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Thread: It took 6,000 bullets for me to...

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub HP9MM's Avatar
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    It took 6,000 bullets for me to...

    figure out the pot temperature thing. I decided to lower my pot temperature to see how low I could go and still cast good bullets. I went down to a surface temp of the lead to 550 degrees according to my temp gun. The bullets drop better than ever and they are nice and shiny.
    Staring at the world through the bottom of a glass, all I see is a man who's fading fast.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    It's not an exact science, but there is a pretty tough learning curve.

    Hopefully, no one will ask ya, "How did those Lead splatters get on the ceiling"?
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    That temp gun is not correct, as just about any alloy should be solid at 550. Most melt closer to 600. Some molds and bullet designs require significantly more heat, a few less. For your run of the mill handgun bullets, the sweet spot is going to be 700-725 degrees most of the time. Maybe a touch less if you are a speed caster. You can get by with more or less alloy heat by compensating with your casting cadence, however, quality usually suffers.

    If you are casting with an antimony alloy like clip on wheel weights, shiny bullets are bad bullets. If you look close the corners will be slightly rounded, diameter may or may not be undersize. The ideal heat leaves a slightly frosted appearance.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Infrared temp. gun will not measure shiny surface correctly, you might be 100 degrees off. NOE sells good lead thermometer, good to have it even with PID i had my probe flake out on me and good ole' dial thermometer set me straight.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy


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    I've always gotten better results with the higher temps myself. I too keep mine up around 700.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    well if the temp gun gives the same false temp everytime that's just as good, numbers are arbitrary by nature anyway

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmortell View Post
    well if the temp gun gives the same false temp everytime that's just as good, numbers are arbitrary by nature anyway
    The problem is they don't! Add that to the equation that there's generally a fairly large swing in the temperature of a stock pot anyway and you're not eliminating much of the guess. Probably why they make thermometers.
    Mike

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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Someone mentioned painting a washer black and floating it on the alloy so they could use a temp gun at one point.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Phlier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    That temp gun is not correct, as just about any alloy should be solid at 550. Most melt closer to 600. Some molds and bullet designs require significantly more heat, a few less. For your run of the mill handgun bullets, the sweet spot is going to be 700-725 degrees most of the time. Maybe a touch less if you are a speed caster. You can get by with more or less alloy heat by compensating with your casting cadence, however, quality usually suffers.

    If you are casting with an antimony alloy like clip on wheel weights, shiny bullets are bad bullets. If you look close the corners will be slightly rounded, diameter may or may not be undersize. The ideal heat leaves a slightly frosted appearance.
    The important parts of that post are in bold.
    "Things sure are a lot more like the way they are now than they used to be." --Yogi Berra

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Bet you cast 6000 more useing the temp gun.Get a thermometer or pid.The thermometer work good.but you have to watch it and ajust as the pot empties.the pid keeps the temp even all the time this leaves you one less thing watch and do.I cast most of my molds from 700 to 750.as mentioned about with antimony alloys i cast a gray looking bullet just on the edge of frosty.One thing that works for me a with e new to me mold that is broke in.Try to make some frosty bullets.Once you get them frosty is real easy to back off the temp a bit and slow down cadence a bit.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    ^^^+1
    Whatever!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you are casting with an antimony alloy like clip on wheel weights, shiny bullets are bad bullets. If you look close the corners will be slightly rounded, diameter may or may not be undersize. The ideal heat leaves a slightly frosted appearance.


    Well that explains that. Thanks I've been wondering why
    Gotta love this place

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollywood63 View Post
    If you are casting with an antimony alloy like clip on wheel weights, shiny bullets are bad bullets. If you look close the corners will be slightly rounded, diameter may or may not be undersize. The ideal heat leaves a slightly frosted appearance.


    Well that explains that. Thanks I've been wondering why
    Gotta love this place
    There are 4 pics of bullets on this page. One could argue that 1 is frosty. The other 3 are not and are filled out without an frosty appearance. Some folks might think frosty is the way but obviously not everybody.

    http://lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I have no idea what temp I am running. I just get it to where they are coming out frosty then turn it down a little and I'm good. Knowing the temp just complicates things for me.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I went down to a surface temp of the lead to 550 degrees according to my temp gun. The bullets drop better than ever and they are nice and shiny.
    The be nice and shiny but are the bullets completely filled out? Pure lead melts at 620F And alloyed melt in the pot, depending on the mold, needs 710 to 730 F with a 5 second pour to have nice & shiny ... completely filled out bullets
    Regards
    John

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    Mike W1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    The be nice and shiny but are the bullets completely filled out? Pure lead melts at 620F And alloyed melt in the pot, depending on the mold, needs 710 to 730 F with a 5 second pour to have nice & shiny ... completely filled out bullets
    Curious to know what you mean by a 5 second pour???
    Mike

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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