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Toledo
10-15-2011, 16:59
Is casting your own ammo worth the trouble? I have a Dillon 550 & have loaded for 9mm & 357 for about 5 years now. I am now considering bullet casting to save even more on ammo. But Im not sure just how much savings I'd be getting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Colorado4Wheel
10-15-2011, 17:07
It's all about free lead. If you can get free lead and you have the time to invest in the process, it's very worth it. With out free lead, it's hard to save much. You will save but it's not nearly as much. I never pay for lead.

sdelam
10-15-2011, 17:09
It can be if you can find a cheap supply of lead. The pot, mold, lubersizer, just like loading it adds up quick. Not sure how much you will save with 9mm. I make my money on 45acp plus its easier to cast for because it is a low pressure round.

norton
10-15-2011, 17:19
Berm miner here. :whistling:

Zombie Steve
10-15-2011, 17:21
I shamelessly mine the berms and specifically go to tire stores that allow me to sift through their wheel weights.

Totally worth it. :supergrin:

Colorado4Wheel
10-15-2011, 17:22
My 9mm cost under $3 per hundred. That is loaded ammo. HUGE savings.

You need to learn to cast. Norton is pretty much done with his newbie status as a caster. I ain't screwing up enough anymore to entertain anyone. Zombie never tells us about is bad experiences. So we need someone new to start casting. Just to keep this place interesting.

fredj338
10-15-2011, 20:11
As noted, it's all about the alloy cost. WW alloy is about percfect for handgun bullets. Sicne the ban in Kommifornia & now a few other statres about 18m ago, the rest of the country is finding out that ww mauf are switching nation wide to non lead. Since we used to get ww for free or very cheap, that supply is quickly becoming extinct. You can buy alloy, but if you pay much mor ethan $1.5/#, yo umight as well buy cast bullets.
The gear can be rpetty cheap; Lee 20# bottom pour pot, Lee 6cav mold w/ handles, tumble lube & you are into castin for just over $100. It doesn't take many bullets to make up $100 & the 6cav Lee molds, while not great, can be serviceable & produce 600 bullets an hour. Combined w/ tumble lubing, there isn;t all that much time involved to get a useful supply of bullets.
Now we can up the gear game; get a Star/Magam lube/sizer & more molds & you are in it for several hunders $$, but again, doesn't take that many bullets, if the lead is really cheap or free, to make that cost up.

Zombie Steve
10-15-2011, 20:17
My 9mm cost under $3 per hundred. That is loaded ammo. HUGE savings.

You need to learn to cast. Norton is pretty much done with his newbie status as a caster. I ain't screwing up enough anymore to entertain anyone. Zombie never tells us about is bad experiences. So we need someone new to start casting. Just to keep this place interesting.

I made all my mistakes breaking Jack's gear about a year ago. Better to take advantage of the old guy than wreck my stuff. Now everything comes out perfect. Perfect, I tell you.

Colorado4Wheel
10-15-2011, 20:48
Good move.

justinsaneok
10-15-2011, 20:56
My 9mm cost under $3 per hundred. That is loaded ammo. HUGE savings.

You need to learn to cast. Norton is pretty much done with his newbie status as a caster. I ain't screwing up enough anymore to entertain anyone. Zombie never tells us about is bad experiences. So we need someone new to start casting. Just to keep this place interesting.

Lucky for you guy's I just got a turkey fryer, dutch oven, pro 420 pot, Lee 6 cavity 401175TC standard lube grove mould and a new thermometer. :whistling:

justinsaneok
10-15-2011, 20:59
Sorting wheel weights SUUUCCCKKKSSS!

Toledo
10-16-2011, 09:39
Thanks for all the advice....I will have to give this more thought.

WiskyT
10-16-2011, 10:04
Other advantages of casting include a limitless supply of the same bullets. You get a mold and can develope a good load for it, or several loads for different purposes, and you don't have to worry about having to redo everything when your favorite bullet is back ordered and you have to get a different bullet.

It's also fun. It's just as much fun as reloading.

Also, you can cast an expensive bullet as cheaply and easily as a cheap bullet. Fred can cast his heavy, wide metplat, African elephant bullets as easily as he can his 125 grain 9mm plinkers. So he can "plink" with 454 Cassul rounds that would cost $2.00 a shot for a non casting non reloader for just a few cents.

Another example of something you can do with casting is have bullets that can't be bought. All of my defensive 40SW ammo is 165 grain (becuae it was free). I wanted a 165 TC cast bullet and I have never seen them offered for sale. My Lee TC mold dropped bullets at 180 grains. A machinist buddy of mine decked it down a bit and it drops the bullets at 165. This is a minor thing, but it is nice to be able to do it in my situtation.

fredj338
10-16-2011, 10:12
Other advantages of casting include a limitless supply of the same bullets. You get a mold and can develope a good load for it, or several loads for different purposes, and you don't have to worry about having to redo everything when your favorite bullet is back ordered and you have to get a different bullet.

It's also fun. It's just as much fun as reloading.

Also, you can cast an expensive bullet as cheaply and easily as a cheap bullet. Fred can cast his heavy, wide metplat, African elephant bullets as easily as he can his 125 grain 9mm plinkers. So he can "plink" with 454 Cassul rounds that would cost $2.00 a shot for a non casting non reloader for just a few cents.

Another example of something you can do with casting is have bullets that can't be bought. All of my defensive 40SW ammo is 165 grain (becuae it was free). I wanted a 165 TC cast bullet and I have never seen them offered for sale. My Lee TC mold dropped bullets at 180 grains. A machinist buddy of mine decked it down a bit and it drops the bullets at 165. This is a minor thing, but it is nice to be able to do it in my situtation.
Good point on specifc bullets. One reason I started casting was to provide a specific bullet for my 45colt CAS loads. When I started shootig CAS, there were few choices in 45colt; 45acp bullets w/ no crimp groove or heavy 255gr LFP. SO I had a mold made to cast a 220grLTC w/ crimp groove. There are quite a lot of options in commercial molds, including HP that work well for hunting or SD. Then there are a few custom mold guys that make really nice product for little more than factory molds & you can have exactly what you want.
So even if alloy cost got to $2/#, there are some bullets I would still cast myself, plinkers though, the alloy has to be cheap or free for me to spend my time casting & lubing bullets.:whistling: If you even think about casting, start getting your alloy suppliy going. It's not going to get easier going forward & if you never cast, you can sell it all day for $1/#.

RustyFN
10-16-2011, 18:36
Sorting wheel weights SUUUCCCKKKSSS!

That's why I don't sort them. I throw them all in the dutch oven and scoop the floaters out with the clips at 650 degrees.

justinsaneok
10-16-2011, 18:47
That's why I don't sort them. I throw them all in the dutch oven and scoop the floaters out with the clips at 650 degrees.

I'm only doing it this once to see what is really in there. I didn't get my thermometer yet when I started to sort them.:embarassed:

Tom in Arizona
10-16-2011, 18:53
Other advantages of casting include a limitless supply of the same bullets. You get a mold and can develope a good load for it, or several loads for different purposes, and you don't have to worry about having to redo everything when your favorite bullet is back ordered and you have to get a different bullet.

It's also fun. It's just as much fun as reloading.

Also, you can cast an expensive bullet as cheaply and easily as a cheap bullet. Fred can cast his heavy, wide metplat, African elephant bullets as easily as he can his 125 grain 9mm plinkers. So he can "plink" with 454 Cassul rounds that would cost $2.00 a shot for a non casting non reloader for just a few cents.

Another example of something you can do with casting is have bullets that can't be bought. All of my defensive 40SW ammo is 165 grain (becuae it was free). I wanted a 165 TC cast bullet and I have never seen them offered for sale. My Lee TC mold dropped bullets at 180 grains. A machinist buddy of mine decked it down a bit and it drops the bullets at 165. This is a minor thing, but it is nice to be able to do it in my situtation.
Toledo, bullet casting will not save you money as reloading will not save you money! What both will do is give you more control and flexibility in what you shoot. In the long run it may or may not be cost efficient considering the time, equipment cost, expendables and etc.

As Whiskey mentioned it is great fun and very adictive which makes for more expense as you feel the need to expand your hobby trying other bullets and concepts. This I know from personal experience over more than a few decades that it is more expensive but worth it!

Colorado4Wheel
10-16-2011, 19:06
Toledo, bullet casting will not save you money as reloading will not save you money!

Casting saves me a ton of money. Thats why I do it.

Tom in Arizona
10-16-2011, 19:15
Casting saves me a ton of money. Thats why I do it.
It's real easy to forget the startup and hidden costs and think you are saving money.

Colorado4Wheel
10-16-2011, 19:37
I am a cheap guy. I know the cost.

Star Sizer $300
Mold with Handle $90
Lee Pots $100 ( I use two)
Assorted crap (Thermometer, etc) $75

Total is about $575

Thats two boxes of bullets. Or said another way 7000 rounds.

At this point I could buy new Saeco molds every time I make 3000 bullets and still come out ahead.

Gunnut 45/454
10-16-2011, 20:50
fredj338
My brother, God love him had mined a few very old out door range burms and I now have over 400 Lbs of bullet lead! With 250 lbs already made into ingots!! I'm set for the rest of my life! Not only the lead but with the price of copper the jackets get a good buck! I have 30-40 lbs of that to turn in for cash!:supergrin:

GioaJack
10-16-2011, 21:14
400 pounds is going to last you for life... are you casting for a pellet gun? :dunno:


Jack

fredj338
10-16-2011, 22:55
Toledo, bullet casting will not save you money as reloading will not save you money! What both will do is give you more control and flexibility in what you shoot. In the long run it may or may not be cost efficient considering the time, equipment cost, expendables and etc. !
If casting doesn't save you money shooting, then you are doing something wrong. As I noted, you can get going for a bit more than $100, even less if you want to use propane, old cast iron pan & a dipper. With commercial 9mm going for around $60/K, some free lead, I would say you save quite a bit of money. The same holds for reloading.

I shoot about 500rds of 45acp a month. At $40/100 for cheap commercial, that is $200/m! I am happily reloading my own cast bullets for less than $20/500. So I would say I save a tiny bit of money, like enough to pay for a casting setup in one month. The rest of the years "savings" would buy a 650 w/ all the bells & whistles. Yeah, casting & reloading doesn't save any money.:wow:

fredj338
10-16-2011, 22:58
400 pounds is going to last you for life... are you casting for a pellet gun? :dunno:


Jack

I was thinking the same thing. I have about 1200# of various alloys & I feel like I don't have enough. I even bummed about 60# off my dentist from his old X-ray room!:supergrin:

Maine1
10-16-2011, 23:02
just returned from the shop..where about 500 freshly cast 158 gr 38 TL bullets are drying.

cast allows me to SHOOT a hell of a lot more, and assures me that i will likley ALWAYS have ammo.
Even IF reloading and casting were more expensive than buying ammo, i'd still do it. There is alot to be said for making your own ammunition supply.

fredj338
10-16-2011, 23:05
just returned from the shop..where about 500 freshly cast 158 gr 38 TL bullets are drying.

cast allows me to SHOOT a hell of a lot more, and assures me that i will likley ALWAYS have ammo.
Even IF reloading and casting were more expensive than buying ammo, i'd still do it. There is alot to be said for making your own ammunition supply.

As much as I enjoy making my own, I don't think I would go that far. I stopped casting about 10yrs ago, time vs money, & just bought my plinking & match bullets. With todays prices, I started back up again. If you can score cheap alloy, casting your own does cut cost a ton.:wavey:

Tom in Arizona
10-16-2011, 23:11
cast allows me to SHOOT a hell of a lot more, and assures me that i will likley ALWAYS have ammo.
Even IF reloading and casting were more expensive than buying ammo, i'd still do it. There is alot to be said for making your own ammunition supply.
You got it! It cost more because you shoot more, enjoy it more, purchase more equipment and it keeps gowing.

vafish
10-17-2011, 04:53
All of you saying you save money by casting your own bullets. Or even reloading, show me the bank statements with the deposits on them.

I haven't saved a dime in over 30 years of reloading.

What I have done is get to shoot a heck of a lot more for the same amount.

fredj338
10-17-2011, 09:18
All of you saying you save money by casting your own bullets. Or even reloading, show me the bank statements with the deposits on them.

I haven't saved a dime in over 30 years of reloading.

What I have done is get to shoot a heck of a lot more for the same amount.

Specious argument. You save money every round fired, period. What you do with that money is your business. Shoot more, take the wife out, buy a car, whatever, but you do save money every round. Go ahead Va, dispute my number in post #23. Disputing that, it's like condoning Obamanomics.:tongueout:

Colorado4Wheel
10-17-2011, 11:59
So I can buy 30,000 Bullets a year for $2442
Or I can cast my own for Free now.

Hmm, Hard choice as to which is cheaper.

I shoot the same no matter which I spend. In fact now I only have time to shoot 15,000 a year. So I won't shoot more if I cast or not. I shoot the same. Only so much time to actually shoot any more.