Are round balls going the way of caps, etc?

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11th corps

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A $30 lee mold, a $2 flea market pot, and an old Coleman stove someone gave me and I am good to go for life. Lead is readily available, I collected enough range lead to last me a lifetime but found the local small town garage about 2 miles from me sells wheel weight lead for 25 cents a pound if I get in a pinch.

I picked up my lead at a range they only shoot BP guns at, I used to separate the lead that splattered when it hit the berm(soft) from projectiles that retained their shape (harder wheel weight stuff) but have found with the thick patches that I shoot there is no difference in the accuracy of mixed lead. Of course my 73 year old eyes don't produce stirling results at the range very often.

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I cast as well, but have found as many others discovered that wheel weights these days don't all come in lead. Many are zinc or other materials due to a ban on them in places like California. A buddy of mine brought me a bucket last summer, I would say 1/2 of them were lead. I still mine the berms at my club/shooting range so I have a good supply of lead.
 

Billy Boy

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Hello friends.

Ammunition for unmentionables is nearly impossible to find these days, and when you do, the prices are obscene. No issue for me currently, as I really don’t shoot any of my unmentionables these days.

I’m a flintlock guy—love them all around. I’ve considered trying to pick up a cap lock in a squirrel caliber, as they seem much more available than small bore flinters, but now I read how the caps are so difficult to get that I’m no longer interested in a capper.

My question then… do y’all think that purchasing round balls from hornady and the like, in a variety of sizes, is going to also become so hard or expensive too? I haven’t tried my hand at making my own balls, and that’s not a hobby I really want to invest in, but I wonder if I may be forced to do that due to the National ammo shortage overall, and the public’s frantic buying & hoarding as soon as stuff hits the shelves??
Most places I look have caps, sometimes 10s and 11s, alsw, always seem to have pyrodex.
 

11Bravo

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I am not aware that store bought balls were available when I started in the early 70s, other than #4 shot for my 20ga. So I was casting balls from the start, like some have already pointed out "it's part of the hobby". Lead wasn't a problem as the plumbers on the job used 5 pound pieces for their lead pots to pour soil line joints. I was even making lead anchors for my decoys by bending some welding wire, putting it in a beer can and pouring in the lead. Back then used the electric kitchen stove to do my casting, when the wife was away ;)
 

MtnMan

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I think casting is a hobby in itself. Similar to a fly fisherman tying his own flies.
 

Josephg

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I cast a hundred and six .570 balls yesterday. Been casting balls n bullets forty seven years now. I would much ruther say, oh James, take the Packard and drive to Sportsmans Warehouse at Idaho Falls and do pick up .570 round balls for me. And do make a day of it for yourself, James, you deserve it old boy!

I prefer shooting tailor made round balls but I have the molds to cast what I need. My hand cast balls shoots just as good or better than boughten balls.

Casting your own balls is part of the hobby once you start casting your own balls.
 

TomV

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I cast my own for quality. Much more consistent weight once process timing and lead temp is controlled. Store bought weights in a bag of 100 will have maybe 50% within one grain of each other, the rest 1,2, sometmes 3 grain variations. Those weight differences will make larger groupings.
 

OhioHawkeye

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My question then… do y’all think that purchasing round balls from hornady and the like, in a variety of sizes, is going to also become so hard or expensive too?
No issue here, since with the exception of roundball for my ne 50cal, they have never had the sizes I needed anyway. My other two 50cal like a different size. In my experience, they do not have a variety of sizes. Even my modern Elmer Keith bullets are not available. (I'm working on having a Keith style bullet for the 40SW made, should be interesting. Thank God for machinists who are also shooters and understand.)

For RB, If I don't cast my own (about 6 different sizes depending on the gun) I just get them from Mike Eder at Flintlocks, Inc LLC.. in Indiana. He is on facebook. just message him, or use the website to order or call.
 

OhioHawkeye

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If you don't want to cast or pay Hornady's prices.

$15 to $20 for twenty count? That's seventy five cents to a buck for each ball. They are nutz.
But, a fool and their money are soon parted, or they cater to the very rich.

Sorry, but charging exorbitant amounts for anything gun related is getting really old. It stresses me to see muzzle-loading/ black powder folks are doing it too.
 

MtnMan

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$15 to $20 for twenty count? That's seventy five cents to a buck for each ball. They are nutz.
But, a fool and their money are soon parted, or they cater to the very rich.

Sorry, but charging exorbitant amounts for anything gun related is getting really old. It stresses me to see muzzle-loading/ black powder folks are doing it too.
That's for an 8 bore ball. I pay $14 for a100 .54. His prices are fine.
 

Sidney Smith

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Its very satisfying to know that the big buck you just dropped, went down from a ball You made yourself, that came from a rifle you built yourself.

Its also very satisfying to know that if you run out of ammo, its just a short time with the pot, mold and some heat, and youre back in business.
 

Heelerau

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To be honest I cast my own, as prices down under are horrendous for round ball. They are easy to cast and less fussy than hollow based Minnies.
 
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I started casting ball nearly 55 years ago and have never had to buy factory swaged ball. I cast virtually every ball I shoot. It's easy and it's safe, as long as you remember that lead is HOT. Start casting and you may end up like I did with several dozen molds.
I agree BUT, wear your safety glasses ! A blind man has a real hard time aiming his gun.
 

Kansas Kid

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Should of seen it coming. Lee molds were less than 20 dollars and their electric pot wasn’t much over 20-30 bucks.
 

Sidney Smith

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Should of seen it coming. Lee molds were less than 20 dollars and their electric pot wasn’t much over 20-30 bucks.
Even if theyre up to $50 bucks, still a bargain considering you will get at a minimum 20 years, probably much longer usage out of one.
 

OhioHawkeye

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That's for an 8 bore ball. I pay $14 for a100 .54. His prices are fine.
OK. I looked again. My mistake. I was looking at the 20ga rounds...
... but to me, ... still... far to much mulah. considering lead price just this year reached $2 / lb. I don't use reclaimed lead either since even plumber's lead has a percentage tin in it.


Should of seen it coming. Lee molds were less than 20 dollars and their electric pot wasn’t much over 20-30 bucks.
uh, when? I've never paid that little for any of it and have been casting and reloading since the late 80's
 

Eric Krewson

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I had some roofers out the other day doing a repair, I asked what they did with any recovered lead, they said they threw it away. I hauled out a nice flint TN rifle I built, gave them an orientation and said I was looking for lead to cast balls from. They took my number and said they would throw their lead in a box for me and give me a call. This may pan out or may not, some folk are famous for not following through, it is a sign of the times.
 

Kansas Kid

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OK. I looked again. My mistake. I was looking at the 20ga rounds...
... but to me, ... still... far to much mulah. considering lead price just this year reached $2 / lb. I don't use reclaimed lead either since even plumber's lead has a percentage tin in it.



uh, when? I've never paid that little for any of it and have been casting and reloading since the late 80's
Was at Friendship this week and saw molds at Mikes / flintlocks LLC for 15 bucks.

Don’t know about now but Midsouth shooters supply always sold Lee double cavity for $18:50.
 
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