My second cast bullets

Discussion in 'Casting' started by DaveTNC, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. DaveTNC

    DaveTNC Happy to be here

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    I gave it another try today, and here are the results.

    My second batch of SWCs:
    SWC.jpg

    And my first try with the Lee TL358-148-WC mold:
    WC.jpg

    I can see I still have a ways to go to get this right. These are what I kept. I'm not thrilled with most of them, a few of them turned out great, but about 10% of the SWCs and about 30% of the wadcutters got culled. The rest look good enough to to me to shoot, but I can't say there are more than a couple of the WCs that I think look really good. Probably about a quarter or so of the SWCs look pretty good to me. But I'm hoping they will get better with practice.

    I concentrated on keeping the mold hotter this time, dipping the corner of it into the melt before starting, and pouring generous sprues. I also rested the mold on the edge of the pot while pouring. I also turned the pot up a little higher and fluxed with beeswax before starting.

    This time I used an Lyman ladle that a generous fellow over on castboolits sent me. That's so much better than the little Lee ladle I did my first batch with, and I was able to get into a little bit of a rhythm this time.

    Another thing I learned - my little 4 pound Lee Melter is going to need to be upgraded to something bigger. I used to think I'd get a bottom pour pot next, but with the right ladle it's so much easier and I like being able to see what I'm doing, so it may be a 20 lb Magnum Melter.

    It seems harder to get good fill out with the wadcutter mold, especially at the bases. I might try adding a little tin to the mix next time.

    Now to tumble lube them in Lee Liquid Alox, load them up, and "choot 'em".[​IMG]

    Dave
     
  2. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    No need to add tin. Just shoot them with the flaws. Wadcutters are going to be pushed 700-800 fps. No need to waste tin.

    CD
     
  3. DaveTNC

    DaveTNC Happy to be here

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    Good point. I don't have a lot tin right now. Maybe I should just practice casting more and see how the next batch does.

    At any rate these are good enough for me to plink with, so I'm somewhat happy. But it would be nice if they looked better.

    Dave
     
  4. Clicker

    Clicker Member

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    No reason to be ashamed of those at all, things will improve with time. A bottom pour pot will make your life easier also.
     
  5. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    Dave

    Here's my setup. Preheat ingots on hot plate as small amount lead in pot melts. Drop in ingots (cast iron ear of corn cornbread mold) in pot then place molds on hot plate to warm. Set bucket of water next to table to drop bullets out of mold into to water q-uench. This makes a harder bullet without adding tin. Todays lead was range scrape so just using for bullets below 1150 fps. My bottom pour solidified and jammed up so just use a RCBS ladle to dip lead out. There is a box fan behind photo pushing fumes out the double doors. Sawdust and candle wax used to flux the molten lead. Spoon to scoop the dross out and dump it into the aluminum pie pan. Wok plate collects sprue to go back into pot. Molds have lead in them and I work down the line. First Lee 2 cav TL 356-124-TC, second Lee 2 cav .311 RB, third Lee single cav 358-150-SWCHP, next Lyman .375 RB, last Lyman .356 92gr LRN. These round balls will be used in for 12 ga buckshot loads hence harder to resist deformation. Pure lead when using for Cap and Ball revolvers.
    IMG_5437.jpg

    CD
     
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  6. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    I tumbled lube those 9mm bullets but also have my Lyman 450 sizer/lubricator. Here sizing/lubing SAECO .410 200gr SWC. Make my own lube also.

    IMG_5438.jpg

    Lyman 450, MEC 600 Jr press and allot of my casting/molds and RCBS RS2 press I bought used.

    CD
     
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  7. DaveTNC

    DaveTNC Happy to be here

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    Thanks for the pictures, CD. Looks like a nice setup. Right now all I have is a Lee 4# pot, ladle, two molds, a spoon & empty soup can for the dross, an old cookie sheet for the sprues, a cardboard box with old blue jeans material folded in the bottom for the bullets to fall into, and a couple bottles of Alox. Tumble lubing them as cast seemed to work fine for my first small batch. We'll see how it goes with this larger one. Don't really want to have to do any sizing right now, but I suppose it's may be needed as I start branching out.

    I should keep an eye out for a hot plate. You're not the first one I've heard mention using one to heat their molds.

    I haven't decided if I need to water quench or not. Right now I'm using range brass and the few I've shot worked fine in my mild 38 special loads. Maybe if I get a 9mm mold, which is next on my list one I get the hang of things, it would be a good thing to try.

    Dave
     
  8. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    Swaged bullets ie soft pure lead can be used for mild loads below 800 fps. Plenty of factory .38/.44 Specials using those bullets and some target .45 ACP. When casting watch out for the fumes off the molten lead. This heat is a killer if you wear a respirator so as stated I have a fan blowing fumes/smoke away. Tinsel fairy been addressed also. You have the basics down it seems. Just take your time to you get comfortable and enjoy your new hobby.

    CD
     
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