Author Topic: Casting with...  (Read 5800 times)

Leatherbelly

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Casting with...
« on: January 10, 2010, 01:11:57 AM »
  ...an electric pot or hand casting(cast iron pot, a keeled ladle). Which makes the most consistant round ball?  Anyone ever do a test on such? Am wondering if a Production Pot of some kind may be worth the dollars? Good ones here are about $360 before taxes. Thanks in advance.

Offline Ezra

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 02:03:35 AM »
LB,

PM me if you are interested in a Lyman Mag 20 pot (electric) used only a few times.  I'd give it to you purdy cheap.  In good shape, just never gets used.


Ez
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 02:10:23 AM by Ezra »
"Rules are for the obedience of fools and guidance of wise men"

Pvt. Lon Grifle

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 02:05:20 AM »
I 've always believed that consistent lead temperature and a heated mold produced the most uniform RB.  Since RB is not the most of my casting, I keep a 4 pound Lee electric dip pot for everything RB up to .602. I make smaller ingots to support a less fluctuating resupply during production. Works for me.  Lon

BrownBear

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 02:11:10 AM »
I cut my teeth casting bullets for cartridge guns back in the early 1960's, so call me a geezer.  The mantra back than, and what I've stuck with, is to work from a large mass of molten lead in order to get the most consistent temperatures.  That meant that working with a 20 pound pot and only using the first 10 pounds before refilling was better than using a 10 pound pot and running it dry.  That's especially true with big bullets that drain pots quickly.  Heck, I'd be happiest working out of a 50 pound pot- if there was such a thing- for casting the really big stuff.

Offline Maven

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 02:51:40 AM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"...an electric pot or hand casting(cast iron pot, a keeled ladle). Which makes the most consistant round ball?  Anyone ever do a test on such? Am wondering if a Production Pot of some kind may be worth the dollars?"

Leatherbelly,

I've been casting both RB's (pure Pb) and elongated bullets (wheelweights + 1% Sn) for use in metallic cartridges since 1969.  I began using an electric furnace (Lee Precision) with a keeled ladle (Lyman) 30 yrs. ago.  If you maintain a consistent rhythm and constant pot temperature, the results can be very good.  For pure Pb RB's, I cast at 800 deg. F, and somewhere between 730 deg. - 800 deg. for the others, depending on the mold.  While not essential, it is most helpful to use a casting thermometer if you can obtain one locally at an attractive price.  Lastly, no matter how good my cast RB's and bullets look, I still segregate them by weight, particularly if I'm going to use them in a match or if I use a different mold to cast a .490" RB (I have several different .490" RB molds.)  Hope this helps you out!
Paul W. Brasky

northmn

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 07:41:19 PM »
I used to sort according to weight.  By doing so you really do not need the expensive casting equipment.  Many add a touch of tin as it makes for a more consistant cast (1-50?)  I just purchased a 4 pound Lee lead pot as I do not cast as much as I used to. I used to use a dipper or ladle instead of a pour spout as they fill the mold faster and seemed more consistant. Now probably cast more CF bullets than ball.  Swaged ball do not work all that bad for me and in smaller calibers make more sense than casting unless you shoot an awful lot.  Consider that my lead cost me about 50 cents a pound, You use fuel or electricity and time to get 100 ball.  Also the time element.  How much do you shoot that particular caliber ???

DP

Leatherbelly

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 08:28:12 PM »
    I cast for three calibers.Lots of 62, same with 50 and the little 40.

BrownBear

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 10:34:29 PM »
With that 62 in the mix, if you're shooting much at all I'd seriously consider a 10 pound pot as a minimum.  Casting 58's in a double cavity mold rather than 62's, I can easily take my 10-pound LEE down below half full in under an hour.  My .735 single cavity does about the same.  Bottom pour or dipper is another question, but I prefer the bottom pour, even with the chronic dribble from my LEE. 

If I'm casting more than a couple of month's supply of ball, I fire up my ancient Saeco 20-pound bottom pour.  If I'm casting a summer's supply of 1-pound and 2-pound halibut sinkers, I fire up the Coleman stove and a big old cast iron pot, then use a big soup ladle for pouring.

Leatherbelly

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 08:16:49 AM »
   Well, the boys said it's a good idea to get my hands on a Lyman Mag 20 so that's what I'm going to do. Thanks to Ezra for his generousity! Now I need to find a .495 set of Lyman blocks for the new gun coming this spring.
  Someone posted a cross cut round ball in here a while back and a good write up to go with it.  Can't seem to locate it. Any help?

Daryl

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 07:14:54 PM »
Pouring with a ladle gives the most consistent weigths and sizes.  Bottom pours work well for most round ball casting, and are a bit faster.  I pugged the pouring hole in my bottom pour 20 pounder and use a ladle now. I cast enough long heavy bullets and large balls, that the bottom pour was becoming a pain to keep the spout clear and able to pour 500gr. of lead well.  Dipping is the best for heavy bulles and balls.  imho, of course. A while back, I argued the other way as bottom pouring with alloys was quite easy, however have noticed a slight advantage in quality of casts with dipping using most moulds.
 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 07:17:41 PM by Daryl »

Offline hanshi

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2010, 09:29:06 PM »
I've been casting ball and cartridge bullets in a Lee Production Pot for over 30 years.  Before that did it all with a dipper.  For larger ball, say .62 & up, a dipper may be more consistent and work best.  But for smaller bore the bottom pour seems just as good and is faster.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Mike Norin

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 12:50:55 AM »
I've cast a whole lot of bullets and round balls , and find that a 25 pound pot and ladle work the best for uniform weight and nice looking & smooth bullets and round balls that fill out the mold . Just use a good thermometer and keep the lead around 700 to 850 degrees or what ever works the best for your mold , and keep the dipper hot . Hope this helps . 

Daryl

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 05:03:19 AM »
I do the same as Mike, pretty much, although I don't have a lead thermometer.  I've worn out the electrics on 2 10 pound Lee pots, and a Saeco 20 pounder. I am currently using a 20 pound Lee bottom pour, converted to dipping.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2010, 04:16:55 PM »
I use an old cast iron pot,  probably holds 20 lbs, and dipper.  I cast everything from .32 cal round balls to
.735 balls plus .45 and . 50 bullets for cartridges.  Source of heat is a Coleman stove.  Works great.

Daryl

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Re: Casting with...
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2010, 04:30:03 PM »
Forgot to mention, for a long while, I dip-cast from a home made pot, holding about 60 pounds of lead.  I converted a white-gas coleman to propane, using the fuel pipe silver brazed to a propane bottle valve.  The ensuing flame, driven by 16psi was rather wonderful for casting as it would melt that big pot in about 20 min. I cannot suggest anyone else try this, but that stove was a wondrous heat producer and with put up a flame a good 24" high.  Yeah - it was probably dangerous - but it worked and worked well.