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Picture of Nakihunter
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I am new to casting. I need lead bullet for 470 NE double rifle - practice ammo.

I just started sorting out 26 kg of wheel weights I have had sitting around for many years.

The questions I have are
1. Is it ok to use these despite all the rust from the steel clips? I am assuming that the rust will just float along with the other slag and can be skimmed off.
2. The second photo is one weight I found that was harder than the rest and when trying to cut & twist the clip off, it snapped. The inside is a lot more shiny compared to the others which are a dull grey colour. Is this zinc?

I am reading a lot and checking youtube etc.

I realise that I need to avoid zinc contamination. On the other hand I also reliase that I can keep the temperature around 400 C and the zinc will not melt but just float on top of the lead. Youtube is so useful for practical stuff like this.

I would appreciate any comments.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Lucky you to have a bucket of WWs. Your Lyman Cast Bullet manual will explain it all but when melting down that lead make sure you do flux properly before skimming to keep the antimony and tin in the mix and only skim off the slag and other impurities.
As I understand it, getting zinc in the casting pot should be avoided at all cost so carefully sorting and discarding anything that is not a true lead wheel weight is important. Just not worth contaminating your pot or good lead alloy with zinc etc.

Better to do an initial melt, flux and skim with those old weights in a cast or steel bowl and keep your casting pot for the clean alloy. The old lead/antimony WW is reasonable soft and can be bent by hand if a longer one or hammered out of shape without snapping.
 
Posts: 2935 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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get rid of the zinc a quick glance and you'll see the difference. the rust, steel etc will float up and you canskim it off, but if you have a chance - do the first melt outside cause it's going to smoke and stink alot. weights make hard bullets that will take more velocity, but if you have some lead source it also alloys well making the lead alloy harder
 
Posts: 13146 | Location: faribault mn | Registered: 16 November 2004Reply With Quote
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I bought these bullets from a custom reloading guy in Taupo.

Are they ok to use or is there something wrong with the casting? I wonder about all the spurs and burs on the mould seams and the base of the bullet.

A brief look at the 50 pieces I bought showed some that had wrinkles and some with the base rounded


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Use can use the nippers to determine which weights are lead based. Throw out the steel and zinc ones.

The bullets appear to have been cast too cool.

Read the Lyman book on cast bullets, there is a wealth of information in those pages.



If ignorance is bliss; there are some blissful sonofaguns around here. We know who you are, so no reason to point yourselves out.
 
Posts: 2378 | Registered: 19 July 2002Reply With Quote
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I measured the bullets and found a huge variation is the size of the middle band.

The rifle is 470 NE & 474 bore. The mold is 476 Lee. So bullets with middle band of 434 to 487 is a 50 thou variation.

Can I shoot these in the rifle or will it cause pressure problems and cause damage to the rifle?

I am not able to find a lube sizer & die here in NZ. I can get o0ne from Brownells


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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your casting guy needs to learn how to cast.
he also needs to learn how to adjust a mold.
 
Posts: 3656 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Forget measuring bands , open your caliper to 50 thousandths.
Think I could see that variation with my eye.

Looking at that bullet I can tell his mold is not closing or the faces are off at that cavity if multi-cavity mold also seems the cavities are slightly misaligned.
Just a guess butI'm thinking a small piece of lead got on one of the mold blocks.

If you are set up to do so I would cast my own in the future.

If not and you do not have a good lead source, that lead you have will only yield something over 700 bullets.

Far be it from me discourage one from casting because "pure lead" projies is about all I sling any more except for a few coated projies for hunting season.

Please keep us updated with your successes.

Can't tell if it is photographic issue or the base is way off from round.
What do you plan to use for lube?

Size (or not) lube and shoot a few with a few different reasonable cast loads.

The target will tell you much.



Don't limit your challenges . . .
Challenge your limits


 
Posts: 3941 | Location: TN USA | Registered: 17 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Thanks guys

I get it.

The mold is not closed properly and hence the seams have lead spurs. Also this leads to larger diameter.

The base of the bullets have lead spurs and hence they do not look round. Spoke to him and sent him photos. Agreed that I will not pay the $30 for the bullets. He told me to keep them and just try shooting them. I think I'll just melt them.

I have Lee mould for 400 gr bullets. I will cast my own. My friend has the Lee pot and an industrial digital thermometer.

Yes the bucket weighed 26+ kg. So about 20kg or 45 lbs of cast bullets = 700+ bullets. That is plenty for a 470 NE!


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Naki once you get your 470 Double into action give me a call if you have trouble controlling pesky elephant or buffalo up your neck of the woods and next time I'm up your way to visit the grand-kids I'll bring the 404 up and give you a hand Wink

Like others I can't wait to hear of your successes and I'm sure a few minor disappointments along the way with your new purchase.
 
Posts: 2935 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Wow. That is a great offer mate.

We can go to Grant's place and have a bit of fun. He has a couple of double rifles - German - 9mm & 6.5mm. He also has a 9.3X62.

quote:
Originally posted by eagle27:
Naki once you get your 470 Double into action give me a call if you have trouble controlling pesky elephant or buffalo up your neck of the woods and next time I'm up your way to visit the grand-kids I'll bring the 404 up and give you a hand Wink

Like others I can't wait to hear of your successes and I'm sure a few minor disappointments along the way with your new purchase.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Nice muffins - small and medium! The wheel weights have been with me for about 20 years, waiting for an opportunity like this!



Got the pot & slotted spoon from the local hospice shop for 50 cents each. The muffin tray was premium at $2! Borrowed friend's Lee melting pot - bottom pour & his thermometer.

Ready to try my first casting tomorrow.

I have about 11.5 kg ingots. That is from about 17kg of wheel weights I guess. The balance 9 kg wheel weights should give me another 6 kg ingots. I should get around 650 bullets which is plenty for practice with double.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Naki, Looks like your'e about ready to go ! A couple of suggestions if I may:
-I cast WW at about 625* F and get nice bullets, no idea what that might be C.
-Smoke the cavity of the mould with a candle to leave a fine film of soot in the cavity, makes releasing the bullets easier. If one hangs up tap the hinge pin, not the mould itself.
-I use an old hammer handle to tap open the spur plate after pouring the bullet and to tap it closed for the next pour, does not damage the mould.
-Drop your newly cast bullets on something soft so they don't deform, I use a funky old bath towel folded over several times.
-See if you can find an old plumbers lead pot with a heavy bail to melt the raw weights in. If you can find one with a cast on handle or tab you can hold with pliers it makes pouring much easier. A kitchen pot won't hold up long and it's no fun to have one collapse on you half full of molten lead. Handles are usually first to go.
-Have a pair of pliers handy to recycle bullets you don't like back into the pot.
-Watch your safety, gloves, long sleeve shirt and glasses, it's easy to instinctively reach over to pick up a dropped bullet that's still hotter than hell.
Best.
 
Posts: 334 | Location: South east Georgia | Registered: 16 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Once you have cast your bullets powder coat them , far better results then lubing

Daniel
 
Posts: 1444 | Location: AUSTRALIA | Registered: 07 August 2001Reply With Quote
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Thanks guys. Much appreciated.

How thick is powder coat?

I do not have a sizing die and was not planning on sizing. Does this make a difference for powder coating?

I've seen home made powder coating on YouTube. where can I get the ingredients? Looks easy and cheap.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Although I have heard great things about powder coating but I have had good luck over the years sizing + lubing in one stage. BTW,a friend of mines son wanted to buy some wheel weights from the metal scrappers yard. They would not sell to him unless he had a smelters license.Some new law they said.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I got a stick of 50/50 solder. 200 grams and it cost NZ$15!

I am going to cast bullets tomorrow.

I plan to use about 5 lbs of the ingots and add about 2 oz of 50.50 solder.

I will add about 10 of the bullets that I got that I am not happy with.

I will probably quench the hot bullets in cold water.

I am wondering if I should heat treat them in a toaster oven to get hard bullets for 2000 fps loads.

Any thoughts.

BTW I am giving up powder coating - I'll just keep it simple.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamar:
your casting guy needs to learn how to cast.
he also needs to learn how to adjust a mold.

no shit. thats a straight up reject. he sells that crap?
 
Posts: 1077 | Location: south of austin texas | Registered: 25 November 2011Reply With Quote
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Casting can be a lot of fun. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once mastered (does that ever happen?), it can be quite enjoyable. It can easily turn into an obsession if you are not careful. Good molds make all the difference. Have fun.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 959 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Naki, I use straight wheel weights and drop them from the mould into a bucket of water. Be sure to lube and size within a couple of hours as they will harden over a 24 hour period to the point it will be tough to size them. I shoot gas checked WW in my 425WR at 2100 fps with no problems. If your bullet is not gas checked seat it over a bore diameter wad, at the base of the bullet, not over the powder. No need for anything fancy on the wad, cork gasket material, thick cardboard and cardboard milk cartons all work to protect the base of the bullet.
Best
 
Posts: 334 | Location: South east Georgia | Registered: 16 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Thank you for that great info. Simple but very valuable. Just confirm the facts and gives me clarity to make a decision.

A lot of what you suggest is exactly what my friend Sam (double rifle bullet thread guy)does - not sizing, pan lubed, no gas check, WW into water, card wad under lubed, felt was to take up empty space.


quote:
Originally posted by 50 Calshtr:
Naki, I use straight wheel weights and drop them from the mould into a bucket of water. Be sure to lube and size within a couple of hours as they will harden over a 24 hour period to the point it will be tough to size them. I shoot gas checked WW in my 425WR at 2100 fps with no problems. If your bullet is not gas checked seat it over a bore diameter wad, at the base of the bullet, not over the powder. No need for anything fancy on the wad, cork gasket material, thick cardboard and cardboard milk cartons all work to protect the base of the bullet.
Best


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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The water immersion is one way of instant hardness;the method of heating in the oven is only good for a short time
( a few months),then the bullet goes back to its original Brinell/saeco rating.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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You fellows are way off on any kind of heat treating WW alloy. If you water quench them you have to give them a waiting period before they are hard enough to shoot with any accuracy. Minimum is two weeks. The longer you go after that the better they get. It's not true they revert back to their original non-hardened state in a month. See it's all about the crystal patterns they are forming inside themselves. Some resemble trees such as pine trees in the pattern. Some of these are called dendrites. Molecules are constantly moving in everything on earth including our bodies even! So when you water quench those cast bullet the cold water freezes the molecule movement to a much slower rate. They then are moving much slower so thus the waiting period. If you oven heat treat them you can make them harder then just water quenching straight from the mould. You want to heat them to a temperature below where they will slump for about an hour and then water quench them immediately.

To harden an alloy you must have antimony and tin present. For example you can't harden pure lead.

Be very careful with any kind of a wad under the base of the bullet. Their are known instances where they can ring a chamber. Don't ever seat them away from the base of the bullet, that is asking for trouble. Even though loading them against the base you can get away from any trouble for many years and loads, it will eventually bite you in the rear end.

When quenching from the mould you have to have a steady cadence or your hardness will vary a lot.

VZ
 
Posts: 662 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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Personally I don't think you need hardened bullets at the velocities Naki will be using in his 470. I don't imagine he will use cast on dangerous game if he ever hunts them so for deer and pig around his neck of the woods the softer Lyman #2 alloy or similar with a gas check at 1400-1800fps will shoot fine if he can get regulation.
Believe it or not my 404 shoots 360-400 grain cast at 1400-1500fps to the same POI at 100m as jacketed bullets at 2250fps.

The general rule if a rifle is not shooting cast too well, leading/stripping, is to go softer to allow the rifling to bite the bullet.
 
Posts: 2935 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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I did my first cast in my life. Thrilled with the outcome.

I used about 4 kgs of the ingots I made up last week and added one rod of 50/50 solder which was 208 grams. So about 2.5% tin added.

I did it in 2 lots and finished with about 500 grams lead in the pot. I stopped as the flow from the bottom was slow and I was concerned that the bullets may be cooling down and quality may not be consistent.

I might have got the temperature a bit hot as the thermometer started going above 500C

Water quenched.

The very first bullet I air cooled on a towel and it looked great. A bit dull but sharp edges. Threw it back in the pot and started water quenching. Now i can see how bad the other bullets were that I got off a supposed custom supplier!

As you can see - the bullets average 392.7 gr ranged from 395.8 to 389 gr. Variance for sample of 20 was 6.8 gr. Sizes varied from 0.477 to some bands going as low as 0.472. No bullet base was less than 0.475.











"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Nakihunter:
I did my first cast in my life. Thrilled with the outcome.

I used about 4 kgs of the ingots I made up last week and added one rod of 50/50 solder which was 208 grams. So about 2.5% tin added.

I did it in 2 lots and finished with about 500 grams lead in the pot. I stopped as the flow from the bottom was slow and I was concerned that the bullets may be cooling down and quality may not be consistent.

I might have got the temperature a bit hot as the thermometer started going above 500C

Water quenched.

The very first bullet I air cooled on a towel and it looked great. A bit dull but sharp edges. Threw it back in the pot and started water quenching. Now i can see how bad the other bullets were that I got off a supposed custom supplier!

As you can see - the bullets average 392.7 gr ranged from 395.8 to 389 gr. Variance for sample of 20 was 6.8 gr. Sizes varied from 0.477 to some bands going as low as 0.472. No bullet base was less than 0.475.











You said: As you can see - the bullets average 392.7 gr ranged from 395.8 to 389 gr. Variance for sample of 20 was 6.8 gr. Sizes varied from 0.477 to some bands going as low as 0.472. No bullet base was less than 0.475.


What does that tell you?
 
Posts: 662 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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nak
Once you start powder coating you dont need a GC, the powder coating is really tough and will protect the base of the bullet .
Daniel
 
Posts: 1444 | Location: AUSTRALIA | Registered: 07 August 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
You said: As you can see - the bullets average 392.7 gr ranged from 395.8 to 389 gr. Variance for sample of 20 was 6.8 gr. Sizes varied from 0.477 to some bands going as low as 0.472. No bullet base was less than 0.475.


What does that tell you?



Please enlighten me. I am new to this.

My conclusions at the moment are

1. The low measurements are when the mold was cooler & therefore it did not fill out fully
2. The measurements i got are not too different to what I have read of others using 2 cavity mold
3. My bullets look a LOT better than the stuff I got from the custom guy.
3. His bullets from similar Lee mold were 407 gr. So I am guessing he used less tin / solder and hence his poor mold fill out etc.

M98 - I am not able to get the right source for powder coating here. The technical powder coating suppliers only have spray on stuff with high cost lay out for equipment. What I see on YouTube looks like polymer coating. Not sure where I can get the material from.

It would be great to get that stuff and have peace of mind.

I am considering importing a box of 300 bullets 340gr from Reloading Internation - made by Missouri bullets. Costs only $54 but shipping and export fees is $90! Still worth it I suppose.

I want to first try my cast bullets and see if I get them to do what I need. That would make it affordable and lot more fun to just use the rifle without getting stressed out.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Naki my friend,you are fretting yourself way too much on inconsiquentials. If you do or don't have a bottom flow pot,I've used both;just keep your temp. up in the 750 deg. range approx.It really is easier than you think.Just play with it;I was in the same quandry when I got my 1st computer + my friends said just play with it you can't hurt it. In your case all that I have said is true + even though you most likely know this already I will repeat,NEVER NEVER allow any water or any form of moisture to get anywhere close to your lead pot.The explosion that you may (or not see) when 1 particle of water falls into the pot of lead will make you want to go back to chemistry 101


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Thanks mate. Very encouraging.

Now that I have done my first cast, I am confident of the quality I can get.

Yes I have read about the lead explosions & do not want to see one! Wink

I was doing more internet search on powder coating & saw so many youtube clips. I made many local phone calls with no luck until a particular brand's Powder coating rep offered to send me a sample of 500 grams of the powder. I explained what I saw on youtuble and he asked for the links so that he could see what the shooting crowd are up to.

Then on another youtube clip I saw that the Hi Tek liquid based bake on coat is actually made in Australia. I tracked down the company & spoke to the man. He said that he sell 500gm packs all the time! No website though!

I just might be able to do powder coating after all!

Thanks for the help once again.


quote:
Originally posted by NormanConquest:
Naki my friend,you are fretting yourself way too much on inconsiquentials. If you do or don't have a bottom flow pot,I've used both;just keep your temp. up in the 750 deg. range approx.It really is easier than you think.Just play with it;I was in the same quandry when I got my 1st computer + my friends said just play with it you can't hurt it. In your case all that I have said is true + even though you most likely know this already I will repeat,NEVER NEVER allow any water or any form of moisture to get anywhere close to your lead pot.The explosion that you may (or not see) when 1 particle of water falls into the pot of lead will make you want to go back to chemistry 101


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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N
if you like i can send you over some coating powder you don't need much , and you can do a lot of bullets with a little powder ...its a very easy and simple process
just beware some coating powders are of a better quality then others
Your wasting your time quenching the bullets if you are going to PC , in my 416 i was running the bullets at 2100 fps that had a BNH of 14 air cooled.... no leading and accuracy was a bit over an inch...but as i said i need to do a lot more testing
im not sure if measuring the bands will achieve anything, as i can assure you if you measure a band , from different sides you will get different sizes on the same band....your splitting hairs , just size them coat them and go and shoot them....
i have made it a rule that i run my cast bullets at 1500 fps, recoil is minimal and shooting is really pleasant
Also if you get your self a lee sizing die there only about $22 in the U.S and you can use it on your standard reloading press , and your camming strength is far greater on a big press like and RCBS ROCK CHUCKER then any sizing die, thats including the star sizer
just keep it simple

Daniel
 
Posts: 1444 | Location: AUSTRALIA | Registered: 07 August 2001Reply With Quote
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Great looking bullets Naki, keep it simple for now, just pan lube, load and shoot some. Lube/sizing, powder coating etc can all come later. Get some lead in the air Wink
 
Posts: 2935 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamar:
your casting guy needs to learn how to cast.
he also needs to learn how to adjust a mold.
tu2
 
Posts: 1317 | Registered: 27 August 2004Reply With Quote
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Thanks mate. It was so easy and of course all the preparation, reading, advise etc. helped.

With lubed bullets I will need to use lubed wad and card wad in between. So powder coating looks much more attractive and so easy, if I go by Youtube clips.

I wont get the rifle until early next week it seems. UK customs work is just being done. No flight details yet.



quote:
Originally posted by eagle27:
Great looking bullets Naki, keep it simple for now, just pan lube, load and shoot some. Lube/sizing, powder coating etc can all come later. Get some lead in the air Wink


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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While I cast 210 grain bullets for a 1935 Finnish Model 27 Moisin Nagant rifle I use wheel weights with plus 2% tin. Do all your melting and mixing outddors as it's gonna stink a lot. I use a 8 quart dutch oven which in theory will hold about 100lbs of alloy.For a heat source I use a propane 20 gallon tank hooked up to one of the turkey or crawfish burners. I use the flux sold by Brownells and cannot remember the name. Flux often. I noticed your bullets are semi frosted. I cast at about 750 degrees and cast fast to get the mold hot and when the bullets I cast are completely frosted I slow down my casting speed as the mold has reached it's optimun temp. You get better mold fillout, all the grooves are square and the bands are square akso. Hope this helps. Frank
 
Posts: 172 | Registered: 16 November 2008Reply With Quote
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Although I have not been able to land a cast bullet on the moon (I keep shooting over it)I did not think casting bullets was rocket science. Reading this thread makes me believe I was wrong. Get some wheel weights, make some bullets and go shoot them.
 
Posts: 3168 | Location: san angelo tx | Registered: 18 November 2009Reply With Quote
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Lol! rotflmo

But casting GOOD bullets AND getting them to shoot accurately IS rocket science. All part of ballistics - just like rocket science is! Wink


quote:
Originally posted by carpetman1:
Although I have not been able to land a cast bullet on the moon (I keep shooting over it)I did not think casting bullets was rocket science. Reading this thread makes me believe I was wrong. Get some wheel weights, make some bullets and go shoot them.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10757 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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I guess you are correct, it is rocket science. We don't have nearly enough data. We need elevation where the bullets are cast, wind direction, temperature and moon phase as starters.
 
Posts: 3168 | Location: san angelo tx | Registered: 18 November 2009Reply With Quote
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I'm sure if there were democrats here + were interested,there would be a call for government funding for research on said data.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Have you thought about using scrap lead from your local small-bore shooting range ? It would be reasonable consistent quality and not have all the metallic detritus that wheel weights have


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