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Thread: Air cool vs water cool

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    So I started casting outside with small fire and round balls for blaock powder pistols all air cooled on whatever rags were available , then on to pistol bullets and a coleman stove dipping and air cooled then I got a 10 lb lee bottom pour pot and pistol bullets mainly 45 230 grain lee tumble lube out of a 2 cavity air cooled then read about water dropping so ok well it was ok but unneeded so as molds increased and number of cavity I went back to air cooled , then I got tired of dropping on a towel and made a chute with a landing at the top , cast drop on several soft layers and let them work there way down the slope on cloth to a catch basin made from old fridge drawer covered in soft cloth , do not notice any dents dings or marks when removing and sorting before coating , one thing I do like about coating is it acts as another inspection step and catch some defects before loading bench , as for hard I have seen wheelweight 45 slugs that never deformed a bit when shot into wood .

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
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    I started out with cast fishing sinkers from my dad taught me and my brother , air cool so I see no need to do it any different then I was taught , beside like other stated do not need the extra hard boolits ,I use a old cotton rag to drop my on .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  3. #43
    Boolit Grand Master

    Shiloh's Avatar
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    Water.
    If it's wet, it isn't hot.

    Shiloh
    Je suis Charlie

    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
    Bertrand de Jouvenel

    Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one. Joseph P. Martino

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    "Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns; why should we let them have ideas?" - J. Stalin

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    Any water above ~115 degrees will scald skin, and after that - though wet, seems pretty hot. If you water drop, you know your melt is still plenty hot when the 5-gal. plastic bucket has boolit-induced indentations in the bottom, even pin hole burns though, although it is over 1/2 filled with water. A towel in the bottom is recommended. Don't ask how I know...
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Land Owner View Post
    Any water above ~115 degrees will scald skin, and after that - though wet, seems pretty hot. If you water drop, you know your melt is still plenty hot when the 5-gal. plastic bucket has boolit-induced indentations in the bottom, even pin hole burns though, although it is over 1/2 filled with water. A towel in the bottom is recommended. Don't ask how I know...
    You are dropping into 115 degree water? I use ice water. The most I ever water dropped at once was around 400. That amount never melted the snow I had dumped in. No bucket I've used has ever had a melted spot on the bottom.

    Also everybody's water heater goes up to 120 degrees, which is reduced from the old days. It is not scalding.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master


    Walks's Avatar
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    Never had ANY Problems water dropping bullets. No dents, I water drop into a 5gal. bucket. With 4 gal. of water, I put a wet towel over the top of the bucket with a 4" hole cut into the center. The towel contacts the water. Bullets hit the wet towel and roll down thru the hole. I think as soon as the bullet hits that sopping wet towel it cools enough not to dent.

    I've dropped bullets into a bucket and immediately reached in and picked them out. Cool to the touch. Used the same white bucket for 15+ years,not a single mark in the bottom. Turn it upside down on an old barbeque grill to dry and then put a lid on it. Clean as the day I started with it.

    To each their own. Whatever works for you can't be wrong.
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  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    You are dropping into 115 degree water?
    In context, I was responding to Shiloh.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master

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    I water drop all my cast bullets from the mould , been doing it that way for 30+ years and get excellent accuracy from all firearms that I owen from 380 to 454 casull and a few rifles as well from low, normal and high velocity loads
    over 50 firearms and about 1/2 a million bullets are my proof

  9. #49
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Now the water droppers are coming on strong!! Lol.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Water dropped bullets are too hard and don't shoot as well in standard-pressure revolver loads.

    I have no need for "hard" bullets and am another one of those old fuds who prefer drop their bullets onto a folded towel for gentle cooling and easy visual inspection.
    I agree with Outpost. The amount of hardness is very obvious if you size freshly cast boolits.
    I shoot so that I can handload.

  11. #51
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Unless I want a harder bullet, water dropping seems more of a PITA. I air cool, drop onto folded trowel. When the towel area gets full, transfer to cardboard box. Keep casting. No drying after dropping, no water splashes or bending over or anything else.
    Last edited by fredj338; 02-24-2020 at 01:16 PM.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  12. #52
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    Almost all of my cast boolits are used for USPSA matches. I air cool and drop them all into a pile but they only fall two inches max. I don’t cut the sprue until the lead is firm. Post drop handling is far more likely to damage them than dropping from the mold with the alloy I use. I can’t tell any difference between the accuracy of boolits I cast and j-words.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  13. #53
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    im a odd ball I guess,i drop on a thick folded soaking wet towel on a large cookie sheet

  14. #54
    Boolit Master
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	577BF928-238D-4657-8D06-15E9931CEDE1.jpeg 
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Size:	99.6 KB 
ID:	257305. My setup before I got my deep sided cookie sheet

  15. #55
    Boolit Bub cb4017's Avatar
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    I air drop on to a folded towel and never had a problem. I did learn early on do NOT pick up a bullet to inspect it after dropping.. I only did that once.

    I did try water dropping once with a towel folded up in the bottom of a water filled 5 gallon bucket. I don't recall any dents or deformed bullets.
    Cliff
    FPD, NRA Lifer, USN retired

  16. #56
    Boolit Master

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    I put a heavy towel in a 1 gal can which has had the large side cut out of it and is just over 3/4 full of water. Most of my casting is from range scrap which is about 8 BHN. Water quenching brings that up to 11-12 BHN which is fine for my 45 ACP, 38 Special, and 41 Magnum mid-range loads. When they start to pile up in one area of the can I just rake them to the outer edge of the towel. So far there have not been any dented boolits.
    Some times it's the pot,
    Some times it's the pan,
    It might even be the skillet,
    But, most of the time, it's the cook.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master



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    Don’t forget if you are using pure lead, water quenching shouldn’t harden it.

  18. #58
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad5005 View Post
    im a odd ball I guess,i drop on a thick folded soaking wet towel on a large cookie sheet
    My only thought on that is you get a surface hardening on one side that cools rapidly & the other side is a bit softer. I have no idea how that would affect accuracy, probably none.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    I may need to check hardness side to side,most of my casting is pistol boolits and I haven't noticed anything odd but worth checking into.Thanks

  20. #60
    Boolit Master



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    Those who say they get deformed boolits from dropping into water, are you using pure lead that would deform more easily than a harder alloy? Do you think the boolits deform, because they are not cooled enough by the time they reach the bottom?

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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