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i decided i want to take my reloading to the next level so i am getting in to casting my own boolits.... anyone do this regularly?
 

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Just getting started again myself. I still need to get a hardness tester, and a thermometer. I have everything else other than a mold for .44's. I do have molds for .45ACP, and .38/.357. I buy my lead at the junk yard. Wheel weights for $1 per pound.
 

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I used to years ago but don't anymore. I still have all the stuff to do it and even quite a bit of lead. When SHTF I might have to start up again. I figure I can get all the wheel weights I need at Wal Mart. I will only take them off the cars in the parking lot with obama stickers and of course 76 Ford trucks:D:D:D Sorry Jim:D
 

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Out here along the Yukon, quite a few locals cast their own bullets, out of necessity. It is my nx step also, with pistol ammo. I want to reload for my 460 S&W, 480 Ruger, and a few 44 mags. I've gotten to develop a preference for my Corbon 395 grain 460 S&W ammo, but it's spendy; sometimes as high as 60 bucks a box for 20 rounds. The box says velocity is 1525 fps, energy 2040 ft/lbs; all I know it really knocks a caribou or bear down. Now, I've looked in midway, brownells, and a few other online magazines and haven't seen any 395 grain, .452 molds. What is the best mail order source of supplies to cast your own bullets? What is the best equipment to use? What does everybody find works for them? I'm started, got lots of new pistol brass from starline, last week got 1000 fed 150Ms, 1000 CCI 300s, 2000 fed 155s, and my 460 takes large rifle primers and ordered a bunch of XTP & FTX bullets. I need to match those 395 grain bullets that are in my corbons ammo. Where can I find those molds?
 

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I have been casting for just about as long as I have been reloading, a good 35 years. I can't really say I do it regularly cause I don't. I might get a wild hair and cast for two or three days and then I might wait a year or year and a half before I get the urge again. I cast for just about every pistol that I own/reload for but I don't cast for any of the rifles.

Zhurh - the last casting material I bought was Linotype that I found on eBay. I was looking around a couple of days ago and found the Missouri Bullet Company that sells bullets as well as casting material. Here is a link to that casting material page: http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?category=12 Their bullet prices are so good that I am getting ready to order some bullets from them. As far as the other equipment, I use one of the Lee production pots, I used the 10 pound pot for years but recently (maybe 2 years ago) I bought the 20 pound one from MidwayUSA. I gave the 10 pound pot to someone here on the forum and I am guessing he is still using it.
 

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I would look at the Cast Boolits forum. You will find some custom mold makers there that can produce what you are looking for.

As to equipment to buy there are many choices. A lot of people use Lee equipment and get good results with it. I have some Lee stuff: three of their production lead pots that I use all the time. I have used their molds in the past but never really liked the results. I've had better luck with RCBS and Lyman molds; I just like the way cast iron behaves. Tumble lubes are out there but again I've had better results lubing and sizing on a Star with my own lube recipe. You can buy lead or scrounge it off the local range; it all depends on what you want to do.
 

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Cast bullets for handguns is a great way to go. From a practical sense, a handgun is a close in defensive weapon. I don't think the bad guy will know the difference from being hit by a slower, heavier chunk of lead or an FMJ zipping at a faster speed. Dead is dead either way.

Cost wise, and with the time-to-time run on components, if you cast your own you are pretty much outside of the frenzie loop. The majority of my ammo for handguns are my own cast bullets. Besides that, there is just the plain satisfaction of casting your own.

My own preference are Lyman moulds. They are pricer than the Lee moulds, but they are extremely sturdy and cast very high quality bullets. I did switch from a Lee production pot furnace to a bottom pour furnace - and have regretted doing so. The production pot is cheaper and easier to use. I'm constantly fighting a drip-drip with the bottom pour.

As far as a hardness tester, I've never found that necessary as long as I use a good bullet metal. I've have had great results with linotype and even wheel wieghts. But I'm not shooting hyper velocities with my pistol loads. If you get into rifle bullets, those are a different story because you are reaching higher velocities and need higher quality bullet lead. I keep everything at or below 1100 feet per second. Some of my better .44 and .45 pistol loads are at about 850 to 950 feet per second.
 

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Untill you get into the magnum loads everything in pistol will most probably be below that 1,000fps speed. .44, and .45APC bullets travel no faster than around 900fps. Even soft lead bullets of a hardness of BHN 8 - 12 should work just fine, and that should be about the hardness of cast wheel weights. Remember that Elmer Keith used bullets with a BHN of only 12 for his famous wad cutters in .44 magnum, well over 1,400fps.
 

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So am I barking up the wrong tree using those corbon 395 grain lead bullets what they load for thee 460 S&W? they claim 1525 fps & 2040 ft/lbs. I know I can't get the powder they use, but I bet close to the same velocity. Actually, I want to learn about the making my own bullets and use in my 5 inch 460 that I keep on my belt during warm weather. I use 200 grain FTXs in my 10 inch and they do go 2100 outta the barrel. I figured that big ole chunk of lead would hammer just about anything. I have shot blk bear & bou with that gun already, and they don't go walking off once hit.

I'm going to call that Missouri place on monday and look on that forum later. Thanks for the info .
 

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So am I barking up the wrong tree using those corbon 395 grain lead bullets what they load for thee 460 S&W? they claim 1525 fps & 2040 ft/lbs. .
It depends on the hardness and whether or not they have gas checks on them.
 

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Do you means buddits? (It's called levity folks)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Zhurh - When you want the maximum performance from your pistol - say you're gonna eat a grizzly (or vice versa) you may want ro use the meanest, baddest bullet you can get 'hold of. For general purposes, cast bullets work just fine. They've stopped lots of folks and critters. There are limits to what metal alloys can do.

Carver said it right about velocities.
 

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+1 on castboolits forum, I thought I knew a fair amount about lead casting but I had just scratched the surface, still have TONS of info to learn about casting.

As with most things, there's always room for improvement and more know-how.

saves a lot of money and is a great skill to have, very satisfying to take game with you own bullets also.
 

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I cast. Make sure you have a good free or cheap supply of lead first. I get free wheel weights from a couple of local tire shops.
 

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It's a sad commentary on the current state of supply, but if you already have the equipment and components, shooting your own cast lead bullets drops the price down comparable to shooting a .22 these days!
 

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wheel weights are now all zinc and something else here in WA state, freakin' sucks. I'm starting to use reclaim shot for casting lead, it's pretty hard and is just over a $1/pound and local.

Years ago I found about 500 #'s of WW lead at a goodyear shop, melted her all down into ingots and down to my last 100lbs if that now.

LA sillouhette club website has tons of good info on lead and casting also, very good resource.

http://www.lasc.us/ArticleIndex.htm
 

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I cast 38 swc,9mm 45 acp rn. 7.62 for my 3030 and SKS. Could not afford to shoot store bought ammo. Use only Lee mold now have a couple of RCBS but prefer the light weight Lee's.
 
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