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Old February 5, 2013, 12:13 PM   #1
Join Date: March 25, 2010
Posts: 22
gas seal???? or what??

ok ive never poured my own lead bullets before and i was thinking about doing some for my 40cal. besides lead, a mold, and a smelter furnace what else do i need to put a bullet together?? i see some of the lead bullets online have some kind of ring around them and i seen some that had a copper cap on the bottom of them...... all i want to do is target shoot with it so what do i need??? thanks
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:41 PM   #2
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
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I've moved your post to the bullet casting sub-forum.

I don't know what .40 cal pistol you may have, but barrels with polygonal rifling are generally sold as not-for-lead. You want a barrel with conventional rifling for cast bullets. A number of folks have reported no problems with lead in a polygonal rifled bore, but a number of others have reported they will start out fine, then foul rapidly with lead over a just a small number of additional shots, quickly raising pressure.

The gas check (copper cap on the bottom) is needed mainly with higher velocity and higher pressure loads. I've never used them for target loads.

You will need some welder's gloves, eye protection (I use a full face shield), and a leather welder's apron. All cheap from Harbor Freight. Wear leather boots and not cloth shoes and pull your jeans cuffs over the outside of the boot so it can't funnel molten lead down into your shoe. You gloves should have rubber bands or Velcro to close the cuffs for the same reason.

If you don't get a bottom pour pot, you will need a ladle for pouring lead into the molds.

You will need a means of lubricating the bullets and you may need a means of sizing them. The simplest approach is to use Lee Tumble Lube bullets and their Liquid Alox or else White Label X-lox as the lube as it does not require any special equipment to apply. Just an old plastic food tub. Often these bullets don't require sizing, but if they do, the Lee sizers are the simplest and least expensive. Should the seated bullets make your cases too fat to chamber, that will be the proof you need a sizer.

You will need some wax or wax-type (not the liquid Alox type) bullet lube for fluxing the melt. Sawdust can be used, too, but you need something to lube the mold, too, which is where the wax helps.

Other things that are useful include a piece of fat dowel rod or oak stick to knock the mold sprue open. A thermometer to check the alloy temperature to help you regulate it to the best temperature range. A spatula with a wood handle for scraping dross off the bottom of the pot to float to the surface. An ingot mold to for alloy so you can make a large batch of alloy and have ingots to top up your melting pot as necessary to keep the level where it needs to be.

Read this sticky on bullet casting basics.
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Unclenick is offline  
Old February 5, 2013, 03:16 PM   #3
Join Date: March 25, 2010
Posts: 22
thanks... i have the bottom pour furnace, leather apron, steel toed leather boots, welding gloves, face shield.... now i need to look into a book and some supplies
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Old February 5, 2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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There are two books that come to mind.

Lyman Pistol & Revolver 3rd Edition. The paper back version is less than $20 probably around $15 or so at most places. I bought mine off the shelf of Cabela's. It has a chapter dedicated to casting lead that explins it clearly in plain english. Has good photo illustrations as well. It is an exerpt of the other book I will suggest.


Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook

I have not read it myself. I learned from reading here, and the Lyman book previously mentioned. I also watched a lot of youtube videos as well.
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:35 AM   #5
Mike / Tx
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Join Date: April 8, 2000
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Other sources of information as well are Castbolits, and here,

Be sure to check the links "From Ingot to Target", as well as "Cast Bullet Notes".

Read through it all, save you a copy on your HD and print out the important parts. The handbook From Ingot to Target is great to put into a little binder and keep handy out on the bench as well.

For the most part if you can't get something to run through your barrel from those sources, your probably going to need to look elsewhere.

The key thing to getting the most from your bullets is the fit in your chamber and barrel. It requires them to be slugged to be certain of the dimensions, however there are plenty who simply use a nominal size and get good results. As mentioned the different rifling may or may not effect your intended use. I personally believe the alloy, and the powder choice will make the biggest difference there. If your using a softer alloy you should probably be using one of the slower powders, (relatively speaking), like Unique, AA-5,7,9 or similar, verses something like Bullseye. IMO.

As for the lube and sizing, you can't get much easier than mentioned above with the TL option. If I might suggest one, you might look hard at the new White Label offering called, Delux X-Lox 45/45/10. You will find it much more user friendly and it will dry quite a bit faster and to a non sticky to touch film. I use the home brew version on everything including my top end 454 loads with no issues what so ever. I will admit it is a bit smokey with some powders and at lower loads, but for the performance I don't mind either.

Well good luck with your endeavor and be sure to ask before you jump, especially on alloy. If your smelting your own wheel weights keep the temp below 700 to help ensure no zinc gets into your mix. Even the best sorters get one in the bunch once in a while.
Mike / TX
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