View Full Version : I don't know anything, That's why I'm here

Remington Kid
12-30-2005, 04:10 PM
Looks Like I found the right place . Hope you guy's don't mind helping dummies?
Bought my little Lee melting pot with the spout under it and a double cavity .454 and double cavity .380 round ball molds for shooting out of my Remington .44 and my new navy1851 .36 Colt.
I have some really clean lead that is in the form of some old conicals a guy gave me and some old balls that didn't turn out quit right . I'm guessing there's 20 lbs of it.
After melting how long can can I let this stuff sit in my Lee pot without screwing it up? The pot holds #10 of lead and I was going to melt the lead tonight and maybe heat it back up and do some casting tomorrow. Will it hurt anything to set it outside on my porch to melt it? It's down to about 40 here today.
Thanks for any info you may want to share and have a happy and safe New Years everyone.

12-30-2005, 04:38 PM
This is a good board to keep track of, but things move pretty fast sometimes. Lots of good info available and knowledgeable (and helpful) lead-launching loonies.
You'd probably do just as well to melt your lead tomorrow unless you intend to make ingots out of it tonight. Breaking it into ingots would give you a steady supply of clean lead to keep molding for a looong time. The alternative it to melt , flux and clean and run till the pot gets low, then carefully add more DRY conicals and balls, let them melt, reflux and clean, then go back to casting. BE VERY SURE THAT ANYTHING ADDED TO MOLTEN LEAD IS DRY or you'll get a visit from the tinsel fairy and possibly some nasty reminders not to make the mistake again.
Good luck and a Happy New Year (and welcome to the board).

12-30-2005, 04:53 PM

WELCOME! Don't waste time making ingots the first time around, just get going casting and shooting those wonderful old-type revolvers. You'll have a lot of fun, get real dirty, and learn a lot!. Be sure to (a) put a good dab of Crisco over the balls once seated, for lubing and to prevent flash-overs; (b) pull out the cylinder every three or four loadings, wipe off the crud, and re-grease the base-pins heavily; and (c) when re-assembling the Colt replica, DON'T drive the wedge in too tight - there should be about one paper-thickness line-of-light between cylinder and barrel shank. And WEAR GLASSES!! I've been shooting these for going on sixty years, and the fun never wears off. You may get some alternate advice here - we don't all run these the same way - so try out alternatives and figure out what works best for YOU. Happy New Year!


Remington Kid
12-30-2005, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the advice guy's. As far as the C & B revolvers go I have been shooting and smithing and tunning them for many years and have built many smoke poles from scratch. My problem now is that I'm 59 and never casted a bullet in my life :lol:
My Dad and I casted some civil war solders when I was about 10 and we used a plumbers set up with the big torch and and a ladel. Wish I still had the molds!
I'll do a litttle casting in the morning and see how it goes. Thanks agin folks, Mike

12-31-2005, 02:04 AM
Rem. Kid:

Sorry, didn't mean to be "talking down" to you; I should have known better, from your moniker. But I AM amazed that you've been "shooting, smithing and tuning" C&B revolvers and long guns for years and never got into casting for them. The fun is just beginning...


Remington Kid
12-31-2005, 09:48 AM
Floodgate, Believe me I never took it as if you were talking down to me. I'm used to that from my wife! Just kidding :-P
It was just easier to me to go buy the swaged at my muzzle loading shop. The guy who owns it is about 80 and getting ready to close his doors and he's the closest one at 55 miles one way. He is also the only one for a 100 miles that still carried the Holy Black including Swiss and and my favorite Goex. Going to switch to Pyrodex "P".
Got to thinking that It would be a good idea to learn to cast. My wife gave me an extra couple hundred dollars to spend on whatever I wanted for Christmas and here I am. Thanks again for your help and I'll be back with more questions shortly if you guy's don't mind ? Mike

Remington Kid
12-31-2005, 04:37 PM
All in all I have to say it went real well today. My first 20 were not so good but after playing with the heat adjustment and the way I was filling the mold they started coming out real nice.
When I was done I placed all the screw-up's and sprues back in the pot and then added a tiny chunk of canning wax. It flamed up and then I stirred it around with a doll rod and let it sit before skimming. Looks like clean lead to me! Thanks guy's for the help.

01-01-2006, 06:06 AM
..........Rem Kid, casting with pure lead is about the easiest there is. Crank the pot up to warp factor 8. Then cast almost as fast as you can go, or at least as fast as the sprue setting up will allow.

I don't know whose mould you're using but the Lee's seem to cut the sprue off closest to the ball of any. The only other RB moulds I've ever used have been a couple Lyman's and they leave a decidedly longer sprue nub on the ball.


Remington Kid
01-01-2006, 09:05 AM
Thanks for the tips Buckshot. I'm useing the Lee molds and they cast a really nice looking ball whenI do my part. For some reason I found that if I keep the opening of the mold almost against the pour spout they come out just about perfect and I end up with a very smooth ball and small sprue. If I hold it down a little from the spout I get a large sprue and the balls look like they need to be ironed or kind of a prune look :cry:
Happy New Year to All Of You!!

01-01-2006, 02:22 PM
My Lee 50 cast a nicer looking ball than my Lyman and I hold it to the plate also. Thats with the lead sheathing from old phone cables. ( nice to work for the phone company , but that is drying up now to. Still some small tear downs coming in occasionally.) Boon :coffee:

Remington Kid
01-01-2006, 07:54 PM
Well, got about 400 .380 balls madethis evening and most look good but they could be better or maybe I'm expecting to much from a cast ball. A few of them have little wrinkles, very minor but I can see them. Some are really nice but they are far and few between.
I'll try some more in the morning. Thanks again fo the help guy's, Mike

Bent Ramrod
01-01-2006, 09:29 PM
Remington Kid,

FWIW, I found that, especially with Lee round ball molds, that I had to hold the ladle just off the sprue plate and sort of pour it in from the side, allowing it to swirl into the cavity. Standard method with the ladle held to the sprue hole and tilted upright gave wrinkles, generally just below the sprue cut and on the side of the ball away from the nice spherical surface that greeted me when I opened the mold.

I also found that when in doubt, touch those aluminum molds to the molten lead surface and make sure the lead sloughs off. The rb molds can't be too hot, in my experience.

Remington Kid
01-01-2006, 11:00 PM
Bent Ramrod, Your right about the way the sprue cuts whenit's not done just right. I'll try tilting the mold a little and see what happens.
What about the heat of the lead? The instructions that come with the pot say I should just keep it hot enough to make the balls but it seems to work best when it's cranked up to about 8.5 out of a possiable 10. Thanks , Mike