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Thread: Learning the Hard way

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    JWT's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    Outside Detroit
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    493
    Learned to reload from my Dad. Learned to cast here.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    Cecilia, Kentucky
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    847
    Learning to reload without a mentor was cake, as im pretty mechanical. Casting is a whole other ball game. I am about 85% there I think. I can make good bullets.... but I still struggle sometimes. Shame that casting, apparently, is a dying art.

    Thanks for all the replies everyone.

    ~Bazoo

  3. #23
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    SE Ks
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    Started loading shotgun while still in high school in the 60s. No one in the family was a shooter so magazines and manuals were the teachers. Loaded my first rifle loads(270) with a Lee whack a mole not too long after. In the mid 70s I picked up a 357 Blackhawk and Skeeters articles on casting and young married lifes low budget got me started melting lead with a Lee 4lb dipper pot. Too bad that 3 screw Blackhawk went down the road in a few short years, but by that time I was casting for my favorite rifle, an original M94 Marlin 25-20. Still casting for it, along with it's stablemate, a rebored M336 in 38-55.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    LaFollette Tn
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    My Grand Father started me down the cast boolit road when I was about 8 or so.He cast for his Springfield TD 45-70.That was sure some fun times.Then for myself,I started casting for .38 special with the Lyman 358156 gc boolit.Got that sorted out pretty quick with the fellow that got me reinterested in casting.Those were some fun times.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  5. #25
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Pennsylvaina
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    I'm lucky in this sense my dad and grandpa would cast together Sunday after church and before NASCAR came on so I've been around this world my hole life by the time I was 12 I had a mold for my 30-30 and my 6.5x55 I've been lucky when my grandpa past away dad and I stoped casting for a year or two and one Sunday just started casting again with my deployments and active duty I guess my dad didn't like casting alone it has became a family event that even my kids help with we get picked on for spending the afternoon that way but it's a good relaxing time to sit and talk


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    31
    I wouldn't call it the "Hard-Way" more like a fun/frustrating trial by fire that's kind of a lonely journey. I don't know anyone that reloads or casts. I am tight budget and took me a year to be able to buy first riffle (Savage Axis Gen II .270). Ammunition was expensive and got me reloading bringing my .270 Win ammo reasonably price. I have been reloading for 2 years and casting since January. One day a random you-tube movie showed a guy salvaging range scraps, and I had an epiphany because bullets are my major expenditure. So I google what to do and basic equipment. Googled a bunch of books and mad an Amazon shopping cart. I saved my money till the wife said I could order everything. Read all the books and google led me here eventually. Been lurking for over a while. I am savvy with the search function and have been able to solve my problems. Although I wish I would have had a mentor sometimes. Took me 5 months, 200 dollars in different kinds of powders and lots of trial and error to get my .270 up to 2000 fps and 1" group at 100yds. Still have Paper patching and 5 more guns to experiment with and work up loads for.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  7. #27
    I started reloading 12 gauge shot shells on a Lee loadall I traded from an older friend when I was in high school in the mid 70s. My friend gave me a crash course on how it worked and what components to use so I was pretty well set. My dad was sure I would "blow my self up" and made me load outside in a tool shed.

    In the early 80s, now on my own, I loaded my first metallic cartridge for a S&W model 14, 38 special. I learned from reading and through trial and error as I didn't know anyone else who reloaded.

    I was into muzzle loading now and started casting roundballs as per Sam Fadala's book. My serious casting started with the purchase of my first 44 mag, a Ruger Super Blackhawk. I subscribed to Shooting Times and Skeeter advised me to use the Lyman 429421 and 2400 powder.

    What little I knew was learned from reading as there was no internet and I didn't know anyone who cast. A few people I worked with over the years reloaded but the only other caster I know is my brother, and I got him started. I've been casting going on 40 years and I'm still learning, thanks to the people on this site.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

    Finster101's Avatar
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    SW Fla
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    The first boolits I saw cast were by me. The first ammo I saw reloaded was by me, thanks in large part to this forum.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master Randy C's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    North Dakota
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    I collected reloading equipment for many years before I taught my to self reload, Bernie at Old West bullet moulds in Grand JCT. CO. showed me the basic's on how to cast bullets and reload them, I had all ready got the bug from reading and being a member here. This is a good place to hang out when you have time.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master

    farmerjim's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    St. Francisville, Louisiana
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    I started reloading 12 ga in the mid 60's. Then started shooting pistols. Thought it would save a lot of money to cast. I read the lyman manual, and started. I have learned a lot from this forum. I have met many reloaders, but still only one other caster, Goatwiskers, from this forum.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    By coincidence and nothing more, I began hand loading with a straight wall cartridge and cautiously branched out quite some time back in an era when you either read the book or hurt yourself. Finding a mentor for handloading was about as likely as finding flat land in Montana. No excitement resulted and years passed. Purchased a ML kit, built it and thus had my first experience with lead and it was quite satisfactory. A few years later the gun was stolen and lead took a back seat to other affairs.

    Moving forward a few decades and a friend suggested I consider a flintlock and I took the bait....shooting commercial roundballs with far more accuracy than I had imagined possible with such things. The seed had sprouted so to speak.

    My first excursion into casting was a bit different than most. I purchased a .50 caliber slug gun built back about 150 years ago and with it came the tools which included a set of hammer dies. Pure lead, cross strip patches and it worked. Cast the "slug", pound it into shape and shoot. Did well enough that a very brief time later I found myself out in Cody, WY for a match and due to prior arrangements took delivery of another slugger of .40 caliber. The match had two events, one at 200 yards and another at 100. First day was called due to winds that reached near 60 mph. Joking with the host I called them a bunch of wussies. Next day was sight in day and the wind had relaxed to a sedate 15-20 mph, full value L-R. I went to the line with an unfamiliar gun I'd never fired and the previous owner stated it was zeroed at 200 yards. He was conscripted to be my spotter and coach for a brief spell. First two shots were in the X-ring of a German ring target.

    I placed 3d in that match the next day and second in the next one at 100 yards. The hook was set deep and I went all in. For the record, I do few things in conventional fashion and starting out casting with antique slug guns is a perfect illustration. However, I do my homework before jumping into the deep end most days. There are exceptions, but they are rare. As example, I am a pilot, but I started out flying helicopters. The first airplane that I took control of in flight was a DC-10 at 39,000' and Mach .86 over west Texas. I don't recommend such things for neophyte aviators, nor do I suggest starting the casting game with slug guns.

    This is a good house for learning a thing or three. Keep an open mind, set reasonable objectives and start somewhere near the beginning.
    I have danced with the Devil. She had excellent attorneys.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    Houston, Texas
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    I was a member of another forum when i first started reloading and lurked here for a bit until I started casting. So while I've done everything 'solo' at the house I wouldn't consider mine the hard way. I took advantage of all the wonderful resources here and it cut down on my frustration level.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  13. #33
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Alabama Gods land
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    35
    My dad died when I was 10 years old so I had no one to mentor me but he did not reload anyway. My much older brother did not get into reloading until I got him interested much later in life. I always worked either on the farm or elsewhere so I had a little money. I read gun mags until the pages were worn out and shot mostly 22s as much I could usually after working on the farm. In about 1977 or 1978 when I was 13 I answered an ad in the paper for used reloading equipment and was soon the proud owner of a Lyman spar t turrent press and accessories . My first loads were for my brothers 30-06. My dad had left us an old smith model 10 and with money I made my mother purchased me a new ruger 6 inch security six. ( unheard of today as I think I was 13 or 14 but we were a old south family and guns were not evil and my mother was very understanding of a son without his dad). I was then loading 38 and 357 mag with the cheapest purchased bullets I could find all self taught with the aid of 60s vintage Speer and Lyman manuals that I had. I think I was a junior or senior in high school when I purchased a Lyman bullet casting kit with a mould master xx pot and a 38 wad cutter mold and an extra 358156 mold. I just refurbished that original pot and it works great. I used the manual that I think came with the kit to educate me. I can remember buying my first 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights for about 20 bucks at that time from the local Goodyear. Never had seen a cast bullet before much less had anybody teach me anything. All self taught the hard way but had one hell of a good time. Remember casting on breaks from college so I had ammo to shoot on a college students budget!

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Pine Baron's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
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    Jersey Shore
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    Started casting "tin" soldiers at the age of 12, on the back porch over a charcoal fire. Learned hot lead/hot mold. Next up, fishing sinkers and jigs, actually made some money selling them at local flea market (it's a shore thing). Started reloading 12ga. early 70's on a Lee Loadall jr. (still have it, still use it). Sometime mid 70's I "won" a Lyman (Uberti) 1858 C&B revolver in a card game, got me a Lyman RB mold, some BP and caps and I was hooked hard. Took a little break (marriage and kids) and came back a few years ago. Casting and reloading for 9mm, .38/.357. Next up .45acp. Can't remember anybody "mentoring" or teaching me along the way. Trial and many errors. Lots of reading. Of course nowadays this forum and that newfangled internet thing.
    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't consider self teaching "The Hard Way". When I was about 12 I saw my dad make some sinkers with a home made mold on the kitchen stove. When I needed some sinkers, I just did the same, on the kitchen stove. When I started casting bullets I thought of my sinkers and bought a Lee mold. I had a Coleman stove, a stainless steel pot, a Lee ladle and mold, some wheel weights, and away I went. I made a bunch of shootable bullets and researched the ones that looked wrong. My Lyman 47th (?) had some info and several years later I found castboolits.com, but mostly I researched the "errors" singularly, and corrected them by practice, practice, practice.

    I've heard many times since; "The only way to learn to cast bullets, is to cast bullets...".
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    Cecilia, Kentucky
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    Very interesting stories and opinions, thank you everyone for sharing.

  17. #37
    Casting bullets since '66

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    Mar 2005
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    Peace River, Alberta
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    1,540
    Learned from the instructions in the LeeLoader box. Then I got a Lyman 45 manual
    30-30 was a great cartridge to reload.
    Go now and pour yourself a hot one...

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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