Casting bullets for muzzleloader

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by kellory, Feb 16, 2015.


  1. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    First step is cleaning up my tools to do the job. I have a plumber's pot, two ladles, and a cast iron skillet that need to be cleaned up, and I was going to try the electrical method of rust removal, but it was suggested to me to simply soak them in apple cider vinegar.
    I tried a small scale test with a ladle, and it seemed to work, so I dipped the pot for a couple days, and it too, improved, but seemed to stall out. So I went to a full sized dipping.
    This is a 35gall barrel, filled with 5 gallons of apple cider vinegar, and it started foaming nearly immediately upon incerting the cast iron. After two days of soaking, and a brass brush has been applied, then resoaked. This is what I have so far.

    IMG_20150206_180137065.

    IMG_20150206_180401543.

    IMG_20150213_210514440.

    IMG_20150216_182922599.

    IMG_20150216_183016549.

    IMG_20150216_183042575.

    IMG_20150216_183035718.

    IMG_20150204_171312445.

    Now, a question for the bullet casters. Once I have this stuff as clean as possible, then what? Do they need to be treated or seasoned in some way? I have tire weights that can be melted down and cast into ingots before I buy the bullet mold and handles, but what else do I need to do to the lead, pot or ladles before casting ingots? ( I have both @10lbs of soft lead, and @20 lbs of tire weights to clean up and melt down. If needed, I also have 30lbs of boat anchors made from tire weights.
    I have never cast a bullet in my life, but have done a few small projects with cast lead, so what do I need to do from here?

    I am a blank slate, create a bullet caster:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You need something for flux as well as pot and molds. Ah, well, I don't cast, but these guys do.
    Cast Boolits
     
  3. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Flux with saw dust, Don't use the wheel weights for the muzzle loader, Softer the better.
     
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  4. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Cranked out a few ZOMBIE rounds last week, Man can never have enough nowdays!

    zombie%20rounds%20003%20(1024x683).
     
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  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I use Bees Wax as a flux, when Melting my Lead. My lead comes from Old LeadLine used on Commercial Fishing Nets, and has some Salt corrosion when first melted. I usually cast it into 1# Ingots for storage, and then remelt the Ingots when I do a Run of MaxiBalls, or Rounds, for my .50 Cal Rifles or .44 Cal Pistol. A run consists of a couple of hundred projectiles.
     
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  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    I'll explain how I do it and try to give the reasons in each step, just ask if I fail to explain fully.

    You being new at this then a thermometer would be handy. The reason is you need to be in the neighborhood of 750 F. A known temp provides you with a base line for each step and YMMV depending on your actually casting mix.

    No the pots or ladle do not need more than what you have done.

    Have a pot and add the solid casting material. In this there is a known best recipe for each cast you make. Black powder in a round ball is best at 90% lead or even 100%. This allows a round ball to grab the lands and if you have to you do not need to patch in a fast repeat shot.

    Now you have slowly melted the lead and fluxed it with commercial material or as I and BT does use Bees Wax. All of this should be done out side.

    Next remove the floaties that are the impurities from the fluxing. An old stainless steel spoon is a good skimmer.

    Remove all the oil from the inside of your mold.

    Place the mold gentle like on the melted lead.

    Allow the mold to reach the Pot Temp.

    Also have the ladle in the pot.

    With PPE remove the mold and then use the ladle to gently pour the melted lead into the sprue port and over flow the spur plate.

    Wait till the lead is fully solid in the mold, you'll learn what the sprue over pour looks like when it is time to start the process of opening the mold body.

    With the end of a wood bashing stick gently swing open the sprue plate.

    Tap the mold block with the wood bashing stick and the block will open. A few gentle taps and the ball will fall to a dampened cloth. If not cushioned and it hits a solid bench top the ball may dent.

    Check the bullet/ball and if frosty then you may have the lead too hot.

    If the ball looks to have worm runs in it then the lead and blocks are too cool.

    Time and a steady hand will teach you the process.

    Later we can talk about making bullets and using a # 2 mix for a higher speed without leading. This will include Lube place in the bullets and even copper bases on the bullet for faster speed and hard hitting.

    Your work, your chances of injury so take care and understand the risk.


    HK
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    You can also use ospho.
     
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  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I also coat my Hot Molds with Lamp Black, before each Pour. This helps separate the Projectile, from the Mold, when opening it, to remove the Projectile......
     
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Made me wonder if we will be seeing carbon fiber molds any time soon.
     
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Thermometer. I suggest something like this --
    Amazon.com: infrared theremometer
    No need to hold a dip type in place to get a stable reading and toasting your fingers, even with welder's gloves. Bear in mind that the infrared instrument will read a tad low since it "sees" the surface temp, not the bulk temp in the pot. A short bit of experience will tell you how much offset there is.
    Make sure the instrument has enough range to hit the highest temp you are apt to want, which will vary with your alloys.
     
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  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    What is this?
     
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

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  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    How? Is this a powder, or liquid? And source please. (I'm new, remember?;))
     
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Think sooty candle.
     
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  15. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Ospho
    Rust acid/inhibitor
    Treats wood against termites/rot, Some have used it to treat shrimp trawls
     
    kellory likes this.
  16. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Do I hold it over a candle, or is this a commercial product I should buy?
     
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I spray my steel molds with Areo-Kroil
     
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  18. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You could hold the mold over a candle (or sooty oil lamp) which is what I would do being not too bright and a whole lot primitive. I have to leave it to the guys that do a lot of casting to steer you better. The idea is that the soot acts as a release agent.
     
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  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Bingo!
     
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  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I have this on hand now!;)
     
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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