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Handloads.Com ForumCast BulletsGetting started in bullet casting
Here's question to get the ball rolling, and one that may come up frequently anyway.

I've never casted a bullet, but it's something that I've thought about doing off and on for quite a while. I've got the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, great resource for cast bullet handloads, what else is needed to get started in casting? Is the Lyman Master Casting Kit enough, or is more required? If you havn't seen it before you can see what's in the kit here.

I'm sure casting is in many ways like handloading, there's always more equipment you can get or something you can get to make things easier. My question is what is the bare minimum to make it worthwhile?
John

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

Molon Labe!
That's got most of what you'd need. You'll need sizing dies and molds for the appropriate caliber.

Personally, if I was going to get back into casting. I'd got for a bottom dumping melting pot, spent 6 years casting out of a pot on a camp stove.. and it's much slower than using a bottom dump. In addition, I don't gnow for sure (never tried) but I suspect that you'd have great difficulty using multiple cavity molds with the little dipper... You've gotta pour it all, and I don't think that'd fill a 4 cavity .45LC mold.

One other thing that may help the decision.. If you can find a local source for cheap wheel-weights, you'll have a good supply of lead.. and it can make the cost easier to recover.

DoD #2223 - OFCC #3122
These starter kits are a fine way to start. I used a cast iron pot and ladle when I started. The main thing is get enough equipment to start and do it. The Lyman Manual IMHO is great. It's what got me going for both casting and handloading.

Production is different. Few people need a large set up. Bulk cast bullets from the big boys are cheap and do reasonably well in most guns for informal shooting. For the good stuff you can make it yourself. There's nothing like winning a match or putting down game with your own bullet.
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
I'm still trying to find decent cast bullets locally. Picked up a box of .38 LSWC, haven't mic'ed them yet but judging by the condition of the base.. not very good.
DoD #2223 - OFCC #3122
Finding good cast bullets locally can be a chore. Remember most commerically cast bullets aren't the perfect all round bullet. They are mostly something to pratice and plink with. For this most serve well.
Creeker
Joshua 1:9

I have been casting bullets for many years and really enjoy it. I have the Lyman dies and a RCBS pot. Thru trial and error over the years I have come up with wome pretty good bullets. It is an expensive undertaking but much more fun than watching the boob tube. The first key word is VENTILATION.. If you want more info then send e-mail to me and I wil help where I can. I just found this web site so am not sure how it works.

Pat
ppatrick@newportnet.com
 
Hello Pat,
you're welcome to post whatever hints, tips, suggestions you'd like here. Start a new thread if there's something you'd like to share or have question you want to ask.

You say casting is an expensive undertaking. Expensive like handloading is expensive where there are considerable up front costs, or expensive in the long run?

I was concearned about ventilation, whenever I get around to trying this I'll be setting it up in my shed which has large double doors and open eves, if necessary I can add a fan to help clear the air.
John

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

Molon Labe!
First I must dissagree with Pat. Casting bullets is not expensive! When I cast my own bullets I can load 1000 .38 special rounds for just the cost of 1lb of powder and 1000 primers. If you shop correctly you can get your primers around $13.50. And your powder if you only purchase 1lb containers you should be able to get around $16.00. Who can compare $29.50/1000 rounds? Or in a more simpler term $2.95/100! This is close to the cost of a .22. It does not cost much more to load for a .357 or a .40. You use different powder to accomplish the desired results. If you want to make 1000 rounds out of 1lb of powder it is very simple the powder charge must be less than 7 grains.

I do agree with Pat on the ventilation. I have installed a regular kitchen oven hood with a fan that exits my garage through the ceiling and it works well mounted over my furnace.

Anyways Happy casting!

Dan O
http://www.gunsdontkill.com
When Guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns! Think about it long and hard!
I think what Pat means per the expense is the initial investment purchasing top end tools. Your in effect forward purchasing a large quantity of lead bullets- the cost forward from there is small employing a reasonable/low cost for the alloy.

Right on Pat about the 'boob' tube- if you consider the recreational part of casting, it's just cheap.

For you beginners maybe listening in- get a Lee bottom pour, at times offered very reasonable on their site. Then a mold and your set. That could be Lee also, but their quirks often need a small amount of polishing and/or tweaking. In the end- you can be casting your own for well under $50. Shop some rummage sales and your cost then is pocket change.
 
Yes Dan O you are correct. My contention being that if a person shoots only 50 rounds then it might be better to buy commercial cast bullets. I have been casting my bullets for approx. 30 years and wouldn't change for nothing. Not only is it interesting but also a challenge to produce a better product. Sorry to have given out negitive information.....Pat
 
Here is more on casting for you. Like I said I started casting about 30 years ago. I began by using a pot and dipper. I used this method for many years and altho it worked well I wanted to upgrade my system. I bought the RCBS melting pot and only wish I had did years earlier. Anyway I use both the Lyman and RCBS moulds and don't find much difference in them. I have the Saeco press for sizing the bullets and it has worked well for me.
I have always used wheel weights but still melt them down in the pot and use the igot moulds made by Lyman. By doing this I don't have dirty material being put in the RCBS pot. By using this type of lead I find that the bullets come out weighting about 5 th 6 grains higher than is listed for the mould. I take this into consideration when loading the bullets.
Insomuch as using Lee equipment I have several friends who use this brand and they are satisfied. I myself use several products of Lee and they work well for the work they do. I will be the first to say that Lee is a genius and has come up with many new innovations. I just wish that they came up with better quality. If you really want to get top quality and reload for many years then go to the equipment I use.
One more thing I would like to suggest and it has worked well for me. NEVER reload ammo for another person. Give the ingredients out but let them reload for themself. I have several barrels that have been blown apart that my friends had someone (not me) load up ammo for them. Other peoples guns might now be up to par and it not worth a possible lawsuit.
Well I have shot my mouth off enough so will close for now. Feel free to ask me for any info I might posess. ......Pat
This guy Dan O Sounds like he might have his act together so he might be another source of info.
 
Just found this sight and am glad to see other people are casting bullets. Even among my friends that reload, casting seems to be something very over the top and "dangerous". As a kid I made fishing sinkers with my grandfather and after I started reloading, bullet casting just seemed like the next logical step. I still am using a Lee PP IV. It is about 15 years old and has served me well. Though I agree that other manufacturers make better quality equipment, one must always weigh budget vs. quality NEEDED and for someone getting started a bottom pour LEE pot should be a good choice. I have also had good luck with LEE tumble lube handgun bullet molds. The .45 200g SWC (unsized) groups and functions very well in my 1911. Again these molds would seem like another good choice for a starter because of the low price and the fact that a sizer need not be purchased. "Cheap" is not always the best but "expensive" sometimes keeps people out hobbies they would enjoy otherwise.
 
Welcome to the forum wyliecaver, I hope you enjoy it - we're always glad to see more people here to share their experience.

It seems to me that a round nose design would be about the easiest style to cast, maybe the best for a beginner to start with? But what about casting hollowpoints? I've been trying to envision the mold that would cast a hollowpoint bullet without much success, without having ever cast a bullet it sounds like it would be difficult. Has anyone here cast hollow point bullets before?
John

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

Molon Labe!
Thanks Wllington66 for the thread, enjoyed it.
Creeker
Joshua 1:9
I agree with you on the round nose for a first bullet mold. Plus round nose bullets seem to function in different pistols with fewer jams and you want success your first bullet. As for hollow points, I have seen them but never owned or cast with one. The one drawback from a handgun perspective is that I have only seen single cavity molds. I have only double cavity now and after 3-4 hours of casting sometimes wish they were six cavity molds.
 
Handloads.Com ForumCast BulletsGetting started in bullet casting


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