One guys exploration into casting bullets...

pastera

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I haven’t gotten that far yet. My plan was to cast a few hundred, get the molds working right and then move onto hardness, coating and sizing.

What’s your suggestion for those three next steps?

I also need to find the right temp on my used Lee bottom dispensing pot. I believe Knob Creek had it set to 7 when it was in the box I bought it from him in.
6-7 is usually fine
Once your mold is up to temp you may find you need to drop the temp down to 4-5 in order to keep the speed up.
 

mac1911

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damn I wish I had seen that video 24 hours earlier lol. I’m going to collect more straight scrap lead and next time I decide to play w the range scrap I have left over I will do another run of weights etc.

At some point today I hope to attempt to season my MP molds. Thinking of using the kitchen stove for lack of a better device. Or should I splurge on a Walmart hot plate?
do you sling shot ?
you can always get a 000 buck mold and make some sling shot ammo
 

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Life has suddenly caught up with me for a few days but I will cast a few by the end of the week. We were shooting my reloads but just w factory bullets pressed on my D650. We had two failures out of the 300 or so rounds we shot today. One was her limp wristing and the 2nd was a well hit primer that didn’t go off. I forgot to run it back through a gun at end of day to see if it would go off though.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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Life has suddenly caught up with me for a few days but I will cast a few by the end of the week. We were shooting my reloads but just w factory bullets pressed on my D650. We had two failures out of the 300 or so rounds we shot today. One was her limp wristing and the 2nd was a well hit primer that didn’t go off. I forgot to run it back through a gun at end of day to see if it would go off though.
That’s better than Winchester white box
 

NewBeige

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set up under an exhaust fan in basement:
E9D01975-E0E8-4801-A59A-4C3A2917A307.jpegSamples of first bullets cast from each of first five batches of my new MP mold 359-125 FB
Round 1288DDD99-CA7C-4386-A4F6-57CBC6F33172.jpeg

and a little hotter (w
a hammer smash test):
E0E71583-CECF-4DDF-99DF-221E6A2C9484.jpeg

And even hotter:
562FA930-1184-4DEF-A094-7F93DFBD5019.jpeg
The middle three looked great.

So I’m doing this all without a thermometer I trust.

I also am not confident I don’t have some zinc in this alloy.

So I recycled the crappy ones a few times. I turned up the temp and got that final run above.
Some concerns I had were that at dial level 6-7 I had a purple slick/sheen on top of the pot. I then went upto between 7 and 8. And heated the mold up on my electric hot plate setup (from previous posts) and the bullets started coming out much better. Three in the photo above were basically perfectly cast. A bunch have minor flaws but still look shootable.

BD2E6D44-EF45-422C-8EA0-FCEDEC349B8C.jpeg

CB832A73-13DF-4E7A-87E0-4C1D5707EC51.jpeg
This last batch had a weight range of 125 for a wrinkly bullet that I wouldn’t shoot to 130.5 grains for the best looking one.

I also did the pencil test which I have no idea how to do but it did scribe a nice line in the head of the bullet:
8C989069-4363-4951-8884-F09BF2FEBE9A.jpeg
 
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TrashcanDan

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That mold temp will get you every time.
I used to cast-off the first dozen or so drops so it was heated enough.
It looks promising, you'll get it
I'd bet the wrinkly looking ones came from the ends of the mold where the heat leeches out
 
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Artie

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I run my Lee bottom pour furnace at 7 at the beginning to melt the alloy and then reduce to 4.5 which gives me a temp of 630-650deg F. I have 3 of these pots and 2 of them are consistent with these settings. The other pot runs hot and will be a good candidate for a PID controller. Like @TrashcanDan mentioned above, my 1st few batches go right back into the pot till the mold comes up to temp. Looking good
 

mac1911

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set up under an exhaust fan in basement:
View attachment 402008Samples of first bullets cast from each of first five batches of my new MP mold 359-125 FB
Round 1View attachment 402006

and a little hotter (w
a hammer smash test):
View attachment 402011

And even hotter:
View attachment 402012
The middle three looked great.

So I’m doing this all without a thermometer I trust.

I also am not confident I don’t have some zinc in this alloy.

So I recycled the crappy ones a few times. I turned up the temp and got that final run above.
Some concerns I had were that at dial level 6-7 I had a purple slick/sheen on top of the pot. I then went upto between 7 and 8. And heated the mold up on my electric hot plate setup (from previous posts) and the bullets started coming out much better. Three in the photo above were basically perfectly cast. A bunch have minor flaws but still look shootable.

View attachment 402015

View attachment 402016
This last batch had a weight range of 125 for a wrinkly bullet that I wouldn’t shoot to 130.5 grains for the best looking one.

I also did the pencil test which I have no idea how to do but it did scribe a nice line in the head of the bullet:
View attachment 402026
The purple is oxidized lead. Tin is more yellow/gold
Did you flux your pot before starting ?
i use Frankford Arsenal flux for my indoor casting pot. Once I get the pot to temp I drop a little in. Does not take much . I mix and mix. Then let it settle the layer on top acts like a shield to the air ,
I dont think you have much if any zinc , if you had your pot on 7 it most likely wont get hot enough to get the lead/zinc alloy to a nice molten stage.
For reference, I casted pure zinc shotgun slugs and my lee pot was on 10 and it was just enough .
Dont use zinc with slug molds it does not like to release and you will Fup your mold.

The 6 cavity molds take some practice to get working well. You will get there.
I have a few and they are great for getting alot done quickly. My ranchdog 308 mold gets the most use and is a finicky little sob. I place it on top of my pot to warm up then fill each cavity and let that heat sink for a while. Then i cast one cavity at a time until I see good fill then move on , this for me reduces the amount of culls or rejects.lead

You need the art pencils with a range of hardness.
At this point you dont really need to worry about alloy hardness , especially at non magnum velocities and your going to coat them.

Bullet size to barrel fit is much more important.
 
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Michael J. Spangler

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set up under an exhaust fan in basement:
View attachment 402008Samples of first bullets cast from each of first five batches of my new MP mold 359-125 FB
Round 1View attachment 402006

and a little hotter (w
a hammer smash test):
View attachment 402011

And even hotter:
View attachment 402012
The middle three looked great.

So I’m doing this all without a thermometer I trust.

I also am not confident I don’t have some zinc in this alloy.

So I recycled the crappy ones a few times. I turned up the temp and got that final run above.
Some concerns I had were that at dial level 6-7 I had a purple slick/sheen on top of the pot. I then went upto between 7 and 8. And heated the mold up on my electric hot plate setup (from previous posts) and the bullets started coming out much better. Three in the photo above were basically perfectly cast. A bunch have minor flaws but still look shootable.

View attachment 402015

View attachment 402016
This last batch had a weight range of 125 for a wrinkly bullet that I wouldn’t shoot to 130.5 grains for the best looking one.

I also did the pencil test which I have no idea how to do but it did scribe a nice line in the head of the bullet:
View attachment 402026
Looks like a cold mould. Aluminum is hard to keep up to temp. Especially when you’re new to casting and can’t help but look at every bullet that drops out of the mould while your mould is cooling down and you’re mesmerized. 😂
 

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So I have collected a few more buckets of wheel weights. smelted them properly this time paying attention to temperature. Yield was eight redneck gold bars plus a row of four bars in the Lee mold (w the two medium and two small size cavities).
I also ran a half a bucket of range scrap which yielded four redneck gold bars.

now that I have a thermometer to use I’m going to do a few more smelts and start casting keeper bullets soon.

and I have to order a basic press for sizing. I still haven’t figured out what press and what sizing die to match w it. Suggestions w links would be greatly appreciated.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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So I have collected a few more buckets of wheel weights. smelted them properly this time paying attention to temperature. Yield was eight redneck gold bars plus a row of four bars in the Lee mold (w the two medium and two small size cavities).
I also ran a half a bucket of range scrap which yielded four redneck gold bars.

now that I have a thermometer to use I’m going to do a few more smelts and start casting keeper bullets soon.

and I have to order a basic press for sizing. I still haven’t figured out what press and what sizing die to match w it. Suggestions w links would be greatly appreciated.
RCSB Rockchucker. You’ll love it and use it for tons of stuff in the future.
If you’re on a budget get whatever cheap Lee single stage that is available.
NOE sells a sizing die with interchangeable bushing. Get that or the Lee push through sizer.
 

mac1911

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So I have collected a few more buckets of wheel weights. smelted them properly this time paying attention to temperature. Yield was eight redneck gold bars plus a row of four bars in the Lee mold (w the two medium and two small size cavities).
I also ran a half a bucket of range scrap which yielded four redneck gold bars.

now that I have a thermometer to use I’m going to do a few more smelts and start casting keeper bullets soon.

and I have to order a basic press for sizing. I still haven’t figured out what press and what sizing die to match w it. Suggestions w links would be greatly appreciated.
I like the lyman 400 I got got wegman. But I use traditional lube and gas checks. Im not getting into any coatings just yet. I have about 10,000 bullets worth of lube to use up
 

NewBeige

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RCSB Rockchucker. You’ll love it and use it for tons of stuff in the future.
If you’re on a budget get whatever cheap Lee single stage that is available.
NOE sells a sizing die with interchangeable bushing. Get that or the Lee push through sizer.
Ok did some research, but need more advice before ordering:
The rockchucker is now the "rock chucker supreme master": Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit| RCBS
and they have other press kits: Converts The Ammomaster Progressive To Single Stage | RCBS
please keep in mind I have a Dillon 650 set up for 9mm already.


The NOE sizing kits are in .355 and .358. Mike (you) sized my barrels and the Canik TP9sfx came in at .355 max and my Sig p938 was 355.5 to 356/357
so I should get the .355 then, right? And get the whole kit? Here is the page to the kits. Sizing_Kits | NOE Bullet Moulds
 

Michael J. Spangler

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Ok did some research, but need more advice before ordering:
The rockchucker is now the "rock chucker supreme master": Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit| RCBS
and they have other press kits: Converts The Ammomaster Progressive To Single Stage | RCBS
please keep in mind I have a Dillon 650 set up for 9mm already.


The NOE sizing kits are in .355 and .358. Mike (you) sized my barrels and the Canik TP9sfx came in at .355 max and my Sig p938 was 355.5 to 356/357
so I should get the .355 then, right? And get the whole kit? Here is the page to the kits. Sizing_Kits | NOE Bullet Moulds
Just go with a Lee sizer in .357” then and you’ll be good.
Maybe they changed the name of the press but really any basic single stage is fine. I would check with shooting supply. I think he scored a heavy duty old Lyman press recently and might have a deal on it.
 

mac1911

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Ok did some research, but need more advice before ordering:
The rockchucker is now the "rock chucker supreme master": Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit| RCBS
and they have other press kits: Converts The Ammomaster Progressive To Single Stage | RCBS
please keep in mind I have a Dillon 650 set up for 9mm already.


The NOE sizing kits are in .355 and .358. Mike (you) sized my barrels and the Canik TP9sfx came in at .355 max and my Sig p938 was 355.5 to 356/357
so I should get the .355 then, right? And get the whole kit? Here is the page to the kits. Sizing_Kits | NOE Bullet Moulds
The kits are ok if you need everything in them.
The rock chucker can be found as press only
Your likely to find one cheaper on sale in the next few weeks?
I use the lee style push through sizers often and have no problem. I assume they work well with coated bullets.
If i where to buy a kit i think this is the better of them over all
Hornady # 085010 classic deluxe kit.
Finding one in stock right now is the fun part.
 

NewBeige

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introducing my new sizing set up:
Lyman press with a Lee .357 sizing die.
B6569210-7242-4517-8B18-CDA2C9309E39.jpeg
The two assembled rounds to the left of the machine are the first two I sized and put through my Dillon press. The results are that they fit perfectly in my Dillon single case guage for 9mm but the stand proud a bit in my EGW “chamber checker”.
0285181A-570B-416A-8888-29185416E85A.jpeg
any thoughts on this? I was reloading 9mm w recycled cases and store bought bullets:

813A8AA5-E3DC-4F13-B011-14DB6BF22F3E.jpeg

Is this because my press was running .355 and now has .357 going through it? Any suggestions on tweaking the presses settingas or is that not even necessary? I dropped one of the .355’s through the .357 die and it flew right through the die.

I’m using the coated bullets I took home from the seminar that Mike Spangler taught. Brassy color in zip lock bag in above photos. I just ran them through the resizer w out lubing or anything and then hand placed them into cases in the Dillon. Do I need to coat or lube them at all before or after sizing?

and separate issue: I got about 10lb of lead from a roof that was being replaced on a 150 year old house. Aside from smelting it into bars, any tips of adding anything to it? I have pewter coins to add to the mix if that is needed. Wheel weights and range scrap too.

thanks for reading and have a great day!
 

Michael J. Spangler

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introducing my new sizing set up:
Lyman press with a Lee .357 sizing die.
View attachment 408103
The two assembled rounds to the left of the machine are the first two I sized and put through my Dillon press. The results are that they fit perfectly in my Dillon single case guage for 9mm but the stand proud a bit in my EGW “chamber checker”.
View attachment 408105
any thoughts on this? I was reloading 9mm w recycled cases and store bought bullets:

View attachment 408107

Is this because my press was running .355 and now has .357 going through it? Any suggestions on tweaking the presses settingas or is that not even necessary? I dropped one of the .355’s through the .357 die and it flew right through the die.

I’m using the coated bullets I took home from the seminar that Mike Spangler taught. Brassy color in zip lock bag in above photos. I just ran them through the resizer w out lubing or anything and then hand placed them into cases in the Dillon. Do I need to coat or lube them at all before or after sizing?

and separate issue: I got about 10lb of lead from a roof that was being replaced on a 150 year old house. Aside from smelting it into bars, any tips of adding anything to it? I have pewter coins to add to the mix if that is needed. Wheel weights and range scrap too.

thanks for reading and have a great day!
Nice score on the press!
As far as chamber checking don’t waste your time or money on the gauges. Pull the barrel out of your pistol and use that.
Some chamber checkers are tight some chambers are loose. Bumping up .002” will make your cartridges fail in some checkers.
They should run totally fine in your Gun though.

No lube before sizing the bullets. They don’t need it.
Did you go very light with your crimp so you don’t squish down the projectile?

Check with that alloy calculator that I sent you. You should be able to blend up something resembling wheel weight alloy.
 

NewBeige

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C232D5AE-8382-4D6F-A516-488165E0D4ED.jpeg
are these spots where the hi tek coating seem to have come off a problem? All five just went through the .357 sizer.

the sample ammo I made in above post does chamber in my P938. The neck size assembled is .378. My carry ammo is .375 and actually wiggles around in the barrel a little bit.
Thoughts?
 

TrashcanDan

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Somethings not right. Coating shouldn't come off like that.

Case mouth size seems a little under for cast. Could be just me.
Its going to vary by brass manufacturer but I think you want .381 or .382

Good article on 9x19 and crimp. Somewhere in there it'll tell you exactly what you want for a measurement.
CZ's are notoriously tighter in the chamber, but even those are just a touch over .380
 

mac1911

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introducing my new sizing set up:
Lyman press with a Lee .357 sizing die.
View attachment 408103
The two assembled rounds to the left of the machine are the first two I sized and put through my Dillon press. The results are that they fit perfectly in my Dillon single case guage for 9mm but the stand proud a bit in my EGW “chamber checker”.
View attachment 408105
any thoughts on this? I was reloading 9mm w recycled cases and store bought bullets:

View attachment 408107

Is this because my press was running .355 and now has .357 going through it? Any suggestions on tweaking the presses settingas or is that not even necessary? I dropped one of the .355’s through the .357 die and it flew right through the die.

I’m using the coated bullets I took home from the seminar that Mike Spangler taught. Brassy color in zip lock bag in above photos. I just ran them through the resizer w out lubing or anything and then hand placed them into cases in the Dillon. Do I need to coat or lube them at all before or after sizing?

and separate issue: I got about 10lb of lead from a roof that was being replaced on a 150 year old house. Aside from smelting it into bars, any tips of adding anything to it? I have pewter coins to add to the mix if that is needed. Wheel weights and range scrap too.

thanks for reading and have a great day!
Smelt it down and put it aside. Its nice soft lead and black powder shooters are always looking or you can get a BP gun and have fun
 

Michael J. Spangler

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View attachment 408194
are these spots where the hi tek coating seem to have come off a problem? All five just went through the .357 sizer.

the sample ammo I made in above post does chamber in my P938. The neck size assembled is .378. My carry ammo is .375 and actually wiggles around in the barrel a little bit.
Thoughts?
Kind of weird for it to wipe off. Sometimes if there are thicker spots of hi-tek that pooled a bit that can wipe off. Or some type of finning on the cast.
Did they all wipe off like that? Or just a couple?
 

mac1911

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View attachment 408194
are these spots where the hi tek coating seem to have come off a problem? All five just went through the .357 sizer.

the sample ammo I made in above post does chamber in my P938. The neck size assembled is .378. My carry ammo is .375 and actually wiggles around in the barrel a little bit.
Thoughts?
i would mark the bullets with a sharpie and feed them through the sizer orientation the same to rule out the sizer ?
I have not loaded 9mm for a while but I ended up taking a chamber/lead casting to find my bullet size. i ended up usinv a lee 358-125 as dropped from the mold. Shot well.
Only 9mm i have left is a P38 and I just run 115 fmj when i ehoot that.
If your loading just for the one pistol a chamber/lead/throat casting can really tell you what you can get away with for case neck size, bullet size ectect.
Whats case mouth max on 9mm .380" ?
 
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Michael J. Spangler

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i would mark the bullets with a sharpie and feed them through the sizer orientation the same to rule out the sizer ?
I have not loaded 9mm for a while but I ended up taking a chamber/lead casting to find my bullet size. i ended up usinv a lee 358-125 as dropped from the mold. Shot well.
Only 9mm i have left is a P38 and I just run 115 fmj when i ehoot that.
This is basically what I was getting at. Rise out the sizing die. Lee makes great products but they aren’t without the occasional lemon.
 

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Alloy spreadsheet:
I have it working on my laptop (iPhone doesn’t seem to want to let me edit fields).

my objective is to estimate how much “stuff” (wheel weights, pewter coins, range scrap etc) I should mix in w the pure lead I just got from a roofer. Goal is 9mm flat round nose and 9mm hollow points (all just for target practice). I started by putting in 10lb of lead and 1lb of pewter. It computed a Brinell of 11.5. Which brings me to my question... what hardness am I aiming at achieving to allow easy coating, sizing and chootin?
image.jpg
Separate issue:
You wanted me to mark the bullets and run them through the sizer. Problem is that I already ran the whole bag of 500 through the sizer. So I’ll have to cast and coat some new ones before I can get you an answer to the sizing die question.
 
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mark2215

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According to the spreadsheet range lead is 10 so that must be around what most people shoot at the range. Also, many use straight wheel weights to make bullets which is 12 so I say your 11.5 will be just fine. You only have to worry about harder bullets if you're shooting magnum loads or trying for max velocity.
 

mac1911

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Alloy spreadsheet:
I have it working on my laptop (iPhone doesn’t seem to want to let me edit fields).

my objective is to estimate how much “stuff” (wheel weights, pewter coins, range scrap etc) I should mix in w the pure lead I just got from a roofer. Goal is 9mm flat round nose and 9mm hollow points (all just for target practice). I started by putting in 10lb of lead and 1lb of pewter. It computed a Brinell of 11.5. Which brings me to my question... what hardness am I aiming at achieving to allow easy coating, sizing and chootin?
View attachment 408519
Separate issue:
You wanted me to mark the bullets and run them through the sizer. Problem is that I already ran the whole bag of 500 through the sizer. So I’ll have to cast and coat some new ones before I can get you an answer to the sizing die question.
That mix in your calculation is a waste of pewter. You really only need about 2% tin. Your casting a bullet with out lube grooves even straight flashing will cast well enough.
Your going to be coating the bullets correct?
Just cast your range scrap for now. Keep your roof flashing and pewter aside for now. If your really having problems with mold fill out you can add pewter to about tin 2%
 
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