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Thread: help with casting

  1. #1
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    Default help with casting

    I just bought a bunch of casting equitment from a friend that was getting out of it, almost all lyman equitment. I have never cast before but know there are people on here like Brownbear that have a wealth of info on the subject. I will be heading to the trapline in the next week or so and would like to cast a few bullets first. My first question is the lead, I got at least 200 lbs of the stuff, some is very shiny and feels hard, some is pure lead by the looks of it. All this stuff was bought at an auction in Pen. if that helps, but how do I know what the makeup of the stuff is?? I got a hardness tester made by Saeco, but it didnt come with instructions so dont know how to use it. The sizer/luber is an old lyman model, not sure how old but its not in the cataloges now, will the new sizer dies and top punchs still work in it, and how do i know if it will seat gas checks?? I will be casting mainly for a 45/70, and want to try 243 , and maybe 338 federal as well as my sons 454, casul rifle and his 45 blackpowder pistol. would it be best to use gas checks on all these?? In all this stuff I got there is a 32 cal. double mould that i will never use, if someone on here wants it just PM me your add. and i will give it to whoever asks first. PS Brownbear I know you like the 358 win. (i do too) well this guy that I got the casting stuff from just came up thru Edmonton and in some little gunshop there he picked up a savage 99 old model with side saftey, in mint condition, original blueing ect!! for 900 bucks. we shot it yesterday and it is a keeper! hes a winchester man so am hoping in a year or 2 he will want to get rid of it!

  2. #2
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Try looking at http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ , it's a bullet casting forum. The rule of thumb that I learned about gas checks is if you are going to push the bullet faster than 1800fps you need a gas check. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of bullet casting! I wont bother you with a long winded post but will provide you with what is in my opinion the two best internet links a bullet caster can have.


    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/cmps_index.php

    If you cant find answers to your casting questions there, then you must truly have a unique casting problem. Give them a shot, I think you will be pleased with the wealth of information.

    In regards to the hardness tester you have. The Saeco tool you have is really more of a comparator than a tester per say. If you have a bullet of known hardness you can “test” it with the Saeco tool and record the number given on the scale. Then when you “test” your bullets you have an idea if they are harder or softer than your “test standard”………………… Note that most “hard cast” commercial bullets run in the neighborhood of 20 to 22 on the brinnel scale. Samples from Corbon and buffalo bore also fall into this range. In my opinion (shared by many) this is rather hard for a hunting bullet were some expansion is desired. 12 to 16 should provide better results in most hunting situations.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4
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    I agree with everything Alangaq and .338-06 said. You might try to engrave one of your lead ingots with a fingernail. My wheel weight alloy ingots just barely engrave with a fingernail. When I tried water quenching bullets to increase their hardness, they were hard enough that my fingernail wouldn't make a mark on them. I've also heard that if you drop relatively hard lead on a concrete floor it'll ring, where pure lead will just make a dull thud. Never tried that myself though.

    If the lube sizer is a Lyman 45 or 4500 then current sizing dies for Lyman or RCBS should work just fine.

    I've never tried shooting blackpowder before, but I've read that normal Alox/Beeswax bullet lubes don't work very well with it, resulting in a tar like fouling that can be tough to clean up. SPG is the lube I commonly read about in blackpowder applications.

    Mike

  5. #5

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    Great score on the 358, especially that older model. Mine is a later model with the tang safety which I prefer as a lefty, but I still admire the originals.

    If a bullet is designed for a gas check it should go right on. Just push it into place by hand before feeding the bullet into the sizer. I am a little suspicious (and hate cleaning lead from bores), so I always start adding gaschecks for bullets I plan to push over about 1500fps unless they're really hard. You won't need gaschecks for bullets in the black powder revolver. Hardcast for a 454 revolver won't require them, but I'd sure put them on bullets to use in that rifle.

    In my limited uses for black powder cartridge loading, SPG is the best I've tried.

    I'm on the road through the end of the year, so can't get to my library. You can check with Saeco (Redding) for instructions on the hardness tester. Here is the link to it as a starting point.

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