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Thread: Lead temperature for pouring into boolits

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub fralic76's Avatar
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    Lead temperature for pouring into boolits

    I couldn't find this anywhere, and I hope this is in the thw right place.
    What temperature is your lead when you pour for boolits and what is the mold made of (brass, steel, aluminum, etc). I ask this question because I use aluminum Lee molds but have picked up a steel RBCS mold. I use a PID controller that is set for 740 degrees for the Lee molds. When pouring into the steel mold I get fins on the nose part of the boolit. I then turned the temperature down to 700 degrees and it gets better. Is the heat still to high oe is it something else.

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    I can cast perfect bullets with steel or aluminum at any temperature from 800 down to slightly above 500.


    - - - so can you. The controlling factor is mold temperature. You can control this by turning down the heat, by casting slower, ( wait longer between pourings), use a fan to cool the mold before refilling it. Some say to set it on a damp rag for a few seconds. I think this is a bad idea, especially for an iron mold.

    The takeaway here is that every bullet caster has a personal method that "jells". There is no "correct" temperature, or cadence. The important thing is the relation to each other. The only thing that is non negotiable is mold temperature. I do not know what that is in degrees but I do know what it is in seconds. It must take around 3 seconds for a sprue puddle to harden. Less than that, the mold is too cold.


    The fins on your RCBS bullet could be caused by being too hot. A more likely cause is the mold is not tightly closed.
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  3. #3
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    I usually have my PID at 730°, but you can cast just fine at 700° if you adjust your casting speed for that. A mold oven to preheat (even if only a hot plate and a coffee or bean can) will really make a difference in what temp the pot needs to be when starting out. Once the casting gets to going well, you can even go less than 700° if you want, although the spout on my Pro Melt will eventually freeze at much below 660°.
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    I don't have one temperature. Because ambient temperature has a lot of effect on how hot the lead needs to be. I will start at 720 for a non hollow point mold. In the winter I will end up raising the temp. In the summer I may have to lower it. And this doesn't address the diameter of the bullets. A mold for tiny 22cal bullets is going to run differently then one for 45cal. There are a lot of variables so adjust your temp until you produce good bullets.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I start @ 675 then go up until things sync 685 works well for me for most applications

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub fralic76's Avatar
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    The mold is for 22 caliber, the mold halfs are held together tight (no light coming through). I am using a set of Lee 6 cavity handles. I have been thinking about get a set of c clamp style vicegrips and cutting and drill to fit.

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    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    now I really doubt you need to do that, and I think it would make it very hard to keep a steady rhythm. touch your mold to a damp rag every third drop or so, and hold it on there for a couple seconds, that's what I do. although my molds are aluminum so you may need to hold them on there a bit longer to cool them the same amount
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fralic76 View Post
    The mold is for 22 caliber, the mold halfs are held together tight (no light coming through). I am using a set of Lee 6 cavity handles. I have been thinking about get a set of c clamp style vicegrips and cutting and drill to fit.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub fralic76's Avatar
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    Was think about these.


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    As cool a melt as it takes to get good boolits. warming the mold lets you cast a cooler temps. I have cast at 850˚ and got good boolits. With some preheating and tweaking the alloy, it is now 750˚ or less.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    when I first bought a steel/iron mold 314299 I went nuts trying to get the right temp!
    Same as you fins, wringles, voids you name it.

    Finally what I did is I found the lowest setting my WW + Tin 2% would flow through my Lee bottom pore pot. this is around 680*F by my lyman thermometer. I then just let the mold sit on the top edge of the lee pot while I got ready. Ny best results is when the wood handles are nice and warm to my bare hand. Then as I cast I will "test" the handles now and again. I have learned the "level" of handle temp when to let it cool or keep going...I use a damp cloth I just use the large steel heat sink next to me....my oil heat drum...
    Honestly though I will cast more than one bullet type and just swap out the molds ever 20-30 cycles.

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    I suspect your problem with finning is either head pressure and/or stream size and/or distance of the mold to the pour spout. A vice grip shouldn't be necessary, unless you have hand-grip issues. Try adjusting the stream or holding the mold farther away (lower) from the spout.

    But, As to temperature, The rule of thumb is the alloy's liquidus temp plus 100º, depending on the alloy's composition, the liquidus temp will vary, you need to find that number for your alloy.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I run right around 700deg with range scrap in alum or iron molds.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I usually run the pot at 700° for most of the 45's I cast for even some .38 molds. For rifle the mold seems to like it around 725°.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    I suspect your problem with finning is either head pressure and/or stream size and/or distance of the mold to the pour spout. A vice grip shouldn't be necessary, unless you have hand-grip issues. Try adjusting the stream or holding the mold farther away (lower) from the spout.

    But, As to temperature, The rule of thumb is the alloy's liquidus temp plus 100º, depending on the alloy's composition, the liquidus temp will vary, you need to find that number for your alloy.

    This is good advice.

    You can also try and direct the lead stream (if from a bottom pour pot) so it doesn't go directly into the sprue plate hole but rather just off set so it will swirl the stream into the mold.

  16. #16
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    my PID is set to 700f most of the time. A few molds seem finicky and I'll go up to 725f but that's the extent of my range. I let all my molds pre-heat on a hotplate for a good 20 minutes most of the time. I try to only cast in the fall/winter for cooler weather....
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  17. #17
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    I like frosted boolits. I dunno why, but I do. I will turn on my Lee dripomatic wide open to melt the alloy then turn it down two numbers and leave it there. My Lee molds heat up pretty fast, especially the two cavity molds. I generally don't have to mess with the rheostat any more during the casting session. With my RCBS molds I do have to turn it down a bit more unless I'm using two molds.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Man Gamsek's Avatar
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    Survey: What Lead Temperature do you Cast?

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...4&share_type=t

    Always interesting to see what works. Since I use a bottom pour electric furnace with PID I can control alloy temperature. I use 750F/400C for rifle HP and 680F/360C for non HP pistol mould. This is not a rule, more of a guidance. Every mold has its own preferences, but I consider preheating the mold essential to getting good results fast.

  19. #19
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    The finning means a tiny flake of something stuck to the mold. Inspect very carefully. it is probably a small flattened blob of alloy preventing the mold from closing completely. It could even be that you might need a dab of lube on the alignment pins.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I did modify a set of those vise grips to mould handles. Removed the pads milled out the handles ends and welded 5/16" pads to the ends for the moulds to mount and swivel on. Drilled a series of lightening holes thru the jaws to lighten and help balance them. Disassembled them and added a lock nut to the adjusted and extended the release finger some to make it easier to operate. THey worked but the draw backs are several No wood insulating handles, hard to set to proper tension, hard to keep set the vibrations break the lock nut loose and loosen the adjuster, and the big one is they are heavy and not balanced well. I use several sets of the cabin tree locking handles and 1 of the new ones. They are easier to set lock solidly and very seldom loosen. They are better balanced and have wood handle for the insulation. I normally cast in the 700*-750* range with 20-1 alloy and a ladle. Ambient temp, mould temp, cadence, and mould size all will affect the results. On small bullets like the 22s a fast cadence may be required to keep everything right. Another thing to keep in mind is my thermometer may not read the same as yours by some amount. Your idea of a fast cadence is probably different from mine.
    Lightly oil one blocks face and close them together carefully and under the same tension as casting open carefully and look at the oil transferred to the other block to make sure there isn't a low spot or small opening causing problems. Make sure the blocks seat closed on the faces not the pin ends and that they are alighned snugly with no rock or wiggle. Also make sure they move freely on the handles pivoting with a little "rock" to allow alighnment.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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