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Old 06-05-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default Starting something new..

Well, new for me anyway..

I guess this was eventually gonna be my reloading evolutionary step. With the price of commercial ammo being what it is and what it has been, reloading was a logical thing for me to do. Now it's even more logical to me to start casting my own bullets. In my town, the price of a box of 500 S&W hit $68 The price of 50 AE is not much better. I know I can order and get better pricing from places like Midway but .... I've been thinking of casting for some time anyway so I thought this was finally the time to poop or get off the pot.. I got the nod from my boss ( the wife ) and placed an order with Midway and Brownells to get everything I need to start casting for 500 S&W. I'll be trolling the local tire stores for used wheel weights starting today.

My stuff should get here tomorrow.. Once I get my self rolling and comfortable with the S&W bullets, I'll order molds for other calibers. I even watched videos on copper plating at home so we'll see if that happens later on.. One of our own: duelist1954, has posted vid's on youtube that take you through the casting process and even gave out a recipe for home made bullet lube that takes the cost of 45 acp down to just a few pennies per round so I'm really looking forward to my eveolutionary step...

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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Lots of luck to you. I wish I can do the same. But knowing me I just might slip up somehow and pay for it on the range.

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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I'm having as much fun casting as I do reloading! Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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I'm having as much fun casting as I do reloading! Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.
Will do.. With a little luck, I should have something to post this weekend .
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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Good luck with your new venture, I want to follow this and see how it goes. I have thought about it but its a lot of added work and time for the end result. Kind of curious how long it takes to cast how many rounds.

Pick through your weights good , we are now using steel weights and lead are becoming a thing of the past and you prob wont see them around much longer. Grab em and stock up on em while you can.

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Old 06-05-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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Casting is fun! If you do mess up, just put them to the side and remelt them. The first few always come out funky until your molds reach the right temp...

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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I've been casting for over 45 years, and it's still fun!

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
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Well after checking all of the "chain" tire stores, I finally found some local shops that would sell me their used wheel weights.. All in all, I got 700 pounds of weights for about $98.

All but a couple local guys where bound by EPA rules and either had to sell to a company for disposal or they were reusing them and would not turn them loose. But with 700 pounds now sitting in my shop, I believe I've got enough to get me started. It's true about the lead getting scarce. I'm told most are going to steel weights and my supply may dry up in the near future. When I get a little more cash, I'll pick up some more..

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Old 06-05-2012, 10:26 PM   #9
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I do have a couple questions..

All the videos that I've watched show the smelting taking place in a seperate pot on either camp stoves or turkey deep frying burners.. I've got both setups but am wondering if "A" Is it absolutely necessary to use a setup like this? and "B", If so, what type of pot do I need to use? I'm thinking stainless steel (?).. I'm assuming something this large is needed when smelting pounds and pounds of wheel weights .. Also I'm seeing that tea candles are being used or beeswax as the flux agent..

Any help will be appreciated.

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Old 06-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOldMan View Post
I do have a couple questions..

All the videos that I've watched show the smelting taking place in a seperate pot on either camp stoves or turkey deep frying burners.. I've got both setups but am wondering if "A" Is it absolutely necessary to use a setup like this? and "B", If so, what type of pot do I need to use? I'm thinking stainless steel (?).. I'm assuming something this large is needed when smelting pounds and pounds of wheel weights .. Also I'm seeing that tea candles are being used or beeswax as the flux agent..

Any help will be appreciated.
A view...
Scrap lead is scrap and will have all kinds of 'stuff' (I cleaned that up) in it. If you have a 'bottom' feed pot, that 'stuff' is bound to plug it. I have an old electric Lee pot that I pre-melt in. After melting and fluxing, I use a dipper to fill ingot pans. When done, I dump the little pot and all kinds of 'stuff' is or was in the bottom.
For fluxing material, paraffin used for canning is cheap and readily available.

Watch out for water (any water), flux well before cleaning the dross from the top of your melt, don't loose the tin.

Lead is lead is lead but there is some additives that have been put in some of it that I have never been able to cast with. I'm not a metallurgist and don't have a clue what it or they are. My way around this was to pre-melt the little pot full, make a sample cast and if all went well good, if not, dump the pot and try to determine which types of scrap were the offenders (some of those flat with sickie back wheel weight as I remember).

Remember: ventilation and lots of it and protective equipment. Hot lead is HOT!
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