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I have a ton (well actually about 1/4 ton) of pure lead and want to cast bullets for the 45-70. I am shooting deer and hogs, so I don't need hard bullets that will penetrate through a grizzly. I am also not interested in approaching escape velocity.

Can I shoot pure lead without leading the barrel? I know gas checks are an option, but they seem like a lot of trouble.
 

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I think it will do just fine with the right bullet and right lube. I consider the soft lead a premium as you can always alloy it with something else to harden it up, but should do just fine. Gas checks are easy to use, just require an extra step to seat. I use the Lee bullet sizing dies to seat gas checks in a regular press.
 

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Coalsmoke said:
I have a ton (well actually about 1/4 ton) of pure lead and want to cast bullets for the 45-70. I am shooting deer and hogs, so I don't need hard bullets that will penetrate through a grizzly. I am also not interested in approaching escape velocity.

Can I shoot pure lead without leading the barrel? I know gas checks are an option, but they seem like a lot of trouble.
I'd run an add and trade. The muzzleloader guys and especially long distance sharps guys are looking for a lead deal and have trading stock in wheel weights, which makes a harder bullet. I'd be adding tin/antimony at the least. Pure lead has a few minuses for what it costs! I traded for double the wheel weights with pure lead 3 years ago.
 

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Without paper patching, I would not run pure lead. Its just too soft.
I use WW and have never had a leading problem running them at 1700fps.
Find someone to trade you linotype, and mix it 50/50 with your pure lead. You would have good lead for your 45-70
 

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Go to thrift stores and yard sales and find pewter, add about 2% and your mold will fill out much better. At moderate pressures thi will be optimum for expansion.
 

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Hoard the pure stuff to use in alloying. You can always find mixed alloys like wheel weights or range scrap, etc. You can harden with scrap solder, etc. It is getting progressively harder to find scrap lead at reasonable prices.

Do some research on the loads you want so you can determine what hardness you need for your cast boolits. Pressure divided by 1422 equals hardness. Get a hardness tester...they ain't cheap! I have a SAECO and a CABINE TREE; the LEAD BULLET TECHNOLOGY model is a classic; the LEE looks like a lot of work to get readings.

I have a 350 grain plain base mould, but haven't done much with it. RCBS has a 45 300 U mould for plain base also. The various RANCH DOG designs are gas checked, but still worth considering. You are not likely to shoot enough 45/70s to use a box of 1000 gas checks very soon...unlike 357 or 44 magnums in 1894 MARLINS; those little guys eat up some ammo...and we don't even need to discuss pistols!
 
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