Finally decided to start casting... [Archive] - Glock Talk

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XDRoX
10-30-2011, 11:44
Couple questions. Assuming I have everything to smelt and make ingots...

How is this?
Production Pot IV
http://leeprecision.com/xcart/images/P/90009-01.jpg

I don't want to spend the money on a magma/star lube/sizer right now.
Will this work in place of it or should I get some other inexpensive tool that will get the job done better?
http://leeprecision.com/userfiles/images/lubesize.jpg

Thanks

Colorado4Wheel
10-30-2011, 11:53
I don't find the Lee 20lb big enough for making a ton of bullets in a session. I run two at a time and still nearly run out of lead.

I tried that sizer. They are often undersized. But they work ok if you get one that is the right size. You can open it up pretty easy Or just buy the the next size up. I don't like TL because it's sticky. It didn't take me long to buy a STAR.

sig2009
10-30-2011, 11:58
If you get the Lee 20lb pot make sure you get the bottom pour. The 10lb pot is worthless. The Lyman 450 sizer can be had anyday on ebay for $75. Buy that.

XDRoX
10-30-2011, 12:24
Ok, I'll get the 20lb pot with bottom spout.

If you get the Lee 20lb pot make sure you get the bottom pour. The 10lb pot is worthless. The Lyman 450 sizer can be had anyday on ebay for $75. Buy that.

In what ways will the Lyman be better than that Lee I posted above?

WiskyT
10-30-2011, 12:24
The 10# pot works fine. I've been using mine for a few years now. It will keep up with a 2 cavity mold fine. That said, spend a few more bucks and get the 20# because the higher cap molds are so much faster and twice the pot capacity is only a few bucks more.

The Lee sizers and tumble lube are great. Think of all the rimfire bullets, bagillions of them, that have been tumble lubed for over a century. Many bullets don't even need sizing. My Lee 9mm 120TC drops them at 0.357". All I do is TL them and shoot them through my 9mm's and in 38Spl.

Just like reloading, you CAN CAN CAST cheaply without getting high-end stuff. The high-end stuff is good too, but is mostly superfluous.

WiskyT
10-30-2011, 12:25
In what ways will the Lyman be better than that Lee I posted above?

It costs more and makes prettier bullets. If it costs more and makes something look better, it must be better.

XDRoX
10-30-2011, 12:49
It costs more and makes prettier bullets. If it costs more and makes something look better, it must be better.

Another question.
Am I correct in assuming that I need a 356" mold and the 356" lube/sizing kit?

For 9mm that is.

Colorado4Wheel
10-30-2011, 12:57
In what ways will the Lyman be better than that Lee I posted above?


The Lee is simply a sizer. It does not lube the bullet. All the other sizers lube the bullet with wax type lube at the same time. Lee requires you to use some Liquid Alox or similar. Wisky loves the stuff. I hate it. Sticky, nasty stuff. When I bought my Magma it was $250. It's now up to $275. If you don't mind sticky bullets Lee lube can be ok. I don't like dropping them on the ground and having them collect dirt. Of course I shoot in a sandy berm.

GioaJack
10-30-2011, 12:57
Another question.
Am I correct in assuming that I need a 356" mold and the 356" lube/sizing kit?

For 9mm that is.


Buy a .358 mould, that way you can size them for you 9's and .38/.357's.


Jack

XDRoX
10-30-2011, 14:29
Buy a .358 mould, that way you can size them for you 9's and .38/.357's.


Jack

Good to know Jack. Will I be able to easily size them down in a non heated sizer/luber. I assume they're heated to melt the lube, but not sure if they also heat the bullet :dunno:

What is your guys favorite 2-cav mold for 9mm from Lee?

GioaJack
10-30-2011, 14:44
You can size down bullets 3 or 4 thousandths without any problem at all. (Bear in mind that I know absolutely nothing about the Lee sizer, you'll have to ask someone else about that.)

A heater on a sizer simply warms the lube so that it will flow into the grease grooves, it has no impact on the bullet.

Can't help you with the Lee mould, I use Lyman 4 cavities in 121 grain RN and TC for my 9's. May have a couple different ones stashed away but I can't remember what they are.


Jack

norton
10-30-2011, 15:10
I use the Lee 20 # bottom pour pot.
Lee molds.
Lee sizing dies
Lee Alox.
I tried some of the recipes found on the Internet for lube. Gulf wax, crayons, STP-too messy, too time consuming for pistol bullets IMO.

WiskyT
10-30-2011, 16:02
Another question.
Am I correct in assuming that I need a 356" mold and the 356" lube/sizing kit?

For 9mm that is.

Typically, bullets drop bigger than what the mold is spece'd for. It's supposed to be that way so you can size them. You can size a 0.359" bullet to 0.356", but you can't size a 0.355" bullet to 0.356", so they hedge things by making them a lrch oversize. FWIW, the vast majority of 9mm guns will chamber and shoot a bigger bullet. The biggest bullet you can manage to chamber is the best size to use.

Lee has several 9mm molds that work well. Many use a 38 cal 125 2R bullet in both 9mm and 38. I have used my Lee 158RN in 9mm. My 9mm 120TC Lee mold drops bullets at 125 grains and shoots well in my 9's and in 38.

fredj338
10-30-2011, 17:04
The Lee molds are so hit & miss as to proper size. A 9mm bullet should drop between 0.356-0.357", but w/ the Lee could be anywhere from 0.355"-.0358". You would want a 0.356" die if sizing for several diff 9mm or slug the bore & go 0.001" larger.
The Lee 20# pot is a far better choice than the 10# IMO. I still use my 10# but only for LHP, I don't need much capacity for that.
You can melt lube & pan lube the bullets, then size in the Lee. You can use Alox & JPW mix to tumble lube & then size. It gives good results, I just prefer a luber/sizer, only one step. Come on by, I'll get you some hands w/ the Lee 20# & a 2cav mold. I'll show you how to paqn lube & sizing is just as it appears in the Lee add.
regards, fred

WiskyT
10-30-2011, 17:29
Here's my $0.02 on iron vs aluminum. The bullets from each are equally good. The Lee 2 cav makes good bullets but are very easy to ruin. The sprue must be cut perfectly horizontal. Any upward or downward thrust on the cutter (easy to do) will effe it up. Iron molds can be, within reason, are less fragile. A new caster will very likely screw up a two cav Lee mold. Once you get the hang of casting, it is pretty easy to use a Lee 2cav without damaging it. Also, the alignment system on the Lee 2cav makes it likely to get screwed up.

The Lee 6cav are much easier not to ruin. They make big piles of bullets cheaply, but are not as fool-proof as an iron mold.

The iron molds are less fussy about temperature and are pretty hard to damage. Lubing them after use stops them from rusting, but cleaning the lube off before casting is a pain. I think Jack doesn't lube his and they don't rust.

I have a Lyman 2 cavity and it's a good mold. The rest are Lee's. I ruined a Lee 2cav in the beginning because I didn't know what I was doing. I own several 6 cav and they are great. I bought a 2 cav for 32 ACP and have only used it once since I don't shoot much of it. For $18.00, I made $50.00 worth of bullets and put it away for the next time. It will probably last forever since I knwo how not to damage it.

If you buy a Lee 2 cav, your learning process as a beginner will be longer. You will probably screw it up in the process. That will cost you the princely sum of $18.00, not bad, and you will end up with bullets and a desire to buy a 6 cav. If I spent 10 minutes showing Jack the ins and outs of Lee 6 cav molds, he'd probably end up using them.

Iron molds cost more. You can get a Lee 6 cav for about half the price of an iron 2 cav.

People all have their favorite molds in terms of bullet shape. Personally, I think they would all shoot well or they wouldn't keep making them. I'm talking about pistol bullets. Rifles bullets and long range are a whole different animal and I'll leave it to Fred to post about what works better there.

WiskyT
10-30-2011, 17:30
Come on by, I'll get you some hands w/ the Lee 20# & a 2cav mold. I'll show you how to paqn lube & sizing is just as it appears in the Lee add.
regards, fred

That would be the best way to go about it.

fredj338
10-30-2011, 20:02
That would be the best way to go about it.

I like the Leee 6cav molds. The alum could be higher quality, then they wouldn't be so fragile, & the spru plate/hanlde could be a bit more robust, but they work & make a ton of bullets fast. I would bypass the cheap 2cav, buy the 6cav & handles, make them 2, 4 or 6 at a time. I prefer a good iron mold, but 2cavs are slow & 6cav are too heavy to cast along time. For $120, Mountain molds can make you a custom 3cav from waulity alum & you can have any design/wt you desire within his program.
WT, the only lead rifle bullets I am shooting are 350gr/45-70 running around 1600fps. Really just fast handgun bullets, but they shoot well in my 1886 & Marlin GG. Now, getting a good supply of cheap or free alloy in Kalif, a whole nother story.:crying:

sig2009
10-31-2011, 07:48
I like the Leee 6cav molds. The alum could be higher quality, then they wouldn't be so fragile, & the spru plate/hanlde could be a bit more robust, but they work & make a ton of bullets fast. I would bypass the cheap 2cav, buy the 6cav & handles, make them 2, 4 or 6 at a time. I prefer a good iron mold, but 2cavs are slow & 6cav are too heavy to cast along time. For $120, Mountain molds can make you a custom 3cav from waulity alum & you can have any design/wt you desire within his program.
WT, the only lead rifle bullets I am shooting are 350gr/45-70 running around 1600fps. Really just fast handgun bullets, but they shoot well in my 1886 & Marlin GG. Now, getting a good supply of cheap or free alloy in Kalif, a whole nother story.:crying:

The Lee 6 cavity molds are the only wat to go. I threw out all my 2 cavity Lyman molds. Not worth the time to cast. Takes to long to cast any quanity. When my mold and lead is up to temp the sprue cutter cuts the sprue like butter. If I have to force the sprue open then the temps are not right. I get all my lead from the indoor private range that I shoot at. Usually fill a 5 gal bucket up half way evry Sunday. Of course that's if I am the only one in there at the time.

EL_NinO619
10-31-2011, 11:31
I think I got the bug and I haven't even coasted a single bullet. Yesterday at my shooting spot, I was more worried about picking up bullets on the ground and digging through a tree that was like a gold mine... Chris said I'm turning into Fred...LOL HELP ME..


http://i893.photobucket.com/albums/ac135/Justin_Moreau/2011-10-30170337.jpg

fredj338
10-31-2011, 12:43
I think I got the bug and I haven't even coasted a single bullet. Yesterday at my shooting spot, I was more worried about picking up bullets on the ground and digging through a tree that was like a gold mine... Chris said I'm turning into Fred...LOL HELP ME..
]

Could be worse, you could turn into Liberal Democrat!:tongueout: Think of yourself as a green recycler, works for me.
Bring over the lead, I'll let you guys run the Lee pot. If you are nice & donate to my lead supply, I may even let you run the Magma Caster. It's no faster than a 6cav mold, but way less work.

PCJim
10-31-2011, 13:44
To all you casters out there... If you're berm mining and collecting a mess of TMJ profiles, how do you get the lead out of the center?

atakawow
10-31-2011, 15:11
To all you casters out there... If you're berm mining and collecting a mess of TMJ profiles, how do you get the lead out of the center?

Smack the TMJ bullets with a hard object, like a hammer, until they crack. Make sure you not missed any. After that, just toss them all in the smelting pot. The crack will allow the lead to flow out of the jacket when melted. Since lead will melt at a much lower temp than copper, this allows the lead to melt and leaves the left over copper jackets to float atop of the pot along with the rest of the garbage. Skim them off and proceed as normal.

PCJim
10-31-2011, 15:27
So, there is mechanical intervention required. Thanks!

m2hmghb
10-31-2011, 15:31
Smack the TMJ bullets with a hard object, like a hammer, until they crack. Make sure you not missed any. After that, just toss them all in the smelting pot. The crack will allow the lead to flow out of the jacket when melted. Since lead will melt at a much lower temp than copper, this allows the lead to melt and leaves the left over copper jackets to float atop of the pot along with the rest of the garbage. Skim them off and proceed as normal.

Not to mention the money you can get from the copper isn't that horrible.

One thing I heard about doing with liquid alox is to sprinkle a little talc on the bullets so they aren't as sticky.

atakawow
10-31-2011, 15:40
Not to mention the money you can get from the copper isn't that horrible.

One thing I heard about doing with liquid alox is to sprinkle a little talc on the bullets so they aren't as sticky.

A neat trick I picked up from castboolits.com is to mix liquid alox with paste wax and thin the mixture with mineral spirit. Works amazingly. The new mixture of lube will dry within one or two hours after applied. It also removes the stickiness of liquid alox almost completely.

Bob2223
10-31-2011, 16:07
I think I got the bug and I haven't even coasted a single bullet. Yesterday at my shooting spot, I was more worried about picking up bullets on the ground and digging through a tree that was like a gold mine... Chris said I'm turning into Fred...LOL HELP ME..


http://i893.photobucket.com/albums/ac135/Justin_Moreau/2011-10-30170337.jpg


If you got the bug that bad already you might as well go ahead and get a iron mould or two to start with. And get that Star sizer and dies ordered it takes a few weeks to get em sometimes?
Then you can start adding to your mould collection, sizer dies, mould handles, thermometer, sprue lube, ingot moulds, boolit lube, lube heater, extra pot and so on and so forth.
Then later you'll want to have two of each of your favorite moulds so you can cast faster. Then think about mould storage how and where you want the sizer mounted and what kind of catch bin for the boolits.
Oh and then you'll want to try different alloy mixes for different calibers and soft lead & tin for the hollow point moulds you'll get sooner or later.
Then theres the never ending quest for finding lead, that will take up your time when your not casting.
I just ran in the middle of a busy intersection for a 6 oz truck WW last week, you'll remember what I'm sayin later
Yes, you'll be sorry you ever said "I think I wanna cast a boolit" !
You've been warned but it sounds like it's to late?

I do enjoy casting, runn oft 8-900 9mm Saturday and lubed em last night.
If you guys can hook up with Fred it would be well worth the time he knows his stuff, he helped me get started.


Good luck you guyz !

Bob

craig110
10-31-2011, 16:35
Smack the TMJ bullets with a hard object, like a hammer, until they crack. Make sure you not missed any.

Bolt cutters work quickly and easily for me.

norton
10-31-2011, 17:52
To all you casters out there... If you're berm mining and collecting a mess of TMJ profiles, how do you get the lead out of the center?

If the bullet is fully jacketed, you can smack them with a hammer. Any opening in the copper jacket will let the lead leak out when you heat them. I find very few fully jacketed bullets when I mine the pistol range at my club. Even the TMJ's split when they hit something hard, like a rock.

EL_NinO619
10-31-2011, 23:07
I want to order a mold for .45acp, which size LEE should I get. Should I get .453 and size down, please school me. Also I would like to cast some slugs, any good molds you guys use...

norton
11-01-2011, 06:30
I want to order a mold for .45acp, which size LEE should I get. Should I get .453 and size down, please school me. Also I would like to cast some slugs, any good molds you guys use...

I would order my Lee molds in the size I want them to end up. It has been my experience that if the bullets you cast are not the size of the mold, they will be larger. Its easy to oversize cast them, by not getting the mold blocks closed completely before the pour, or by having debris on the blocks that keeps them from closing.
Sizing with the Lee sizing dies is easier if you cast bullets are very close to the desired end size.
Good luck. Casting is fun and a real $ saver.

Colorado4Wheel
11-01-2011, 07:39
I want to order a mold for .45acp, which size LEE should I get. Should I get .453 and size down, please school me. Also I would like to cast some slugs, any good molds you guys use...

Bullet Molds are not adjustable. You just buy a .45 mold and size it down later.

fredj338
11-01-2011, 12:17
I want to order a mold for .45acp, which size LEE should I get. Should I get .453 and size down, please school me. Also I would like to cast some slugs, any good molds you guys use...

You don't really get a choice in mold size. The mold will throw what it throws. You can tweek size a bit w/ heat & alloy, but it is what it is. I would start sizing 0.001" larger than groove dia, in most 45acp, that is 0.452".