Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

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Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by Dcforman on 2/15/2018, 5:48 am

I've been shooting Zero 185 HPSWC for a little while now, at 10 cents a pop. No issues with leading, and accuracy seems good. A couple of jam issues related to OAL, which seems fixed. But I'm sort of local to Bob's bullets (20 minutes from the inlaws), mentioned a few threads down. Is there any reason not to try some of his Cast? Or should I just stick with swaged? Is there any real difference in accuracy between the two?

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by james r chapman on 2/15/2018, 5:59 am

No real reason not to try theirs.
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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by USSR on 2/15/2018, 6:28 am

And if you find that they shoot well, as I think you will, take the next step and start casting your own.   Remember, the bullet is the most expensive component in ammo.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by zanemoseley on 2/15/2018, 6:29 am

Unless you're shooting over 2600 a good cast bullet should be just fine, even over 2600 you may be fine but it's worth additional testing to confirm.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by Dcforman on 2/15/2018, 7:20 am

Thanks for the push, guys. I'll definitely give them a try. And I'm definitely not a 2600 shooter!

Casting sounds fun, but the last thing I need is another hobby! Unless I can get my 4 year old to help me...

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by zanemoseley on 2/15/2018, 7:53 am

4 years olds and molten lead go hand and hand, like peanut butter and jelly Smile

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by sharkdoctor on 2/15/2018, 9:58 am

For anyone thinking about casting, it can be a very rewarding experience, but I would not involve children - it can be quite dangerous, especially doing large pours when making ingots.

A colleague, an artist, was pouring a brass casting, and was wearing heavy  lace-up boots.  He managed to spill molten brass on his foot, and you can imagine where the brass went.  He was burnt far worse than he would have been, wearing wellingtons, or something that might better shed molten metal.

Let's be careful out there!

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by USSR on 2/15/2018, 10:41 am

zanemoseley wrote:4 years olds and molten lead go hand and hand, like peanut butter and jelly Smile

Yeah, what could possibly go wrong? Wink

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 2/15/2018, 10:50 am

I've shot only cast LSWC and Button 45's.  Both will keep all rounds in the black.  If I do my part, also in the 10-ring at 25 yards.  That's all I need.  Sometime I'll check them out on the 50 yard line, when the weather is nice. 

I think bullet casting is a calling.  I wasn't called. Tried it, but it seemed the amount of time, energy, and care I needed to give was a bit beyond what I want to give.  Then again, my bullet casting involves a Coleman camp stove, a surplus folding table, a cast iron pan, ladle, spoon wired to apiece of wood, and a couple of old coffee cans so more elaborate equipment may make the difference.  Maybe someday I'll get more involved for an exotic bullet, but for ~ $0.08/bullet I'll just buy them.


Last edited by Bullseye_Stan on 2/15/2018, 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by USSR on 2/15/2018, 10:56 am

Bullseye_Stan wrote:my bullet casting involves a Coleman camp stove, a surplus folding table, a cast iron pan, and a couple of old coffee cans so more elaborate equipment may make the difference.  Maybe someday I'll get more involved for an exotic bullet, but for ~ $0.08/bullet I'll just buy them.

If I had to use your equipment, I wouldn't do it either.   If you had to reload using similar equipment like a hammer, nail, and set of pliers, you would buy your ammo as well.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 2/15/2018, 11:01 am

I think you're correct Don.  I've also had trouble finding lead at a reasonable price.  But, there are others who don't seem to have much trouble.  It's actually a fascinating hobby, but it hasn't bit me.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by zanemoseley on 2/15/2018, 11:17 am

As cheap as a Lee casting pot is you can't afford not to get one, they have their quirks but mime has worked well for a couple years with minimal tweaking.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by USSR on 2/15/2018, 12:29 pm

Regarding acquiring lead, here is how I do it.   At the local scrap yard, most of the time they have pieces of lead pipe or lead sheathing, both of which are pretty much pure lead for $.80 a pound.   You need 2 other elements to come up with a suitable alloy for bullet casting: antimony and tin.   Antimony can be found in either clip-on wheel weights or linotype.   The best source for tin is solder.   I buy both of these online from sellers on castboolits.com.   First thing you do is melt the pure lead and either wheel weights or linotype separately and cast them into 1# ingots.   Your cast iron pan works well for smelting and casting into your ingot mould.   The solder is best left in it's original state, as it is easy to add in the appropriate amount to the furnace.   For the actual bullet casting, you want a bottom pour electric furnace.   Lee makes one for about $70.   Then you mix in the appropriate weight of each of your types of lead and solder to achieve an alloy with the right % of lead, antimony, and tin to give you the right amount of hardness/softness and to insure you get good mould fill out.   Having a bottom pour electric furnace makes all the difference between something that is not worth the effort and something that is worthwhile.   Hope that helps.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by 10sandxs on 2/15/2018, 1:47 pm

IMO, one can make excellent bullets with ladle casting.. bottom pours are not critical equipment for good bullets, technique is much more important... kinda like a lot of other stuff we talk about on this board... 

over the last 20 years, I've gone back and forth between ladle and bottom pour. I'm currently ladle casting, but will be bringing out the custom built 6 spout bottom pour this winter to see how it does with NOE molds...

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by zanemoseley on 2/15/2018, 2:25 pm

If you don't have a good source of wheel weights I suggest just going on Ebay, usually you can find a 70 pound flat rate box of scavanged alloy for about $80-90 already in ingots. The scrap yards around here are chain owned shops and aren't allowed to resell anything they buy. Seems I've heard that the velocities we shoot do just fine with pure lead anyway. I guess the argument is that 22lr is accurate as hell and its pure lead wire basically.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by davekp Yesterday at 7:45 am

I've done it, but it is too labor intensive for me. I'd rather buy. Also, in my area, scrap lead is unobtanium. I have about a half ton of wheel weight ingots I made some years ago in case the government bans lead or puts an outrageous tax on it.(a back door gun/ammunition control issue)

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by USSR Yesterday at 8:40 am

I'm surprised your local scrap yards won't sell you lead.   Guess I better get some more from mine before they get the idea of not selling it.   Love the idea of being able to shoot .38 and .45 ammo for the price of .22 rimfire.

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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK Yesterday at 9:24 am

In some states (like good old Illinois), movement of lead is restricted.
We aren't allowed lead weights for tire balancing any more.
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Re: Any Reason Not To Try Cast?

Post by USSR Yesterday at 10:24 am

Yeah, lead wheel weights have been banned in New York State for many years.   Last time I got wheel weights from a buddy who owns a garage, the lead ones were barely over 1/2 the total.

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