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Thread: Casting pure linotype

  1. #1

    Question Casting pure linotype

    Hi all,

    Back into reloading and casting after like a 25-year layoff. As I did previously, I'm using pure Linotype (currently from Rotometals) to shoot 44, 357, and considering 50AE (I know you're not supposed to do that with lead) with lube and gas checks. The reason I do it is simplicity, uniformity (no mixing and mystery hardness, plus guarantee of no leading at any velocity. I consider leading the greatest of evils). Maybe some here think it's extravagant, but it's still a magnitude cheaper than copper jacketed. Also, probably don't need lube at this hardness, although I've never tried it.

    The biggest downside for me is the force required to size. Hard on my old shoulder, not to mention, the LAM II and dies/top punches. And impossible to size with any powdercoating.

    Just curious what the reaction here is. Looks like my cheaper source of Lino (60# boxes of actual type pieces from Rotometals) is gone, so now it's up to ~$4/lb. Is this all just overkill? Is #2 sufficient for 1500+ FPS with lube (or just gas checks)? I can get pre-mixed #2 for a decent price. There is simply no scrap in my area so it's not an option.

    Anyone here casting pure Lino?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Castinator welcome to CB

    You are going a lot harder than you need for those calibers and spending more $$ than you need to.

    I go 9 to 16 BHN for those calibers.

    more important than hardness is properly sized bullets for the particular barrel bore diameter of the gun you're shooting them out of.
    Hardness and alloy do come into play more so when you increase your velocity.

    Near the top fight of the forum is a google custom search bar which will lead you to tons of information on this site

    http://www.lasc.us/ is also a great site for information

    "The biggest downside for me is the force required to size. Hard on my old shoulder, not to mention, the LAM II and dies/top punches. And impossible to size with any powdercoating."

    Many are using a reloading press upside down with Lee sizing dies to size their bullets, a little bit of lube (hi-tk makes a lube for their coating) and lanolin/alchohol case lube also does wonders to ease sizing.

    PC (powder coating) or Hi-Tek polymer coating instead of lubing the bullets. There are many threads on this

    the only time I've used pure linotype (just once) is with casting 223 bullets.

    COWW (clip on wheel weights) + 2 % tin should do just fine for what your looking to do.

    Pewter has a high content of tin, many of us are getting pewter @ thrift stores (see threads on "pewter)

    You can buy lead from several people on this forum, the captain is a vendor/sponsor on this site who has been selling high-quality lead at really good prices shipped to your door for a long time.
    VS - "Fire Sale": Clipon, Stickon and Range Lead @ $1.00 per pound w/ shipping discou

    You will also find others selling lead, alloys, pewter(tin), linotype for good prices too.

    I recently saw someone selling linotype shipped for apr $2 per pound

    Lead alloy calculators is helpful in determining alloy hardness and mixing alloys
    Last edited by Grmps; 11-13-2017 at 04:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    El Dorado County, N. Ca.

    From Ingot to Target:
    A Cast Bullet Guide for Handgunners ©

    Peruse this before you lay out $'s on that hard stuff...
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

    2018 is going to be a 'Jaw-Dropping Year' . . . 'The Year', the World was born to live . . .
    just, "watch your 6" .

  4. #4
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Denver Metro Area
    Considering that people shoot gas checked hi power rifle boolits cast from wheelweights with perhaps a bit of tin, I would say that you are way overdoing it on the hardness. Try some Lyman #2 instead. You might actually get better accuracy.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Being a printer by trade, I have piled up a good supply of linotype. I think I have enough to last me from now on. I have been using it straight for years with no problems. I really dont care to go back to ww lead. /Chris

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    It is always bullet fit before alloy. When I started casting I did a lot of lino stuff, even for low vel. I had a really cheap source & it beat melting ww, even if free. I think I paid like 25c a pound back then. Today, I use the lino for specialty bullets for high vel/pressures. All my handgun stuff happily runs on range scrap, even the magnums at 1300-1400fps.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    I have been using straight linotype for cast bullets because I have a lot that was given to me.I haven't had any problems sizing bullets with my various Lyman lube sizers.I only use conventional bullet lubes.If I put a new H&I die in service I have to make sure the die is well lubed or risk sticking a bullet in the die.

  8. #8
    I'm A Honcho!

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    East and South of you
    I agree with the previous replies. Especially the suggestion to read the Fryxell book!

    The basic concept is, "The slower the bullet goes down the barrel, the softer the alloy needs to be, and the faster the bullet goes down the barrel, the harder the alloy needs to be."

    There is NO "one alloy suits all" for cast lead boolits.

    By learning a bit about this hardness thing, your accuracy will go up, and the amount of time you need to put into scrubbing out lead fouling will go down.

    Other things needed for success with cast lead boolits:
    1) Proper diameter for the gun - typically .001/.002" larger than the bore diameter (largest diameter measured after pushing a soft lead boolit down the barrel), or .001 or so larger than whatever a full metal jacket bullet size is for your gun.
    2) Proper lube for the velocity that you'll be sending the boolits down the barrel. WX also plays a small role in choosing the right lube. Fryxell's book also covers this subject in amazing great detail.
    3) The use of a gas check "fixes" small errors in hardness of the alloy, diameter of the boolit, and selection of a lube.

    Also, I am the librarian for a two DVD set of videos that CastBoolits owns. They are free to borrow, and the rules are simple. It will also have some great tips and suggestions for casting lead boolits. The link for the Casting Set is here:

    NRA Life Member
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

    Author of a book on reloading
    ILSA MEMBER http://www.internationallawnsteelsho...ssociation.com

  9. #9
    Thanks all for the replies. I think I'll order a box or two from the Captain and maybe cut it with the Lino, soften things up a bit. :-

    I still have like 75# of linotype.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    75 pounds is not very many 50 cal bullets.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Definately make #2 alloy with the linotype. It will do very well in your cartridges. Also if the moulds you have were cut for #2 or WWs then they are cast9way over size with the lino. I suspect oversize bullets is why they are hard to size.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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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