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Old February 6, 2013, 11:45 PM   #1
deerslayer303
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Use a press and save some lead!

We all know lead is a precious commodity, so use a press and save your shaved ring. Every ball you press in, the shaved ring moves up onto the jag and they collect there nice and neat. Who knows in a couple hundred shots you just MAY be able to cast one more round ball. HEY! Its ONE MORE than YOU HAD!!
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:40 AM   #2
Beagle333
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You know... just out of curiosity, I'm going to start saving mine.. and weighing them on my powder scale. (Just 'cause now I wanna know.) Here's something we have never talked about since I've been here. And we pretty much cover it all!!

I'll report back with average shaved ring weights in the near future.
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Old February 7, 2013, 08:44 AM   #3
deerslayer303
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You know in all seriousness, I put those shaved rings back in the round ball box. Those are pretty thick rings right there, as they are shaved from a .457 ball. So yeah my shaving will now go in the melting pot, rather than on the ground or wherever they may fall.
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Old February 7, 2013, 09:42 AM   #4
maillemaker
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If you really are serious about saving your lead, make yourself a "bullet bucket" like I did. It's portable, cheap, and easy.

Go to Home Depot. Buy two of their $2.50 buckets and lids. Go to the garden area and buy a cheap bag of chipped rubber mulch.

Cut out a piece of 3/4" thick plywood to fit into the bottom of a bucket. Fill a bucket up with the rubber mulch. Stand on it to pack it in tightly. Snap the lid on.

To use, set one bucket on it's mouth, and then lay the other bucket on top of it. Drive a tent stake in the ground on either side and use a ratcheting tie-down to secure the top bucket to the bottom bucket.

Staple your target to the cover of the bucket.

For revolvers with target loads (20 grains powder) your bullets will never make it to the plywood. For muskets, they will. So I put 4 pieces of .03" thick mild steel sheet metal over the plywood. It soaks up the last of the energy.

You might have the occasional bullet shoot out the side of the bucket. Just slap a piece of duct tape over the hole and keep going. You can likewise stretch out the life of the lid the same way. Eventually, you'll have to buy a new lid.

Here are some pictures:

http://www.4thla.com/bullet_bucket/bullet_bucket.htm

At nearly $2 a pound for pure lead, this really stretches my target shooting buck.

Steve
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Old February 7, 2013, 10:34 AM   #5
DD4lifeusmc
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rings and bucket

I save the rings I can, like when reloading after cleaning. But not so much in the field.
When plinking / target shooting I save if I catch them before hitting the dirt. Always have.
I'm cheap.

Bullet bucket.
I did same basic thing, but from wood. built a 16 x 18 box. left front open.
I hung starting at back rubber mudflap, about 1 inch of old newspaper, mudflap,
1 inch of newspaper. Then mounted two of the big pinch clamp paper clips on the
top front. Taped my target to a piece of cardboard. Mount the cardboard with the clamps.
I put legs on mine as I want the target at least close to level with my chest.
The paper slows the bullet, the rubber being dense and gives slows it more.

But this one is only for BP revolver.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg assembled with target.jpg (233.4 KB, 18 views)
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Old February 7, 2013, 01:32 PM   #6
Rigmarol
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I use both the onboard loading levers and a cylinder press and either way I always put down a shop rag or handkerchief to catch powder spills and rings. I've always wadded it up and brought it back home to reclaim. I thought everyone did too!!!

I really like the bucket idea. I'm going to give that one a try myself.

A thought on the wad-cutter or semi-wad-cutter bullets... I envision the lids getting holes punched out far more often than the bullets you used in your pictures. I could be wrong but I'd like to know how it works out when you try them.

Instead of steel in bottom of the bucket, I like the mud flap idea. I wonder if they are tough enough to stop as reliably as the steel. Maybe multiple layers?
I'm just worried my range officer will assume steel means ricochets and reject it. He barely approved my steel dueling tree.

I'm thinking multiple buckets for my Cowboy Action Shooting practice. FAR CHEAPER than buying steel targets for just me. And much easier to pack and carry.

You got my imagination going now...

On bucket targets; how about spray paint flat black, then spray paint a target stencil in white instead of paper and staples?

Thanks again, great idea!
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Old February 7, 2013, 01:46 PM   #7
deerslayer303
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Awesome! Thanks for the bucket idea! I'll have to make one of those up. Just one more thing I can shoot at. Here is just the shaving from a quick 1 hour trip with the sheriff to the back 40 shooting range. That right there is a round balls worth I bet. So Imagine the lead I've wasted.
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Old February 7, 2013, 02:20 PM   #8
maillemaker
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Quote:
A thought on the wad-cutter or semi-wad-cutter bullets... I envision the lids getting holes punched out far more often than the bullets you used in your pictures. I could be wrong but I'd like to know how it works out when you try them.
Indeed they do! I have recently started shooting the RCBS Hogdgon "skirmisher" bullet in my muskets:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/494...eter-414-grain

It has a pretty harsh shoulder on it designed to punch clean holes in paper, and it does. It is harder on the bucket cover. But you can just slap some duct tape over the damage and keep shooting. One cover should last at least 2 shooting sessions, and new covers are like $1.50 from Home Depot.

However, when shooting round or conical balls out of a BP revolver, the lid is darn-near self healing!

Quote:
Instead of steel in bottom of the bucket, I like the mud flap idea. I wonder if they are tough enough to stop as reliably as the steel. Maybe multiple layers?
I'm just worried my range officer will assume steel means ricochets and reject it. He barely approved my steel dueling tree.
Well, the steel is hidden in the bottom of the bucket, so hopefully no one will notice!

You will probably get away with a sheet of 3/4" plywood and some rubber sheeting for handguns. I found most of my 1858 remmy balls about half-way into the bucket - they never even made it to the back with 20 grains of powder.

With my muskets, though, they will quickly shoot a "tunnel" into the mulch, and they definitely impact the steel - see the pictures in the link above. And it packs enough of a wallop to put pretty good dents in the steel.

Quote:
On bucket targets; how about spray paint flat black, then spray paint a target stencil in white instead of paper and staples?
You could, but the lid gets beat up pretty quick, and you can't put up a new target if you want to check the difference between one course of fire and the next like you can with paper. But if you are just looking for something to shoot at, sure, paint it, or just get some of those stick-on orange dots and slap them on there. Or just make a red "X" with some duct tape.

I just staple a target to it.

Steve
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Old February 7, 2013, 03:17 PM   #9
Rigmarol
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This bucket thing really has me wanting to go home "sick" and stop at Home Depot...

Thanks again.
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:52 AM   #10
4V50 Gary
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You'uns are cheap

And so am I.
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Old February 8, 2013, 09:45 AM   #11
maillemaker
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Yup, I am!

I figured out the cost and to shoot my Enfield is about $.33 a shot.

By reclaiming the lead, I can cut that cost almost in half.

It would be fun to figure out how to make percussion caps!

Steve
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:38 PM   #12
Beagle333
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The results are in....

Okay.... shooting again, since it's Saturday, and the first 24 rings weighed an average of .5333 grains each. Assuming a recovery factor of 80% (my factor for recovering flashing lead (last load was 80.12%).... gotta be close to true flux loss for dirty lead rings too), that gives a useable .4266gr per ring. At 141 grains for the average .454 ball, I need 330 rings, or the recovered rings from 55 full reloads (at 6 per load) to regain one ball.

Not really worth keeping up with, IMHO.

One note: your rings might weigh more if you use store-bought balls. I use pure lead hand cast balls, and pure shrinks a bit from the mold size, so my cast balls measure .4525 instead of .4540 and might not shave as much ring as Speer or Hornady balls with a true .454 diameter. Still..... you gonna need a pretty good sized poke full of rings to get more'n a ball out of it.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:07 PM   #13
deerslayer303
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This is true Beagle. But with the press, its so easy to just take them off the jag and throw em back in the box. I'm really on top of making some sort of bullet catcher. I like the bucket Idea, but I was also thinking of making something like the bullet boxes they have at walmart for .22LRs. I can make it out of thicker steel of course. But the 5 gallon bucket is going to be cheaper no doubt. But maybe not in the long run. I'll have to look up some bullet traps online and see what I can come up with. What grade of steel would be good for revolvers and rifles? I don't think I would need anything like AR500.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:16 PM   #14
Beagle333
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Yeah, I wasn't using a press. Your way would be much less trouble.
I was standing in the yard.
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Old February 10, 2013, 07:23 AM   #15
emishi
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Buckets

A free sources of buckets... deli or fast food restuarants. Most get their dill pickles and sauerkraut in 5 gallon buckets and go thru a bucket every 2 to 3 days. Most just trash the bucket and lid once they're empty. Talk to the store manager and request they save you one and a couple of extra lids.

Another source would be house painting services... with their 5 gallon latex paint buckets. This would be a bit messier proposition though.
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:25 PM   #16
maillemaker
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Yes, a metal box would last longer. However, my range says no metal allowed.

Steve
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