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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Asking for input from everybody. My first project is a 200gr gas check .35, leaning toward flat nose

Putting together my shopping list to start casting

What type pot and why

What brand sizer die

Do I need a hardness tester to begin

What brand mold

Lube method

What am I missing?

Thanks
 
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myflatline,

Good to hear your moving up!

As per casting, I have tried the bottom pour pots, and don't like them and for my type of casting they are no where large and fast enough.

When I cast for other then my 45/70, I like to team cast. I pour and the team member opens molds and drops bullets. We will run 4 - 5 molds at a time with molds of 2 - 6 cavities and nothing smaller then 4 cavity if possible.

I heat my pot on a YEARS old Coleman gas stove and use a lead pot that holds about 40 - 45lbs of alloy. Old cast iron pot like might be used in a camp fire.

We go through a LOT of alloy in a couple hours, making hundreds of bullets in the process and the Coleman stove and large pot allow me to keep adding the sprews back to the pot as well as adding small ingots of alloy, all while keeping the alloy at a good casting temp.

Then, the best way I have found to pour the bullets is with a Rowel Bottom Pour ladle and yes I have some of the side pour ladles like the Lyman or RCBS and they are truly second rate next to the bottom pour Rowel. If you google "Car Mover company" or go to Rotometals, you can find the Rowel ladle. If I recall correctly, mine is the second one up from the smallest and I think I ordered the longer handle.

I have never tumble or pan lubed and really don't like the idea. Started with a Lyman sizer/luber back in the 60s or 70 and have always used that type. I have both Lyman and RCBS luber sizers.

Molds -------- Lots of folk like Lee products, but those of 1 and 2 cavity were VERY low in quality. I read that they have upgraded that quality. Their 6 cavity molds are much better in quality, but still below the quality of the better mold makers.

I have Lyman molds and while I use them, they tend to loosen and need to be continually kept tight. RCBS are a much higher quality but they make no molds larger then 2 cavity.

I have or have had molds from Lead Bullet Technology (LBT) and they are of good quality.

My 45/70 mold is from a source that unfortunately is no longer producing molds. Very high quality!

Just ordered 2 - 4 cavity molds from Accurate Molds this morning. One of about 170gr for use in .308, 30/06 and 300 Win Mag and the other for use in a son's .444 and possible use in .44 mag.

You will hear and read of many folk that like to experiment with soft point or Hollow point cast bullets, but the expansion is always dependent on the velocity at impact. MUCH more reliable is using a bullet with as large of a meplat as possible and still have good bullet stability.

I have found that the Wide Flat Nose (WFN) is every bit as good as the many reports I have read, IN SPADES!

My 465gr WFN (1650fps) in the 45/70 is VERY deadly on deer and elk, while I found a 355gr WFN at 2300fps to be VERY!!!!!!! and overly distructive.

I do not have a hardness tester, and if you go with recognized alloys you will be fine.

Just plain Ol'Wheel Weights have been cast and shot by the millions. I have water quenched my WW bullets for years and find that works well. I use a 50/50 (WW/lead) alloy for the 45/70, water quenched as it drops from the mold.

Sizer dies in my luber/sizers are usually Lyman or RCBS, but Buckshot on the Cast Boolit Forum makes good dies in custom sizes.

Oh Yes, lube ---------- There are many recipes available for home brew lubes and for much shooting it is not rocket science to come up with something. AND YES, I have been there and done that and even have part of a #10 tin sitting on the counter as we speak with some home brew.

Then LBT makes a good product as do others, but White Label Lube (check the net or Cast Boolits Forum) makes such a good product and at such a good price it is not really worth the effort to make your own. I have both some of the LBT products on hand as well as some White Label Lube. I believe the White Label shoots a bit better for me.

I think your 200gr bullet for the .35, coupled with a large meplat should be very good.

A gas check is probably good, but also make sure to not shoot a bullet that is under sized for your bore. That can lead to problems of which leading is only one.

I have a good and smooth bore in my 45/70 and shot a bunch of loads during hunting and testing at velocities of 2300fps and as high as 2500fps, and all with very minimal signs of leading. Nothing that wasn't quickly removed if needed.

With my current 465gr cast at 1650fps with White label Lube, and if the shooting conditions and temperatures are right the barrel many times is clear of any lead streaks - clean, bright -, but even at it's worse it is NEVER an issue.

Keep us posted as to your results!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Coot.
 

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myflatline if you choose to go with the lead pot and fire you should be able to find a old lead pot at the flea market. Most plumbers don't use them much any more so there are many around. If you have a old LP fish cooker or turkey fryer that will heat a pot of lead pretty fast and you can keep it at a good temp. I know plenty about melting and pouring lead from my plumbing days but nothing about making bullets with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Have never worked with lead, know it can be very dangerous. For smelting I may use LP gas and an old cast iron pot but for the bullet making I'm leaning toward and electric 20lb pot. Keep your eyes out for some lead for me Golphin and I'll have to buy you lunch one day.
 
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I may know someone who can get some lead. I have a lot of pipe fitter family they should be able to grab me a few lbs. I will ask and if I get some I will let you know. Then when you learn all this stuff you can teach me.:biggrin: As far as being dangerous just don't drop water ,sweat in the pot or stick in a damp ladle and you will be fine. If you do any of the things I named you will be cured and never will again.:biggrin:
 

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Get the NOE 35-200-FP its a .360 boolit but mine drop at .361 with my alloy. I would go with the 20lb botom pour pot and use an alloy of 80/20 clip on wheel weights/ pure lead, water dropped would put them around 18 to 19 bhn

Just my .02
Doc
 

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What Doc said NOE (http://www.noebulletmoulds.com) makes a GOOD Mold as does Ranchdog/LBT/accurate/Lyman/RCBS Theres alot of people making Quality molds for some reason I always get a hankering for the 5 cavity mold NOE makes
I don,t know if your aware of the FACT that RCBS will replace ANY worn out or missing parts and ship them for Free so keep in mind if ya buy an old claped out lubimatic that all ya have to do is download the RCBS parts book get yer part #,s give them a call and you can do a ground up rebuild for free Yep the Parts and shipping are Free
Good luck to ya on the Casting It,s a blast kinda a full time Hobby for me I,m getting so retarded anymore I,ll buy some dies and cases for a gun I don,t Yet own see how that works
Have Fun DOGG!!!
 
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If you don't do anything else, PROTECT YOUR EYES. Also I usually wear welders gloves when I am around hot molten lead. Golphin. you must have been a plumber many years ago when they tamped oakum and poured lead in the joints of cast iron drain pipe. My first casting pot was a pump up gasoline fired plumbers pot.
 

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If you want to get started cheap, you can smelt and cast on something as simple as a hot plate. I use a salvaged stove top with a loop controller and a thermocouple. I dip my bullets with a soup ladle that I bent a pour spout into. It works fine
I use Lee molds (aluminum) and have had no problems other than keeping the sprue plate tight. I get good bullets out of them. They do get hot very quickly compared to steel.
Quite the opposite of crusty (who has far more experience than me and has helped me on this forum by the way) I tumble lube everything with Lee Alox and I use the lee sizing dies. I've had no problems with those either. I do have a lubrisizer but I never use it. Tumble lubing is just quicker and easier for me and alox is a good lube.
I just started with Lee casting equipment because it was far cheaper than others but it works just fine.
Find a place to get wheelweights, I get mine from a small tire store out in the boonies.
You don't need a hardness tester. There's enough info here and over at the castboolits forum that you can guesstimate your BHN pretty close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Keep it coming guys , its all appreciated.

Doc, my barrels slug out to .3565 and .357 chamber I was looking at the Lee 358 sizer die. would this work with the NOE mold you recommend?
 

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I ended up buying the Lee 4 20lb production pot. It works great and is a lot more convenient than trying to pour from a ladle. I've also been tumble lubing and sizing with a Lee sizing die. I don't like the Lee Liquid Alox straight, it's very sticky after it dries and everything will stick to your bullets. I've had to go as far as to wipe off the nose of every bullet after it's loaded into a case. I am going to be trying a mixture of 45% LLA/45% Johnson Paste Wax/10% odorless mineral spirits for tumble lubing. This mixture is supposed to alleviate the sticky issue of the LLA and be a better tumble lube. If that actually works I'll stick with tumble lubing for a while because I find it to be a convenient method of lubing those bullet and I'd rather not spend more money on a lubri-sizer.

Stu
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm with you on the lubri-sizer right now too Stu, keep me posted on the lube, that's what I'm researching now. Everybody has a different opinion.
 

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Keep it coming guys , its all appreciated.

Doc, my barrels slug out to .3565 and .357 chamber I was looking at the Lee 358 sizer die. would this work with the NOE mold you recommend?
Absolutely! the rule of slug the barrel and go .01 to .02 over sized is just a way to get people to know that you have to get over sized lead boolits to keep from gas cutting and leading the barrel. If you own a Marlin in 35 Rem then the 360- 35-200-FP will work fine in at .360 and possibly more. If the boolit will fit in the throat it will shoot fine. You dont need a 358 sizer... I would get a .360 sizer

If you want to see if a .360 boolit will shoot out of your rifle, let me know and I will send you some of my casts to try so you dont have to buy first to see.
(my 45-70 slugs to .4575 and I mostly shoot .460 and sometimes .461 out of it)

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To go to .360 I would have to use the lyman lubi sizer and die, correct? Didn't want to spend that extra on the press as I have a couple single stage RCBS's. :hmmmm:

Any thoughts Doc?
 

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There is a guy on the cast boolit forum that owns a machine shop and he makes the sizing dies that others dont. He made me a .360 push through sizing die for under 25.00 if I remember correctly. Im going to have him make me a few others that I will need as well. Oh his handle is BuckShot... jump over and give him a holler


Doc
 

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Yep, myflatline, your already seeing what I expected. Many ways to get to the last page.

A 20lb bottom pour pot may do you, but as I indicated in the first reply to your post they wouldn't cut it for my needs.

I'd need 3 - 4 electric pots all going at the same time to even come close to keeping up. Plus as I said, I didn't like the experience or results with the bottom pour. If your going to buy one, buy a good one right to start with - RCBS or better! You may have heard the term, "cry once." That refers to crying once over the cost of quality, but not crying later because of lack of or low quality.

If your going to shoot gas checks, just do it right to begin with and buy a Lyman or RCBS sizer/luber - OR another good sizer/luber - which allows you to seat the checks during the sizing/lubing process. Forget the tumble or pan lubing. Pay me now or pay me later.

I know, folk will chime in with other opinions, so we are back to the many ways to get to the last page.

Just really think about this process as you may need to live with any poor choices longer then you really like, Make good and educated choices, don't buy junk! Cheap products are cheap for a reason! Remember That the pain of buying quality is soon forgotten in the joy of using good and long lasting equipment.

Just turned 71, and I have learn that when I buy junk, I get just what I paid for.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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I like my Lee bottom pour pot - when I cast I'll do a few hunnerd and it's plenty fast for that.
Bear in mind most molds from "name brand" makers like Lyman are limited to "standard" size. You won't find over sized like your rifle probably needs.
To get that you need to go to a semi-custom outfit like Tom at Accurate Molds.
That said the lubricators/sizers have the same issue since they make only standard sizes. You'll need to get a custom die made for resizing/lubricating.
That is unless you pan lube at which point you don't need resizing with your custom mold. But it can be tedious.
I've done it all ways. I have custom dies for my Lyman Lubrisizer but I also pan lube because I like using the Wind's Wonder Wax recipe.
I also tumble lube my Ranch Dog boolits because that's their design. Well - I dip them not slosh them around in the lube which can get downright messy.
 
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I ended up buying the Lee 4 20lb production pot. It works great and is a lot more convenient than trying to pour from a ladle. I've also been tumble lubing and sizing with a Lee sizing die. I don't like the Lee Liquid Alox straight, it's very sticky after it dries and everything will stick to your bullets.
Get a box of cornstarch and "tumble" the boolits in that after the LiquidAlox dries. Works great!
Personally I mix 45% LLA, 45%Johnson's Paste Wax then 10% Mineral Spirits. You can tumble or dip.
There are various recipes for this mix - I just settled on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You guys are great , keep it up.
 
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