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Old 06-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #11
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The three most common elements used by a bullet caster are Lead, Tin and Antimony. Lead (pure Lead) is a really crappy metal to make bullets out of.

You need some Tin to lower the melting point, improve the flow characteristics and harden the bullet. W/o tin, the bullets will not have nice charp edges.

You need some Antimony to harden the alloy. 3-5% Antimony makes a nice pistol bullet for velocities up to about 1200 fps. Rifle bullets need more.

Stick on wheel weights come in two varieties, Pure lead and zinc. Zinc melts at a much higher temp than lead or lead alloys. I melt the stick on weights and skim off the zinc weights that float on top.

Clip on weights come in two varieties Lead/Antimony alloy and Zinc. Once again, melt them down and skim off the zinc weights. Generally the Lead alloy weights are about 3-4% Antimony. If you want to push the velocities up higher, get some Linotype alloy from a place like Rotometals and add a bit in. The industry standard for Linotype is 84% Lead, 4% Tin and 12% Antimony. It is pricey, but the addition of one lb of Linotype into a 10 lb pot of wheel weights makes a very pretty, hard bullet that is suitable for the 500 S&W.

An electric furnace from Lee, Lyman or RCBS is perfectly fine for what you want to do. I run two RCBS bottom pour furnaces when I am initially processing the metal. Melt about 4 lbs of wheel weights, skim off the clips/slag. Add weights in like increments skimming after each melt and then flux the pot. Once skimmed/fluxed/skimmed, you are ready to pour ingots. I like to melt a batch and pour into ingots so I have a consistant alloy that is clean and ready to melt for bullet casting. I keep the Virgin lead ingots separate from the wheel weight (lead/antimony alloy) ingots and Linotype. I can then choose the blend I want for the intended use of the bullet.

Get the "Cast Bullet Handbook" from Lyman and read it cover to cover.

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Old 06-08-2012, 03:51 AM   #12
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For safety, when casting I wear a leather shop apron, leather gloves, and a full face shield.

All that stuff is a pain, but it's saved me from injury several times.

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Old 06-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the input guys... I've pretty much got everything I need to get started. Weather permitting, I'll be smelting this weekend. I want to clean and seperate the weights as best I can before then.

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #14
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Well the weather here in the middle Georgia area did not allow for me to do any smelting.. I did stop by Lowes Saturday morning and got what saw dust they had to use for fluxing.. Had to buy a trash can to put it in though.. LOL Anyway, I'm anxious to get started. Got "everything" I need to do it now just need it to stop raining..

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Old 06-13-2012, 02:07 PM   #15
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Default Ohhh K

Bright sunny morning so the wife and I went out to do some smelting.. My wife was interested to see the process so she came out with me to help... We only decided to do about 20 pounds of weights and it's a good thing because I realized that my choice in melting pots was not very good.. I used an aluminum pot which I thought would be sturdy enough to handle the heat.. It was not. During the process of melting the lead, the pot became deformed and started to meld itself to the frame of the burner I was using (turkey deep frying base).. When I added the saw dust and started stiring, I noticed the pot was deforming in the middle.. Not a good thing at all and could have been worse if we'd had more lead in the pot. I will post pics of the pot but for now, pics of the ingots we got out today. Not the best mind you but good for our first start I think..

dsc00097.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:59 PM   #16
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Default Pic's of the pot I used..

Wifes out shopping for a new Stainless pot to use for smelting... Here's what we started with this morning and what it looked like when we shut down:

dsc00102.jpg   dsc00103.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:06 PM   #17
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Default And btw..

The rest of my casting equipment.. 440 gr. bullets for my 500 S&W.

dsc00101.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:36 PM   #18
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Alright.. I do have another question.. Wife picked up a stainless pot... Want to know if it will work as my melting pot.. Not a heavy gage of stainless but stainless none the less..

dsc00104.jpg  
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:09 PM   #19
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Stainless should work fine. I use and old big aluminum pot but it's really thick. Old Caphalon I think. Your pot should not have melted. I am wondering if you just heated it too fast before the lead melted and got it too hot!

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Old 06-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staestc View Post
Stainless should work fine. I use and old big aluminum pot but it's really thick. Old Caphalon I think. Your pot should not have melted. I am wondering if you just heated it too fast before the lead melted and got it too hot!
Could be.. Gonna go with the stainless. I did find a heavier gage pot that I was no longer using in the kitchen so we'll see how it works with me bringing the heat up a little slower..

Thanks for the help..
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