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Want to start casting bullets

d*rkman said: I picked up 108 ibs. of wheel weights today so I can cast some 45 colt bullets. My guess is you seperate the metal clips by melting down the lead and picking them out. Is this right? Also, who makes the best bullet molds and lead melters. I'm looking at Lee for both, but will they stand up. Thanks.:

*ndy said: Another drank the koolaid - excellent Look here: http://www.canadiangunnutz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=83230 Your 108 lbs will yield about 75 lbs of WW ingots and with 7000 grs in a lb, over 3000 180gr bullets! I'd get the Lee Production Pot and a couple of Lee molds and a sizer kit 0.002" over your gun's groove size and go from there.

pyth*n357 said: I picked up 108 ibs. of wheel weights today so I can cast some 45 colt bullets. My guess is you seperate the metal clips by melting down the lead and picking them out. Is this right? Also, who makes the best bullet molds and lead melters. I'm looking at Lee for both, but will they stand up. Thanks.: When casting be sure that you have: Proper protection: Safety glasses, thick leather gloves, Long sleeved shirts and a mask when you'll be casting your ingots from the wheel-weights. When casting bullets from the pot to the mold, try to keep the lead pot temperature between 700-800dF. Higher temperatures tend to give off lead fumes which are highly toxic. MAke sure you have adequate ventilation if casting / smelting inside. I try do do all the smelting (ie: turning the WWeights to ingots) OUTSIDE. Always wash your hands with cold water and a good soap if you've manipulated the lead barehanded. I personally always wear latex gloves when sorting or storing lead ingots and cast bullets, especially when they're not lubricated. I even wear latex gloves when reloading cast bullets. Handling several hundred bullets in a session can really contaminate your finger tips. Better safe than sorry.

gl*nliz87 said: I picked up 108 ibs. of wheel weights today so I can cast some 45 colt bullets. My guess is you seperate the metal clips by melting down the lead and picking them out. Is this right? Also, who makes the best bullet molds and lead melters. I'm looking at Lee for both, but will they stand up. Thanks.: My guess is you seperate the metal clips by melting down the lead and picking them out. Is this right? Yes, exactly. I use the Lee molds and like them a lot. I can cast good bullets after I drop the second one from the mold provided it is preheated. If you choose the Lee mold, just be sure to clean them real well from any greasy/oily residue and smoke the cavity with a match. This worked out excellent for me. As for lead melters, I can't help you on that as I am still using a cast iron pot to smelt and cast. I know using the same pot for both (at least for the electric melters) isn't recommended but I have no problems at all doing it this way.

R*ck said: I picked up 108 ibs. of wheel weights today so I can cast some 45 colt bullets. My guess is you seperate the metal clips by melting down the lead and picking them out. Is this right? Also, who makes the best bullet molds and lead melters. I'm looking at Lee for both, but will they stand up. Thanks.: Man, you could write about this for hours. Safety first; lead is hot and it sticks to skin real good. One rule above all others is that water and molten lead must never occupy the same time-space continuum. That includes big bugs and drips of sweat off your brow, by the way. If you don't "get it", rig up a little hose with a valve so you can let a few drops fall into your pot of melt somewhere out in the middle of the yard. I wish somebody would do a video of that as a graphic reminder... The Lyman cast bullet handbook is a good start. There's some misleading stuff in there, but it is generally a pretty solid primer on casting AND reloading manual for cast. This organization is home to the gurus of the cast bullet crowd, and they throw in a real cool book of accumulated knowledge and experience as well: http://www.castbulletassoc.org/join2.shtml The associated email list (which you don't have to join the CBA to participate in) is also a great source of info. That should get you going... I don't know what the "best" moulds are, but they sure as hell aren't Lee moulds. I'm not aware of any records fired in any of the cast bullet disciplines that have been shot with Lee moulds. On the other hand, Lee moulds are cheap like borscht, so if they work for you (and some people swear by them, although most swear at them) then you have it made in the shade. Regardless of make, not all designs work in any given firearm, so don't be afraid to try something else. If I were buying off the shelf, I would be tempted to buy from NEI, RCBS, SAECO, Lyman, and then Lee in that order. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that custom moulds are actually cheaper, given their performance and the fact you spend less time messing with the bullets, trying to work up a load that works, etc. But if you just want bullets to bang away with or shoot pins off tables with, etc, then cheaper will be better. I had a couple of Lee 20 lb furnaces when I was young and broke. They were aweful (in my eyes) and more false economy. I bought a Lyman and RCBS 20 lb furnace and life has been good since then; I would hesitate to guess how many hundreds of pounds of bullets have came out the bottom of those two. There's so much info; maybe it would be better if you asked specific questions.

b*n hunchak said: Lee 2 bullet moulds are made pretty cheap and will give you grief if you use it alot. As someone else said, Lyman, RCBS, Saeco are all tops and will last forever if you don't misuse them. For pots, again, Lyman and RCBS will stand up much better over time, your decision is whether you will use a ladle or bottom pour furnace. I much prefer the ladle and have used the same ladle for over 40years, its a Lyman ladle and I use some moulds(lyman) that have been going longer than I've been around.

th*Duck said: Casting is NOT a spectator sport. Keep others away while you have hot lead around. As someone somewhere once said, molten lead has away of biting you on the behind. As said above, keep water/moisture away from the molten lead. I slipped a damp ingot into a molten pot and to this day have lead stuck 10 feet up my house vinyl siding. Fortunetely I had just turned my back as the steam/lead burst gave a loud CRACK and the back of my winter coat took the spatter. A full face mask is not overkill. And do it in a well ventilated place.

d*rkman said: Thanks Andy. I saved your pics for future reference.

d*rkman said: Thanks guys for all the info on cast bullet making.

J*richo said: Leather gloves long gloves, coveralls with a welder's apron and a welding mask would suffice?

mg34 said: the easy way to work with wheelweights are to melt them outdoors and pour them into 1lb bars. the mess that is on the metal will float to the top and the good lead is on the bottom. if you are careful enough when pouring the metal you will get very clean bars that are a lot easier to work with when melting them in your electric melter. works for me.

J*richo said: Yeah, I plan on doing it that way... I got a LEE Ingot mould with 2 1/2 pound bar moulds and 2 1pound bar moulds. Get the messy part over with under cover outside. Cast Iron pot with a huge propane boiler hooked up to a propane tank should be good enough I guess. Going to go find more WW's and other lead before I start though.

R*ck said: Leather gloves long gloves, coveralls with a welder's apron and a welding mask would suffice? I wear leather gloves with tight cuffs, coveralls with a doo rag around my neck (don't like buttoned up collars), and a lumber piler's bib. Simple safety glasses of the wraparound style and a ball cap. You don't have to go too crazy to be safe, just sensible will do the trick.

H4831 said: Ben, glad to hear you prefer a ladle! I do too, and I've had the same Lyman ladle for about 45 years, but I thought I must be a fuddy dud, to prefer a ladle over the bottom pour! Now I find out I'm in step.

m*dicstimpy said: It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it so welcome to the world of casting your own! :) As for melters, they may not be the best but the Lee 4/20 is pretty good value for the dollar. Same with their molds. They aren't the best out there but you will get plenty of good bullets out of them for the price. :) The hardest part is finding a good sullpy of lead. Most of the tire shops already have people they sell their wheel weights to so trying to find one is a little hard.

J*richo said: Yeah my bro works in a garage so he gets some WW's but I'm gonna hit up some big name places back home and see what I can scrounge up... That's half the fun of it all! When I first started shooting I wasn't very old, but I remained in that one dimension for so long, until I got my RPAL, then got into handgunning... then I realized that the price of ammunition is UNREAL, especially for .45acp... and for the amount I shoot. Then I heard about reloading. Got all the components, reloaded my first rounds, then I was rolling! Then I realized that I could cast my own bullets/shot/slugs like pop did in his day! Too bad the 1 dimensional stereotype of picking up a gun and shooting is what sticks in the majority of the non-firearms community. There's so much!!

bl*cksmithden said: Somebody just brought this back to the top, but here's the link anyway. Start reading. You ought to have a really good grasp on what you need to do by the time you reach the end http://www.canadiangunnutz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=83230

J*richo said: Will read, many thanks for the link.

C*nuck44 said: Just a reminder, no matter how long or how good you become NEVER cast with rubber boots on especially from the sitting position with your pants tucked into the boots. Spru flying off the mold and bouncing down the inside of your boot is not an experience you need to have...do not ask how I know this. Open snow boots casting in the garage is not recomended either...see final comment above. +1 on the evils of sweat Never cast in shorts, no matter how warm it is outside. See Ricks comments on lead and skin. Take Care Bob

R*ck said: For you ladle maniacs out there, I cannot recommend Rowell ladles enough. I am a bottom pour man myself, as I have found that if you put as much time into learning good technique with bottom pour as most people are willing to put into learning how to use a ladle, you will get bullets every bit as good. However, ladle pouring does give very good results and is probably easier with stuff like gang moulds and moulds for really big single shots. Bill Ferguson sells Rowell ladles along with other bits of equipment and enrichment alloys for the dead serious bullet caster. He is also the resident metallurgist in the Cast Bullet Association and has probably forgotten more about bullet alloys than most of us will ever know. Good man to buy from, although getting a bit crotchety in his 80's... http://www.theantimonyman.com/ladles.htm

J*richo said: Just a reminder, no matter how long or how good you become NEVER cast with rubber boots on especially from the sitting position with your pants tucked into the boots. Spru flying off the mold and bouncing down the inside of your boot is not an experience you need to have...do not ask how I know this. Open snow boots casting in the garage is not recomended either...see final comment above. +1 on the evils of sweat Never cast in shorts, no matter how warm it is outside. See Ricks comments on lead and skin. Take Care Bob I plan on coveralls and workboots, welding shield, welders gloves... at least until I get a little comfortable, maybe able to downscale the headgear a bit then. Going to be done inside a huge shed, full ventilation but roof to prevent precipitation from coming in. Hoping to get enough lead done so I won't have to worry about bugs in the summer. Not many big bugs in NL, but I don't know how a pot of molten lead will react to even a nipper... Just heard my bro who works in a garage just got me 8 gallons of WW's,and I already have a gallon home, a lead plate and a huge hunk of pure lead about 20lbs... can't wait to start casting ingots!

m*dicstimpy said: I plan on coveralls and workboots, welding shield, welders gloves... at least until I get a little comfortable, maybe able to downscale the headgear a bit then. Coveralls over shorts in summer is a good idea... still cooler than thick jeans. Welding shield? Just use a plastic face shield if you're worried. If not, just safety glasses or better yet goggles will do. Like the other poster mentioned, make sure you lace up your boots. Not me but a guy I worked with was using the cutting torch to remove an exhaust clamp and part of it fell into his boots. That was in the late 70's, early 80's when it was "kewl" to not lace up your work boots. He learned fast. :eek: At least they weren't laced so we were able to get his boot off and the piece out before it did more damage than it did. :(

762sh*oter said: Yeah, I plan on doing it that way... I got a LEE Ingot mould with 2 1/2 pound bar moulds and 2 1pound bar moulds. Get the messy part over with under cover outside. Cast Iron pot with a huge propane boiler hooked up to a propane tank should be good enough I guess. Going to go find more WW's and other lead before I start though. A trick that works well if melting outside is to pack a mound of snow, then set you mold on it to chill fast so you can do another pour right away.