How do you cast .

  • 661 Views
  • Last Post 2 weeks ago
BigMan54 posted this 01 June 2017

What method do use to cast ?

Do use multiple cavity molds in sequence?  2CAV - 2molds ? 3molds ? 

Or maybe a pair of 4CAV molds ?

Do ya use molds from different manufacturers at the same time ? 

Do ya bottom pour or dipper cast ? 

Do ya cast different for cap&ball and muzzle loaders than for for cartridge guns ?

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

Attached Files

Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
Scearcy posted this 01 June 2017

BigMan54

I am not sure where you are going with this but I'll contribute. I don't shoot much handgun so speed of casting is not an issue to me. That said:

One mold at a time

With 5 and six cavity molds, which I don't buy any more, I only use some of the cavities

I use a ladle

I built a PID and am now very picky about casting temp

 

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 June 2017

... as a dedicated plinker,  my standards are perhaps ... ahem ... a little lower than dedicated competition types ....

...so bet you would think i go for speed ::  but NO !! .... i do what tickles my ...funnybone ... i like to ladle pour .... i use a b&m 17-second-per-charge  powder measure ... i uniform primer pockets on my lathe ... because i like to hear it run ( color me weird ) ... i use my 1958 herter's #3 press ..... even though i have a bonanza rig .... and a lee classic cast ...

i prime  single-dingle in my bonanza because i can talk to each individual primer ( "" go baby, please go bang when i pull the trigger !! "" ) ... even though i have 2 or 3 lee hand primers ... an rcbs bench single primer ... and oh ... an rcbs strip primer production bench mounted priming extravaganza ...  i use unique because that was the first powder i bot when i was 15 years old ... that and because you can't buy No. 80 anymore :: the worlds best ever gun powder ...

... and even worse, i load cast mostly for old nostalgic guns that i think  actually greet me with a happy grin as i take them from their hidey-hole out into the sunshine for a delightful day of exploding soda cans ...  and lately giant groundhogs ...( marmota plinkeratem ) .....

there ... i confess .... oh, i like to listen to coyotes in the evening ... and oh, i don't have an ar-15 yet ... sigh ...

ken, with guilty grin ...

 

 

Attached Files

Rich/WIS posted this 01 June 2017

Bottom pour 20 pound pot (Lee)

One mold at a time

5 (NOE) or 6 (Lee) cavity molds, use all cavities

Lead thermometer

OR for small batches of bullets I don't use much

Bottom pour 10 pound pot (Lyman)

One mold at a time

Double cavity (RCBS or Lee for RB)

Lead thermometer

Attached Files

Scearcy posted this 01 June 2017

Marmota Plinkeratem!!!applause

I would like to use this expression with appropriate situs of course.

Jim

Attached Files

Dale53 posted this 01 June 2017

Due to aging eye problems, I shoot nothing but handguns, these days. I am a self-confessed nut about bullet quality. However, I have no problems casting match grade bullets with my RCBS bottom pour pots. I typically run 20 lbs. of bullets at a sitting using multi-cavity moulds. I use ONE four-six cavity mould at a time. I preheat my moulds on a hotplate. I fill my pot with clean bullet metal, and empty it at one sitting. To be clear, the pot holds 22 lbs. and I leave a couple of pounds in it to help start the next batch. I have a dedicated casting station in my heated and cooled utility barn. I do all of my smelting on my driveway in good weather (doing several hundred pounds at a time with a helper).

I alloy clean metal ingots for the specific task in my casting pots just before casting. I keep each batch of bullets boxed separately until sized, lubed, and loaded.

FWIW

Dale53

Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 01 June 2017

Interesting methods.  I'm looking to see if anyone  uses 2cav molds; 2 or 3 or 4 at a time & if you use molds only from one manufacturer or do you mix brands of molds. Example: 1 LYMAN 2cav & 2 RCBS 2cav. Or 1 LEE 6cav & 1 LYMAN 4cav ?

Once upon a time I cast from 4 2cav molds or 2 4cav molds at a time. Keeping 1 LYMAN 20lb pot at one end of the picnic table & a RCBS 22lb pot at the other. With a hotplate in between.    

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

Attached Files

Duke M posted this 02 June 2017

If I need absolutely minimal weight variation as close to perfection as I can get, single cavity ladle pour. Decent rifle bullets for informal matches and general use, two cavity mould under a RCBS 22# bottom pour. Same for some handgun bullets. Lastly, I need a 3# coffee can of handgun bullets as quickly as possible, Master Caster.

Duke

Attached Files

GP Idaho posted this 02 June 2017

I have a Lyman Mag 20 and a RCBS Pro Melt, both are bottom pour pots. For my needs a few tenths difference in bullet weight makes no difference. I use to weigh all my bullets but gave that up when I couldn't tell that the ones weighing even a grain or two off the curve shot any worse groups. As always, it seems I'm the weak link in the chain and not a few tenths in bullet or powder weight. Gp

Attached Files

JeffinNZ posted this 03 June 2017

Reluctantly.

I a 10 and 20lb pot. Generally like to run two moulds at the time. Sprees go int the 10lber and ladle pour from the 20. The 10 is the top up pot for consistent temperatures.

Cheers from New Zealand

Attached Files

gunarea posted this 04 August 2017

Proudly

      I am the epitome of a cast bulleteer. Back when hunting was part of my life, home cast projectiles exclusively. Every state title won by me, eleven just since the turn of the century, was using my home cast projectiles. 2000 saw me as a fifty year old man so I decided that was my mid life and the count should start again. With the exception of two defense pistols, my firearms have never had anything but my home produced cast bullets. Precision projectiles is no accident.

     My cootie free environment has always been completely climate controlled with a single dedicated purpose. Having given away and used nearly every top of the line casting pot made, a heavily modified Lee ten pound bottom pour is what I use. When I set down to cast, only one type of bullet is undertaken at a session. All of the old name brand moulds are represented in my stable. Every mould  has been trued to produce identical cavity to cavity castings. Three different, OCD clean, alloy are used for the spectrums I cast in. With an occasional exception, alloy work will generally be five hundred pound lots. Casting temperature is closely, controlled, maintained, and monitored with several instruments. The locations of monitoring probe points of contact are;  cooling device, mould exterior, alloy within pot and an additional option probe for mould interior or pot spout. Casting for over fifty years now has given me a cadence that rivals a metronome. In numerical increments applicable to the cooled cast product at hand, projectiles are then sized, lubed, stacked into the applicable storage box, labeled and sealed within a plastic storage bag. Generally this is a session. Thousands of home cast bullets are warehoused in a large, heavy construction, secure wooden standing cabinet. While casting is not an activity I particularly look forward to or enjoy, winning gold medals at state shooting matches and competitions,  is tits.

     My shooting coach, mentor and friend, George Forrest, once told me I ain't that good, so every thing else better be perfect. What I do to enjoy premium cast bullets, sux.

                                                                                                                                                                Roy

Shoot often, Shoot well

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 04 August 2017

gunarea ::  great report  .... and congrats on your good shooting ....i like to think that when a fellow human does something right, it means there is hope for the rest of us .... thanks for the moral boost !!

i look forward to any techie information you might feel free to share... what might seem obvious to you might be an astounding revelation to those of us wandering in the twilight ... 

ken

Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 06 August 2017

BOY HOWDY,  I am humbled.  All I have to look forward to this fall is casting enough  .44cal Cowboy bullets for my Chiropractor.  He bought one of the last  LYMAN 4 cavity #429667 made. It's gonna be "fun" breaking in a new 4cav iron mold. This past winter I tried the new style pliers type 4cav mold handles that LYMAN brought out recently.  Even though I've used 4cav SAECO & H&G for most of my life, it seems strange to cast a LYMAN 4cav that way.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

Attached Files

JSH posted this 06 August 2017

As far as pots, I started with a borrowed 10lb Lee. I the. Used an old potter pot till it died. First brand new was a 20lb Lee pot. That was used for about 10 years. Picked an RCBS pot and have not looked back. Did buy a 10lb Lee that came in a bulk purchase of equipment. I have run two or three, one and two cavity molds at a time. Six cavities are fine, but I find I end up with multiple types of bullets. It shows up at extended ranges for sure. So I have come to prefer two or three cavities. I weighed bullets one year, 30 and 35's. At that point in time my shooting rigs did not show me any difference. I have. Couple of excellent shooters now that I keep about 100 rounds of weighed bullets loaded for. That little bit of extra has helped at 200m.

I do not return sprues until I have about a 5 gallon bucket. I weigh and mix my alloy in the pot. So all of my sprues are good to go. Since fooling with the 22 hornet I had a heck of a time getting an alloy it seemed to like. So I have a 10lb pot just for it. Same way on sprues.

I don't cull while casting. I do look over and make sure I don't have some kind of issue with the cavities. Is it just me, it seems if I don't check all of the voids and flaws end up face down on the towel? I sort by eye. If they don't look exactly like the inside of the blocks nice and crisp, it is a cull. I mean we discuss round or square lube grooves. Why would we be satisfied with round driving bands when the are square inside the cavity? Once sorted, my next rejects are at the lube die. Yes I still lube and size. I am not sold on powder coating quite yet. I cull here by feel. To tight or two loose, it gets chunked into the recycle bucket.

As mentioned above and I agree, " I am not that good of a shot, so everything else needs to be perfect". I induce enough "fliers"'why add to it? Jeff

Attached Files

358156hp posted this 06 August 2017

I'll play. My pot is a modified Lyman Mag20 with a PID. I also use the same PID to control a convection oven that I use to heat-treat bullets, and for powdercoating handgun bullets for plinking & action shooting. I also have a 20 lb LEE dipper style pot that I use with the PID for specialty alloys, like the various softer alloys I use for casting hollowpoints. I almost exclusively cast with a ladle, and have different ladles, "tuned" to specific needs. If I cast with a four cavity mould, it's generally a Lyman, or preferably, and Ideal. I feel there is a distinct quality difference between the older "Ideal" marked moulds and the current crop from Lyman. I will buy a beat up old Ideal mould and refurb it before I'll buy a new one. I also use a number of RCBS & SAECO moulds without any complaint. With four cavity & larger moulds I cast with only one at a time. I often cast with multiple two cavity moulds though, but try to keep them fairly well matched as far as bullet diameter & weight so I can set a pace that works well for both molds. Sometimes I even cast with two identical 2 cav moulds which is faster & more consistent to me than using a single 4 cav. My preferred custom moulds come from LBT. As far as quality goes, I'll remelt an entire batch of bullets if I feel I'm getting inconsistent quality for whatever reason. There is no "good enough" for me. It's either done right, or it's remelted.

Attached Files

MarkinEllensburg posted this 06 August 2017

For handgun I have cast with two 2 cavity or 2 four cavity and even sometimes with one of each. Never more than two molds at once, tried three once, just did not work for me.

I've been using until recently a 20 pound Lee bottom pour purchased in the mid 90s. With the addition of a .38 Special to my safe I've started casting with a H&G 4 cavity that I've had for years from a previous trade. It was too tall to fit under the Lee so I went through one session with a dipper, not for me. This session was all I needed to get an inherited RCBS ProMelt working. After using it a few times now other than the often drip I like using it better than the Lee. Better viability of the spout. This in spite of the fact that I had the Lee raised up off the bench by about 8".

For rifle I usually cast with 2 double cavity molds at the same time. Sometimes with a rifle mold and pistol mold at the same time. It seems my cadence is best when using two doubles of about the same size. Sometimes lately that is two identical molds. My set up is such that I have a sprue tray and then two metal ice cube trays with an old towel to drop the bullets onto. Once the towel gets covered I lift it from the middle catching the bullets into the trays.

For rifle I cull when I sort for cavity, each being marked, scratches or prick-punched with the exception of 311041 and a 4 cavity .30 mold that I've had for years, it has been relegated for plinking bullets so far.

 

Attached Files

OU812 posted this 06 August 2017

I mostly use the RCBS bottom pour pot for my easier casting moulds. Adjustment of the flow rate is most important...too little causes round bases and too much causes poor fillout. As pot level drops, so does flow rate or pressure

Ladle pouring is less tricky, but requires more labor.

Most all my moulds cast different...some easier than others. Larger calibers require less heat  or slower pace than smaller calibers.

NOE's mould thermometer will help you find the sweat spot when preheating and casting.

 

Attached Files

John Alexander posted this 06 August 2017

JSH wrote: " I mean we discuss round or square lube grooves. Why would we be satisfied with round driving bands when the are square inside the cavity?"

The best reason I know is that, unless the rounding is gross, they will shoot just as well as ones with the sharp corners. Don't take my word for it try it the next time things get a little too cool and edges aren't perfect.  Of course if a shooter enjoys casting and sorting more than he enjoy shooting, being picky is better.  I think shooting practice pays off better than extreme sorting of bullets. Everyone gets to choose how to play. 

John

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
45 2.1 posted this 07 August 2017

30 pound pot over a high output gas burner with a Rowell bottom pour ladle. Anything that is not visually perfect goes back in the pot. I also test at 300 yards and further. What most of you don't see shows up out there plainly.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
vmwilson posted this 2 weeks ago

I only cast for handguns using a Lee 10# pot.  The last year or so have had me trying a number of things so now have 4 PID controllers and a hot plate for warmup.  Have been experimenting with a mold that I replaced the stop pin with a button head 10'24 screw.  It is turning out to be one of my better moves as I'd always had less desireable results with the front cavity than the rear one in the past. It seems to indicate to me that the sprue plate's easier to adjust and evens out the results.  I'm happy bottom pouring this Lyman 452374 mold and staying ± gr. of average weight.  Could stay in the 90% range on rear before but front would maybe be in the 70% range.  Last 2 sessions were both 99% range and 100% on front one.  Am also fiddling around with the sprue plate washer and a little mod I'd read somewhere on a split washer is looking like I may just go back to them too.  Time will tell on that.

Mike

Attached Files

Ken T posted this 2 weeks ago

The last time I was casting I using a Lyman 31133 HP and a Lyman 356402 4 cavity.I use a Lyman Mag25 furnace and bottom pour.It all depends on what I want to cast.I use whatever style of mold that I want bullets from regardless of make or number of cavities.I don't normally use two 4 cavity molds at once though.Most of my molds are Ideal,Lyman,Saeco,RCBS and Lachmiller.If I use a Lee mold I normally use it alone.

Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 2 weeks ago

Ken,

Tell me more about the new Lyman 25. It seems that the "25" may have issues with letting  in enough light with that big support on the side. And you have no problems using a regular Lyman HP mold ? The mold guide is high enough from the base to get that big pin knob in there without difficulty ?

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

Attached Files

358156hp posted this 2 weeks ago

Here's a video by Brad at the ASBC forum, showing his ladle casting method. After decades of ladle casting the hard way, I now copy his method. Resting the mould on the lip of the pot takes a lot of weight off my back, and allows for longer, more productive casting sessions.

 

He also has a fluxing with wood shavings video up as well. I'm still using candle wax myself, but there is no denying Brads outstanding results.

Attached Files

OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

His ladle method looks interesting. 

Attached Files

358156hp posted this 2 weeks ago

And it also explains why you sometimes see 4 cavity mould blocks mounted backwards in the handles.

Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 2 weeks ago

Interesting method. But I don't see any worth while scraping of the sides or bottom of the pot.

But it does make me wanna buy a 1lb Rowell ladle and try it.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

Attached Files

358156hp posted this 2 weeks ago

The pot would have been scraped prior to adding the wood shavings. You do not want to push the wood ash under the surface of the lead because it could remain under the surface, held in place by the weight of the molten lead. Even worse is when the ash makes it to the bottom of the pot. The leads surface tension holds it against the bottom. This is also true for other types of flux that are not fully sacrificial. The wood ash on the surface acts as a filter of sort, trapping the oxides & other contaminants. Then you  scoop them up & throw them away as seen in the video. Also notice the way the pot is stirred, the direction of the stirring creates an upwards current in the alloy, bringing contaminants under the alloys surface to the surface for skimming.

Attached Files

R. Dupraz posted this 2 weeks ago

That video shows the method that I have been using for a long time with a couple of exceptions. I have a 20# Waage pot and have ladled ever since I got it years ago. The sprues are put back in the pot immediately. Bees wax is my preferred flux. And I use a plastic hammer to cut the sprues and then give the sprue plate a light tap after it is rotated slightly to cover the bases. Perfect flat uniform bases.

The bottom and sides of the pot are scraped every time the melt is fluxed as well.  

Didn't know that there was a backwards and forwards to the sprue plate though. 

Attached Files

Ken T posted this 2 weeks ago

Ken,

Tell me more about the new Lyman 25. It seems that the "25" may have issues with letting  in enough light with that big support on the side. And you have no problems using a regular Lyman HP mold ? The mold guide is high enough from the base to get that big pin knob in there without difficulty ?

I have a light shining on the pour area from the left front.It wouldn't be necessary but the lighting isn't that good in the area I cast in.There is no problem using a Lyman hollow point mold.The mold guide is adjustable for height.I have the mold guide adjusted for a 4 cavity Lyman mold.I was using a Lyman 452490 HP mold this morning and the mold guide was lower than necessary.I still had plenty of clearance for the HP knob.

Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 2 weeks ago

Ken,

Thanks, any info I can get is a big help in making my choice of a new pot.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

Attached Files

Close