new to casting making a start

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by DanRickard on Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:21 pm

you got it right tommy.. the longer the bullets sit, the harder they get..

water quenching isant that big of a deal, i didn't notice much difference.. size is the most important when it comes to shooting cast bullets.

if you go with the LEE push through sizing die, you'll get liquid alox bullet lube with it.. i fully recommend the liquid alox, its great stuff, and it seems to work better for me than pan lubing or even the lub-a-sizer lubes.

anyways, cheers,
Dan
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:47 pm

ok thanks guys i will keep that in mind i have some of them stick on wheel weights looks like a chocolote bar or something i dont have many though! i have some battery terminals to i think are pure lead! ok when i start casting for rifles what kinda hardness should look for will straight wheel weights be hard enough or will i need to ad something??
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:02 am

straight wheel weights will be plenty hard but for rifle bullets you may want to use a gas-check design
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:39 am

ok thanks guys one more question if my bullets drop at 401 do i still need to size them and also if i do use the lee sizer luber with the lee alox do i still need to pan lub?? i went to the store and gatherd some more supplies i got two muffin pans for ingots and a large cake pan to drop my bullets in i figuerd i could lay an old towel in the bottom of it and i got another pan to pan lube in and i got a skimmer spoon and some candles to treat my molds with! thanks guys yall have helped me more than youll ever know!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by DanRickard on Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:46 am

if you use the liquid alox tumble lube you will not have to pan lube them.. its one or the other.

you can give pan lubing a try, just for fun and expierence.. but truelly, once you use the liquid alox, you'll never pan lube again.. lol.. pan lubing is such a pain in the arse.

dropping the cast bullets on a wet towl works good.. i do that.
also, when you candle your mold, make sure they turn good and black.
the carbon helps the mold to drop the bullets out nice and easy. if they still stick, look for a burr in t he mold, usualy on the side that the bullet sticks on.

its always good to size them anyways.. but you really dont have too do so.. by sizing them, you remove any malformities and ensures that they are Round, and sizing at 401.

you'll notice a small seam on your bullets, where the mold comes together.. the sizing die will remove that seam from the part that interfaces with the rifling. where if you dont size them, that seam will be interferring with the rifling. all be it, it wont be much of a interference.. but we all like to have good accurate bullets.. as accurate as can be.

after your drop some bullets for the first time, i suggest checking their weight.. you'll notice some slight veriations in the bullet weight, and they prolly wont weigh what the mold says it supposed to weigh.. this is normal, your alloy wont be exactly what the factory used.. but its good information to know so that your not suprised by it.

Smile
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Pathfinder on Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:43 am

dartfreak75 wrote:ok thanks guys i was thinking gulf wax would work but i wanted to be sure i bet you could use gulf wax in a lube formula to! gulf wax is pure parafin wax! thanks again..Im going today to ask around some tire shops for wheel weights wish me luck iv got three or four stops so hopefully il hit gold.....or lead hehehe lol

Iv found that when going to different tire shops for WW the little mom and pop places are easier to get 'em from. The bigger chain stores usually have to send them out and account for them. Its also to a good idea to develope a repore with the owners. When I first go to a tire shop to ask for weights I usually feel them out and don't always tell them that I'm making bullets with the WW. Sometimes Ill just say I'm making sinkers for fishing or weights for my cast net. If after talking to them and they seem like shooters/reloaders Ill offer to give them some of my cast bullets. Another way to further develope your relationship with the shop is to bring them in a new 5 gallon bucket to exchange for their old one. Last but not least bring the guys in a dozen doughnuts this goes a long way in helping them remember you and not your competition. Very Happy
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:51 pm

Yes!! I usually take them a 24 brick of Pepsi that they can drink there at work... Or just buy a jetski off the manager LOL long story...

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by scorge30 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:28 pm

If you haunt Fleabay and several of the on line auction sites there is always someone selling WW lead for casting.

While not as productive and much harder work you can volunteer with your local highway clean up crew (hopefully not in an orange jump suit with interlocking chome jewelry) and pick up wheel weights along the roads.

I know some of the guys that work the highway clean up crews (LOL the guys with the shotgun watching the guys in the orange jump suit) and they pocket any WW they find on the roadway.

I also use linotype (4% tin 12% antimony 84% lead) that I buy from Fleabay or from the swapmeets and gun shows. These days it seems that there is a surplus of linotype. Even Amazon sells linotype ingots.

Linotype is much harder than WW and you can water quench them which makes them really hard. You can push them pretty fast if you gas check them, but they will lead your barrel like any lead bullet.

Before mid-California got lead stupid I liked to use very hard linotype bullets for hunting feral hogs. They do not expand much but will penetrate deep.

I have sent several water-quenched linotype 310gr .430 bullets from my .444 Marlin Contender pistol barrel through both shoulders of feral hogs.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:40 pm

thanks guys. i found some data yesterday for lead bullets it was all for accurate powder! but its worth a try! thanks again for all your tips its been a huge help!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:47 pm

The Lee Modern Reload manual also has lead data. As much as I do not like to do too much business with them, Lyman also has a good lead data booklet..

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:52 pm

? il look into it i need to buy the big lee book! why dont you like lyman ?
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:58 pm

Had a bad run with 2 moulds from lyman and it took almost 2 months for them to set it right.

I had bought 2 moulds one from Midsouth and from Midway. Midway took the mould back no problem and exchanged it for an rcbs mould. The other mould was for the 45 acp. Lyman asked me to send it in and they recut the mould. They then sent back the mould and sent a boolit with it. The sample boolits was even smaller in dameter. I casted with no lick. Midsouth would not take it back since lyman recut the mould. They did however say they would share the loss by halfing the loss with me. I would get half the price back.

I then talked with lyman. They told me that they could not garantee the diameter of the boolts being dropped. Said the warranty was only good for using their #2 alloy for which the mould was built upon. We went back and forth a few times and a few more emails. Then I got fed up, sent them a link to the forum that we were discussing about the lyman mould. I finally got a check in the mail and they got their mould back..

So, I won't buy another mould from them. I do have other equipment which has been good. I understand every mould is made for a specific alloy, however the diameter has always dropped either at or above the stated. The weight I suspect would be much different. Lyman was good when their brand was the Ideal Brand and then switch to Lyman, just isn't the same...

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by DanRickard on Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:17 pm

dartfreak75 wrote:? il look into it i need to buy the big lee book! why dont you like lyman ?

i'm a speer manual guy.. love speer, their manuals have always been written in such a way that i could understand..
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by scorge30 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:17 pm

I am a loading manual junky. I collect all the ones I can and all of mine are well-marked with sticky notes and highlighters.

I like the most recent Lee and Speer manuals, but also the Nosler and Barnes manuals.

I like to compare notes between the manuals and see what is similar and what is vastly different. While the manuals are usually pretty decent about catching errors occasionally one does slip in.

I have a lot of lead stockpiled since I cannot shoot bare lead in the indoor ranges and several of the outdoor ranges here have banned lead as well.

Originally I got into casting my own to keep the costs of shooting down. Casting bullets and using cheap economical powder like Bullseye helps to stretch the shooting dollar.

I like the larger calibers like .357 and .44 and long range handgun shooting for fun. I have a passon for shooting the steel targets and most of the time we shot plain lead bullets. The plain lead bullets tend to splatter rather than bounce like plated bullets.

From my 10" .44 Super Redhawk (my wife calls it the "cartoon gun"), 310 gr gas checked WW alloy bullets may not be exactly burning in speed but they have enough mass to tip the rams. In .357 Rem Max I use 180 gr g/c truncated cones which tip the rams nicely.

There has been a few people busted around here for stealing WW of cars and trucks in parking lots. One creative soul even had a special chunk of metal on his boot that ripped the WW off the tires as he walked by. Others are not so creative and used pliers and screwdrivers.

A few months ago when scrap metal prices soured there were people that were ripping WW off cars to sell to the scrap yards.

I got a lot of my lead from my family who were making some extra cash tearing old buildings down a few years ago. A lot of the old buildings had lead pipes. Some of the farmers were quite willing to let someone tear the old building down and recycle the materials found inside.

We usually bought the building from the land owner and that usually included what was inside. We got a lot of lead as well as a lot of scrap metal, firewood, and recyclable building material and the farmers got the property cleared of an old building and made a little cash.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:38 am

i dont blame you DW i wouldnt buy anymore eithor at the price of a lyman mold they should be exact! yea im a manual junkie too i love just going threw and reading them iv got an old hornady one from back in the 60s its funny couse its says you can get enough powder primers and bullets to load 100 rounds for under 8 bucks lol i wish reloading was still that cheap!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Reload3006 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:11 am

I have some old manuals 2 of them are lyman. I own some lyman shell holders but other than that i dont have any. I do have a lyman core mold. but i bought it used on ebay. Lee and Lyman though are about the best information on casting there is out there. and I too don't Blame ya DW my folks always taught me screw me once shame on you screw me twice shame on me. I dont feel like i should have to fight with a company to make them honor their word. I honor mine!!! thats why most of my reloading stuff is RCBS they are phenomenal about their warranty is not just talk.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by hawcer on Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:07 am

RCBS has to be one of the best I've come across for for honoring their warranty....In the same boat as Snap-on. They know you payed out the nose for their stuff and are willing to do whatever to keep you coming back. Lee is great with their warranties too...they say two years, but they have never asked me for a receipt yet!

Don't get us wrong...Lyman makes great stuff, I love their tumblers and T-mag press and their dies aren't so bad either. I hope I never have to deal with their warranty dept. though....

As far as manuals go....try to get one from each company of the stuff you use. These would be My top choices. Speer, Sierra, Hornady, Lee and Lyman...the last two more for the casting info.

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by scorge30 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:15 pm

Since my wife is from central People's Republic of Kalifornia, I have to shoot a lot of non-tox rifle bullets if I am going to hunt feral pig.

To this effect, I have switched to loading a lot of Hornady and Nosler copper bullets. I love Hornady's gilding metal GMX bullets and Nosler TSX in my .35 Rem, but the loading of them is rather specific so you need the manual.

I have never had to deal with Lyman's warranty dept, but I have a lot of their older molds, both Ideal and Lyman that I bought from swap meets, gun shows, and Evilbay.

While my mold collection would not be considered extreme, I have enough to pour for all my guns with the exception of some of the larger rifles.

I have just started using aluminum gas checks that I picked up off Evilbay. I am a member of the Castboolits forum as well and they have been shooting aluminum gas checks for quite a while. The aluminum gas checks seem to work just as well as copper and is much cheaper.

I have had exceptional service from Lee. They called me at home when I buggered up an order for the new Lee Auto Prime XR. Lee could have easily sent me the wrong order and then charged me to order the correct items as well.

But however, Lee called me and explained that the parts for an XR will not fit into the old style handles which I was hoping. So I ended up spending a little bit more money, but I got a new primer that seems really great over the older primer.

I have some of the older Speer and Sierra manuals from the early '80s they are great for reference if you pick up old stock bullets from auctions, gun shows, etc.

Salvation Army thrift stores are a good source for me for old loading manuals once in a while. The religious based ones like St. Vincent dePaul have been a bust so far.

If you haunt the used book stores and thrift stores sometimes you come accross an old loading manual for a buck or so.

We have swap meets and gun shows a couple times a month around here. I always see lead and linotype and various alloys like Lyman and others for sale. While the swap meets cannot sell firearms, they do sell just about everything else for shooting.

I have found that coming late on the last day of the swap meet with cash sometimes I can score a good deal with someone that does not want to lug all that linotype or lead back to the car.


Last edited by scorge30 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix typing)
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by Daywalker on Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:51 pm

Yes, you can never have anough reloading books. I am getting ready to order the new one from hornady. I want to get at least one of each. Plus I get the monthly handloader magazine if still in stock at walmart..

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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by scorge30 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:22 pm

I love the monthy Handloader magazine. My wife grabs it for me when she is at the PX (if it is still in stock). I keep meaning to subscribe but have not gotten around to it yet.

Handloader always has good tips for pouring your own. I like a lot of the articles about some of the more obscure calibers like .32-20 and .38-40.

I just stumbled upon my old jug of flux for smelting. Beside is a spray can of release agent for molds that I never got around to using. Right after I ordered the new can of flux and the spray mold release agent, I got recalled to active duty (I was USAR) and deployed with my Stryker unit.

Got me thinking of flux. What do most people here use for flux?

I have seen old candles used and bullet lube sticks used as well. I've got a tub of stuff from Caldwell that I ordered from Midway.

How many "torch off" the gas after fluxing?

My kids used to get a kick out of watching dad try to set the porch on fire after tossing the flux in the pot and strike a match to burn the gas off.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:24 pm

Daywalker wrote:Yes, you can never have anough reloading books. I am getting ready to order the new one from hornady. I want to get at least one of each. Plus I get the monthly handloader magazine if still in stock at walmart..
you should subscribe its a lot cheaper that buying them off newstand!!!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by scorge30 on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:06 am

One thing you might want to buy is a hardness tester. There are some cheap ones available from Midway, etc but you can always do some of the simpler hardness tests or just guess.

I use a simple screw type from Midway to test the hardness of my bullets. Most of the time my bullets come accross about the right hardness desired.

However, if you stray from the usual alloy combinations, like 20-1, 30-1, etc, then you really need a hardness tester.

Sometimes I mix pure lead with various amounts of WW alloy and a hardness tester comes in handy to know if I need to add more tin, linotype, or pure lead to change the hardness.

Most of the time I shoot either pure linotype or WW alloy bullets, but I have noticed that various lots of WW come out a litter harder or softer.

I believe this has to do with the varying amount of antimony, tin and lead in the weights which may not be consistant. Some have added silver to harden the alloys but this is costly.

There is also the amount of arsenic in some of the older alloys of WW. Arsenic in small quantities has been shown to harden lead alloys significantly, but this makes the lead even more toxic and care should be taken with the fumes.

For some interesting reading try this article:
http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:30 pm

yes i do want one expecialy when i start casting for rifles!
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by scorge30 on Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:35 pm

Well too hard is nearly as bad as too soft, and rifles due to their higher pressures, are more sensitive to incorrect hardness.

Even Fredom Arms and S&W advise against using cast bullets that are too hard or soft as it will cause premature forcing cone wear.

Too hard of bullets will not seal the bore and you can get lots of blow by and gas cutting.
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Re: new to casting making a start

Post by dartfreak75 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:53 am

ok good to know i will most diffenetly be investing in a hardness checker!
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