View Full Version : Getting into casting???
October 16, 2009, 11:21 PM
I am thinking about getting into casting. What do I need to cast bullets for...
45-70 Gov.- I prefer the Cast performance 405 gr.
454 Casull - I'd like to copy either 395 gr or 360 gr. Cast Performance
45 Colt. - 335 gr plinkers would do
What would it require to add gas checks and bullet lube? I'd really like to copy the Cast performance bullets I use but if it is too expensive/dificult to make alloy/LBT bullets I still wouldn't mind pure lead w/ gas checks & lube just for practice & plinking.
October 16, 2009, 11:56 PM
Casting can be a rewarding part of reloading. The hardest part these days is finding the lead! Wheel weights once was a great source of free lead but in the last few years it's become a highly prized commodity that shops sell for mnney rather than give away. Wheel weights will make reasonably hard bullets that work well. Don't overlook range scrap if it is available. it will melt down and the jackets will float to the top producing a soft allow good for muzzle loading. Add some tin solder and you'll have a good bullet up to about 1200fps or so. And, if you shoot at the same backstop all the time, recycling your bullets is easier than melting down wheel weights or trying to obtain lead. I would suggest that you look at Midway's website for the types of moulds you would like to cast. Ebay has used molds but prices can sometimes be high. Once you have the mould and the lead you'll need a melting pot. A bottom pour furnace like the lee production pot work well. I would suggest buying the lee pot but RCBS, Lyman or Seaco steel moulds. They hold up better than the aluminum lee products. You'll also need a wood stick or mallet to break the sprue and some flux and spoon to remove the impurities off the top of your melt.
Once lead is molten and up to temp you'll need to heat your blocks. You can pour bullets until they start coming out fully formed or you can dip a corner of the mould in the pot till the lead doesn't stick anymore and it is at temp. If bullets stick you may need to smoke the mould with a match to add a thin film of carbin. Once you start knocking out good bullets you should quench them in a bucket of water. This will harden the bullet a little.
Lastly you'll ned to lube your lead bullets. Lee Alox is popular as a way to coat the bullets with lube but is an obnoxios smelly sticky messy substance that I don't recommend. The best way to lube a bullet is in a lube/sizer. I prefer the RCBS unit. You'll need a sizing die of the diameter bullet you desire to shoot and a top punch of the right shape and diameter for your bullet. For example you can size a 38 bullet .355, .356, .357, .358 or .359. The top limit is the size of the bullet as cast and the bottom limit generally is not to size a bullet more than .003 smaller than cast. A .311 bullet as cast for example can be sized to .308 but the bullet may be deformed a bit and be less accurate.
There are lots of bullet lubes. I like the soft lubes like RCBS pistol lube best. The hard rifle lubes can be a pain to apply and can tie up a revolver. Hard cored caster aka cheap as bW$sterds who are good at saving a penny will sometimes make their own lube. Crayons and beez wax have come up as suitable for making bullet lubes. The formulas are endless and even the commercial lubes started as somebodies formula.
Once the bullet is sized and lubed, you should be able to load just like commercial cast and if you've done your job right you bullets will be equal or better than the commercial products. If you tumble lube in alox and don't size your bullets you may have more problems overall. If you want good results plan to spend about $400-$500 to get started with new equiptment or look for someone getting out of the hobby and try to get multiple molds, sizer and the furnace for a couple of hundred bucks. If you do you'll save a ton and things should all work together. rc
October 17, 2009, 07:46 PM
go here http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
October 17, 2009, 08:07 PM
^^^^ I second that motion. Loads of info---pun fully intended! :D
October 17, 2009, 10:22 PM
Moving over to Casting forum...
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