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Casting

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Toledo, Oct 15, 2011.


  1. Toledo

    Toledo
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    Is casting your own ammo worth the trouble? I have a Dillon 550 & have loaded for 9mm & 357 for about 5 years now. I am now considering bullet casting to save even more on ammo. But Im not sure just how much savings I'd be getting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    It's all about free lead. If you can get free lead and you have the time to invest in the process, it's very worth it. With out free lead, it's hard to save much. You will save but it's not nearly as much. I never pay for lead.
     

  3. sdelam

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    It can be if you can find a cheap supply of lead. The pot, mold, lubersizer, just like loading it adds up quick. Not sure how much you will save with 9mm. I make my money on 45acp plus its easier to cast for because it is a low pressure round.
     
    #3 sdelam, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  4. norton

    norton
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    Berm miner here. :whistling:
     
  5. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve
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    Decap Pin Killa

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    I shamelessly mine the berms and specifically go to tire stores that allow me to sift through their wheel weights.

    Totally worth it. :supergrin:
     
  6. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    My 9mm cost under $3 per hundred. That is loaded ammo. HUGE savings.

    You need to learn to cast. Norton is pretty much done with his newbie status as a caster. I ain't screwing up enough anymore to entertain anyone. Zombie never tells us about is bad experiences. So we need someone new to start casting. Just to keep this place interesting.
     
  7. fredj338

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    As noted, it's all about the alloy cost. WW alloy is about percfect for handgun bullets. Sicne the ban in Kommifornia & now a few other statres about 18m ago, the rest of the country is finding out that ww mauf are switching nation wide to non lead. Since we used to get ww for free or very cheap, that supply is quickly becoming extinct. You can buy alloy, but if you pay much mor ethan $1.5/#, yo umight as well buy cast bullets.
    The gear can be rpetty cheap; Lee 20# bottom pour pot, Lee 6cav mold w/ handles, tumble lube & you are into castin for just over $100. It doesn't take many bullets to make up $100 & the 6cav Lee molds, while not great, can be serviceable & produce 600 bullets an hour. Combined w/ tumble lubing, there isn;t all that much time involved to get a useful supply of bullets.
    Now we can up the gear game; get a Star/Magam lube/sizer & more molds & you are in it for several hunders $$, but again, doesn't take that many bullets, if the lead is really cheap or free, to make that cost up.
     
    #7 fredj338, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  8. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve
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    I made all my mistakes breaking Jack's gear about a year ago. Better to take advantage of the old guy than wreck my stuff. Now everything comes out perfect. Perfect, I tell you.
     
  9. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    Good move.
     
  10. justinsaneok

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    Lucky for you guy's I just got a turkey fryer, dutch oven, pro 420 pot, Lee 6 cavity 401175TC standard lube grove mould and a new thermometer. :whistling:
     
  11. justinsaneok

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    Sorting wheel weights SUUUCCCKKKSSS!
     
  12. Toledo

    Toledo
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    Thanks for all the advice....I will have to give this more thought.
     
  13. WiskyT

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    Other advantages of casting include a limitless supply of the same bullets. You get a mold and can develope a good load for it, or several loads for different purposes, and you don't have to worry about having to redo everything when your favorite bullet is back ordered and you have to get a different bullet.

    It's also fun. It's just as much fun as reloading.

    Also, you can cast an expensive bullet as cheaply and easily as a cheap bullet. Fred can cast his heavy, wide metplat, African elephant bullets as easily as he can his 125 grain 9mm plinkers. So he can "plink" with 454 Cassul rounds that would cost $2.00 a shot for a non casting non reloader for just a few cents.

    Another example of something you can do with casting is have bullets that can't be bought. All of my defensive 40SW ammo is 165 grain (becuae it was free). I wanted a 165 TC cast bullet and I have never seen them offered for sale. My Lee TC mold dropped bullets at 180 grains. A machinist buddy of mine decked it down a bit and it drops the bullets at 165. This is a minor thing, but it is nice to be able to do it in my situtation.
     
  14. fredj338

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    Good point on specifc bullets. One reason I started casting was to provide a specific bullet for my 45colt CAS loads. When I started shootig CAS, there were few choices in 45colt; 45acp bullets w/ no crimp groove or heavy 255gr LFP. SO I had a mold made to cast a 220grLTC w/ crimp groove. There are quite a lot of options in commercial molds, including HP that work well for hunting or SD. Then there are a few custom mold guys that make really nice product for little more than factory molds & you can have exactly what you want.
    So even if alloy cost got to $2/#, there are some bullets I would still cast myself, plinkers though, the alloy has to be cheap or free for me to spend my time casting & lubing bullets.:whistling: If you even think about casting, start getting your alloy suppliy going. It's not going to get easier going forward & if you never cast, you can sell it all day for $1/#.
     
    #14 fredj338, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  15. RustyFN

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    That's why I don't sort them. I throw them all in the dutch oven and scoop the floaters out with the clips at 650 degrees.
     
  16. justinsaneok

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    I'm only doing it this once to see what is really in there. I didn't get my thermometer yet when I started to sort them.:embarassed:
     
  17. Tom in Arizona

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    Toledo, bullet casting will not save you money as reloading will not save you money! What both will do is give you more control and flexibility in what you shoot. In the long run it may or may not be cost efficient considering the time, equipment cost, expendables and etc.

    As Whiskey mentioned it is great fun and very adictive which makes for more expense as you feel the need to expand your hobby trying other bullets and concepts. This I know from personal experience over more than a few decades that it is more expensive but worth it!
     
    #17 Tom in Arizona, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  18. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    Casting saves me a ton of money. Thats why I do it.
     
  19. Tom in Arizona

    Tom in Arizona
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    It's real easy to forget the startup and hidden costs and think you are saving money.
     
    #19 Tom in Arizona, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  20. Colorado4Wheel

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    I am a cheap guy. I know the cost.

    Star Sizer $300
    Mold with Handle $90
    Lee Pots $100 ( I use two)
    Assorted crap (Thermometer, etc) $75

    Total is about $575

    Thats two boxes of bullets. Or said another way 7000 rounds.

    At this point I could buy new Saeco molds every time I make 3000 bullets and still come out ahead.