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I put this up on the reloading forum and then saw the Casting one so i decided to drop it on here too in case it was deemed to be on the wrong one :) ..

Hi All

My son bought me a bullet casting electric melting pot/device and a couple of molds for my 45 70 an 45LC last week for my 50th b'day. It is something i have been thinking about getting into for ages but havent known anyone who has done it before.
I am not new to loading or bullets and load for more than 10 calibers already and have done so for may years, but i have always used store bought lead bullets. I guess its time i dipped my toe in the water and give it a bash, but i am a bit confused about a few things..
Firstly, i believe the lead fumes are quite toxic, so i guess i can get a mask of sorts or if its done in a large well ventilated area is that good enough ? Secondly, i hear all the time that lead wheel weights are a good source of lead stock so does one just approach a friendly tyre operation and ask them for the scrap lead wheel weights - do gunshops sell lead, or is it something one orders from a special source?
I am sure there are quite a few tips and tricks i will have to learn the hard way, and i suppose there must be an idiots guide to casting available somewhere .... Any good advice from those that currently cast their own ? I dont think it can be too hard is it ? I reckon it must be very satisfying to shoot your own...

Thanks for all those that share some wisdom on this with a first timer...

Cheers
Lad​
 

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Lad, start by getting a good cast reloading manual, I also posted on your other post about castboolits.com. Lots of great info here also, read and read some more. Its not hard, even I can do it:biggrin:
 

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Lad,

As Myflatline says, get a good book on the process and READ!!!!!!!!!!

The Lyman cast bullet book is a good place to start. 4th addition of the Lyman cast bullet book.

Don't get overly worked up about the danger of lead, as long as you are smart, most of what you hear or read is just hype by the greenies and to them, everything is dangerous. Can it be dangerous, yes but only if you allow yourself to be dumber then the metal.

I prefer to use a pot on my old Coleman stove with a bottom pour ladle but for safety, the same thing applies.

I set up my stove/pot etc. then put a 20" window fan behind the stove and let it suck fresh air past me and over the stove and away.

Wash you hands after handling lead, don't handle lead and eat or smoke, keep fresh air coming and You'll do just fine.

I like to cast just inside my over head shop door. This allows me to have fresh air, but in case of a sudden rain storm or??? it prevents water from getting in the molten medal which an extremely bad and dangerous thing. Instant explosion!!!!!!!!!!

BE careful with Wheel Weights, as the days of good WW are rapidly coming to an end in many area. The new production has
WW made of steel or iron or??? or zinc and while the steel will simply not melt and will float to the top to be skimmed away, if you get the alloy hot enough it will melt the zinc and wreck your alloy.

Millions up on millions of good bullets have been cast and shot from just plane old WW, WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF ANY TIN OR OTHER METAL, so if you can find a source of WW, it is a great place to start.

I find that a thermometer is handy with my stove top pot, but I cast for years before buying one. Just wanted to keep my bullets at a higher quality when I started casting for my 45/70.

Lots of good info available here and also on Cast Boolits Forum, and lots of folk that like to share what we think we know about what we think we know.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Actually, casting lead bullet is simple but a few precations are necessary.
Suggestions are to read up on it, both at this web site, another called castboolits.gunload.com, and in printed material.
You will need some lead, about $1/pound at the cast boolits for sale section, some beeswax and sawdust for fluxing the led.
Some king of bullet lub for shooting, and figure out what size boolit to cast.

I bought a 120 VAC electric cooking unit, small heavy stainless steel pan and a ladle from goodwill store.

The whole process is not much, but takes some common sense and practice.
Read on the forums what to do and enough troubleshooting to keep yourself out of trouble and get good results.
Go for it.
Rich S.
 

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The lyman cast bullet manual is no. 1 to me and the Lee reloading manual covers cast bullets well too. Don't worry too much about lead fumes; you have to be over 1000°F for the lead to really fume. I suspect that it gives off some minute amount of fume all the time but I'm more concerned about whatever gasses off when I smelt. I have an old range hood and a window fan that I pull off the smoke with anytime I'm working with lead and I wear half mask with an organic vapor cartridge when I'm smelting. When I'm casting clean lead I don't really worry about it too much aside from hand washing and making sure I don't breathe dust from around the operation. If you have an open shed or at least good ventilation you'll be ok. I know people that have been casting for well over 30 years that are fine.
I control the content of my smelting pot by controlling the temp at around 650; That melts the lead and keep most other stuff on the top to be skimmed off. Some folks cast hotter than that but I cast around that temp too.
As far as getting lead; I get mine from a tire shop that also deals in scrap metal (lead, copper, aluminum only). I either buy or trade with them. They sell at whatever the current scrap price is. There are several places you can buy it online from ebay to rotometals but that is the expensive route.
Good luck and I hope that helps. There's a lot of info here and on castboolits.com.
 

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What Crusty and Grilla say.
All I can add is:
sometimes "smoking" the mold helps release. Just pass a butane lighter flame under the cavity while holding it sideways. The soot helps.
Preheat the mold over the pot to get it up to temp.
It'll take a few casts to get the mold up to temp - the boolits will look wrinkly.
Get into a casting rhythm.
Pour, count to 10 or 15, smack the sprue cutter with a wooden cudgel, open the mold over a soft towel or a bucket of water with a towel in the bottom.
You may have to whack the mold handle to release the boolits - NEVER whack the mold.

Lastly - gosh almighty this is fun stuff and immensely rewarding. There's so much more but you have what it takes to get going. A word - pay attention to the size your boolits drop at.
 
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