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Need Bullet Casting Advice

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Foto Joe, May 13, 2013.

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  1. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Elmer's bullets used ZERO antimony. His favorite .44 Magnum SWC load used a 16:1 (Pb:Sn) alloy.

    Don
     
  2. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Before I started casting I found 2 info sources to be of immeasurable help.

    Lyman's Cast Bullet Hnadbook - I have 3rd & 4th edition.
    (The 4th edition had MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better editing.)
    (The 3rd edition, begins in the Middle Ages - seriously)

    As mentioned above http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ has all the experts, who are just waiting for newbies to come calling.

    That forum is almost as good as the high road.
     
  3. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    Update:

    Well, yesterday I pulled the trigger and ordered a Lyman Big Dipper Starter Kit from Cablela's (I had plenty of points so it was free), I also ordered molds for .452, .358 and .454RB as well as a Lee Lube and Size for the bullets.

    On Friday while driving home from work I stopped at a local tire shop (1 of 2 in town) and low and behold they had two five gallon buckets of wheel weights and they were willing to part with one for .40 per pound. The counter guy told me someone else wanted the second bucket but I should stop by next week and if it was still there it would be mine as well. I don't know if the .40 per pound is good or not but I figure that I scored about 150 pounds for around $60.

    Since the molds I ordered were of course backordered, when the furnace shows up I'll have my work cut out for me cleaning and casting ingots, this should be educational.
     
  4. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Do yourself a favor. Don't process raw wheel weights in the same pot you plan to cast out of. It's a quick way to have a lot of impurities in your finished bullets. Make sure you separate the wheel weights by type and flux a lot. They take some work to clean up.


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  5. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    I tried casting some round balls from wheel weights for my blackpowder revolvers once. Almost broke the rammer off.

    You want soft lead for a muzzleloader. Some of the stick on weights are supposedly pure lead.
     
  6. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    I hear ya on not using the same furnace for smelting wheel weights as for casting bullets. Given that the furnaces are inexpensive enough, I'll pick up another for casting. Right now my molds are on backorder so I've got some time to pick one up. The wheel weights I got my hands on are filthy so I'm thinking this is gonna be quite a process to clean 'em up. I'll weigh out my final ingots and make a decision as to whether I keep using them or just buy clean lead on eBay. At this point in time I'm thinking that I might be just as well off to buy ingots instead of trying to clean up garbage.

    As far as wheel weights for round balls, I've shot some before and I'm not impressed. Although the stick one are REALLY soft there just isn't a high enough percentage of them. In the five gallon bucket I got I'm guessing that I'll have about 5-8 pounds of raw stick on weights by the time I get these things sorted. I spent about an hour and a half sorting out the zinc and steel weights this morning and I still have a third of the bucket to go, it's slow tedious work. From what I understand, getting zinc in your mix is a no no.

    Hopefully by next weekend my furnace will arrive and I can start the process of seeing what I actually have.
     
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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  8. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Plus a billion!
    I use a cast iron frying pan I found at Good will, over a one burner Coleman stove.
    It was $23 for the stove & $3 for the pan.
    I use inexpensive broken off tea candle parts to flux the dirty lead.
    That helps get the impurities to the top of the lead so they can be skimmed off.

    Doing that keeps the impurities out of my clean furnace.
     
  9. Clark Savage Jr

    Clark Savage Jr Member

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    While you are at the Goodwill, pick up a couple of muffin tins to use for ingot molds. It doesn't matter if they are Steel or Aluminum. I use a cast Iron dutch oven over a crab cooker to melt the large (dirty) batches. A large slotted spoon works well to strain the wheel clips out of the pot - but don't forget the leather gloves! Use a soup ladle to pour the molten Lead into the muffin tins. Trying to lift and pour out of a 50 pound pot of hot Lead is for those guys who are really into pain - both their backs and their flesh.

    I use number/letter stamps to identify the alloy after the ingots are cast - WW or Pb. The metal muffins weigh about 2-3 lbs. each and fit nicely in the Lee furnace.
     
  10. zombie44

    zombie44 Member

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    And avoid teflon coated pots and muffin tins, I heard the coating turns toxic at the temps we deal with when casting.
     
  11. A Pause for the Coz

    A Pause for the Coz Member

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    Get-R-Done!! Well worth the investment. There is a learning curve. Mostly to do with mold temp. Once you have cast a few hundred you will figure it out.
    I have 600 pounds of lead under the bench.
    Thats 18260 230gr 45 acp bullets or any bullet I need.

    LEE 20 pound pot is superior to the 10 pound pot.
    Buy the 20 1st because you will just end up with it any way.
    100_8336.jpg

    Get a hot plate to preheat your molds. I start dropping good bullets on the 2nd drop.

    100_8338.jpg

    The Lyman 452374 mold is a top performer for 45acp.

    100_8662.jpg

    You can buy a LEE .452 sizer and tumble lube any cast bullet you want. It does not have to be a Tumble lube bullet.
     
  12. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    But don't buy new shiny cheap steel muffin tins; they are coated with tin or bright zinc or something that sticks to the melted lead. You'll have to beat them apart with a hammer to get the ingots out, destroying the molds. BTDT
     
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