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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have very recently(3 weeks ago) been bitten by the cast bullet bug. In the last 3 weeks I purchased 7 moulds, pot, lyman 450, sizing dies,etc. and scrounged 500 lbs of WWts. ((guess I went a little crazy) In my haste to start casting, I have a sizable bucketfull of .44 (rcbs 44-250-K) and 180 Grain Gas checked .30 cal. My question is, did I mess up by not adding tin to the mix?? I want to load the .44 to 1300, and the .30 from 1500-2000 FPS. (super moly lube) are WWts hard enough at these velocities to prevent leading? I know every barrel is different, but how fast can you usually push em without leading?I did water quench about half of them. Will that help?? Any help would be much appriciated!!
 

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the 44's are probably ok. the water quenched .30's are ok. you'll have fun trying them out. just start low and see what happens.
 

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wheel weight cast bullets

Hey, Flapjack!

Congratulations on being bit by the casting bug! It's a FINE affliction!

To answer your questions:

1. YES, you can make perfectly good bullets with wheel weights. The main reason for adding tin is to improve the flowability of the melt (filled-out bullet mold). Tin makes the alloy flow better and toughens it up. WW already has some tin in it, and with frequent and thorough fluxing and stirring, you can make good bullets.

2. WW alloy can make perfectly good mid-range to full .44 magnum velocity pistol bullets. The use of gas-checks is always a plus. Leading or the absence of it, is very dependent on powder, lubricant, as well as velocity and alloy.

3. Linotype alloy is the preferred material for full-velocity cast rifle bullets. But I've also made some very good mid-range reduced velocity .30-06 bullets with WW. Full-velocity loads w/o leading in medium-sized cartridges like the .30-30 or 7.62x39 are relatively easy.

Being new to the bullet casting game, you might want to slow down and refine your casting technique. By that, I mean that the initial JOY of making all those low-cost or free bullets usually results in reduced casting quality. I know I was guilty of that as were many of my bullet casting friends.

Have you tried WEIGHING your cast slugs and culling out the lighter ones (air voids make for imbalanced bullets).

As you get more discriminating in your cast bullet quality, you will find that the real pleasure of "makin your own bullets" is in being able to CONTROL every aspect of the QUALITY and ACCURACY of your ammunition.

Have fun and ENJOY! :shock:
 

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Casting wheel weights

Adding 2% tin to wheel weights will help the lead fill out the bands of the bullet better. Some moulds will cast straight ww fine but many moulds will not. You didn't state what 180 gr., 30 caliber mould you were using, but it has multiple bands and grooves. I find that with bullets that have narrow bands and grooves is where the flow problem is most likely to occur, but it can also occur with wide lands. To the novice caster, the bullets may look ok to the naked eye. But check the bands under magnification, to be sure they are filled out. I use magnifying visors, but a good magnifying glass will do. Check if the bands are uniform in width around the diameter of the bullet. Check if the bands are square and not rounded. If they are not uniform in width and/or not square then the alloy is not filling out the mould completely, and the bullet will be unbalanced. They may shoot ok but they will shoot far better if the bands are filled out completely. Don't add more then 2% tin, it's wasteing valuable tin and if the amount of tin exceeds the amount of antimony the bullets will age soften. Welcome to the art of the cast bullet. Good luck. 8)
 

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Flapjack

Previous posts all had good info. I you "really" get into casting you'll read older articles that have good WW accuracy in the 1900-2000 fps range, and they were true with older WWs. Newer WWs do not seem to be as hard as older ones and need the additional tin to harden them also. No sense exceeding the 2% as already mentioned. If you don't want to add tin then the best accuracy will will be in the 1600-1700 fps range with the .30s. If you water quench them right out of the mould the will be good up through 1800 fps. for higher add tin or go to lino as suggested though useable accuracy is obtainable up through 2000 fps with the water quenched bullets.

The .44s are quite acceptable as cast.

Larry Gibson



I have very recently(3 weeks ago) been bitten by the cast bullet bug. In the last 3 weeks I purchased 7 moulds, pot, lyman 450, sizing dies,etc. and scrounged 500 lbs of WWts. ((guess I went a little crazy) In my haste to start casting, I have a sizable bucketfull of .44 (rcbs 44-250-K) and 180 Grain Gas checked .30 cal. My question is, did I mess up by not adding tin to the mix?? I want to load the .44 to 1300, and the .30 from 1500-2000 FPS. (super moly lube) are WWts hard enough at these velocities to prevent leading? I know every barrel is different, but how fast can you usually push em without leading?I did water quench about half of them. Will that help?? Any help would be much appriciated!![/quote]
 

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I load 255 grain, pure lead bullets to 1525 f/s out of my 45 Colt carbine and don't get any leading with as many as 30 rounds. I also use Lyman moly lube and place a disk of waxed milk carton cardboard under the bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for the replies guys. Shot both loads yesterday ([email protected] & [email protected]) excelent accuracy and zero leading, both quenched and unquenched. Guess my worries were unfounded..used the 450 for the first time the other day, and I can say without hesitation, I would rather "cast" 500 bullets than size 50! I guess I'll get better with that damn thing eventually. Thanks again fellas!
 

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Bullet fit is more important than alloy hardness....

Flapjack - Congratulations on your good results and welcome to the cast bullet club. All this discussion of alloy hardness is fine, all good information. But the single most important point is bullet fit. Shoot an undersized bullet and you will get leading, and the harder the bullet the more leading. Bore condition comes into play as well, but a bullet sized to the throat and bore and cast of WW will shoot well at high speed. It is a balancing act of different aspects of the load. That is what is so interesting to me about casting my own. I love tinkering and tweeking these variables until I have an excellent load. Good luck with your tinkering.
 

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I know some people who use liquid Alox and shot the bullets "as cast." They don't size them just load and shoot. I throw this out for consideration. I have always sized them and agree that the sizing part is the least favorite part of the process.
 

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If you want to get in to the heat treating end of casting, the velocities you are asking about are easily attainable without leading.

I push 315 gr. 44 mag bullets out of my contender barrel at 1850+fps without any leading. BHN hardness of my bullets after HT is right at 34-35.
 
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