View Full Version : Sizing Boolits

12-04-2009, 05:13 PM
When is the best time to size? Do you size as soon as cast ,or waite for a time?
To hardness test you would waite, is it the same for sizing?

12-05-2009, 01:06 AM
I have sized them anywhere from pretty much right out of the mold to years old.
I don't think it makes lick of diference.


12-05-2009, 02:38 AM
if i am waterdropping or heat treating i do it right away if i want the size of the sizer i do it whenever.
some sizes i do right away as i want the boolit to spring back a bit.
for instance i make a 454424 it comes out at 454 i size in my 452 sizer it springs back to 453 in about 48 hrs,saving me the cost of a 453 sizer.

if i wait over a week or so they come out at 452 and stay there.

12-05-2009, 05:32 AM
The best time to size depends on the alloy, the lube, and the specific purpose you have in mind. More than half of my casting is for rifle hunting bullets (ACWW) and I don't want them hard, likewise for handgun bullets (1/2WW, 1/2 pure, AC) for hunting or plinking. The only hard bullets I use are rifle target bullets, and I really don't shoot more than a thousand or so in a year's time, maybe 5% or less of what I shoot.

I tumble or dip lube, so I have to at least wait until the lube dries. Usually I spend the better part of a day casting several thousand in all different shapes and sizes, then just lube and size what I'm going to need in small batches as I need them. I don't water drop or heat treat; if I want hard bullets I add varying amounts of linotype (it contains antimony) to the mix. That way I don't have to worry about them returning to a softer state over time as I would if I artifically hardened them, but I very seldom need or want hard bullets.

12-09-2009, 05:56 AM
I have a question. I want to size a .456 220gr lee RN (ruger old army) in a .452 sizer die to make .45LC for conversion cylinder, is this going to work out ok? Sorry for butting into your thread, but you are talking about the same dimensions I am, is the sizing die going to be ok? or will it foul? Thanks Mark.

12-09-2009, 06:24 AM
That's still a good question. The answer depends on several factors.

In general, when you want to make such a major reduction in size, best results are obtained when the bullet is first lubed with a conventional luber/sizer with the larger sizer installed. Then after lubing, when the lube has completely filled the lube grooves, the bullet can then be sized down to the smaller diameter without distortion. I would be hesitant to try it with a tumble lubed bullet, or with a commercially cast bullet with a hard lube.

The other big consideration is the alloy the bullet has been cast from. Usually handgun bullets are cast from softer alloys, making the job much easier. I assume that the bullets you want to try it with are very soft and/or pure lead. If you keep the velocities low, you shouldn't have serious leading problems. Cast of a slightly harder handgun mix, you could push them a bit faster, but it would make sizing them down a bit more difficult.

Have you slugged all the cylinder throats, the forcing cone, and the barrel? If the numbers are wrong, you might save yourself a lot of time and effort.

12-09-2009, 08:55 PM
definately lube them first and size asap from the mold.
if you are using an older type rcbs die to size they have a step in the die which may not allow you to do what you want without scraping lead off the sides of the boolit.
if you are using a push through die with good taper you should be able to push them through with some grunt work and be able to shoot them fine just be aware that your boolits will be longer when done.
you might want to rub a bit of lanolin on ,or spray some case lube on the boolits also to help.

12-09-2009, 11:40 PM

I did that years ago for 45 Auto with the HP version. Accuracy was poor in the Old Army and I thought I would try, to make that mold useful.

Accuracy in the 1911 was the worst I ever had with any bullet/gun, with the exception of one undersized mold which tumbled in flight and mostly missed the target in .44 (ironically a Tumble Lube design).

The rear driving band of the 456 measured under .452 with my alloy, for a .452 barrel. As Ruger cut their Old Army guns in .452, it made sense to have an undersized rear band.

I can see lots of trouble for you with that bullet in 45 Colt, not having a crimp groove, if it doesn't have enough "fat" for neck tension.

I don't remember having any issue with sizing the front band down in a LEE push-through die. This was with range lead and Alox/Beeswax lube, which is a bit greasy.
For comparison, I once stuck a commercial hardcast .357 in a similar die trying to merely reduce it to .356 (I clearly remember the pounding....); it had a dry blue lube on it.


Oh...:)! And I used to resize my 45 ACP bullets before tumble lubing and never had any fouling/leading of the die (push through).

12-10-2009, 04:06 AM
I want to thank you all alot, your imput has made me decide to buy a new mold for the .45 LC loads, and just use the other mold for the BP cylinders, Hey what is a new hobbie without alot of toys anyways?

12-11-2009, 02:09 PM
I would like a 456 Lee 220gn mould. I don't see one listed. What is the style/product #?
Where can I get one?

12-11-2009, 02:43 PM
I believe that mould is no longer in production, so it is a gunshow only proposition. Try next door at Cast Boolits under Swapping & Selling. You might have better luck there finding someone who could locate one.

You might find one on EvilBay, but I refuse to do any business with them due to their rabid anti gun policies.

12-11-2009, 10:10 PM

It is still on the web catalog at the bottom of the Black Powder Molds page; they are called Conical Bullet Mold.


12-11-2009, 10:50 PM
Thanks kg, that will teach me to save time by looking in the Midway catalog. [smilie=1:

12-12-2009, 02:46 AM
Thanks kg, that will teach me to save time by looking in the _ _ _ _ _ _ catalog. [smilie=1:

Can you say it again ? :mrgreen: