Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ideally, I'd like to shoot "as cast". The bullets are supposed to be .459 out of the mold using wheel weights. These bullets will have standard lube grooves. I know about liquid Alox & have used it very successfully in a revolver, but what about bullets fresh out of the mold w/ the lube grooves? Do I have to buy a luber/sizer? Are there other methods to fill the lube grooves?

As you can tell, I'm a total newbie at casting bullets.

Robert in the hills of NC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
IF they come out of the mold at the size you need, why size? As-cast size will vary with the alloy...harder alloys shrink less, softer alloys shrink more.

Lyman lists a differnce of from .4575"(pure lead) to .4595" (linotype)...with stops inbetween for various alloys....of couse that depends on the mold's internal size. Molds are more precise than they were, but are still only "on the money" for whatever alloy they were designed for.
-------
BTW: weight variaion from the type of alloy used can vary as well. A mold made to deliver a 405gr. bullet from Linotype will drop one at about 438gr. with pure lead.
-------
Lubing can be by liquid alox...pretty good lube for smokeless loads. Can be by the Kake-Kutter method (standing them up in a pan, pouring melted lube around them, letting it harden, then punching them out with a brass tube (usually made for an expanded cartridge case).

FOr that matter, rubbing the lube in with your fingers can work fine...messy and slow...but most Mini-Ball (muzzle loading) shooters tend to just glop in in bare-fingered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
sizing?

Hi
I load for my schuetzen rifle with unsized lubed bullets. I set the bullets up right in a shallow "tupper ware" kind of dish, heat the lube in a double boiler. When the lube melts, I pour it into the pan and stop after the last groove. Let the lube cool off, in the freezer if my wife is not home... Then pop the lube cake out of the pan and push each bullet out. Lube stays in the grooves and not on the sides.
With schuetzen I put the bullets into the rifling but they would fit into a case. I have never done what you are talking about but it should work. It is "quicker" with a sizer/luber and "neater". There is a liquid lube you might use.
Good luck!!! Tells if it works.
jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Lube sizer

If your as cast diameter suits you.You can use a sizing die that is a shade larger than your cast size so you can lube the bullet without changing the bullet size.Good luck Jeff Taylor.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
I assume these are for a 45-70? If so, just use the Lee liquid alox, let 'em dry, dust with mica and shoot. I hardly ever lube my 45-70 bullets unless they're used at really high velocities or with black powder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I have some very newbie questions,

do you need to lube cast bullets? how does it help?

do jacketed bullets need to be lubed too?

what is bullet swaging?

and how long do you have to to wait after you cast a bullet before you can reload it / shoot it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
welcome to the wonderful world of bullet casting!

1. cast bullets need lubrication. unlubed bullets will badly foul up the barrel and give lousy accuracy.

2. jacketed bullets do not need lubrication because the "guilding metal" copper alloy is self-lubricating. good for higher velocities than lead, too.

3. swaging is also called "cold forming" of metal under heavy pressure. most factory lead bullets, and all jacketed bullets are swaged

4. no waiting period between casting and loading. some bullet casters believe that waiting several days or weeks after casting lets the bullets become dimensionally stable, but this is only a theory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Re: welcome to the wonderful world of bullet casting!

John Traveler1 said:
4. no waiting period between casting and loading. some bullet casters believe that waiting several days or weeks after casting lets the bullets become dimensionally stable, but this is only a theory.
Not calling ya out, but the reason we "age" our cast bullets is because of the hardening curve. Because of the nature of the interaction between antimony and lead, bullets cast from alloy containing antimony need time to reach full hardness. Bullets cast from wheel weights (3-4% antimony)take about 2 weeks to reach full hardness.

Water quenching, not only makes the bullets harder, it also shortens the aging time. Air cooled wheel weights reach about 12 BHN these days over about 2 weeks. Drop them in water from the mold and the average hardness will be about 18 BHN within 48 hours. Heating in the oven and then quenching can raise the BHN above 25, but this is very time dependant. The moment the bullet (s) are removed from heat they are cooling, and what we are attempting to do is capture the anitmony, lead lattice at a point where the two are more heavily "intertwined", making them harder. So the faster we can quench the bullet from a near molten state, the greater the hardness that can be achieved

There may be some degree of dimensional stability that goes along with all this, but it is minute enough that we can ignore those changes for the purposes of shooting, just as we ignore the dimensional changes of the steel in our firearms as ambient temperatures change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Re: welcome to the wonderful world of bullet casting!

John Traveler1 said:
4. no waiting period between casting and loading. some bullet casters believe that waiting several days or weeks after casting lets the bullets become dimensionally stable, but this is only a theory.
Not calling ya out, but the reason we "age" our cast bullets is because of the hardening curve. Because of the nature of the interaction between antimony and lead, bullets cast from alloy containing antimony need time to reach full hardness. Bullets cast from wheel weights (3-4% antimony)take about 2 weeks to reach full hardness.

Water quenching, not only makes the bullets harder, it also shortens the aging time. Air cooled wheel weights reach about 12 BHN these days over about 2 weeks. Drop them in water from the mold and the average hardness will be about 18 BHN within 48 hours. Heating in the oven and then quenching can raise the BHN above 25, but this is very time dependant. The moment the bullet (s) are removed from heat they are cooling, and what we are attempting to do is capture the anitmony, lead lattice at a point where the two are more heavily "intertwined", making them harder. So the faster we can quench the bullet from a near molten state, the greater the hardness that can be achieved

There may be some degree of dimensional stability that goes along with all this, but it is minute enough that we can ignore those changes for the purposes of shooting, just as we ignore the dimensional changes of the steel in our firearms as ambient temperatures change.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
You might want to let them cool first..... :-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
do you need to lube cast bullets? how does it help?
Yes. it helps by slicking up the bore a bit so the lead doesn't rub off. It also helps by sealing the bore some so the gases don't cut around the lead.

do jacketed bullets need to be lubed too?
At current rifle velocities, no. But who knows? We may find that somewhere around 4500 fps we'll need to lube copper too.

what is bullet swaging?
It's like making snowballs, with lead. You take the lead and squish it real tight to form it. There are advantages and disadvantages to swaging vs. casting. Swaging requires softer lead, but is also easier to make your own jacketed bullets. With casting you can play around with different alloys and hardnesses.

and how long do you have to to wait after you cast a bullet before you can reload it / shoot it?
Until they're cool to the touch. Many people who are trying for high velocities play with hardening the alloys. Personally, I've been having better luck softening them. I shoot 'em at mag-pistol velocities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Cast bullets

I have been lubing my cast bullets with liquid alox, but do not like to wait overnight for the lube to dry, found Hornady Unique case lube, a 4 oz tub of paste, a light touch with 2 fingers will lube 4-6 cases or 4-6 cast bullets before sizing and applying gas checks, no waiting time.
For a lot of my lubing to shoot, I use LBT soft blue, first started using a sardine can, but the ribs in the bottom tipped some bullets over, so I am now using a miniature loaf pan, just place on a hot plate, put some lube in and melt it without letting it start to smoke, have enough to come up just below the highest lube groove, place some bullets in, watch, in a few seconds the lube will climb up the bullet, then use forceps or needle nose and remove the bullet and set it on the base on an aluminum pie pan, after shaking off the last drip of liquid lube.
Pretty fast, very little expense and does a good job lubing the bullets.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top