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Old 01-14-2013, 05:40 PM
Triggernosis Triggernosis is offline
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Default Cast bullet recommendations?

Recent discussions on the costs of reloading have got me thinking about trying to cast my own bullets. Can anyone recommend a good starter book that will describe the basic how-to's, what kind of moulds to choose, etc.?
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:44 PM
310Pilot 310Pilot is offline
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Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook (they just put out a new edition, I believe it is the 4th Edition) is probably the premier reference publication for bullet casting and loading ammo with cast bullets. In addition, i recommend you check out, it is an excellent forum dedicated to bullet casting. Try it, I believe you'll enjoy it - I've found it to be fun and relaxing.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:16 PM
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venomballistics venomballistics is online now
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the first thing to look at are molds.
the first one in a given caliber should be as much of a do all bullet as possible, you can flesh it our later with others that do a given job better.
steer clear of the LEE tumble lube designs. While they provide the fastest turn around on a production run, they lead line the bore something fierce when you try to push them much past bunny puff loads. Look at the front band forward of the lube groove. You want enough full diameter shank up front to engage the rifling without skidding through the forcing cone. You can always load a proper design light but you cannot load a weak design hot.
Sizing dies ... the LEE dies work fine on a budget, fit your press and are convenient to use. Furthermore, they are low cost enough so that you should have little objection to the use of some rolled up silicon carbide 600 grit sandpaper to let one out a thousandth or two if necessary.
You will need lead. Wheel weights work fine, however if you come into need for a harder bullet, adding some plumbing solder can help.
another trick for a harder bullet is water quenching.
get a bucket of soapy water with a pie plate in the bottom. Keep a bottle brush on hand to whip up a head of foam. its important to maintain a good head of foam to arrest the splash when you drop bullets from the mold into the bucket ... water and molten lead don't play nice together.
it just needs more voltage
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:32 PM
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7P's 7P's is offline
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Take a look at this.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:30 PM
ricks1 ricks1 is offline
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much depends on what you want to load for> rifle>pistole and how much do you want to drive them ? Many that load cast are for the lighter loads . But there are many on a castboolit fourm that want to shoot a 500S&W at 3000fps with cast
the Lee TL mold is as good as they get and cheap to own .
new to casting try the 2 cav first and the 20 lb pro for a melter
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:48 PM
MajorDude MajorDude is offline
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As recommended, the Lyman Cast Bullet Manual #4 is a great place to start for information. is a great resource for all things casting. Lay in a supply of lead wherever you can find it. Used wheel weights are good if you can find them. Linotype is good for harder bullets or alloying. Lee dies are very reasonably priced. Check out the commercial versions for quantity casting of 9mms or 45 acp. Higher end dies are available from MP Molds, Saeco and RCBS. You might get away with as cast diameters to start, but will quickly be considering a lubrisizer and dies to get exact diameters. I think casting is a gas and enjoy it as much as reloading which I like nearly as much as shooting!
Member MVGCA, OGCA, NRA Life
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:02 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Lee 1 and 2 cavity moulds are probably the best value in casting today. I had a 9mm 6 cavity Lee mould that failed in the first few hundred rounds. I have a Lee 2 cavity 45 SWC that was bought used 25 years and 15000 or so rounds ago. On Lyman and other steel moulds avoid rusted or "frosty" looking cavities! Also on the alloy you use; Lyman #2 is what all their moulds are weight rated in, softer alloys are usually needed and they weigh more. Pure lead and super soft alloies like 30:1 and 20:1 are too soft for most modern loads and should be saved for black powder. When melting lead there are some common sence things to remember: 1) lead is poisonious and very hot when melted, BE CAREFUL! 2) Use good ventalation!, 3) Keep your hands out of your mouth- that includes cigarettes. The back stop at the range is a good source of lead, but it may ne soft lead from jacketed bullets and need tin and atomony to harden it up. The "junk" of the top of the lead pot is somewhat hazardious and needs disposed of accordingly, I keep it in 2 and 3 pound steel coffee cans and give it to metal alloy companies to reuse. DON'T PUT IT IN THE TRASH!!! Same goes for the clips from melted down wheele weights. I know this stuff sounds like a major pain, but it isn't that hard and casting is a lot of fun. Almost all the expense is upfront and moulds last for centuries, I have a 44cal. round ball mould from the 1850's. Have fun! Ivan
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:32 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Originally Posted by 7P's View Post
^^^^^ This.

Lee Reloading manual. It is a sales flier for their stuff and you have to wade through all of that but, good info.

Believe it or not, youtube has some good videos out there.

We will always help too.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:02 PM
Triggernosis Triggernosis is offline
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Originally Posted by 7P's View Post
That is a treasure trove of information, and very well written.
I've got the Lee Manual already - hadn't thought about it for casting info..
Thanks to all for the recommendations.

Two of my good friends each work at separate tire stores and tell me that they can pretty much provide me with all the lead I can send downrange.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:33 PM
rsrocket1 rsrocket1 is offline
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My first cast boolits were from the 6 banger Lee TC452-230-TC using the Lee 4-20 bottom pour furnace. After warming up the mold, the bullets came out perfectly and emptied the 20 pound pot in short order. 500+ bullets per hour tumble lubed and loaded the next day (yes I know you should wait to let them age, but I couldn't wait and they shot great anyway).

Everything I learned was from online forums, fryxell's .pdf and yes, Richard Lee's sales flyer entitled "Modern Reloading".

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:37 PM
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ChuckS1 ChuckS1 is offline
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Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
yes I know you should wait to let them age, but I couldn't wait and they shot great anyway).
Okay, I've been casting for a few years and this is a new one, to me, at least. Bullets aren't like fine wines, bourbon or cheese, so why in the heck do they need to "age"? If the alloy's not hard enough at the start, letting them sit isn't going to make the bullets appreciably harder. And even so, who cares? This ain't rocket science... Sorry if I sound harsh, don't mean to be, but this makes no practical sense to let them "age", like it's going to somehow "improve" the bullet.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:27 PM
tomuchiron tomuchiron is offline
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If you don't have access to a large supply of hard lead, already. You will enjoy many hours of searching for a source. Lead is getting to expensive and hard to aquire cheaply. Soft lead cost to much to alloy harder if you have to buy from Roto metals, .. In a couple of years it will be cheaper to buy already cast , some times you can buy bulk cheaper now. try for lead. going price is about a 1.00 a pound shipped. ..
Ebay is a guess as to what you are getting. And you will be learning about Zinc pretty fast.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:53 PM
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mikld mikld is offline
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I'd suggest getting a copy of Lyman's 3rd Edition Cast Bullet Handbook (f you can find one). I believe it's much better than the 4th, especially for a new caster (unless you're into Black Powder Cartridge Shooting, then get the 4th).

I started casting with a 2 qt. stainless steel pot, a Coleman stove (propane), a Lee .44 cal., 2 cavity mold, a Lee dipper, and a couple used large spoons. I had access to wheel weights and used sawdust from my power saw for flux. I cast and shot a whole lot of .44 cal. bullets in my 629 and Blackhawk, for over 7 months, then I got a Lee 20 lb. bottom pour pot. The only "problem" with this set-up (Coleman stove) is controling temperature, a little more difficult with a propane stove, but I did make many, many good, shootable bullets...
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