View Full Version : How Much You Cast Vs Shoot

Michael J. Spangler
03-13-2012, 10:07 AM
ok so the last poll was interesting to see. it also brought up another question

how much do you cast vs shoot?

i cast about 2500 boolits for my .45 in a few sessions. that will take me half of the year to use, even if i shoot a ton more than normal it would take me 3 months to go through.

so do you all cast enough to shoot then stop? do you cast whenever you feel like it no matter what your stock pile is? do you have a set limit of what you like to keep on hand?

does it vary for caliber or boolit type?

03-13-2012, 10:19 AM
I have always cast about a years worth of shooting in the spring. That way I don't have to in the summer while I am fishing or in the fall while I am hunting. Ron

03-13-2012, 10:30 AM
I keep a stockpile based on what I shoot. Casting is fun but I consider what's on hand when I cast so I don't go overboard but have plenty available. I size/lube shortly thereafter so I can load when I want/need to.

03-13-2012, 10:38 AM
50%finding lead ,making ingots, casting boolits ,25% reloading , 10% picking up my and other brassar the range , and 15% shooting time ..

03-13-2012, 10:55 AM
Casting for me is best not done in summer when temps. in my garage easily exceed 100F many days. That being the case I cast more than I shoot in winter and shoot more than I cast in summer.

And when I bring a pot and molds up to temp. I don't stop until my back tells me to. Generally that's about 25 pounds of alloy. Number of boolits depends on if I'm casting for 9mm, 45 ACP or whatever.

03-13-2012, 11:34 AM
I only cast what I am going to shoot.

03-13-2012, 11:50 AM
I cast enough to keep a fair stockpile on hand, much of that getting done in winter. My casting site (garage) can reach 120* in summer, so THAT ain't happening. And as said above, there's fishing and hunting going on through at least November.

I just finished a spate of stockpile recharging, 157# worth. I don't shoot massive amounts of one or two calibers anyway, just light to moderate numbers of many calibers. 95% of what I shoot--I cast.

03-13-2012, 12:16 PM
i have a hard time shooting 1&2 lb ingots from my guns.
having the correct shape and diameter really helps the process.
i have no problem storing smaller "shaped" lead ingots.

03-13-2012, 12:51 PM
Because I've found aged boolits seem to be more consistent in the accuracy department, I try to cast a stockpile of any given boolit. Judging from my stash of tubs filled full of different boolits, I've succeeded splendidly...almost to an obsession!


03-13-2012, 12:58 PM
I don't really care! I have some blts that I cast probably over 6-7 years ago, and maybe even more. I shoot a lot more rifle than I do handgun, but still once in awhile get the urge to shoot one handed, and when I do, probably shoot 600-1000 rds. of that a year. Rifle on the other hand, I will shoot 5-6 times that amount to in a year. Some years I will be in a mood to shoot a lot more of 3-4 rifles of different cals than those that I shot in previous years. Would guess I have at least 4-5 years supply of rifle blts cast most of the time. Have never known of a cast boolit to spoil.

mold maker
03-13-2012, 01:26 PM
I always shot more than I had time to cast before retirement. Now that I can take time, I enjoy casting, but cant afford the powder and primers. Thus I have stockpiled, from each mold, that ate up my shooting funds.
When my rich relative leaves me a fortune,(sigh) I'll shoot em all. At 70, I'm tired of waiting though.

03-13-2012, 01:42 PM
I'm the same as runfiverun, ingots are ballast.
But bullet shaped ingots have worth!
In my shop, my "ingots" are also stored ready to load.
That way, I figure, somebody can pick up where I leave off and get the hang of things before they have to cast more. :drinks:

03-13-2012, 03:00 PM
I try to keep a couple hundred of each on hand in excess of my loaded on hand and what I shot last.

03-13-2012, 03:06 PM
I don't really care! I have some blts that I cast probably over 6-7 years ago, and maybe even more. I shoot a lot more rifle than I do handgun, but still once in awhile get the urge to shoot one handed, and when I do, probably shoot 600-1000 rds. of that a year. Rifle on the other hand, I will shoot 5-6 times that amount to in a year. Some years I will be in a mood to shoot a lot more of 3-4 rifles of different cals than those that I shot in previous years. Would guess I have at least 4-5 years supply of rifle blts cast most of the time. Have never known of a cast boolit to spoil.

You pretty much summed up my MO as well. I do what I want when I feel like it, and usually have enough of whatever on-hand to satisfy whims. Occasionally a project has to be put off a couple of weeks because I had to cast for the purpose and let them age. Most of the time, when the mood strikes me to cast, I survey the types I actually stockpile and fill in the blanks.


Love Life
03-13-2012, 03:18 PM
I try to have a healthy stock of my favorite boolits.

Lyman 358477 I have approx. 40 pounds cast and ready to size/lube as needed. This is my most shot boolit, and I go through them very fast. Which reminds me that I need to make a bullet trap, but I digress.
Coffee can full of 358429
coffee can of NOE 360-95-SP
RCBS 124-RN- I'm still working on that one. Dang two cavity moulds have a hard time keeping up with my glocks.

03-13-2012, 05:22 PM
I cast mostly in the winter, spring. I try to go into summer with anuff to last me through hunting season but sometimes I have to break down and throw a few on a hot day.

03-13-2012, 06:57 PM
I cast for the fun of it I have some ridiculous for the purpose stock piles , I just hope I live long enough to shoot all the boolits I have

03-13-2012, 07:03 PM
I have a heated and cooled utility barn with a dedicated casting station. I cast year round. I keep at least 10,000 pistol bullets on hand. However, since I cast for .32's, .38/.357, .44 Special/Magnum, .45 ACP/.45 Colt that is not as many as it sounds like.

I start getting nervous if I run under a couple of thousand for any one caliber or any one bullet style.


03-13-2012, 07:05 PM
None of the options really work for me. I like to keep a surplus and the stuff I don't shoot a lot of, I have same. The stuff I shoot a lot... Cast all winter, shoot all summer is what I try to do. Unfortunately, I've had a lot of things cut my shed time this winter. I'm hand to mouth on .45's right now.

03-14-2012, 07:02 AM
When I set up to run a specific casting, I run enough of that boolit to assure that I won't have to run it again for a while. With over 30 molds to cast, I'm always setting up to cast something, keeping in mind that it also involves sizing/lubing.

So, the constant rotation of casting/molds keeps me busy, building inventory.

Even with some careful planning, I still find myself falling very low in inventory. For example, right now I am horribly low on 500 magnum boolits. Could be that I have fired 2,000+ rounds of that in the past year.

As some of you know, I also cast "cores" for swaged J words, made from brass cases (see our SWAGING area of the forum). MOst of those cores are actually cast boolits, which have the proper weight for the target projectile. I'm also low on those cores.

03-14-2012, 07:50 AM
I have made it much easier by settling on one or two bullets in each caliber. Not using 5 different 45-70 bullets has made life better.
I cast what I want, when I want. I don't "keep inventory", I just have bins of bullets. If I look to be running low on something I will cast more but there is little science to,it.
I think mostly us cast more than we shoot because we cast at home but don't shoot at home. Much asker to get to the garage for an hour than to get to the range for an our.

03-14-2012, 03:05 PM
I like casting and sometimes I'll remelt a batch just to cast some more. I have way more casting time than shooting time (Dr. appointments and cancer treatments have cut my shooting way down). I can walk 30' out my back door to my shed and sit on a stool and cast away, just about anytime. To shoot, I have to wait 'till it stops raining (I don't have 4 wheel drive) and I have enough energy to drive up the hill, 30 minutes or so. So, casting keeps me in "touch" with my guns and stuff, even when I can't go shooting...

03-15-2012, 09:54 AM
This year in the month of Febuary i cast /lubed / sized 20,267 bullets and i have more than that amount stockpiled before i started .

03-15-2012, 09:58 AM
Several buddies have found out how accurate my cast boolits are in their firearms. Rascals show up at odd times wanting to buy or trade me out of my boolits. I have to keep a fair supply to maintain some for me!

03-15-2012, 08:04 PM
Up here in the Mitten, I cast mostly in the Oct/November before the bad stuff shows up. This last year I did over a 100 lbs of pistol bullets. I generally settle on one to three styles per caliber and make a bunch to get through the year.
I will be casting this spring with some molds I got over the winter.
As for shooting, ever other weekend 11 to 3, home for din din.

03-16-2012, 04:05 AM
I enjoy casting boolits, as well as all the other steps involved in reloading, and I can do all of them at home. Shooting means going to either an indoor range (for pistols), or an outdoor range (for rifles), both require paying to be able to shoot there. So I tend to do more casting and loading than I do shooting. Due to having a bad heart, one problem that I have is that when going to the range to shoot my pistols, between the box that holds the pistols, and another that holds the ammo, both of which are kind of on the heavy side, by the time I get to the range I've gotten myself tired just from carrying the stuff I'm going to use! I really wish I still lived in TN, at the first house I was renting up there I could walk out my back door, and shoot! Back then I shot almost every day!

03-16-2012, 05:37 AM
I keep a fairly large stock pile of boolits that I regularly use, but when I get bored I may just pull an old mold and cast some up. It gives me a reason to shoot some of my safe queens.

Michael J. Spangler
03-17-2012, 10:45 AM
i think i'll definitely be in the stockpile group.

03-17-2012, 12:05 PM
Cast what I need with a surplus stockpile.
Too many other things to do around here. SWMBO told me it is time to clean up
"My Room" She's right. It's past due. Add that project to the list.


03-17-2012, 07:27 PM
I picked #3, but I hovered over #2 for a bit before deciding to go with #3.

I really enjoy casting though. Pan lubing isn't bad, but sizing and installing gas checks isn't that much fun, so I mostly pick molds that are PB and shoot as cast if I can get away with it. :mrgreen:

03-17-2012, 07:32 PM
ill cast and reload a few hundred of whatever caliber i have. the ammo doesnt really sit much longer. its shot within a month or two, usually in the same week.

12-14-2012, 03:39 AM
The group buy section adds to the Fun of it all...:veryconfu

12-14-2012, 03:54 AM
I like casting as a hobby on it's own I sell most of what I cast it pays for powder primers and new moulds, I cast boolits I don't have guns for, I get bored if I don't have a new mould to play with every few months. Robert.

12-14-2012, 04:04 AM
I rarely have that much time that I can cast to have a large stockpile. Plus I cast for a bunch of calibers, so time is an issue. Cast what I need for a few months then do it again.

12-14-2012, 04:07 AM
I only cast what I am going to shoot.

That's pretty much what I do. But I have a friend who just said he wants to cast his own Boolits, He has a lee 20 ponder he was using for sinkers. He has no molds so I made a deal with him. using his own lead and my molds cast for him self. and using my lead cast some for me. in hand guns we shoot most of the same calibers. rifles he shoots a lot of the heavy stuff. so it works out very well. plus I still cast as well. GD

12-14-2012, 07:15 AM
Right now i run the machine until i have a full plastic coffee can.
So that's between 1000 to 2500 depending on the boolits.
With 125 gr 38s its 2300 boolits per can. With bigger boolits its 1200

But from now on I run the machine whenever I am out there for 3+hours
sent from my mobile.

12-14-2012, 09:59 AM
I used to stockpile boolits that I used a lot but it seemed that I was always looking at bins of boolits cast in years past that I didn't even have the firearm for any more, or use a different boolit for that firearm etc. All the time to cast them and alloy tied up in boolits that I didn't need seemed kind of silly. Any more I cast what I need when I need them. If it is a boolit that I'm currently using I'll keep a couple hundred extra on hand but that's it.

Even so, I still seem to have bins of boolits but now it's only 20 of these, 50 of those, left overs from a loading session. With 70+ molds it still seems to be a lot of boolits just sitting there.


12-14-2012, 10:52 AM
Take now, I have enough 45's and 9's to easily last the winter. The 44's and varoius 38's - I always keep plenty of them on hand. I shouldn't need to cast until early spring, maybe later than that. Keep em in the black. Mike

12-14-2012, 11:32 AM
Retired, casting is a hobby I started about a year ago. Cast enough to keep up with shooting. I experiment a lot to get something better, when I achieve that, I cast to shoot. So I have a 100 or so ready, maybe 50 rifle and 200 pistol loaded. I cast for 40SW, 30-30 & AR 308. All I got & all I need. Oh I did get a twinge to get a 380 or 9 or 357 lever, but that's gone for now. I might crank up the pot next week to work on a new alloy, but I need to get to the range so I can load some more.

12-14-2012, 11:26 PM
It is difficult to keep with demand, but no store boughts for me.


Centaur 1
12-15-2012, 12:22 AM
We go through a lot of peanut butter in my house, and those large clear plastic jars work great for storing boolits. The vast majority of our families handguns are in the 9mm/38spl category. My 2 main bullets are the Lee 105 grain swc, and the Ranch Dog 100 grain fn, both boolits drop at .360". I'll cast those two boolits until I have a full jar of each.

12-16-2012, 10:04 PM
I used to cast & shoot a lot. I generally tried to cast about a 6-month supply of a given boolit type when I had the pot going. I'd start casting that one again when I got down to a 1-2 month supply.

Since I've moved, I haven't had any time to devote to any of this. I haven't cast a boolit, loaded a cartridge or fired a gun in over a year now.

Michael J. Spangler
12-16-2012, 11:25 PM
i've changed around my casting. i used to make a day of it and try to cast straight out for 4 or 5 hours only stopping to let the pot heat back up again

no i'm putting it in between my knife work on a more frequent basis. I fire the pot up every week. sometimes i turn it off without casting anything, sometimes i cast 20# worth.

i find it easier to do it that way. i set the mold corner in the melt and walk away and work on some knives. then i come back and cast until the mold is too hot, and walk away for another few minutes to work on molding a kydex sheath, or sharpening something, then back to the pot again.

it's a little less of a chore, and keeps it fun for me, without getting behind on boolits.

now i need more lead! i only have about 10# of COWW left in the pot, and maybe 20# of pure and i'm out!

12-17-2012, 09:30 PM
Think I fall into the cast for fun, when I sit down to cast I may or may not "need" any boolits. I don't get a whole lot of time to cast usually just 1 evening every now and again. When I do get those evenings I cast until the light is gone (cast outdoors). Really think I need another mold, wich means I need another gun for that mold. I did buy the 9mm mold before the gun this last time, was nice to have boolits ready for loading as soon as the gun came home. My next purchase is going to be an M1 carbine and I am already looking at molds for it, just want to cast a different boolit.

12-17-2012, 11:10 PM
I cast for fun and being retired gives me the flexibity to spend as much time as I want. This past summer I cast about 7000 bullets from various molds. Its time consuming using a 1 cavity mold.Most of the molds are 2 cavity but it still takes a while to make 5 or 600 but I really have fun doing it. It's almost as addictive as collecting WW.

Dave C.
12-18-2012, 06:55 PM
I cast more than i need to keep a given stockpile.
In the summer months I'll cast what I need for the next years competition
and training. Dec-Feb I size and reload for the next year.
My cast bullets are about 2 years old by the time I send them through the x-ring.

Dave C.

legend 550
12-19-2012, 12:48 AM
I know I cast for fun. If I'm really bored I'll take my older stock and recast em.

12-19-2012, 04:00 AM
New to casting...six months now, I'm sure I will build up a stockpile, but for now casting what I need.......but still a lot of enjoyment making my own.

L Erie Caster
12-19-2012, 01:07 PM
I have over 28,500 cast boolits in my stock pile, 300lbs of lead just asking to be melted.

12-28-2012, 07:40 AM
I know I cast for fun. If I'm really bored I'll take my older stock and recast em.

Are you afraid they are past their expiration date??

12-29-2012, 04:34 PM
I cast twice as much as i shoot but i'm still usually short handed. I give away a lot to friends.

01-05-2013, 09:41 AM
I enjoy casting and have enough 9s 38s 40s 44s and 45s for a couple years. Kind of a hoarder.

01-05-2013, 06:10 PM
I shoot about 3000 rounds a year. CAS guns,45acp, 45-70 and now a 30-30.
Cast over6000. You see I have girls, son-in-laws, brother-in-law,sisters,
the whole family likes my boolits.

01-05-2013, 06:48 PM
I generally keep 200-300 of the things i shoot the most plus about 100 of each loaded. Others i cast as I need. Figure if I haven't shot 100 of the others in the given month I can cast and let harden by the time i'm down to a few. Right now it's 41,44,45 and 357 stockpiled all keith style except 44 noe hp keith and my 200 gr swc for 1911. Love my wheel guns and shoot 1911 a bit. It is my home defense nightstand gun. I like to keep my skills sharp with it.

01-05-2013, 06:54 PM
I shoot IPSC and for one seson a shot about 15000 9 mm,2.000 45 Auto and 4,500 45 Colt ...i cast more than 20.000 in one year,mostly 9 mm but also 45 ACP i Colt..

01-06-2013, 01:36 AM
I have to cast whenever I can. As it is nothing for me to go to the range and send 12lbs downrange. But I don't get to go as often as I'd like, so I can usually keep up.

rb dave
01-06-2013, 09:53 PM
Icast 6 pistol and 1 rifle bullets. Most casting and reloading done in winter bad weather. Sometimes cast 40# or more pistol bullets at a time while alternating 1 rifle mold to keep molds cool enough.Too much other fun to have in good weather!

rb dave
01-06-2013, 09:56 PM
Are you afraid they are past their expiration date??

At the rate I shoot they dont even get stale