Make your bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by bizy, May 30, 2009.

  1. bizy

    bizy New Member

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    I would like to form my own bullets. I've heard pure lead bullets some times come apart in the barrel. Is there another metal that will combine with lead to make the bullet stronger?
  2. gary0529

    gary0529 Member

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    News to me!!

    Now, I will grant you that if you push a pure lead to say 4000 fps you will lose a significant amount of projectile in re-lining your steel barrel with lead but to say come apart, don't think so.

    I have been casting for some time and rarely use pure lead as a finished product-almost always there is tin and antimony and even a very small percentage of arsenic in the mix to add hardness and improve flow in the moulds.

    Go to either Cast Bullet Assn. or CastBoolits(Boolits is the pet name for cast rounds) forums for lots of good helpful information re: casting.

    Yes it does greatly reduce your costs to shoot but cast bullets have different applications from jacketed. You tailor the round to fit the need and gun.

    If you get into casting you will enjoy yet another aspect of reloading.

    Gary
  3. zfk55

    zfk55 New Member

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    I cast my first 200 bullets on tuesday. Even though we have a 20 pound electric Lee Lead Pot my Dad taught me to do it the old fashioned way first with a ladle.
    I completely read the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook before he would let me begin, and I'm glad I did. When he was instructing me I understood what he was talking about.
    Its pointless to type it all here and I strongly urge you to buy and read the Lyman book. My first 200 came out perfect. (With three I had to put back into the pot) I'm casting again today and I'm determined to never buy another bullet for practice. The only commercial pistol bullets I'll buy from now on are for my carry sidearms and the only rifle bullets I'll buy are for long range or precision shooting. I'm determined to get my 175gr cast bullets to shoot at least 2moa or better in my Swiss Rifles.
    I'm very fortunate that Dad has been selectively collecting wheel weights since 1975. Between then and 1992 the wheelweights were an almost perfect mix of lead, tin and antimony. My first bullets showed a Brinell hardness of 9 before case hardening. I got them to 14.4 after hardening.
    Its surprising how little space 900 pounds of wheelweights take up. Just for the heck of it I'm going to do a weight comparison to see about how many 175gr bullets you can get from 20 pounds of wheelweights.
    We found a local source for antimony, but if I can get a BHN of 19 I won't need to buy any, and affordable Linotype is really rare now. I just have to experiment and learn more about the oven temperatures and time.
    Buy the book! And post about it when you've cast your first bullets.

    Latigo
  4. tim.sr

    tim.sr New Member

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    I do it for 9mm,45ca,and 44mag. clip on wheel lead is the best for me. have fun I do.
  5. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Just out of curiousity, do you add anything to your lead?
  6. bizy

    bizy New Member

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    Hey guys thanks a bunch... I always ask for opinions before I do anything. I do appreciate the info about the lead ballance for wheels. Sounds great.. Now my next question..

    Battery lead, like an old car battery? Just Asking?

    I have learned so much reading these posts on thefirearmsforum.com..
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I don't. I also cast with clip-on wheelweights and they cast fine as is.
    Rusty
  8. nightfighter

    nightfighter New Member

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    Do not use lead from car batteries. The new "maintenance free" batteries have lead that is alloyed with calcium and that will ruin a whole lot of lead for the purpose of casting bullets. The old batteries that required periodic addition of water were alright to use for casting, but I would not take that chance now.
  9. tim.sr

    tim.sr New Member

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    nope I got a pot cast and do the wheel lead pull all the crap and steel out then pour in molds ie clean as best you can. I use a lee bottom pour pot flux all the crap out that you can then mold you bullets. get the lead as clean as you can this is key mix the lead at all times.
  10. bizy

    bizy New Member

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    Thanks a bunch.. Glad you told me about the new batteries. I was on the way to ruin some good guns. Guess I'll stick to wheel ballancing weights and lead ingots.
  11. bizy

    bizy New Member

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    I found lead for .50 per pound at a recycling center. I bought 19 pounds. It is lead from lead hammers. Some machine shops use it. I found lead ingots from Lyman that was $16.00 for 5 pounds.
  12. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

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    Lead from an automotive battery is lead. If you must use battery lead it should be used only in the most dire of circumstances i.e. WW III. When you melt it, it will give off Hydrogen Sulfide gas from residual Sulphuric Acid on the plates. The fumes are deadly and will kill you quickly. Just think, Hydrogen sulfide gas inhaled into your lungs combines with moisture in your lungs to produce Sulphuric Acid which disolves soft tissue of your lungs. Very small concentrations can be leathal especialy in a confined space. If I were ever to resort to battery lead, I would soak with several changes of water over several days. Melt in a cast pot over a hot fire on a windy day and work from upwind. I think I have more lead on hand than I will ever use in the rest of my lifetime even If I don't recover lead from my berms. Start collecting wheelweights. Watch for sources of lead. The price of lead on the commodity market has dropped somewhat with this downturn. Now is probably a good time to buy if you don't have the time or inclination to scavenge.
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I do.. in a manner of speaking. I recoverd all the lasercast from my shooting berm just the other day. For those who are not familiar with lasercast, they are a brand of commercially cast lead bullets owned by oregon trail bullet co. They are cast excessively hard. from a proprietary blend of lead compatible metals including silver. BHN is pretty darn close to 20 if not a bit harder.

    I do most of my casting from clip on wheel weights, however the little stick on wheelweights are dominating the whell balancing market nowadays. The only problem with them is they are nearly pure lead and only lend themselves well to low pressure plinking loads like cowboy action shooters would use.

    So heres my method. 50% clip on wheel weights, 40% stick on wheelweights, and 10% lasercast from the shooting berm. yields an alloy with a tested bhn right at 13. perfect for nearly all handgun applications and when fitted with a gascheck will perform well at magnum handgun velocities.

    Just one of my ways of not wasting any lead i find.

    I do occasionally use battery plates, but as stated, they are very hazardous and can be fatal. I leave them out in the weather for a couple months. Good ol mother nature will neutralize the toxins on the outside of the plates making them safer to cast with. I really like using big truck and tractor batteries, nice big plates of lead in those...;)
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