Casting Your Own Bullets

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by magnus392, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I think I am going to start doing this soon. Any tips or tricks? Mostly .45acp, and 9mm.

    I had a buddy say you really shouldn't cast for rounds that exceed 1,000 FPS. I am guessing the pressure distorts the bullet too much and leads to lead fouling?

    Yay, Nay?

    I am thinking .357mag, maybe .44mag would also be handy to cast if this could be remedied.
  2. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    With the proper alloys, you can push cast bullets well into the "Magnum" levels of velocity and pressure.

    With you just having a 45 Auto and 9mm, you can get by with using just basic wheel weights for your projectiles.

    The main trick to using wheeel weights as a casting alloy is to keep a steady melt temp and to drop your bullets into a bucket of water straight out of the mold(which causes a surface quench hardning) and then to let them sit for a few days after casting.

    I push a .38 cal 158 grain semi wadcutter well over 1600fps in a Ruger GP100 with very little "leading" of the barrel with my wheel weight bullets.

    As for any tips or tricks, well they are too numerous to list here, my main piece of advice is to purchase Lymans "Cast Bullet Handbook", which is considered to be the Bible to getting started in casting your own projectils, but be forewarned, you may very well become addicted to this new hobby that you are thinking about starting and you can very well over spend for what you are getting out of it cost wise. My piece of advice is to just stick with the basics for pure economic reasons.

    Oh and have fun casting your own!!!
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Adding a gas-check when sizing and lubing is another method of minimizing leading. I also moly-cote my .40 caliber bullets in my brass tumbler (.40s are about the fastest ones I load) I cast for .38 special but usually use a jacketed bullet for the .357 as they tend to reach the range and pressures that I don't want to chance one of my barrels with. I also cast .30 carbine and load down some .308 with this 90 grain bullet for plinking ( definately gas-check). 45acp, I shoot almost exclusively 200 grain SWC that I cast.
    One more recommendation for the Lyman manual. Mold preparation is also essential to a good bullet and making sure that your molds don't get too hot. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation as lead fumes are very toxic and make sure you keep a bucket of sand handy, especially when fluxing as your lead is going to blaze up.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yay. There is a slew of casters on the HandloadersBench, you might poke around there a bit. The problem with cast boolits and speed is friction when they boogie down the barrel. Lead fouling will happen when pushed too fast. Messing a bit with alloys can raise speeds.
  5. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    Casting bullets is fun and if you don't get too carried away with your initial investment, will make your practice economical too.
    When I first started reloading, a friend told me that I would not save any money, he said that instead, I would shoot a lot more. He was right!
    When I told another friend of mine that I thought I wanted to try casting bullets, that friend showed up at my house one day with a new Lee production pot and RCBS Lubricator-sizer!
    So then I had to buy some bullet molds and get started!
    That was 26 years ago!
    You will want something to flux the molten lead, I use Marvelux
    but there are other products out there now.

    Good advice on the Cast Bullet Handbook, ditto on using gas checks if you want a higher velocity, just make sure your bullet mold is a gas check variety.
    After shooting cast bullets, I usually shoot a few high velocity jacketed rounds, that seems to clean out almost all of the lead fouling.
    If leading is a problem, you can get a Lewis lead remover tool.
    I bought one 26 years ago and haven't needed to use it yet!
  6. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It's not pressure distortion that is the problem, it's the fireball being produced at the back of the bullet, melting the lead and that molten lead making it's way onto your bore. That is one reason you don't push cast bullets very hot. As mentioned before, a gas check will help with this, but will also increase your cost. lead is good in the .45 .38 and such, not so good in magnums without reducing the velocity.
    The other problems you will encouter is leading of the forcing cone from the bullet jumping fom the cylinder to the barrel.
  7. Nomad 2nd

    Nomad 2nd Monkey+++

  8. Sharpie44

    Sharpie44 Monkey++

    I wish I had the space and time to cast my own bullets. I have a .50 cal flint rifle and a .58 cal flint pistol.
  9. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks for the info guys, this project is a ways off but I like to start getting an idea of what I can and can't do.
  10. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member


    I'll second the vote for the HB. Yeah I know I've got a vested intrest but beyond that they do have a bunch of guys that know what the hell they are talking about. I am not one so don't worry you're safe. When it comes to reloading and casting going in with your eyes open will keep you with your eyes intact.

    Take care Be safe Poacher
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary