Bullet Casting Pro's and Con's

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 76Highboy, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Today I went to MidwayUSA and priced out the components needed to begin casting lead bullets. This list included everything from the Lee Pro 4 20lb furnace to the mold handles, and of course two sets of molds. One for .357, and the other for .44. The total comes to approx. $240.00.

    The question is this. I currently have about 400lbs of lead in my garage, maybe more. Next month I should get about 100lbs more. Is it worth me getting into casting, or should I sell the lead, and take the $240.00 and invest in production bullets.

    For several years I was sending lead to a relative and he was casting it and sending half of it back, and keeping the other half. It was a joint effort and we both benefited. He has plenty of ammo now so has no need to cast it, and I am sitting on a heap of bullets, but sooner or later they will be gone.

    My thoughts: I know I will need to restock sooner or later, but overall would it be best to buy production, or bite the bullet now and buy the equipment and begin casting. I just want to be certain before I drop the cash. I will shoot guns until I die, so in my mind I am justifying the purchase. I just want to be sure.

    So, is it worth the investment? I am looking for pro's and con's.

    Thanks guys.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    ok ask this

    the stuff will last a lifetime so in your lifetime how many bullets will you buy v make ?

    half that and look at the numbers seriously ( a life time is a long time so look at half of it )

    if you see variances of $500 or more thats serious money

    and then theres the opportunity to sell a few and get cash .. mates rates may not see a profits but its still cash in your pocket

    then you can cast sinkers for fishermen , seen the price on them especially the larger ones ??

    good $$ to be made there ..
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  3. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    So far your spot on. I have thought about ncasting for $ on the side. I feel that over the long haul it would pay for it's self. Through Midway $250.00 will get my roughly 2500 bullets, and that is only .38 cal. 45acp, 45Colt, and 44mag and much more so I could see it paying for it's self within a year, maybe two.

    They would also make for great TFF giveaways.

    Thanks Jack.
  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i get maybe $300 on the side a year from the charter boat operators who buy 1 lb sinkers

    it aint a fortune but makes all else free for the year ..
  5. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    That would pay for brass, primers, and some powder. That makes sending a bullet down range pretty cheap.
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    yup

    some home movies

    one is for a group who do a big annual trip and charter a boat but take all their own gear

    max ( in the last vid) has me do this every year for him and his mates

    there's $400 cash

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  7. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input Jack.
  8. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    Making bullets for profit in the US does require a federal license, unfortunately.
    400 pounds? Holy cow - I'm happy when my stash is up about 50 pounds! That will take you a while to burn through! Casting is a fun and easy, but time consuming. If you like doing it, that's no problem.
    That's a lot of money to get started - are you buying a lot of molds or just a few high dollar ones? Most of mine are Lee and work just fine - the only semi-expensive one I have is the NOE, a very good mold.
    Number one casting resource on the web is castboolits.gunloads.com.
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was thinking.

    I have a few Lyman molds. The reason I have them is because Lee didn't make that bullet size.

    I have not worn out or broken a Lee mold.

    I started casting with a iron pot on a coleman stove, pan lubed and used a cake-cutter. Total investment was about 25 dollars, and ten of that was for the Lee mold. Last few times I've done any casting, I used a cast-iron sauce pan I bought at a yard sale, and did it on the kitchen stove (the joys of being divorced).

    I've got an electric pot, but unless I'm planning on doing a few hundred to a few thousand bullets, I don't even get it out any more. A pot and a ladle just seems more - right.

    I think, before I dumped a couple of hundred bucks in this hobby, I'd go cheap and see if I liked it.
  10. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    got the stuff to gascheck?
  11. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Why are you gas-checking pistol bullets?
  12. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Does that go for just the bullet or for the loaded ammo?
  13. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Today after work I will put my detailed list on with my prices and then maybe you guys can tell me if what I am looking at is right.

    Thanks armored man and Alpo.
  14. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I did it when I was a teenager with my father so I know I would like it. I just want to make sure that financially it is worth it.

    Thanks Alpo.
  15. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    High boy a friend of mine who i conned into doing it , ;) , worked a deal , what cast bullets went for , he got 80% of on store credit in trade .. he's in montana
  16. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Brilliant. I know alot of gun shops. Later today I will post my list and see what is needed and what is not. The hobby in general sounds like fun. Also, if they limit the purchase of bullets one day, it would not affect m, nor would the price increase.
  17. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Well Highboy, I have been debating this same topic recently. I am not sure what I will do, but I have a couple of shops around town i have been getting lead from......so far I have around 200-300 lbs. Sometimes I see crazy good deals on used stuff......on craigslist and various other places......but I never have the cash to take advantage of it.
  18. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Alpo, I put a gas check on every .44 mag and .357 bullet I cast.

    Highboy, before you spend that $240 at midway, you might want to look at Graf & sons for the same items. I have found that Grafs may be a tiny bit more on some items, in the long run it ends up being cheaper because of the shipping charges. Midway is kind of high on ship and handle charges where Grafs only charges a handling charge.

    I have a couple of Lee molds that I have been using for 30+ years and have not worn them out yet. If you decide to sell the lead, I would like to take some of it off your hands!
  19. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    On the other hand, I have a 2 cavity 158 grain SWC 357/38 Lee mold I never use anymore, if that will save you a buck or two. It's a gas check model, C358-158SWC.
    I think all told my beginning setup cost about $50 or $60, and that was only 5 years ago.
  20. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    gas checks add (a very small amount) to the price per shot but they help keep the bore from leading up as fast. I generally don't use GC's on pistol though, I do for much of my rifle molds.

    from my point of view, there are no cons, only pros for casting your own! I'm addicted... it's a handy skill to have for fishing or shooting and it's a hellufa lots of relaxing fun not to mention satisfaction. Just make sure you do it safely; eyepro, heavy apron or clothes and good ventilation.

    you can handle lead all day and not get any in your system, the only ways to absorb lead is ingestion or inhalation of lead fumes. (don't lick your fingers!)

    happy castin' to ya!
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