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Thread: The Beginning of a Come Back of a Reloader, Bullet Swager and Caster

  1. #11
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    jim those cabinets are almost tall enough to cast on...and the right size too.
    put a melamine top on one or both of them for a good place for a trimmer and brass prep area and cast on the other,keep your bench and the shelves in the background for the loading etc..

  2. #12

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    R5R, those are both interesting thoughts!

    The cabinets are 48" tall, by the way... 48 H x 48 W x 24 D to be exact.

    And I have been thinking of putting some sort of smooth surface on both of them and on the upcoming workbench so as to assist me with avoiding the hellish splinters that're always given up by OSB material...

    I was sort of thinking about using one of them for my Reloading/Casting Reference Guides bookshelf, but I hadn't thought of casting on them...

    To be honest, I'm a lazy rascal... I like sitting, and when I did my casting before I always sat at a bench... It never occurred to me to try standing. It might actually be a bit faster, at that...

    I just might give standing a try, seriously!

    Thanks for the idea!
    Jim Fleming

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  3. #13
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    my pour spout is just below eye level with good side lighting .it's so easy to work now i can't believe the difference.
    no holding up my arms with a mold in them i just line things up and drag the 4 cav molds through .and let them sit on the little box i made till the puddle sucks in, then i lower the mold down to the bench and break the sprue open by hand on the way.
    i can see i can control and i can water drop with just a slight twist.
    or drop on the bench with a slight shuffle left or right keeps the knees from getting achy.
    good chunk of carpet or a rubber mat makes things nice too.

  4. #14

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    I used pretty much the same techniques, seated... It took a while for me to develop the method...

    I used a single step stool, on top of a workbench, C-clamped the reversed the foot on my Lee 10 lb. Production Pot onto the stool.

    And as you're saying rested my hands and arms on the stool, etc... and like you opened the spout, filled the closest cavity, dragged the mold toward me filling cavities all the while...

    And like you, I like to cast hot and fast, so fast and so hot, that more than a few of my blue pills were a wee bit frosty... I liked breaking sprue by hand, I didn't and don't like striking my mold equipment with anything... etc...

    I used a red shop rag that was dipped in water, to cool things down when they got too toasty...

    The only thing I didn't use/do, but you can betcha I will now, is to drop the bullets into a 5 gallon bucket of water to quench and harden... I like that idea, for two reasons, #1. I don't have 30-40 lbs of hot bullets cooling slowly just waiting for the chance to burn me. #2. Anything that'll harden my much beloved blue pills is going to be a good thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    my pour spout is just below eye level with good side lighting .it's so easy to work now i can't believe the difference.
    no holding up my arms with a mold in them i just line things up and drag the 4 cav molds through .and let them sit on the little box i made till the puddle sucks in, then i lower the mold down to the bench and break the sprue open by hand on the way.
    i can see i can control and i can water drop with just a slight twist.
    or drop on the bench with a slight shuffle left or right keeps the knees from getting achy.
    good chunk of carpet or a rubber mat makes things nice too.
    Jim Fleming

    I will bleed, Red, White & Blue forever.

    USAFR (Retired)
    NRA Life Member
    VFW Life Member

  5. #15
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    a smaller bucket will do the job as well as a 5 gallon one i use a little 1 gallon pail about 3/4ths full of cold tap water,by the time i get 20 lbs in it i take a break dump the water and boolits in little plastic jar with holes punched in the li to pour the water back out then unscrew the lid and pour the boolits out on a towell to dry.
    get a soda have a smoke and go again. i have a 40 lb pot and i just add ingots as i go with no temp drop whatsoever.
    if waterdropping it usually means rifle boolits so i gotta check and size them too, so about 20-30 lbs is a days work but a long times worth of shooting.

  6. #16

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    That's one of the things I was and intend to get into over in Cast Boolits!!! Making rifle bullets!!! Thank you so much!!!

    RE: Rifle bullets, are the lead pills as effective on white tail, as expanding bullets? I'm thinking that they'd be like using FMJ, if they're as hard as need be to prevent leading, (assuming I am smart enough to use reduced loads and Dacron filler material. Please note, I'm not asking about accuracy, I don't need too, I've read volumes about cast rifle boolits... I was too insecure to ask about how the heck to stuff Dacron filler material into the case. That's done, the Ammosmith on YouTube already has clued me in... Duh!

    Also thanks for the tip about the bucket... Doesn't the shorter column of water allow the blue pills to ding each other...? Particularly since you're dropping them from a standing position?
    Jim Fleming

    I will bleed, Red, White & Blue forever.

    USAFR (Retired)
    NRA Life Member
    VFW Life Member

  7. #17
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Well, you're almost there. There are two basic things you have to know if you are going to hunt whitetails with cast bullets. They are the importance of meplats for energy transfer and the myth that harder bullets give you any advantage.

    With a jacketed bullet, hydrostatic shock does your killing for you. Even if (and when) the bullet exits taking a good amount of its energy with it. With a medium bore (.30-.35cal) cast bullet, you're starting out with a lot less available energy, so you need to make sure as much of it is expended in the game animal as possible. A good sized meplat (flat nose), instead of punching through tissue like a nail through wood, plows through and expends most of its energy during its passage through tissue. Some expansion helps a lot, too, which is why hard cast bullets are pretty much useless for hunting, much like FMJ's.

    Most get best results on large game using ACWW (air cooled wheel weights) with GC bullets. It does limit your velocity a bit, but if the bullets are properly sized, not as much as you might think. NOTHING leads up a bore faster and more completely than an undersized hard bullet pushed too fast. The part of the bullet that benefits from greater hardness is the driving bands. Water dropping hardens the outside of the bullet, but lead alloys soften when worked, which means that when you size them, you return the driving bands to their original softer state. You are left with a hard nose and soft driving bands, the exact opposite of what you want for a hunting bullet. It is possible to cast a bullet with a hard base and a soft nose, but it is a difficult and time consuming process - 2-3 min per bullet with a 40-50% reject rate. If you want hard target bullets, IME you are better off heat treating them after sizing as it hardens the entire bullet and leaves you with the driving bands hardened so that you can push them to higher velocities. Regardless of if you harden them, in water or an oven, they will return to their original hardness in a few months time. The only way around this is to use a harder alloy, like linotype, for your target bullets. This produces a very frangible bullet that will not expand and will shatter when it hits anything hard (like bone), so they are not IMO ethical to use for hunting under any circumstances.

    Personally, I don't believe that a potential gain of 2-300fps is worth much at the limited (1-200yd) ranges practical for cast bullet hunting. If you hit a deer/bear/moose/elk in the boiler room, it is going down. If you paunch it, you could be using a .50BMG and you still have a wounded animal. Realistically, you will be seeing best accuracy with medium bore bullets in the 1600-2000fps range regardless of the hardness of the bullet you are using. To me, the only practical use for hard cast rifle bullets is target shooting at long ranges (2-500yds), well beyond ethical hunting ranges.

    That said, I will freely admit that many deer have been killed with round or pointed nosed cast bullets, and many have been killed using harder alloys (just as lots have fallen to FMJ's). That does not make them the best choices. I prefer to do as much as I can to increase my odds of a quick, clean kill, concentrating on accuracy and performance rather than velocity. With cast, a slower, FN heavier bullet does the job better.

    With larger bores, .40 and up, expansion is not as critical, but a good meplat still delivers more energy to the animal than any round nosed design. Consider too that millions of bison were killed by soft lead plain based bullets fired out of M/L's from .45-.70+ cal and black powder cartridges from .40-.50cal. There were no such things back then as hard bullets, hollow points, or gas checks. There were some real changes in cases and powders in the next few decades, but preWWII, most common smokeless hunting cartridges were firing soft lead plain based bullets, too. And they put a lot of meat on the table in the days before welfare and food stamps.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  8. #18
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    excellent advice there versifier.
    there are ways around the hard body and soft nose thing much easier than you might think.
    i like to use 50-50 ww pure waterdrop size while wet. before the hardness has occured.
    when sizing i use just enough sizer to hold the boolit while lubing it.
    then i stand the boolit up in a pan of water covering the base and barely part of the nose and hit it lightly with the torch till i either see it want to sweat a tad or it change color from the grey to a slight shift in tint/shade.
    do not tip the boolits over in the water,let them sit till they cool on their own.
    you then have an expanding tip of the softer 50-50 alloy.
    i too prefer a larger squarer meplat and use my 44 or 45 colt lever guns more so then i use my 30-30 for hunting.
    for them i use a 25% pure ww alloy with 1% tin air cooled. same alloy i use for everything in them boolits too for target work plinking and hunting.
    same recipe,softer boolit good velocity not high vel 1600 or so is plenty.
    plain base,good meplat, larger lube groove.
    and just shoot them all the time.
    i think a flat nosed 30-30 would do it also from the same alloy as i took a 175 lb doe last year with my 30 carbine revolver and a 98 gr boolit right around 950 fps at 75 yds and she went 20 feet before piling up. and all i hit were her lungs with plenty left over to exit.

  9. #19

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    I think that _IF_ I use home brewed cast pills for white tail, I'll make sure to limit myself to taking ONLY clean head or spinal shots.

    Last night I was going thru those rugged crates and starting to unload them and found a few hundred of my favorite copper slugs that've been sitting and waiting for me for several years... I'm not going to run out of copper bullets for a while...

    In my .270 Winchester I liked the old Hornady 140 gr SPBT over top of a charge of IMR 4350. I don't know exactly how much powder or what primer I used, off the top of my head, I only know that according to my old range finder at 225 yds. I was able to print 5 shot groups at 1.812 CTC... (I have the exact info, written down, it's just that I learned to make it a point to never memorize load info. that notebook I kept hadda helluva lot better memory than I ever will!)

    In my Ruger .308 Winchester (it's an all weather stainless and synthetic rifle) I like Sierra and IMR 4895...

    One thing I did notice about all my junk, is that I'm worried those two cabinets I made might not hold everything, if you can believe it... UGH!
    Jim Fleming

    I will bleed, Red, White & Blue forever.

    USAFR (Retired)
    NRA Life Member
    VFW Life Member

  10. #20
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Fleming View Post
    I think that _IF_ I use home brewed cast pills for white tail, I'll make sure to limit myself to taking ONLY clean head or spinal shots.
    Shots like that work fine with high velocity jacketed bullets, but you really want to put a cast bullet through the boiler room. Think of it as more like archery hunting, but with more range. BTW, like with archery, there is no wound channel and no meat is destroyed by a cast bullet - you can eat right up to the hole.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check        

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