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Old November 10, 2011, 08:57 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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OK... I might be ready to try this...

I already load close to 70 different calibers... inherited all the casting stuff from my father in law, after he died... I've collected several molds for some of the odd calibers I load for ( that I currently have a buddy cast )... I have a lubrisizer & a couple size dies... as well as a buddy to use for a mentor, as I get started...

I have nearly a ton of lead ingots that my father in law cast, that I helped him move around several times... most were done with reclaimed bullets, wheel weights, & some lino type... & I'd expect some "soft lead scrap" as he used to do stained glass work, & had alot of lead cane & assorted scraps that I suspect got added to the pot... none of the ingots are marked...

do I need to buy a hardness tester ???

anyone cast 22 caliber bullets ??? my buddy is a retired tool & die maker, & makes almost all his own molds... he's casting from a 6 cavity 40ish grain gas check bullet mold he made, for his Hornet, & I find that interesting, though it seems maybe pretty advanced

my buddy suggested only casting one bullet from each pot, to try to keep the weights more consistant, on calibers that I shoot alot of... how consistant do you guys get when you cast ???

aside from alloy, what else effects the bullet weights ???

got a good suggestion for reading material for me to read over the winter, before I try casting next summer ???

do you prefer a brand or style of mold ???

how many bullets can realistically be cast in an hour using a 2 cavity mold ???

anything else I should know before I get started???
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Old November 10, 2011, 11:55 AM   #2
chris in va
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I'll have a shot at this.

I need my 45's to be pretty soft so I just towel drop those. My 9mm has to be harder and they get tossed into water.

If you have different lead types, you'll want to keep everything separated until you figure out which caliber is going to be cast. Might want to skip the small, gas checked bullets until you get some experience.

Start with one, master it then work on others.

If my pot is ready to go, I can make about 300 9mm in an hour with a lee two-hole.
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Old November 16, 2011, 10:07 PM   #3
GP100man
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Meandering thoughts

As chris suggested start with a revolver caliber (preferably) as you can adjust powder to lead hardness or softness .

A lee hardness tester is accurate as long as it`s used correctly (the scope is a booger to hold so I came up with this , Don`t laff it works !!



I`m entering the world of 6mm&243 casting & have found the faster twist smallbore calibers are a daunting task , they need hard/tuff bullets to be able to go fast !!

1300-1500 fps is no problem but I`m reaching for 2K

Now back to alloy & what to expect , if ya got some wheel weights use em 50/50 with soft & 2% tin (for a total of 4%tin) for a soft "tuff" bullet for revolver rounds 10-11 bhn if sized to the throats & the throats are equal to bore ya should have no problem to 11-1200fps.

Weight of a given mould does`nt cocern me it`s the size it drops , alot easier to size down than to make em swell !!!

Tin does`nt help after 2% to harden so don`t waste it or an alloy hi in tin .

Antimony in linotype what makes hard shiney bullets !!! good for rifles ,but the harder they are the more likely to shatter upon contact with bone or even soft tissue when hunting !

It`s an age old balancing act in the shooting world for shore!!!

Just a few thoughts leaking thru the key board

For casting overload go to :

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/

& read a bit ,heck join up & ask away !!! good folks here & there , some here are members there also !!

Just remember the most common mistake of noobs is trying to pour bullets(they frown upon boolits over here) with too cold a mold & alloy !!!

Get em both clean & hot & succes will come qwiker !!!

GP
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Old November 17, 2011, 06:53 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks for the info...
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Old November 17, 2011, 09:23 PM   #5
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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Yes I cast 22 caliber bullets for one of my ar-15s. It has a 1-9" twist barrel. As GPMan said smallbore fast twist rates can be daunting.

I have a custom mold made by NOE from over on cast boolits but it is a copy of this mold: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/100...oint-gas-check

I load it over 19 grains of reloader 15 and have used 19 grains of H4895 too.

One of these load gave me just over 2100 FPS, but I forget which one.

Great accuracy from both loads with no leading, using WDWW's, sized .225"
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Old November 17, 2011, 11:49 PM   #6
TXGunNut
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All I can say is "what took you so long?". I think you'll find boolit casting is a natural progression for an accomplished reloader like yourself. I can recommend Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook, 4th Edition and I understand the 3rd Edition was outstanding as well.
I'm a newbie over @ castboolits and I honestly spent several days just reading posts and taking notes. After a half-dozen casting sessions, a few thousand boolits cast and a half-dozen or so moulds experimented with I've just begun to scratch the surface of what the folks on that forum have to offer. Melting lead and pouring it into a mould is a deceptively simple process. At times in some areas of our country it was a basic skill, today I consider it an almost lost art.
Please take the safety warnings and advice seriously, a minor lapse can ruin the entire experience for you, can also cause painful and serious injury.
Enjoy.
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Old November 19, 2011, 05:10 AM   #7
Mike / Tx
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Hard to add to what these folks have already put down. One thing I can throw your way however if you want a quick and simple hardness check on your ingots. There is a sticky over on CB's in the Alloy section which goes into detail on using a pencil set for general hardness testing.

Being somewhat bassackwards at times I have saved up my pennies for purchasing lead and molds, rather than for a hardness tester which is still on my list. The pencil set is cheap and when you follow the directions and use the posted scale, is close enough to get you in the ball park if you have a couple of known samples. For me I already had my initial batch of WW ingots, as well as some dead soft straight sheeting. I used the pencils on several batches of purchased ingots, and found that they were on either side of my standard WW alloy. Since this particular alloy has worked for 95% my needs, I simply base my newer blends on either side of it. Some of the purchased stuff has been harder and is easily detected, same as with the softer stuff. Since the pencil lead is of varied hardness you simply work through the scale and record the numbers.

It isn't very scientific, but for s simple down and dirty test, it rocks right along. When I blended several batches of purchased ingots, I started out with a small amount, checked it and adjusted it to get where I was easily close enough to my original alloy. Once there I simply went to town smelting all the rest of it into ingots. After three weeks and several repeat test they are so close I happy.

I do want to get the tester, but since I am mainly casting for magnum revolvers and using GC'ed boolits for the most part, what I have is working fine. I do however have several new rifle boolits that I want to play with and am going to have to get a bit more specific with them.

Hope this helps, at least it might give you another something to do while yout getting your other items in order.
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Old November 22, 2011, 10:56 PM   #8
10 Spot Terminator
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Take a lesson from the father in laws oversight and when you cast your ingots take a few minutes with a scratch awl and lable the ingots with quick refference like PB for lead, WW for wheel weights, L for lino type, L#2 for Lyman #2 , 20/1 PB/SN ( lead to tin ) etc. etc. . I have moulded several small lots of different alloys over time and without doing this you end up half crazy trying to remember which ones are which. When in doubt I just make sinkers ,,,
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Old November 23, 2011, 09:26 AM   #9
grubbylabs
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Lots of good advise here and as others have said you will find lots more at castboolits. Good people over there.
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Old November 23, 2011, 09:01 PM   #10
TXGunNut
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I've found a big Sharpie is pretty good for marking ingots. Just got a box each of WW and PB ingots, can tell the difference by rattling the box and listening but that's even less scientific than the pencil test.
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Old November 23, 2011, 09:43 PM   #11
Stick_man
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+1 on the great advice already given. To answer a couple more of your questions, your alloy temperature will affect your boolit weight as well. You typically want to cast with as low a temp as you can still get good mould fillout with. A lot of people find 600-650 degrees work very well, but some moulds like the alloy a little hotter, some as high as 750.

If you are melting down wheelweights, keep your pot temp below 700* to avoid possible zinc contamination. One Zn weight will ruin an otherwise perfect pot of alloy.

When casting, I find a hotplate next to my casting pot a great advantage to keep the moulds up to temp and reduce the number of rejects when starting a casting session.

One last tip... Bullplate sprue plate lube. It simply works!
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Old November 25, 2011, 12:19 AM   #12
10 Spot Terminator
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+1 With what Stick Man said about keeping a hotplate warm along with the melting pot being hot. Most ( not all ) hotplates only get up to 600 degrees max and are great for pre-heating and keeping your moulds warm during casting sessions. This has all but totally eliminated culls during casting for cold casting wrinkles and poor cast definitions on the bases etc. when I am doing long casting sessions. Use a casting thermometer such as Lyman, RCBS, Rotometals etc. to determine the best casting temp for a certain alloy using a certain mold teamed with the hotplate preheat gig and you can return back to casting those perfect bullets time after time in short fashion. I love casting but hate culling and recasting especially using single cavity moulds.
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Old November 25, 2011, 09:19 AM   #13
salvadore
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70 different calibers? Holy c**p!
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Old November 25, 2011, 11:46 AM   #14
grubbylabs
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Quote:
my buddy suggested only casting one bullet from each pot, to try to keep the weights more consistant, on calibers that I shoot alot of... how consistant do you guys get when you cast ???

aside from alloy, what else effects the bullet weights ???

got a good suggestion for reading material for me to read over the winter, before I try casting next summer ???

do you prefer a brand or style of mold ???

how many bullets can realistically be cast in an hour using a 2 cavity mold ???
So far I have had good luck with casting 45 cal and 44 cal bullets from the same pot. So long as you don't mind using the same alloy for multiple different calibers or bullet profiles there is no big deal as far as I can see.

For reading material I would suggest the castboolits web site and the Lyman casting book. Both will get you going with good solid advise.

Some folks start out with Lee molds because they are cheap and they work. I also started out with some Lee molds and they did fine but I have found that I really like the molds that I have had custom made my Tom at Accurate molds. He does top quality work and is outstanding in customer service. He however is not the only custom mold maker over there.

For Mold material I have been happy with Aluminum and absolutely thrilled with brass. Toms aluminum molds are quite a bit more substantial than the Lee aluminum ones. And the brass is just amazing. I have yet to cast with a Iron mold. I don't have any thing against them my self but I hear that it takes some prep work to keep them rust free. Brass and aluminum molds do not have a problem with ambient air and rusting or corroding.

In two hours with a two cavity mold you could easily make a couple hundred. A hundred an hour after you get the hang of things is not an unreasonable expectation. However, if you use two different molds you will make a lot more bullets. I usually cast for my 45 cal and one of my 44 bullets at the same time. One cools just a little while I fill the other. Again some helpful info I learned at castboolits.com.


I hope that helps a little more.
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