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Thread: Question about cleaning a bunch of old cast bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold gemihur's Avatar
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    Question about cleaning a bunch of old cast bullets

    Recently acquired a large number of .308 cast rifle bullets.
    They were made a long time ago.
    Any advice on how to clean the years of corrosion off them,
    other than scrub each one individually by hand?
    Has anyone had any experience with this dilemma?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    avogunner's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd melt them down and cast them again. A couple of years ago, I acquired about 30lbs of 120gr .30 cal (M1 Carbine) that a guy cast a gazillion years ago. He had sized and lubed them but stored in an open container in his garage and then forgot about them. When he "rediscovered" them, they were covered in dust/dirt/sawdust/etc. the most simple solution (for me) was to smelt then recast.
    Semper Fi

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold gemihur's Avatar
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    I appreciate your advice but I'll probably resize and lube them as they measure .311
    I was just wondering if anyone had been in this situation and resolved it easily

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    If they are crunchy I would melt them and recast.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Went2kck's Avatar
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    Melt and recast.

  6. #6
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I have boiled smaller batches (several hundred at a time) of boolits in water with a little dish soap added to remove old lube. The lube floats to the top and can be skimmed off. Not knowing how many your "large number" is, I would say do this in batches, or simply remelt them.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold gemihur's Avatar
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    Thanks, Guys. I appreciate your experience in these matters.
    I will try a bit of all of the recommendations and see what works best in this case.
    If I can utilize their design it will be to my advantage as my molds do not drop the weight of bullets that my buddy's grandfather's did.
    Last edited by gemihur; 10-17-2018 at 08:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I've washed them in gasoline (yes, I know the hazard), put them on an old towel in the sun to dry and then run them through a sizer and lubed them. Got a bunch of SWC .38s in cardboard tubes one time that the lube has melted out and I didn't have a SWC mould at the time and that's how I handled them./beagle
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto to what beagle wrote -- I've done exactly the same thing, 'cept I put them on a window screen (same screen I put pin-tumbled, wet brass on to dry) instead of a towel. (Bullets were my own castings I had in garage, and then -- oops -- did some routing, sawing, and sanding)
    geo

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Another option might be to powder coat them? I have lots of boolits that were cast years ago (mostly for pistol calibres) that now have light oxidation on them. I tumbled them in my vibrating tumbler with black plastic Air Soft BB's and a tablespoon of PC powder and then baked them as per usual. I got terrific results and they shoot great. I've resurrected a lot of them using that method now ...
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

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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