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Bulseyetom
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Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Apr 22nd, 2019 at 1:57pm
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After trying my hand at breech seating for my 32/40 and 25/20 SS last week I am seriously considering getting back into bullet casting.  I quit casting some 15 years ago when I was shooting a bench rest 6ppc that would shoot 5 shots in one hole at 100 yards and inacurate rifles were no longer fun.  Now I see the groups you gentlemen produce with cast bullets and saw that my 25/20 is very close to being a 1 moa rifle as well.  I am not going to be shooting competitively so I am not sure if the initial investment is worth it if I can find somebody to sell me quality cast bullets.  Anyway, all I have right now is the NOE 260-117 25 caliber tapered bullet mold that came with the rifle.  I was looking at furnaces and was wondering what anybody thought of the cheaper RCBS electric furnace which has a PID device.  Any other choices?  I assume that if I buy 25:1 alloy I would also need flux, a dipper and a thermometer.  What mold would you recommend for the 32/40 which is an original 1:16 twist Hiwall barrel in very good condition.  I want to see what the initial investment is going to be as I am not sure how long our range is going to allow lead bullets as it is owned by the State of California.  The Range Safety Officers can no longer sweep up the concrete floor to clean up the brass but must use a rubber squeegee to eliminate airborne lead dust.  Sadly I can see the writing on the wall.  The range I used to shoot short range centerfire benchrest was closed and one of the arguments besides nearby housing developments was lead from bullets in the berms.  I read online where a Bald Eagle was found dead near Yellowstone and the cause of death was listed as lead poisoning "probably" from lead fragments from a hunter's rifle.  Tom   Sad
  
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Skalkaho
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #1 - Apr 22nd, 2019 at 8:54pm
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Lee casting Pot. My old one is 16 years old,just picked up another. Cant beat them.....

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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #2 - Apr 22nd, 2019 at 11:24pm
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Yup, you need flux.  Use anything except Marvelux! Bullet lube, paraffin or beeswax work just fine.  Marvelux will rust everything within a quarter mile!
  

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frnkeore
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #3 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 12:24pm
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I would go with a Lee pot, too. My older 10 lb pots have lasted 30+ years. I now use 2, 20 lb pots and 1, 10 lb.

I found BW to be the best flux for myself. You don't need to flux often, just when you make the batch or add to it.

Frank
  

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ww
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #4 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 2:01pm
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Lyman makes a nice dipper.  I don't have a thermometer but the lead lets you when its to hot. Lube-sizer ? It's been a while since I've used mine. Ive been shooting as cast and pan lubed. Lead alloy I cast with isotope lead fills nice and has a BHN of 10.5. Brother in law works for  Hot-Shots .
WW
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #5 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 4:29pm
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Lyman is my favorite dipper.  Watch the new production.  I have seen them with the spout hole or the handle at an odd angle  Embarrassed
  

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beltfed
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #6 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 5:25pm
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I agree with buying a 20# Lee Production Pot.
BUT, I strongly LOVE my PID temp controller that I
plug my electric pots into. You can set it and forget it
and the pot temp stays within a very narrow temp range.

You can build a PID controller-there are schematics on Cast Boolits- from ebay components for probably under $50.
beltfed/arnie
  
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Marlene
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #7 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 6:07pm
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I like the new RCBS pot with the PID. Building a PID setup for a Lee pot isn't a big deal, but it isn't free and it is more than a ten minute job. It's nice to not have the tangle of cords and probes and boxes all over the place too.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #8 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 8:44pm
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Lee 20# Pot ... (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Lyman Digital Thermometer ... (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Lee Ladle ... (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Lee Ingot Mold ... (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Whacker - hickory hammer handle
Stainless Steel Spoon - holes drilled on edges: spoon out dross only and leave lead in pot
Gloves - Harbor Freight Welding gloves
Flux - Pine Wood sawdust: Free @ Home Depot or nearest construction site.
Stick Matches or thin piece of pine: Light the sawdust to keep it from smoking
Paraffin - to lube mold pins
Floor Fan if casting indoors
32-40 Breach Seating Mold - 319273 Doc Hudson
Accurate Mold Clone: (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
32-40 Fixed Ctg Mold - Your Choice
  

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JerryH
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #9 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 9:04pm
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I'll add my vote to a 20# Lee pot, with a PID temp controller.

I used a 1000 watt rheostat switch to control the temp for a long time, but it quit on me so I decided to build a PID temp controller. (Thanks bnice for the help and links).

I put everything on a $58.00 HF cart so it's easy to move around in my shop. No clutter and everything is there ready to use. Except my moulds. Those stay in the house when not being used.

JerryH
  

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Mick B
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #10 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 9:47pm
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I also use the Lee 20 lb pot and have done for for many years, my current one is about 15 years old and has never missed a beat.
I think a PID controller is a great idea but I lack the ability to make one, I just keep a close eye on the temperature using a Lyman thermometer in the pot.
Frankly I'm surprised that no one makes the PID controllers ready to go at a reasonable price as there is probably a market for them. I did buy an Easy Melt pot but rarely use it, I keep my 16-1 alloy in it and don't cast 16-1 bullets all that often.
Mike.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #11 - Apr 23rd, 2019 at 9:59pm
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Mick B wrote on Apr 23rd, 2019 at 9:47pm:
I also use the Lee 20 lb pot and have done for for many years, my current one is about 15 years old and has never missed a beat.
I think a PID controller is a great idea but I lack the ability to make one, I just keep a close eye on the temperature using a Lyman thermometer in the pot.
Frankly I'm surprised that no one makes the PID controllers ready to go at a reasonable price as there is probably a market for them. I did buy an Easy Melt pot but rarely use it, I keep my 16-1 alloy in it and don't cast 16-1 bullets all that often.
Mike.




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Mick B
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #12 - Apr 24th, 2019 at 9:36am
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Grumpybear
Thanks for the info but at US$125 it's a bit to much money for me just so I don't have to pay attention to my pot temperature when casting. By the time I convert $125 US dollars to Australian dollars, then add postage, it would end up costing me close to 200 bucks.  I think that is about what I paid for my Easy Melt pot some time ago.
Mike.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #13 - Apr 24th, 2019 at 9:42am
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Mick, sorry I forgot you were in the land down under, and what postage is like, I shipped a Marlin banner to a friend down there and it cost me a bunch.
  

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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #14 - Apr 24th, 2019 at 9:53am
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A Lee pot is fine
I like an RCBS Dipper
Dont cast too hard A lot of cast bullet shooters will tell you harder is better. It aint so. Stay away from antimony.
Never use a bottom pour pot if you want accuracy

40 Rod
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #15 - Apr 25th, 2019 at 9:16am
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40_Rod wrote on Apr 24th, 2019 at 9:53am:
A Lee pot is fine
I like an RCBS Dipper
Dont cast too hard A lot of cast bullet shooters will tell you harder is better. It aint so. Stay away from antimony.
Never use a bottom pour pot if you want accuracy

40 Rod


I pour both ladle and bottom, equal accuraccy in my dedicated bench rifles.i get accuraccy with both hard and soft bullets depending on velocity demands.and some of my alloys have  the evil antimony in them!

not trying to be a contrary but shooting cast matches on  and off for 30 years I've seen people getting stellar results with things I thought were "wrong".

for the record i mostly dipper pour out of my waage with an.rcbs dipper.

Pope used a bottom pour.btw
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #16 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 10:06am
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Pope Used a dipper, Pope did design a bottom pour pot.

40 Rod
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #17 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 10:21am
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40 Rod is absolutely correct to advise you to stay away from antimony.

When I started this game I used antimony and always had heavy leading within 30 shots.
Went to Tin only alloys and can easily shoot over 100 shots without leading.

Some Canadian Shooters (including Ron Smith) tested using a bottom pour pot for a couple of years and comparing their scores to competitions from previous and subsequent years using a dipper.

After long term testing scores always were higher from bullets made from dipper casting.

I only use dipper cast bullets using a 20:1 Lead:Tin alloy.

I use a propane burner and cast my bullets at 862 degrees F in my home made pot.
No I do not get frosted bullets using a Tin alloy.

I have used a Lyman dipper for decades.
« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2019 at 10:32am by Schuetzendave »  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #18 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 11:16am
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Not sure what 40Rod meant by being to hard. Myself I have had good success with 16-1 for my own competitive use. Not trying to say it's the best but don't shy away from trying it someday. Once you get settled in work up from 30-1 to 10-1 and then decide what works the best for your own use. If I had to choose but one based on my own long term testing it would be 18-1 a bit better than 20-1 and real close to 16-1 and what I choose to use. Back in the day John D Kelly who Pope considered to be the Dean of Benchrest often times used 10-1 as did others. It does have a tendency to be more critical to proper Bullet fit and it is also quite a bit more costly to use. It has worked very well for me in the past and I would encourage you to also give it a try someday if and when time allows.
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #19 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 11:31am
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Bullets that are too hard do not bump up and seal their base.
This allows gas to cut around the bullet base causing leading.

Also hard bullets end up bending the rods on bullet seaters which then start pushing bullets out of alignment which really screws up your accuracy.

I always use bullets .002" wider than the groove-to-groove diameter to ensure a quicker and efficient seal of the bullet in the bore to minimize the potential of gas cutting.

Also choked barrels (RKS and BRC) also help reduce the potential of gas cutting around a cast bullet.
« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2019 at 11:42am by Schuetzendave »  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #20 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 1:10pm
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That has never been my own personal experience over the past eighteen years? When one refers to being to hard there has yet to be a clear clarification of what that might be for this gentleman to more clearly understand.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #21 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 1:34pm
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Schuetzendave wrote on Apr 28th, 2019 at 10:21am:
Some Canadian Shooters (including Ron Smith) tested using a bottom pour pot for a couple of years and comparing their scores to competitions from previous and subsequent years using a dipper.


Dave, Were there any other indications of bullet quality; ie, weight variations, visual, or??
  

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Schuetzendave
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #22 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 2:07pm
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The bullets that were bottom poured appeared on the outside to be of the same quality as the bullets that were dip poured.
However the bottom poured bullets had more internal air bubbles trapped inside (greater weight variation).
With the proper technique of turning the block sideways and turning it upright when you dip pour; you are better able to drive the air out of the mould.

Generally Schuetzen shooters believe an alloy harder than 20:1 or a hardness of BHN10 is too hard.

Black Powder shooters believe it should be even softer to properly bump up using black powder.

However the higher velocity and fixed ammunition CBA shooters believe it should be harder.

But the Pistol/Revolver shooters expect you need even harder lead to obtain accuracy.

So it all depends on which powder, which velocity you are shooting at and how the bullet enters the bore of the firearm you are using.
« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2019 at 2:14pm by Schuetzendave »  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #23 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 3:41pm
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I suspected that might be the case. Any idea on hose much the weight varied?
  

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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #24 - Apr 28th, 2019 at 4:34pm
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Others did the testing and I do not have the data.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #25 - Apr 29th, 2019 at 9:19am
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John
If Your adding puterr to your wheelweights to make it harder its too hard!

40 Rod
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #26 - Apr 30th, 2019 at 10:33am
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Totally agree John having experimented with various additions of antimony for a bit over a year. Lino and Mono Type has worked out well for CBA Heavy and Production Classes but not so for my own Plainbase breech seated uses.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #27 - Apr 30th, 2019 at 10:55am
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I use linotype, but as a mix with pure lead, not just linotype. I use it 3:1 mix and get the hardness I like for my rifles.
Just found a 22 lb. bar of linotype at our gun show Sunday for $35. Seller told me he's got plenty more, so might buy whatever he's got. I like using linotype mixed with pure lead.
  

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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #28 - Apr 30th, 2019 at 11:22am
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Vall out of all of those I have tried 50-50 pure lead and lino showed allot of promise but the consistency in regards to group size just wasn't there. This also holds true to all of the lead, tin and antimony variations that were tried. I once had over fifty pounds of lino type and I gave it to a Heavy Class CBA friend for him to use. The rest of the various I tried were given to a pistol shooter for his casting and plinking use.
  
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Re: Need advice on selecting casting equipment
Reply #29 - Apr 30th, 2019 at 12:49pm
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I've got about forty pounds of .32 cal. gas check bullets that a friend cast back in 1953 that I shoot now and then. They ain't target freak accurate, but if I had to hunt with the rifle (heaven forbid), it's the bullet I'd use. Alloy? not sure, but they's as hard as a teenager's....................skull.  Shocked
  

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