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Thread: casting soft point bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master

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    casting soft point bullets

    Didnt want to steal the thread that's open. SO here how I cast soft point bullets.
    The big thing is to make a "metered" dipper to pour just the right amount for the soft point you want. I make mine from a case and bevel it so the low edge sets the amount needed and the high edge forms the funnel. A heavy wire with 3 wraps and a short tail with a longer end to fix in a handle. 3 wraps just smaller than the case, case pushed in and tail bent under to lock in place. A small wood handle. 3/32 brazing rod makes a nice shaft for this. File a 45* mouth with the low end setting weight. A 4 lb dipper pot is plenty for the noses.. Run this pot on the hot side around 800*- 825*. Keep the dipper in the pot. Here I use 40-1 lead tin, you want a little tin to aid in the bonding. A regular bottom pour with base alloy run around 750*- 800*.

    Heat mould to temp on plate or in the base metal pot. pour in the nose metal from the dipper and quickly fill in the base from the bottom pour. Here a small stand to maintain the mould level and just slide under bottom pour pot. Done quickly the only thing you will see is the color change from base metal to nose. I hold the small dipper in my hand while filling the base metal in and set it back in the small pot while waiting for the sprue to cool. This makes some very nice bullets

    Ive done 45 cal 500 grn round nose like this and they performed very well. on the lyman 458125 (510 grn govt) almost the whole nose is 40-1 Bullets recovered from a wet sand back stop show good expansion with no nose separations.

    The trick is to fill fast and before the nose completely solidifies so the base can bond itself to it securely. Your basically making a solder or weld joint where the 2 metals blend. The small stand helps in maintain the position of the blocks level and square. Once you get it down its a matter of finding the pots placement that works for you. I like them close together and my little stand is just a extension of the BP pots base so I can set it pour nose and slide under to fill base. I also pour a big sprue to keep it hot as long as possible aiding in the blending of the joint.

    When right you shouldn't see a line at the joint just a slight color change

    What might be interesting is one the hollow point moulds with pins and the soft nose poured to below the hollow points depth by .100 or to the band.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    right, that's one way to do it, but not everyone has a good way to have to have 2 separate alloys molten at the same time.

    you can do it with one pot by pouring the nose alloy slowly in water to make clean bb's or roughly bb's.

    1. weigh the amount you want for noses.
    2. get your mold warm.
    3. drop the pieces in.
    4. set mold in melt till the pieces visually melt then set it down flat till solidification.
    5. close sprue plate, and pour base alloy from the pot as normal. (I like 50-50 for this since it heat treats well and nose don't)
    6.* once the sprue freezes you can set it back in the melt till sprue melts again (a few seconds with aluminum) which is extra assurance they're one piece of metal.
    7. water drop from mold, or an oven to make the base hard, pure lead or lead tin nose wont get harder.

    * don't think ive done testing to compare skipping step 6 to doing it. but I know doing it is fully melted together as one seamless piece.

    its slower than having 2 pots, but I guess the upside is that your not pouring liquid into a liquid so you should get a cleaner transition without any blending. but you could also do this method with 2 pots as well letting the nose solidify prior to base alloy, then re-melt.

    and don't be lazy and use pellet gun pellets for the nose there too dirty to bond to other lead.

    nose alloy can be picked based on speed by changing tin %.
    maybe something like
    0% for 1000 fps
    1% for 1100 fps
    2% for 1200 fps
    3% for 1300 fps
    4% for 1400 fps
    5% for 1500 fps

    not claiming that's exactly the right alloy for each speed, just a rough idea how you could scale it based on speed.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I buy lead pellets for pellet rifles, and then then add 3-4 to a hot mould. Whatever amount you decide to make a good soft point. No weighing, or fumbling, just add your chosen amount of pelts to the mould.

    Dip the corner of the mould into your hot alloy, waiting until the pellets melt.

    Then pour your hard alloy into the mould, just like regular casting. Perfect Nosler-type Partition cast boolits. You can drive 'em fast, and they mushroom nicely.

    You only need 5 to 10 such boolits for hunting. Practice with a regular bullet, save a couple of these hybred boolits for the hunt.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Have any one try to cast 00 buck shot with soft lead and then drop on in the mold and melt and then cast like normal ,If the 00 buck shot too big for the cal you cast for some smaller buck shot .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  5. #5
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    It really doesn't matter how you get the soft metal into the mold. What matters is: 1) both metals are molten and 2) the denser metal is at the lowest point. If you meet those two criteria you will have success.
    Wayne the Shrink

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

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Ok thank you for explain it better for me to understand better. I been thinking about to do it and seen in a past post some time ago of a person form NZ put a hard alloy boolit in water and let the nose stick out of the water then heat the nose to soft the nose and then let it cool. I know there can be different ways of doing it .Just want to find the simple way of doing it .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    What we are talking about here are variations on BruceB's method - not easy but effective and it does not change how the boolit flies at all. How many soft points does one need? Two or three a year?
    Wayne the Shrink

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    What we are talking about here are variations on BruceB's method - not easy but effective and it does not change how the boolit flies at all. How many soft points does one need? Two or three a year?
    Wayne, you are so right, that is where I found my info. Bruce is resting with the Good Lord now, Amen.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    So what is the benefit of soft point over all soft lead? Is it that the soft point doesn’t contact the bore to keep the Boolit from leading or something else ?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    So what is the benefit of soft point over all soft lead? Is it that the soft point doesn’t contact the bore to keep the Boolit from leading or something else ?
    some guns get better accuracy with hard lead. like my 44 rifle gets much better accuracy with heat treated 50-50 than acoww. so with a soft point the whole bore contacting part can be the hardness needed for accuracy and the nose tailored for expansion hardness. it might be more noticeable in some places like higher speed rifle. and or, just plain old to prevent leading

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    and also if people are gonna be using pre made pieces of soft lead like pellets or shot for the nose. be mindfull however much surface oxidization or whatever else is on em will all float to the top and be a barrier between the two types of lead. and I don't think your gonna be fluxing and skimming inside your cavity. ones I made with pellets looked ok but didn't pass the squish test in the hydraulic press. only way to have the cleanest metal is to be fresh. either direct pour to the nose if you have 2 pots or make fresh pieces one way or another to use for the nose

  12. #12
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    Lead air gun pellets have worked just fine when I've done this. I put five or six of them in a Lee ladle that I made a mount to hold it in the flame of a propane torch while I cast to keep the mold hot. When they melted, I poured them in, waited a second or two, filled the rest of the mold, let the sprue harden, the heated the mold until the sprue went molten again and then let it cool. You have to look real close to see that the nose is different, it bonded perfectly, just a very slight difference in color.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I played with a number of these methods from casting 00 buckshot and keeping them warm by setting on top of the pot rim in a stainless cup to even cutting soft boolits down with a mini chop saw for uniform fit/weight. I had decent predictable results, particularly with a Lee C358-158 SWC HP. That one required setting the mold blocks on the top rim of the pot to get the nose portion warmed up. The hot alloy for the bases fused the nose portion nicely. I read about this back in the mid 1980s, probably in Gun World. Time consuming, PITA, but it worked.

    Now, I just cast the boolit (Lee 358-158 RF or Lee 452-255 RF) and ASBB PC. For a while I also used a plain base gas check but found the PC kept it from leading even out to 2450 fps with a NOE 225-62 RN, but that was not dead-soft lead. Powder coating prevents leading, soft lead expanded nicely in test media.

    PS, you can PC the boolit a different color to differentiate the dead soft loads from the usual alloys

    Sure, a box of drywall joint compound is not your typical test media, but it is a repeatable test and boolit recovery is straight forward. When done shooting you can put the joint compound into another bag and so long as it isn't allowed to dry out it is re-usable. I once used texture compound you mix yourself and it was okay, you just have to measure the volume of dry and water to make up the next batch. It was easier to just buy a box of joint compound as it is already made and sealed in a plastic bag inside the box.

    PS, you can use a different color PC to differentiate the softer loads from the usual alloys.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master reloader28's Avatar
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    I played with those methods, but settled on water dropped or heat treated 50/50 bullets and then annealed the nose with a torch. I much prefer this method and it works good if you want a hard base with a soft nose

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Actually, you can have two pots going at the same time. Utilizing Country Gents method is the way I have successfully cast soft nose cast bullets, in the past and still use this day. I have a 50# pot I set on my plumbers furnace which, of course gives me plenty of room to put in my home made pot made from a piece of 3" conduit with one end smash down and welded. Then a piece of angle welded on with a hole drilled and tapped in the side and a set screw threaded in the side to secure it. There is a complete article written up By Ross Seyfried. I believe in a back issue of Handloader magazine. This is how I started, then changed it up a bit.
    I found the pot within a pot getting in the way of my ladle, not that bad of hindrance, just annoying. So I found my little 3# Lee pot I started with all those years ago, and filled that up with the soft lead and put that on the casting bench. That is an option for those who don't have 2 pots, to now have two, as it is rather inexpensive to obtain.
    I've also read BruceB's method a few years ago, a number of years after, I had taken up the quest for softnose cast, and found it an interesting take. When I cast mine I wasn't to concerned as BruceB was on a "perfect" 90 degree weld line, and a "perfect" solder joint, (for lack of a better word) as He had been. In fact I was somewhat concerned at 1st, as he probably was, but as I ladle cast it was difficult for me to get that perfect 90 degree weld line, so I just didnt let it bother me. The weld of the two metals, was in fact, very good as the 2 metals were fused and not coming apart. I think BruceB was looking for a good looking bullet and was overly cautious, took what he already new and, like alot of us, perfected it some more. After making my 1st cast soft nose bullets, I then became internet savvy found cast Boolits and the rest is history. Reading his technique I really wasn't interested in putting my mold in the melt and utilizing his technique, as I found a perfect weld line was not needed, I know in theory it would seem it should be, but that is not the case I have experienced.
    An 1875 C Sharps Arms, chambered in a 40/65 WCF is in my arsenal and was bought just before BPCR silloutte shooting became popular putting a delay in the purchase of these rifles for many. The only mold I found at the time for my purpose was the RCBS CSA mold which could be had in 3 weights. I chose the 350 gr example. Being a Spire point I figured it was not a good candidate for hunting game. At the time my mindset was only on WW metal, as I wasn't so well versed on the different and various lead/tin melts, and wasn't so sure how they would have performed on game. We basically casted with two different melts, WW for cartridges and Pure Pb for muzzleloaders or any BP firearms. Of course, back in the day, we were fixated on the evil and dreaded "leading" we would have in our barrel steel! Oh MY!
    So I used my somewhat imperfect bullets and headed to Montana and took two Bison and, believe this, I did take a raking shot on one, facing quartering away and recovered the bullet. The path was straight and the bullet just plain worked. The other Bison was standing broadside. And a heartshot was taken. the bull reared up and ran about 6 steps, stopped and fell. The heart was laid open like you were opening a book.
    That mold has since been sent to Erik to have a larger MePlat cut into the mold and have had it HP'ed. Always experimenting that's a Boolit casters nature.
    But, they do work, cast nose soft, no matter what method you use, no right or wrong way, many different ways to the same end, do it your way, make sure you have a good weld between the two metals and you have a deadly bullet, that will kill and do it well. Of course as always, as long as you do your part.
    Crash87
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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