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Bullet casting advice needed Login/Join 
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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OP, go buy the Lyman reloading book for cast bullets.

I cast for 45ACP. 38/357 & round ball for muzzleloading.

I don’t lube anymore as I powder coat. Eastwood light blue powder is great. Avoid harbor freight powders...it’s cheap and doesn’t work.

I use lee molds, and haven’t had any issues..I do have a Lyman mold for 525grain 12gauge pellet. The Lyman mold is iron and works great.

I use range scrap I recovered five or so years ago and I’m down to about 100 lbs left. Don’t know what “mix” it is..it works fine for pistol ammo.

I have a lee bottom pour. It drips and can be aggravating, but i haven’t broke it yet...

I don’t size my bullets after pouring or after powder coating...my lead is pretty soft and the bullets swage down upon firing...

Review Elvis ammo or fortune cookie...plenty of info there.

Always wear long sleeves

Don’t wear flip flops

Eyepro

Only do casting when not distracted

Cast with ventilation...I do mine in the garage with the door open. At my old house I had a window near and put a box fan in the window to draw fumes away



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 7555 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Uppity Helot
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Iron molds are my favorite regardless of caliber. For 9mm I Like the Lyman 356402 mold which is a 120 grain truncated cone. My Colt 9mms and Glock 17 with aftermarket barrel shoot this bullet reliably.

I would suggest learning to size and conventional lube the bullets first. Also know your particular barrel diameter size. My Colt 9mm 1911’s and Glock 17 with Wheaton arms barrel like .356 diameter bullets. My M9 needs .358 diameter bullets. My mini Cougar Beretta likes .357. I use Lyman Orange magic lube in my .356 bullets and it has been excellent with no leading.
 
Posts: 2116 | Location: Manheim, PA | Registered: September 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
in your pants
Picture of armored
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I have watched a few YouTube videos on sizing a barrel. The idea of driving a piece of lead down the bore with a rod and mallet makes me cringe.
I'm holding off buying ( I did buy one LEE .429 mold to try)molds till I slug the barrels of the firearms I want bullets for.
What have you picked as way to slug/size the barrels (rifle and pistol)?

I bought the LEE melting pot with bottom drain.
Waiting to order lead until I learn what hardness to order for magnum handgun and higher velocity rifle. I will be using a gas check on those rounds.

Registered on the Castboolits Forums.
 
Posts: 3505 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
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In rereading this a couple of points I will bring up.
I mainly used W W's for casting when I cast.
Got lots of linotype but found it fickle to work with , mainly dirt in melt.Requiring lots of skimming the slag.
Another point is when you cast a bunch be sure to size them in a couple of days.They become harder if you put this off.
You really have to lean into the sizer handle to size them.
I would go from powder coat right after casting them promptly size them.
My delay doing so caused me to have to build a new Starr handle from bending it to an unusable state.
All lubes are messy and get to be a pain in the ass at every step this is why I powder coat.
B tW harbor freight powder I found works well and lots cheeper than those others sold thru other places.Stay away from black,its crap Yellow and white is alright but red is great.
 
Posts: 22164 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of cxm
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I tried using Lyman #2 alloy about 50 or so years ago... it worked just fine, but to me it is overly complicated unless you just happen to have a large supply of the materials to make it on hand.

When Lyman published their alloy formula, the metals to make it were easy to get... that isn't the case any more.

Elmer Kieth's very simple alloy mix works well and the materials are easily available... lead and 50-50 bar solder.

FWIW

Chuck



quote:
Originally posted by armored:
What do you think of the "Lyman #2" lead formula?

How hard would I want the lead to be for higher velocity rifle rounds?

I looked at the Star sizer from Magma and was close to purchasing one. I talked myself down thinking that powder coating might be a better option than lube.I could then size with the Lee sizer.

I do like the idea of the cast iron molds.
I bought one 6 cavity Lee mold for 44 to practice with.


Hoist on High the Bonny Blue Flag that Bears the Single Star!!!

Certified SIG Armorer
Certified Glock Armorer
 
Posts: 1326 | Location: Florida, CSA | Registered: September 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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Well, I would suggest you locate a local bullet caster and actually sit down and cast a few just to see if you have the personality type that is suited to casting. I had a neighbor try casting only to find he had no patience and would over heat the moulds every time by not allowing sufficient time to cool.
He was trying to produce more per hour than I do and ended up throwing most of his back in the pot.
 
Posts: 217 | Registered: December 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
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Picture of armored
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Finding a "local" bullet caster here in Chicago might be a challenge. I think I will have to work this out on my own.
Like I stated, my main goal is not to be a bullet caster, but to be able to cast bullets if store bought bullets are not available.
In tracking down reloading supplies now for casting and regular components I see supplies drying up.
I have also started to buy components to reload 12ga shotgun.
I plan to add a slug mold to the casting menu again, just in case.
 
Posts: 3505 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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quote:
Originally posted by armored:
Finding a "local" bullet caster here in Chicago might be a challenge. I think I will have to work this out on my own.
Like I stated, my main goal is not to be a bullet caster, but to be able to cast bullets if store bought bullets are not available.
In tracking down reloading supplies now for casting and regular components I see supplies drying up.
I have also started to buy components to reload 12ga shotgun.
I plan to add a slug mold to the casting menu again, just in case.


There are quite a few members of the Cast Bullet Association that are in IL. There has to be one near or in Chicago that may help you out.
 
Posts: 3142 | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
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I use all brands of molds. I powder coat exclusively. I used to get my lead easily from tire shops. Now not so easy. I have a friend who manages one, so I still get a little from him. Mostly broken wheel weights. But again as mentioned you have to be careful with the new ones. Also, I go to wrecking yards and get wheel weights off the older models.
 
Posts: 4 | Location: The State of Jefferson | Registered: August 28, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Constable
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I used to get wheel weughts easily and cheap or free. THAT has dried up, plus far too many are zinc now.

Few years back met a guy who does roofing and he mentioned he had a pile of lead, roof vents. They are soft/pure lead but each one is 2-3 pound or more. So my pile of ingots is growing again.

I'd imagine in such a populated area you should be able to find lead at scrap yards.
 
Posts: 6917 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
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Picture of armored
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I had a new roof installed this Spring, I will contact my roofer to see if he will look out for scrap flashing's.
My next door neighbor works for the City water department I will check with him on lead water pipe he might be digging up.
 
Posts: 3505 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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quote:
I plan to add a slug mold to the casting menu again, just in case.


Buy once, cry once...the Lee 1oz slugs just didn’t work for me, so I got the smaller one...it too was no bueno...couldn’t get any consistency(regarding accuracy)...I finally bought a Lyman “pellet” 525 12ga slug mold and it is great.

I also have good experiences with simple .69 round ball (some people call them pumpkin balls)

Both fit in a WAA12 wad cup that you can get from ballistics products or midway...there is not a rib inside the shotcup and doesn’t interfere with the slug.

Get a simple roll crimped and you can use your drillpress or a drill.

I didn’t buy a shell vise, I use a piece of wood I drilled a 3/4 inch hole in and sawed in half and I use it in my drill press vise.



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 7555 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
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Picture of armored
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Thanks for the advice.
I have been reading reviews of the different slug molds and came to the same conclusion that the Lyman was the better choice.
How hard should the lead be for casting slugs?
 
Posts: 3505 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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quote:
Originally posted by armored:
Thanks for the advice.
I have been reading reviews of the different slug molds and came to the same conclusion that the Lyman was the better choice.
How hard should the lead be for casting slugs?


I use a 20:1 mix, I have some 30:1 and some range scrap that is unknown...I’ve used all three mixes and it doesn’t really matter as the Lyman slug is a sabot slug-meaning it rides within the shotcup/wad until it leaves the barrel...

The standard factory slug is pure lead and is molded or swaged(squished into a particular shape)such that it will compress down if fired thru a choke....look at some and you will find “rifling” on the factory slug...this gives room for the displaced lead to go, w/o damaging a choke.



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 7555 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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