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My first casting

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BBQJOE, Mar 8, 2013.

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  1. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    Yeah, I'm sure it's no big deal to those of you who have been doing it for years.

    The same gentleman who talked me into reloading some time back finally convinced me to learn casting.
    I spent about 6 hours at his place Wed casting my first .44's.

    Got them home, spent yesterday on and off sizing them.
    Got them lubed and drying now.
    By weight guesstimates we figure there's about 1200.

    I won't say it's the most fun I've ever had, but I feel all warm and fuzzy not paying cash and shipping for bullets.

    IMG_7357_zps8557b754.gif
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Beautiful... :)
     
  3. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    looks real nice
     
  4. floydster

    floydster Member

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    Holy smokes Batman, thats a nice bunch of 44's,- that's the bullet I use in my 44 Mag.

    Smokeyloads
     
  5. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I'm still waiting on my stuff. :(
     
  6. Anmut

    Anmut Member

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    Awesome - what did you think about the whole process? I buy lead from Missouri Bullet Company and after shipping it's $55 for 500 wad cutters. Are you saving or coming close to equaling that cost?

    I'd love to cast my own for the .44, it just seams fun - but it also seems like A LOT of mess and pissing around.
     
  7. kostner

    kostner Member

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    Casting isn't as much fun as reloading but it not a bad way to spend an afternoon. The rewards are great and its just another part of this addiction we have. Enjoy
     
  8. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Anmut, if you are only buying one box at a time from Missouri Bullet, you arent maximizing your shipping cost. They will ship up to 2K 200gr bullets in one flat rate medium box. Also, they do offer that 5% discount to THR members.
     
  9. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    I started casting to help cut cost I'm retired so time isn't a issue to me and shooting IDPA matches you go through a lot of ammo.
    So group buys for powder and primers and with free range pickup lead it dosent take long to pay for your equipment.
    And like said above it brings every thing full circle.
     
  10. James2

    James2 Member

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    My son gets me free wheel weights, so the bullets cost for a bit of fuel, and lube.
    The tools quickly pay off.
    It is a great part of the "addiction".

    Nice going.
     
  11. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Well, duh. The fun starts when you go and shoot 2-3 times as much as you usually do. :)
     
  12. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    I believe we figured 2-3 cents a round.

    With things the way they are, I'm not shooting as much as I used to, but it's comforting to know I have all I need when the time comes.

    I don't see much mess in the whole process, it just consumes time.
    But the best part was hanging out with my friend, cussing and spitting and telling lies.:D
     
  13. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Getting ready to do that very thing.

    I've never cast before either.

    I just got my copy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook from Midway yesterday, was reading it some last night.

    I have a 20# electric pot that's never been plugged in, a 6-cavity 45 mold, and about 600 lbs. of wheel weights (about half have been melted in to ingots).

    I *was* planning on doing rifle shooting today, and competing in a USPSA match tomorrow, but it was called for weather. Rain all damn weekend.

    So I'm gonna make me some BOOLITS!
     
  14. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    I have been accumulating tools and lead to start casting. I have acquired lead from whatever source I can. My most expensive (by far) is $75 for 60# of WW ingots.
    Using this, my cost is 3.571¢ per bullet, or $17.86 per 500. You can currently buying the very good MBC 200gn RNFP for about 9.29¢ each, delivered in 2K lots.
    That is a pretty substantial savings.
    This is also dependant on having the time and inclination to cast.
     
  15. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    ...If only we could reload primers.
     
  16. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I started with the same bullet, 19 years ago. I had a stainless steel pot, a Coleman stove, a Lee ladle, and a Lee mold (240 gr. SWC, T/L) and the mallet from my Lee Loader days. I had access to a bunch of wheel weights and fluxed with candles and soon went to sawdust. Slotted spoon from Ma's kitchen and a soup ladel from the Army-Navy surplus store. I tumble lubed with alox and shot a bunch of them in .44 Special and Magnum through my 5, .44 Magnums. I used this set-up for several months (mebbe a year and a half) before I went to a bottom pour. I still have that mold (along with 7-8 others) and still cast some up once in a while. No need to start out w/high $$$$ kits and a bunch of dedicated "casting tools". K.I.S.S.!

    Taking some dirty, greasy wheel weights and scrap lead, melting it into clean ingots, then using those ingots to cast custom bullets specifically fitted to your guns, lubed with lube specifically formulated for your guns, is prolly the most satsfying aspect of home made ammo...

    I have no idea what it costs to cast/lube/shoot my bullets, and I don't care. For my entire shooting hobby(s), casting bullets is by far the most enjoyable, no matter what it costs.
     
  17. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    And they're purdy too.:D
     
  18. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    I can so see the benefit to casting.
    Looking around, casting equipment is slim to none right now.
    But lo-and behold, I found this exact mold that I just used at midway in stock!!!
    Woot!
    I also found the 20 lb lee pot backordered until may, but with a quick search I found one at a tackle shop.

    I can wait for the rest of the stuff....38 and 9mm next.

    ETA: also found the sizing die at midway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  19. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Very nice, that should keep you shooting for a week or two.
     
  20. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    BBQJoe, that's ingenious. Looking at a tackle shop for a lead casting pot!

    Hats off brother. That shows some skill at acquisition. :)
     
  21. Fights Fires

    Fights Fires Member

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    casting

    Gentlemen,I'm sure everyone knows already but when melting lead be very careful with lead fumes. Many years back I was a plumber and worked pouring lead in soil pipes, be careful lead poisoning.
     
  22. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Lead poisoning isnt really that big of a concern when casting, as long as one takes basic precautions.
     
  23. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Yup, decent ventilation is all you should need.

    The bigger concern (by far) is fire. Want to make sure there's nothing around which (if introduced to a pot full of 700 degree melted metal) isn't going to flame up or do any other nastiness.
     
  24. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    That's funny.
    Now don't get me wrong, Missouri Bullets is a hell of a company. They put out a fine product at a very reasonable price compared to the competition. I've never been less than completely satisfied with their bullets.

    However, when you start casting your own you REALLY save some dough. I'm paying $35 for a five gallon bucket of wheel weights. That bucket usually yields me around 100-110 pounds of lead.

    Assuming it's only 100 lbs, that's apprx. 2,745, 255 grain SWC .45 Colt bullets for $35.

    Now, you're gonna have a little time invested in that. It's sure worth it to me. Hell, I'm loading .45 Colt for about $70 per 1k and .38 Spcl for less than $60.
     
  25. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Correct. Lead fumes aren't an issue at the temperatures that lead pots get too. It has to get hotter than they're capable of to create lead fumes. The smoke and smell you get is merely the oil and dirt burning off the wheel weights, assuming that's what you're smelting.

    Other than that, just use a little common sense and you'll be fine.
    Make sure you have ventilation.
    Wear gloves and long pants. No sandals. (Don't ask me how I know that).
    Wash your hands before eating, smoking, going to the john, etc.

    It's really not that big a deal.
     
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