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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just want to know if there are many doing this here in MS. I've been at it for a little more than a year now and have had some success with handgun loads and my 45/70 Handy rifle.

Tim
 

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I started casting again a couple years ago. Right now I am casting 240 grain swc for 44 mag, 310 grain for 44 mag, and 230 grain tc for my 45 ACP. The biggest problem is getting lead. Whell weights are harder to get from the tire stores and you have to watch for zinc weights because you do not want them mixed with your lead.

A very good sight for information about casting is http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/
Yes, it is spelled boolits.
There is much good information found here from different alloys to bullet lubes etc.
Frank
 

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Yep -- been casting for a long, long time ... the only way I can afford to shoot .... Currently casting for: 38/357, 9mm, 40S&W, 44 Magnum, 45acp, 500S&W Magnum, 30cal M1 Carbine, AK/SKS 7.62x39. Just picked-up a new mould for .223. I would be interested in any experience anyone has had with the .223!! The gas systems in the ARs have me a little worried ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm currently working on a 30 cal paper patch project. When I get this one to shooting well, I'll start with the 223. I agree Frank Castboolits is a great site.
 

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captain-03 said:
Yep -- been casting for a long, long time ... the only way I can afford to shoot .... Currently casting for: 38/357, 9mm, 40S&W, 44 Magnum, 45acp, 500S&W Magnum, 30cal M1 Carbine, AK/SKS 7.62x39. Just picked-up a new mould for .223. I would be interested in any experience anyone has had with the .223!! The gas systems in the ARs have me a little worried ....
would a coated bullet ease your worries?
 

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I generally size mine to .001 over using the Lee sizing dies and lube with LLA (Lee Liquid Alox)

I am hoping to get a luber/sizer eventually.
 

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Beladran said:
captain-03 said:
Yep -- been casting for a long, long time ... the only way I can afford to shoot .... Currently casting for: 38/357, 9mm, 40S&W, 44 Magnum, 45acp, 500S&W Magnum, 30cal M1 Carbine, AK/SKS 7.62x39. Just picked-up a new mould for .223. I would be interested in any experience anyone has had with the .223!! The gas systems in the ARs have me a little worried ....
would a coated bullet ease your worries?
Maybe!! What type of coating are you making reference to?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Massair some of the guns I load for like them as cast, a couple of them like them sized to fit, and a couple don't like my cast bullets at all.

Tim
 

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massair said:
Do you guys casting bullets have to "size" them after removal from the molds?
Depends -- with some of the Lee moulds I use straight from the mould; especially 9mm and 40S&W. Other require some sizing -- also as stated above, some of my pistols want them all sized!!

Very first thing you need to do is to slug your bore and see its true diameter -- cast some bullets and measure them. You want the cast bullet to be .001 or .002 larger than your bore.

I really like the Lee push through sizers -- inexpensive and works well!!
 

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captain-03 said:
Beladran said:
captain-03 said:
Yep -- been casting for a long, long time ... the only way I can afford to shoot .... Currently casting for: 38/357, 9mm, 40S&W, 44 Magnum, 45acp, 500S&W Magnum, 30cal M1 Carbine, AK/SKS 7.62x39. Just picked-up a new mould for .223. I would be interested in any experience anyone has had with the .223!! The gas systems in the ARs have me a little worried ....
would a coated bullet ease your worries?
Maybe!! What type of coating are you making reference to?
Moly mainly, I have some Boron Nitride but have never played with using it on lead
 

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Casting since 1957

I have over 50 different bullet moulds. I started casting for a .45-70 rifle and a .58 Springfield in 1957. I usually cast pistol bullets but I have many rifle bullet moulds.

Economy is the reason for casting and I enjoy it as a part of the shooting hobby.

Making .45 ACP ammo for $.04 per round is the deciding factor. I like to shoot CF handguns and factory ammo is nearing $1 per pop for many calibers.

Doug Bowser
McComb
 

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Sizing the bullets...

Not being a pest, just really would like to know.....guy I worked with cast 'em, said NONE were any good unless sized.

The several of you who mentioned sizing-- seems like some guns need them sized, some not, what is this need based on? Barrel leading, accuracy, pressure?

Do you measure as-cast bullet diameter and find variation, or oversize, either of which might say "size me"?

Thanks for info!
 

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You need to slug your barrel to determine the actual bore size of the bore and generally you want to size about .001 over. Undersized lead bullits tend to lead the barrels because it sort of shears lead.

I know I had a 240 grain semi wad cutter that was casting .429, but needed to be .431. It actually keyholed at 25 yards and leaded the barrel. You want the bullet to fill the bore so that it can obterate (I think that is misspelled) to seal the bore. In other words, the base of the bullet expands to scrape along the bore.
Casting is a lot of fun!
 

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Straight from the Lee Web Site:

All Lee Mold Blocks are made from aluminum because of the exceptional molding qualities.
The mold cavities are lathe bored for unmatched roundness and size control.
Only Lee guarantees roundness of .001 or less.

Most bullets from Lee molds can be used as cast without sizing.

As stated above, many of the Lee Moulds state that sizing is not necessary .... If you are just the casual shooter, this may be OK. However, there are many, many varibles when talking about sizing. The very FIRST thing one needs to do is to slug their barrel. By doing so, you will learn your bore diamater and that will determine what size cast bullet you should use. You actually want your cast bullet to be .001 to .003 LARGER than you bore slugs. Cast a few bullets and measure your castings. If they are within the tollerance, you should be good to go -- of course, with the right bullet lube applied. It is important for accurancy and barrel leading prevention to shoot the oversized cast bullets. An oversized bullet "bites - in" better while traveling down the barrel and does not permit any room between the bullet and the barrel for hot gases to blow by the bullet; thus one of the major cause of barrel leading.

Example: Most 9mm are advertised with a bore diamater of .356. I have a Beretta 92 in 9mm and the barrel slugs at 357 and a S&W M&P that slugs at .356. All 9mms are not he same -- the same is true for every caliber!!

Do I shoot undersize bullets; YES!! Do I shoot bullets more the .003 over my bore diameter; NO!! -- Do not forget that you may have serious pressure build-up with a grossly oversized bullet.

Well, this may seems overly complicated, it is not ... it is actually a lot of fun. It is great to cast your own bullets and workup a load that will rivial the commercial stuff ... And to add to the pleasure, it makes it a heck of a lot cheaper to shoot -- OK, it does not make it cheaper to shot in that you find yourself shooting all the time!!

I loaded 400 9mm and 300 40S&W today with bullets I cast last October. Made a quick trip to the range and burned a couple hundred of each!! The lead I used was straight wheel weights that I paid $25 for 100#s (25cnts a lb). I was using a 120gr 9mm and 175gr 40S&W -- Let's see what it cost me -- *Note: I have am ample supply of brass!!

400 9mm 120gr = 48000grs
300 40S&W 175gr = 52500grs
Total = 100,500

100,500 divided by 7000 (grs in a lb) = 14.36#
14.36 x .25 (cost of lead per lb) = $3.59
700 primers @$35.00K = $24.50
Powder (used Bullseye in both calibers - did load some different loads so I will use the high-end load of 4grs per round - do not try that in the 9mm - maybe too hot!!) 700rds X 4gr = 2,800grs -- Bullseye by the pound sells for about $20.00 and there will be 7000grs to the pound (.003cnts per grain) -- 2,800 x .003 = $8.40 -- Of course this will be cheaper if you buy your powder in 4lb or 8lb containers.

OK -- 700 rounds using cast bullets
$3.59 for lead
$24.50 for primers
$8.40 for powder
TOTAL $36.49

Enough said!!
 

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There are many differing opinions of slugging a barrel .. go to http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ and search for the threads containing "slug barrel". That will give you some of the different methods ... I normally just use the simple approach --- Since I like to fish, and always have some oval lead fishing weights in the tackle box, I sometimes use them as my slug -- remember, you want to use pure lead or something softer. Make sure your slug is LARGER that your bore diameter -- Remove barrel from pistol, CLEAN the barrel, and then oil the inside of the barrel and slug very well -- After giving the lead slug a squirt of oil to help "grease the skids" it is gently tapped flush into the barrel's muzzle using a wooden or rubber mallet. You should be shaving some of the slug off (becasue it is larger than the barrel) as it enters the muzzle. The lead weight is now a "slug" with parallel sides. Next it is tapped several inches deeper into the barrel with the aid of a small piece of hardwood dowel say 3" to 6" long and of the proper diameter to fit inside the barrel. I've also used small brass punches but you must be very careful with them as even brass can damage a barrel if it is banged forcefully against it. For the rest of the trip through the barrel a hardwood dowel slightly smaller than the gun's caliber and of course of the proper length can be used to tap the bullet onwards. DO NOT use a steel rod as it may damage the barrel. It is a good idea to have some SOFT material for the slug to land on so it will not be dented or deformed. This will give you something to measure to determine your barrel diameter -- your measurement will be your largest diameter.

*Note: Some suggest starting fro the breach end of the barrel -- I have not noticed any real advantage in doing so -- and, it seems to be much easier for me to start at the muzzle.
 
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