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Thread: New to casting,,,Brain on overload!

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub PhantomRider64's Avatar
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    New to casting,,,Brain on overload!

    Not sure where to start,,,I have been reading so much that now I feel confused and not sure where to start. Since I do not have millions to toss into this new hobby I have been looking hard at my intended use of bullets that I cast, which will be casual plinking and paper punching.

    My firearm is a Uberti SAA 5" barrel chambered in .45 Colt. I have a cast iron pot and Coleman stove for the first melt to pour into ingots, and a Lee 20# bottom pour pot. I have not purchased a mold for this gun yet since I have not slugged it yet (Still looking for the thread) and cannot make my mind up on which bullet type (WC, SWC, or RNFP). I do plan on doing a lot of practice drawing and shooting this gun, so I imagine a 250-260 gn RNFP will be the first mold.

    The lead that I currently have I got out of a wire stripping machine that I rebuilt at work. I got around 175 lbs, it sure was oily and dirty. The lead shows to be in the 8 Bhn range according to my Lee tester. When pouring the ingots from my pot it looked like the metal was wanting to keep away from the mold, so I think it needs some tin, and needs a bit of hardness, so maybe some Roto Metals Super Alloy.

    I tend to over analyze things before I do them so my plan is to get the lead between 12-15 Bhn, get a mold, and cast some bullets and fine tune later as I need to. Please chime in if there is an inherent problem with this logic.

    I also need to feed a 1863 Remington musket and .44 cal cap and ball revolver,,,have molds for these but have not live fired them. I am a reenactor so these guns have seen plenty of powder.
    Short,Fat,and Slow,,,Yup I love the .45

  2. #2
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    That Colt is the perfect candidate for your first casting. A 250 grain RN and 800 FPS oughta come very close to it's blackpowder grampa's diet.
    Sorry, can't remember the exact numbers.
    Be sure to post pictures of your first casts in my newest thread... http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...lt-lt-recently ...you'll find lots of suggestions here on this forum. For that Caliber 10 or 11 BHN w/ a touch of Sn ought serve you well.
    While your at it...build yourself a backstop so you can get all that precious boolit metal back and re-use it...@ 250 grains you'll only get 28 casts per pound...gotta think frugal for sure!

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    I agree w/OS OK but will add K.I.S.S.! I started just like you except I cast 44 cal. bullets. Any of the bullets you listed will work, just slug the barrel and cylinder throats, size to throat diameter, use a well known lube (I use a lot of 45-45-10 for dip lubing and home made Speed Green) and use starting loads. Most of my alloys are around 10-14 BHN (which I didn't measure for the first 10-12 years of casting) as I used wheel weights from work and purchased wheel weight alloy and range scrap from The Captain (vendor sponsor). I've heard it said many times (and read it) "the only way to learn to cast boolits is to cast boolits".

    As for bullet choice; which bullet will you want in your knee? Drawing and shooting live ammo can (and has many times) resulted in a self inflicted leg wound!
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Good advice from the other guys! I might add, try casting and shooting a few before you spend money and time on alloys. And do be careful on those fast draws!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Casting boolits is cave man easy! It is just the fine points that get parsed endlessly. KISS is a good mantra. But maybe even a level before that would be, "What would a 5 year old do". Melt lead, pour it into a mold and stuff it into a case with powder and a new primer. AND BE CAREFUL. USE COMMON SENSE. Practice makes perfect. I started before I knew the term BHN. Or any other of the helpful terms for when we get better as we go. I didn't have any special gear. I used a propane torch and a small cast iron pot to melt the lead and poured it directly from the pot to the mold. (I bought the mold for $25 on eBay) Even my first had some boolits good enough to use. Then I looked up things as I was curious or as I felt a need to know. Maybe with all the reading you have done, you just need to reassure yourself "see the job, do the job, stay out of the misery of overthinking it". Good luck. You should soon be over the over analytic part.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomRider64 View Post
    Not sure where to start,,,I have been reading so much that now I feel confused and not sure where to start. Since I do not have millions to toss into this new hobby I have been looking hard at my intended use of bullets that I cast, which will be casual plinking and paper punching.

    My firearm is a Uberti SAA 5" barrel chambered in .45 Colt. I have a cast iron pot and Coleman stove for the first melt to pour into ingots, and a Lee 20# bottom pour pot. I have not purchased a mold for this gun yet since I have not slugged it yet (Still looking for the thread) and cannot make my mind up on which bullet type (WC, SWC, or RNFP). I do plan on doing a lot of practice drawing and shooting this gun, so I imagine a 250-260 gn RNFP will be the first mold.

    The lead that I currently have I got out of a wire stripping machine that I rebuilt at work. I got around 175 lbs, it sure was oily and dirty. The lead shows to be in the 8 Bhn range according to my Lee tester. When pouring the ingots from my pot it looked like the metal was wanting to keep away from the mold, so I think it needs some tin, and needs a bit of hardness, so maybe some Roto Metals Super Alloy.

    I tend to over analyze things before I do them so my plan is to get the lead between 12-15 Bhn, get a mold, and cast some bullets and fine tune later as I need to. Please chime in if there is an inherent problem with this logic.

    I also need to feed a 1863 Remington musket and .44 cal cap and ball revolver,,,have molds for these but have not live fired them. I am a reenactor so these guns have seen plenty of powder.
    If punching paper a swc mold would cut better holes or a wc

    quote
    The lead that I currently have I got out of a wire stripping machine that I rebuilt at work. I got around 175 lbs, it sure was oily and dirty

    this lead prob has a High tin content ( tinning the ends of the wire)

    oily = prob flux = you do not want this type of flux near your bullet casting mold = it will make bullets stick in the mould

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    You can never do too much reading. Go here, one of the best books around. http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_textonly2.pdf. I started at 9 years old ( with my grandpas help) with 45 Colt 250 gr.
    " CANCER SUCKS" I swage .224, 6mm, 7mm, .308, 9mm, .40, .429. Also 9 to 30 jackets, and 9 to 9 jackets.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I started casting in the late 60's with an old tea spoon bent to 90 degrees and fastened to a short piece of broom handle for a ladle, a one quart cast iron pan for a pot, a lyman 358156 mold, and some wheel weights. That was great fun and all the untold money spent on the hobby since then has just added to the fun. I figure in another 50 years I will have it all figured out. Welcome to the party.
    NRA Benefactor Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    If your current lead is at 8bhn then you are already close to an ideal for that round. Remember the original was 20-1 lead-tin. Invest in a good mold and either a Lyman or RCBS ladel - it's actually easer to cast big boolits with a ladle and that's all you need to add to what you have. I can't help with a mold because I read history as a hobby and mine are 44-40 and using the MAV big lube boolit because I shoot them with black powder.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub PhantomRider64's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions y'all.

    I am going to find a mold soon, I did cast some .44 cal round ball the other day,,,I will take a pic and post them. I have been researching targets/backstop for a while, we have just been using the hill so I will dig it out after I have something better. I will just use a log for now.

    I have been drawing and shooting with blanks for a couple years now,,,but I will be careful. I think the first mold will be the RNFP.

    I was looking at a chart yesterday that showed 20:1 was in the 8 Bhn range. I will cast some and see how they do. I always start my loads at the bottom and work up. So far I have only loaded to mid range, except one load for my fiance's SR-45. it has a heavier spring than my 1911 so I found out it needs hotter loads, I am going to change that spring.

    What would be nice to have is a mold for my little cannon,,,in my avatar pic,,,2 1/4" round ball.
    Short,Fat,and Slow,,,Yup I love the .45

  11. #11
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Relax! Rocket science it ain't. Any ol farm boy can pour good lead boolits. Just some learning to do along the way. While your waiting, work through the stickies for a good base of general information.

    IMO bigger is easier than smaller. So .45 colt is easy. .22 or .223 not so much.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Don't get caught up in the "overthinking" and "over complication" some make this process out to be.
    I've been at this for 50 years with pot, ladle and mould.....still using a pot, ladle and mould.
    For center fire boolits take your lead from the stripping machine and mix it 50-50 ...it doesn't have to be exactly 50-50...just close with clip on wheel weights. A great mix for handgun and rifle boolits.
    For 45 Colt, I grew up reading Elmer Keith so SWC are my first choice. For target shooting and plinking the wadcutter designs work just fine . NOE has three different wadcutter moulds and several SWC in light and heavy weights. The lightweight SWC makes a dandy plinker.
    Gary
    Don't get overwhelmed.
    P.S. Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has most answers , reading one and following the directions in it taught me how to cast boolits....but you gotta read it...old school book learning is still viable.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I'm too cheap to cast cannon balls. A lot of 200 gr LSWC in 45 cal can be made from one 2 1/2" lead ball!
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    I currently own only one 45 Colt mold. It’s a good on though. It’s an RCBS 45-270-SAA
    It’s designed to fit your(and my) SAA clone.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    What would be nice to have is a mold for my little cannon,,,in my avatar pic,,,2 1/4" round ball.
    A thought if you ever do cast for the cannon. I talked to some reinactors some years ago who where shooting a cannon at an event. I believe it was a 4" cannon and they cast a 3" ball out of plaster of paris with a wire through it. They then centered that ball in their 4" cannon ball mold and poured the lead to make the 4" ball. They said it reduced the recoil greatly and did not hurt accuracy a bit. They did some pretty fancy shooting with that cannon!
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Drew P's Avatar
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    The only advice I can offer is to take any casting/reloading supplies you've purchased and put them in your car, drive them back to the stores where you got them and return. Drive home immediately and log on to this forum, and search for the place where you can delete your account, also delete your THR account. Then drive to liquor store and have a happy fulfilling life where people see you outside doing things like yardwork and poetry.
    In all seriousness if you can't do that then I feel for you. Budget about 4500$ to get started, and then start planning your next reloading room.

    That soft lead might be just fine for the colt, especially if you coat the bullets with hitek.
    Last edited by Drew P; 01-07-2018 at 05:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy wistlepig1's Avatar
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    Take a deep breath, read even more and when you have a problem--- ask questions and take picture. The guys here will help!

    “A liberal’s paradise would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only law enforcement has guns. And believe it or not, such a place does indeed already exist: It's called Prison."

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  18. #18
    Boolit Bub PhantomRider64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    I'm too cheap to cast cannon balls. A lot of 200 gr LSWC in 45 cal can be made from one 2 1/2" lead ball!
    This is true,,,might have to look for other materials.

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    I currently own only one 45 Colt mold. It’s a good on though. It’s an RCBS 45-270-SAA
    It’s designed to fit your(and my) SAA clone.
    Click image for larger version. 

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Size:	56.4 KB 
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    I was looking at molds earlier and that one is on the list. Might add a LRNHP later,,,


    Quote Originally Posted by fecmech View Post
    A thought if you ever do cast for the cannon. I talked to some reinactors some years ago who where shooting a cannon at an event. I believe it was a 4" cannon and they cast a 3" ball out of plaster of paris with a wire through it. They then centered that ball in their 4" cannon ball mold and poured the lead to make the 4" ball. They said it reduced the recoil greatly and did not hurt accuracy a bit. They did some pretty fancy shooting with that cannon!
    Interesting,,,thanks for the idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by Drew P View Post
    The only advice I can offer is to take any casting/reloading supplies you've purchased and put them in your car, drive them back to the stores where you got them and return. Drive home immediately and log on to this forum, and search for the place where you can delete your account, also delete your THR account. Then drive to liquor store and have a happy fulfilling life where people see you outside doing things like yardwork and poetry.
    In all seriousness if you can't do that then I feel for you. Budget about 4500$ to get started, and then start planning your next reloading room.

    That soft lead might be just fine for the colt, especially if you coat the bullets with hitek.
    Too late for that!!! I am hooked!!!

    The real bad part is that now I want more guns!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by wistlepig1 View Post
    Take a deep breath, read even more and when you have a problem--- ask questions and take picture. The guys here will help!
    Thank you,,,sure hope I dont drive y'all nuts,,,well, nuttier.
    Short,Fat,and Slow,,,Yup I love the .45

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    How far is Jacksonville from Phenix City? I have a few of those RCBS -270 -SAA sized and lubed and nothing to shoot them from......
    Tom
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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy


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    welcome to bullet casting , great bunch of guys with a lot of knowledge
    I like 1911's and Wheel Guns , Wood Stocks and Blue Metal , Dislike Black on Black and Magazines on Rifles whats this country coming to.
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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