Dropping lead into water

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TreeMan

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Oddest thing happened with my most recent casting session. I have a Parker hale musketoon, a Lyman wad cutter 575-494 mold, and a huge supply of old lead water line ive been using for balls and bullets. I’ve shot 100+ of these wad cutters out of the musketoon. A few days ago I wanted to shoot it some and realized I was out of bullets. I fired up the melting pot and made about 25. Since I was in a hurry to shoot I dropped the cast bullets into a pot of water to cool them quickly. I then lubed them and tried to do some shooting. Oddly the water cooled bullets wouldn’t fit the bore of the musketoon. It’s like the water cooling made them a tad bit larger. All the other ones I’ve made prior that air dried were a nice tight thumb push fit. Same lead, same mold, same casting temp. Did I cause a chemical reaction by hastening the cooling process that caused the lead to expand, or water cooling it keep it from constricting by air drying?
 

11th corps

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Are you sure your mold blocks were closing completely during casting? I have had issues with Lee molds producing oversize balls. Water dropping normally just hardens the lead.
 

TreeMan

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Are you sure your mold blocks were closing completely during casting? I have had issues with Lee molds producing oversize balls. Water dropping normally just hardens the lead.
No the mold was working fine. Bullets look pretty as always without casting lines. I’m gonna make some more this week and let them air cool to see if it changes.
 

TreeMan

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I would have thought the water might have shrunk them further, not enlarged them.
Warmer day than when the other bullets were cast?
Nothing drastically different that I can remember. I used the same lead, pot temp, and technique as usual. Has me baffled. They are so much oversized they actually need ran through a sizer. I got a few to load but had to tap them in with a hammer which was difficult as they wanted to cant to the side.
 

ZUG

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Dropping the bullets into water will not change the lead bullet IF your lead is PURE lead. The water bath will only effect an alloyed lead. I would measure the bullet after it's air cooled on your next casting session then drop some bullets fresh out of the mold into water. I would then measure those and compare the two. Make sure that you cast a large enough sample of both to get a fair representation of the two batches. My two cents worth ;) :thumb::horseback::ThankYou:
 

mooman76

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I've never noticed any difference in size between water dropped and air cooled but then again I never bothered to measure either.
 

Flinty Scot

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i wonder if dropping the hot balls into water could have deformed them, very slightly but enough to bind on loading?
 

sportster73hp

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Unless you were shooting as you were casting the lead should cool in 5 minutes or so. What’s the hurry? I will admit to dropping unmentionable projectiles into water
 
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