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Thread: Bullet Casting

  1. #1
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    Default Bullet Casting

    Anyone here into bullet casting? I have read up on it and purchased some equipment. But I would like to watch and assist someone who has been doing it a while to pick up some pointers. Any of you guys out there willing to give a lesson? I live in Wasilla.

    Have a good one,

    Jeff

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    Jeff: Sorry I don't live up there anymore and I would be happy to show you. Bullet casting is very, very easy. I have done it using a camp stove to melt the lead (wheel weights) but a melter is better. for starting out, I would suggest the Lee aluminum molds; they are easy to use and cast good bullets. Flux the molten metal occasionaly; I have used kids color crayons or bees wax- both work. WEAR EYE PROTECTIONS! and don't let any moisture hit the molten lead!!!!!!!!!! there will be an explosion if you do and hot lead on skin hurts! guess how I know?

    You can use a lub-sizer to lub the bullets and seat the gas checks on rifle bullets. Or just use a spray lub without the gas checks. When sizing the bullets, I don't. I will get a sizer that is the same size as cast. For my 308 sized bullets, they cast .311 and that is the size of sizer I use to size/lub them.

    Just very slightly bell the case mouth. and stuff them in! That is it. I shot 100 rounds at 100 yds one day. They were all into a 2" circle. I can't get that level of accuracy from most of my store bought bullets.

    Best of luck. J.

  3. #3
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default yep

    one of my new favorite ways to waste a saturday....it is addictive....

    goto http://www.brooksmoulds.com/

    Steve has some pretty good info on there - also check out castboolits.com forums - all you wanted to know about casting and more.

    Here's the link to some instructions http://www.brooksmoulds.com/support2.html with pictures.

    I only pour for my pistolas. I prefer to shoot my rifles FAST so I don't pour for them.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've cast quite a few bullets over the years, but haven't cast much lately. I can add some tips to help you out. Mentioning what equipment you have and what type of molds and bullets you'll be casting will help with the advice.

    Assuming you are using a bottom pour furnace and wheel weiths for your bullet alloy. You need to melt down the ww's into ingots, and clean the melt by using wax, or some sort of flux, and scooping out and discarding the dirt and crud.

    Once you have a pile of ingots, I like to 40-50#'s worth, you plug in your furnace, let it get hot and keep adding ingots until it is full. Your bullet mold should be degreased before casting (I use brake cleaner), and it helps if you put a light coating of soot in the mold. You can soot the mold with a match, or take a propane torch with the air inlets covered with tape to soot it up.

    The mold needs to be hot before it will cast good bullets, I rest the mold on the edge of the furnace while it is heating up, and once the lead is all melted, I dip the corner of the mold in the melt for a couple of minutes. It is much easier to let a mold that is too hot cool down, then to keep casting a cold mold until it heats up. It'll take practice to get the feel for how long it takes to heat up the mold.

    Put the mold about 1" away from the pouring spout, and just barely crack the furnace to get a stream of lead pouring into the mold. Even after the mold is full, let a little bit more lead come out to form a decent sized sprue, then proceed to the next cavity until the mold is full. Set the mold down and watch the sprue. It will turn from a shiny silver to a dull silver/gray. At this point the sprue is cool enough to cut it off and then dump the bullets out on a pile of cotton wrags, I use clean red automotive greese rags. Close the mold, and repeat the procedure.

    If you want to harden the bullets, drop them from the mold directly into a 5 gallon bucket of water. Keep the bucket away from the furnace, and if you somehow get water in the mold, you will hear it sizzling, DO NOT REFILL THE MOLD!

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Dang guys all this good advice about lead and water is likely to keep him from showing us pictures of a good tinsel fairy visit.
    Andy
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default lubersizer

    I do lube size mine with an RCBS lubersizer....I wouldn't have to with my moulds, but I do because that is the easiest way for me to lube.

    with pistols I don't think that sizing matters.....BPCR shooters at 200, 300, 400, and 500 meters shooting for a $4,000.00 rifle - then it might matter.

    i sometimes shoot 500 rounds in a short afternoon......cost me about 3.6 cents per boolit (was 2.9 until the price of lead went up a couple weeks ago by 33%), 4 cents for a primer and .0248 cents for powder...so about 10 cents per trigger pull.

    (and a whole bunch of time with my single stage press)

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default soot and brake cleaner ?

    I have never used soot or brake cleaner in my moulds - I read about folks having to do that quite often - but I have never experienced it.

    Once you get the temp in the sweet spot they drop right out of my moulds.

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    I have not started casting yet, but am working towards it.

    I highly recomend the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. Lots of loads, and great information on sources of lead, as well as creating your own alloys. The information on alloys and the multiple phases of metal is better then any engineering text i have read.

  9. #9

    Default 'nother beginer

    I just started collecting parts mysef. Got in on a group buy for a 358009 over at castboolits. Thought this would be great for the Whelen.
    Have some 35 cal Hornaday gas checks on the way.
    Have not slugged the barrel yet so I haven't bought my sizer. Hopefully there will be no surprises. Haven't read up on it all so I am still kinda shooting from the hip.

    No pot or furnace yet but (hopefully) there is plenty of time to come up with one.

    Don't know how to flair the case mouth.
    I think a paper patch would be pretty neat to try.

    Don't know what a tinsel fairy is.

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    I've been casting for about 45yrs and just can't seem to quit. There I've admitted it. I feel better now. If you want, I'd be glad to show you through the casting process and give you an idea of what it takes. You can get started fairly cheaply, but it won't stay that way. I'm working nights on a 7/12 shift until 0600 Thurs. Until then you can call (688 3849) between 1400 and 1700hrs any day to set up a casting time. You can learn this on your own but it's much easier and safer if someone shows you a few things. For those of you that haven't been visited by the tinsel fairy, he is a very nasty creature that will hang slivers and globs of lead all over you and your casting area if you make the mistake of getting the smallest bit of water under the surface of a pot of melted lead. Anyway it's a great additiction er hobby and I'd be happy to help you get started. I live in Peters Creek Roger
    Flairing the case mouth is easy with Pistol dies as they are set up to do this. One of the dies has a plug that goes into the neck and is tapered larger a ways up the plug. You adjust it lower until you get some belling of the case mouth. Most rifle dies don't have this feature, and if loading cast it's a good idea to get a Lyman "M" die. It opens the neck a little and bells the mouth slightly. There are several methods of lubing bullets. Some bullets cast close enough that sizing is not needed some don't. Way to much involved to go into with my typing skills. I do enjoy helping others get into casting, loading, shooting ect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I've been casting for about 45yrs and just can't seem to quit. There I've admitted it. I feel better now. If you want, I'd be glad to show you through the casting process and give you an idea of what it takes. You can get started fairly cheaply, but it won't stay that way. I'm working nights on a 7/12 shift until 0600 Thurs. Until then you can call (688 3849) between 1400 and 1700hrs any day to set up a casting time. You can learn this on your own but it's much easier and safer if someone shows you a few things. For those of you that haven't been visited by the tinsel fairy, he is a very nasty creature that will hang slivers and globs of lead all over you and your casting area if you make the mistake of getting the smallest bit of water under the surface of a pot of melted lead. Anyway it's a great additiction er hobby and I'd be happy to help you get started. I live in Peters Creek Roger
    Flairing the case mouth is easy with Pistol dies as they are set up to do this. One of the dies has a plug that goes into the neck and is tapered larger a ways up the plug. You adjust it lower until you get some belling of the case mouth. Most rifle dies don't have this feature, and if loading cast it's a good idea to get a Lyman "M" die. It opens the neck a little and bells the mouth slightly. There are several methods of lubing bullets. Some bullets cast close enough that sizing is not needed some don't. Way to much involved to go into with my typing skills. I do enjoy helping others get into casting, loading, shooting ect.
    Thanks Roger,

    PM coming.

    Regards,

    Needcoffee

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I have never used soot or brake cleaner in my moulds - I read about folks having to do that quite often - but I have never experienced it.

    Once you get the temp in the sweet spot they drop right out of my moulds.
    Some molds drop better than others. The brake cleaner is to remove any oil from the mold, I've never cast good bullets from a mold that has any oil in it, and it's much faster to blast the cavities with break cleaner then to keep casting bullets until the oil is removed.

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    Yeah, oil in the mold is a real pita, but it's not hard to get rid of usually. A little brake kleen and a qtip and your good to go. The better quality molds usually don't need to be smoked although sometimes it will help them with fillout and dropping out the bullets. The lee molds are a crap shoot. Any mold should be thoroughly cleaned before trying to cast. Soap and water works good. A process called "Leementing" has been developed to make a stubborn Lee mold cast well. It amounts to using a bullet cast from the mold with polishing media imbedded and spun in the mold to polish any burrs or rough spots. Turns Lee molds into pretty good molds. Works with other stubborn molds as well.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I'll be learning right along with ya - if my equipment ever arrives. I made the mistake of ordering from Midway via parcel post. I also bought a chronograph from them, ordered four days after the casting equipment. I have the crony - arrived three days ago. Still no sign of the casting stuff. Ditto the suggestion for the castboolits forum though - tons of good info there.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    My offer to assist getting started casting goes out to anyone interested. I don't know it all but I can get you started. Just give me a call Roger @688 3849. More than happy to help.

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    If you do not have a local source for free lead there is another group buy going on for Lyman #2 on the Cast Bullet forum as I type. The same company sells different alloys as well and they are shipped via USPS flat rate boxes, 68 pounds per box.
    Have used their services and the alloys have made the trip up here.
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I'll be learning right along with ya - if my equipment ever arrives. I made the mistake of ordering from Midway via parcel post. I also bought a chronograph from them, ordered four days after the casting equipment. I have the crony - arrived three days ago. Still no sign of the casting stuff. Ditto the suggestion for the castboolits forum though - tons of good info there.
    I did that once too, you are looking at 3 to 4 weeks on the slow boat.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    I did that once too, you are looking at 3 to 4 weeks on the slow boat.
    LOL, I don't think it will take any more than that for me to learn either. The worst part is it was only a couple dollars cheaper to ship that way.

    Can't order the Lee sizing dies up here either, because the solvent they come with classifies as hazmat.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Default Molds

    Some designs certainly drop easier than other. Long rounded nose bullets with shallow rounded grease grooves are always easier that square nosed bullets with deep square grease gooves.

    One of my worse molds is the Lyman 429303. I always have to work to get the bullets to drop. Others like the 311334 just fall out.

    The new synthetic lubes can be a real pain to remove - the old tallow and bees wax burn off real quick. As mentioned some break cleaner and a Q-tip go a long way - but DO IT OUTDOORS - the fumes can be very hazardous if you spray a chlorinated solvent on a hot mold.


    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Some molds drop better than others. The brake cleaner is to remove any oil from the mold, I've never cast good bullets from a mold that has any oil in it, and it's much faster to blast the cavities with break cleaner then to keep casting bullets until the oil is removed.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    LOL, I don't think it will take any more than that for me to learn either. The worst part is it was only a couple dollars cheaper to ship that way.

    Can't order the Lee sizing dies up here either, because the solvent they come with classifies as hazmat.
    I think I acutely paid like a buck more for the slow boat, I didn't even look till it was too late. I read ‘Parcel Post’ and forgetting I was not in Arizona anymore just clicked yes.
    Andy
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