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Old September 21, 2012, 03:57 PM   #12
Doc Hoy
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Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,629
This is a very involved topic...

....Since there are several diverging opinions.

As far as the lead is concerned, I use wheel weights which my pal the mechanic is happy to give me. I go over there about once every three months and in that amount of time, he has forty to seventy pounds worth in a five gallon bucket. Wheel weights gives me a bullet with a hardness somewhere around 12 to 16. It is a little hard to load them but I use a press (which I recommend for all BP revolver shooters.) Probably ten to twenty percent of the weight is stuff I can't use. It is zinc weights, valve stems, the steel clips in the weights, cigarette butts and dead bugs. All of that stuff is pretty easy to avoid. I have gotten pretty good at picking out the lead alloy weights by sight and avoiding the stuff which I know won't melt in the pot.

I had a source of pure lead which is used as ballast in ships. (not sailboats....Sailboat ballast is anything the maker can get his hands on.)

As far as molds are concerned, I like Lee molds. They are inexpensive (I recommend Titan Reloading Inc.) They come up to temperature very quickly so you are molding good bullets quickly. And with a little practice you can get your rythm to the point where the molds don't cool down too much between pours.

I find that I get better results with .45 Long Colt bullets if I put a hand clamp on the mold before I charge it. I tried just squeezing the mold closed but my hand got tired and I still did not et consistent results. In this way I get far more consistent bullets.

When I do round balls, I have a couple of molds that I made spring loaded handles for. I can get round balls from these molds that are much more consistent than Hornady bought balls.

This is sacrelige...but I am not a fan of steel molds. For one thing they make a bullet with a large sprue. For another thing they take a long time to come up to temperature. And finally, they are three to four times as expensive as Lee aluminum molds. I have Lee molds that I have been using for 35 years and they still make a bullet with is high in quality.

I also use a Lee Production Pot which is also about 35 years old. My only quarrel with it is the drain spout at the bottom.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; September 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM.
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