I've been reading this forum a lot. Yesterday I gave casting a go for the first time. I'm wanting small game hunting loads for my 243, as well as for plinking. I want a medium power load for longer range and a sub sonic load.
I'm using my forge with a dimmer switch on the blower for heat control. Pot is a cut down gas cylinder - the legs I wleded on fit in the wheel rim nicely.
Mold handles and ladel are home made
It was obvious immediately the ladel was too small - a full load didn't quite give a generous sprue. I tink I blame this for the bottoms of the bullets being a bit rounded. Am I right?
Early on the bullets were coming out at .2445" - when it warmed up they all came out at .246" all within .0005 round. They were all falling out without tapping.
After I had a few I sorted them. I discarded about 50% based on how well formed the base was. I will melt ones like this
And will keep ones like this
Mold is a Lyman 85gr. They mostly came out at 85gr ish. Lead is 50% linotype 50% lead.
I'm waiting for the gas checks, then will try and get some 4198 for the quicker loadsa and use trail boss for the sub sonics.
Question is, will I need gas checks for the sub sonics, and what charge should I start at?
Otherwise some general comments would be good? How did I do, are these bullets ok looking? Did my technique look ok? One thing I noticed was that when I held the ladel to the mold and tipped them both, as the ladel only has one spout it all ran into one cavity. Do you then do it for the other, or just let it spill over into the other? Maybe I'll make a dual spout ladel?
ALso, I slugged my bore at .243. I've tried sizing them and they size at 243 - .2425 with my lee sizer. I haven't shot them yet, but wonder if it's even worth chasing a load with these when they're sized that small? Should I just polish out the sizer before firing?
I will try some LLA first as I have it, but have some RCBS stick lube ont the way. I also have a RCBS lube-sizer coming so may end up ditching the lee sizer.