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Well, even the cheap Wally World Blazer ammo is up over $15 for 50. I've been putting off finding a good replacement for this old standby. The biggest expense in reloading has become the lead. So the decision was made to buy a quality casting mold, top punch, and lube/sizing dies. I am basically thrifty (reads cheap) when it comes to setting up for a new caliber. Found a nearly new setup for sale. RCBS 230 RN mold that casts 2 at a time, a RCBS .451 Lubrisizer, and the proper top punch set me back $40 used. I spent two nights this week casting up 500 bullets. Given the price of buying cast bullets these days, I feel I've already paid for the equipment I had to purchase....in that one batch.

I already cast several .45 LC bullets and have a .452 and .453 lubrisizer die. If a fella wanted to, he could use the same RCBS mold to cast for this caliber as well. I'll size some up for my Colt loads and have another bullet weight to plink with ;)

The point that I am trying to make is that the most bang for your reloading dollar is now in casting.

Giz
 

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Hey Giz,

Is this the mould you've got?:

http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,2499.html

If so, I'll be watching for a functioning/reliability report!

I've given up on the stubby RNBB Magma Eng. design that everyone is selling commercially around here - too short and I don't care for the "step" and the bevel base. Years ago, I had an Ideal 2-Cav. that cast a bullet with nearly the identical profile as my favorite W-W FMJ hardball bullet - with only a single wide grease groove interrupting the profile - and it functioned perfectly. I lent it to a shooter buddy who suddenly passed away and his boys wouldn't give it back to me! Been looking for another one of similar design ever since.

This RCBS design doesn't have that blasted BB and it appears to have a sufficiently long nose, but it has that pesky "step" that I wish they would leave off. Hope is works 100% for you!

xtm
 
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Discussion Starter #4
toroflow said:
How much does it cost you, in lead, to cast a bullet? 5 cents each? Not counting the equipment.
Ken,

About 2.5 cents in primer and another 2 cents for powder. The lead wheel weights are free except for the electricity to melt them, but maybe another half cent for lube. Works out to be about $5 per hundred .45 ACP....Might be closer to $6 per hundred .45 Colt.

100 Factory Colt .45's would cost about 10 times what it costs me to reload.... ;)

giz
 
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Discussion Starter #5
xtm,

Well I managed to load a few and function test them. They worked flawlessly ;)

Couple of things, I sized them to .451 and played with the OAL. Sizing to the .451 ended all feed problems with the taper crimp. A fellow that I shoot with tipped me off to this. He shoots steel plates and has been reloading for .45 ACP for 40 years. Works like a charm, especially with the tighter chambers. OAL (for those who don't know ~ Over All Length) with this RCBS bullet puts the case mouth slightly behind the forward driving band. In the past I have made the mistake of seating these style bullets too far back, thinking in terms of a regular crimp. My bad.

These were cast from standard wheel weights and lubed with RCBS bullet lube. Happy to say that all went well on the function test. I used a Kimber Stainless II over at Lord Slashcats private range. Did not shoot for group, only function. For a defensive firearm, I was very pleased with the way it fed and ejected....

Winchester Large pistol primers were used behind exactly 6 grains of Unique. With that combination on the 230 grain cast bullet it is safe to say the gun cylcled very well.....


giz
 

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That's a good report, Giz!

Next time you're out taking photos, try to remember to take one of a loaded cartridge that shows the OAL with the case mouth/driving band relationship that functions best - and also one of the bullet profile. The RCBS bullet pix I've found are just computer-generated drawings.

One of my best loads is a 230gr. LRN + 6.2gr Unique; ~860fps.

Thanks,
xtm
 
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Discussion Starter #8
xtm,

I'll take some pics tomorrow a.m.

Try to show the lubed bullet, and the OAL in a finished cartridge. I'll also weigh some to give an idea of the cast weight. Also take a pre-sized dimension. Guessing that the Brinnell hardness is up around 18 using the fingernail test :D

At anyrate, I am thinking this will end up being my favorite .45 ACP casting. Never was satisfied with the 215 grainer I've been using in the past.

One last thing, the RCBS mold produces two very nice driving bands. The lube groove is very shallow and rounded. If I were to make one change to the mold, it would be to deepen and square the lube ring...to make it a more versatile bullet. I understand that the .45 ACP is meant for a jacketed bullet and with short barrel lengths will not run out of lube in a 1911. But using this bullet in a .45 Colt in a 7.5" barrel length and a hotter load may be a problem...


Giz
 

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Ah Yes! Thanks!

That is a fine-looking bullet - very close to the profile of a FMJ!

For reference, what is your OAL seated to that depth?

xtm
 
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Discussion Starter #11
OAL is 1.254 using a .451 sized bullet and taper crimped to the forward driving band. The nice thing about this design are the two wide-square driving bands. I found no evidence of leading. I used three different test guns ~ a standard series 70, a Kimber Stainless II, and a Wilson Combat. All fed this round without flaw.

On a side note, this particular cartridge gave amazing results in the Kimber. Shooting for speed on a NRA steel plate course it's accuracy was near perfect in my hands. Rarely missing even the plates on the dueling tree at 15 yards. I'd like to chrono and bench test the gun with this round when the weather clears up and I can get to my personal range.

giz
 

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giz Back many years ago I had access to all the Linotype that I wanted. When that ran out I went to wheel weights, i found that wheel weights were to inconsistent in their alloy make up. Then I alloyed my own lyman no 2 aloy. That got to expensive fast. Now I just take a trip up to baker city oregon and buy their laser-cast bullets. I like the idea of shooting a silver bullet. :mrgreen:
 

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Is it difficult to get started in casting if you are going it alone and have no experience at it? More and more its the thing I want to get going on, I need to buy the equipment for it too. Maybe thing coming spring.... :)
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Geoff,

I'm self taught...read CastBoolits on the web for a couple of weeks and kinda got the hang of it...
Also, there are some instructional DVD's out there. But overall it is not that hard to learn. It will save you a bunch of time if you can find someone to show you the basics...

giz
 

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WW are just fine in the 45 acp.lee makes a 200 gr tumble lube bullet and is my fav.
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0000690379

cast with ww they drop right at .452.I just tumble lube and shoot.

I also like the 452423.I picked up a old ideal last year off the trader and have been using them in the 45 colts.going to try it soon in the loaded.
http://www.sixguns.com/crew/cba.htm

I enjoy casting and the money saved I put into powder and primers. :D .
pete

lots of good info here
http://www.lasc.us/IndexBrennan.htm
 

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Getting into casting is one of the smartest things I have ever done.

There are 7000 grains per pound. If the lead is free how much do bullets cost? Well, @ 125gr or 250gr, right, nothing but your time! (We don't have a TV so I use the electric that most use for that to cast my bullets! ;) )

Figure that into the equation for loading costs and my rounds are $1.50 or less for a box of 50 using my own cases and Wolf primers. You can't beat that in my book!

I have had tons of trouble with the Lee RN molds, both in the tumble lube configuration and regular lube groove type. Can't seem to get the alloy/mold temperature just right to get good fill.

I hope your RCBS mold works better.
 

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Gizamo,

You scored on that purchase! Welcome to our addiction. I cast for every caliber I shoot except .223, and I may try that yet! Here's my casting cabinet I made





And here's about an hour's production, using two molds


Home cast bullets are cheap, and the rifle loads use a LOT less powder than a comparable jacketed load. I figure I'm shooting practically for the cost of primers. I don't buy into that "you have to figure in the cost of your time" baloney either. I find casting fun and relaxing. Just be careful. Keep your area clean and be SURE to wash up after casting.
 

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Patrick,
That set up is very impressive! It's obvious you put a lot of thought into it..
 

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Gizamo said:
xtm....here ya' go... ;)

I had a box of pills that looked exactly like these (I believe they were D&J).

I loaded some up a few years ago and had a horrible time with leading - I mean BAD! Unfortunately, I cannot remember what powder I was using, perhaps Clays.

I'd sure like to think that with your 6 grains of Unique - and you saying that you had no leading problems - that would solve my problems. Unfortunately, I don't know what kind of alloy mine were made with wonder if your wheel weights are harder than what I have.

I may just have to load some up and see what happens. ;)
 
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Lemat,

I do not own a brinell scale yet. But I'm guessing that the hardness may be about 18. I also throw any of my cast bullets into the pot if the shoulders at the base show any sign of rounding. If they are not nice and square, away they go. Good luck with the Unique. It works great in my .45 ACP's in the semi-auto's. Tried it in a Ruger Convertible .45 SA and like the results there, also... :)

giz
 
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