Casting your own

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by GraveYardMan56, May 17, 2012.

  1. GraveYardMan56

    GraveYardMan56 New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Do many of the forum members that reload cast their own bullets? I most of the time fire jacketed hollow points, but could see a time where lead wadcutter reloading might be the way to go to extend barrel life and cut shooting costs.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    17,607
    Location:
    Australia
    i do for both CF and BP

    waddies, round nose and mini ball
  3. GraveYardMan56

    GraveYardMan56 New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Must do some more reading on the cost of equipment and potential savings before I jump off into it but you feel the cost in equipment and materials and time is worth the money saved?
  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    17,607
    Location:
    Australia
    Big time and a few ways

    save on cost of bought
    save on cost of powder ( if your only plinking why use full loads when you only want it through a beer can 10 yards away ?)
    and you'll end up knowing folks who'll buy some off you , i dont say a lot or many but enough

    i've a sideline too seeing i got all the gear ..

    http://s661.photobucket.com/albums/uu332/jack404_photo/?action=view&current=PICT0001_WMVV9.mp4

    money's in the 1 lb'ers for the offshore charter boat operators

    if you buy all your lead its still cheaper , but if you can scrounge even 30% of what you use/sell your making $$$$
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  5. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    980
    Location:
    ohio
    lots of casting goes on here in my home. Its the way to go if you shoot quite i bit.
  6. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Proud to be in Arizona
    I cast for 9mm, 38 Special and 7.62x39mm. Saves a ton of money and it's fun as well.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9,017
    Location:
    Northeast Georgia
    I cast for .380, 9mm, 38/357, .44 Mag, .45ACP, 45Colt, and 45/70. I started casting bullets shortly after I started reloading 35 or so years ago. To me it was the next progression of rolling your own that couldn't be ignored.
  8. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Lompoc California
    I cast for the .45 acp, .41 magnum, 45/70 and drip shot and have been doing it for over 30 years. There is some initial expense but if you plan on shooting a lot the savings will be immediate; especially if you have access to free lead. I cast most of my pistol stuff from scrounged backstop range lead from my club. We recently melted 900 lbs. of range lead for shotmaking (shot being so expensive).

    You also get a great feeling of accomplishment when you use your own bullets for hunting or competition, especially if you win money doing it! My .45 load is actually cheaper to load and shoot than some .22 lr ammo.
  9. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    766
    Location:
    Alabama
    I was shooting competition with JHP and started casting my own. My cost for 9mm JHP was 15 cents. With cast, it is down to 6 cents. While there may be a slight startup cost with melting pot and molds, I feel that I can recoup my cost very soon. I cast for 9mm, 38.357, 41magnum and 45 ACP and have found that casting, not only is it relaxing for me, but saves money.
  10. whirley

    whirley New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    542
    I use Lee molds for hollow base minie's in .45 and .50 flintlocks. I also use cast lead bullets for .45/70, 30/30 and .32/40. Lee liquid alox works very well as a bullet lubricant. I believe it's more effective than greased bullets. I took a deer at a later measured 147 yards with the .45 cal flintlock. One shot just behind the shoulder. I also have Lyman molds for other calibers, but they take some time to heat properly before casting good bullets. I like the minie's because I don't have to use a patch as with a round ball, accuracy is just as good and reloading is easier.
  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    8,031
    Location:
    florida
    i see someone here casting for 30-30 anyone casting for 308 or 30-06.. if so... what weight are you casting?
  12. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,965
    I am not casting yet, but I am gathering all the stuff I need for it in trades. Seems like a smart idea if the SHTF.
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    8,031
    Location:
    florida
    i agree. I was at a show this weekend and bought a set of 30-30 dies and some spare 30-30 brass.. and the guy had 1 box of 30-30 with lead cast bullets he relaoded ( on those diese ).. he was getting out of it.. etc.. getting rid of all his gun and reload stuff. by the time i got there it was pretty well picked thru.. he did have an electric lead melter, and the set of hand moulds ( 2 spaces ) for that 30-30 I kinda kick myself for not getting them 2 pieces...

    would be nice to be able to roll your own, 'all the way'.. or more of the way, if needbe.

    i know primers and powder are still an issue.. etc....
  14. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Lompoc California
    I really think that if you are interested in casting for a higher pressure round like the .30 calibers mentioned, I'd start looking at casting for a paper patched load. You can achieve jacketed velocities with quite good accuracy using lead that is more suitable to performing well on game animals.

    If you are looking to load for pistol and older rifle and muzzleloader calibers, standard bullet casting will get you where you need to go. You can buy Lee stuff and be making bullets for less than $100 or can upgrade to Star, Saeco, Lyman, RCBS etc. for real production. It just depends on your budget and interest.
  15. mtnman

    mtnman New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    bliss,ny
    What is meant by " paper patched load", i am also considering cast bullets for 30-06.......
  16. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    8,031
    Location:
    florida
    i'd also like to hear more
  17. RustyFN

    RustyFN New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I cast. My 1911 has never seen jacketed ammo. In order to really save you need to find a good source of free or cheap lead. I get free wheel weight's from a couple of small tire shops in town. You can also get lead from the scrap yard, staind glass shop, plumbing contractor and other places I can't think of right now. This is a pretty good read for somebody thinking about getting into casting, http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346199.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  18. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Proud to be in Arizona
    Best place for casting info, bar none, is castboolits.gunloads.com.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  19. mikld

    mikld Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    786
    Location:
    Oregon
    Don't know about "most" guys around here casting, but I do. My guns, except my 380, all shoot lead (45 ACP, .44 Mag & Spec. rifle and revolvers, 38/357 mag, 30-30 and soon 9mm.). I have more variety using cast bullets, and it's a whole lot less $$$. Casting is like other hobbies; you can get into it inexpensively, or drop a grand right off. I started with a 2 qt. stainless steel pan, a single burner Coleman stove, slotted spoon and soup ladle, a Lee ladle, a Lee mold (44 420 SWC) and a hammer handle. I didn't need to size my bullets and just alox lubed them. I had access to wheel weights and scrap lead, so that made it cheaper to cast. I soon went to a Lee 20 lb. bottom pour pot and now I have a dozen molds or so and a whole bunch of different tools used for casting and bullet prep.

    Look at Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook and some vendors (MidwayUSA, Midsouth, Graf & Sons, etc.) to learn what's needed, as far as equipment and components, and how to go about casting bullets.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  20. res45

    res45 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    184
    I've been casting off and on for the past 30+ years,the past five years I shoot nothing but cast bullets in all my rifles and handguns in all action types. I have about 14 molds of which most are Lee a couple are Ideal/Lyman and my newest is a custom NOE 38 cal. double crimp groove mold that will cast either FN or HP bullets.

    The Lee molds pretty much pay for themselves after the first 100 bullets I cast it would cost me much more to buy 100 jacketed bullet of equal weight,the Lyman molds about the same since I bought them cheap at an estate sale. I'll have to cast about 500 of the HP bullets to recope the cost of the NOE mold.

    I do all my gas checking and sizing with Lee push through sizers,bullets are lube either by tumble lubing or pan lubing. I make all my own bullet lubes using various combinations of Alox,Johnson Paste Wax,Paraffin,Vaseline and Synthetic two cycle motor oil. It just depends on if I want to push the bullet slow or fast as to which lube I use and how I lube the bullets.

    I have loads developed for all my handguns and rifles that shoot at sub sonic to near factory velocity. Although velocity has it place you don't always need to shoot cast bullets fast to obtain excellent accuracy as well as kill small or big game just as effectively as if you were using jacketed bullets.

    Since you asking about HP bullets here is a set of bullets I cast from my 38 and 357 loads from my NOE mold. Both bullets are cast from same alloy,bullet on the left is set up to be fired in my full house 357 loads it's gas checked and pan lubed. Bullet on the right is the same bullet with the gas check left off and tumbled lube and fired in my 38 special loads at about 850 fps.

    [​IMG]

    Paper Patching
    http://www.lasc.us/brennan_4-4_paperpatchedbullets.htm

    Cast Bullets at Jacketed Performance -Non Paper Patched
    http://www.lbtmoulds.com/books.shtml
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Next Level Of Reloading:Casting And Loading Lead Bullets Jan 23, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum casting bullets Sep 20, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum First attempt in casting rifle rounds Sep 15, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum I'm about to give up on casting! Aug 18, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Using zinc pennies in bullet casting? Aug 4, 2013