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Inherited a few thousand 200gr LSWC bullets, but...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Adventurer_96, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    ...they're not sized. They're in a wooden crate and heavy as all getout, but since it's the only bullet I shoot in my Colt I've got to figure out how to resize them.

    I believe I got everything I need to size them, including a small press-like device. I'm away from home with work for the next week and a half, and I was hoping that someone could point me in the direction of an online "how-to" page that would walk me through the process of sizing them.
     
  2. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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  3. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    A Lyman #450 Sizer & Lubricator [with the proper sizing die] would come in
    mighty handy at this point~! ;):D
     
  4. scrat

    scrat Member

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    lswc semi wad cutter. ok what size that usually helps.
    200 gr. ok

    Now if you are looking for an econimcal sizer than i would go with lee. You could pick up a sizing kit with lube for a good price. If you order from there site the shipping is only $4.00 which is way cheaper than Midway. The sizing kit will screw into any normal loading press. Getting a lubrisizer will be very costly. That is an investiment that you would make if your going to get into casting. However with a lee sizing kit. it wont take you that long at all.
    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1184168499.438=/html/catalog/lubesize.html
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, this is the cheapest way out. Midway has them.
     
  6. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Thanks, I'll update the thread when I get back and see what equipment I have.
     
  7. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    A lot of thoughts, information and links:

    I've been shooting cast bullets a long time, and the less sizing you do the better.

    If you have lots of time and little money, then the Lee 'dip lube and size and then dip lube again' is for you:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/productview?saleitemid=116429&t=11082005

    I like to cut the Lee lube with mineral spirits. The Lee dip lube is not something they make, they buy Lubrizol Alox 606-55 by the barrel and resell it in those iddy bitty bottles at a considerable markup. If you are going this route buy the Lee dip lube in bulk from here ("Liquid Xlox"):
    http://www.lsstuff.com/lube/index.html

    If you have a little money to throw at the problem, the RCBS or Lyman presses are quite good. See here Lyman & RCBS:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/productview?saleitemid=172702&t=11082005
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/productview?saleitemid=458891&t=11082005

    The RCBS Lube/Size dies and Top Punches will fit the Lyman. I'm not sure Lyman dies and Top Punches fit the RCBS. Don't forget them:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/productview?saleitemid=435551&t=11082005
    I don't know which 200 gr bullet you have, so I can't spec a Top Punch.

    Lube for the RCBS and Lyman, and the Star I'm about to describe, is one of the soft or heat-softened lubes. The NRA-developed formula is what is traditional, 50% Beeswax-50% Alox 2138F. Alox 2138F is no longer being made by Lubrizol Corporation, and instead Alox 350 is recommended, and I'm told that the only difference between 2138F and 350 is several percent of some exotic wax. I've looked at samples of both and cannot tell the difference. Lar45 can sell you bulk or stick NRA formula. There are lots of other formulas out there, some require heat to flow, and if you pick a 'needs heat' get a heated lube/sizer.

    If you have a bit more money and are concerned about doing a lot in a little time, the quickest lube machine is the Star, now made by Magma. I just bought one. It requires a bit more fiddling around to set up. I did a couple hundred 9mm and a couple hundred .45 200 grain SWC's in 3 hours. Instead of a down-and-back-up movement, the bullets are pushed down through a die in a straight line, and the last little bit of movement of the handle possible gives each bullet groove a squirt of high pressure lube. Each bullet pushes out the preceeding bullet. The machine can be found here:
    http://www.magmaengineering.com/item.php?id=24

    All of the above equipment and lubes can sometimes be found on eBay, but buyer beware there.

    The NRA formula (and all the other Alox lubes) are a little smokey indoors when shot from lower pressure cartridges, but I've never noticed significant smoke from .357 and similar calibers. Some of the more recently derived lubes are less smokey.

    CDD
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  8. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Wow, thanks for the long post in response to a short question.

    I don't recall exactly what it was that I had in terms of equipment, but I do know that the lube on it was excessive & pasty. I'll be looking to replicate the kind of blue or red waxy lube (if anything at all) on the cast bullets I've bought in bulk.

    I'm not really sure on the amount of bullets I have, but the box is about 18"x24", and 3" deep or so. Any guesses as to the amount??? It's full, and man is it heavy.

    Most likely I'll take a day off from work and work at resizing the whole box, since the wife doesn't even like the idea of lead around the house and the less she sees of the activity the better.

    I never intended on getting into casting because I barely have/had enough time to reload. I reload some rounds that are too expensive (.38 148gr LWC), some for accuracy in my long guns, and the rest because I've kept brass around since I first shot a gun when I was 10. I gave it up when I got orders to CA about 2 years ago because I rarely shot out there, but now that I'm shooting more often and prices are ridiculous, I'll take up reloading again. I just wasn't expecting to get involved in any aspect of casting my own bullets.

    I'll keep the equipment of course, it also came with a lead pot, for when they tax bullets through the roof and we're forced to reload. Not that I'm a pessimist...
     
  9. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    Can I suggest you do a few first?

    You or your firearm may not like cast bullets. You may not like processing them.

    The Lee Liquid Alox would seem ideal for someone doing just a few, or just a few at a time. Its only bad point is that it usually leaves lube on the bullet nose, which will build up in the Seating Die, which will gradually decrease your seating depth. I deal with this through thinning the Lee Liquid Alox with mineral spirits, and after dipping and placing bullets on their bases to dry, I touch paper towel to the bullet noses to remove it. Thinned Lee Liquid Alox gives you a thinner coat, which may require you to do another coat, but has not in my experience. The Lee Liquid Alox says you are supposed to recoat after sizing, but my experience is that this has not been necessary in target .45acp loads.

    Some websites to look at:
    http://www.1911forum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=58
    http://forum.m1911.org/forumdisplay.php?f=50
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/

    Do a series of searches on the different machines, the different lubes, and different techniques.

    CDD
     
  10. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    I know that the 1911 likes these bullets as the previous owner of the pistol was the same one who cast these bullets, and they shoot well in the gun.

    You are very right though - I may not like processing them. Too heavy to ship, though to sell/trade away.
     
  11. hawkeye1

    hawkeye1 Member

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    Have to agree with Nujudge, the less sizing the better. In fact, I don't resize my cast bullets at all. Just use the Lee lube and load them as is. They shoot great and are very economical.
    Also, never tried thinning the Lee lube down. Sounds like a good idea. Will have to try that and wiping off with paper towel while damp.
     
  12. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    OK, I'm not at my equipment yet, but I'm looking at the stuff linked above.

    First, I'm guessing that .452 is the best place to start?

    Second, how much does that Lee bullet bin (for lack of a better term) on the top of the press cost? Couldn't figure out what it was listed as.
     
  13. Grump

    Grump Member

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    .001 over your barrel's groove diameter is the place to start. I've heard of Bullseye shooters ordering sizer dies at .0005 over groove diameter and loving the results.
     
  14. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Thanks, that's why I figured .452 would be a good place to start, to see where the barrel really falls.

    I'll check some of the reloads that came with the gun and measure, but .452 rings a bell from talking to the fellow when I got the gun.

    I haven't slugged the barrel, but I'll see what I can measure.
     
  15. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

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    What size are they currently? They may not need sizing at all.
     
  16. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Well, here's an update.

    I just got home yesterday, and the first thing I did is check out the box of bullets. First, there are approximately 5,000 bullets in there, according to the note from the guy who cast them.

    Second, although my calipers are really old & crummy, it appears that the bullets are about .456 after measuring a few.

    Looks like I'll be ordering that Lee sizing die after all.
     
  17. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Another update...

    I have a Lyman 450 sizer with the "punch" and .452 sizer, apparently this is what the previous owner used. He owned the gun, bullets, and equipment by the way. In addition, there are a few more sets of punches & sizers, a few different sizes.

    I think my calipers are .002 off, showing .456 on a bullet before sizing, then .454, when the sizer is .452. Could these just be loaded into cases as is (.454, based upon the .002 error in the calipers) with a Lee Factory Crimp Die to ensure they're going to fit in the chamber? Or, would the bullet be too big to shoot well out of the bore?

    Second, if I do resize (and I'm thinking I'll have to, otherwise why did he have all this equipment?) how should I set up the lube? I don't have a heating plate for the 450, and I'd like to find something that would work room temp.

    Thanks again...
     
  18. Grump

    Grump Member

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    The old-fashioned soft smelly stuff STILL works great, for both accuracy and preventing leading.

    I have never had any of the hard lubes shoot even the hardest lead bullets without leaving streaks of lead in my barrels. That includes the Oregon Trail Laser-Cast brands. BHN 23-24. My own cast bullets at BHN 13 (still pretty hard by the old standards, much harder than 1:20 tin/lead at @ BHN 8) lead much less with Alox/Beeswax 50/50, and with variations with Do-All green bandsaw lube mixed in with Alox. That one was still too soft to size and lube and store the bullets in boxes, but it also did not melt, run, drip or drift on a black motorcycle fender at 112 F in direct sunlight for more than an hour.

    Midway has quite a variety of bullet lubes available. To do 5,000 though, I would opt for the Star Lubri-Sizer. You put 'em in the top and punch them straight through into your catch bucket. Every 10-20 bullets, catch one and run it through a second time to lube the entry of the die. It gets dried out because of the one-way pass operation.
     
  19. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Got a link? I couldn't find them listed at Midway.
     
  20. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    Midway doesn't have them, you have to order directly from the mfg or get lucky and find a used one at a good price.

    Here's the mfg's url: http://www.magmaengineering.com/

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  21. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    Dave, thanks.

    That may be beyond my price range. I think I'll do a couple of hundred at a time on the Lyman, and once I'm through with the big box it will be time to fire up the caster.
     
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