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Thread: My first cast bullets...

  1. #1

    My first cast bullets...

    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.
    Last edited by harrygrey382; 06-02-2011 at 17:47.
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

  2. #2
    Also, I didn't flux. Maybe this was a mistake. I kept skimming off this crud.

    Should I have fluxedit? What with - candle wax or sawdust?
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by harrygrey382 View Post
    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.
    Gas checks are on their way as is the lube.
    You have just GOTTA get a bottom pour pot!!!

  4. #4
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    "H",

    You've got balls mate, I'll give you that. I wouldn't have the balls to make my own bullets and load em on top of live ammo and fire it only a few inches from my face.

    Are you saving any money or are they really accurate cos you can buy bullets for as little as 14 per 100. >>> http://www.midwayuk.com/apps/eproduc...eItemID=993530

    That picture is great !!!

  5. #5
    Hello

    My .375 bullet heads cost upto a pound a piece would this be a cheaper way to reload and how accurate would the bullets be ? im willing to try it i suppose their should'nt be much difference !!!!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 375 mag View Post
    Hello

    My .375 bullet heads cost upto a pound a piece would this be a cheaper way to reload and how accurate would the bullets be ? im willing to try it i suppose their should'nt be much difference !!!!!!
    I just checked the prices at Midway >>> http://www.midwayuk.com/apps/ebrowse.exe/browse

    I see what you mean with these large caliber bullets.

    H, you got the idea mate. Keep casting bro !!!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dodgyrog View Post
    Gas checks are on their way as is the lube.
    You have just GOTTA get a bottom pour pot!!!
    Thanks mate. Hmm, so you reckon a bottom pour is the go eh... Are they easy to make - or how much are they?!
    Quote Originally Posted by robbobsam View Post
    "H",

    You've got balls mate, I'll give you that. I wouldn't have the balls to make my own bullets and load em on top of live ammo and fire it only a few inches from my face.

    Are you saving any money or are they really accurate cos you can buy bullets for as little as 14 per 100. >>> http://www.midwayuk.com/apps/eproduc...eItemID=993530

    That picture is great !!!
    Lol, well even if it did go wrong, they wouldn't be the cause of a face rearrangement I don't think. Besides, they're being sized at .2425 - undersized is playing it more than safe! They should be accurate once I've done it all right. But also I can load them sub sonic. And 14 per 100 may be cheap, but even buying good lead alloy they work out at under 3 per 100. When I start scrounging lead, this will drop even more.

    Quote Originally Posted by 375 mag View Post
    Hello

    My .375 bullet heads cost upto a pound a piece would this be a cheaper way to reload and how accurate would the bullets be ? im willing to try it i suppose their should'nt be much difference !!!!!!
    Bloody right! You can't load them to jacketed bullet pressures. But with a 375 they'd still be very good even on reds and most other things - certainly fine for UK use. They can be as accurate as jacketed I'm lead to believe. And of course kinder on the bore, your wallet, your ears and your shoulder
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

  8. #8
    nice one mate , ill call you tomorrow and if your in ill drop over the lube contraption and my knives !

    well done !

    cheers lee

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  9. #9
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    Hi Harry, Welcome to the art of bullet casting, I've been doing it seriously since 1980 when I took up pistol shooting recently, I have been selling cast bullets
    to make ends meet in these tough times, Your set up looks a little fierce I like your pot but couldn't you use a gas ring much easier to control the temperature, I've been using a dry stick to stir the mix the carbon coming off the stick fluxs the lead quite well, I drop a lump of bees-wax in a new batch to start with,
    I would recommend that you get a RCBS ladle you will get nearly 100% good bullets with it, dump the Lee sizer I know a couple of guys that tried them and didn't
    have a good opinion of them, I use the RCBS lube-sizer it's pretty good I've lubed thousands of bullets in the last six months on mine you may need to get a heat source to heat the lube in the sizer, a cheap way is to bolt the sizer to a piece of metal and put an iron on it , I use to use a hair dryer until I got a Lyman heater, I never shot gascheck bullets with out checks only way to find out is to shoot some with and without, most of my loading is subsonic .308's
    with 180 grain bullets and 9.5 grains of Trail Boss, the guy's I load for are happy with the results, I don't have a Moderated rifle myself so can't really develop a load to test properly for accuracy, with loads around 1800 fps I can get groups under 1 M.O.A at 100 metres with heavy match barrels,
    What diameter do the bullets drop from the mould you may find that they don't need to be sized, just lube them with LLA and load them, as long as the neck diameter is .002" less than the chambers neck it will be safe, the pressure is quite low you will get some soot on the neck and shoulder of the case,Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    I've done quite a bit of that game in the past (.451 muzzle loaders with 460grain bullets) - Good fun but take care, that silvery stuff can splash a long way - wear a leather pinafore!!
    Once you've got good repeatable castings it's a good idea to weigh each one to make sure there are no voids inside. (Consistent weight equals fewer "fliers")
    I used to use a sizing die to ensure best performance too.

    An afterthought - You will need to shoot lead slower than jacketed bullets so if you're going to use them on deer be sure stay within the speed limits!
    Last edited by Yorric; 06-02-2011 at 23:40.

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