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#7286366 - 01/08/13 So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two...
ironeagle_84 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 10443
Loc: grants pass, oregon
I assume one would need a mould, handles for the mould, lead, and a small cast iron pot with a dipper as a minimum kit?

I would like to cast some .358" bullets for the .38 special.

I am thinking 158 grain flat points... like these...



I know you need lube as well, but i have no idea about what is needed for that.

Can anyone elaborate any points i have missed?
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#7286474 - 01/08/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: ironeagle_84]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9506
Loc: Asheville, NC
handles will come with a 2C from lee so no extra expense. (if you get the 6C mould you will need to get some Lee 6C handles as they do NOT come with the 6C mould.)

Yes you have the very basics covered, I would include some good heavy duty gloves, and some eye protection.

as far as lubing.

Get a Lee push through sizer and "ee gads" dare I suggest it.

Get some Lee Alox to tumble lube them with. Should work well if not pushing them hard in the 38spcl.

I recommend the .359 sizer die.


Edited by blammer (01/08/13)
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Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

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#7286510 - 01/08/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: blammer]
ironeagle_84 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 10443
Loc: grants pass, oregon
Thanks blammer, i am considering getting into this on a small scale just to make shooting my .38 a more common thing. I love the gun (Smith 19-4) but i dont ever seem to have money for bullets to buy, so i would like to cast some.

I have a book here somewhere that tells the basics of casting, so i will have to read it.

If you dont mind my asking, why .359"? Isnt the groove diameter .357"?

Please dont take this as an attempt at questioning your knowledge, just my ignorance of the casting game.
_________________________
30-06 till i die, the greatest round ever!

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy!

CEO of a Turdlike People: Turds & Tats Division... (per Ingwe grin )

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#7287305 - 01/09/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: ironeagle_84]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9506
Loc: Asheville, NC
no, no problem at all.

Your 38 is actually .357 dia as you have stated.

With cast bullets it is generally favorable to have your projectile sized .001 or .002 LARGER than bore dia. This is an aid to help reduce leading in the barrel. The general wisdom is to use as large a bullet as will fit in the chamber. (before ordering a sizer, you may want to 'slug' your chambers in your revolver, all of them.)This is easy done. If you already have a projectile (not a round of ammo), measure it and see if it will 'slip' through the chamber on each one of the cylinder. If it does, get a bigger one, by about .001 and try it again. Use the biggest bullet that will 'just' fit through with a hand pushed rod.

Two main factors work in creating a leaded barrel and poor accuracy.

Bullets too small for barrel and poor lube.

More importantly is the throat of each chamber in the cylinder. If you throat is .356 and the barrel is .357 you will generally have a leaded barrel. The projectile will be 'sized' down too small for the barrel and most likely creat leading.
Ideally you should have a .358 chamber and a .357 barrel.

hope this helps.


Edited by blammer (01/09/13)
_________________________
Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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#7288330 - 01/09/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: blammer]
Claybirds Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wisconsin
Check out this link for casting info, it is available in a PDF format if your interested in printing it out.

From Ingot to target

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#7288353 - 01/09/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: Claybirds]
Czech_Made Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 810
Loc: Virginia
I just went through this before Christmas. What I got to start:

- Hot plate from a local HW store $16
- Stainless steel saucer from Walmart $9
- Small stainless ladle from Walmart $4
- 2 bullet mold made by Lee + alox lube from Natchez

I had 5 pounds of lead in my scrap pile, I used that to cast bullets. It is not difficult at all, I bent the ladle to fit my needs and it works well. I cast 200 grain bullets for my 44 Magnum revolver. Even with the twin mold I can cast enough bullets in few hours to last me a month of shooting, money well spent in my book.

Money was tight, otherwise I would buy the 6 mold.
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#7288569 - 01/09/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: Czech_Made]
ironeagle_84 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 10443
Loc: grants pass, oregon
Czech, could you post a picture of your setup? I would like to see that.

Claybirds, thanks, i will have to read it a bit later, i gotta go to work right now.
_________________________
30-06 till i die, the greatest round ever!

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy!

CEO of a Turdlike People: Turds & Tats Division... (per Ingwe grin )

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#7291306 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: ironeagle_84]
458 Lott Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 15182
Loc: Conundrum, Alaska
You need a means to control the temperature, so either add in a thermoter, or forgoe the cast iron pot and dipper and get a lee bottom pour furnace.

The lee 6 cavity molds are a better design than the 2 cavity molds, but it takes some experience to cast a proper cadence to get good bullets from the 6 cavity molds and not get frustrated with the sprue hardening up and breaking the sprue cutting handle.

Hence start with the 2 cavity lee mold. I know lots of people like to bash lee molds, but I've yet to get a bad one. In 35 cal I've used the 105 swc, 158 rf and 158 swc, all have been very accurate. The 105 is my current favorite for very mild recoil, good accuracy, and getting as many bullets as possible out of a pound of lead. I'd still like to try the 125 rf but have had a tough time finding someone that has the 6 cavity varient in stock.
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I'm not a gunwriter, that's 458 win. I'm just a gun-nut in Alaska.

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#7291522 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: 458 Lott]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9506
Loc: Asheville, NC
Lee has redesigned the 2C mould to work like the 6C mould, as far as pin lockup on the block halves. smile
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Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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#7291528 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: blammer]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9506
Loc: Asheville, NC
Many have started with a cast iron pot and dipper, you'll figure out how to keep the lead at a steady temp soon enough.

They did it long before temp probes and Lee pots, and usually on an open camp fire to boot. smile
_________________________
Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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#7291986 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: blammer]
selmer Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 12/04/02
Posts: 6031
Loc: Upper Midwest
iron eagle, I have that very mold and it has worked great for me for .38 spec - .357 Max. Have fun and you can make casting as simple as it sounds or as complex as competition BR. grin
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Selmer

"Daddy, can you sometime maybe please go shoot a water buffalo so we can have that for supper? Please? And can I come along? Does it taste like deer?"
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#7292813 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: selmer]
Czech_Made Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 810
Loc: Virginia
Here is my primitive setup. I heated the mould on the side of the hot plate, didn't feel like dipping it in the lead.

After 50 or so bullets, I got the feel for temperature and whatnot and frankly the mould works very well even for newbie like me.

Sorry for the crapy pictures, but this forum has some weird size limits and I dont have photo managing tools on my PC at work.


Attachments
DSCN0628.jpg (98 downloads)
DSCN0630.jpg (90 downloads)



Edited by Czech_Made (01/10/13)
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The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the moment you get up and doesn't stop untill you get into the office.

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#7292925 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: Czech_Made]
ironeagle_84 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 10443
Loc: grants pass, oregon
Thanks Czech, it gives me a much better idea about what i will be looking at to do things that way.

I just looked last night, and i saw that a Lee pot with a temp dial and all is only $60. I thought they were more than that. It would seem to be a good starting point.
_________________________
30-06 till i die, the greatest round ever!

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy!

CEO of a Turdlike People: Turds & Tats Division... (per Ingwe grin )

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#7294166 - 01/10/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: ironeagle_84]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9506
Loc: Asheville, NC
The lee bottom pour is a good investment.
_________________________
Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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#7297181 - 01/11/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: blammer]
Claybirds Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wisconsin
This is the cheapest that I have found for Lee products.

FS Reloading

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#7368581 - 01/27/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: Claybirds]
kjohn Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 70
Loc: SE Sask
Wow! It is refreshing to read positive comments regarding Lee stuff. I use Lee moulds, bottom pour pots, plus Lee Alox, etc. You can hardly take the chance to mention Lee on some forums. Sounds like I will have to check out the new style 2c Lee molds. I have sent a nasty pile of Lee TL bullets down range over the years. I read an article about casting and TL bullets years ago, written by Dean Grennell. The article got me started.
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If there isn't a gun range in heaven, then I'm going to hell!

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#7368602 - 01/27/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: kjohn]
kjohn Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 70
Loc: SE Sask
With regards to my post above - would anyone happen to have the article of which I speak? If you do, please scan and post it. It demystifies so much about casting.


Edited by kjohn (01/27/13)
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If there isn't a gun range in heaven, then I'm going to hell!

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#7393976 - 02/02/13 Re: So if a guy wanted to cast a bullet or two... [Re: kjohn]
Colorado1135 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 10641
Loc: SW, SD
Marty, here is a pic of my setup, I too wanted to shoot my .45 for cheaper than I can buy them so I did this last winter about this time of year actually. I went to castboolits.com and found some used stuff, I like ladling out of my lyman pot better than the drippy bottom pour I had. all I have to do is plug in my pot, set the mold on it, check it every so often til it's ready. you'll also want something to drop the bullets into, I use an old cookie sheet with some old denim in the bottom, I keep it soaked with water and just a skim over it all, bullets cool a little faster and the denim cushions them when they drop. I also have a piece of 2x2 bolted down to the bench to rest my mold on when I knock the sprue plate with a wooden dowel to open the mold up. that too has a shallow DRY pan to collect the sprue lead. that gets ladled back into the pot periodically. do not put wet lead into a pot whatever you do! any misformed bullets due to a cold mold get put in a small pail after they have cooled to be used in the next casting session. it really is a lot of fun, and as stated above you can do as much or little with it as you want.


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