View Full Version : now I need some casting help

05-06-2008, 02:00 AM
I'm going to start casting bullets for a .54 cal sharps rifle. How hard do they have to be? What lead/tin mixture is right? do I then need to size the bullets? and what about lubricating them. I'm very new to this I have reloaded for years but the bullets were always pre made. I have decided to start here with this rifle and maybe work up to other bullets. Any way what ever advice you folks can give would be appreciated.

05-06-2008, 08:01 AM
I had a real nice Pedersoli .54 Sharps.
The bullets cast great with straight wheel weight. I later added tin and they cast great. A large bullet that fills out real well. I used the Dixie bullet mold for the sharps.
I did not size, did not seem to need to.
I never figuired out how to tie the paper cartridge to the bullet. Instead, I made a cartridge that rested against the base of the bullet.
I had never had a rear stuffer before, and the first shot made me real nervous. The second shot had me relaxed. It all worked great.
The breech block cut off the tail, I used musket primers. A sweet shooting rifle.
With the mold I used, I smoked it, and dipped it into the pot untill the lead stopped adhering to it. Then I cast two hundred. This is a single hole mold. I made nitrated papers for it, and a fixture to roll the cartridges. I glued the part of the cartridge that was to tie onto the bullet into a flat end.
It was a fun rifle to shoot! Lots of involvement with it.
It is easier than it seems at first.

05-06-2008, 03:15 PM
One potentially serious problem MAY occur with the use of paper cartridges in the Sharps percussion rifles/carbines. There is a cavity in the back of the forend for the lever spring. Powder from the cartridge cutoff can find its way into that space, and eventually lead to a "KABOOM" that wrecks the forend, and can injure your left hand. Some replicas have a plug or shield to keep powder out of that space; others do not. If yours does not, it's a good idea to remove the forend after every few shots and check for powder in the spring cavity. I didn't know about this when shooting my original M1863 carbine; but then I was not making cartridges; I just dropped the bullet into the chamber and poured loose powder in after it, so I never encountered this problem; but I have seen it mentioned in articles and posts. Has anyone here ever had this problem or heard of it happening? I don't want to be alarmist, but...


05-07-2008, 01:10 AM
Thanks fellas for the info . it's real helpful. And thank you Floodgate for the heads up with the forend problem.

05-07-2008, 02:44 PM
................I've never owned or shot one of these before. I am going to assume the boolit doesn't require upsetting by the charge since it is placed into the chamber from the rear. This being the case, I would think that so long as it cast to groove OD or better (and fits) that alloy makeup shouldn't be a big issue?


05-12-2008, 01:00 AM
thanks buckshot!!