Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 10/17/2008 12:12:27 PM EDT
Looking into it on Youtube seems simple and straightforward as well as comparatively cheap.  As well as just in case SHTF prep.


One video talks of a velocity limit of around 2100 fps.


1.

.2


To those of you that reload is there a reason you do not cast bullets?

What are the risks aside from burns?

Relevant points ands suggestions?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:14:08 PM EDT
i'd rather not run strait lead through my barrels.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:16:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
i'd rather not run strait lead through my barrels.



Elaborate?  What about a lead mix of some sort?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:26:44 PM EDT
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:26:45 PM EDT
I use a formula for wheel weights and some tin that gets heat treated in an oven to make them harder. These get loaded into .45 Long Colt cases for my Blackhawk at high velocities for hunting.

Casting is easy, you will need a melting pot, thermometer, lead components, good scale, and moulds. The trick is to keep the mould hot when pouring to get a good casting. I usually pre-heat mine with a propane torch.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:29:03 PM EDT
If you keep the velocity under control and use gas checks, you won't lead up your barrel.  If you don't use gas checks, you need to be really careful with the velocity.

Very few cast bullets are pure lead.  Adding Tin and/or Antimony will make them harder (and lighter).  Too much Tin/Antimony will make them too hard/brittle for hunting.

Lots of people shoot cast bullets with varying degrees of success.  I tried them in my 45-70 and they worked fine.  I was using a hard 300gr bullet that tended to fragment instead of mushroom.  I was loading to 1750fps or so and I never noticed any leading in that barrel.

Personally, I think it's a great idea for some calibers.

Certainly bullet casting could be a great asset for SHTF if you've got a few hundred pounds of wheel weights (you can buy them from the tire shops here for about $35/5-gallon bucket) and the equipment in your garage.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:30:33 PM EDT
I cast and shoot thousands of bullets every year (also do my own shot, but that is an entirely different process)

I have some pretty decent burn scars from it (usually water pops my lead, rain sucks)

any gas operated firearm will not like lead bullets, fills up the gas port, but revolvers, autos, leverguns, boltguns, etc love them
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:31:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.




Point taken on the second part.  Would a blend of some type like a lead/brass mix cut down on the fowling?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:33:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalPenguin:
I cast and shoot thousands of bullets every year (also do my own shot, but that is an entirely different process)

I have some pretty decent burn scars from it (usually water pops my lead, rain sucks)

any gas operated firearm will not like lead bullets, fills up the gas port, but revolvers, autos, leverguns, boltguns, etc love them



So that means it would be limited to handguns for me, since I only have 2 bolt guns.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:35:41 PM EDT
The better question is, who here makes there own Primers?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:36:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 12:38:02 PM EDT by Mattl]

Originally Posted By TerribleTom:
If you keep the velocity under control and use gas checks, you won't lead up your barrel.  If you don't use gas checks, you need to be really careful with the velocity.

Very few cast bullets are pure lead.  Adding Tin and/or Antimony will make them harder (and lighter).  Too much Tin/Antimony will make them too hard/brittle for hunting.Lots of people shoot cast bullets with varying degrees of success.  I tried them in my 45-70 and they worked fine.  I was using a hard 300gr bullet that tended to fragment instead of mushroom.  I was loading to 1750fps or so and I never noticed any leading in that barrel.

Personally, I think it's a great idea for some calibers.

Certainly bullet casting could be a great asset for SHTF if you've got a few hundred pounds of wheel weights (you can buy them from the tire shops here for about $35/5-gallon bucket) and the equipment in your garage.



Can you suggest A ratio?  Is the process of fixing gas checks to the bullet backs problematic?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:38:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 12:41:00 PM EDT by USGI_45]
Ive done it a couple times before. My grandfather has been doing it for like 30 years. I cant remember his screen name, but he is a member here. You might post this in the reloading section too.
Maybe on sunday I can get him to cast some and post a short picture thread. Any caliber you have in mind?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:39:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 12:41:36 PM EDT by callgood]
Missouri Bullet Company casts mine.

I've considered it, but the added equipment, lack of space/time, etc., etc., make it impractical.

Mattl, LYMAN has a book that addresses all your questions. Lyman Cast Bullet Book or something similar.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:40:59 PM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

Fail. Properly cast and sized lead bullets leave less bullet fouling in the barrel than jacketed bullets.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.


Fail. I've cast and fired hundreds of thousands of bullets in my life and my blood lead levels are lower than most of the population.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:41:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:41:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 12:42:43 PM EDT by USGI_45]

Originally Posted By Electrician29:

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

Fail. Properly cast and sized lead bullets leave less bullet fouling in the barrel than jacketed bullets.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.


Fail. I've cast and fired hundreds of thousands of bullets in my life and my blood lead levels are lower than most of the population.



I think most of the lead in peoples system from shooting is inhaled and produced by an ingrediant in the primers. I still hate handling cast bullets, just because I dont like the exposed lead. Real threat, or percieved it makes me uneasy.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:42:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mattl:

Originally Posted By TerribleTom:
If you keep the velocity under control and use gas checks, you won't lead up your barrel.  If you don't use gas checks, you need to be really careful with the velocity.

Very few cast bullets are pure lead.  Adding Tin and/or Antimony will make them harder (and lighter).  Too much Tin/Antimony will make them too hard/brittle for hunting.Lots of people shoot cast bullets with varying degrees of success.  I tried them in my 45-70 and they worked fine.  I was using a hard 300gr bullet that tended to fragment instead of mushroom.  I was loading to 1750fps or so and I never noticed any leading in that barrel.

Personally, I think it's a great idea for some calibers.

Certainly bullet casting could be a great asset for SHTF if you've got a few hundred pounds of wheel weights (you can buy them from the tire shops here for about $35/5-gallon bucket) and the equipment in your garage.



Can you suggest A ratio?  Is the process of fixing gas checks to the bullet backs problematic?


I'm no expert.  Start here:
www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php?board=61.0
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:43:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 12:45:24 PM EDT by Aloxite]
I've no desire to cast my own.

Except for slugs.  I'd really like to get one of the Lee moulds to feed the Saiga-12.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:44:30 PM EDT
I have the moulds (not "molds") and a Lee 20lb pot. I just haven't had a place to do it since the divorce. I've been an apartment dweller since then.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:44:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 12:46:25 PM EDT by azsavage]
Putting gas checks on is easy.  I use a Lee sizing die which sizes bullets and seats gas checks in one step.  You just need gas check molds to make the bullets.

www.castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:54:12 PM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By TacticalPenguin:
any gas operated firearm will not like lead bullets, fills up the gas port, but revolvers, autos, leverguns, boltguns, etc love them


This isn't true. I've fired tens of thousands of cast lead bullets through M1As, M1s, FALs and M1 carbines with no issues at all. Velocities have to be lower than jacketed bullets to prevent leading but for short range work (200 yards or less) cast bullets are hard to beat.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:56:38 PM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By USGI_45:
height=8
Originally Posted By Electrician29:
height=8
Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

Fail. Properly cast and sized lead bullets leave less bullet fouling in the barrel than jacketed bullets.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.


Fail. I've cast and fired hundreds of thousands of bullets in my life and my blood lead levels are lower than most of the population.



I think most of the lead in peoples system from shooting is inhaled and produced by an ingrediant in the primers. I still hate handling cast bullets, just because I dont like the exposed lead. Real threat, or percieved it makes me uneasy.Working with lead is like working with any other substance that is harmful if swollowed. If you can remember to keep your fingers out of your mouth you'll be fine.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 1:04:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mattl:

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.




Point taken on the second part.  Would a blend of some type like a lead/brass mix cut down on the fowling?


 If you keep your fingers out of your mouth until you was your hands, no problem.
Molten Lead, at casting temps, does not give off toxic fumes. The lead from shooting comes from primers, not the bullet.

 I cast, a lot, make my own shot for Clays. (Littleton Shot Maker) The only time I had elevated Lead levels was when I ran the Pistol House at the Club. They did not have the best ventilation system and I was there 4 nights a week.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 1:05:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Electrician29:

Originally Posted By USGI_45:

Originally Posted By Electrician29:

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

Fail. Properly cast and sized lead bullets leave less bullet fouling in the barrel than jacketed bullets.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.


Fail. I've cast and fired hundreds of thousands of bullets in my life and my blood lead levels are lower than most of the population.



I think most of the lead in peoples system from shooting is inhaled and produced by an ingrediant in the primers. I still hate handling cast bullets, just because I dont like the exposed lead. Real threat, or percieved it makes me uneasy.


Working with lead is like working with any other substance that is harmful if swollowed. If you can remember to keep your fingers out of your mouth you'll be fine.


Fumes from casting can be on the unhealthy side.  Be sure to use adequate ventilation.  Don't use lead from questionable sources like car batteries.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 1:06:43 PM EDT
Did it for several years but quit when my kids got old enough to wander around.  Even though I kept the operations in an out building, I just didn't want the risks associated with toxic emitting molten lead mixtures around the kids.  Sold off my furnaces and moulds and haven't looked back.  

At the time I did it, I loaded for pistol calibers (.38/.357, .40, .44, and .45 ACP).  Shot lead in .30 cal rifles many years ago but didn't personally care for it - had to back velocities down too far.

Back in the day, one could pick up used wheelweights for free from tire stores.  That made for some very economical shooting.  Those days are gone though.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:12:47 PM EDT
hello;

lead is VERY TOXIC TO KIDS and adults.

been casting bullets for 30+ years. have  lee, rcbs, & lyman molds.  cast for .30 cal. (30/30. 308, 30/06) 9mm, 38spl/357, 41mag, 44 mag, 45lc, & .50 bullet/round ball for my black powder rifle.  gas check speeds @1750fps.  pistol bullets speeds @900fps.

last week shot 18 rounds at 20 yards (s&w model 29-2 with a 6 inch barrel), 44mag bullets, 258gr lswc, 7gr. of accurate #5, 17 bullets holes could be covered with the bottom of a coke can.  1 was 4in out the group, operator error.

used a coleman stove to melt lead

using wheel weights and scrap lead bullets from bearms at ranges.  casting temp. @700-725 deg. f.  most basic rule in casting,  hot lead (700deg) plus h2o (sweat) major opps.  h2o expands 1600 times when flashed to steam.  will empty the hot lead everywhere, as in on YOU.

casting lead stinks.  vapors not good for you.  cleaning up after casting might be an issue.  

does your time have a cost?  it does take some time to cast 1k bullets.  

if you are given the molds or buy them very cheaply, your cost might break even.  lee mold are not that expensive.  the iron molds are very expensive.  there is also the cost of handles.

lubing the bullets is a major issue.  lee liquid alox is cheap but messy.  a lube/sizer are not cheap.  lee molds will give bullets right at bore size or .0001 over.  i only lube bullets from lee molds and then shoot'em.  iron molds.....sometimes they come out ... .0004+ over size.  need to resize these bullets = more cost (lube/sizer).

to me, when i was casting a lot, it's was fun to shoot lead bullets on the cheap.  its a real hoot having people looking down on you shooting lead bullets.  i would just take my mod. 94, make it go "bang", no make it go "pop", look over the barrel and watch the bullet hit the coke can at 300 yards.  it's a hoot.

hope i helped..
rp


Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:19:17 PM EDT
Been doing it for decades.  I don't cast pistol bullets anymore, I buy them from KEAD bullets cheaply enough that it's not really worthwhile.

I still cast for the rifles. I buy my lead from a supplier, it's a 5% antimony mix used for sailboat keelweights. Very hard, very clean alloy.  Works very well in the .303 British, 7mm Mauser, 30/30, 30-06 and M1 carbine with a gascheck and 45-70 without.

It's no more hazardous than messing with cleaning chemicals, pesticide or fertilizer, Basic precautions are adequate.  

Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:30:22 PM EDT
With lead being phased out, casting might be on the decline.  Most factory mounted tires are balanced with lead-free wheelweights even though most aftermarket shops still use lead.  The plumbium phobic people are using the stats on missing wheel weights as goinig directly into groundwater...bullet casters contribute a bit to those fears as those weights used in casting enter that accounting mess.

Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:38:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 2:43:34 PM EDT by red65]
in terms of time spent / cost savings:

reloading is like cooking your own hamburgers on the grill.

casting is like knitting your own sweater.


you have to actually enjoy casting or you won't do it.


2100 fps seems very zippy for a lead bullet.

Anything over 1400 or so usually leads up your bore pretty bad


buy yourself a cheap lee mould & dipper, give it a try
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 3:35:15 PM EDT
Running some searches to find the current book on casting your own bullets is well worth the time to do so and I own the book and enjoy having it.  I don't cast my own bullets and don't have the equipment to do so.

But I wanted to see what the book had to say and I keep the book with my other reloading books.

Depending on what you are reloading for it might be worth the hassle and it might not be.  Since I use the word "hassle" I obviously am not to the point where I think it is worth it.

I would rather work a day for someone, pay taxes on that money, then go buy lead bullets and pay a sales tax on that stuff than go chase something to melt down and make into my own bullets.

That said, if I ever run across a cheap or free supply of lead or something useful for casting bullets I would grab it just because I know some folks who could use it.

If you get the book you can learn about all the available options like gas checks and percentage mixes for high speeds and what not.

I stick to lead bullets in my 45acp and 44mag and 357 mag stuff.  I keep the speeds at decent levels to prevent leading of the barrels.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 3:39:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.


The "experts" say a good lead bullet loaded to the right velocity will not lead a good barrel.

I shot a bunch of soft lead bullets in a Ruger Redhawk that leaded up bad.

After a thorough cleaning, followed by fire lapping, the barrel never leaded up again.

Link Posted: 10/17/2008 3:59:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
With lead being phased out, casting might be on the decline.  Most factory mounted tires are balanced with lead-free wheelweights even though most aftermarket shops still use lead.  The plumbium phobic people are using the stats on missing wheel weights as goinig directly into groundwater...bullet casters contribute a bit to those fears as those weights used in casting enter that accounting mess.



plumbum
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 4:05:32 PM EDT
i kast luts uf bulits, varie saf

led wunt hort u
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 4:17:04 PM EDT
I have cast some 530gr round nose .45 caliber bullets before for BPCR.  The process is really not that difficult.  The trick is to get into a rhythm so your melt and your mould maintain consistent temperatures.  

It's very satisfying to lob some lead downrange and get nice groups when they are pills you have cast yourself.  

Link Posted: 10/17/2008 5:18:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I like copper jacketed bullets because lead bullets fowl barrels quickly.

not to mention you increase the lead toxicity level in your blood by making and shooting lead bullets.


It's all in how you load it and you cast it. I shoot tons of cast bullets...

Worst case, you get lead fowling...get a Lewis Lead remover from Brownell's...a few strokes and all the lead is out.

A bbl last virtually forever shooting cast lead.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 6:11:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mattl:

Originally Posted By TacticalPenguin:
I cast and shoot thousands of bullets every year (also do my own shot, but that is an entirely different process)

I have some pretty decent burn scars from it (usually water pops my lead, rain sucks)

any gas operated firearm will not like lead bullets, fills up the gas port, but revolvers, autos, leverguns, boltguns, etc love them



So that means it would be limited to handguns for me, since I only have 2 bolt guns.



probably, to be honest I have tried them in my M14 and garand, it is not a good thing, though I have been tempted to try paperpatching them for the garand
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 7:45:47 AM EDT
Probably the most important issue with shooting cast bullets is using the proper lube compound. Lube burns up and is depleated as the bullet travels down the bore. The rate of burn is affected by the temperature of the powder combusting and the friction generated by the round traveling down the bore. Ideally you need to choose a lube that will last until the bullet makes it out the muzzle but is not too smokey.

Leading that occurs in the forcing cone is from a different cause than leading along the bore. Lead in the forcing cone can be from the wrong size bullet, cast bullets have to be run through a sizing die to shape them to the proper diameter. Also in revolvers cylinder misalignment will cause the lead to "shave" off unevenly as the bullet jumps from the cylinder to the forcing cone in the barrel.

Leading along the bore can be from a rough bore or lube that is not matched to the bullet velocity so to speak. Ideally there should be a star pattern on the end of the barrel crown. This means there was enough lube available for the entire length of the bullet's travel down the pipe.

These are just a few examples of what needs to be determined to shoot lead sucessfully without fouling problems.

A good casting using Cerrosafe of the barrel I.D. and cylinder bores on a revolver is very helpful in determining which size bullet to use. I like to use bullets that are .001" over the barrel's groove diameter. There are some good cast bullet companies that sell bullets that are sized differently or to your specs. for a particular caliber. Most of these companies web sites have a lot of good information available for determining which bullet would be a good choice for handloads.

Link Posted: 10/18/2008 8:33:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aloxite:
I've no desire to cast my own.

Except for slugs.  I'd really like to get one of the Lee moulds to feed the Saiga-12.


Those are awsome. Nothing like loading your own slugs for pennies a shell. They shoot great too.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 8:35:34 AM EDT
cast.. pthth.. id rather swage!
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 8:37:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2008 8:38:23 AM EDT by Redarts]
Casting is a great way to shoot cheaply, accurately, and often.

My AES-10B loves as-cast .313s from a Lee 155-2R. Most people are pretty surprised to see how well lead can shoot even from an EBR! Its also especially handy for shooting pistols or rifles where the bullets are relatively heavy and even the factory cast stuff is pretty expensive.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 9:27:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2008 9:31:25 AM EDT by The_Gooch]
I cast .575" Minie balls for my Armi Sport 1861 Springfield. I do it because my only other alternatives are patched round balls, shitty Dixie produced Minies or expensive Hornady Great Plains bullets.

I use a Lee Pro 4 furnace, and the Lee Original and Improved Minie Ball molds.

I have to use pure lead, so no wheel weights for me Pure lead is also slightly harder to cast than some of the alloys, since the tin and antimony help the bullets fill out the mold better. The pure lead and the sheer size of a minie ball make them difficult to cast perfectly. My only choice is to keep the lead extra hot, which slightly frosts them, which is an advantage for me since I tumble lube them with Lee Liquid Alox. I load with 60-70g of Triple Seven FFg, and my Springfield is very easy to clean at the end of the day, nor is there any significant fouling to hinder loading after 15 shots.

I make premade paper cartridges out of King Size Zig-Zags. I form a tube around the ball, place powder behind it and seal the end by twisting into a rat tail. When I shoot them, I just tear the end off, dump the powder into the bore, and ram the ball+ remains of the wrapper still attached, down the bore.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 9:48:06 AM EDT
I cant cast fast enough to feed my Dillon 550 and 650
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 1:23:01 PM EDT
i cast my own for my 45/70 and i also make my own jig heads for fishing  both are a blast i have mad my own moulds for the fishing lures as well  i would like to try it for my bullets as well but worried about messing up and making my rifle explodehock.gif
BTW my lead levels are way below what DRs call normal
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 1:41:26 PM EDT
Here's some .223 I cast with excelent results once I started to use gas checks.



Cheers
Taffy
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 1:44:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Here's some .223 I cast with excelent results once I started to use gas checks.

i71.photobucket.com/albums/i131/Taffy223/223cast.jpg

Cheers
Taffy


You've had success with .223?

From all that I've ever heard, those kind of velocities shear the lead right off the
bullet.  And much faster, the lead doesn't hold together due to the high rpm in flight.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 1:51:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:

Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Here's some .223 I cast with excelent results once I started to use gas checks.

i71.photobucket.com/albums/i131/Taffy223/223cast.jpg

Cheers
Taffy


You've had success with .223?

From all that I've ever heard, those kind of velocities shear the lead right off the
bullet.  And much faster, the lead doesn't hold together due to the high rpm in flight.


Results were bad until I added gas check. As leading can be a prolem the secret is not to push them too fast. I'll dig out my data/powder/velocities etc and post them later.

Cheers
Taffy
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 1:51:47 PM EDT
38 special and 45acp are perfect lead platforms.




Top Top