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Old December 11, 2010, 04:05 PM   #1
1chig
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ok guys here i go

please bare with me, i may be a little long winded. Anyway i am wanting to get started on casting bullets for a .38 special revolver with a 2 in. barrel. I have been reloading for about three years, mostly rifle but some 9mm & .38. I have also been melting leead for 10 years or more, making my own jigs for fishing. I have lots of lead and a lee 10lb bottom pour pot. I understand the basics. such as melt lead poor into bullet mold, remove size and lube then load. My questions are 1. What specificly mold to get, probably 2 cavity that poors round head 125 grn. or so. 2. lubing and sizing, what should i get? 3. where do i get my load data for cast bullets ? I have read the sticky and also abc's of reloading, very helpful , but i still have these questions. Sorry for being a pita. I am very excited about this and getting started. I would like to order what i need tomorrow. If i have left anything out please let me know. I want to start out small and see how it goes, meaning i dont want to spend a 100.00 on a bullet mold i also will probably order everything from midway. I will only be shooting target and though i shoot reguarly i dont shoot a lot at a time. So i will be low volume. So there it is any takers? thanks
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Old December 11, 2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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1chig, if it were me, I would start with this one from lee at midway;

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=141951



You could then go up and down in bullet weight from there. By buying more molds of course. Then for the sizer and lube, I would go with this set-up from lee.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=685087

Yes, you can use the lee liquid alox with conventional lube groove bullets. It works just fine, I do it all the time. The lee sizers are on sale right now, at least this one is.

With these two items, you could be casting and loading some bullets right away. If you find that you'd really like a lubrisizer press, then later you could get a Lyman, RCBS, or star.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=458891
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Old December 11, 2010, 05:56 PM   #3
dahermit
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Quote:
3. where do i get my load data for cast bullets ?
Lyman has just come out with their latest and greatest cast lead bullet handbook. Should be available from midwayusa.com
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Old December 11, 2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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The snubbie has fixed sites probably & regulated to 158gr bullet the lee 158 rnfp has shot good in all my 38/357 revolvers , from slow to giddy up !!!!

Another good 1 to start out with is the TL designs , the liguid alox will hold ya to 900fps or so all the little revolver will do .

Hodgdon has online data for the IMR ,WW & Hodgdon & theres Alliant also !!
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Old December 11, 2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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I like the Lyman 358242. You can pan lube em if they don't need sized to work in your gun. It's suppose to cast at 121 grs, but mine is 10 or 15 grs heavier
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Old December 12, 2010, 07:14 AM   #6
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A+ on GP100man post...

... I have 8 lee two cavity molds...good price for beginners and makes good quality bullets.

...would highly recommend them myself also
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Old December 12, 2010, 09:57 AM   #7
1chig
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GP100man, I cant seem to find the 158gn. rnfp on midway , maybie i am over looking it.
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Old December 12, 2010, 10:10 AM   #8
DiscoRacing
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just get them directly from lee...


http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/cata.../bullmol2.html
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Old December 12, 2010, 11:10 AM   #9
QuakertownRich
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Why bother?

Just did some calculating. You get approx 44 - 158gr bullets per pound of lead. Midway sells 30lbs of ingots for 140 bucks plus shipping. My estimates of that equal 1320+/- bullets for $140 + shipping = 11 cents a piece to make your own bullets?? How is this economical? I can get bullets already made, lubed and delivered for a little over half that, so my question is..why bother? The cost of operating kiln, time and lube puts it at twice the price. Just asking. I know some ppl get their lead free or cheap, but there is also a price driving around to get it.
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Old December 12, 2010, 12:47 PM   #10
That'll Do
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Midway's prices for lead are astronomical and are not good for calculating price comparisons.

Most folks use lead wheel weights that they get for a pretty low price (I picked up 200+ lbs from a tire shop for $50 bucks not long ago). The advantage to casting your own is that you get to select the exact style of bullet that you want, you choose how hard or soft the bullet is, you choose the bullet lube, and you can size the bullet to fit your gun.

It boils down to having complete control in regards to what you feed your gun. That's why I cast bullets.

For a wealth of knowledge about cast bullets, check out this site: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php
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Old December 12, 2010, 01:20 PM   #11
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I'm intrigued. I think tomorrow I will visit local shops and see if I can accumulate some wheel weights, and for how much. Like I said, right now, I am at <7cents a piece for hard-cast 158gr SWC's, and the supplier now has soft-cast for around 5 cents a piece for 158gr SWC's, and even less for 148gr DEWC's. Shooting target 38's does not require hard-cast as they are well under 1k fps loadings.
I am still not sure if this route would be beneficial to me as the cost to accumulate all the gear to cast would not be recouped for several yrs at the rate i shoot. Thanx for the link, I will bookmark for further reference.
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Old December 12, 2010, 01:32 PM   #12
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QTR I would recomend trying the small places that sell a lot of used tires if there are any around. One of the places I have found recently is a small place in a seedy part of town, they do tons of buisness cuz they sell cheap tires. I can get a bucket for about $10. One place I just take a 5 gallon bucket of iced down Bud Light and trade even for a bucket of wheel weights.
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Old December 12, 2010, 03:39 PM   #13
1chig
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what do you think, im getting ready to order my lee mold , which would be best 158gn swc or 158gn. round nose?
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Old December 12, 2010, 03:44 PM   #14
DiscoRacing
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i have both the SWC and RF,,,both in 158 grain... Like the RF better.
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Old December 12, 2010, 05:25 PM   #15
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If you HAVE to buy lead from outside your scrounging abilities, then here's a great place to look.

http://www.rotometals.com/Bullet-Casting-Alloys-s/5.htm

It's not cheap there either, but it beats midway's prices.

Tell everybody you know that you want lead. You'll be surprised how many will show up with lead for you, or tell you "they know a place". Look at the local phone book for a scrap yard. They often have lead, and you might get it for $.65/lb., or whatever the current market price is.
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Old December 12, 2010, 07:13 PM   #16
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158 rnfp

Ya probably looked under the 356/357 , it`s in the larger group.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=188719
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Old December 12, 2010, 08:27 PM   #17
1chig
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found it, gonna get it ordered thanks a bunch.
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