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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all

Any of you guys into casting lead bullets? I just got the kit and found some scrap lead and now im gonna try to cast for the 45 70 and 45 LC lever guns .... I have never seen it done but i reckon it cant be too hard .... so wish me luck!:biggrin:

I was told (a lot) to keep water away from the molten lead! but other than that i figure that if i cock it up i will have some good sized sinkers ! hahahaha!:flute:

See ya
Dave
 

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Not overly difficult but will probably take you a little while to get the hang of it.
Water splashed onto the surface of molten lead usually just flashes off, the big problem is it getting below the surface as a liquid and the instantaneously turning to steam and bringing a fair percentage of your lead pot contents out as the steam escapes.
Good thing about the rejects is you can remelt them and try again.
What moulds do you have?
heres some from my latest 45/70 mould
 

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Well, just don't hurry, find the right temperature, warm your mold, add a little tin to your lead if you use lead made for roofing, and get started. the rest you have to experience. Specially if you shoot BP it all isn't so difficult. You just have to take care to have good ventilation, since they tell me lead fumes are bad for your health.:biggrin:
 

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EYE PROTECTION , first , if you are using a bottom pour pot don't leave it after it's turned on. I like to wear welders gloves and a denim shop apron. Good luck
 

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It is well worth spending a few minutes on utube. There are plenty of really good 'How to's ' on moulding lead bullets. Have fun, make sure the working area is WELL ventilated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all for the encouragement .... Green Lizzard - You just read my mind.... I was thinking that exact same thing :)

I am told maybe to add some tin to the mix... so how much and how do you add it ? Cut up used tin can and chuck some into the mix? Once its melted just stir it all up ? I will not be shooting the cast bullets at very high velocity(around 1500fps), so is the tin a very important issue? Does the tin melt at much the same temp or must it be much higher?

So much to learn .... :)
 
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tin cans are steel, but a little solder or piece of pewter( 2 or 3 percent ) will work great. melting temp is a little lower, also throw in a little piece of wax after its molten (watch eyebrows) then stir it up
 
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El Kabong
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Any of you guys into casting lead bullets?

I was told (a lot) to keep water away from the molten lead!
Been casting for years. I have a bucket of ice water a foot away from my pot. It is to drop the boolits into from the mold, to harden the outside up.
Its call water dropping. You must be very careful not to get a drop into you pot. The lead will come flying out and splatter you.

Once again the first thing I have to stress is slug you bore, and find out what size boolit you need to properly fit your bore.
Too loose WILL lead your bore, to tight may also.

You gonna load black powder or smokeless or both?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
tin cans are steel, but a little solder or piece of pewter( 2 or 3 percent ) will work great. melting temp is a little lower, also throw in a little piece of wax after its molten (watch eyebrows) then stir it up
Thanks Green Lizzard! I will scratch around for some solder wire ... I have seen some in my garage somewhere - maybe about 20cm's in a 10lb pot will be ok...? Can you put too much in or will it be ok with a guess...?
 

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Hi Leverlad. I see that you are in Brisvegas too!

Another cheap source of tin is to grab any old pewter mug from an Op Shop and use it. Pewter (especially the stuff from SE Asia) is better than 90% tin, usually with some antimony added to harden it up. Adding between 2 & 4% pewter to your lead will increase it's hardness, and make it flow better into the mould and fill out the sharp edges on the bullet. Adding any more than 4% to your mix doesn't make he alloy harder, and just wastes pewter (tin & antimony).

You can harden the bullets up more by dropping them straight out of he mould into water. If you plan on doing this it is best to use 'wheel weights' for the source of your lead, as they contain lead, antimony and metallic arsenic (only about .02%). It is the arsenic which makes the heat treating work.

Bullet casting is a lot of fun, but there is a lot of information out there that is confusing or only based on 'old wives tales'. Google anything written by Glen Fryxell on the subject, and you will get some good information.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Leverlad. I see that you are in Brisvegas too!

Another cheap source of tin is to grab any old pewter mug from an Op Shop and use it. Pewter (especially the stuff from SE Asia) is better than 90% tin, usually with some antimony added to harden it up. Adding between 2 & 4% pewter to your lead will increase it's hardness, and make it flow better into the mould and fill out the sharp edges on the bullet. Adding any more than 4% to your mix doesn't make he alloy harder, and just wastes pewter (tin & antimony).

You can harden the bullets up more by dropping them straight out of he mould into water. If you plan on doing this it is best to use 'wheel weights' for the source of your lead, as they contain lead, antimony and metallic arsenic (only about .02%). It is the arsenic which makes the heat treating work.

Bullet casting is a lot of fun, but there is a lot of information out there that is confusing or only based on 'old wives tales'. Google anything written by Glen Fryxell on the subject, and you will get some good information.

Cheers!
Thanks Prickle farmer ... how would one know if the mug was pewter or not ? Does it say Pewter on it somewhere? Someone else said solder could be used , but i am not too sure which solder to get as there seems to be a few types. I cast a few bullets last night and they seemed to come out ok. They came out as .459 and weighed 420 grains. I figured at that size i wouldnt even need to size em - just lube and shoot...?
 

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Tin will help with fill out and add a little hardness.
Easiest source to find is stick solder from any hardware store, comes in different types, 40/60 50/50 60/40 etc. The first number is the percentage of tin the second the percentage of lead. Most sticks are about 250g so a 50/50 stick will contain 125g tin. If you want to add 2% tin then add a full stick of 50/50 to 6.25kg of lead.
A lot of solder wire is flux cored so judging actual tin content and weight is a bit more difficult and no guarantee on what the flux contains or the effect it will have on the melt.
 

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Thanks Prickle farmer ... how would one know if the mug was pewter or not ? Does it say Pewter on it somewhere? Someone else said solder could be used , but i am not too sure which solder to get as there seems to be a few types. I cast a few bullets last night and they seemed to come out ok. They came out as .459 and weighed 420 grains. I figured at that size i wouldnt even need to size em - just lube and shoot...?
Pewter mugs will usually have a stamp on the bottom of them that identifies them as pewter. I find that pewter mugs from the Op Shop are a good, cheap source of tin (upwards of 90% tin), and antimony which will make your bullets harder - just what you want! I never pay more than $2 or $3 for a large pewter mug.

Pewter is a dull silver colour, and is soft enough for you to bend in your hands. If you give the mug a squeeze and it bends, it is pewter. Also, when tin or pewter is bent it makes a 'crackling' sound. They call it "tin cry".

Most of the bullets I cast come out at 2 or 3 thou over 'calibre' size, and shoot well without sizing. As you say, "just lube and shoot".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Pickle farmer ... so its off to the op shop again for me - i think i got some cheap nasty type of cast metal - not pewter.... cos it doesnt bend or dent it just shatters kinda like aluminium, only it is muck heavier...
 

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Pretty sure up in Brisbane there is a supplier of lead alloy for bullet casting (Lyman no. 2 mix). I think it might be called something like Consolidated Alloys ?? If you are starting out and want to cut out a lot of the prep work that might be a good way to go.
 

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El Kabong
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Beening the OP is casting for 45/70 and 45LC, BHN12 is all thats needed, straight Wheel weights, water dropped would work , both calibers dont go fast enough to warrant harder lead
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tin will help with fill out and add a little hardness.
Easiest source to find is stick solder from any hardware store, comes in different types, 40/60 50/50 60/40 etc. The first number is the percentage of tin the second the percentage of lead. Most sticks are about 250g so a 50/50 stick will contain 125g tin. If you want to add 2% tin then add a full stick of 50/50 to 6.25kg of lead.
A lot of solder wire is flux cored so judging actual tin content and weight is a bit more difficult and no guarantee on what the flux contains or the effect it will have on the melt.
Thanks 220 ... thats exactly the type of info i was looking for .... a few sticks from Bunnings or masters Hardware and i should be all set...
 
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G'Day
Clip on wheel weights are the go for your use. Be sure to remove all the zinc ones as one part in 10000 will ruin your mix. I melt them first and ingot the alloy (did over 100KG last night), if you've missed a zinc on it'll float to the top as it's melt temp is much higher.
Juddy
 
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