. And I'd get the Lee 4-20 bottom pour pot. And I think it would be foolish to not get the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. I taught myself how to do it with those items, and with knowledge I got from the Cast Boolits forum.
     
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  22. CANNONMAN

    CANNONMAN member

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    I can help you with your lead. Give me an address and I'll send you a box. Free, on me. If it fits, it ships. It's worth it to me just to see the look on the post office guy's face. Lead melts with ease. All sorts of ways to get going cheep. Used molds mostly are a great deal. Heck, I'll send you one to practice with. You will need to size. Lube can be done very simply also. There is nothing like shooting and hitting something that you just made. Save a dime. So what? It's something you made. Pretend it's post apocalyptic and have some fun. Everyone has a free hazmat shipping offer sooner or later. It's not that difficult. My first ladle was a tuna fish can screwed onto a stick. Don't let nay sawyer's quash your dreams. My neighbor told me he wanted to learn so I set up a day for him. We both had a great time. He still tells everyone how much he enjoyed it. You can see the excitement in his face every time he tells the story. That was years ago.
     
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  23. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Thanks everyone,
    Cannonman will take you up on your offer too!

    Spend the better part of yesterday watching old casting videos on youtube instead of football. Also was searching ebay and found a couple used molds including the 356-102 I want along with a Lyman ladle. For the time being I think I might want to try hand ladling . Also started a list for a strainer, large spoon a couple SS pots and some cookie sheets. How important is a temp. thermometer?

    One video I seen the guy was using an old electric 2 burner hot plate and a small SS pot. Do those old hot plates get hot enough? I happen to have one from long ago.
     
  24. Sky King

    Sky King Member

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    Get a thermometer. Best to start casting when temperature is between 750-800. Otherwise you'll get wrinkled bullets or bullets that are not filling out. Lay your mold on top of the pot while it's heating up. It will help getting your mold up to temperature. Not quite but helps.
     
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  25. ewlyon

    ewlyon Member

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    I wouldn't bother with the bottom pour pot. For the first couple years that I was casting I used a Lee 20lb pot without a spout and a cheap steel ladle from walmart that I drilled a hole in. Allows plenty of speed and avoids any fiddling with a spout. I am up in Marinette county, too far to be worth coming down but feel free to ask for advice.
    I will also add that I have yet to try a Lee 2-cavity mold that gives me good bullets without a lot of fussing. The six cavity models are good, otherwise NOE makes good aluminum molds although they are more expensive.
    When it actually comes time to pour make sure your ingots are hot before they go in the pot, keep the mold hot, pour a healthy sprue, and don't open the mold until the sprue frosts over. Don't forget the protective gear either. I have more than a couple small scars from lead splashes and being careless with the ladle/mold.
     
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