beginner 101 casting? need opinion / ideas

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by soundguy, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    have considered for a few months now to get into rolling my own.. er. casting my own.

    some one lay out a beginner setup into casting.

    IE.. what are the minimums needed.

    next... gas checks. read up on them for hger speed stuff.. etc. rifle.

    I understand that adds another few steps and more gear.. etc.

    question.. pistol rounds.. such as 38? no gas checks right?

    I don't feel the need to cast for everything I relaod.. nor would it be possible probably due to some of the larger things I shoot. but the ability to cast for a couple different things.. or even one well used setup.. that 38spl I have many things chambering that..e tc.... so could get lots of use out of that one especially... got at least 3 pistols and a levergun in it ..
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    I'm new to casting bullets so take it from a new guy.
    I made my own lead head jigs since I was a kid, so I had a little experience in smelting WW. That was before the zinc guys came around, now you have to be careful not to smelt the zinc into your lead.

    I started cheap in simple.
    Lee Bullet molds, inexpensive and come with handles.
    Lee Bullet sizing die and Alox Tumble Lube.
    Use my Old Do-It melting pop left over from my jig making days.
    I purchased a new Lee Magnum Melter , a Ladle and a Thermometer, but I still like my old Do-It thingy.

    That's it so far, cept my new Hollow point mold that I am going to try.

  3. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Basically same as above,moulds are about 50/50 Lee/RCBS...prefer the Lee for handgun...bottom pour and ladle.Been doing a while and after reading the LA links,I know I don't know squat,but my bullets fly true enough for 25yds..and shooting into haybale/steel backstop,I cut apart and recover once a year.Fun hobby:)
  4. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    The minimum huh?

    a heat sorce
    a pot (not aluminum)
    stirring spoon
    some flux (old candles, sawdust)
    slotted spoon for skimming dross
    mould with handle
    broken axe handle (for hitting sprue plate with)
    pouring ladle
    thermometer (not absolute but nice to have)
    bullet lube
  5. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    howlinmad covered most needs. I started with a stainless steel sauce pan (2 qt.?) a coleman stove (mine was a single burner), a Lee mold a, Lee ladle/dipper, a plastic mallet (same one I used for my Lee Loader), an el cheapo slotted spoon and sawdust. I had access to a lot of wheel weights so I "smelted" these (melted, skimmed, fluxed, make ingots with a muffin pan). With clean lead I poured several hundred before I started getting acceptable numbers of keepers, and lubed with alox. I got a 3rd Edition Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook and read/reread several times (a must IMO).The most difficult part is controling temperatures; mold temp. and melt temp. but that comes with practice. The only way to learn to cast bullets, is to cast bullets...

    Also hang out here, read the stickies, and ask questions Every aspect of making boolits is covered.
  6. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    thanks for the idea on a manual to read.
  7. karlrudin

    karlrudin Member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Phenix City, Al
    My ? is about the Lee Liquid Alox. I am casting rifle boolits and I was used to seeing bullet lube completely filling the grease grooves. Does the liquid alox have to fully coat the grease groove, not fill them, or can it just completely cover the outside of the bullet while partially coating the grease grooves.
  8. firefighter1635

    firefighter1635 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    FEMA Region V
    Lee Liquid Alox is designed to be used with a tumble lube style bullet. That being said i've used it with bullets that have grease grooves with no ill effect. I supose it might matter what your using it on. I only cast for handguns. I wouldn't want to use just LLA on a grease grooved bullet for a rifle though.
  9. myg30

    myg30 Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Yes you can tumble lube a rifle boolit that has lube grooves but it has its limitations ! Not sure what cal. your thinking about but many have done it before.
    As long as you keep the velocity down, start low and work up to where you can see leading start. Im sure if you google tumble lube xxx rifle boolit there will be some kind of info for you.
    Good luck and be safe.
  10. myg30

    myg30 Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    All of the above plus my comment. Lead is getting harder to find. I would check into a source for some, or price it to buy from a vendor like rotometals. With the cost of lead and the other equipment you need see if adds up to saving you money depending on the amount of shooting you do.
    If you just "Want" to cast well join the crowd. Im ADDICTED to casting. Its very soothing to cast for me and its my therapy !! READ READ READ all you can and start to look for used equipment on the forums. All the savings can go towards primers and powder.
    ASK all the questions, none are stupid when HOT LEAD is involved.

    Good luck, be safe and have fun !

  11. Moonman

    Moonman Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Northeast Ohio
    Casting can be FUN just like RELOADING is TO SOME FOLKS, to others it's a P.I.T.A.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    If you don't shoot a bunch, PURCHASING from a local caster may be a better answer.

    I'm retired and I CAST, RELOAD for handguns only, AND NOW I'M COATING.

    The COATING PROCESS I'm using has been in use in Australia for 20 years.

    This process WAS DEVELOPED FOR HANDGUNS not rifle bullets.

    It's a Polymer coating mixed with a catalyst, hand tumble lubed in a plastic bowl

    and then Baked, sized, RECOATED, Baked again.

    If your cast bullets DROP TO SIZE, just coat and bake twice then.

    The coatings are more like a STAIN that the thickness of a PAINT.

    The coatings can be used on REGULAR or TUMBLE LUBE GROOVE projectiles.

    THESE COATED PROJECTILES DO NOT NEED LUBED, the coating is the lube too.

    Large THREADS on this over at the CAST BOOLITS forum.

    People are also doing experiments with POWDER COATING of projectiles,

    Different threads on this also over there.

    These processes can totally ENCAPSULATE the LEAD as issues are arising at

    different ranges especially INDOOR RANGES concerning exposed PROJECTILE LEAD.

    You can start LADLE CASTING with Lead, a Small Melting Pot, and a Mold with Handles.

    You should use a thermometer, and do some Alloy Mixing reading or just purchase some KNOWN ALLOY from a foundry.

    The SKY can be the limit as to how much you eventually want to spend casting.


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