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How many of you cast bullets?

I have been doing it for 50 years! I cast everything from 22-458 cals and every thing in between. I love it. Most of my older molds are Lyman some two cavity, some four. As I get older and weaker I find the LEE bullet molds to be a lot lighter and can cast 6 bullets at a time. I just cast over 2,000 158 SWC's in a Lee mold. As long as you read the instructions and follow the lubrication recommendations you can expect about 25,000 good bullets out of one mold. I have Lyman molds with tons of bullets made, they are very robust but getting too heavy for my aging wrists to hold for hours on end like I used to. The Lyman 20 pound pot I use is pushing 35 years old and it works great. I made a HUGE 20 pound batch of 50/50 bees wax and ALOX 2138F about 35 years ago, I have one three pound coffee can full left. I heat it up on the stove on low heat, melting it. I give it a good stir and pour it into the Lachmiller (now RCBS) Lubrisizer. I get to watch great movies in my gun cave as I size bullets and stack into cigar boxes. I do that with all bullets except 9MM which are too small to fuss with. When doing medical and xray equipment service and sales I got lots of lead from xray machine counterweights. Now in the tire industry I get free lead wheel weights and mix a bit of Linotype to add hardness for rifle bullets. The cost savings even after the equipment investment over jacketed bullets is well worth the effort.

Comments

  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 978 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for your interesting story. Always wanted to but never got into casting. When I was shooting pistol competition I didn't have time for both casting and reloading so I just bought lead bullets.

  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 19,721 ✭✭✭

    I've been wanting to. Kind a stuck on how to clean lead and alloy it. I seen folks melt jacketed and see crap floating on that gets scooped up but that doesn't exactly remove antimony or other crap out. Also throwing a knob of bees/paraffin wax as a flux puzzles me. It's sorcery I tells you.

  • fayettefattsfayettefatts Member Posts: 13

    I had to wait until I retired to start casting. Didn't have time before. Great hobby!

  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,606 ✭✭✭✭

    I used to do casting for larger, heavier bullets, mostly 45 and 50 caliber. I gave up on it some years ago when the availability of free lead disappeared around here. Linotype is pretty much nonexistant now, and wheel weights are a crap shoot.

  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 5,411 ✭✭✭✭

    Yosh, you do not want to remove antimony from the melt . It is necessary to help harden the lead . Check out cast boolits web site . EVERY thing you need to know is found there.

    cry Havoc and let slip  the dogs of war..... 
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,980 ✭✭✭✭

    A flux removes dirt and helps the alloy mix into solution, the alloys bind together and the dirt and dross floats to the top. You can use old candles to flux lighting the vapors to reduce smoke. MARVELUX has apowder flux but I don't like it. It works very well but attracts moisture to your stir spoon and great care must be taken when putting a cold spoon back into the melt. I get 100's of pounds of wheel weights free from work. There is bits of rubber, the metal clips and all sorts of dirt in them. I made a large melt pot from a turkey fryer and a 20 pound propane tank. I engineered a bottom pour spout and use STEEL muffin tins to pour the melted cleaned wheel weights into. You can get a lot of bullets from a three pound coffee can of wheel weights.

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