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Thread: Casting ... 18th century style !!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Ohio Rusty's Avatar
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    Casting ... 18th century style !!

    We are all used to using all the biggest and best melting pots, lubers, sizers and the other fun toys we use. I thought I'd include a picture of my re-enacting 18th century technology casting set up for my flintlock smoothbore. Brass ladle, brass bag mould in .520 and a set of hand forged iron nippers to trim the sprue. I can cast ball at home, in camp, or in the middle of the woods. Sometimes, there is something satisfying about simple ......
    Ohio Rusty
    Last edited by Ohio Rusty; 09-27-2009 at 05:42 PM.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Thumbs up yessir!

    I like it and appreciate it. Thanks for posting the info/pic.

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    Ya, but did you use buffalo chips to cast them?
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    VERY cool! I always appreciate doing things the old way.
    Obamas wars:
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    Detectives, and Cobras, and Agents!
    Oh my!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    i have also found that reloading my blackpowder 10 bore with the original roll crimper and other 19th century tools is very relaxing and not near as slow sas we might think!

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub Maj Dad's Avatar
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    Outstanding!

    You've planted a seed in my fertile brain - I recently found out one of my forebears was Col James McAlister, who served in the Revolutionary War. What better reason to acquire a period muzzleloader and head out on the round-ball road...
    Maj, USAF (ret)
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master in Heaven's Range
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    I like this thread,shows some good history!
    The .30/06 Springfield,the ULTIMATE cartridge combat,hunting and target cartridge,a .45 single action and a good FLINTLOCK is all I need to be happy!

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    That's where I'm heading Ohio Rusty, build me a little fire, melt some lead and cast some round.
    I wonder in what form did they carry their "bulk" lead?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    The bulk would be easy to carry as shot and after all it is a smooth bore......Balls for big game and shot for small.......I shoot a 28 gauge ML and even with no choke it is a fine bird gun and with the addition of a small rear sight shoots solids quite well......minute of cantalope anyway. .490 balls even fit in Winchester shot cups like a sabot.They are much faster..... Don't ask how I found that out.

    Anyone else shoot shot in their musket? I make wads for close shooting and when more range is needed I switch to the AA plastic and gain +- 10 yards of effective range. Quail and dove are just as dead and I get to hunt for longer.......Several times,when the stars are all aligned and life is good, I have fired as many shots as there were dead birds.....A limit with as many shots will make your hat fit a little tight sometimes.
    Last edited by Cactus Farmer; 10-05-2009 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Another thought and poor spelling
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    Back in the day, lead came in long bars, or canisters that also held powder, such as Lewis and Clark carried.
    I really doubt that bulk lead was carried with a hunter, to cast ball in the field. That just doesn't make sense. Why would you not have your balls cast before leaving on a hunt?
    I believe the purpose of the bag molds, was to re-mold bullets that were recovered from game.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  11. #11
    I'm A Honcho! SPRINGFIELDM141972's Avatar
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    Does anyone have an illustration of the lead / powder canister? I would like to see a picture or drawing of one. I've read of them but never any pictures.

    Regards,
    Everett

  12. #12
    Boolit Man SmuvBoGa's Avatar
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    SmuthBo's rule !!!

    NOW WE TALKING !!! You got to get close & then hammer them - shooting at something "miles" away AIN'T how its done. Sneek up on them or let them walk up on you - tech her off & you don't even know you been kicked by the time the smoke clears.
    Buck & ball will take most anything - - -
    John Mc
    NSSA, NRA Life.

  13. #13
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    Lead canisters;

    http://travel.webshots.com/photo/113...32243303HaIgoG

    Lead bars;

    http://www.weymouthdiving.co.uk/images/leadingots.jpg

    Springfield, being in Missouri, you might look at the Jefferson Memorial Expansion Museum in St. Louis. I believe there is one there from the expedition.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Back in the day, lead came in long bars, or canisters that also held powder, such as Lewis and Clark carried.
    I really doubt that bulk lead was carried with a hunter, to cast ball in the field. That just doesn't make sense. Why would you not have your balls cast before leaving on a hunt?
    I believe the purpose of the bag molds, was to re-mold bullets that were recovered from game.
    I'm not so sure. If you had a bar or two you could trade to folks w/ other caliber guns, or sell it. Bars would be the way you might buy it in, say St. Louis, so why cast twice? Why sit down and cast in St. Louis for your gun if you thought you might trade it later to somebody w/ a different caliber?
    But it's a certainty they retrieved their balls from game.
    I even read about a lady during the 1st WW, her husband off in France and she was feeding the kids at home, always made sure the tree was behind the squirrels she shot so as to get that lead back. Hard on the trees I guess, but easier on her purse!
    Skeeter Skelton back in the '60's wrote some articles on what to carry if you had to 'cut and run', sort of early bug-out philosophy, and he always made a big deal about taking a mold and lead and 310 tools for his .357 in the kit.
    I like the idea of casting in the field. I think I'll get one of those little pots Lee sells and see how it goes.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Hey! Ohio Rusty!
    I was just looking at that pic, and I see the mold has a sprue cut-off.
    Doesn't that work, or do the forged nippers work better?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishhawk View Post
    well ric bar lead is easer to recover from the water than cast ball and you know they went swimming more than once! steve k
    That was the reason for the lead powder flasks.

    If a person wants to sell or trade lead, balls are a good trading medium. I recall accounts of traders giving ball and powder to other trappers and Indians, and of casks of ball being delivered to Ft. Union. I'd have to get into the old manifests to see if bar lead was mentioned, although I'm sure it was.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  17. #17
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer


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    Well, this was easy to pull up, and mentions that bar lead was indeed traded, so would have been used to cast lead in the mountains. Not being familiar with the Eastern trade, I would STILL be stumped on what THEY were doing for ball.

    From William H. Ashley Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St Louis, MO.

    Inventory of Goods available at the 1825 Rendezvous on Henry's Fork of the Green River (cached goods listed in Ashley's diary).
    First cache

    2 bags coffee
    1 hams goods
    3 pack powder 1 1s qt
    2 Tobacco
    3 B. Lead
    horse shoes
    Beads large & small
    2 packs sugar
    1 pack cloth with some knives therein
    7 doz Knives

    Second cache

    2.5 kegs Tobacco 150 lbs.
    14 doz Knives
    2 peaces scarlett Cloth
    2 ditto Blue Stroud
    3 Bags coffee 200 lbs.
    Bale & Bag Sugar 130 lbs.
    3 packs beaver 50 skins
    pack beads, assorted
    & vermillion
    assortment of Indian trinkett, mockerson alls do.
    2 Bags gun powder 150 lbs.
    3 Bars lead 120 lbs.
    Bag flints 1000
    Bag salt 10 lbs.
    pack cloths -
    pack containg a variety of Indian trinketts -
    Ribbons Binding &c
    axes hoes &c
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  18. #18
    Boolit Master at Heaven's Range 2010

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    simple casting

    those tools were used before WW2 as there was only two electric pots that I know of.a Potter,I have one and the Miller/Gilbert pot.I have that too.
    WILDCATT

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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