View Full Version : and now that I have cast a batch, what next?

max it
October 22, 2009, 07:54 PM

My Lee mould says 124gr but the bullets are 120 and less. I culled the under 119's as too many wrinkles. But what do I do about choosing a load? Use the 125 or 124 or what? More powder, less powder?

Much obliged,


October 22, 2009, 08:24 PM
That mold is defective! Better send it to me! :D Using the 124/125 grain load data is fine. Just make sure it is "lead bullet" load data. Depending on your alloy, the weight of a bullet can vary quite a bit. A couple grains is usually "close enough". Good luck!

October 22, 2009, 08:26 PM
Check diameter - my Lee 124 mould drops at .360, allowing me to size for 38 and 9mm.

October 23, 2009, 09:30 AM
Your bullets with "too many wrinkles" may be due to insufficient heat or insufficient tin in your alloy. What kind of alloy are you using? As mentioned earlier, different alloys will throw different weights out of any given mold.

What's next? Size 'em, Lube 'em, Load 'em, and shoot 'em. Life is good.

Happy shooting!

max it
October 23, 2009, 10:32 AM
Stick Man,

I think the wrinkles are from my inconsistant pouring. I got the rig and 150# of lead ingots from one guy who loaded 200gn .45's for years with this alloy [1%antimony, 3%tin] and not a wrinkle. When I bought it he gave me a demo. My problem is lifting the lever and dropping the lead correctly and squarely in the mold. I guess it will take time. Amazing that my coordination is so bad. Blind, color blind, and discoordiated. My nickname ought to be "Lucky" :(
It's a Lee pot, I'll turn the heat up a bit.

Much obliged,


October 23, 2009, 10:44 AM
I wud suspect that the wrinkles are caused by not preheating the mould enuf.

I used to try and bottom pour but gave up. Not worth the effort. Now I use a ladle and dip from the top. I only use the 2 cav moulds so this works fine.

October 23, 2009, 11:02 AM
weights within a couple grains are fine but if you get any more variation than that look at your temperature. The melt heats up more towards the bottom of the pot, and cools more than you may think when adding more ingots to replenish. Having a thermometer and keeping consistent temps will likely make your finished quality go through the roof, and your reject count through the floor.;)

max it
October 26, 2009, 11:57 AM
Pistoller and Edward;

I am going to take the advise to use a dipper rather than the bottom pour out of the melting pot. There are two at midwayusa.com one is Lee which is 1/2 round
the other is Lyman which is 3/4 round with a spout.
Which one?

much obliged as always,


October 26, 2009, 02:37 PM
Just my .02 worth but you can use any pour device such as a large kitchen spoon. It doesn't have to be a special dipper ladle. I use a large steel spoon that you would find in a normal kitchen. It's the same one seen in my videos on melting lead. It hold plenty of lead for filling a two-cavity Lee 158 gr SWC mold.

max it
October 26, 2009, 02:54 PM
Trip Sticker:

Great, where is your video?

October 26, 2009, 07:14 PM
Max, Here ya go...

Trip Sticker's Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_NXLpvR154&feature=related)

October 26, 2009, 08:17 PM
He's right, but I do like the Lyman dippers myself.

max it
October 27, 2009, 10:22 AM
I see that trip is making ball ammo which is a bit diff from 9mm bullets. I may try just any ol spoon as he so expertly showed us but I am going to get the proper ladle. It looks cleaner to handle. Interesting thing about many of the casting videos on youtube is the variety of tools and quenching methods. To each his own I guess. However I have been taught that leading in a barrel is more a function of fit rather than hardness of bullet??

Much obliged,


October 27, 2009, 11:31 AM
Definitely get the Lyman dipper. It's a bottom pour dipper, meaning the lead pours from the bottom of the pool of lead. The lee simply has a lip to pour off the top of the pool. Also, the Lyman has a spout that's shaped like the sprue plate chamfer, so you can press the two together to create lead head pressure for hard-to-fillout-boolits.

The most common procedure is to start the mold and dipper in a horizontal plane, with the dipper spout in contact with the sprue plate. Then rotate the mold and dipper to the vertical orientation while still in contact with the sprue plate. Then after you know the mold cavity is full, pull away to form a sprue puddle.

I wish I had a video camera so I could show this being done. There's always another trinket or tool for the loading room.:p

max it
October 27, 2009, 12:50 PM

your explaination is fine, a Lyman ladle is on my buy list now. I saw it on MidwayUSA's page.

Much obliged,


October 27, 2009, 08:04 PM
Max, I use that spoon for casting round ball and for .357 SWC bullets. It works fine. I'm sure that a Lyman ladle designed for the purpose would work better, but my whole goal was to make my own bullets as cheap as I could possibly make them. I got all the lead for free, I had the fryer set-up already. The spoon, pot and muffin tin mold were all donated by my lovely wife. (boy that took some explaining!)

So you can spend money on ladles and that will work well, or you can go the cheap route and that way would work well too.

btw...I did buy one of the Lee ladles, and I never use it. It is too short to be able to get a good scoop of alloy unless the pot is almost full. You have to angle it down so far to scoop the lead that most pours out when I lift it. My spoon works well with a pot of lead that is only 1/4 full. I don't know how long the Lyman ladle handle is.

max it
October 28, 2009, 08:56 AM

Since I waited a long time before getting into the hobby I took the plunge and have a lot of bought eq. Having said that I must add that a lot of it wasnt/isnt needed.:(
My pot is electric 10# Lee and wouldnt allow for the kitchen ladle. However after asking the fellow who sold me the eq about the inconsistancy of my bottom pouring I am going to try it again.
Your explaination does clear up a few things, all good tips. If the bottom pouring pot still doesnt do the trick I will get a Lyman ladle. It not only appears to have a longer handle but a 3/4 enclosed scoop. OH and I always keep the pot full, just unplug it when done.

Much obliged,


October 28, 2009, 06:16 PM
If you decide that you don't like that #10 Lee pot, I know someone who would love to buy it off you ;)

Sooner or later I'm going to get a bottom pour pot to speed things up a bit. Right now I am only able to do about 8 bullets per minute. Some of the videos I've seen using the bottom pour pot make me think I could be dropping them much quicker than that.

November 2, 2009, 12:13 AM
I use my Lee 10# bottom pour pot with great success. I heat my molds by setting them on top of the melting lead. Once they are good and hot, I start using the Lee pot to pour one bullet and wait to see how long it takes to set. Once the mold has cooled enough, I start going to town. By properly preheating, I have very few throw backs.