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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just cast my first bullets today. I got a .50 Lee REAL bullet mold for my birthday so today I fired up the coleman stove and melted down some pure lead and started pouring. Didn't go so hot at first but then I guess I finally go my mold hot enough and things started working better. Cast about 50 bullets and sorted throught them. I ended up keeping about 20 and trowing 30 back in the pot because of wrinkles, incomplete bases and what not. Then I cast some more and the bullets were coming out even better. Dropped maybe 70 more and kept 60 of them. Ended up with 82 bullets.

I used pure lead and added about 6 inches of acid core flux solder to the mix. I fluxed the mix with a dollop of old trap wax I had laying around.

After a while I keep getting this light brown dust floating atop my molte lead. After it builds up a while I scoop some of it off with a spoon and it there is some curd looking stuff that comes off the top with it. What do you think this is? Shouldn't be trash because I had a fairly clean source of lead - some old 45 cal. lead balls and a cake of plumbers lead.

I think I'm going to go ahead and lube all the bullets with Lee liquid Alox.

What's in this Alox anyway? The smell of it is familiar although I can say from exactly what. Weird stuff. What is it?

I have some wheel weights melted into ingots and a fellow poster here on marlinowners says he's mailed me a Ranch Dog .358 mold for my .35 Rem. I hope casting with the wheel weights goes as well as it has gone with the pure lead muzzleloader bullets. I hope I have a good alloy in my wheel weight ingots. My setup is rather crude and I don't have a clue what I'm doing. Reading all I can and learning all the time. This is a fascinating endeavor. I love working with metal and am always wanting to learn more about metallurgy and engineering different things.

Well... back out to the shop.

What is that dusty stuff that keep collecting atop my melt?????
 

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If these bullets are for a muzzleloader, I would skip the Liquid Alox. LLA works for smokeless powder, but if ou are shooting real black powder, you will need to fill the grooves with a soft lube, made for BP.
If you are using a sub, lube accordingly.
CF
 

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Chihuahua Floyd said:
If these bullets are for a muzzleloader, I would skip the Liquid Alox. LLA works for smokeless powder, but if ou are shooting real black powder, you will need to fill the grooves with a soft lube, made for BP.
If you are using a sub, lube accordingly.
CF
Excellent advise, skip the Liquid Alox (Good lube for smokeless cartridges) with black powder! Use Crisco or a commercial black powder lube. You will want a lube that combines with the black powder fouling and will be easier to remove.
 

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Lots of solutions here. After 40+ years of casting, I still find new ideas over at castboolits web site. I had used motor oil or waste boolit lube for a lot of years, but have been using saw dust for the last year or so. Put a thin layer of sawdust over the melt, stir it up some, cover it and let it cook...stir it every once in awhile. If it pleases you, throw a pea sized lump of beeswax on top of the cleaned metal and really get it looking good. It does reduce the dross and probably gets the melt up to the correct temperature with the additional time.

GAR in New Jersey is supposed to be back in business. They made an excellent flux that didn't require much, so a container lasted quite awhile.

YOU DO NOT WANT TO USE ALOX IN BLACK POWDER unless you really, really like working a bore brush and solvent. Other posters have told horror stories about using ALOX. You can make a home-made lube with olive oil and beeswax or any number of recipes. Your reading and research will save a lot of time and trouble for you.

Save the dross and you can clean it later. A lot of the dirt will fall out and you could run it across a small screen or used colander. Some posters think the dross is the tin and other metals that have not gone back into the alloy because of low temperature.

IF you continue casting and have problems with the Coleman stove...I didn't have much luck back in the 60s...the LEE Magnum Melter is an excellent economical pot. 20 pound capacity and trouble free. I have had a SAECO, and LYMAN and now the LEE....I'd buy another LEE in a minute...for about 25% of the LYMAN or RCBS.
 

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Stop using acid core solder. Electronics people know that it will corrode what it is used on unless it is washed off. For electronic repair always use rosin core solder that is non-corrosive.
Also avoid powdered commercial fluxes that are hygroscopic (water attracting). I bought some Marvelux and my pot and ingot mold that had stayed clean about 20 years immediately rusted.
Also, they can be dangerous! I went to stir a pot of lead with a ladle that I had used the previous day, and the flux had attracted enough water so the pot spit out lead. I have seen this happen with a ladle that had only been out of the pot a couple of hours.
I previously used old candle stubs to flux, but they smoke and smell up the garage. The last batch of lead I smelted, I used beeswax a beekeeper gave me. Also, I stirred the pot with a wooden paint stirrer.

Whatever you use as a black powder lube should be water soluble. It will be easier to clean out of the barrel, and will keep fowling soft so loading will be easier. Always use pure lead for muzzle loader bullets. You need soft lead to make loading easy, and to upset when fired to fill the rifling.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll be using some black powder bullet lube also. I use Bore Butter and 777 and have not had any trouble at all. I hope a light coat of Alox underneath the NaturalLube doesn't cause a problem. I'll find out anyhow.

I was just re-reading my Lee Modern Reloading II and it recommends using LLA on muzzleloader bullets. At least with the REAL bullet.


Anyhow. I still don't know about this crud on top of my melt. I melted some wheel weight ingots and cast some .35 cal bullets today and I'm still getting lots of crud that comes rising to the top of the molten WW. It seems the more I stir the alloy the more this mung comes up from the bottom It has a dry appearance and is dull gray mixed with light to dark brown, dusty looking stuff, almost like fine dust from light rust. When I scoop it off the top, it collects into a semi-solid clump about the consistancy of grits and kind lumpy and clumpy. The more I ignore it, the more it accumulates. I doubt that it is just ash from my wax flux because I probably scraped off 4 tablespoons from 5 pounds of wheelweight ingots. Perhaps it is just continuing mung being burned out of the molten metal - that is mung that was stuck on the base wheel weights that were melted down - oil, grime, glue, rubber, brake dust and what not. That's the only thing I can think of.
 
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