View Full Version : Need help, cast bullets are too light

03-29-2012, 03:31 AM
I am casting with the following molds. The bullets are coming out at consistent but very light weights.
#358156, 155g=145g actual bullet weight
#429244, 255g=219g
#452460, 200g=185g
I have not checked the the hardness of the metal, but even the differences of pure lead through linotype mixes shouldn't make this much of a difference. According to the Lyman book the .44's should be 238g at the least with linotype. I acquired 300 lbs. of ingots that were poured by someone who is very meticulous. I doubt he dumped whatever he could find in a pot and poured it. But I don't have any idea of what the mix is actually made of. What is the problem? Any suggestions would be greaty appreciated.

03-29-2012, 05:24 AM
a larger diameter will accompany those weights.
the 429 is waaay off though.
almost every mold i have ever seen does not pour to it's stated weight. and usually not even close, manufacturing tolerances an cherry wear or change will make things off under the best circumstances.
especially newer lymans.
your boolits will take about a week for thier final hardness.
the lead could be monotype,or foundry type which are both lighter and harder than linotype,
as is zinc.
but 10-15 grs under weight sounds like linotype to me.
i don't even worry about weight i just work up my loads carefully and go on my way.

03-29-2012, 03:07 PM
The light weight is indicative of the harder alloy and it is reasonable for the .358's and .452's, but I agree that the .429 is way off. Maybe that mould is mislabeled. There is always some variation between the stated weight and what the actual bullets drop at due to cherry wear and differences in alloys used. Every mould is different, and the drop weight when the cherry is new compared to when it has been resharpened several times after cutting hundreds of cavities can be considerable. Try it with some pure lead to compare the weight differences and diameter as dropped. It will surprise you.

The alloy sounds just like lino to me, too. That's way too hard an alloy for handgun bullets anyway and IMO should be no more than 1/4 of the mix with 3/4 pure lead. That is what I use when I get behind in my smelting and run too low on wheel weights. Softer alloys obturate much better to the barrel's grooves and so are generally more accurate and more forgiving if they are slightly undersized. Gas cutting and barrel leading are minimized that way. Lino and the other really hard alloys are best for rifle target bullets where the hardness does matter for optimal strength allowing higher velocities and when no expansion is necessary, but it will do for handgun bullets when sufficiently diluted. Lino bullets shatter when they hit solid bone so should never be used for hunting in rifles or in handguns.

You can adjust your loading data if necessary for the .44's. What really matters is not the weight per se, but if the particular revolver shoots that bullet well or not. Like women, some guns are pickier than others about what you stuff into them. Give them a try and see what happens.

03-30-2012, 05:31 AM
Thanks fellas. I got a line on some wheel weights. I will let you know how it goes.

Paul B
03-31-2012, 02:35 PM
All three of those bullets are way off in weight. Way too much to be linotype and maybe too much even for monotype. It almost sounds to me like it could be a hit tin content babbit metal. If that's the case, it could be a jackpot for making up a very decent alloy. If it is a form of babbit metal, it would have been nice to have the code to see what you actually have.
Check this site out. http://www.alchemyextrusions.com/babbitt/ Give you an idea of what you might have.
Paul B.

04-02-2012, 02:28 AM
The alloy that I have, which I believe to be lino or the aforementioned mono;
...add a little wheel weight=228g
...straight wheel weights=258g
Mystery solved. Thanks. And by the way I had these zipping along at 1,500 and couldn't figure out why.