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Old 02-07-2013, 09:45 PM
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What is needed, and what to you recommend for casting bullets (novice) ?

Please list the items needed and if possible where to buy.

I was talking to Peach about reloading (designing the bench) and the subject come up about casting bullets (for the iCORE shoots w/the 38spl and the steel matches w/the .45acp).

One question is, after the bullet is cast do you have to trim them (kind of like trimming a cast mold of ceramic) to fit or are the dies these days much improved.

How long does it take to cast 100 (for example) ?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:00 PM
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Pay a visit to Cast Boolits.com (correct spelling).

Be prepared to read and study for days regarding any CASTING question you can think of.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:22 PM
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What Moonman said! Castboolits is to casting as the S&W forum is to S&Ws.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:10 PM
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Thank you both, already checking it out and reading.

Jim
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:29 AM
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Pay a visit to Cast Boolits.com (correct spelling).

Be prepared to read and study for days regarding any CASTING question you can think of.


Chapter 4 Fluxing the Melt
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:07 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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Lyman's cast bullet handbook, noe has a new second edition! truly every thing you need to know! Ivan
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:18 AM
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#1- Find a source of Free lead or alloy.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:20 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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From Ingot to Target: A Cast Bullet Guide For Handgunners, Table of Contents - Fryxell/Applegate
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:47 AM
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For a minimal investment you can get a Lee six cavity mold and a Lee pot with the bottom pour spout. Get a mold for the tumble lube bullets and you can use either Alox or liquid Rooster Jacket as lube without having to run the bullets through a sizing die. Generally speaking you'll need an ingot mold to produce clean ingots from scrap and something that can melt large quantities of lead.

From here the sky's the limit and you can really get carried away.

Dave Sinko
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:15 PM
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Great advice from all. Here's some Cliff-notes:

If casting for revolvers, slug the chamber throats, forcing cone, and barrel. The diameters from throat to bore need to go from bigger to smaller. If the throats are tighter than the forcing cone, you can open up the throats yourself. Instructions can be found on castboolits.com and Lead Bullet Technology. Cast/size to snugly fit the chamber throats. Despite what you may have read, hard alloys are actually the reason for leading because the boolit doesn't expand and seal the bore. Most commercial cast boolits are over-hard and under-sized and lead like heck unless loaded to maximum pressures.

Start loading up on wheelweights ASAP. Lead weights are being phased out and replaced with zinc. Start smoozing the guys at the tire shops, lay a box of donuts one em next time you go for rotation:-) A lot of times, they'll sell you their used weights for what the salvage shop pays because it saves having to haul them in. WW are just about a perfect alloy as-is.
They're usually in 5-gallon buckets and take along a dolly or a young strong back. A 5-gal can hold over 100 lbs and some shops may have them in a 30-gal drum.

Other sources are old lead shower pans and roof flue collars. They're pretty much pure lead and great for softening other harder alloys.

Smelt/clean/flux alloys and cast into ingots before they go in your casting pot.

Do whatever you have to to get boolits the diameter you want right out of the mold. Not having to size is a huge time saver and you don't have to spend $150 on a sizer + dies. Sizing down too much can ruin a boolit, anyway.

Google C.E. Harris bullet casting. He wrote lots of great articles on casting that can get you started without having to read a gazillion posts on the castboolits forum (though it's a great forum and I spend lots of time there). The NRA probably has some books that are collections of his articles.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:35 PM
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Good place to start along with the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. There's a whole lot more to casting bullets than can be easily answered here...
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:59 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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If you do not have 1000 lbs of wheel weights in the garage you will need to buy alloy @ some point. Figure $1 per lb and how much you shoot. WIthout any calculation of equipment start up costs as I have been a caster since 92, I figure my 38 special loads run me about $62-$65 per 1000. I cannot buy jacketed bullets for that, so it is then a matter of figuring how much you shoot. I cannot imagine that there are shooters that don't reload let alone do not cast. It is afordable and a great way to ensure that you have bullets.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:46 PM
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On to Chapter 5 Cast bullet Lube.

P.S. What flux do you use or do you use saw dust? TO bad I can use motor oil, have plenty of that.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:06 PM
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Question, does the 220v pot work faster/maintain the heat better than the 120v ?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:38 PM
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Question on Lube and resizing die.

1. What lube do you use?

2. Does the lube gunk up the barrel of the gun?

3. What MFG on the resizing die?

4. Do you use a single stage press to resize?

Sorry for all the questions,
Jim
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:27 PM
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I want to thank you all again for the help, I'm sure I will be asking a few more questions though

Question:

1. What sizing die do I need for the .45acp ? (.46)

2. What sizing die do I need for the 38spl ? (.358)

I was reading whereas I need .0001 above the bullet needing to be shot.

I just want to make sure because I am B/O products now and I will be getting the Lee sizing die.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Pay a visit to Cast Boolits.com (correct spelling)
Frankly, the the gunboard urbanic term "boolits" is something that if it's never seen by my eyes again, it will be too soon.

Bruce
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:24 PM
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Rollbar, no offence, but all these questions can be answered better in Frixell's From Ingot to Target From Ingot to Target: A Cast Bullet Guide For Handgunners, Table of Contents - Fryxell/Applegate and Lyman's 3rd Edition Cast Bullet Handbook.

I've been casting boolits (Boolits= as God laid it into the soil,,grand old Galena, The Silver Stream graciously hand poured into molds for our consumption. . . Bullets= Machine made utilizing Full Length Gas Checks as to provide projectiles for the masses),for all my guns for mebbe 17 years and reading these two texts helps even today.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:16 PM
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LUBE...White Label products...cheapest high quality bullet lube available. Yhey advertise I believe on CastBoolits forums. Out of Idaho, Twin Falls I think.

FAR cheaper than buying from GRAFS, or Midway.

I would suggest finding ALLOY before worrying about the rest of the eqpt. If you have to buy your lead at a dollar plus a pound...probably easier to buy bulk, commercially cast.

Regarding a pot.... Look at WAAGE pots, built for industrial applications. I used to use a propane stove...the electric WAAGE pot REALLY makes the casting easier. Turn it on...in 15 minutes or less you are ready to cast. The propane tank, plumbers pot, etc...lots of stuff...time consuming.

Good Luck
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollbar View Post
Question on Lube and resizing die.

1. What lube do you use?

I use White Label Lube BAC for everything I cast .38 special to .30-30 and it performs top notch.

2. Does the lube gunk up the barrel of the gun?

I think not in the manner you may be thinking. After shooting you will need to clean the bore but no more than any other range trip unless you find lead in the bore.

3. What MFG on the resizing die?

I use RCBS and Lyman for lube/sizing dies and Lee for push through with tumble lube. If you want to go big dog then buy a Magma Star lube sizer.

4. Do you use a single stage press to resize?

You can use a single stage press for the Lee push through sizing dies but RCBS and Lyman lube sizing dies use a committed press that has a lube reservoir. Both presses can use each other brands dies which is nice. Again, the Magma Star is more money and is it's own press but it VERY nice.

Sorry for all the questions,
Jim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollbar View Post
I want to thank you all again for the help, I'm sure I will be asking a few more questions though

Question:

1. What sizing die do I need for the .45acp ? (.46)

Typically most .45 ACP bores are .451" and you buy a sizing die that is .452" but some .45 Colt revolvers need bullets sized to .454" or .455" but that's where slugging revolver cylinder throats and bores comes into play.

2. What sizing die do I need for the 38spl ? (.358)

Typically you find that all .38 special and .357 magnum bores are .357" in diameter and thus you size your bullets to .358" or sometimes .359 if needed. If you are using the appropriate hardness of bullet for pressure and right lube for the same and still get leading then you may need to up to the .359" sizing.

I was reading whereas I need .0001 above the bullet needing to be shot.

".001"

I just want to make sure because I am B/O products now and I will be getting the Lee sizing die.

If you are using the Lee dies then you will be using Alox. Don't bother with Rooster Jacket as it's out of production last I checked and it's never even worked for me in the slightest. Google search "Recluse Lube" and you will get some suggestions for a blend of alox with some other products. Also, Google "Ranch Dog Outdoors" and read his page on dipping bullets into alox. White Label Lube sells alox the cheapest I've found.

Thanks,
Jim
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Frankly, the the gunboard urbanic term "boolits" is something that if it's never seen by my eyes again, it will be too soon.

Bruce
I love that forum but I have to agree.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:31 PM
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Thanks you, thank you.

Jim
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:37 PM
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One other note that someone here was kind enough to educate me on not too long ago.

The Lee tumble lube bullets can't be driven too fast. They don't have enough of a "driving band" in front where the rifling first engages the bullet's sides. Since the whole section of the bullet that the rifling touches is ridges for lube they don't have a section for the rifling to bite into and start that twisting. Just push them slow to start and work them up and you will find how fast you can push however hard of an alloy.

You will work this all out in time and just like I still have to from time to time, feel free to come back with questions.

I forget who told me that, but thank you once again. That did solve my problem 100%.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:40 PM
Krell1 Krell1 is offline
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Very time consuming. I was going to start and collected a lot of scrap lead to get going. Took it all out to an open area and melted it into ingots and ended up with around 2000 lbs. Watched a friend doing it and decided to give the lead away after seeing what it took. Also, be mindful of good ventilation. Had a friend a while back that didn't have a good fresh air source and had a pretty bad case of lead poisoning. He was casting a lot more than I ever would but you've got to take care. I'd just find a good supplier of the type of bullets you want and buy them. reloading takes enough time as it is. Just sayin IMHO.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:14 PM
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Where do you buy your lead (if not gotten locally/tire shop), and, time wise, is it easier to buy it pure than going through the slag ?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:39 PM
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The 220 volt pots are for foreign use. They can be used here on a 220 volt circuit, but you won't gain anything on melt time or temp control.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:16 AM
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White Label lubes has relocated to Arkansas.
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