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How many here cast their own pistol bullets?

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teg2658
SMBeyer
Al
10sandxs
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Gary Collette
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How many here cast their own pistol bullets? Empty How many here cast their own pistol bullets?

Post by bruce martindale 11/14/2021, 11:22 am

Just curious here, l have always made my own with a wide variety of moulds from the classic H&G 68 to the obscure 452389 and the 45266 Dinan moulds.

Almost always used wheelweights for a BHN of 9, yet when I measure good commercial bullets like Mastercast and some others, they are around 15. To me the issue was to have moulds cleaned with Dawn and then preheated to 350 F and to use about 2% tin for a good fill.

Mark C recommended 14 from a fellow whose name l forgot . He had some samples at Canton this year. I suspect the commercial guys go a bit harder to overcome bad sizing die / expander plug design.

Anyways what are your thoughts on casting and good long line bullets? . I also have excellent results with soft swaged bullets like the old Star 185 hp/ Zero 185 lead.

I am also a member on CastBoolits but you can't discern the bangers from the precision pistol guys like we have here.



Thanks

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Post by Wobbley 11/14/2021, 12:27 pm

I do.  Both manually and with the help of a local bullet maker, I have casted on a commercial “Bullet Master” machine.  I provide my own alloy and he lets me run his machines after he fills his orders.  In a few hours I can get 2000 -6000 bullets in a given day.  Powder coated they’re fine for training and practice.
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Post by bruce martindale 11/14/2021, 1:33 pm

Nice! What alloy properties do you like? 

I'm using clean range scrap now with a couple ounces of pewter. Getting about 9 to 11 BHN

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Post by Wobbley 11/14/2021, 1:58 pm

Range scrap is a crap shoot but it does have a redeeming quality in that it is cheap!.  

I’ve found that 50-50 Lino/lead (“Magnum bullet alloy”) casts very well 
and gives good accurate bullets.  I’ve “mixed” my own alloys on-the-fly  by using one 5 lb bar of “Foundry type” and 20 pounds of recovered lead tossed into the machine at the same time, and that gives about 12-15 BHN.
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Post by Gary Collette 11/14/2021, 3:25 pm

I have everything that I used back in the old days (80s-90).
Lyman drop pot, Lyman size-lube press and an estimated 500Lbs of 
ingots.
Pure lead, wheel weights, and casting alloy bought out of Gil Hebard (SP) catalog.
various molds in 38,45,44 cal.
some gas checks I'm sure somewhere  Rolling Eyes
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Post by dannyd93140 11/14/2021, 4:02 pm

I cast everything I shoot; making hollow base wad cutters today.  Do both rifle and pistol plus shotgun slugs.
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Post by james r chapman 11/14/2021, 5:08 pm

dannyd93140 wrote:I cast everything I shoot; making hollow base wad cutters today.  Do both rifle and pistol plus shotgun slugs.
Retired???!
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Post by dannyd93140 11/14/2021, 5:22 pm

james r chapman wrote:
dannyd93140 wrote:I cast everything I shoot; making hollow base wad cutters today.  Do both rifle and pistol plus shotgun slugs.
Retired???!
Shooting is my only hobby; I have casted over 200,000 bullets.
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Post by fc60 11/14/2021, 6:39 pm

Greetings,

A long time bullet caster here.

The commercial cast bullets I have seen have too many defects due to poor casting, handling, shipping.

I used to use straight LinoType for my 45 bullets fired in a "bottom feeder".

For the 45 Revolver, I used a mix of unknown composition.

Recently, I have been using known alloys and marking the ingots with a steel stamp.

The current revolver mix ranges from 20:1 to 30:1 Lead:Tin.

For swaged bullets I have been using Stick On Wheel Weights (6 BHN). I am nearly out and will switch to either 30:1 or 1:1 22 lr salvage:Lead. I aim for 6-8 BHN.

My next act is to dig out my 45 swaging dies and machine a slug mould for it.

I have found that swaged bullets shoot better than cast and with swaging, the rejection rate is quite low.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by 10sandxs 11/14/2021, 6:47 pm

Casting can be a hobby in itself if you desire. I started casting in the early 90s for handgun silhouettes  and kept at it when I moved to bullseye.  

Range scrap can vary, but if your getting it from a "commercial" range, it is actually relatively consistent at about 98-2 lead tin. The majority of rounds are 22 and jacketed or swaged lead bullets (cheap commercial ammo) and the lead in both of those is soft so when smelted you get an average of everything shot.  Go to a bullseye range or mine a backstop at an outdoor range, yup, that's gonna be different.

Mr current "favorite" alloy is 94:3:3, gives a nice 11-12 hardness and casts pretty well. Maybe a touch too much tin to call it cheap, but I'm ok with that.

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Post by dannyd93140 11/14/2021, 8:23 pm

I buy my lead anymore; 30 years ago I would scrap all over the area to old now.  Some of what I cast.

How many here cast their own pistol bullets? 3000de10
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Post by bruce martindale 11/14/2021, 8:59 pm

Airgun pellets are nice for a mostly pure lead alloy; the new green match are pure tin. A good sweetener for other lead materials. The range lead l have is all 45 cast in one case, and a mix of clean 22&45 from a special trap.

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Post by Al 11/15/2021, 8:47 am

First tried it in the 80's. Knew next to nothing, didn't ask anyone for advice and the results showed it. Lots of lead mining, also coincided with my first Lewis Lead remover.

Fast forward to the early 2000's. Have gained wisdom enough to ask. Amazing thing you know, if you ask, most folks are pleased as punch to share their passion/addiction. I've improved my technique, giant leaps forward in equipment, and still ask a bunch of questions. Now cast for 5 different pistol calibers (still have yet to cast my first rifle Boolit). I like the H&G 68 FB and the Lyman 460 for long line. H&G 130 FB for the short lines.

Great bunch of guys over on the Cast Boolit forum, Bruce. Like here they're more than willing to aid someone less knowledgeable.
Al

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Post by SMBeyer 11/15/2021, 7:27 pm

I cast my own with a Master Caster and an Accurate 190G mold.  I'm shooting range lead with 2% pewter added.  4gr Bullseye with .463 crimp shoot very well at 50.

Scott
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Post by teg2658 11/16/2021, 6:31 pm

The 50/50 alloy Wobbley gave you is what I found to be the best( 40 years casting) and H&G 68 to be the most accurate, .4515 dia sizing die in a star sizer, nose up through the die, NRA 50/50 lube(2138F/beewax). In the early 80s I had H&G make me a matched set of 68pb 4 cavity moulds, found 625 degrees to be the ideal casting temp.
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Post by Axehandle 11/17/2021, 6:29 pm

Running a Magma Engineering Master Caster and a Star sizer here.  Lots of bullet molds and lots of size dies.  Holding a ton of linotype and a bunch of pure lead. 50/50 mix makes a good bullet for me.   FWIW find out what your gun likes for lube and hardness.  I use a LBT hardness tester to quantify hardness...  Bottom line is I haven't plugged my pot up in 10 years but it is ready when I need it.  Magnus Bullet company and Zero are close.  Ordered 2000 more from Zero just today.

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Post by dannyd93140 11/17/2021, 7:23 pm

I cast because I like to; if I have to stop casting and hand loading I would never go to the range again.
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Post by bruce martindale 11/17/2021, 8:08 pm

Interesting thought...nose up vs nose down. Could base  Down could lead to base distortion even if not visible ?

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Post by Wobbley 11/17/2021, 8:18 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Interesting thought...nose up vs nose down. Could base  Down could lead to base distortion even if not visible ?
I don’t thing base up or base down (nose down or nose up, respectively) makes a big difference in base distortion.  Commercial casters prefer nose down if for no other reason the “top punch” is the same for all bullets or even for all calibers.
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Post by teg2658 11/18/2021, 9:10 am

I also had a bevel base H&G 68 mould, did not matter nose up or nose down when resizing but when I sized plain based projectiles nose down there would sometimes be a feather of lead at the base of the projectile, it was slight and not always there or the same on every projectile. My object to casting is every projectile to be identical and that is why i sized nose up with plain base and had H&G  make me two identical moulds. I owned a Ransom Rest and did extensive load development and testing, all of it at 50 yards.
I had a 68BB and a 68PB, sent the 68PB to H&G to have a twin made, they broke the cutter and called at that point. I had them make me a matched set. 
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Post by James Hensler 11/18/2021, 10:20 am

Man I’m lucky down here in Florida I can get as much lead from Keels for 5 bucks or McDonald’s
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Post by Wobbley 11/18/2021, 11:43 am

teg2658 wrote:I also had a bevel base H&G 68 mould, did not matter nose up or nose down when resizing but when I sized plain based projectiles nose down there would sometimes be a feather of lead at the base of the projectile, it was slight and not always there or the same on every projectile. My object to casting is every projectile to be identical and that is why i sized nose up with plain base and had H&G  make me two identical moulds. I owned a Ransom Rest and did extensive load development and testing, all of it at 50 yards.
I had a 68BB and a 68PB, sent the 68PB to H&G to have a twin made, they broke the cutter and called at that point. I had them make me a matched set. 
Tom Ginovsky
A way around that is to toss them into a vibratory tumbler, without media and let them vibrate together for about 20 minutes. Loud as heck but these small fins get rubbed off.
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Post by fc60 11/18/2021, 12:31 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Interesting thought...nose up vs nose down. Could base  Down could lead to base distortion even if not visible ?
Greetings,

Nose up allows the nose to be centered in the top punch of the Star greaser. The top punch is generally 0.001" smaller than the die. This provides excellent alignment and the bullet pushes through well.

Nose down with a flat punch is not as accurate. The friction of the flat punch against the flat base can start the bullet tilted off axis. How can you be certain the punch is properly aligned with the base? Certainly not by "feel".

If the cast bullet is much over size, you will get a swaged effect at the base and a ring of flash.

Personally? I size base down to protect the ever so important feature of the bullet.

The commercial casters? Volume is key. Time is money.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by AndyLueck 1/4/2022, 4:28 pm

Sorry to bump an old thread but I couldn't resist.  I have been mining my indoor range for lead.  For bullseye I run two lee six cavity H&G clones with their bottom pour 420 pot.  I size them with the Lee APP press.  I have done both powder coat and tumble lube.  I am tumble lubing them with the BLL recipe right now.  With the APP press, I put the case collator from my Pro 1000 on the feed tube.  I plug 3 of the collet tubes.  Then I can dump bullets into the collator and shake them down the tube.  It works very well to size rapidly.  I have shot these from a cheap Caldwell pistol rest.  They grouped 3-4" at 50 yards.  I have a Lee Machine Rest that I intended to test them with.  I can't shoot that well anyway though.  I am still trying to get out of marksman.  

I have other molds from NOE and MP for 30 cal rifle and 44 mag.  I enjoy casting a lot.

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Post by james r chapman 1/4/2022, 6:24 pm

In ‘75 I’d by my Linotype from a local print shop. Great stuff for rifle.
.30 cal bullets seated nose first into a glass hard die to file the bases perpendicular to the bore.

Worked well for 200 yd handgun silhouettes, but, what a pain!

What sources of Linotype are left???
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