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Handloads.Com ForumCast BulletsCasting (Getting Started)
John's question below got me to thinking (so this could be dangerous). What would I suggest to start? Could he start in the barn? Yes. Maybe a fan on you downwind side, hanging or what ever. The main thing is it pulls all the smoke away when fluxing. This way you know all other fumes are leaving also.

To cast bullets I truely think a bottom pour furnace is the best way to go. So to keep our budget down buy a cast iron pot. Told you this could be dangerous. You will want a pot to melt scrap lead, probably wheelweights, anyway. A long handled dipper to pour your your lead you want anyway because it is one of the best fluxing tools there is. Once the dipper is hot it can be used to scoop air into you mix while fluxing, a big help.

So we have a iron pot and dipper. Both of which we need. A mould is next. I would suggest nothing larger than a 2 cavity for your first. Another suggestion that surprises some is I think starting with a round nose and few lube grooves is best. I started with a 4 cavity 357 Keith, iron pot, dipper, and no one to tell me anything. The simple bullets, especially the larger ones are the easiest to cast. Since you like the big bores maybe you should get a 45 in RN for your 45 ACP or a RNFP for your 45 Colt.

Lee makes mouldls with simple bullet designs in the large calibers. This is where I would start because of our budget. For less than 20.00 you have a mould ready to go. If'in you mess it up with them big hairly hands you won't be out much.

Now we have pot, dipper, and mould. The next thing we need is some way to size and lube our bullets. If you're just interested in casting and blasting you can get the Lee tumble lube bullets and shoot them as cast. If you plan to make good bullets later you will need a lubersizer. Lyman, RCBS, and Redding all make good ones for about the same price. You can find these at gun shows and make some real deals. Not much to break on a lubersizer and if it does you can replace the parts. I think the Redding is real quality but things pretty much inchange with the Lyman and RCBS so one of those is probably the way to go.

With these few things and the Lyman Handbook you already have, you can start cheap and get plenty of pratice. Later you can add a 20 pound bottom pour furnace and iron moulds or something alum. from NEI.

This way the quality bullets you want to shoot can be made at home. The blasting bullets can still be bought bulk from the big boys. If you plan to make all the bullets you shoot then the requirements will be a little different but with the above you can get started and add to as you got alone. It's also equipment that can be found at gun shows and purchased used. Plus it's equipment that will sell at gun shows should you want to sell it and move up a notch to semi-production and make lots of bullets.

Creeker
Joshua 1:9
Lots of good advice there Creeker, but I've got a couple questions.

First question: You suggest using a cast iron pot to melt the lead, what would you suggest for a heat souce? I'm sure anything that's hot enough would work, even a camp fire, but is something like a simple electric hotplate going to generate enough heat?

Second question:
Quote
Once the dipper is hot it can be used to scoop air into you mix while fluxing, a big help.


I know what fluxing is, but why would I want to scoop air into the mix? What does that do for the alloy?

Thanks for the tips!
John

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
A cast iron pot is suggested because these can usually be found at yard sells and cheap. I like larger ones of 1/2 to 1 gallon cap. because of room to work, ie flux and dip, without spilling the melt. Another reason I suggest this is most people who cast are outdoor types who have a propane camp stove or such which does a fine job of melting lead. Another is I don't like to melt scrap lead and such in a bottom pour pot because dirt and such if not completely removed can clog the pour spout. When I started I used the kitchen stove to cast and a hot plate may do just as well. To ladle cast about 700-800 degrees should be plenty.

Using a dipper while fluxing is recomended in one of the casting manuals, Lyman I believe, and is an aid in fluxing. I'm not sure if the oxg. has something to do with it or just the air bubbles helping to stir.

As a note I have a large 2 1/2 gallon cast iron dutch oven I process wheelweight with. I bought a propane deep fryer on sale for 30.00 an use it for a heat source. This set up is overkill for casting but a camp stove and small pot works fine. My first pot was maybe a pint in size. You need something larger.

FYI some custom casters I know Ladle Cast by choice. They use large ladles and two or three 4 to 8 cavity moulds sitting on warmers to keep the moulds up to temp. These guys are very efficient and produce lots of bullets. They claim better control of there melt using this method than with bottom pour pots. There electric pot are most 220V and some have capacities of 100 pounds.
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
Must be pushing the wrong button. See if this gets thru.....Pat
 
Hi Creeker,

Mrs. Creeker must be far more understanding Than Mrs. Willis!!! I can see it now: Honey, would you mind moving that pot of soup so I can melt my lead in this here cast iron pot. Mr Willis then needs a new cast iron pot as his old one has a strange, head shaped dent in it.

Did you happen to get the e-mail I sent you. I was having e-mail problems and I do not know what went through and what did not.

Terry
God Bless
Terry
I think Creekers out on the road for the next few days so it might be a little bit until you hear back from him.

Something about heading "out west", boy those east coast boys sure have a funny idea about how far west "out west" is.
John

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
Thanks John
God Bless
Terry
Terry I've got some mail from you. I think I answered it. If not I will on Monday when I get back to work. Barbara keeps me away from her pots and pans. HEE HEE
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
Went mid west this time to Neb. and Ok. Nice trip, logged 3000 miles.

Creeker
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
Welcome back Lynn, I hope you had a good time. I always enjoy road trips, and with airports as they are today I doubt I'll be flying any time soon.
John

We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
Welcome back Lynn, glad you had a nice trip. I can not see how that country can be any prettier the WV. I so enjoy out trips through WV, Particularly from Bluefield clear up to where 19 and I79 join. I can actually enjoy it now that 19 is 4 lane the whole way. Beautiful country!
God Bless
Terry
Thanks Terry. The part of West Virginia you're seeing is nice. I'm not far from Beckley and the landscape changes. The hollows are tight and the hills very steep. I have a fair amount of sky looking east/west but visible earth is at a premium. HEE HEE

Edited on 6/18/2002 6:16:21 AM.
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
WHEEL WEIGHTS USED TO BE A MAJOR SOURCE BUT NOW WITH SO MUCH ZINC AROUND AND BOY DOES IT SCREW UP A POT , ALSO WHERE IS A GOOD SOURCE OF ANTIMONY AND TIN TO ADD TOO PURE LEAD ? AND WHAT ABOUT CHILLING THE BULLETS IN A LARGE BUCKET OF WATERAS THEY COME OUT OFHE MOLD?
 
with all the fuss about lead in solder, they now have lead free solder. look in the hardware stores, and check the label. The one I use is 96% tin and 4% antimony. costs about 7-11 dollars a pound which is quite steep, but it works well.
Joe44

Chance favors the prepared mind.
For casting alloy and materials such as tin contact sales@vwmc.com. They can provide whatever you need.

Water quenching is something done to harden cast alloy bullets. When I do this I use a 5 gallon bucket. The bullets go directly from the mould to the water. It works and bumps the hardness on most alloys 4 to 7 BHN.
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
Handloads.Com ForumCast BulletsCasting (Getting Started)


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