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I have never posted over here, but I am sure there are several vets that can answer some easy questions. I've been all but kicked off of sixgunner.com by Taffin and Jim Taylor because I said it was "BS" to wait a year for a Thad Rybka holster. I didn't even spell the words out. I mentioned that I was a Federal Agent and they informed me that after a few "shoot outs" I may cool down. Anywho, I am a serious rifleman, and have had some nice ones built. I have 1 1/2 Ruger pistols that I like more than most of my guns. I have 1 1/2 pistols because I dropped one .45 LC BH 4 5/8 off to Gary Reeder in April for $400 worth of accurizing. Haven't heard of it again. Also have a Bisley .45LC and it's a blast. I think I can shoot a hangun well, but I have never come close to a 1" @ 25 yd groups. Had my throats opened and uniformed by XTARHEEL (great job for $32...if interested in his info E-mail me). Gun is improved but, still not 1". Have Bowen rear sights as well. I'd like to get into casting as the Dry Creek bullets I was using are gone and the shipping from WV is as much as the bullets.

I can get the melting pot from a co worker for free. I am researching some molds (seems like the most common question) I'd like an all around 300-325 bullet at 900 to 1200 fps, nothing earth shattering, but accuracy is paramount. I'll also listen to some ideas on what I HAVE to have to cast bullets and how much effort is needed to get started. I'll probably dump a bunch of cash into it, but don't care to.

Lastly, I am going to look at the NEI site. Brian Pearce's bullets look so good in his articles, is it hard to make them like his??
 
Posts: 346 | Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico | Registered: 05 January 2002Reply With Quote
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First thing you need is some alloy. You can start rounding that up while you are researching and ordering moulds. Three parts wheel weights to one part linotype works well for me for most pistol bullets.

I smelt mine in a yard sale cast iron dutch oven over a cajun cooker in batches of 100-150 pounds. You'll need some flux, a skimmer, a ladle, and an ingot mould for this. It's a lot easier to cast good bullets when you have a big batch of uniform alloy. Flux, stir, and skim the hell out of your batch before you cast it into ingots.

Next, you need a mould. Your choice, and I have no experience with 300 grain bullets in .45 pistols. If you are mostly after accuracy, get a single cavity. Aluminum is easiest to work with and cheapest. They wear out sooner but that's where I would start.

Cast a batch. You need your alloy hot enough to fill out the mould nicely, but not so hot it oxidizes on the top rapidly. Some moulds like the lead dropped into them from a few inches and others work best pressed against the spout.

Cull your batch. Throw back any with visible defects. If you are seriously after accuracy, you have to weigh them. Weigh about 20 and write down the weights. Decide what tolerance you will accept. With that weight bullet, I would take all that came within 2 grains of the heaviest. Other folks might be more fussy.

Measure a few to establish what diameter your mould actually drops. If it is not more than 2 thous over what you need, I'd lube and shoot.
 
Posts: 1570 | Location: Base of the Blue Ridge | Registered: 04 November 2002Reply With Quote
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JJ,
A few shoot-outs and you'll cool down. OK If they say so. First off what do your cylinders and barrel slug. Hopefully your cylinders are larger than your barrel. Lyman, RCBS and NEI (once it gets going again) all have good moulds. Lee also makes a mould in the weight you want. I use WW's with maybe 1% tin added for most of my bullets. Sometimes no tin and sometimes .5% tin. The cast boards are very friendly boards. Feel free to ask questions. Buy what you can afford and then upgrade as time and money allows.
I would find a good used lubrisizer. Lee liquid alox works OK but if you shoot enough the lubrisizer will save time. Make sure you buy carbide dies also. They save time as you don't have to lube cases. Orygun
 
Posts: 210 | Location: Willamette Valley | Registered: 11 March 2001Reply With Quote
<marrfam>
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what you may want to do in mould selection is find one that is the same or close to what you were shooting before. As for NEI they are shut down maybe permeanent due to the death of the owner.
Another option is to trade for or buy a a few different types of bullets for comercial casters . I my self sell mix and match bullets by the pound just for this purpose. If there is one that shoots good or best from your gun. You can then buy the mould from the manufacture. I my self use ready availble moulds ie Lyman RCBS.

While doing this work on a supply of metal. I hit tire shops and recyling centers. Find your self an old ditch oven or large steel pot and a turkey fryer and start alloying.
Go to www.bbtcastbulletsales.com/theshootingcoprner I have some alloying tips there that may help you. As for flux use Nokarode brand it is the best flux I have found. It is found at most plumbing supply houses.
If you have any more questions. Post them here or at any of the other boards
I also have a toll free number and willing to help any one 866-274-4452
 
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Midway has a special "Casters package" for $99 including a melting pot, a 450 Lubrisizer and some other stuff. Is it worth it and is the stuff (lubrisizer) worth it? It list for $92 W/O the package. The casting handbook is also included. Still never found a mould I like either.
 
Posts: 346 | Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico | Registered: 05 January 2002Reply With Quote
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Gents,
Actually NEI was sold to a fellow who was known to the late owner,,,last I heard NEI was back in business.45nut
 
Posts: 538 | Location: elsewhere | Registered: 07 July 2001Reply With Quote
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That would be GREAT news if NEI is going back into production--SUPERB tools.

I am sorry to hear about the remarks made at sixgunner. Anyone who has ever experienced a wrenching event like trading finality with an armed attacker would NEVER say something as insensitive, insulting, and imbecilic as that.

DJ is right on the money with his recommendations.

I started with a Lyman pot on a camp stove with the dipper, and this method is still the best for me with BIG bullets (45-70 stuff) in terms of cull rate. A bottom pour pot can speed production, and I used Lee pots for years before scamming an RCBS furnace about 2 years ago. Real nice furnace, but if it hadn't been only fifty bucks new in box at a pawnshop I'd still be using the Lees.

My thoughts--spend your money on MOLDS. NEI molds are the best I've used to date. RCBS would be second best, Lyman a distant third, and Lee is all over the map in terms of user-friendliness. I have a couple Lees that do great work, several that do OK with a little manipulation and strong commentary, and a couple that are absolutely unusable. I heard something many years ago--"the most expensive tool in your crib is the one that isn't used." Lotta truth to THAT. I have no experience with SAECO molds, but they have a good reputation.

To extend this diatribe a bit--my hobby time is precious and scarce. I DO NOT have time to screw around with crappy, cranky tools that require a great deal of manipulation to produce results. Yes, an RCBS or NEI mold costs more to buy--sometimes three times as much as a Lee. To me, the effortless and consistent performance of fine tools saves money in the long run. I cast bullets and shoot for ENJOYMENT OF THE CRAFT, not for endurance of the aggravation. The single best thing you can do to increase enjoyment of this hobby is to BUY GOOD MOLDS.

One of my "good" Lee molds is their 45 Colt/300 grain wide flat nose/gas check design. My Bisley Blackhawk needs the throating job you describe, but still clusters these bullets into decent groups with minimal bore leading from 800-1100 FPS. With the lower speed loadings, the rear sight is "bottomed-out" and the rounds still impact about 3" high at 25 yards, and this seems to be pretty common with heavier-than-normal bullets at lower velocities in the stock B-hawk 45 Colt platforms.

Deputy Al
 
Posts: 299 | Location: Yucaipa CA | Registered: 21 December 2002Reply With Quote
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