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Thread: Final Step for casting and needed equipment

  1. #1

    Final Step for casting and needed equipment

    Ok I have been hoarding lead for 5 years. I bought a Lyman smelting pot in 2016 and reduced wheel weights and sinkers to 100 or so ingots. Bought a dipper, Lyman Handles and single mold for 9mm.
    It seems that I only need to find a way to lube the bullet (or do I need to?) I am stuck on the final steps to casting and reloading 9mm. I have 2 manuals including the Lyman Casting.

    Should I seek an RCBS Lubing tool (they seem to be unavailable.) Or just buy some chemicals for coating? Will my Lyman die allow me to coat?

    My eyes glaze over on Bullet hardness theories. How important is this in the process?

    Any help to get me started will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    454PB's Avatar
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    A few years ago, I would have suggested you start with Lee liquid alox, but I've since become a powder coat convert. You will need a toaster oven (I got mine for $3 at the Salvation Army Thrift Store) some powder coat, and a Lee sizing die. Don't worry about alloy hardness for now, just get started, and read all the good information on this forum.

    By the way, I have four lubrisizers and dozens of home made sizing dies for them, and I still think the above suggestions apply.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Use the wheel weights and buy a Lee push-thru sizer (either .355 or .356 - whichever suits your bore size). Either pan lube or apply the Lee liquid Alox. Don't overthink it - you can go crazy chasing rabbit trails.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    You hoarder! lol

    Don’t listen to me because I’m about the same as you only a lot newer.

    I couldn’t decide on lube so I ordered in the white lube 45-45-10 deluxe AND some Eastwood Henry ford blue (I am still looking for the oven and maybe mini ice cube trays).

    On the hardness thing, I decided to wait but when the times comes it will without question be the LBT bullet hardness tester. The only reason I’m considering it was because I have both WW and Linotype and am curious… thinking I’ll use WWs for pistol and the Linotype for the higher speed carbines.

    It’s all out of fun and not necessarily what is perfectly correct lol

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    If you can find one, buy a Star lubesizer.
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.


    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    For 9mm? Don't worry about the hardness, and get some HiTek coating (and a jug of acetone), a small squirt bottle, and a little convection oven. You can do 5lbs in 20 minutes, perfect coverage every time. Doesn't matter if you overcook them, they'll shoot the same, they just won't be as bright and pretty.

    Pictured below: 25lbs of 9mm coated with gold HiTek. Took an afternoon in the garage with a Tupperware bowl, a cheap can of acetone, and a convection oven.



    Sent from my Pixel 5a using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Water dropped WW will work. 9mm is high pressure and soft won't do, case is strong/tapered and will size (down)your bullets. lla works, smokes like crazy. PC is great, HiTek works fine for pistol. All my 9mm need 357 size. If your mould is not a rnfp, get a proper seater nose punch. Difficult to seat a rn properly, I got a lot of crooked bullets, even jacketed. You also need a proper expander. You will see the snake swallowed an egg problem without it. Case mouth needs some flare, there are tools to do that. Die is taper crimp and do that after seating the bullet - separate step. 9mm is probably the most difficult to load, but stick with it.
    Whatever!

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    I can't tell you what's best, but I can tell you Lee liquid alox is putting rounds downrange for me in three calibers (including 9mm). If you want to get started, it could be the shortest route from A to B!

    Although after reading some of Ben's posts, I do really want to try pan lubing...

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I've been casting for a while and still pan lube. I couldn't see a $200.00+ lubersizer and dies ($35.00) and nose punches ($15.00+) for every bullet I cast. I pan lube, use a "cookie cutter", and size with a Lee push through kit. (my first lubing was done with a Lee pan lube kit, long discontinued). Worked OK for me and I just continued to pan lube every cast bullet I made. 32 ACP through 45 Colt handgun bullets and 30 and 32 cal. for rifle bullets.

    I have used alox and 45-45-10 on many bullets, including some heavy 44 Magnum loads. Only drawback for me using tumble lube is I don't like the brown noses on m handloads, so I dip lube.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    After you arrive at a satisfactory cast bullet you need to properly size and lube the bullet. The sized bullet needs to be .001" over ACTUAL bore size. That can be .356 to .359, 9mm bores are not consistent. A wild guess is probably .357 diameter. If powder coating size after coating. Powder coating can be as simple a powder coat, a plastic bowl and a toaster oven.
    Other lube that is simple is Lee Liquid Alox. Just bullets and lube in a Zip-loc bag and then seperate the bullets and let them dry. I would recommend two coats. You need to size before lubing.
    Your wheel weight alloy should be good up to 850 to 900 feet per second and maybe more if you powder coat.
    Other than that you need to neck size and flare the case mouth to where the bullet can be seated without shaving any brass. I recommend that you seat the bullet to desired OAL without apply ing any crimp. Then back the seating stem way out and adjust the die down to apply the crimp.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I do not powder coat because all my processes, except for casting, are done indoors. Might be perfectly safe but I do not know.

    If I was starting, I would try Ben’s Liquid Lube. It is easy and cheap and does not require an oven.

    My ultimate goal is to buy a mold that casts bullets that do not need to be sized and use BLL. I only shoot cast in pistol calibers. Cast, lube and shoot. I have enough stuff to make enough BLL to last a lifetime for less than $150...being 71 helps shorten the time line.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    BLL works fine but for HV rifle needs a GC. Tried it OK in low fps 40sw but not sure it will work for 9mm. BLL does work better than the 45/45/10. And not nearly as messy.
    Whatever!

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    BLL works fine but for HV rifle needs a GC. Tried it OK in low fps 40sw but not sure it will work for 9mm. BLL does work better than the 45/45/10. And not nearly as messy.
    It might take two coats, but I plan check it out. Even with two coats it would be easier than any other method.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 454PB View Post
    A few years ago, I would have suggested you start with Lee liquid alox, but I've since become a powder coat convert. You will need a toaster oven (I got mine for $3 at the Salvation Army Thrift Store) some powder coat, and a Lee sizing die. Don't worry about alloy hardness for now, just get started, and read all the good information on this forum.

    By the way, I have four lubrisizers and dozens of home made sizing dies for them, and I still think the above suggestions apply.
    This is your answer, maybe 50 bucks for a size die and smokes powder and oven, I PC all my 9mm.
    My 2 cents.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I would also start with a .357" sizing die for 9mm, if you aren't able to slug and size your barrel.
    Take a kid to the range, you'll both be glad you did.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    I would strongly recommend powder coating, however, starting out you could use Lee Liquid Alox and tumble lube before you buy what’s needed for powder coating.

  17. #17
    I am very familiar with the reloading process, just not at all with Cast Bullets or casting.

    For further info I bought a set of Lyman 2 cavity handles # 2735793 and The lyman Mold#2660242 top punch 311 Large capacity for 9mm RN 120 Grain.

    I also believe in "buy once, cry once." So price means nothing. Difficulty in the process does concern me. So I want a process that is simple as possible. Going to go with Powder coating IF this lyman mold works with this Hi Tek powder.

    Dan mat are you saying that I cannot use my regular Redding 9mm sizing die?

    Can I go to a gunsmith to determine barrel width?

    AND Thank You all for your comments.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I know what you mean about eyes glazing over ... there can be such an overload of info you go snow blind .
    I hope this defogs some of it . I been casting for 50+ years and adore doing things the Simple Way.
    Don't worry about hardness . Wheel weight metal is fine (I mix WW and soft Lead 50-50) air cool is fine . Life will be easier if you size your boolits , proper sized boolits are important . Lee makes a push through sizer. I size my 9mm Luger boolits .357" ...try different sizes in you gun to see which works best , passes the "plunk test" . After sizing the easiest lube is "tumble Lube" roll them around in the tumble lube of choice ...I used Lee Alox thinned out so it left a thin coat .
    Roll them around, let dry , size , roll around again and load . All you need is plastic container and tumble lube of your choice .
    You can get into powder coating or convential lube/sizer later , once you have gotten your feet wet with loading . You must have a special case expander for cast boolit seating ... the one in a regular set of dies is for jacketed and lead boolits are larger and softer ...you need an expander for cast in 9mm ...trust me!
    I cast for 40 years with just air cooled wheel weight metal , I had a free unlimited supply .
    Hardness isn't as important as size in cast boolits in handguns ... in fact a hard undersize boolit will lead the dickens out of a barrel .
    Go ahead , get started ... the only way to learn how to cast boolits ...is to cast boolits !
    If you mess up ... melt em back down ... Nothing Lost !
    Gary
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    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    ok gifbohane sounds like your off to a good start, the numbers you listed are manufacturers numbers, the more commonly referred to mold number for that Lyman mold is 356242, 120 grain rn, the first three digits is diameter and they say the molds are cut so that bullet will drop from mold a few thousandths larger so they can be sized down.. any way yes that bullet has worked for me in 9mm, ive used it. cast of clip on wheel weights, lube sized to .357 shot out of storm lake barrel in a Glock. its been a long Time since I cast any bullets for 9mm but I do have this new lee 356-124 6 cavity mold that needs to be used and a pound of harbor freight red powder paint an old toaster oven some parchment paper, all I need is the plastic bbs and I'll be ready for my first experimental run of powder coat bullets.

    as far as sizing die, I dont see why you could not use Redding 9mm sizing die.
    sometimes a problem can occur with a seat/crimp die if cast bullet is oversize and the die is too tight it can possibly crush the cast bullet diameter when seating crimping--just something to look out for when your putting your ammo together

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Sig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gifbohane View Post
    Dan mat are you saying that I cannot use my regular Redding 9mm sizing die?
    No, the Redding die is for sizing your brass. What you need is a bullet sizing die. If you're powder coating or tumble lubing, look into Lee or Noe push through dies. The other option is to use a Lyman, RCBS, Star or other traditional lube sizer/press where the bullet gets sized & the lube groove filled. These use sizing dies that differ from the ones you would use for powder coating.

    Can I go to a gunsmith to determine barrel width?
    You probably could but slugging your barrel is a relatively easy process. Do a quick search here & you'll see how straightforward it is.
    Hope this helps clear things up.
    Last edited by Sig; 01-21-2022 at 02:16 PM.

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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