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Old April 26, 2012, 02:46 PM   #1
GregInAtl
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Casting question

Thinking about buying some casting equipment. I already reload, I just buy my bullets.

Here is a few questions I have.
  1. Is it necessary to resize bullets after casting them
  2. If resizing, do you have to buy a special press or can I use the press I am currently using to reload with.
  3. Can Hornaday One Shot be used for lubing cast bullets or is that just for cases
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Last edited by GregInAtl; April 26, 2012 at 02:52 PM.
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Old April 26, 2012, 03:08 PM   #2
AlaskaMike
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1. Not really necessary to resize. You can use Lee's liquid alox and tumble lube the bullets.
2. Personally I'd buy a lubesizer, but Lee does make "push through" sizing dies that you use with your loading press. You would normally also tumble lube bullets sized this way.
3. One Shot is just for sizing cases.

You might want to check out the castboolits.gunloads.com site. When I got started bullet casting I spent as much time as I could reading stuff over there, and it was definitely a huge help to me. There are some extremely knowledgeable bullet casters over there.

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Old April 26, 2012, 03:50 PM   #3
GregInAtl
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Glad to hear that sizing is not necessary. I think that would add a lot of additional time
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Old April 26, 2012, 04:52 PM   #4
Edward429451
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1) You can get away with not sizing your boolits and you may find it is perfectly acceptable in your guns. I tried not sizing for a little whilebut I went back to sizing and lubing in a Lyman 450 press. For me, I like running them through the sizer. It trues them up should they be slightly out of round, and uniforms everything. It applies the lube also so no messy pan lubing or squirt bottles required, and applys my gas checks. It does all this in one sitting with no fuss so is the way I do it.

2) Lee has a setup that you can use your reloading press with. I'm not positive, but I believe that you must still lube separately from this sizer?

3) No, its just for resizing cases.
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Old April 26, 2012, 05:18 PM   #5
Gerry
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I don't size with the molds I use now. But it depends on the mold and caliber you're casting. For example, most 9mm commercial molds don't drop much bigger than .357" which is fine to squeeze down any .355" spec 9mm barrel. Measure your bullets to see what diameter they are. Your barrel is perfectly capable of swagging and making your bullet perfectly round.

Since I don't resize my 9mm, I pan lube them. It's faster than using the Lyman 450 because I do 600 at a time using 6 small silicone pans that hold 100 each. While they are hardening, the last batch of lube is melting so it's pretty continuous. I can easily do over 10,000 in a few hours. They also have beveled basis, which does not work well with the 450:





It's the bullets from molds that are too small you have to worry about, and a lube sizer is crucial here for bumping them up. Ditto if you're using gas checks, or other calibers where molds are harder to come by. Personally for the volume of 9mm I shoot, it was easier to sell the offending molds and get what worked as dropped.
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Old April 27, 2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
You might want to check out the castboolits.gunloads.com site. When I got started bullet casting I spent as much time as I could reading stuff over there, and it was definitely a huge help to me. There are some extremely knowledgeable bullet casters over there.
this is true... but, did you also realize there is a "casting" section to this forum? (which is probably where this thread ought to be, but that's not my call)
There are quite a few experienced casters here, as well.

Personally, I don't size bullets for several of my loads. I usually get as good, if not better accuracy shooting them as-cast.
You want to know what your bore diameter is, and at what diameter you are dropping your bullets. A couple to three thousandths over have never caused me any heartburn, and I seldom have any leading.
I also have two lubrisizers, but really only use one, but I also pan-lube and use the Lee push through sizers. I'm sort of an equal-opportunity bullet caster.
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Old April 27, 2012, 07:03 PM   #7
dahermit
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Quote:
Since I don't resize my 9mm, I pan lube them. It's faster than using the Lyman 450 because I do 600 at a time using 6 small silicone pans that hold 100 each.
I would like to see a comparison of processing (sizing and lubing), the same number of bullets using a Lyman 450. By the time you place each bullet in the pans, fool around with the heating/pouring the lube, cutting the bullets out with a kake-cutter (I presume), I suspect that there would be little if any time savings. Being an old punch-press operator, I can go pretty darn fast. I pick-up a bullet to be sized with my left hand at the same time I am removing the sized/lubed bullet with my right...you learn little tricks like that when you are working on "piece-rate" in a factory.
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Old April 27, 2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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There is a large group of guys that swear the bullets must be sized .001 over bore diameter in order to get accurate, non leading bullets. There is also a large group that shoots as cast and swears the accuracy is just as good. How can both be right? I personally size and lube with an “old school” sizer to bore diameter and am happy with the results. And I don’t think it takes any more time than pan lubing and sizing separately.
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Old April 27, 2012, 09:24 PM   #9
Gerry
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Quote:
I would like to see a comparison of processing (sizing and lubing), the same number of bullets using a Lyman 450.
dahermit, when I size AND lube I use my 450. Sizing and lubing in two separate operations would be a pain, like trading in my Dillion XL650 for a single stage press. I find pan lubing quicker if I don't have to worry about resizing, but that's just me.

I don't place "each" bullet in the pans, at least not separately. They are placed in the pan 100 at a time, which explains how perfectly spaced they are. I glue two of those 9mm white plastic Winchester? 50 ammo trays together as a tool for putting them in the pan. I made 10 of them so far. It takes me a few minutes to load the bullets into each, but it makes it easy to do while watching TV or whatever. It's like filling primer tubes

This is the only chance I have to actually pick up the bullet by hand and inspect it if I feel like it. After that, it's placed by the 100 lot all at once in the pans. It takes 2 squirts of lube wax per pan. It takes about 15 minutes to harden where I can remove it in one piece as shown in the photo. I then reload more bullets, more lube, and while those cool I'm melting more lube and extracting the bullets. The bullets are not cut out. They are simply pushed out. I use a chop stick (don't ask), and can push the bullets out faster than I can count.

Like everything else, it becomes a system. Both my wife and I shoot IPSC pretty seriously, so between the two of us we go through a lot of rounds. If you know a faster way of doing this, I'm all ears!

Edit: Here's a quick cellphone photo of the simple "tool" I use for putting the bullets in the pans. The bullets I mostly use for this method are the 9mm Lyman 356637 that drop just over .357 and ~156 grains as shown in the photo:


I just pick the trays out of the recycling boxes at the range and glue two together. Once they're filled with bullets, I place a pan upside down over it, then turn it all right-side-up, remove the tray, and voila - all neatly spaced and sitting in the pan ready for the lube to be poured in. Filling the plastic trays with bullets is the most time consuming part. But another reason why this method can be faster than using the lubrisizer is because I can recruit help to load up the bullet trays while I'm pushing bullets out of the removed lube that's already hardened. Sadly having extra help doesn't really make using a lube sizer go any faster.

I also use the Lee push-through sizer and tumble lube with LLA for certain bullets, like the Lee TL452-230-2R that work very well in my 1911s. I guess I too am an equal opportunity bullet caster and luber.

Last edited by Gerry; April 28, 2012 at 07:42 AM.
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Old April 28, 2012, 07:13 AM   #10
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
Casting question
Thinking about buying some casting equipment. I already reload, I just buy my bullets.

Here is a few questions I have.

1. Is it necessary to resize bullets after casting them
2. If resizing, do you have to buy a special press or can I use the press I am currently using to reload with.
3. Can Hornaday One Shot be used for lubing cast bullets or is that just for cases
To be honest the biggest issue you will have when you start casting your own will be finding a reliable source for lead. If you have that then the rest is pretty much a cake walk.

To size or not to size? Well as mentioned it depends on the size the boolits drop and the size of your bores. If you find that your boolits drop .001 - .003 over your bore size then your good to go, if bigger then you will need to size. The temp you pour at, as well as the alloy you use can also chenage the size as well, so keep this in mind.

If you DO have to size, this is easily done with a standard single stage press and the Lee push through dies. These can be had in a variety of sizes depending on caliber. While they might not hold up as long as a standard lubrisizer, they are cheap enough to get you started off, and will easily last several thousand rounds.

As for lubing, there are several ways to accomplish this. As mentioned you can pan lube, use a lubrisizer, or simply tumble lube using the Alox which comes with the Lee sizers. They are all easily adequate for putting enough lube on any boolit to get the job done. A couple of things most do not like about the Alox is it is a bit messy, and it doesn't dry very fast or remains a bit tacky. Both of these can easily be corrected by simply using it to make up what is referred to as 45/45/10, which takes equal portions of the Alox mixed with Johnson's Paste Wax, then adding in a shot of unscented mineral spirits. This mix will give you a nice slick coat of lube that dries in less than an hour, usually less if you warm your boolits up a tad using a hair dryer.

The velocity, hardness and fit of your boolit will also determine which lubes will work best. In most cases anything below around 1500fps is good with Alox type lube, or has been in my experience.

My best advice would be to check out the cast info listed here,
An index to all of the articles/authors and handloading pages on lasc.us

Then once you have an idea of what you want and where your going with it, browse the sticky's located over on Castboolits.com
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Old April 28, 2012, 08:12 AM   #11
dahermit
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Gerry, you seem to have automated the process of pan lubeing very well. Quite clever system you have developed.
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Old April 28, 2012, 01:29 PM   #12
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Sizing may or may not be necessary, I'd certainly give it a try. I haven't been able to get the results I want without sizing but that doesn't stop me from trying. Depending on the purpose I use either a lubesizer or the Lee system. For volume handgun production and certain Tumble Lube rifle bullets I prefer the Lee sizer (fits a standard press) and Lee Liquid Alox. For BP applications I prefer the Lyman 4500, a dedicated sizing tool. It can be used for other applications as well but I only use it to apply SPG lube to my 45 Colt, 45-90 and some 45-70 bullets.
Hornady One Shot case lube is my personal favorite case lube but I doubt it will work as a bullet lube. There are lots better lubes out there, I personally prefer SPG and LLA.
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Old April 29, 2012, 11:38 AM   #13
chris in va
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My lee 358-125-rf mold drops at 362, so I have to size that one. The 45's drop at .452 and I just tumble lube those once cooled.
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Old April 29, 2012, 09:35 PM   #14
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The only time I don't size is when using a single cav mold that drops a uniform-round bullet that is the right size. Then the problem still exists that changing alloy can effect size. Size them and they're all uniform and round. With a push-through it's a quick, simple process.
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