my first cast

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by oldbrass, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

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    my first cast, .380 gr connical for the smoke pole. I know its not a lever but I`ve dicovered casting is easy and fun. I used a lee double cavity mold.
     

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  2. vitkop

    vitkop Member

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    Looks awesome I just made my first casts a few days ago. I used the lee 150 gn single cavity slow as hell mold

    image-3509563551.jpg
     

  3. vitkop

    vitkop Member

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    I've been wondering, some of my casts have very small but noticeable indents right on and around the head of the bullet. Should I keep these or should I melt them down and try again?
     
  4. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    oldbrass - Nice job. Look'n good.

    vitkop - Your choice, but I suggest that you melt them down. Most likely the indents will affect the accuracy. I'm no expert but sounds like the mold wasn't hot enough??? That happens with the first few bullets.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  5. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    I think there is a porosity problem,I am no expert ether someone will chime in soon and help you out
     
  6. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    You guys that are just getting into casting are all toast!! You'll be hooked on that like a bunch of heroin addicts. The only difference is you don't go to jail for cooking lead.....well at least not yet.:rolleyes:

    @vitkop....I always strive for perfect bullets, but minor dents/air pockets are not a deal breaker. Accuracy is more a function of a well filled out shank and base. Small imperfections in the nose won't have much affect out to 100yds. As greyhawk mentioned you probably don't have the casting block quite hot enough. Your bullets will fill out better if your lead is hotter. How hot is too hot? When your bullets drop with a 'frosted' look you are too hot. Good Luck
     
  7. vitkop

    vitkop Member

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    That's great news, I can't wait to take em to the range and try them out. Thanks guys
     
  8. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    vitkop....I hate to be noisy, but what the heck. What rifle are you going to use to shoot your new boolits? What equipment are you going to use to size, lube and put the checks on. FWIW....freshly cast bullets should age 10-14 days before you mess with them. Think of it like freshly poured concrete. It may be hard in 24 hours, but it doesn't reach full strength until it has cured for two weeks.

    Always remember we like to see pictures of holes in stuff once you start shooting your handy work.
     
  9. vitkop

    vitkop Member

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    The rifle I'm gonna use is a making 336w, I'm going to size the bullets by putting them in a lee bullet sizer and whackin em through. Then I'm putting on .014 thick aluminum gas checks. And last not least, I made my own bullet lube with bees wax, paraffin wax, STP and Vaseline.

    My whole goal is to be able to go into the woods with only a couple of pounds of material and be able to come out with properly made, consistent and dependable ammo for my new favorite hunting rifle.
     
  10. vitkop

    vitkop Member

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    I never knew you have to let bullets cure over time. I guess most things get better with age though. Thanks for the tip
     
  11. vitkop

    vitkop Member

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    Oldbrass, I didn't mean to hog the conversation you started, I'm new to this too and just needed some advice
     
  12. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    When I had a muzzle loader I use to cast bullets similar to what Oldbrass has in his picture. IIRC that is a REAL bullet by Lee. Mine were .45cal.

    I made my own lube for those and a 45colt I was pan lubing. It was a combination of paraffin wax and Crisco. It was a messy deal, but it worked. As a bonus it smelled just like McDonald french fries when shooting 'em. :D :D
     
  13. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

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    Your not hoggin, the more the merrier, thats how we learn new stuff..
    I didn`t know your suppose to let bullets cure either, some here always knows more than I do, its a great place
     
  14. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Maybe some other bullet casters can jump in here and share their curing protocol. I can't take credit for coming up with that all by my lonesome. A guy I meet who worked in a plant casting metal parts shared that info. He told me that when metals are melted it causes the molecules to move rapidly. Then after you have cast your 'widgets' it takes a while for the molecules to settle down. Hence a curing stage. Maybe if you quench your bullets in water curing is not an issue.
     
  15. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I know nothing about letting lead cure, but I know a little chemistry. If there is a reason to cure them I've never heard of it, nor is it discussed in my Lyman's cast bullet handbook, and what ever reason there may be isn't what your friend described. Yes when you heat metal the little bits, atoms, get to moving like hell. That's why the stuff turns to liquid. But once it's cooled they settle down and are locked in place. That's why it turned solid again. Concrete on the other hand involves a series of chemical reactions, and they don't stop for a long while. Thus it's not right until the reactions finish doing their thing.

    Not saying there is no such thing as curing bullets for some benefit, but I can't think what the benefit is. Are we really talking about heat treating?
     
  16. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    The following info came from another website. I don't want to pay the big bucks for Lino Type since most of my boolits end up in dirt berms, so my alloy is mostly wheel weights. This is the way I've been doing it for years...YMMV.

    "Antimonial alloys such as WW, and similar mixes have been tested and shown to age harden essentially to maximum/stable hardness in about 20 days. They then will stay close to that hardness for years. This is all assuming that the cast bullets come out of the mold and are air cooled as opposed to being heat treated by dropping into water, etc.
    Linotype alloy is unusual in that it achieves its +/- 22 brinnell hardness soon after cooling, and it does not appreciably heat treat. I have shot LIno bullets at 2200fps with good accuracy and no problems only days or so after casting ."
     
  17. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    So while casting porosity or air pocket are not a problem with casting?
     
  18. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Four4D4....It boils down to how bad are your imperfections. Obviously your goal is to make the best bullets you can, but stuff happens. Most hobby caster get it figured out and produce decent bullets fairly quickly. I find the most important things are keeping your lead fluxed, clean and hot enough.

    Anytime you start a new casting session your first couple of bullets are rejects until your mold reaches the correct temp. This is where most new caster have trouble is finding that spot where everything is hot enough, but not too hot.

    What kind of imperfections you are willing to live with is in direct relationship to the type of shooting you'll be doing. For long range target shooting your bullets need to be as good as you're capable of producing. However, fun close range recreational shooting does not require perfect cast bullets. As long as the driving bands and base are filled out nicely a small wrinkle in the nose won't have much effect on accuracy. I remember when I first started casting back in 1979. I had a Lee .358 150gr RN mould and a cast iron frying pan to melt the lead. They were some ugly bullets!:eek: I could mange 2.5" groups at 15yds and 4" at 25yds with a Ruger Blackhawk. Certainly nothing to write home about, but I was thrilled to be shooting my own homemade bullets.
     
  19. Plumber

    Plumber Well-Known Member

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  20. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    I just saw a video where someone goes to an dentist office where they recycle xray fil and use that as a source of lead.I don't know people have had that in their mouth yuck:eek:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q_9MM6Sp6w[/ame]