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Old January 10, 2007, 07:50 PM   #1
bigautomatic
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Need a basic list

I've been reloading for several pistol and rifles for some time now, and I'm ready to move on to the next step. Could some of you folks please give me a list of the basic things that I would need to start casting my own bullets? (I already have a great source for lead, How long will a 55 gallon drum of wheelweight last?) Keep in mind I don't necessarily reload thinking that I'm going to save a million bucks, because I shoot a lot. I'm simply ready for the next challenge of doing something the best that I can. I will start out casting for .45 caliber revolver (45 Colt, 454 Casull, 460 mag). I see kits and such, but there are always things that are not included because of caliber specifics. Also open for suggestions for books on casting. And last but not least, I don't care if the equipment is blue, green, red, or whatever, I just want something that will last. Thanks in advance.
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Old January 10, 2007, 09:41 PM   #2
Trapp
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I think I have it down, but no one seems to want to help out anymore... see this thread: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=233823
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Old January 11, 2007, 06:50 AM   #3
Buckythebrewer
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Do you have the newer LEE second edition reloading manual??It has alot on casting bullets, as does the 1st edition.I don't cast bullets but I remember seeing alot on the subject in the Lee book.
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Old January 11, 2007, 08:06 AM   #4
rwilson452
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casting

Lyman puts out a good book on the subject.

If your using wheel weights, you will want to turn them into 1 lb ingots. you will need ingot molds. I suggest two molds. The molds generally make three or four 1 lb ingots each. To melt the wheel weights I suggest a propane turkey cooker. it takes lots of BTUs. Melt the weights in a cast iron 5 qt Dutch oven. you need something to flux the lead. parafane used for canning works there is specialty stuff for this. Your going to need a dipper to dip the lead from the dutch oven into your mold or you will need help to pour from the dutch oven. I have used a pair of vice grips for this evolution.

Thus far you have:
A large propane burner.
a 5 qt Dutch oven.
a dipper
two vice grips. 8-10"
a pair of heavy duty work gloves. ( a splash of lead on your hands will ruin your day.)

I would also suggest a heavy work apron.

Now you have a bunch of 1 lb ingots.

I would suggest a 10 or 20 pound bottom pour electric pot to do the actual molding process

Molds for each bullet type you intend to mold. Do the molds come with handles? or are they a separate item? Something to smoke your molds with. this can again be a specialty item or a candle.


a wood mallet or stick. I use a 1' piece of 2X2 to knock the sprue cutter.

For a new molder I suggest a two cavity mold.

I would also suggest a couple of aluminium cookie sheets to use as a work surface. aluminium because lead doesn't stick to it very well.

Sponges and an old t-shirt for dropping your bullets on to cool.

But first get a book on molding and do a couple of laps around the book.
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Old January 11, 2007, 03:57 PM   #5
bigautomatic
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Thanks guys. Looks like I already have some of the equipment. A large propane burner (it hasn't deep fried a bird for a couple of years), a decent sized dutch oven and I do have a welders apron and gloves. I got the wheel weights for free from a friend that owns a small auto repair business. I've been bringing them home about 40 pounds at a time in wooden boxes (I'm about halfway down the drum). I'll be looking for the books this weekend. Other suggestions or tips are welcome.

Last edited by bigautomatic; January 11, 2007 at 05:35 PM.
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Old January 11, 2007, 07:56 PM   #6
Buckythebrewer
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I would take extra time deciding were to melt + cast bullets(probably already thought of it).I would worry about lead contamination,especially with kids around.It builds over time(from what ive read)and it can be very bad(from what ive read)..just another suggestion.
Ive got a question as well
can you make copper jacketed bullets at home??Always wondered that
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Old January 12, 2007, 02:00 AM   #7
chemist308
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Quote:
I would worry about lead contamination,especially with kids around.It builds over time(from what ive read)and it can be very bad
Yes. I haven't done this but speaking as a chemist, before I did that I'd want a bottom venting fume hood. Here's how you make a cheap version:
*Put your casting bench against a window.
*Build a plywood box flush to the window with open sides on the window and working side (front and back)
*Install a window fan
*Install a plexiglass sash on the front (bolt some plexi to the front, leaving yourself a working height of 12-18 inches for you to reach your arms into.
*Alway run fan when melting or working in EXAUST MODE ONLY.
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Old January 12, 2007, 06:16 AM   #8
mrawesome22
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How about freaquent visits to the doctor for lead/blood screens LOL. You guys who cast lead got some big ones LOL.
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Old January 12, 2007, 06:29 AM   #9
qajaq59
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Glasses

I might have missed someone saying it, and it may be obvious, but be sure you wear safety glasses. I was a linotype operator for 20 years and I know what molten lead in your eyes feels like. If you don't wear glasses before it happens you sure will after.
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Old January 12, 2007, 07:45 AM   #10
bigautomatic
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Don't worry guys, I've been designing and installing ventilation systems for some years now (I'm a field manager for an HVAC contractor) so I have got some ideas in mind already. Thats if I decide to melt indoors. But will more than likely be outdoors, mostly because thats just where i'd rather be when doing anything.
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