View Full Version : new here and a question

08-15-2005, 04:33 PM
I wanted to introduce myself, and ask what will probably be an obvious question. My name is Mike Horst, from Baltimore, Md. I have been shooting for many years, and have reloaded for the past 20. I am an NRA member, and a father and husband. My kids range in age from 15 to 22. I have recently been bitten by the casting bug! I have cast some round balls from lead, but want to get into casting bullets for rifle and handgun. I scrounged some wheel weights, and also purchased a cast iron pot from a secondhand store to melt them. The pot has some surface rust...does this need to be removed before melting the weights? I appreciate any comments!
Thank you in advance,

David R
08-15-2005, 05:00 PM
Naa, the surface rust won't hurt, just wipe it out. When you flux your metal, it will take care of the rest. I make ingots in a muffin tin. They fall out easier if the tin is a little rusty. Just MAKE SURE there is no moisture in the pot or your lead. One drop of water in molten lead can empty the pot in a hurry.

Welcome and have a blast.


08-15-2005, 06:25 PM
............Mike, Welcome to the board. You've a very interesting journey ahead of you! One thing nice about round balls. They're always point forward.

You're gonna be using that cast iron pot for rendering wild native WW's into domesticated nice clean ingots, right? You have a seperate pot you're casting from right?

So what kind of rifles and handguns are you going to be casting for?


08-15-2005, 08:27 PM
eljefe, Welcome to the board. For a good starting point, read Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook. This will probably raise as many questions as it answers. That's what we are here for-to swap knowledge and help each other.

08-15-2005, 08:45 PM
Welcome, welcome.

Come on in, the water's fine (just keep it out of the lead pot, as mentioned).

You'd best revise whatever estimate you've already made about "how many" wheelweights you'll need, because it is going to be a lot higher figure than you think. Somehow, I don't think there'll be much competition for used WW in Maryland, but I'd be mighty happy to find out I was wrong about that.

We have a lot of fun here, along with trading vast amounts of information back and forth. Don't worry if threads tend to wander once in a while, because the Topic Police have been paid-off and no one gets the ol' knickers in a twist.

Pull up a stump and settle in, Mike. You're among friends.

08-15-2005, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome! I do indeed have a small lee melter that will be used for casting, and this cast iron pot is for melting wheel weights, etc.
I am initially going to cast for a 30-30 and 300 savage, as well as a 9mm semi-auto pistol. Later, I hope to find a good bullet for my sporterized smle.
I have obtained some wheel weights, some x-ray lead, and a big chunk of alloy that one of my m/l friends gave me. He said it was for casting bullets for a 45/70, and he uses straight lead for his round ball casting. I have been lurking on several bulletin boards, and I also got a copy of the Lee loading manual. I will have to look for that Lyman book.
Thanks again,

08-28-2005, 03:23 PM
Back from vacation and decided to melt some wheel weights. I used my old coleman stove and cast pot, and melted some wheel weights and the big chunk of alloy I mentioned above. I was amazed at how quickly that stove and cast pot melted the alloy! I fluxed with crisco, and skimmed off the clips. Then, I ladeled six muffins of alloy. I am waiting for them to cool a bit, and then will try casting with my bottom pour lee melter. I got two molds...one for 30/30, and one for my 9mm. Thanks for the tips; I'm sure they helped me with the first step. :smile:

08-28-2005, 03:52 PM
You're gonna get barrel leading due to mixing pure lead with your ww when you shoot 30-30 unless you keep velocity around 1200 - 1300 fps.

08-28-2005, 04:04 PM
If you mix 50/50 WW/lead and water quench it or over temper it, you can should above that range.


08-28-2005, 06:26 PM
Well...wrinkled bullets were what I got! I even read the directions, for once.
I mixed the wheel weights with a big chunk of what was described as "for a 45-70" that a buddy of mine had. He only shoots lead, so he gave it to me.
I guess it's back to the drawing board. I actually got a few good bullets towards the end of my casting session. I think that I didn't clean the mold carefully enough. Any thoughts?

08-28-2005, 06:41 PM
For your 303 I have found the Lee C312-185-1R to be a top proformer .
I crimp on the gascheck and pan lube the unsized bullet .( I just push the bullet into the sizer enough to crimp the gascheck)
I then use neck sized only cases
My #4 Mk 1 shoots the best that way.

Glad to have you aboard.


David R
08-28-2005, 06:44 PM
Your lead or mold weren't hot enough. I am guesing both since things improved towards the end of the session. Your mold warmed up and your pot was not as full. Crank up the heat some more and try again.

Have fun


08-28-2005, 10:42 PM
WHOE back up a bit pertner. what Mdl savage do you have. im a savage persen.. :p

08-29-2005, 08:06 PM
.............HA! The magic word for Katie is "Marlin"[smilie=w:. You'll have to talk to Deputy Al. He's about eat up with'em.

Mike, what kind of moulds are your 'For the 30-30' and 'A 9mm mould'? As DavidR suggested, it's gotta be heat (lack of). If it was oil it might not ever have started casting well.

If they're Lee moulds float them on the surface of the melt for a 20 count and then begin casting. If the sprue stays molten for awile, then your alloy is probably hot enough. As you cast in a rythem the blocks will cool a bit to the point where the lead coming in is kind of maintaining a level.

Lyman says to NOT dip their blocks in the hot alloy, but I do. Brings'em up to temp mucho rapido and you get good boolits from the first.


08-30-2005, 12:12 AM
wrinkled bullets can be from a cold mold or alloy but ive found most of mine came from lubing the mold with a WHOLE stick of lube. i now set a 3/4" copper pipe cap on the top edge of my pot with a dab of lube in it. when it melts i use a q tip to lube my lee molds. what did you lube your mold with? if you used bullet lube you can probably smell it on your wrinkled bullets. if no smell or "sticky feeling" its probably the temp.

09-06-2005, 06:29 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions; I finally got the wrinkles out of the bullets.
Getting everything hotter did the trick.

I cast some 9mm with a lee mold, used liquid alox, and ran them through a .356 sizer (also lee). I shot them yesterday...no leading, but a bunch of lube left in the barrel. Accuracy was fair; on a par with some winchester white box (cheap!) factory loaded jacketed bullets. I cleaned the barrel, making sure that there was nothing left. I even used some jb bore cleaning compound...it is spotless. I then got the idea to slug the barrel. I used an egg sinker as suggested in the book I bought from beartooth. The slug mikes at .356. I am wondering if I should size the next batch at .357; they are dropping at .359. I am sorry for being long-winded; I am terribly new at this but am having a ball!
Thanks again,

David R
09-06-2005, 08:33 PM
Sure would try 357.

You could also try not sizing them at all and lube with Lee liquid ear wax. ( I got that from this board :) )

09-06-2005, 09:21 PM
David, thanks for the reply. Is there any risk in shooting a bullet that much bigger than bore diameter? I would love to be able to skip sizing since it is one additional step, and I wouldn't have to get an additional die.
Do you think the lube was excessive, the boolit too small or a combo of both?
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

David R
09-06-2005, 10:27 PM
I Personally don't think you will hurt a thing. I don't know if your gun will shoot better or worse, but its worth a try. Lots of people shoot unsized boolits.

09-06-2005, 10:41 PM
Thanks, David. :grin:

Katie, my savage is a 99 eg. It is a 300 savage, and it from the early 1950s.
I am shooting it with a marble's tang sight. It is a real shooter! I would love to find another 99 in 250 savage.

09-07-2005, 05:58 AM
Katie is a savage person.....good to know, I'll tread lightly. :-)

For the record, I am eaten up BY Marlins, not with them. One in particular (a 25-20) is getting tamed as we speak, and a newer 32-20 seems to have absorbed the lessons of its older/smaller-bored brother. So far.

Jefe, I have a Savage 99 in 250 Savage with Marble's tang sight, and the answer is NO. Vintage 1930, its 1-14" twist is real lead-friendly--and it does fine things with an NEI pattern that resembles a 30 caliber RG-4 that shrunk a bit.

9mm Luger can be a little challenging with cast boolits, although your results are better than my first attempts. My two SIG-Sauers have .356" grooves and .357" throats, so my castings now get sized @ .357". The fast twist in most factory 9mm barrels (1-10") does best work with fairly hard metal and soft lubes for maximum velocities (125 grainers @ 1200 FPS). Most 9mm's will cycle reliably with 125's at around 1000 FPS. If your loads are already up to the standards of W-W white box, you are doing fine. Most service grade 9mm's aren't real tackdrivers using cast boolits without a few mods and tweaks, so you are ahead of the game.

09-07-2005, 01:27 PM
Deputy Al

This group was shot with my Browning Hi Power, Belgium model. The load, also pictured, is the RCBS 9mm TC cast over 4.0 or 4.5 grs of Unique. There were two different loads in this group of ten shots and two different primers. Again these were shot standing and resting my arms off my brick retaining wall and distance was 25 yards. Gun had a dirty bore from a previous shoot and with my terrible eyes. The bottom was a flyer and the hole at the top was from the stape.