Anyone been casting lately?

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Don Steele

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Hey Cowboy...Funny you'd ask just now.
Down here in Florida, we FINALLY got a break from the typical Summer heat, humidity and daily rain so I fired up the pot and got busy running a new batch of .395's for my 40 caliber longrifle.
FWIW: I'm using a Lee bottom pour pot, and a double cavity Lee mold. I'm one of those who weighs every ball before putting them on the shelf for use. (Note to fellow casters...Please don't waste time telling me it doesn't matter...it's just "what I do". Always have, always will. When I shot NRA High power rifle, I weighed my 30 caliber Sierra Matchking bullets so I'm pretty sure there's no hope for me..!!) For my .395's this run, I'm using an acceptance range of 91.6 gns. +/- 0.1 gn. I've found that my acceptance range varies just a little bit for each run. Not sure why that is and don't care...so long as I have confidence that within the group of balls I'm using at any given time...there's none that are significantly different from the others. I get excellent acceptance rates if I don't start casting until my thermometer stabilizes at 800 degrees. I make sure to run a large puddle over the holes so there's plenty of metal available to keep the cavities full as everything cools and solidifies. I don't want to see any "dimpling" in the metal above the sprue plate. Over a couple of casting session, I've wound up with a 1-lb. coffee can full of shiny new RB's, which will keep me through most of the "Winter" down here...but won't last long enough to get me through the Spring shoot in Friendship.
Maybe I need to run some more... :hmm:
 
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Don Steele said:
Hey Cowboy...Funny you'd ask just now. I'm one of those who weighs every ball before putting them on the shelf for use. (Note to fellow casters...Please don't waste time telling me it doesn't matter...it's just "what I do". Always have, always will. I've found that my acceptance range varies just a little bit for each run. Not sure why that is and don't care I get excellent acceptance rates if I don't start casting until my thermometer stabilizes at 800 degrees. I make sure to run a large puddle over the holes so there's plenty of metal available to keep the cavities full as everything cools and solidifies. I don't want to see any "dimpling" in the metal above the sprue plate. Over a couple of casting session, I've wound up with a 1-lb. coffee can full of shiny new RB's,

Don, We must be two brother's from different mother's! :haha:

I am also one of those who weigh every ball! Always have and always will! You wouldn't believe the grief I've caught in the past from those who don't bother to weigh them. But like you it's just what I do!

Your technique is pretty much spot on to how I cast as well. I too run my lead at 800 degrees. I also leave a good size puddle on the sprueplate about the size of a dime. Any imperfections on the ball and it gets tossed aside for a remelt. I'm very OCDC when it comes to how I do things. It's just the way I am.

The only difference I see between us is that I use a Lee Magnum Melter Pot and use a ladle. I also use Lyman double cavity mold's but have Lee mold's that I also use depending on the caliber of ball I'm casting.

Also like you I cast and store large quantities of balls. I have more already made than I'll ever shoot up in a life time! I've been known to donate balls. Last summer I donated around 1,500 balls to a club that Jethro and I shoot at. I also like to help get the new people up and running.

I continue to cast because that's what I like to do! It's my second love with the first being shooting of course!

I was also at the Spring shoot at Friendship this last year with Jethro. Maybe I'll run into you there this coming spring?

Anyway, thanks for the reply and happy casting! :grin:

Respectfully, Cowboy :thumbsup:
 
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I too cast round balls and occasionally some REAL's for my 44 cap and ball revolvers. I use a Lee electric pot, double cavity molds and a Lyman ladle. My methods are similar with a generous puddle on top of the mold. I don't weigh my cast RB's, but discard any with wrinkles, pits etc.

I have molds for the different calibers that I shoot and all are Lee except an old Lyman in 440 and a TC 490 maxi ball mold. I cast up a small bunch of the maxi balls about 40 years ago and still have them. I only shot a few and went back to round balls and never looked back.

I don't shoot as much as people who compete regularly, like to keep a supply of balls on hand.

I started casting many years ago with an old steel pot on a coleman camp stove and a table spoon to pore the lead into the mold.
 

Tom Compton

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Yep, .395, .457, .475, .495 and .535 RBs as well as .577 minies. Lee bottom pour and moving back to Lyman molds.
 

hanshi

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Me, too. I already have 1000s (combined) of .350, .390, .490 and .530. I haven't being feeling well the past year and haven't done any casting. I'm currently out of .311 and .606 ball so won't be taking those two out this season.
 

bubba.50

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I've got plenty of R.E.A.L.'s, Maxi's, and roundballs for my rifled guns so I haven't done any casting for a while. but I need to get a Lee .600 & .690 for the 20ga & 12ga smoothbores that have taken up residence here in the last little bit.
 

curator

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Cool (comparatively) weather has returned to SW Florida so I have been melting lead and casting ball and bullets. I made 2000 .490 round ball for the local Boy Scout camp's muzzle loading program. That saves them money and costs me nothing but time. Last night I cast 500 each .400/370 slugs for a friend's Gibbs rifle and another 500 .462/405 for my various .45-70s. Still to go: .454 and .380 round ball and some .735 round ball for my Brown Bess. I can cast with the shop door open and the exhaust fan on high and not have the shop heat up a bit.
 

Tinker2

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Last week I cast some .715 and .595. They are a hoot to shoot.
Nothing this week but plan to cast some .343, .400 and .410 next week.

It had been a while since I cast anything, I can get “cast happy “ and cast a lot of balls


More to cast later.

William Alexander
 

Don Steele

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IMHO....
Unless you first undertake to melt and CLEAN that backstop lead...you're in for a lot of problems if you try to just melt it down and go straight to casting balls.
All of my lead is first cleaned through a "smelting" process on a Coleman stove in an old cast iron pot.
After thoroughly cleaning, fluxing, stirring, skimming off "crud"...you get the idea....
The clean lead is poured into 1-lb. ingot molds.
Those ingots are what go into my Lee pot when I'm ready to cast.
 

GreyWhiskers

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The nights are finally cool here so I need to get to casting. Got a new rifle that I need to make 54 cal balls for. No mould yet so will have to borrow some balls to take to a rendezvous on Sunday. :surrender: GW
 

cositrike

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I cast for all my shooting. .315, 365, 385, 440, 490, 530, 610, 635, 65, 685, 709, 730, 745, and 770. Might have missed some. Lol, but that's about it. Bottom pour pot. Don't weigh anything. As long as they look smooth, they're ready to go.
 

Billnpatti

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I haven't done any casting in a few months. I do all of my casting in the open garage with a fan sitting off to one side of me to blow the metal fumes away from my breathing area. But here in the Texas Hill Country, summers are just not the time to do any casting. Now that it is starting to cool off, I do need to cast some .54 balls. Like you, casting balls is a very enjoyable activity for me. A cool day and some nice classical music or one of my favorite operas playing in the background and I'm good for a few hours of casting.
 

Grizzly Adams

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Cast up a good mess of .62s for my trade gun with my lee mould and wheel weights. They turned out well enough for me to shoot about a third of them yesterday.
 
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I just modified a mold, via" beagling", as it cast too small for my CF revolver. I then cast with it and got the result I was looking for. To your point, I ladle cast (Lee 20 lb. furnace) for all my guns, both CF & ML with the exception of .22LR's! In fact, I learned from a range session earlier today that my .54cal. Chambers "Isaac Haines" now prefers a .535" instead of a .530" RB. As I have such a mold on hand, I guess I'll be casting for it next week if not sooner. Btw, casting is something I've always enjoyed, but finding lead or wheel weights for CF guns these days saps some of the pleasure.
 
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I cast for all my calibers, conicals and RBs. I also cast for my center fire guns. Just a couple weeks ago a friend came to town and I showed him how to cast using a RB mould for revolvers. He's excited now about getting started on his own.
 
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