Reloading UKMidSouth Shooters SupplyRotoMetals2Lee Precision
RepackboxTitan ReloadingADvertise here

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: A new start!

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    10

    A new start!

    I am going to start casting again. It has been almost 20 years since I have done any, and I want to do it correctly.

    I have read a lot here over the years and now I am going to get it going. I have several hundred pounds of WW that I melted down into ingots back in the day and I want to get them into use.

    I don't have any 38 cal moulds and I want to get a 150-160 grain SWC or wadcutter type. Suggestions on a good mould would be appreciated. I don't know if I want to do powder coating and I plan on keeping the loads around 800ish FPS.

    From my reading I have learned that I need to determine the throat diameter of my cylinders to get the best accuracy and to determine if I need my cylinder honed. Should I send the clyinders off to have them honed or should I get some pin gauges and measure first? Where is a good place to get the pin gauges?

  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    14,151
    I like NOE's 360-160-SWC because it has two crimp grooves for OAL flexibility between 38Spl and 357Mag.
    NOE has updated his numbers, so it'd labeled slightly different.
    https://noebulletmolds.com/site/shop...5-2-cavity-pb/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    14,151
    As to cylinder throats:
    I wouldn't worry about it, until you have a problem...meaning, cast some boolits, and shoot 'em, see how your gun does.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    4,795
    The .38 has been around so long, the mold makers have it pretty well figured out.
    The 158 Keith style SWC is a real favorite, and I wouldn't worry about getting a bad one.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Butler, MO
    Posts
    7,880
    Yonk, Welcome back to the fold. Do you still have any equipment, or are you starting over from scratch?

    There are a plethora of SWC molds in your weight range, most WC molds are supposed to be 148 which is usually close enough. I have good luck with the Lee 148 WC with standard lube grooves, even though I tumble lube with BLL (Ben's Liquid Lube) which is a thinned down version of Lee's Liquid alox.

    As far as measuring cylinder throats goes, I fall into JonB's camp, shoot first then measure. If I do measure mine, I slug the throats with a pure lead round ball then measure with either a micrometer or a dial caliper.

    Robert

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Land Owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mims, FL
    Posts
    1,263
    Absolutely NOTHING wrong with a Lyman 35891

    ..........



    There is something "visceral" about sending "ash cans" down range. Those have GOT to "sting a mite" going through...
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    East Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,597
    Lee 158 rnfp if you are on a budget. Not a swc but a good boolit.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    Yonk, Welcome back to the fold. Do you still have any equipment, or are you starting over from scratch?

    There are a plethora of SWC molds in your weight range, most WC molds are supposed to be 148 which is usually close enough. I have good luck with the Lee 148 WC with standard lube grooves, even though I tumble lube with BLL (Ben's Liquid Lube) which is a thinned down version of Lee's Liquid alox.
    I have a RCBS single cavity .416 rifle mould, a single cavity Lee 8mm rifle mould, and a Lee 6 cavity .45 Colt mould. The only one I have ever used is the .416.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    7,136
    So many good 38/357 moulds out there ... but my two favorites are :

    NOE 360 - 160 - SWC - PB or GC . The gas check works for heavy 357 magnum loads.
    and the two crimp grooves allows some flexibility in loading with 38 Special cases or 357 Magnum
    cases , Classic SWC design with double crimp grooves with or without a gas check .

    NOE 360 - 162 - WC - PB . This design is a cross of SWC and WC design . Wadcutter shaped nose
    designed to be loaded like a SWC with a crimp groove and front driving band . Very accurate boolit
    and with a hollow or cup point ...very devastating .

    These two are about all I cast and load in my 38's and 357 's now days .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables
    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    5,955
    Another vote for the 158 gr SWC bullet. As to molds, I suggest going with one of the smaller mold shops as there are so few complaints. Unless you are a low volume user, think about 4 or more cavities.

    Just a caution, if you have been out of the game for a while, unless you have primers and powder (but especially primers), you are in for a shock. Prices are high and inventory scarce to none in many areas of the country.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Just a caution, if you have been out of the game for a while, unless you have primers and powder (but especially primers), you are in for a shock. Prices are high and inventory scarce to none in many areas of the country.
    Luckily I have a several bricks of SPP and I have a couple of tubs of True Blue powder.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dead center of Alabama
    Posts
    1,435
    Yonk, the best place I have found to get pin gages is the Meyers Gage Co. Their website has the catalogue on it and they offer pin gages in individual pins or sets. For my 38/357 adventures I ordered .355-.356-.357-.358-.359 and .360. Those will pretty much cover 9mm through 38 S&W the latter being, usually .360. A lot of people say to push a sized boolit through the cylinders with a pencil and that might work but I have had success knowing exactly the dimensions of the cylinder throats. But I am a self confessed tool junkie. Welcome back.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    2,873
    Welcome back. I returned to the fold a couple years ago as well.

    If you can find one I'd start with one of the Lee 6 cavity versions. They have the 158SWC in tumble lube and GC. I use the 140gn in the .357. Makes a lot of bullets in a hurry.

    I'd also look at the NOE if they have any in stock.

    If you ever consider hollow points then try MP.

    For powder coat you will probably need a sizer as most bullets will come out too big with the extra dia of the PC. Just depends on the mold you find. I have been powder coating for a while now (shake and bake). Easy but more time consuming that a lubesizer. I never like the mess in the seating die with tumble lube, but, it does work well.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Butler, PA
    Posts
    1,705
    I have a well-loved Lyman 35891, 2 cavity, that I would like to give you. PM me your address and it is on the way. No handles, though.

    Wayne
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or else it gives you a bad rash.
    Venison is free-range, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    10
    Thank you! PM Sent.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Chesterfield Mo.
    Posts
    756
    After intensive research and shooting over a Ransom Rest my best bullet is the RCBS 150 which I will use if shooting Bullseye at the 50 yard slow fire portion and so do several of my friends. Best load was 3.6 of 231 but it varies among my friends with different guns. I wish they made 4 cavity molds but it is what it is. I got decent results with a 4 cavity Lyman 358477 but not quite as good and I need the best. If you are more into just shooting I would get a Lee 105 6 cavity because they do OK for just blasting and don't require as much lead. The RCBS will group about 2 inches 10 shot at 50 yards and the 105's are around 6 inches. This is out of a model 14 Smith. Out of two model 28's and a 27 nothing seems to shoot as well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    10
    I got my old bottom pour melter (not sure of the nomenclature) out of storage. I wasn't sure if it was going to work so I set it up on the ground. That was a mistake because it wasn't very comfortable to use. The lead in it has been in there since 2000 or so. This thing has been moved from CA to FL to WA since then, but it worked!

    https://imgur.com/a/GuM69JM

    I decided to try my Lee 8mm mould, as I haven't ever used it and it has been sitting around for ever as well. There is a picture of the best of the bullets I cast (none were great) but I didn't want to mess around with the pot sitting on the floor to much.

    It was fun. I can't wait to get into this more!
    Last edited by Yonk; 09-17-2021 at 06:22 PM. Reason: working on the pictures

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    70
    I shoot mostly full wad cutters in my 38 Spl Taurus. I use L2 alloy in everything except magnums. L2 alloy in 30-30 win rifle, and 45/70, and 303 British. A few months ago I triedL2 in in 357 Mag. No leading so I may just go with that. Got a good seal so no worries.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210528_175839.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	21.9 KB 
ID:	288881
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210528_175910.jpg 
Views:	8 
Size:	29.4 KB 
ID:	288880

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Metro-Detroit
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by Thumbcocker View Post
    Lee 158 rnfp if you are on a budget. Not a swc but a good boolit.
    +1

    I have other .357/38 SPL moulds but this is the one I shoot the most.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    12,718
    Yonk, that's not a bad looking boolit for casting on the ground! Yes, get that pot up to at least waist level! Do you have something to shoot the 8mm in? Do you have gas checks? I cast standing up but use a pot and ladle, I can't imagine sitting and risking a lap full of lead!
    Wayne the Shrink

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

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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