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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of you guys bother reclaiming your fired projectiles, melting them down and recasting them?

Is it worth the labor? While I'm not a reloader yet I'm trying to get things in order so that if I'm fortunate enough to make it to retirement like some of you guys are I would like to be able to load at least some of my own ammo.

Hopefully things will settle down between now and then with primers and so forth.
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Hey OG,

You will need to smelt...you can sell the copper as scrap..(absurdly high prices now)...

Then you will need to "sweeten"....Jacketed pills are mostly pure lead. The "ideal" is LYMAN #2 Alloy. 92% lead, 6% Antimony and 2% Tin.

This is done whilst smelting (sometimes on the 2nd smelt...as often there is a lot of CRUD from the back stop)

We (here at the Green Mtn Bullet Co) use all new ALLOY.....

Later, Mark
 

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Or, you could start stockpiling lead bullets from various companies, especially when they run a promo for sale prices or free shipping.
 

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In a word, yes.
I've been casting my own for some time now. Really got into it when I took up hand gunning about 12 years ago. Can't remember the last time I loaded a jacketed bullet for any of my revolvers. Most of my rifles see cast bullets too as many are older single or lever actions in uncommon calibers. It is so much cheaper to load with my own cast lead bullets than to buy jacketed.
I'm not too particular on my mix. I add tin or pure lead as needed to keep the Brinnel hardness down to between 12-14. This I measure with a Lee hardness tester. Been using a Lee bottom pour 10# pot for casting for over ten years now. I also smelt in a separate pot and carefully monitor the temperature to prevent Zinc contamination. A good themometer is a must. I buy any cheap pewter ware I find at the flea markets and yard sales for tin.
Most of my molds were bought used off of EBay and are single or double cavity.
I have two Lyman 450 bullet sizer presses set up, one which is heated. 75% of my sizer dies and top punches were bought used. And I make my own bullet lube.
Casting your own will save money in the long run but you must have a place to do it as it is a smokey, dirty process. But consider the fact that a pound of lead will give you over 40 158 gr bullet for your 38 Special/357 mag and you can see the savings potential even if you are paying 2-3 dollars per pound.
Lyman has a good booklet that covers the basics of both reloading and casting. Many of their reloading books have information on basic casting techniques too.
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I cast and load for 30-30, 32 S&W, 32-20, 32-40, 32 special, 357, 38-40, 38-55, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 45-70 and 50-70 as well as make 31, 42, 44, and 58 caliber round balls for my charcoal burners. Usually spend a couple hours on a couple days of the year making a couple thousand bullets which see to my shooting needs. I modified the stainless steel cabinet base of a old gas grill to use as a casting station. I can wheel it outside the garage on nicer days when casting. The top surface is a sheet of hardy-backer cement board.
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The CastBoolit website have tons of info on the subject. Cast Boolits

It's a good hobby.

John
 

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That is a really nice set-up John. Thanks for sharing your idea for a nice, well organized casting station. I cast and load for 250 Savage, 30/06, .308, .348 Win, 45/70 smokeless, 45/70 BP, .375 H&H, .458 WinMag, .380, 9mm, 38/.357, .41 mag, 45acp, plus...40 caliber roundballs, 50 caliber roundballs and conicals for my muzzleloaders. My Father was a bullet caster and got me started by teaching me to lube his 38 wadcutters. Eisenhower was President. I still use several of the tools from his collection, including his "Ideal" bullet mould blocks and handles for some calibers. Still in service, and working great...it's a nice connection to my Father and my early years.
Thanks again, John
 

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I modified the stainless steel cabinet base of a old gas grill to use as a casting station. I can wheel it outside the garage on nicer days when casting. The top surface is a sheet of hardy-backer cement board.
I can see it now. Nice sunny warm day.
Neighbor walks by,
"What are you doing?"

You: Making bullets.

Neighbor: OMG run, he's a killer, he's gonna shoot up the schools. Run for your lives. He may even be a conservative!

(I would say this is in jest but considering the way things have gone in the last two years you never know.)
 

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Ha ha! Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind. My pat answer would be that I'm making fishing sinkers! But the house sits back about 100 feet from the road and I've started my neighbor into the reloading world. I keep urging him to start casting bullets too but I am shooting myself in the foot as he has supplied me with lots of lead wheel weights from his job.

Terrorist John
 
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Casting is something you either enjoy or you don't and you won't know which it is until you try it. So I'd advise trying some casting with an experienced caster before you jump headlong into casting.

I also suggest reading up on casting before buying anything. There is a book by Glen Fryxell and Robert Applegate that contains about anything you'd ever need to know about casting lead bullets.

Cast Boolits

 

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Any form of lead is worth the labor you put into it, if you cast your own. I haven't had to dig into the berm yet as I have a very busy tire center near me that I take all of our facility vehicles to for service and tires. The owner gives me all of the used wheel weights in return for our business. I must say though, lead wheel weights are getting scarce. The last 3- 5 gal. pails only yielded 3 1/2 gals of lead. Compared to 4 gals. per 5 gal pail not 10 yrs. ago. Lucky for me I started casting and collecting lead long enough ago that I have roughly 2-3 tons of ingots stored up. More than I'll ever use in what time I have left. Good luck in you venture if you decide to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Any form of lead is worth the labor you put into it, if you cast your own. I haven't had to dig into the berm yet as I have a very busy tire center near me that I take all of our facility vehicles to for service and tires. The owner gives me all of the used wheel weights in return for our business. I must say though, lead wheel weights are getting scarce. The last 3- 5 gal. pails only yielded 3 1/2 gals of lead. Compared to 4 gals. per 5 gal pail not 10 yrs. ago. Lucky for me I started casting and collecting lead long enough ago that I have roughly 2-3 tons of ingots stored up. More than I'll ever use in what time I have left. Good luck in you venture if you decide to start.
Wow! A few more years and you may be setting on a gold mine!
 

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I find collecting range lead to be more trouble than it's worth. To much dirt,etc. When I get to to range I try shooting my cast bullets in the same spot,but still it's a pain. Thought about putting a box of news paper on the berm and shooting in to that
 
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