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Thread: Does anyone Cast their own...

  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone Cast their own...

    bullets nowadays, or do you just order them? If so, what do you use? Lead, copper, silver???

    Thanks

    Marv

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Lead. Casting only really works with lead or lead alloys. I have seen ads in gun mags about making copper jacketed bullets, I guess it's called swagging. lead core in a copper jacket.

    I cast mostly pistol & .45-70 bullets.

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    I do a little casting. I have a bunch of lead from cable sheathing for the pure lead stuff, a 1/2 a five gal. pail of WW, and now I am collecting spent bullets when I'm on the handgun ranges (free). I've got some .41/210 and .500/400 bullets ready to lube and try out.

    I wanted to load some very lite loads for the .500, just lob them out there rather than try see if I can break my wrists. It aught to be fun. I relearned a hard lesson on trying to get jacketed bullets to go slow in a .45LC...it doesn't always work out.

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    Yes! Nowadays, using factory bullets only is just too expensive (when you can find them)(good luck with that), especially if you like to shoot a lot.

    I cast bullets for 30-30, 30-06, 45/70, 44 Spl/44Mag, 45 Colt, and 454 Casull, and also make slugs for 12ga shotgun. I use mostly wheel-weight lead, and most are gas-checked. In the rifles, I keep velocity at, or below , about 1800-1850fps, because above that velocity the groups open up and leading occurs. To some extent, this can be helped by hardening the bullets by dropping them into a bucket of cold water right from the mold. Even with this hardening treatment, you aren't going to get good accuracy beyond about 2000-2200 fps, for the most part...

    An interesting observation: the venerable old 30-30 seems like it was designed from the get-go for cast bullets: the long neck and modest case capacity tend to yield very good results. At my usual load of 23 grs IMR4198 under a 180gr RCBS cast gas-checked bullet, I get just over 300 rounds per 1lb can of powder...so it's fairly economical. Velocity is just over 1800fps. A fun to shoot load...

    Needless to say, the 45/70 also works extremely well with cast bullets...

    At todays prices, I wouldn't dream of using ONLY factory-bought bullets...I enjoy shooting too much!



    Marshall/Ak

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    Yes, been casting for about 40 years. Started so I could afford to shoot more. Have about 25 molds and it really adds to the addiction er hobby. I use mostly clip on wheel weights and sometimes add a little tin or linotype depending on what caliber gun combo. Metals such as copper and silver take way to much heat and are more difficult to cast. Lead,tin,antimony,arsonic alloys are what are normally used and wheel weights have a good mix of lead and antimony in them already. they also have a little tin but adding about 1% more tin can give better mold fillout on a stubborn mold. Linotype makes a great bullet but its expensive and a little brittle for a hunting bullet. Go to "cast boolit" forum for all you ever wanted to know about cast bullets and casting.

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    Yes, I cast. Use wheel weight mostly and cast for both rifle and pistol. Very easy to get 5 shot, 1 1/2" groups at 100 yards with any of my cast bullets in my rifles. Cheap, easy and lots of fun. I shoot all my cast bullets un-sized but lubbed. I do believe these are more accurate than sizing them. JMO. Have fun. J.

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    Just getting started myself. I have a bunch of ww's I smelted down and am waiting on my order to show up with a bottom drop pot, moulds for 3 calibers, etc. I'm really looking forward to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldRgr View Post
    Yes, I cast. Use wheel weight mostly and cast for both rifle and pistol. Very easy to get 5 shot, 1 1/2" groups at 100 yards with any of my cast bullets in my rifles. Cheap, easy and lots of fun. I shoot all my cast bullets un-sized but lubbed. I do believe these are more accurate than sizing them. JMO. Have fun. J.
    OldRgr:
    Many years ago I spent one whole winter molding and lube sizing/gas checking semi-wad cutters for my L-frame. I ended up with two five gallon buckets of finished product. I thought I was set for life but they're gone. Its time to make some more and I think I'll take your advice and not size and gas check them this go around. My 38 molds are old and have pretty much served their purpose so its time for a new set. Which mold manufacture do you recommend and which lube do you use?

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    Now please understand I am an old guy. I still use Lyman alox; I got a pot full of it free years ago and still use it. One of my friends makes his own with graphite and bees wax for use with his black powder stuff. On the molds, I have primarily RCBS but also Lyman, Lee and one Seaco (I am not spelling it correctly). They all work well. I do not size the bullets but do gas check the rifle bullets and do use a Lyman or RCBS sizer-lubicator for the lubing and gas checking. It has worked for me very well over the years.

    On average, my cast bullets will shot better than the purchased jacketed one. I am not sure but think the recoil may play a factor. I have almost standardized on a load of 21-4198 for most of my standard rifle rounds (270-280-7x57-308-3006) and do not change the powder weight when the weight of the bullet changes. I increase to 24 with the 338-06. I very seldom shoot cast bullets in mag cases. Not that you couldn't; I just don't.

    Good luck and have fun. J.

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    Member ruffcutt's Avatar
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    Does anyone know where I can buy lead in the Fairbanks area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gogoalie View Post
    bullets nowadays, or do you just order them? If so, what do you use? Lead, copper, silver???

    Thanks

    Marv
    Accuracy with store bought boolits can be non-existent unless you buy from Cast precision or Beartooth, etc. LBT style for revolvers. They have good rifle stuff too.
    The others like Lazercast and Magnus Bullets will leave a sour taste. Bevel base bullets are a waste and most will not fit your bore.
    You must cast your own and learn as much as you can to get the right fit to your guns before you will see how great cast really is.
    It is a whole new world for those that never cast and takes a lot of thinking and work to get things right but you will never go back to buying boolits.
    You need a supply of wheel weights or boolit alloy.

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    I have tried Lazer cast and share your experience. J.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I cast my own bullets from wheel weights. From 115 gr 30 cal to 400 gr .475", I don't recall the last time I bought commercial cast bullets.

    The problem I've seen with the bulk cast bullets is the bullets tend to be too hard, too small in dia, have bevel bases and hard lubes, all of which contribute to leading.

    When you cast your own, you can taylor the dia of the bullet, hardness of the bullet and use a good lube, all of which contribute to great accuracy, and pretty much eliminate leading. Out of handguns I only shoot cast bullets, and all that I've cast myself. I don't shoot that much cast out of rifles, but have a few molds that I plink with on occasion.

    It's more than paid for itself, especially in the larger bores.

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    And....getting into casting is easy and really inexpensive. Go to "Big V" as my wife calls Value Village and pick up and old cast iron pot, buy a gas burner or rip one out of an old stove you find someplace, find a ladle and you are in business.

    Purchasing good clean lead is super easy off eBay, with being able to buy 50-60 pounds and having it mailed up Priority Flat Rate to boot!!

    While I was in Fairbanks I bought maybe 300-400 pounds from the big metals place down off Van Horn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    ....While I was in Fairbanks I bought maybe 300-400 pounds from the big metals place down off Van Horn.
    I checked in with the scrap dealer one day and he wanted .75 per lb for scrap (assorted types) lead. I figured that was kind of high.

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    Shipped wheel weight ingots off of e-bay run about $1/lb. You used to be able to get a 5 gallon bucket of ww's from a tire shop for $20, which would yield 100+#'s of ingots, a bunch of smoke, tire clips, and the assorted valve stems, lug nuts and cigarrette butts.

    It's been years since I've gotten any ww's, the tire shop I used to get them from stopped selling them, and I traded into 6 buckets a few years back. I've been too busy to do much casting, and still have ~200 #'s of ww's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Shipped wheel weight ingots off of e-bay run about $1/lb. You used to be able to get a 5 gallon bucket of ww's from a tire shop for $20, which would yield 100+#'s of ingots, a bunch of smoke, tire clips, and the assorted valve stems, lug nuts and cigarrette butts.

    It's been years since I've gotten any ww's, the tire shop I used to get them from stopped selling them, and I traded into 6 buckets a few years back. I've been too busy to do much casting, and still have ~200 #'s of ww's.
    Don't forget the chew cans , band aids, gum and my most favorite is the chew tobacco like red man !!!

    I get my lead ingots from the lower 48 anymore . Getting WW here in Homer is just about zero .............

    RR
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