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Posted: 10/31/2006 11:14:56 AM EST
Anybody around here cast their own?

I have been thinking about doing it for my SAA and my .357

Also, is the Lee stuff any good???

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 11:17:47 AM EST
The lee molds are ok.. Lyman and RCBS are better IMO.. Steel as opposed to aluminum.

So what do you want to know?
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 11:21:03 AM EST
Go here and look around.

Lots of info on bullet casting.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 11:44:15 AM EST
its kinda fun just dont spill any liquid lead on your hands are arms it hurts very very very bad.

some lead is way too soft, but I have had good luck with wheel weights which were free from the tire shop.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 11:51:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
its kinda fun just dont spill any liquid lead on your hands are arms it hurts very very very bad.

some lead is way too soft, but I have had good luck with wheel weights which were free from the tire shop.


My highschool chemistry book had a picture of a guy demonstrating the Leidenfrost effect,
where he *briefly* plunged his hand into a pot of molten lead.

The trick was he wetted his hand first. The water at the very surface vaporized, and kept
the lead from actually making direct contact with his skin.

The same type of effect is done when you dip a finger in liquid nitrogen.

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 12:39:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Anybody around here cast their own?

I have been thinking about doing it for my SAA and my .357

Also, is the Lee stuff any good???


Yup
I like my Lee stuff, but I'm not much of a perfectionist. Many folks won't touch Lee molds.
Their system (production pot,6 cavity molds,alox tumble lubing and the lee sizing kit) allows me to produce very good bullets for very little,and in reasonably high quantity (1-3 thousand) in a session.
Even if I didn't like their molds,I'd still use all of their other casting equipment.

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 12:54:49 PM EST
I have been casting for a lot of years; I use Lee, Lyman, RCBS, and NEI moulds. They all work, just differently. The Lee moulds are basically disposable, but you can get a lot of bullets out of one before it dies.

I prefer iron moulds, but not all do.

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 1:05:12 PM EST
Check around for a volumn caster in your area. I was paying $24/1000 for 38 cal 150 grain bullets and $30/1000 for 45 cal 230 grain RN. Shipping costs hurt if you have to order them from afar. If you still need to cast your own, what they said.

Fred
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:04:49 PM EST
Whatever you do, don't let even a drop of water fall into the molten lead!

Yeah I know, it's stupid to drink or eat near molten lead, but I was drinking beer so that's ok, right? Anyhow, I let the beer pass over the molten lead and a drop of condensation fell from the beer into the lead.

Thanks God for safety glasses!

For the uninitiated, molten lead will violently explode when water is introduced to it.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:13:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By recoiljunky:
Whatever you do, don't let even a drop of water fall into the molten lead!

Yeah I know, it's stupid to drink or eat near molten lead, but I was drinking beer so that's ok, right? Anyhow, I let the beer pass over the molten lead and a drop of condensation fell from the beer into the lead.

Thanks God for safety glasses!

For the uninitiated, molten lead will violently explode when water is introduced to it.


Drinking beer and working with 800 degree molten metal?

Sounds like fun!
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:31:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By recoiljunky:
Whatever you do, don't let even a drop of water fall into the molten lead!
For the uninitiated, molten lead will violently explode when water is introduced to it.


We recently had a thread about stupid gun myths. This is one of my pet peeves. A drop of water on top of molten lead will simply hiss and skitter around until it evaporates. however, if you introduce water to molten lead under the surface, it will instantly turn into steam, which causes the so-called explosion. This explosion is not lead exploding, but simply steam, rapidly expanding, confined by the molten lead on top of it. It kinda looks like a volcano really.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:40:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By anachronism:

Originally Posted By recoiljunky:
Whatever you do, don't let even a drop of water fall into the molten lead!
For the uninitiated, molten lead will violently explode when water is introduced to it.


We recently had a thread about stupid gun myths. This is one of my pet peeves. A drop of water on top of molten lead will simply hiss and skitter around until it evaporates. however, if you introduce water to molten lead under the surface, it will instantly turn into steam, which causes the so-called explosion. This explosion is not lead exploding, but simply steam, rapidly expanding, confined by the molten lead on top of it. It kinda looks like a volcano really.


I won't argue to defend the varacity of one of my stupid moments. I suppose it could have been a small ice cube that fell into the lead.

In regard to your "the explosion is not lead exploding...." I suppose that you are correct in that the individual molecules of lead did not seperate, but for all intents and purposes, a portion the bath of lead did in fact fly outward until it was stopped by the ceiling. That's close enough to "exploding" for me.

I assure you that this is not some urban myth that I am perpetuating; in my stupidity I did witness this first hand.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:41:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tim84K10:

Originally Posted By recoiljunky:
Whatever you do, don't let even a drop of water fall into the molten lead!

Yeah I know, it's stupid to drink or eat near molten lead, but I was drinking beer so that's ok, right? Anyhow, I let the beer pass over the molten lead and a drop of condensation fell from the beer into the lead.

Thanks God for safety glasses!

For the uninitiated, molten lead will violently explode when water is introduced to it.


Drinking beer and working with 800 degree molten metal?

Sounds like fun!


I found the process to be quite boring without the application of alcohol.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 3:18:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 3:18:59 PM EST by Ohio]

Originally Posted By recoiljunky:
I assure you that this is not some urban myth that I am perpetuating; in my stupidity I did witness this first hand.


Been there, done that, got the scars...
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:26:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 4:28:26 PM EST by recoiljunky]
Back on track:

I cast bullets for my 44 mag, 454 Casull, and 10mm. These three choices all seem unlikely at first but at 44 special, 45 Colt, and 40 S&W velocities these loads are real fun to play with.

My 10mm loads loaded with Unique powder (I forget how much at the moment) are a hoot to shoot. They smoke like hell, don't recoil a bit, and are accurate as can be.

I use only Lee molds because they are cheaper. Being made out of aluminum they have the advantage of coming up to operating temperature quicker.

There is a big debate over whether you should water quench (drop bullet from mold to bucket of water) or not. I prefer water quenching as you are less likely to dent the bullets when dropping them out of the mold. I really don't think it matters.

The Lee lube kit works real well at my low velocities as well.

I get my lead from the local tire store. I think I had to stop at three tire stores before I finally found one that would give me the wheel weights. A 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights is all the lead you really want to load into a 4X4 truck. It will also last a long time. The tire guy typically doesn't want the hassle of moving the lead, so it's yours free.

It's been about 2 ears since I've done any casting; now you've got me wanting to dig out my equipment.

I once met a guy who used to go to casting parties. A group of guys would get together in a barn and cast for a few hours while shooting the shit. It actually sounded like fun but I never got the chance to join.

edited to add: Damn, I wasted post 1776 on this.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:13:21 AM EST
How bad is the fouling from wheel weights in the barrel? The cheapo commercial non-jacketed ammo I have shot seems to foul pretty badly in my Kimber, so I have to wonder about making your own.

Would it just help to swab the barrel every 7 mags or so instead of a full cleaning after the day's through?
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:35:37 PM EST
As long as you are casting 230 grain bullets or smaller, any of the dies should be OK. Larager than that Lee dies are a bit of a problem. I cast a bunch of 500 grainers for my 45-70 and I had a relatively small pot, the bullet sixe required new ingots in the pot fairly often and while waiting for the metal in the pot to get back to the right temperature, the dies would cool off to the point I needed to cast a few runs to get the dies up to heat again. The bullets were hot enough when put back in to not cool the pot too much.

Iron dies stay hot longer. With wheel weights, you need to do a preliminary melt to clean the crud out . But the alloy is good enough for banging.

That said, if you have a dealer nearby, it still might be cheaper to buy bullets in bulk.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:42:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 12:43:55 PM EST by Bubbatheredneck]

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
The lee molds are ok.. Lyman and RCBS are better IMO.. Steel as opposed to aluminum.

So what do you want to know?


I am interested in the Lee equipment, namely their bullet sizer. It seems to be "backwards" compared to the other companies.

I just picked up a copy of Lee's reloading manual. A good read and the first 100+ pages are about everything. Lee seems to go against the grain in some ways compared to the others (RCBS, Lyman, Redding etc) Either a genius or a bit goofy. Not sure which yet. I wonder if Lee stuff is really better, just cheaper or just cheaper and works differently to make cheaper possible. Hard to separate the hype from the truth and Lee can dish out his own version of understated hype.

In the past, my metallic cartridge reloading has been on 99% RCBS stuff with no complaints from me. I use Speer, Hornady and Nosler manuals.

Plus, I like the exploding lead stories I knew I would get, but where are the lead burn stories!
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:47:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By PaDanby:


That said, if you have a dealer nearby, it still might be cheaper to buy bullets in bulk.


according to my wife,it would be cheaper if I stopped shooting!

There is more to it than just $$. I enjoy handloading, but I still don't have the "Been There Cast That" t-shirt.

Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:26:18 PM EST
Back when I was in high school I was given everything I needed to start casting and I used to do it a lot back then. I still must have about 50 pounds of ingots between my place and my Mothers. Made for real cheap shooting, all I was paying for was powder and primers.

That said, if you have the time, and an adequately ventilated location, then go for it. You can knock out a couple of hundred bullets in an evening. I knocked out my bullets on to some old carpet and they were fine, Some say that knocking them out into wataer helps temper them. For banging ammo that may be overkill, if you are doing you're secret recipe target loads, it might help.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:34:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By richardh247:
How bad is the fouling from wheel weights in the barrel? The cheapo commercial non-jacketed ammo I have shot seems to foul pretty badly in my Kimber, so I have to wonder about making your own.

Would it just help to swab the barrel every 7 mags or so instead of a full cleaning after the day's through?


My 10mm is a Kimber and it fouls like crazy with my cast bullets but it maintains its accuracy. It also cleans out real quick with some CLP and a bore brush.

I usually shoot about 250 to 300 rounds per range session without cleaning until I get home.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 3:06:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 3:10:38 PM EST by recoiljunky]

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
The lee molds are ok.. Lyman and RCBS are better IMO.. Steel as opposed to aluminum.

So what do you want to know?


I am interested in the Lee equipment, namely their bullet sizer. It seems to be "backwards" compared to the other companies.

I just picked up a copy of Lee's reloading manual. A good read and the first 100+ pages are about everything. Lee seems to go against the grain in some ways compared to the others (RCBS, Lyman, Redding etc) Either a genius or a bit goofy. Not sure which yet. I wonder if Lee stuff is really better, just cheaper or just cheaper and works differently to make cheaper possible. Hard to separate the hype from the truth and Lee can dish out his own version of understated hype.

In the past, my metallic cartridge reloading has been on 99% RCBS stuff with no complaints from me. I use Speer, Hornady and Nosler manuals.

Plus, I like the exploding lead stories I knew I would get, but where are the lead burn stories!


I use their sizers on my pistol bullets. They work good, I guess. I've been told that sizing pistol bullets is not necessary but I've never tried any that haven't been sized.

I don't really have any burn stories but it didn't take me long to realize that I needed to wear boots instead of flip-flops when I cast.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 3:24:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 3:27:14 PM EST by ArimoDave]

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
its kinda fun just dont spill any liquid lead on your hands are arms it hurts very very very bad.

some lead is way too soft, but I have had good luck with wheel weights which were free from the tire shop.


My highschool chemistry book had a picture of a guy demonstrating the Leidenfrost effect,
where he *briefly* plunged his hand into a pot of molten lead.

The trick was he wetted his hand first. The water at the very surface vaporized, and kept
the lead from actually making direct contact with his skin.

The same type of effect is done when you dip a finger in liquid nitrogen.




Do not try this unless you want to go to the burn ward.


That is a good way to get the molten lead out of the pot in a hurry. When the water boils it creates steam and at high pressure. Water and molten lead are not something you want to mix. These kind of lead pot explosions can come from just a drop of water in a dipper or dross spoon.

Dave.

ETA.

Wow. I didn't read any further because I thought this too important. Good thing others got to it first.
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