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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys I got a lee 20 lb electric smelting pot for christmas so i can start making my own bullets. Me and pops have been casting heavy fishing weights since I was a little guy so I kinda know how this works.

what I got:
Smelter
dipping spoon
lead
tin
linotype
case tumbler

What I need:
Molds(tumble lube)
Handles
releasing agent
moly
bullet wax
sizer
leather gloves

Please tell me what i am leaving out
Also I have heard of some molds that dont require being ran through a sizer.. how well do they work? Are the a gimic?
 

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What you planning to cast for -- pistol or rifle or both? If for pistol primarily; I would start out with the Lee Stuff. I will post some Midway links later tonight to expand on this ...

Congratulations and welcome to the world of casting ... now go hoard lead!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
pistol mainly. I have been eyeballing some of the lee 6cavity molds. I told my dad to put the lock down on all his tire shop friend, I said the next time I come home I wanna load my truck up with so much lead that it bottoms out the springs on my 3/4 ton
 

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OK...... Just some preliminary replies........... on bullet casting.

Based on your post........................

1. A smelting pot and casting pot should NOT be the same pot.

2. LEE molds are good molds. The 6 cavity molds really increase production.

3. I suggest a bottom-pour casting pot. Not a laddle pour pot.

4. I hear tumble-lube bullets are OK, but I suggest sized & lubed bullets.

5. I have dibs on ALL the wheel weights in Jackson... BACK OFF....


While getting started in casting bullets does take $$, time and knowledge...... With today's STUPID high prices for commercial cast bullets, casting does offer much cheaper shooting. I am only a handgun caliber bullet caster, and understand that lead rifle bullets require a lot more "attention".............

Yes, welcome to the wonderful world of Bullet Casting........

.
 

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SubGunFan makes several good points; especially 'bout staying away from "his" lead!!

OK - the first and most important thing is safety! Most people do not obey the "safety" rules when casting but I strongly suggest that you do ... the "tinsel fairy" is unforgiving and she will burn you real bad!! Eye protection and a good set of leather gloves is a MUST HAVE - I also strongly suggest a apron (I just use one of the inexpensive welders aprons from Harbor Freight). Long sleeves and long pants. Pants need to be long enough to cover your ankle -- Just ask me how I know these little things!! Once a hot boolit leaves the bench and lands in your boot or shoe, you want have to ask!! - or when you pick-up a hot boolit with your bare hands, you want have to ask!! - or when a drop of moisture gets into your melt and the "tinsel fairy" arrives, you want have to ask!!

As SubGunFan stated above, you do not want to smelt in your casting pot. See that you have a Lee 20lb bottom pour pot. Only put “clean” lead in it. Dirty lead will stop-up your pour hole and it will become a PITA. Once you get your wheel weights (WW) or other lead, you will need to “smelt” it down into manageable ingots. I do this on my fish cooker in the backyard. Try to find you a cast iron pot (no cracks) for this purpose. Melt the WWs down, skim of all the crude, and cast the molten lead into some type ingot. I got a couple Lee ingot moulds that I use but have used muffin pans and a cast iron cornbread mould. Just don’t make them too large to fit into your cast pot. Also, stay away from anything teflon coated!!



http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=361222

Good ventilation is also strongly suggested. I have read a lot on lead poisoning, and have come to the conclusion that in a normal casting operation, you will not get the lead hot enough to worry about lead fumes; however, your lead will not pure and will have some other "stuff" in it ... good ventilation will help with this. In the winter I do cast in my garage, and keep a little fan running while I cast.

You asked several questions and will try to address them. You got to have moulds. I like the Lee moulds. They are not as easy to use as Lyman and RCBS sometimes, but you can buy several Lee moulds for the price of one of the others. Also, the 2-cavity Lee moulds actually comes with the handles already attached. I only have one Lee 6-cavity mould. It cast pretty good when I keep the temp of the alloy way up ... seems they like to be cast "hot." If you get the 6-cavity, you must buy a set of handles.



http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=336035



http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=117892

Lee says you can cast, lube, and load with their moulds without sizing. I own a bunch of Lee moulds and have had very little success without sizing the boolits. This is especially true in pistols .. I do not own a pistol mould that will feed reliably without sizing. With that in mind, I suggest that you be prepared to size your boolits. I have an RCBS lube/sizer that works great; however, I do not use it for pistol boolits anymore. I use the Lee push through sizing dies - simple, cheap, and they work great! Lee makes many different size dies - slug the bore of the pistol and see what you need. I use a .452 sizing die set for my 45acp. However, Lee does make one in .451. You want to size your boolits .001 to .003 larger than your bore slugs.

You will need to lube the boolits. If I was just starting, I would use the Lee ALOX tumble lube first. Cheap and simple to use and I have had good results with it in pistol loads. A bottle of this tumble lube and instructions comes with each set of Lee push-through sizing dies.



http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=116429

Recap - try this first: 1) Lee mould; 2) Lee push through sizer die; 3) Lee ALOX tumble lube. Cast some, size ’em, lube ’em, load ’em, and shoot ’em.

Casting is a lot like reloading. There are the basics and then all the other “nice to have” stuff....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have a big cast iron pot that we use to melt junk lead down and do fishing weight casting with. Captain have you ever played with lube sticks that had moly in them?
 

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Beladran said:
... Captain have you ever played with lube sticks that had moly in them?
Nope never tried them. I do have several different hard lube sticks that I use for magnum pistol and rifle boolits. While I do use some hard lube on some pistol boolits, I have really found it unnecessary in that the tumble lube seems to all that is needed if your boolit is sized right and if you keep the velocity down around 1000fps. Moly was the rage for a long time but it now seems that only a few are using it now. I have read a lot of issues involving fouling, etc and make clean-up a pain. Some say it builds up in the barrel ... I have had no personal experience with it -- never really had a reason to need it ...
 

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I would NOT recommend the 6 cavity moulds. I wouldn't go over a 2 cavity mould if it was not a Saeco. I cast for the most part with a 2 cavity Lee mould for my pistols and my 30 cal rifle. The Lee moulds are inexpensive and "warm-up" faster than steel moulds
 

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Got a 4 cavity from NOE and it works great - it drops a .315 129gr boolit. The 6 cavity are OK, if you keep the heat up. Will drop a lot of 45s quickly!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dropping lots of 45's is the name of the game for me. One day Rbelote is gonna con me into icore shooting then its gonna be about 38's
 

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With me..... When casting handgun bullets, QUANTITY is more important than QUALITY. However, bad bullets from a quick inspection are remelted.

Earlier I said I don't cast rifle bullets. Well, I sort of lied.... I do cast 45-70 bullets. Here only "perfect" bullets are accepted. I have a few 2-cavity molds for 45-70, and casting (production rate) is slow. But I don't go out and shoot 100-200 45-70s in a day...

Gang molds (6-cavity and up) are great for casting a butt-load of handgun bullets. It is nice to see the lead level of your casting pot drop so quickly. With a 2-cavity mold it seems the lead level never moves.........

With practice you can run two 2-C or two 4-C molds at the same time to increase production. But the key word here is PRACTICE.

Jump in with a 2-cavity mold and a bottom-pour casting pot. Start with tumble lube bullets if you want. This minimum setup will give you a lot of practice to learn the "tricks" involved with casting.

BUT REMEMBER ! ! ! Molten lead is VERY HOT and will STICK TO SKIN..... (a major OUCH). Water (liquids) around molten lead is a BIG NO-NO.... A water droplet that falls into molten lead becomes a mini bomb. Make sure your ingots are dry before dropping them in the pot. Store ingots in a dry place.

A few tips..................

1. Candle wax makes a good flux. Both when smelting and casting.

2. The plastic handle of a large screwdriver makes a good mallet.

3. Jersey gloves provide good protection and still allow ease in handling equipment.

4. DO NOT hit the sprue plate with a metal object.

5. DO NOT hit the mold blocks with a metal object. And DO NOT hit the mold blocks very hard.

6. Keep an eye out for linotype, bar soder, and real pewter.

.
 

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Go to the castboolits site listed above and look around. You will find LOTS of good info there. I've been casting for 30+ years and find new and useful stuff there all the time. i. e. recipes for making your own cast bullet lube, fluxing with a wooden dowel (without wax), using kitty litter to reduce oxidation, etc.
 
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