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Thread: My First Cast Bullets

  1. #41
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    Excellent advise here Tazman! I have learned to do much the same but I am a bit crude in most ways so I use a small handheld self lighting propane torch to help warm up the mold if it appears too cool. I also like to mold them as fast as I can get into rhythm to do. Which keeps the mold nice and hot. It is easy to tell when it is getting too hot, by the frostyness thing and having to let the lead set for a while to jell, then just let it cool a bit . But too cool of a mold can confound people. When I tend to have problems ....increasing the heat of the mold is the first thing I try. It usually solves the problem.
    I need to remember this ^^^

    Thanks!

  2. #42
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jruby38 View Post
    A bottom pour Lee 20 pound pot is the way to go, especially with 6 cavity molds, Ladle stinks. Too slow and you get all the **** from the top.
    I thought about getting a bottom pour pot, then when I got a decent ladle I found that it works pretty good. I may get a bottom pour next time and have the option of doing it either way.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    west central Illinois
    Posts
    4,950
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveTNC View Post
    I actually ran into that, toward the end of my casting session. It took a while for the sprue to solidify so I figured the mold was heating up. I had to wait a few more seconds after it solidified to be able to get a clean cut.

    So it sounds like I can't really get the mold too hot? Why do some people cool their molds on a damp towel or in front of a fan, just so they are shiny instead of frosted?
    Not so much getting shiny boolits as not wanting to wait so long for the sprue to harden.
    Going at a fast rate will cause the hardening process to take longer and longer to where you are spending too much time waiting for the sprue to harden. Using a damp towel to cool the mold or a fan helps keep the mold cool enough that you don't have to wait too long.
    There is a balance there that only experience will teach you.
    You can actually, get the mold too hot. The boolits will come out extremely frosted and undersize. Possibly even misshaped. You haven't gotten to that point yet. When it happens, you have to wait a long time(15-30 seconds) for the sprue to harden enough to cut well.
    At a point early on in my learning curve, I used to heat my mold up on top of a stove. Sometimes it would get hot enough that the lead would take a very long time to set up. Invariably, the boolits from that first cast were unusable. Extremely frosted and undersize. I would then need to wait for a bit to let the mold cool to proper casting temperature.
    Now I simply put the mold on the top of the casting pot and run the first three or four sets into the scrap to get the mold heat where it needs to be. It doesn't take long and avoids the over heating at the beginning.
    That's the best part of casting. When you make mistakes, you just put them back in the pot and start over.

  4. #44
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    24
    OK, thanks tazman. Lots of good tips. I have heard of people using a hotplate to preheat their molds but I just dipped the corner of the mold in the melted lead until the lead didn't stick to it when I pulled it out. I still had to run three or four sets until they started coming out decent, and threw them back in the pot with the sprues. It is nice that my mistakes don't get wasted. Makes it easy to experiment as I get more experience.

  5. #45
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    276

    Ladle vs. Bottom Pouring

    I find casting large amts. of pistol boolits with a ladle causes my elbow and wrist some discomfort for several days after the session. With a 6 cav. mold and a bottom pour I can do 2 or 3K and feel ok. Seems less wear on the old body. I action pistol shoot and decent quality and lots of quantity
    is what it is about. My quality is pretty good and culls are low for the amount of the batch....happier with my system. I find cool weather is better because of the clothing worn for safety is more comfortable and less chance of omitting safe clothes for more creature comfort. afish4580

  6. #46
    Boolit Buddy Wag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Posts
    202
    When I get a rhythm going, I find that if I set the mold down on a block of old scrap lead, it acts as a heat sink and cools the mold fairly quickly. More than a damp towel. Makes for some dang fast casting. The sprue dimple pops in there right away. If the heat sink warms up overly much, I have a couple of lead blocks that go into the rotation.

    --Wag--
    "Great genius will always encounter fierce opposition from mediocre minds." --Albert Einstein.

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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