When casting lead balls, do you drop them in water to cool......

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DUANE BUTT

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Or let them air cool?

I've always just let the lead air cool on an old towel. Not sure I'd want to rapidly cool lead by dropping into water but have never heard of anyone having issues by doing it. So, do you drop them in water or let them air cool and why?
Air cool I to lightly drop them on a stack of towels.
 

BIGBEAR

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IDK , I just drop mine into an old steel pie tin , and let a fan blow across them ...
They only drop an inch or so , Seems to work ok for me ...
 

WRustyLane

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I drop my balls onto a towel also. Also when casting unmentionables I drop them onto a towel or old shop rags which ever I grab first.
 

Barry Strickland

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Evidently, I do mine different than everyone else. I will attempt to describe it. I have a setup where there is a piece of cardboard that is to my left laying somewhat horizontally with a gentle downslope to a cardboard wall. In use, I knock open the sprue plate over the lead pot and swing to the left and open the mold fully. The balls drop onto the cardboard, which is kind of springy, and gently roll down and line up at the wall. Works for me.
 

Griz44Mag

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To you boys that use dry towel, I would guess it scorches a bit?
Negative. Does not scorch the rags. I use mostly red shop rags, and some white car rags. I use a stack of them to do two things, first to soften the drop and to give me a method of gathering a batch of hot balls and setting them aside to cool, generally when changing molds or I just cast more than what will fit. I just 4 corner the top rag and pick up the batch to move them. I do not dampen my rags as that will lead to oxidation unless you take the time carefully dry. Needing to dry a damp or wet ball is a step I see as unnecessary so I don't get them wet in the first place. In decades of casting, it has never been an issue.
 

Richard Dittman

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When casting I do not drop into water. I fill the mold, let the lead cool a little until the sprew changes color. Then I hold the mold over the pot, cut off the sprew so it drops back into the pot. Then I hold the mold over a wooden tray with a rag, open the mold and let the ball fall onto the rag and roll down.
 

fishmusic

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Or let them air cool?

I've always just let the lead air cool on an old towel. Not sure I'd want to rapidly cool lead by dropping into water but have never heard of anyone having issues by doing it. So, do you drop them in water or let them air cool and why?
I like the dry towel. Just make sure that the towel doesn't have synthetic fibers. I have had some balls stick to the towel so I went pure cotton towels.
 

Sidney Smith

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To you boys that use dry towel, I would guess it scorches a bit?
Nope. I use old bath towels that are too beat up to use in the bathroom anymore, so they get relegated as shop towels. A couple folds then drop the lead onto the towel. They will get a little marked up from the lead but not scorched.
 

Eterry

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I used to drop them into a tin can to keep them from rolling away. I found that if I dropped them to high it would dent them.
It is even worse with mini balls, so i started using a stack of shop towels, herding the sprues to one corner, pushing the cast- balls to the opposite corner, and dropping the fresh cast balls in the center.

I have dropped magnum pistol bullets into a bucket of water in the past, but don't see the need in BP bullets.
 

Howard Pippin

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I used to drop them into a tin can to keep them from rolling away. I found that if I dropped them to high it would dent them.
It is even worse with mini balls, so i started using a stack of shop towels, herding the sprues to one corner, pushing the cast- balls to the opposite corner, and dropping the fresh cast balls in the center.

I have dropped magnum pistol bullets into a bucket of water in the past, but don't see the need in BP bullets.

Apparently I'm part of a very small minority, as I do drop mine into water. I didn't use to, but after getting a few burns with hot mini balls, I went to the water idea. It's argumentative if they are harder, when I test them with my lead tester, they don't seem to be. When I'm done casting I just take the little Bucket outside, pour off the excess water, and place the balls on a piece of cloth to dri while I'm doing something else. I do knock the sprue back into the lead pot, before I drop the balls. This isn't to make any claim that it's better, or not, it just works for me.
 

Eterry

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Apparently I'm part of a very small minority, as I do drop mine into water. I didn't use to, but after getting a few burns with hot mini balls, I went to the water idea. It's argumentative if they are harder, when I test them with my lead tester, they don't seem to be. When I'm done casting I just take the little Bucket outside, pour off the excess water, and place the balls on a piece of cloth to dri while I'm doing something else. I do knock the sprue back into the lead pot, before I drop the balls. This isn't to make any claim that it's better, or not, it just works for me.
I used to knock the sprue back into the pot...i got tired of the occasional splash back on the table, mold, and worst of all, my skin! Now i gather up a pile of them and drop them by gloved hand into the pot, splash back has went way down.
One caveat, i pour from a home made left hand ladle, which causes a much larger sprue.
 

CapnJack

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I use a, "Bottom Drop" pot and I have it sitting on a large cookie sheet to catch any overflow, or drips.
Bullets and sprue are dropped onto a large soft rag. I'm more than a little paranoid about having any
water, or wet lead in close proximity to my lead pot
 

Canute Rex

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I use a rectangle of leftover 1/2" Homasote (cellulose wall board), cut to fit a shallow corrugated cardboard box.

I wouldn't want water droplets anywhere near a pot of hot lead. My face isn't an oil painting, but I like it the way it is.
 

FishDFly

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Water expands 1600 times when it turns into steam, dropping hot lead balls into water is not safe in my view point.

Listen to Grizz44MAG, he has knowledge.
 

BIGBEAR

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I just tried the towel method , and for the most part it went good ,
But some stuck to the towel ... I'll have to cover it with cloth or something..
 

AzShooter

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I always use the drop into water method. I've never had a problem with it and I find that my shots are more consistent and I get better groups from the water method. I also use it for all my conical and bullets for my centerfires.
 
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