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Thread: Why some new members will do better than others here.

  1. #1
    In Remembrance
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    The United States of Texas

    Why some new members will do better than others here.

    In reading various posts the past few days about a perceived "generation gap" regarding the instant-gratification individual versus the research & learn individual, it seems some new members (and old ones alike) wonder why their questions don't receive the attention that some other new members' questions do.

    To answer that, let me ask this: How much work or study or research have you put into the questions you are asking?

    We have a literal lead-mine of information on boolit-casting and reloading here, with much of it being exclusive to this site because many members here pioneered techniques and methods in regards to lead projectiles that are used by cast bullet shooters all over the world.

    But you have to take the effort to read and study those "stickies" in order to glean the information. When you want instant answers to basic questions, it is indicative that you haven't done any research or made any effort into finding the answer or solution yourself.

    This doesn't pertain simply to boolit-casting or reloading. It is pretty much universally applicable across all disciplines of interest.

    I'm a pilot and aircraft owner. Prior to my medical setbacks, I was giving out some free time to a couple of aspiring pilots, both recently out of college and working at good jobs. Both had around 20 to 25 hours in their log book. I am not a CFII, so while I can fly from either seat (right or left), the students cannot log PIC time and the time spent with me and my airplane is simply to help them gain experience and knowledge.

    The female student had finished her ground school, taken the FAA written test (and passed it) and had her Airman's Third Class Medical which served as her student pilot license. The male student had his logbook and a Bose ANR headset and this Airman's Third Class Medical which served as his student pilot license.

    Both had decent stick and rudder abilities, but the female was by far the smarter pilot and asked far better questions and was far more serious about becoming an airman rather than just an airplane driver. The male asked the same questions over and over, or asked basic questions that he should've learned in ground school, but for which he was "too busy at the moment" to deal with.

    After three flights, I told the male student to find someone else to mentor him, that I was done. He was literally flabbergasted that I would show him the door to our hangar simply because "all he wanted to do was get his license and be able to rent a plane now and then to fly his girlfriend and buddies around." I--and the other pilots along our stretch hangars--explained that there was a helluva lot more to it than that, but he just didn't get it then and I doubt he ever will.

    One of my neighbors is not only still taking the female student up, but was present when she solo'd and caught the whole thing on video for her. She's serious and she's putting in the work and study necessary to be a good pilot, and more importantly, a safe pilot.

    At this site, Cast Boolits, most everyone here has been casting and reloading for at least two or more decades, with most of the older members having double that. The lessons learned have come from a variety of means and methods, no shortage of which has been reading, researching, studying, and trial and error.

    We stress safety here above anything else. Knowledge equals safety. Old-timers know what happens when water gets under molten alloy. We can laugh about the Tinsel Fairy, but the reality is, she can hurt and maim you bad and do it so quick you won't realize what's happened until the ER docs explain it to you.

    A couple of years ago, I put a forefinger digit and a middle finger digit in a ziploc bag for the paramedics to take to the ER in hopes that they could be reattached to the shooter who'd blown them off--the result of not bothering to read or research or study anything when it came to reloading. As I'm putting a tourniquet on his arm below the elbow, another shooter asked him where he got his load data from. He told us (and later in court during a civil lawsuit trial that he lost) that he had never read a reloading manual, didn't see the need when he could go to any one of a hundred gun forums on the internet and get all the answers he needed.

    In the shooting world, you kind of have a hierarchy and it goes something like this:

    --Gun owners. They own a gun for whatever reason, but rarely if ever bother to shoot or practice with it. But it makes them feel better/safer for having it.

    --Casual gun owner & shooter. They own more than one gun, usually, and make a point to shoot at least once a year, often times more. They're generally safe and careful with their firearm, but have extremely limited knowledge as to how it functions, how ammo functions, etc. A lot of hunters fall into this category as well as suburbanites who keep a firearm in the house for protection, but who realize the need to stay reasonably proficient with it.

    --The serious gun owner. This person owns a number of guns, takes pride in his or her collection, knows the brand and make of each gun in their possession, keeps adequate ammunition for their firearms and enjoys shooting and is generally quite competent and proficient.

    --The reloader. This is the Serious Gun Owner who shoots very often or with great enough frequency that the economics and supply/demand qualities of reloading make it a no-brainer. Lots of competition shooters fall into this category and most prefer progressive presses that can churn out lots of ammo in a short period of time. Once they find a good load, they (usually) stop there and crank out ammo by the hundreds, if not the thousands. Very knowledgeable, very safe, very competent and proficient shooters and gun-owners.

    --The Handloader. The Handloader is often the Serious Gun Owner who has graduated at the reloading bench from a basic undergrad degree in assembling his or her own ammunition and is now embarked on a graduate-level quest for creating customized ammunition for each firearm they own. Sometimes they develop ammo for specific situations for each firearm, such as cold-weather loads, high-altitude loads, strong wind/crosswind loads, large specimen (or small specimen) of the same game animal loads. The Handloader lives at the apex of the shooting world.

    --The Bullet Caster. The Bullet Caster shares the apex of the shooting world with the Handloader and the benchrest shooter. All are looking for optimum performance and results after each pull of the trigger. To these people, it is a whole and complete package--the gun, the ammo, the shooting. Some cast their own bullets thinking that it will save them money--when in reality, it allows them to shoot MORE for the same amount of money. Some have thousands of dollars invested in molds and furnaces and lubesizers; others have less than a dead Ben Franklin. But all view themselves as craftsmen, as artists of a sort because we are creating our own projectiles to go in our own seemingly unrelated array of components of brass and primers and powders. In this world micrometers and calipers and neck-turning and annealing and chamfering and case-trimming are but a drop in the proverbial water-quenching bucket in terms of tools and techniques used to create the ultimate cartridge.

    What we've learned over the years has been acquired through endless hours of reading and study as well as discussion and finally thousands upon thousands of rounds loaded and fired at gun ranges all over the globe.

    No one here minds lending a hand or mentoring new reloaders or boolit-casters. New members are urged to read the "stickies" for a simple reason: Damn near any and every question someone new to reloading or casting could ask or think of has already been addressed, in depth, in one of the stickies.

    What most folks here do mind, however, is the attitude of Entitlement--as in, "You already know the answer so what's the big deal about just telling me instead of telling me to go read the archives?"

    If you were to ask one of our resident psychologists here, who happen to be extremely experienced reloaders and casters themselves, what traits of the typical member here might be, they would tell you that either at or near the top of the list would be "Self Sufficiency."

    We cast and we reload because we can and we do not want to have to rely on anyone or anything else in order for us to manufacture our own ammunition.

    Another trait would be "Generosity." I myself have lost count of the number of members and new casters this site has helped with everything from finances to hunting to equipment lost in fires and burglaries to getting new casters set up with equipment.

    So to any new member that may think we're grumpy or selfish or cantankerous (we are cantankerous) because you may get a chilly response to "Can I tumble-lube regular boolits that don't have tumble lube grooves" or "Can I load and fire gas check boolits without the gas checks" or "I just got a new Taurus .357--what's a good load" or "I'm thinking of getting into casting. What stuff will I need" and other such questions addressed not just in the archives and stickies, but that is available with even the simplest of a Google search, then so be it.

    But for those who have a true passion and who at least take the effort to read and research in order to ask quality questions beyond the scope of what has been assembled in the "stickies," you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place to be than here.

  2. #2
    *In Remembrance *

    aspangler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    A+ to this. I have been loading and casting for YEARS. ( shsuh!!!! don't tell anyone! LOL) I still ask questions and am still learning but I HOPE I'm not asking stupid questions. Yes I ask advise on starting loads but I work up from there and match to MY firearm. I think that is what we're supposed to do. I think that you have made a VERY good point and that this should be made a Sticky. Way to go Recluse.
    Tennessee Hunter Education Instructor

    The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to
    restrain the people; it is an instrument for the
    people to restrain the government-lest it come to
    dominate our lives and interests"
    Patrick Henry

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    N. E. Ohio
    I've been reloading and casting for over 40 years. I rank myself as slightly higher than a beginner. The more I learn, the more I realize that I don't know. With so many variables (weight, primers, powder, charges, seating depth, checks, sizing, fillers, etc....) I'll feel lucky if I ever get accomplished in a single caliber!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Springfield, Oregon
    Wonderful post.From a nubie with 14 years under my belt. Still tons to learn for me.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
    btroj's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Nebraska's oldest city
    Well said Recluse, very well said.

    I like the hierarchy of gun owners.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master s mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    southwest mo
    I'm sure still wet behind the ears, and really appreciate the knowledge so freely shared here. I have spent a lot of time reading stickeies, I don't know why many others don't.Even I wonder about some questions I see.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Jailer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Ithaca, MI
    Heck I read as much as I could on this site for about 9 months before I even joined.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Springfield, Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by btroj View Post
    Well said Recluse, very well said.

    I like the hierarchy of gun owners.
    +1 on that as well....
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    smokeywolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Too far west of where I should be.
    Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when someone puts so eloquently into words what many of us here, including myself are thinking. Good analogy with your student pilots.

    Pilots, reloaders, drivers, whatever the discipline, knowledge not earned is oft times not learned; or is frequently soon forgotten. Those folks looking for the quick and easy answer are I think the ones that pose the greatest risk to those around them. Because of their reluctance to study and research to find the answer to a specific question, they miss so much knowledge that they would have acquired on the way to uncovering the answer to their original question.
    Also, if you haven't done some basic research on your own, how do you know if you're asking the right question?

    One of the more important factors to be considered in extracting knowledge from powder, bullet and firearms manufacturers as opposed to individuals on the internet is, the companies and manufacturers have far greater resources for testing and compiling safe and accurate data and have much more to lose if their data proves unsafe.

    Recluse, thank you for your article and this thread.

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
    - Thomas Jefferson

    "While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
    - Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    scb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Well said Sir. I've been casting and reloading for 42 years now. I don't come here to teach, but am more than willing to share whatever I know, I do come here to learn. Most of the time that can be accomplished without asking any questions.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".
    Benjamin Franklin

    Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
    James Madison

  11. #11
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

    waksupi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
    Instant sticky. Thanks, JD!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    jonp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Planet Reality
    Great post
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
    George Orwell

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    slim1836's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Burleson, TX

    When Recluse types, everyone should read.

    That's what makes this forum the standard to go by.

    DISCLAIMER: This is a generic comment. It is not directed at any specific human
    being, real or fictional. The comments in this message speak directly to the
    TOPIC no matter the quoted clips - and nothing else. If I have not typed your
    name, specifically, into the message, it IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

    cbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Kalifornia Escapee
    True that on the difference between reloaders and handloaders except under handloading wildcatting should be included, both working with existing wildcat rounds and sometimes even developing their own.

    True that when you've done this for decades before the internet, had to figure it out yourself or not do it at all that's it's simple to get tired of and ignore questions such as . . . Are there any good loads for the 38 special? Not all newbie questions are so obvious in their lack of research though and I enjoy helping these people as much as I can. With some making posts such as "I see no need for loading books, the money is better spent elsewhere", or "loading books printed on dead trees is outdated" my first thought is that I'm sure glad these people aren't the ones next to me at the range. There is so much more to it than just a recipe.

    This forum truly is a vast wealth of knowledge, when I came here I had been shooting cast exclusively in all of my firearms for years, I was competing in long range handgun and doing pretty well. It sure was a happy day when my cast boolits beat the some of the best in the game shooting the most expensive bullets you could buy. I passed on as much of what I had learned as I could but the truth is that in 8 years here my casting technique, equipment & more has improved radically from what I've learned here and continues to this day.

    I'll continue to help those that wish to learn and mostly ignore those that see no point in learning and only want to be spoon fed. For those that wish to learn there is thousands of years of collective knowledge here and most are willing to help. This probably is a cold place for those without the desire to learn, probably not intentionally cold but understandably so.

    "The people never give up their freedom . . . Except under some delusion." Edmund Burke

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

    NRA Benefactor Life Member
    CRPA Life Member

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Adam10mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Fox Cities, Wisconsin
    That's part of the fun of this hobby. You learn things by taking the hard way. I found my favorite cast bullet and load for .45 ACP by trying many powders and working everything up. No one ever told me about it, I figured it out for myself. I learned a lot about how different powders behave at different charges, what I liked in a powder and what I hated in others. You can't buy that knowledge.
    "A man may not care for golf and still be human, but the man who does not like to see, hunt, photograph, or otherwise outwit birds or animals is hardly normal. He is supercivilized, and I for one do not know how to deal with him." - Aldo Leopold

    Live generously.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2006
    God's country - WI.
    I've been a reloader - make that a handloader - for over forty years.
    I've been a caster for over 30 years.
    In that time I've striven to learn as much as I could - studied and read and experimented.
    I had considerable success in some areas - won some shooting matches and killed a lot of game with my handloaded J-word ammo.
    I even won a match or two with boolits that I cast myself.
    There was still a lot to learn. Until I came here I didn't even know how much I didn't know about casting - and didn't know how much I thought I knew that was flat-out wrong.
    That mistaken "knowledge" came (in most cases) directly from the manuals, books and articles that were available to me as I learned the casting craft. Not all ignorance comes from lack of attempts to learn. I was fortunate to have a few people over the years take the time to mentor me and help me over some rough places in my education. Some of those people are lost to my distant past, but some of them are here on this board today.
    I agree that there are people whose impatience and unconcern with learning makes them poor candidates as reloaders, let alone casters - but when I get annoyed with foolish questions I think back to those who were kind to me and remind myself that I have much to be grateful for. I can't pay them back - but I can pay it forward.
    Uncle R.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Well said,

    Prior to reading this thread, I read one regarding Lee's handgun carbide factory crimp die. I doubt if there has been as much posted, discussed, and debated about one piece of casting/reloading equipment as that infamous die. Now, there's another thread about an old and tired subject.

    Working with Buckshot, I started a sticky about what moulds Lee's six-cavity handles will fit, with and without modifications. Other members added their experiences, making the sticky very informative and comprehensive. Still, someone will ask if Lee handles will fit a Brand X mould. The information is there -- look for it.

    I, too, am a relative new caster, but am more than willing to help any member as long as they've shown that they've done a bit of homework and are willing to learn. I've given equipment and manuals to new reloaders, to help them get started.

    The knowledge that exists inside this site's archive is truly amazing. It's a pity and a shame that it sits there gathering dust, because so many members prefer the easy and lazy way to achieve their ends.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    29˚6827N, 99˚1207W
    This needs to be a sticky. I don't mean that in a cantankerous way, either.

    I understand both sides, I came here as a 15-year noob who'd shot is own cast boolits in three calibers, two pistol and one rifle. I'd put literally BUCKETS of WW through one of them. One of my first questions to this forum was asking for help with my Kimber .45 leading. I hadn't read all the stickies, but had read enough to realize that at the time, there were some holes in the basic data here. Nobody had put of a thread specifically addressing the importance of FIT, or the relationship between gas leaks, leading, and lube. The function of boolit lube had been discussed a lot, but by experienced shooters who all understood fundamentally that lube doesn't stop leading if fit is bad. I didn't get that from books, or from general reading about cast boolits. I got that from people here, because I began asking the right questions.

    Since then, I vowed to try to fill some of the gaps in the archived information here as I learned them myself, and learned the fixes. I have attempted to shine light into the dark and often mis-understood corners of the hobby in the hope that it could shorten the learning curve of people coming after me. There will always be people in front of me, and people behind me, but I try to move forward on my own mission, wherever that leads me, and if I discover things along the way that seem useful I try to share them in an understandable format. My mission has been to learn and share, to make this a better place for all of us, and to repay the debt of knowledge that I owe to so many who helped me pass my first undergraduate casting classes.

    Many people think I'm sour, cross, pedantic, or condescending in my posts. Sometimes that may be the case, but I'm not a "personal" kind of person, I'm interested in facts, what works, what doesn't, why it does or doesn't, what others do that don't work for me and vice-versa. If you tell me that beeswax cleans lead I'll show you that you're wrong and show you why and how it matters. BUT NOT FOR THE SAKE OF PROVING ANYONE WRONG. I do so for the sake of helping people understand what they're doing so it will bring more joy to their experience, as do many other dedicated members who have their pet "soapboxes". Some people are very resisting to new ideas, new concepts, and new-to-them information (for whatever reason, it varies), so there is a natural conflict with someone like me. So be it. I'm not always right, but I do the best I can to share the GOOD information and quash the superstitious wives' tales that have kept some of the finer points of this hobby in the dark for so long. We all tend to do things a little differently and rarely all have exactly the same opinion regarding what "works", but most of us can certainly agree on what DOESN'T work because we have those T-shirts hanging in the back of our closets.

    In the past few years the information mine available on this site, and on Castpics, has increased by leaps and bounds. It is a Mecca of knowledge all wrapped into one neat package. Yes, it takes a while to figure out to find it, but all a new caster needs is already right here. If they resent being pointed to an article and asked to read, or to purchase a loading manual and actually read its text, then perhaps this hobby isn't for them, or at least I am the wrong one to be teaching them.

    Generally, as newer members learn and master the basics, they are eager to share with others just joining, or just making a foray into a new part of the hobby. This un-burdens the more advanced casters so they can discuss more advanced challenges. Sometimes things get out of balance and there is a gap, which I'm seeing now. Lots of new people with little knowledge and a lot of questions, but for the most part only older, more experienced members are participating in answering them. To the inexperienced members, all I can say is be a good student, hone your research skills, take an active interest and responsibility in your own learning, and the teachers will come along when you're ready.


    ETA: Wow, ten posts while composing that. With all that has been said, this is rather an epilogue! Thanks Ric for sticking it, I was going to PM you with just such a request.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man 40-82's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    southwest Virginia
    I'm new to this site, but I'm not new to reloading. I've been at it for over fifty years. For years when I came to a problem that I wasn't sure how to solve or had an idea that I wondered how much sense it made, I imagined that there was somebody out there somewhere who knew what I needed if I could only find them. I've found them now. Sometimes I find myself reading on this site for hours about boolit casting and hand loading situations that I may personally never find the opportunity to try just for the pure fascination of learning about how someone who is really good goes about approaching the problem. As of yet, I haven't asked many questions because most of what I do with cast boolits is neither sophisticated or ground-breaking, and if I need an answer I can usually find it with a little research. I appreciate your words, Recluse.
    NRA Life Member

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gilbertville, Iowa
    hierarchy of shooters... very well thought out.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check