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Old April 28, 2010, 06:09 PM   #1
Lavid2002
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Why do you cast, or why dont you cast?

Im still kinda up in the air about casting bullets. I have never loaded pistol before...but jumping from buying rifle rounds to pistol rounds I see a dramatic increase in the price. Especially the 45 ACP bullets. There is a ton of money to be saved...

I DONT want to cast for the following reasons
*I dont know how to do it (Should be easy enough to learn)
*I dont have the equipment
*Potential health risks with the lead

I DO want to cast for the following reasons
*I would enjoy getting that much more involved in the sport
*Save a ton of money
*With the saved money I can shoot even more!


So what say ye? For a long time I have been against casting but looking at the price of bullets...its starting to look better and better.


Aside from price...What do you have to add to the topic? Why do you cast? (Besides price)
And for people who DONT cast...this for you too! Why did you stop casting? Why dont you cast at all?


Thanks : D

-Dave
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:02 PM   #2
dahermit
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I stated handloading and casting in the sixties because I could not afford muchy factory ammo for my handguns. The reason is still the same today; I want an unlimited supply of inexpensive bullets with which I can do 99% of all my shooting (I still buy varmint bullets).
For all non-critical (critical= self defence) purposes, cast bullets are equal to the task. In handguns, except for self defence, there is no compelling reason to use anything other than cast bullets.
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:08 PM   #3
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Affordability has alot to do with it , secondly & almost as much is not haveing to depend on supply & demand of the market ! in short independence !!
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:14 PM   #4
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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Health risks are minimal...as long as you are careful. I cast so I can tweak the bullets to better fit my gun. BUT, the main reason I cast is because I like to shoot...alot....and casting allows me to do that even on a tight budget. If you decide to try it out, buy some Lee equipment. It is cheaper but flat out works. You can easily start out casting for under $100 and probably even cheaper than that.
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:26 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Major, major PITA and way, way too much investment, with way too little benefit for the amount and particular cartridges that I shoot.
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:14 PM   #6
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I've been pondering my answer to this question for years.

I'm still not casting for all of these reasons, and not listed in any particular order.
  • I don't have access to free or cheap lead. Last thing I want to add to my life is slumming around tire shops begging for lead.
  • I'm thoroughly confused on how exactly I'm supposed to get the lead mix that works best. I'm certain I can learn it, but I'm not in the mood to learn all the ins & outs of a lifelong hobby at this point. As long as I've been a handloader, I've still got so much to learn just in that.
  • I'm not thrilled with the prospect of working with molten hot liquid. I've been through third degree burns before (that was a long 7 weeks out of work) and I'm just not looking forward to that part of it.
  • I also don't care much for the idea of hazardous air, putting me in the garage or the driveway to do the work.
  • I already burn piles of time with shooting and handloading, which I enjoy a heap. I've got two young kids, so this is NOT the time to add another huge can of worms such as casting.
  • Even though I've seen the prices climb like crazy, I still look at the number of high quality cast lead slugs I get from a guy like Dardas and I'm pretty darn happy with how they shoot and how much I spend on 'em. I don't feel pinched by the cost of quality commercially cast bullets.
  • Everyone says it's not that expensive to get started, but that's all relative. Until I have a pile of lead here, it just looks like a lot of molds and equipment that needs to be purchased... I'd rather buy primers or more guns.

With all that said... I honestly see myself casting one day. It's just that every time I think about it, I think about all the reasons I just don't want to start up a new hobby.
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:24 PM   #7
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I love casting...nearly as much as I love to shoot em up... and... it is easy and fun to do... also if you do it, it dont take long to regain your startup costs from what you save making your own rds.... Also..if your lucky like i am..others will want some of your bullets now and then...I have sold over 200bucks of bullets in the past 9 months...which covers the cost of all my eight molds that I have.
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Old April 28, 2010, 10:53 PM   #8
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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This is another reason why I cast



357 Mag HP rounds (170 grain)


45 ACP HP rounds (200 grain) round or penta hollowpoint


Premium hunting ammunition for cheap! I also use them for plinking.
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Old April 28, 2010, 11:46 PM   #9
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I first started casting a while back in order to cheaply put my .32 Win Sp back in action. Bullets for reload were too few, too far between, and I love shooting it too much. Casting was just the thing to do in order to keep the thing fed. Since then I've increased my mold inventory to cover two handguns, three rifles, and all my BP. Next on the list is conical bullets instead of all the RB I've been shooting for my BP revolver.

Why do I do it? Same reasons I reload in general. I could talk about all the money savings--anyone who reloads knows what kind of cost differences are involved once you have your set-up. But aside from that, I just really enjoy the whole process involved in producing my own ammunition--end of story. Casting is just another aspect in that same equation. I can swag my own jacketed bullets for my .357, but I haven't had the time to really dial that in fully yet. Eventually, and hopefully sooner rather than later, I'll be swaging my own 6mm and .30 jacketed bullets as well--I just haven't had enough spare time to machine out the dies yet.

It's all part of a process that I really enjoy, and enjoy even more the deeper I find myself getting in it.
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Old April 29, 2010, 03:19 AM   #10
snuffy
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bullet casting 101

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346199

Lavid, there's a host of info in this sticky. Read it through, then come back here to ask your questions, if you still have any!
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Old April 29, 2010, 08:10 AM   #11
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I'm the kinda guy that would rather spend all day making something vs spending $20 on it downtown. I love making my own stuff, so thats what I do.

How can it get any better than making your own bullets? I've only been casting about 4 or 5 years, but its actually very easy and saves a pile of money if you do much shooting.


ICH
Very nice boolits. I've been eye balling one (or three) of those molds, but aint took the plunge yet.
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Old April 29, 2010, 08:25 AM   #12
Sevens
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Those GC'd .357 rounds are gorgeous.

Can you use the term "gorgeous" to describe a lead slug?

Those dang things are pretty.
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Old April 29, 2010, 11:34 AM   #13
Lavid2002
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Quote:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346199

Lavid, there's a host of info in this sticky. Read it through, then come back here to ask your questions, if you still have any!
Lost of good information for beginners : D

Youtube videos have been a great help too!


Its funny. I was thinking...how the heck am I going to get these metal clips out of the melted lead. I will have to skim the lead off the top and then pick them out. Au contrar! I have spent my whole life becoming accustomed to things SINKING in liquid. It totally passes my mind that I am dealing with one of the most dense matters on earth LOL! Very very cool. I cant wait to see steel float!


-Dave


P.S. Metal ratios still confuse me
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Old April 29, 2010, 04:36 PM   #14
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You don't have to know about metal ratios and alloying for using WW's for handgun bullets. Use 100% WW's and if you have problems with the mould filling out making perfect bullets with nice sharp edges, that's when you add some tin to it. Tin can be had in rolls of solder 50/50 is cheapest. I have a 20 LB pot so I use about 18" of solder for a full pot of WW's. This helps mould fill out.

Learn to be a picky bullet caster! Reject the bad ones and remelt them later. Watch for perfect bases on the bullets, nice and square, not rounded.
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Old April 29, 2010, 08:40 PM   #15
Lavid2002
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U got it ed : D


Is tin similar to soldering wire?
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Old April 29, 2010, 08:58 PM   #16
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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Thank you gentlemen for the compliments. And yes, you can call lead slugs "gorgeous."
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Old April 29, 2010, 09:12 PM   #17
That'll Do
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I cast because it's another aspect of the reloading/handloading hobby that I enjoy immensely. I get great satisfaction turning a stack of lead ingots in a shiny pile of perfect little bullets.

The money savings aspect is another big reason. And finally, having bullets that fit your gun perfectly is priceless–a custom fit and the correct lube makes for some pretty accurate shooting.

And if some very basic safety rules are followed (which needs to be the case 24/7) the chances of being poisoned are next to impossible.
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Old April 30, 2010, 11:19 AM   #18
max it
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Why cast?

Guys,

It's those "gorgeous" bullets that have me entranced.

I just started adding linotype and the edges are square and the bullets shine like never before. Also as a new caster I realized that alloy and steel molds beat the tar out of WW and alum molds. NOt that I am going to throw out anything. I even shoot all the wrinkled, funny looking ones. Which is probably the second reason to cast, its cheaper.

So now I have a pot, a sizer, several molds, tools from the thrift store (they think that they are kitchen tools, silly). And my wife's cast iron pot, a turkey fryer burner on the way, and various other things like containers, alox, candles etc. Thanks to all of you, a local older guy who started me, and youtube, and the guys at two ranges and several local shops now I are one! Hooray

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Old April 30, 2010, 11:58 AM   #19
Edward429451
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There's tin in the soldering wire. Learn to not use too much. Depending on the exact mixture of the WW's you may need more or less than I said for good mould fill out.

If you cast outside keep in mind that one raindrop falls in the pot..the contents of the pot will explode in all directions. A big moth did it once to me too. Long sleeved shirts, gloves and glasses are in order.
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Old April 30, 2010, 06:17 PM   #20
freakshow10mm
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I cast because of cost reduction and performance increase.

Casting my own 9mm bullets allows me to load a thousand rounds for about $60. Not a typo.

Cast bullets are just as accurate as their jacketed counterparts. Cleanup is a breeze. My 9mm ammo runs about 1150fps in a 4 inch.
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Old April 30, 2010, 09:45 PM   #21
chris in va
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Now that I have the correct formula for 9mm and 45acp, there's simply no way I'd go back to FMJ considering how much they cost. I can crank out 500 9mm boolits for about $5 worth of wheelweights.

If you're concerned about lead exposure just wear gloves and a respirator.
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Old May 1, 2010, 10:31 AM   #22
kraigwy
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With me, its varied reasons.

Pistols & revolvers, its cheaper and seems to me more accurate.

Rifles: I use to cast for the M1A so I could practice in an indoor range on 50 ft SM targets in the winter.

To save time and money, I can practice on reduced target at 100 yards for compition.

I can shoot reduce loads in my heavy rifles without getting beat up. Try compairing a 95 grns of 4831 pushing a 400 grn 416 rigby vs. a cast 416 bullet pushed by Trailboss, One hurts and one is a pleasure to shoot.

I built my grandson a 308, to get him to learn to shoot instead of flinch, I load him up cast bullets pushed by trailboss at reduced targets at 25 yards.

In BPCR,...............well you are just suppose to shoot cast bullets, its the law.
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Old May 7, 2010, 08:48 AM   #23
hangfirew8
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45ACP is 40 cents a shot for the plain stuff, half a dollar and more for the fancy stuff.

Cast, we are talking about 6 or 7 cents a shot depending on how long ago I bought the primers (longer ago, cheaper the price).

I have a .310" bore 30/06 that doesn't shoot copper bullets accurately, but I can cast .310-.311 bullets for it and make it accurate.

Its almost impossible to shoot out the throat of a rifle with cast bullets.

I can not only afford to shoot all day, but moderate recoil means I CAN shoot all day.

Some cartridges were originally intended for cast bullets (38 Special, 45 Colt), and receive no benefit from jacketed bullets.
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Old May 7, 2010, 08:53 AM   #24
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I cast 308 rifle bullets and 58 Caliber Mini Balls.

Because I cannot find local sources.

My lead pistol bullets, I buy. I shoot too many of them to spend time casting.

Finding lead, making ingots takes a lot of time.




Melting, pouring lead takes too long, sizing and lubing take too long. Overall, casting is great if you have a lot of time on your hands.

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Old May 7, 2010, 09:08 AM   #25
Magnum Mike
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I like to do it!! I'm a tight wad plus I've got a ton of lead. It go hand in hand with my shot making and reloading. I still need to perfect my shot making but it breaks targets. The bullets work great and I reload for next to nothing. Makes my friends jealous!
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