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Wrinkled and Frosty bullits/round balls.

StradivariusStradivarius Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
Hello again guys, Sweden here again [:)] - i have been casting bullits/round balls today for my original 1858 New Model Army and most of my bullits/balls are either " Wrinkley " or " Frosty. I am going to throw them all back into the melting pot ( model LEE PRO 4 ). The scale on it goese from "Low" 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-"High" - Dose 1 mean = 100 degrees and 2 = 200 degrees 3 = 300 degrees and so on ? - Which would make 9 a VERY HOT 900 degrees ? - Is this "Farenhieghtor" or "Celcius" ? - It says nothing about the temp in the instructions that came with it I THINK !!!! = I have lost the box it came in.

This came as a surprise to me becouse my old mould was the exact same type of bullet mould as i used today ( Aluminium LEE .454 round ball double cavity )- My old ( sold it with my old revolver ) mould gave mr PERFECT round unwrinkled shiney bullits/balls.

Why is this bullit mould so dissapointing - What am i doing wrong this time - Why is over half of my bullits/balls wrinkley balls and the other half Frosty ? [:(]

Thank you in advance for your help/tips


  • StradivariusStradivarius Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello again guys - It is me again replying to my own topic. I forgot to write that i think i had the LEE lead melter on to high temp - I had it on "HIGH" = the hottest i could have it.

    If i remember right i had it on 7 last time i used it and got wrinkle and frostfri bullits/balls. I am pretty sure that i had it on high to heaten it up and melt the lead then put it down to 7.

    Thanks again guys [:D]
  • JohnnyBGoodJohnnyBGood Member Posts: 1,443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    In case you are not aware, wrinkled bullets means the lead and/or mold are too cold, and frosted the lead and/or mold are too hot.

  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have the same pot and mold. The numbers don't reference any particular temperature. I just run mine on the highest setting all the time. An aluminum mold should heat up to proper temp after just a few bullets, but try setting it on the edge of the pot while it's heating up. I've found aluminum Lee molds (of all types) to be pretty foolproof, so I'm not sure what your trouble could be. Is the electrical current in Sweden pretty consistent? Try starting at the highest setting till you're not getting wrinkles, then dial down one number at a time till you aren't getting frosted bullets.
  • flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ditto, JohnnyBgood . . . and 44calkid . . .

    Casting pure lead (?) I run my pot at the highest setting. Alloys will run at lower temps. If you get wrinkled bullets, just keep casting 'til the mold is running well . . . when you get frost, slow down, let it cool a bit. FWIW, a lot of bullet casters don't sweat the "frost". It doesn't amount to much anyway.

    Question for others . . . I'd think "frost" indicates presence of an alloy . . . some tin or antimony or zinc in the mix. Any opinions ?I have never experienced "frost" when casting with pure lead. The "frost" is perceived to be an alloying metal precipitating or crystallizing at higher temps. Minimal alloy content for bullets used in a percussion piece is OK so long as the bullets are soft enough. If you can't scratch a bullet with a thumbnail, the alloy is too hard . . . bullets should deform some when rammed during loading which seals the chamber.
  • StradivariusStradivarius Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you guys [:D]
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    A lead thermometer might be a good idea so when you find the right setting for a particular alloy, you can repeat it.
    Except in some engineering work, Americans deal mostly with the Fahrenheit temperature scale.
  • GatofeoGatofeo Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Wrinkled bullets indicate that the mould or alloy are too cold. Either reason, the molten lead is not filling out in the mould.

    Frosted bullets indicate that the mould or alloy are too hot. However, I have moulds that the only way I can get a decent bullet from them is to run the alloy slightly hotter, which produces a frosted bullet.
    That frosting is only on the surface, and doesn't harm the bullet. If it bothers you, a quick wipe with a rag will remove it.
    My Lyman 358156 mould won't seem to make a good bullet until the alloy is so hot that the bullet is slightly frosted. I don't bother to wipe off the frosting, I just apply the gas check, lubricate and size to .359 inch.
    And these frosted bullets will cluster into a 2" group at 25 yards all day long from my Smith & Wesson Model 14 target .38 Special revolver.
    A little frosting won't hurt the bullets. If the frosting is thick, then definitely reduce the alloy temperature, or leave the mould open for a few seconds after releasing the bullet, to allow it to cool a bit. This technique will also reduce the number of heavily frosted bullets.
    If you can't cool the alloy and get good bullets, then simply leave the mould open a few extra seconds for heat to dissipate. Some folks will touch a damp sponge to the mould, but I don't like getting any kind of water near molten lead.
    A drop of water in molten lead turns to steam. The steam expands violently and you get an explosion of molten lead. A very dangerous situation.
    Keep drinks, sweat and any liquid away from the molten lead.
    As I note above, a little frosting is not a concern. A lot requires some remedy.
  • MMOMEQ-55MMOMEQ-55 Member Posts: 13,134
    edited November -1
    Frosted balls? I hate when that happens.[:D]
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    Yeah? Wait until you get older. Wrinkles.[:p]
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