Cast Bullets that vary in weight.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by carver, May 26, 2012.

  1. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I bought a pot years ago, it came with .357, .44, and .40 molds. Included in the package was some .44 cast, sized, and lubed bullets, around 300. I just found a local source for lead, and am getting back into casting. The .44 bullets that I got in the box of stuff vary greatly in weight. They range anywhere from 237 up to 250 grains, almost all of them are over weight. They have been sized, and lubed. I was just wondering what you guys would do with them? I could just throw them back in the pot, or I could take off some of the lead, from the base of the bullet, to get them back down to 240 gr. What do you all have to say?
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  2. mikld

    mikld Member

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    Remelt them. The true weight of your bullets depend on the alloy used. Different mold manufacturers use different alloys and unless you duplicate that alloy, your bullets will be different than manufacturer's specs. A good fluxed alloy with a steady temperature control will produce bullets without a lot of variation. I don't weigh mine other than initial weight/alloy check.
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    See! It's been too long! I should have thunk of that!!:D
  4. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Typically the mold makers use as a standard No 2 Lyman alloy. It's very close to linotype. It is normal to see some variation in cast bullets due in part to the quality of the sprue cutoff (or sometimes tear-off). I sort my rifle bullets and discard on a bell curve. Anything greater than +- 2 gr. is discarded. These bullets weigh 518 gr. on average so that's a very small percentage. My pistol stuff I just load and shoot. I've found very little variance between bullets and not enough to account for any deficiencies in the shooters ability to hit anything (me).

    Also; with multiple cavities you will see a difference between mold cavities. That is very common.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    As long as they werent deformed id a just loaded them over a starting charge for the bullet weight they are supposed to be and shoot beer cans with them. When i was casting i found most of anything i cast came out of the mold a tad heavy, and oversized too.
  6. noylj

    noylj New Member

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    Linotype is somewhere around 4% tin, 12% antimony, 84% lead (BHN 22). Lyman #2 alloy is 5% tin, 5% antimony, 90% lead (BHN 15-16). The "normal" handgun alloy is 2% tin, 6% antimony, and 92% lead (BHN 15-16). Pure lead is about 5 BHN.
    I find that any alloy with about 1% tin will cast just fine and any alloy much over 8 BHN is good in almost all handguns.
    I consider +/- 2gn in bullet weight to "be the same." Never have seen any effect on accuracy out to 50 yds.
    You are, however, describing a weight variation well outside what one should be able to achieve with a given mold and alloy.
    I would melt them down just so I could test "my" bullets. Anything I learn from the bullets you have may not tell me anything about the bullets I would end up casting.
    I fill up the pot with alloy and then case ingots. I get about 12 ingots from a pot.
    I lay them out on the back of bench and load the pot until full and cast the next 12 ingots. One goes on top of each of the prior ingots.
    Do this until you have about 12 ingots in each pile or you run out of lead to smelt.
    This way, the individual variations in the material being smelted is evened out.
    If I feel some need, I will then melt each pile again and cast another 12 ingots. By the time I am done, all the finished ingots are very similar in composition.
    Of course, some people have huge smelting pots and can do it all in just one melt.
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  7. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Thanks guys! These bullets been sitting around for a lot of years, got no idea how hard/soft they are. Found some lead locally for $1 per pound for soft, less for wheel weight lead. I'll be getting some around the first of the month, and will probably just throw the old bullets into the pot, and re-melt them.

    Josh the only problem I got with loading these old bullets is that I don't have any brass on hand, and will have to wait untill after the first of the month to get more brass anyway.
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