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Old May 5, 2008, 11:38 AM   #1
kyle663
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starting bulltet making

I'm getting ready to start making my own bullets. I have been looking at the lee production pot and lee molds and lube and sizing kits. Any suggestions and other things i might need would be helpful.
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Old May 5, 2008, 03:11 PM   #2
Pahoo
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I first take my scrap lead and melt it in a small cast iron pot and place it on my propane turkey cooker. This gets to the required temp. pretty fast. I then add a pinch of Franfort Arsenal flux and skim off the dirt and then put into molds or your pot. The flux really cleans up the lead. You should also get yourself a thermometer with with a top end of about 750 or 800 Deg. F. I use a multimeter that has a pyrometer feature. I should add that so far, I only run round balls and conicals of pure lead. You might also want a scale. Lyman makes a very good casting book. Oh yes, I only run lead outside where there is good ventilation and be sure to wash your hands after handling the lead.
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Old May 5, 2008, 03:22 PM   #3
kyle663
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thank Pahoo

Thanks, I'm checking a few local shops on wheel weights
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Old May 5, 2008, 03:32 PM   #4
TexasSeaRay
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Four separate processes.

1. Buy Lyman's book on bullet casting. It's the starting point for just about anyone who has cast their own bullets for generations. Then check out http://castboolits.gunloads.com/

That is THE definitive website--worldwide--for casting your own boolits. Early on, read way, way more than you talk. Every new person over there asks the exact same questions when there is a perfectly good search engine, plus the stickys.

A lot of those old guys over there have forgotten more about casting and reloading and shooting than any fifty shooters you know will ever learn.

2.. Smelting--taking your raw source of lead (wheel weights, lead pipe, etc), melting it down, cleaning it up (important), and putting it into ingot form so it can be easily melted in your casting pot.

I use cast iron dutch ovens for my smelting. I get them at Academy Sports for something ridiculously cheap like ten bucks. I use long handled steel spoons to skim the dross, dirt and crud off, and slotted spoons to scoop the clips from the WWs--they will be floating on top.

Some folks use muffin tins as ingots as the round "cakes" fit easily into the casting pot. I use those some, as well as ingot moulds from Lyman and Lee. I use the Lyman moulds for WW lead, the Lee one-pounder moulds for pure lead, and the Lee half-pound mould for linotype.

3. Casting--The Lee Pro 20-IV is a good pot to start with and end with. It can have a tendency to drip, as any bottom pour pot will. However, there are ways to negate this, and again, the guys over at castboolits have seen it all and done it all--lot of tricks to improve your equipment.

Same goes for Lee moulds. Big mistake many make is starting right off the bat with the six-bangers. There is an art to pouring molten lead into a mould an dgetting a good, useable boolit. Easiest to learn on a two-cavity.

Most Lee moulds also require some prep work far beyond what Lee suggests in their instructions. There is a long sticky at castboolits dedicated solely to Lee-menting.

When casting, there are a lot more things that can go wrong than can go right. Only thing that can go right is you cast a perfect boolit. This is where reading, reading, reading, study and more study will save you a LOT of aggravation and unnecessary expense.

For instance, a thermometer is absolutely necessary with a Lee pot--the Lee pots tend to have runaway temperatures and need to be monitored and adjusted.

A lot of reading and studying before you start buying equipment will help you get more out of your money.

4. Sizing/lubing--the Lee push-through sizing kits are handy as hell and they work well. But they only work with Lee Liquid Alox, which means you tumble lube your boolits. You tumble lube, set them out on wax paper to dry and "set up" for a day or so, then you size them. Depending on your intentions for the boolit, you may desire to lube it again.

You can get sizer/luber machines from Lyman, RCBS, Saeco and Star (Magma) that size and lube in one step--using "hard" lubes. This is a whole nother world as well.

Before I spent a nickel, I'd go over to http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ and do some serious reading.

You'll be glad you did.

Jeff
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Old May 5, 2008, 09:05 PM   #5
HOGGHEAD
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Making Boolits

Making Boolits is a blast-as far as I am concerned. Shooting a deer with a bullet you cast out of a BP cartridge rifle is a hoot. It makes you feel like you have accomplished something.

Buy a few good manuals first, and read them. The Lyman recommended above is a good one. What rifle are you casting for??

I personally do not like the Lee products. I also do not lke bottom pour pots. Too many problems(just my experience).

Buy a good quality mold, a pot, and a ladle and get started. Everything else can come later. I would rather have a good mold and a cheap pot(than the opposite).

A sizer is also a great option, but it is not mandatory to get started.

In casting I believe a cadence is the most important thing. Consistency is KING. Develop a cadence count and follow this cadence. You will pour more consistent bullets if you do that. Tom.
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Old May 6, 2008, 09:13 AM   #6
jmorris
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I built the casting machine below to take the work out of the process. You can find more details here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ighlight=magma










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Old May 6, 2008, 11:36 AM   #7
armoredman
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Get thee to castboolits.gunloads.com for more good info. I haven't started smelting yet, but I certainly love casting! Saves boatloads of money.
Wow, what a gadget! That must have taken some time/money! Nifty!
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Last edited by armoredman; May 7, 2008 at 09:37 AM.
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