Bullet casting?

Mthuntr

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After catching the black powder bug again I'm interested in upping my game. Anyone into casting their own muzzleloader bullets? After paying $15 for 100 round balls it seems logical to "roll my own" but I don't know where to start. What books? Sources for gear? Sources for pure lead? Please share
 

Kaitum

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I've only dabbled in casting my own muzzleloader bullets. I've poured a few hundred Great Plains conicals and Maxi-ball style conicals for a .50 cal. I think I bought my dies, melting pot and lead on eBay. It's been awhile since I've bought lead and I'm sure the cost has since gone up. You'll see lots of people selling wheel weights as a source of lead. Avoid wheel weights unless making sinkers for fishing. Wheel weights have zinc mixed in with the lead which makes it harder than pure lead. I've poured conicals with 'unpure' lead, they load much harder than those made of pure lead. A Google search will reveal a few sites for making your own bullet lube.

Ive always done my lead melting / pouring outside as I was paranoid of the toxicity of lead fumes. Maybe my fears were unfounded but no harm in pouring outside so no foul.
 

Mthuntr

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Thanks Kaitum. I found a couple forums. Looks like just about everyone recommends using pure lead for Maxi-ball type bullets but it's possible for someone to use wheel weight lead in round balls since they are smaller than bore diameter.

I too am afraid of lead fumes so everything would be outside with a respirator
 

Dan O

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Check out castboolits forum. There is a ton of information on there. When doing your search use that spelling and it should get you there. Also check rotometals for your alloys.
Hope this helps.
Dan
 

Mthuntr

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Check out castboolits forum. There is a ton of information on there. When doing your search use that spelling and it should get you there. Also check rotometals for your alloys.
Hope this helps.
Dan

Boolits is probably the worst word ever but I'll take a look. I think that is where I found that wheel weights aren't going to be good for maxi-ball type bullets. A friend found someone with a smaller Lee production pot that I can borrow to see if it's for me.
 

Gut Shot

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I get my lead locally. I trade aluminum for lead at the local scrap yards. I prefer lead roofing or flashing but pipes work too. Just be sure there is no moisture inside the pipes before melting. And yes, if you are patching round balls a harder alloy will work.
 

Dan O

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Boolits is probably the worst word ever but I'll take a look. I think that is where I found that wheel weights aren't going to be good for maxi-ball type bullets. A friend found someone with a smaller Lee production pot that I can borrow to see if it's for me.

Might be the worst word ever to you but to the casters on that sight it is THE word to use. I agree for maxi balls pure lead is the way to go. I also use pure lead for round balls. When someone is interested in deeper penetration some do use a harder alloy to cast their round balls. The patching material is all that should touch the bore.
When casting many folks use a small fan by an open window to get rid of the fumes. Or a vent hood system you find over your stove at home. Lyman also has a book on bullet casting that is full of information. It should be a great resource for anyone interested in casting bullets (boolits) .
Good luck
Dan
 

Mthuntr

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I asked around and a guy in Billings has offered to give me 20lbs of lead flashing the next time I'm through. I found a large source (800lbs) of X-ray shielding sheet lead at scrap prices but the guy hasn't gotten back to me yet. That buy would set me up for a very long time or offer me an opportunity to share with several others.
 

Kaitum

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800 lbs? Good grief, that's 14,545 Great Plains conicals out of my mold! You planning on supplying your own little civil war? Just kidding. Post some pictures after you do some pouring, would like to see the results.
 

Mthuntr

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It is over kill isn't it! I was hoping to get the lot and share the wealth. I think that would be over 14,700 conicals for me...probably 20 lifetimes of muzzleloader shooting. If this guy gets back to me I'll be giving you a call.
 

Mthuntr

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Well it happened...a small Lee casting pot, Lee r.e.a.l. muzzleloader molds (50 and 54 caliber), and small miscellaneous parts have arrived at my house yesterday. I traded a rusty project rifle that I was never going to do anyway and acquired 500lbs of soft lead sheets used in X-ray rooms.

I now need to acquire safety gear and a heavy duty smelting pot to get the sheets cast into ingots.

I have also talked to a couple guys about casting 45-70 bullets but that is a future project.
 
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