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Old November 29, 2012, 03:00 AM   #1
sknapp92
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need casting advice

So i'm new to the forum and also to casting lead bullets. that said i would like some advice and or suggestion's on what type of tools to buy. i have seen many online but all i need for the time being is enuf to get me casting. i would really apriciate any advice
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:08 AM   #2
Rottweiler
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Go over to the castboolits.gunloads.com forum those guys have forgotten more about casting than most of us will ever know. They can steer you to the right equipment and away from the junk.
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:33 AM   #3
Vance
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You will need a pot to melt the lead in and a burner of some type to put the pot on, or a lead smelting pot that has an electric heating element in it. There are two types of those also. Bottom pour and non-bottom pour. Then you need a casting ladle. A lead thermometer and the mold of the bullet design you want. For safety reasons, you should wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, and leather gloves while casting. A face shield is probably a good idea, or at least safety glasses.

1 and 2 cavity molds are the easier molds to learn with. 4 and 6 cavity molds are different to mold with and are faster, but can be more frustrating when you are just starting out.

After you get the bullets cast, you will want to size and lube them. If the mold casts the bullet the size you need, then you don't need to size them, only lube them. Lee make a size and lube kit that is cheap and effective.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:19 PM   #4
sknapp92
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thanks for the advice i'm probably going to start with a 2 cavity conical mold. i'm making them for an 1858 Remington new army if it makes any difference. also there is a Lyman kit on amazon for pretty nice price do you think that would be a good starting set?

http://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Big-Dipp...an+bullet+cast
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Old November 29, 2012, 03:02 PM   #5
10 Spot Terminator
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The Lyman kit shown is only a 10 lb. pot plus you are paying more for the ingot mould you wont need as a starter and for a tube of their moly grease you may opt not to use as you dont have a lubesizer press. Check e-bay under outdoor sports-hunting-reloading for a used 20 lb. pot and a cheap but user friendly Lee ladle. If you have a 2nd hand store/thrift shop around get a hot plate ( to pre heat and maintain heat in moulds ) and a couple of the older ( not silvery colored ) small muffin pans to make your ingots . Go to Rotometals and order your casting thermometer, same as RCBS but less money. Check out pan lubing bullets on line and Lee push through sizer dies as the cheapest way short of Lee tumble lubeing available to lube your casts.
Lee moulds are cheaper by far than the others as are aluminum vs. steel and if you follow Lees instructions to prep the mould first work nicely.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:07 PM   #6
grubbylabs
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I started out with a cheap pot to smelt in. (thrift store)
#20 Lee bottom pour pot
2 lee molds tumble lube kind
push through sizing die for each bullet
turkey fryer for smelting.
some cheap ladles for use while smelting.

I think that is about it. Those two cavity molds from lee do not require a lot of pre heating.

I also bought the Lyman casting hand book. The hand book along with some quality time over at the castboolits forum helped my out quit a bit.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:09 PM   #7
Vance
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From Ingot to Target: A Cast Bullet Guide for Handgunners by Glen E. Fryxell is a great resource and will help you understand the process. It is free for personal use and you may download it. I recommend you read it before you start casting.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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That Lyman kit is a very good start for casting black powder bullets. Run pure lead for those cap&ball pistol conicals.

Forget that lee ladle. It's good for stirring the alloy/lead, but it pours poorly.
The Lyman ladle is what's called a bottom-pour ladle. The lead comes from UNDER the top surface of the liquid lead, lots of junk floating on the surface that can get included in your boolits.

There's better options out there for the eventuality of making handgun and rifle boolits. A good one is the 20 pound lee pro 4-20, 65 bucks on midway;

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/645...rnace-110-volt
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:04 PM   #9
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http://ezine.m1911.org/casting_frame.htm

These folks have a good primer on casting.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:28 PM   #10
chris in va
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I much prefer a bottom pour over the ladle method. Quicker, more efficient. Then again I blow through quite a few 9mm and 45, so I need something fast.
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Old December 2, 2012, 06:36 PM   #11
Gerry
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And I much prefer the ladle method with a 20 pounder or bigger for casting in quantity, particularly with the heavier steel 4-banger molds. Not only am I much faster with a ladle than if I were using my little bottom-pour, but I tire less quickly because I actually lean the mold bottom against the top edge of the pot while I quickly pour. I arguably may be getting better alloy consistency too, since my pot is constantly stirred as I ladle.

The main limit to casting speed isn't the method, but the fact that your mold will get too hot and you'll need to cool it down. You don't want your mold so hot that you have to wait around for the sprue to cool. This problem is easily solved by using two molds, alternating every so many pours. The other limiting factor to speedy production is having to recharge your pot with lead too often. I find 20 pounds to be the minimum size I would consider for my production needs. Also add lead more often in smaller ingots so that you don't ever have to wait for the pot to warm up. I love the small muffin tin size.

Using the above procedure with my DIY ladle, I can EASILY produce about 1,000 bullets per hour with my Lyman 4-bangers.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
I much prefer a bottom pour over the ladle method. Quicker, more efficient. Then again I blow through quite a few 9mm and 45, so I need something fast.
"Quicker and more efficient", for you. I use a top access, and two six-cavity moulds for the same bullet. I always cast with two moulds of the same bullet that I am casting that day. I like shooting more than I like casting. And when it comes to bullet count per/hour, I will put my method against yours any day. Tried bottom pour, hated it, after a year, I put a sheet metal screw into the bottom pour hole and removed the handle structure that went in the top making it a top access for use with a ladle. Good riddance bottom pour.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:51 PM   #13
Super Sneaky Steve
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Quote:
#20 Lee bottom pour pot
2 lee molds tumble lube kind
push through sizing die for each bullet
turkey fryer for smelting.
some cheap ladles for use while smelting.
Yup, that's my set up. I use a large cast iron pan for making ingots out of scrap. I've also moved away from tumble lube bullets, but I still use Lee molds.
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Old December 4, 2012, 05:45 PM   #14
Gerry
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Just be watchful when using cast iron. It's can crack while heating to temps high enough to melt lead. One guy I know apparently had 40 pounds of molten lead spill onto his backyard patio. Although no one was hurt, his wife was not pleased.

IKEA sells some nice thick stainless steel pots at pretty good prices. They have tight covers too which come in handy for that ... err... smelly part with wheel weights.
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