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I will be starting bullet casting of .44 round balls and .58 cal Minie rounds. I only plink and target shoot. Should I cast with lead only, purify by adding sawdust or add an alloy to the lead?? Thanks for any advice.
 

Hatchet-Jack

.440, .490, .600 RB
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If you are using a production pot like a Lee don't flux in it. Makes a hell of a mess of the pot and can clog up the spout. Use a separate pot to flux. I use a cast iron pot over a propane burner.
I use borax to flux if the lead is really dirty. If it's not really dirty I use wax.
Leave your production pot full of lead when done else it will rust.
 
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For muzzleloaders pure lead is the way to go when ramming the ball/bullet down the barrel. I used some plumber's lead, which is pretty soft, years ago in an attempt to conserve the pure and after the first shot I could not push the conical bullet past the fouling, whereas the pure lead allowed me to easily load 20 in a row and retain good accuracy. To complete loading in that instance I put the ramrod against a block wall and tapped the ball down using the weight of the rifle. Not recommended as a normal loading practice. I've read where some have used an alloy mix to harden their balls, but my guess is that they are casting undersized and use a thicker patch to accommodate the hardness of the projectile. I'll do my best to stay with pure lead if at all possible.

If the 44 is for a revolver then a bit harder ball shouldn't be an issue because of the force of the loading lever. Still, even then, too hard would make even that difficult when shaving the ring off as it enters the chamber.

Wax from a candle fluxed thousands of slugs for me. If I am melting large quantities for ingots and it is dirty lead than pine shavings from the table saw works very well, too. If fluxing indoors be aware much smoke is made in this process.

Enjoy the learning curve. There is a cadence to this task to cast good balls/bullets with out wrinkles and voids. Once you gain the feel and timing you'll receive much satisfaction from the product you'll turn out.
 

hanshi

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I doubt I would ever use a harder alloy in a revolver, I'd worry the extra seating pressure might damage the frame over time. WW metal works well in my smoothbore and I've even used it successfully in a rifle. Other than that I cast with only soft lead.
 
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For muzzleloaders pure lead is the way to go when ramming the ball/bullet down the barrel. I used some plumber's lead, which is pretty soft, years ago in an attempt to conserve the pure and after the first shot I could not push the conical bullet past the fouling, whereas the pure lead allowed me to easily load 20 in a row and retain good accuracy. To complete loading in that instance I put the ramrod against a block wall and tapped the ball down using the weight of the rifle. Not recommended as a normal loading practice. I've read where some have used an alloy mix to harden their balls, but my guess is that they are casting undersized and use a thicker patch to accommodate the hardness of the projectile. I'll do my best to stay with pure lead if at all possible.

If the 44 is for a revolver then a bit harder ball shouldn't be an issue because of the force of the loading lever. Still, even then, too hard would make even that difficult when shaving the ring off as it enters the chamber.

Wax from a candle fluxed thousands of slugs for me. If I am melting large quantities for ingots and it is dirty lead than pine shavings from the table saw works very well, too. If fluxing indoors be aware much smoke is made in this process.

Enjoy the learning curve. There is a cadence to this task to cast good balls/bullets with out wrinkles and voids. Once you gain the feel and timing you'll receive much satisfaction from the product you'll turn out.
Thanks so much for your comment. I will be getting the Lee production pot with spout. Using candle for flux, how much and should I flux in a separate pot???
 

bang

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Thanks so much for your comment. I will be getting the Lee production pot with spout. Using candle for flux, how much and should I flux in a separate pot???
A chunk size of half a marble. Don't worry if it catches fire. Let it burn out.
Pouring minis can be a task. Lead needs to be real hot and the pour fast. I opened the spout to a #40 drill to get the higher flow.
 

dave951

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Use pure lead. For minies, cast hot and pour fast. I run my pot at 850f for minies
 
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Be sure and scrape the dross ( impurities) off the top of the pot after fluxing. It really screws up your bullets if it stays in the lead.
 
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I doubt I would ever use a harder alloy in a revolver, I'd worry the extra seating pressure might damage the frame over time. WW metal works well in my smoothbore and I've even used it successfully in a rifle. Other than that I cast with only soft lead.
Thanks Hanshi, are you in the Martial Arts?? I was awarded the title of Kyoshi in 2018.
 
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