Anybody cast their own bullets?

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by SavageGuy_, May 20, 2016.

  1. SavageGuy_

    SavageGuy_ Member

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    Hey everyone,
    I was thinking about casting my own bullets.
    What's the general cost of the equipment? Is it worth it? What's involved?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. hmh

    hmh New Member

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    It is worth it. You will need a pot (buy bottom pour), molds I would go with lee 6 cavity, lead thermometer, old spoon, sizing die and lube, and something to put the bullets in or on when they are hot, I water drop. Make sure what you are using is lead. Melt it in the pot while you are warming up your molds (make sure you season new molds). Fill the mold up wait until the lead starts to haze hit the spruce plate with a piece of wood. Drop the bullets out. Your first couple of times in a run will not be usable because you are still heating the mold.
     

  3. hmh

    hmh New Member

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    Do not get any moisture in the pot and put on PPE. Also do it outdoors with the fumes blowing away from you.
    https://youtu.be/vwckrd_ZmFk
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
  4. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's well worth it.

    Get a Lyman or RCBS bottom pour pot, a Lyman 450 lubricator-sizer, and the "Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook."

    Lee molds will work, but they're nowhere near the quality of Saeco, RCBS or Lyman molds.
     
  5. SavageGuy_

    SavageGuy_ Member

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    Where do you guys buy your lead?
     
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    might I suggest- spend $7.90 over at Alibris, and read the book?

    http://www.alibris.com/Lyman-reload...n-Products-Corporation/book/4078316?matches=5

    I cast pure lead Maxis for my 45 and 50 cal muzzleloaders, and cast wheel weight bullets for .38 and .45. I use 'tumble lube" molds that do not require sizing the bullets, lube with spray Alox.

    Use a bottom tap pot, cast in a spot with good ventilation, after handling lead learn to go wash your hands good. Get wheel weights from a couple of local tire shops, but you have to pick thru and check them- not all are lead.
     
  7. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe it's overkill, but I cast outside, wear OSHA approved industrial safety glasses, heavy gloves, a heavy duty shop apron and a painter's respirator.

    I tried the tumble lube, but went back to sized, and lubed with Thompsons' Blue Angel.

    Personal preference. Guess I'm old fashioned. :D

    I use straight wheel weights for all cast pistol bullets. I drop bullets from the mold into cold water.
     
  8. SavageGuy_

    SavageGuy_ Member

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    I called a local tire shop- said all they had was steel wheel weights. Said they switched from lead years ago. I'll call a few other places and see...
     
  9. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try your local scrap metal dealers also.

    A while back, I bought 500 pounds of the lead weights for $125.
     
  10. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

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    Id managed to pick up some lead sheeting from a old x-ray booth after they remodeled, its easy to scratch but have yet to try any of it.
     
  11. SavageGuy_

    SavageGuy_ Member

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    Alright, I decided to go for it. I bought a lee pot, ladle, ingot mold, mold, sizing die, and some welding gloves. I have 26 lbs of lead on the way as well. I didn't get a bottom pour pot because I didn't want to spend $60 and I don't mind spooning it into the mold. I'll probably upgrade later.

    Now, one more question:
    I need to find some tin to mix into the lead. Any suggestions for finding sources other than buying an ingot?
     
  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    50/50 rosin core solder!

    DON'T GET ACID CORE.
     
  13. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i get my lead from rotometals. they have premixed alloys for bullet casting and sell ingots to mix your own alloys.

    if you manage to source scrap lead, you have a lot of work ahead of you to remove unknown impurities. some of whih can be very harmful.

    hot tip, so to speak, is get a full face shield, a welder jacket, and some oversized gloves you can remove quickly.

    even the slightest bit of moisture or other liquid, metal, or other with a steam point less than your lead temp can cause a lead explosion.

    your gear wont stop molten lead from getting to you it merely gives you time to get away and remove the gear before the lead burns through.

    a drop of molten lead can sear its way to the bone. it is no joke.

    this guy is a fool and damn lucky. he demonstrates through stupidity why i do not muck with scrap lead and use ingots from rotometals.

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50T3sxiExbM[/ame]

    not being killed blinded or disfigured is worth a few cents not dealing with scrap to enjoy this aspect of loading ammo.
     
  14. CaptMidnight

    CaptMidnight New Member Supporter

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    Handgun bullets poured from wheel weights are usually close to a Lyman #2 alloy. Cast bullets running at below 1,500 fps do not need added tin or gas checks. Tin does not hardened your alloy it does reduce the viscosity allowing a better fill on the mold. If you want to increase the BHN you will need Antimony. For rifle bullets running at 2,000 fps you will need linotype and gas checks.
    I prefer the tumble lube for high volume handgun bullets. I use Johnson Paste Wax for tumble lube and let it dry. You may add some mineral spirit if it is too thick. Get a Lyman cast bullet guide. :)
     
  15. RegisG

    RegisG New Member

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    After casting then powder coat

    Lots of good info on casting here. Lee dies ok but, you can find better for more money. Be sure to separate the zinc wheel weights and toss them away.

    I like to powder coat my cast bullets as they perform better and protect your barrel better. Very inexpensive with old toaster oven and powder from even harbor freight.

    -Put 1 teaspoon powder & dozen or so black pellets into a cool whip container.
    -Add cast bullets
    -Swirl & shake for 1 minute
    - Place on tray (standing up) in toaster oven on high for 20 minutes.
    - cool
    NO messy lube

    I usually size after coating
    Regis
     
  16. tresguey

    tresguey New Member

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    I live in Southern California, we have plenty of used tire sales shops out here, they typically have a lot of lead weights. I have guys I pick lead up from to make lead hammers, Scuba weights and bullets.
     
  17. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Active Member

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    Now this is cheap...For years, I dug bullets out of the dirt backstop at the shooting range and melted them down. Hosed off on a wire screen to remove dirt. I figured since they were already "bullets", the lead mixture would be ok. Downside is ...lots of trash (bullet jackets and rocks) and ..!!..water. Water is bad, even a little.

    My son and a friend cleaned out the bullet trap at an indoor range, melted down the spent bullets and sold the results for scrap. They made about $1,000 on the deal but said they'd not do it again.
     
  18. CaptMidnight

    CaptMidnight New Member Supporter

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    Most range lead is from .22 rim fire rounds. This is very soft with a BHN #5 you will need Antimony to harden and Tin to increase fill on the mold blocks. :)
     
  19. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Active Member

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    Good advice. We left the .22's in the dirt and only picked up larger caliber stuff. Our best range was the muzzleloader range where law enforcement also qualified with slugs. The pistol range is now mostly jacketed bullets, not worth the hassle.