Bullet casting season

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by hot diggity, Apr 23, 2018.


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  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    It's that time of year again. That Purple Martin's are back, the weather is reasonably warm and there's a nice breeze. A perfect time to spend a day casting bullets... except for our unpredictable rain showers. A fella sitting out in the open with a lead pot could have his whole day ruined by a single drop of rain.

    Here's my solution. EZ-UP shelter, set up with the legs left short. Gives good cover, fans provide ventilation and cooling that's nice when you're dressed in heavy leather. I've been doing this for more than 40 years and don't have a scar to show for it. Annual heavy metal screening is unchanged over the past two decades I've been tested.

    Aluminum road sign catches any lead splatter, and it doesn't stick or burn. Torch helps preheat the molds, since I will run several in a day and can't keep them all up to temperature on the edge of the pot. This was a hot day in August 2013.

    Casting_in_the_rain_ventilation (2). Casting_ventilation_setup (2).

    casting__Todays_variety (2).
     
  2. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Cranking them out
     
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  3. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I've got a couple six cavity molds for my favorite .45 and .38 stuff now. Makes the job go a bit quicker. Biggest need this year is .690 round ball for the Brown Bess and front loading 12ga. I want to try 105gr .38 SWC, and need a bunch of .30 cal pistol bullets and bullets for oddball stuff that I can't squash through a sizer to make from something else. (Mauser Karabiner, 8mm Nambu, .43 Spanish and 298gr .454" HB Minie' Ball for Webley MKVI.)
     
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I did up a bunch of 500 grain .45s a while back and came across them, found some good loads for the .45-70 and they rock! My goto in .45acp is a cast semi-wadcutter 200 gr. with some Win 231,. Do some /38s, a few .44s, and some ball for my bp wheel guns only rifle I've cast for is .45LC and .45-70 and I gas checked those after sizing.
     
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  5. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    @Seacowboys, you might like the Lee 459-405-HB for the .45-70. I use it in my Gibbs No4 Lee-Enfield conversion and load it down quite a bit from any factory load and it still packs a wallop with really nice accuracy. It's actually pleasant to shoot, which in a rifle as light as the Gibbs is quite something.
     
  6. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I have one in a 300gr HP for the 45/70
     
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  7. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    I use a RCBS Pro-Melt Furnace I love a bottom pout rig. Casting a Lot of #1 & 00 super buck for the last 5 years, and your right hot diggity, this is the perfect time of year and protection from water rain or sweat getting in is the pot is the first consideration for setting up for casting. I get a lot of my lead from a friend that works on sail boats and have a stock of Linotype. I shoot some 165gn FNGC .308 reduced loads on hogs.

    my ingot molds are mini and normal size muffin pans stamped with an L, that is suppose to designate it was used for lead but idea may be lost to time and recent generations.
     
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  8. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Unfortunatey for me, I'm not going to be home any time soon, so any casting is done locally in small batches. I always try and travel with a small iron melt pot and spoon, along with my Colt .44 moulds and a .44 pistol mould. Normally I would cast .30 .44 .45 .50 and .54 in quantities, but I can't. At least the .44s in the three field moulds covers my needs.
     
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  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Technical question, I'm shooting through forcing cones, and also using tapered base bullets/moulds. Lead is normally dead soft and I'm getting little residue in the cones. When I switch to a very light taper, hollow base with gas checks, I'm getting quite a bit of leading in the cones, my supplies of lead are limited, so I need to harden up a little bit, any recommndations?
     
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  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I use tin to harden lead.
    It's a little pricey but it works.
     
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  11. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    That's what I was going to do, just need to find a small supply locally! I need to dig out my ratio notes and see what field expedient measure I need! I was hoping maybe some one knew some tricks I was unaware of! I didn't pack the supplies as I wasn't planning to be here as long as I have been, and going to be longer still. :(
     
  12. Lead is a sort a sticky metal. I haven't checked availability for long time, but I think you need to add antimony and/or tin. Wheel weights used to be quite hard (with antimony, I think) but they have changed the alloy. Others on this post are right, I allowed some zinc to get into a batch of bullet alloy, moulds didn't like to fill and weight was off. If you can, get the hardness of your alloy checked. Go to "the handloader's bench" site, someone there should be able to help. BTW, I came here from that website.
     
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  13. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Avoid zinc.
     
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  14. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

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  15. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    @oil pan 4, I agree, avoid zinc in your bullet lead. Absolutely.

    But I have heard of guys casting bullets from zinc alone. Bullet is very hard, requires no lube, and weighs about 50% of a lead alloy bullet from the same mold. Too much work for me. (Says the guy who reloads obsolete .30 Rimfire ammo.)
     
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  16. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I'm going to look around for Linotype and see what I can find, unless I travel a fair distance, No tin locally that I can find! For the pistols, I would have no issues running wheel weights, but the rifle, I need to be very careful what I run in the pot!
     
  17. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

  18. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Straight zinc would be alright. I hear that lead and zinc mixtures lead the barrel up bad.
     
  19. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    Here is a good site for information on brinell hardness of alloys and their composition.
    Cast bullet reference on lead alloy's, min / max pressure, lube, shrinkage,

    I use Alox or the generic Xlox lube on all my cast bullets but for, the velocity your alloy must to be hard enough. 38 spl I use soft lead 357 harder with gas checks made of wheel weights for rifle high velocity Linotype with gas checks.
     
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  20. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I've used commercial stick lube in a Lyman sizer, pan lube with red bricks of carnauba wax, and even JPW (Johnson's Paste Wax) on lathe turned heeled bullets for .30 rimfire. I've got a filing cabinet drawer full of bullet lubes. Among all the pretty colored bricks, tubes and silicone pans there are a bunch of little white bottles of Lee Alox, and a row of quart size Xlox that are my hands-down favorite lube.

    I could sit at a sizer and mash bullets through as they were lubricated, and I do on a select few. The vast majority of my bullets shoot well as-cast, and can be bulk lubricated in a big Tupperware pan, or a cardboard box. The stuff stinks, it's not a pretty color, and it may not be perfect for every application, but for me it has been absolutely flawless for rifle and pistol bullet lube.

    Since this is a survival blog, it's pretty easy to understand that the electric heater in the Lyman sizer, the toaster oven for the powder coating, and the electric range to melt the wax for pan lube are not going to be very practical in a SHTF situation. After the lights go out, the ability to lubricate a batch of wood fire cast bullets in the dark, while it's raining, in a discarded 2 liter soda bottle suddenly becomes brilliant!
     
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  1. Gator 45/70
  2. Ura-Ki
  3. deMolay
  4. ochit
  5. Oddcaliber
  6. Seacowboys
  7. Brokor
  8. ghrit
  9. marlas1too
  10. Seacowboys
  11. AD1
  12. Bishop
    Has any one ever used this?[ATTACH]
    Thread by: Bishop, Feb 29, 2016, 22 replies, in forum: Firearms
  13. thegoldlock.com
  14. Dont
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  16. melbo
  17. stg58
    Resource

    Norma Reloading manual 2015-02-27

    At this point 2-27-15 Norma powder is available
    Posted By: stg58, Feb 27, 2015 in category: Firearm Manuals
  18. stg58
  19. Pineknot
  20. kellory
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