New to casting questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JCSC, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. JCSC

    JCSC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    I am interested in giving casting a try for 300 blackout sub ammo.

    at the moment all I have is ten pounds of range scrap that I melted in a old cast iron skillet and cleaned thoroughly.

    I have an ingot mold on the way and I believe all I should need is a furnace a mold for the bullets, powder coat and a sizer.

    Any recommendations? I was looking at the basic Lee bottom pour pot, which holds 20#. I haven’t settled on a bullet mold either.

    I saw many videos on the lee double 30 BO 230 gr, but folks seemed to have issues with getting good pours and tumbling issues when being shot. From a price standpoint it seems like a good mold to start with, but I don’t know what I don’t know.

    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  2. gudaki

    gudaki Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Alabama
    The melting pot you mentioned will work fine and for powder I use Eastwood. I have and use several Lee molds and have no complaints. Good luck and enjoy the hobby!
     
  3. Targa

    Targa Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2019
    Messages:
    1,215
    I don’t cast for 300 Blackout so I have no opinion in reference to a mold choice but I agree with gudaki in reference to the Lee 4-20 and Eastwood powder.
     
    sparkyv and AJC1 like this.
  4. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,469
    Location:
    East Texas
    Lots of good casting information available here:
    http://www.lasc.us/ArticleIndex.htm

    I've had decent results from the Lee 5r .309 230 grain, but in my opinion it's not a great bullet, especially for a beginner. I don't know why Lee decided to put a boattail and a 5r ogive on a bullet that's already pretty long for caliber, but neither feature is particularly helpful in developing accurate loads.

    My guess is that they wanted to show that super high .688 BC for marketing purposes.
    Lee Rifle Bullet Mold Ballistic Coefficients BC's.jpg

    It's definitely a more expensive option at $81.00 plus shipping, but the mold linked below is brass, four cavity and designed specifically for powder coating.

    https://www.mp-molds.com/product/mp-300-blackout-311-235-grain-solid-mold-no-lube-groove-multichoice/

    I have the three cavity hollowpoint version of that mold and it's a lot easier to work up accurate loads than it is with my Lee 5r.
     
  5. JCSC

    JCSC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Columbia SC

    Thanks for the input. What is a Lyman / rcbs punch plate? Is the preference brass over aluminum?
     
  6. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    8,792
    Location:
    Memphis
    Look at the price of gas checks and for the cost of one box you can get a good mold. A lee for 39 bucks +50 for your first 1k of gas checks says a good mold with no gas check is a better idea. For your first powder get Eastwood Ford light blue. It's the easiest to get good results and fighting the coating is not a fun thing to do when you first start. In my opinion I would not start with an unknown scrap. If you had wheel weights that would be different. Rmr sells lead and one box will get you started with a known good alloy. It's not hard, average 9.5 bhn but I have zero idea what your scrap is. If your shooting subs that are PC rmr lead will be fine without additional adding. I highly recommend you water drop from the mold and after PC. Lee makes two push through sizes a 309 and a 311, you want the 309.
     
  7. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    I have the Lee 309-230 mold. I have shot some short range, and they haven't been all that accurate. But, I used a mix of alloys that included WW that end up with 95% lead, 3% antimony, and 2% tin. They aged harden to 15-16 Bhn. They dropped between .308-.309". And as long as the bullet is, there isn't a lot of bearing surface. So my next session will be at 92% lead, 5% antimony, and 3% tin. They should dropped larger in diameter. My point here is that your range scrap may have too much lead, causing it to shrink more during cooling.
    As @AJC1 posted, RMR offers lead at a reasonable price.
    https://www.rmrbullets.com/product-category/lead/

    Missouri Bullets also offer some hard cast lead. A bit more expensive, but more alloyed lead.
    https://missouribullet.com/results.php?category=12

    RotoMetals offers Superhard, with 30% antimony that you could add to the lead for higher alloy content.
    https://www.rotometals.com/super-hard-alloy-metal-ingot-5-pounds-30-antimony-70-lead/
    Or consider this for anitmony and tin.
    https://www.rotometals.com/foundry-alloy-pieces-34-lb-box-with-freight-12-tin-26-antimony-balance-lead-trace-of-cu-and-fe/
     
  8. JCSC

    JCSC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    I had thought that I can run range reclaim lead, as-is with powder coating?

    I was hoping to stay away from gas checks initially and find a 200-230 gr mold that will make for good subsonic rounds (1100 fps )

    I don’t mind spending $100 on a good mold.
     
    Bazoo likes this.
  9. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    8,792
    Location:
    Memphis
    You absolutely can try scrap but it's an additional unknown in a new process. My recommendation was to give you the best chance at inital success before adding more unknowns. Making a good alloy is a skill of its own that I have not succeeded in for rifle bullets. Pistol is much more forgiving and the range for me to test is only 10 minutes vise 1.5hours resting in much faster turn around times on experiments. The correct alloy for almost any modern mold is lyman#2. Rotometals sells it, but it's more expensive than the rmr lead that is widely used and deemed acceptable for most projects. There are many routes to success and my recommendations are what have worked for me.
     
    Y-T71 likes this.
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    20,790
    I would suggest that you buy bullets, find something that runs and you like, then purchase that mold.

    Beats buying mold after mold until your happy.

    Range pickup lead is generally closer to pure lead (softer) than commercial cast bullets due to jacketed projectiles being in the mix.

    I have one bullet mold that I use as a “standard”. With “certified” lead, it drops 230 grains. With pure lead it drops 240 grain bullets, with wheel weight lead, it drops 232 grains. I can mix in a little Linotype and lighten them up and add hardness before I pour my ingots for casting with.
     
    AJC1, Bazoo and mdi like this.
  11. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,969
    Location:
    Smyrna Tennessee
    I would prefer to start with 100 pounds of lead that is from one batch, that is all the same contents and hardness. Reasoning is if I like it I have a bunch, if I don’t like it, I adjust the whole batch till I get what works. Once you get what you like have it scanned and find out the exact composition and you can replicate it later.

    If you plan to powder coat you won’t need a gas check(usually), try both ways to be sure. I can’t help with molds as I don’t cast for 30 cal. I do lots of pistol and happily use a Lee 4# pot, Lee ladle, and Lee 2 cavity molds and can crank out 1000 bullets in a few hours. I also use a Lee Reloader press to size with Lee sizers then load on the same press.

    Years ago I had a few 6 cavity molds and personally found it easier with 2 cavity so I traded them off for more 2 cavity molds and duplicates. One good thing about all this is if you don’t like it for whatever reason, you can recover almost all your investment selling it off or in trades for something different.
     
    Another_Kelley likes this.
  12. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2021
    Messages:
    2,360
    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    Not having ever cast for that caliber and it’s intricacies, my experiences are with pistol calibers and 30-30. With 30-30, I use ww+2%Sn, gas checked 31141 and traditional 50/50 or bac lube from white label. I have no issues finding good accuracy and no leading. I size to .310. But by good accuracy I mean am happy with 2”at 75 yards.

    Don’t be afraid to be content with an easy to develop 2” load and use it for plinking and practice. You can continue to chase smaller groups in your load development anytime as you have more time and experience.
     
  13. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,469
    Location:
    East Texas
    A top punch is made to precisely fit the nose of a bullet being pushed through a sizing/lubricating machine. This will prevent deforming the nose of the bullet as it's pushed through the die.

    I have absolutely no idea why MP includes them with molds specifically designed for powder coating. :scrutiny:
     
  14. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    3,252
    Location:
    Deepinnaheartta, Texas
    Lotsa other good casting info on the Cast Boolits forum.
     
  15. PapaG

    PapaG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,555
    Location:
    Il
    For the most consistent bullets, what works best for me is the dip and pressure pour, keeping the dipper spout in contact with the spruce hole. Not a high volume method but I get +\- .2 grain consistency. Probably not important for high volume shooters.
     
  16. JCSC

    JCSC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    So just a couple more basic questions.

    I know there are molds with specific features to hold lube, but are there powder coat specific molds?

    if a mold has a gas check recess, do you have to apply one, or can you just coat and shoot.

    sorry for all the entry level questions. I generally know a little about everything, but this is a whole new game.
     
    bullseye308 likes this.
  17. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    8,792
    Location:
    Memphis
    Noe makes HTC molds without lube groves. I'm sure others do as well. I only have one gc mold so I'll leave that question for someone with a lot more experience. Noe sells the cheapest gc I've seen.
     
  18. JCSC

    JCSC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Columbia SC
     
  19. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    There are a few listed here at Accurate Molds. I'm considering the 310-240A, it closely resembles Missouri's 245 gr. BO.
    https://www.accuratemolds.com/catalog.php?page=4#catalog-anchor
     
  20. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    4,921
    Location:
    Orygun!
    As jmorris suggested', I'd purchase some commercially cast bullets and work up a load. If everything comes out OK, buy the mold...

    FWIW; I have tested, briefly, NLG cast vs standard lube groove bullets. In my experience (hand gun, 30-06 Garand) I couldn't tell any difference...
     
    kcofohio likes this.
  21. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    I used a Lee bottom pour drip-o-matic for several years before investing in an RCBS Pro Melt furnace. I would quit casting if I had to go back to the Lee. MidwayUSA has the RCBS on sale:


    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018681680

    The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook is also an excellent investment.
     
  22. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    8,792
    Location:
    Memphis
    I use a drip o matic and I would choose a good mold over a good pot every time. I also choose good dies over an expensive press. That's assuming money is limited and you can't just have the best of everything
     
    Pottimus and Bfh_auto like this.
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    20,790
    Sometimes they do, other times a call will get you that information.

    You can also cross reference https://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?36355-Mold-Cheat-sheet-for-buyers

    Or even send a sample to a custom mold maker.
     
  24. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    8,792
    Location:
    Memphis
  25. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    NW Ohio
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice