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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to give it a go, 9mm to start out with. I have a source for range
scrap, very labor intense method but for now it will do.
Would like to know what some of you that have experience could suggest for
starting equipment?
 

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Go for it! Free lead is harder and harder to come by so if you have a source, even labour intensive, it's worth it. I have paying for lead!

It's hard to beat a Lee 4-20 furnace. It holds twenty pounds, keeps temp and can easily accept a PID down the line. The only fiddly thing can be the pour valve. If it drips, lap it out a little and you're good to pour.

You can never have enough molds. Lee 2 cavity are a good place to start as they are cheap.

Get a good high temp casting thermometer. It's the only way to know where your pour temp is at and that's crucial.

PPE - welding gloves, face shield, clothes you only wear while casting, long sleeve and long pants. Close toed shoes!

Go to a thrift store and get some muffin tins for ingots. Grab a few long spoons, cookie sheets and old pans. I found a heavy mallet I use for tapping my molds open.

Setup your casting space and figure out a work flow that works for you. Have fun!

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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Go for it! Free lead is harder and harder to come by so if you have a source, even labour intensive, it's worth it. I have paying for lead!

It's hard to beat a Lee 4-20 furnace. It holds twenty pounds, keeps temp and can easily accept a PID down the line. The only fiddly thing can be the pour valve. If it drips, lap it out a little and you're good to pour.

You can never have enough molds. Lee 2 cavity are a good place to start as they are cheap.

Get a good high temp casting thermometer. It's the only way to know where your pour temp is at and that's crucial.

PPE - welding gloves, face shield, clothes you only wear while casting, long sleeve and long pants. Close toed shoes!

Go to a thrift store and get some muffin tins for ingots. Grab a few long spoons, cookie sheets and old pans. I found a heavy mallet I use for tapping my molds open.

Setup your casting space and figure out a work flow that works for you. Have fun!

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
"Setup your casting space and figure out a work flow that works for you."

Consider ventilation. It's food to have an open window nearby and an exhaust fan of some kind to blow away the fumes. I'm also a fan of the Lee bottom pour furnace and Lee molds although some good classic lyman cast iron molds can be found on ebay.

For the 9mm, I like the Lee 9mm Luger/38 Super Auto/(.356")124 Gr. Truncated Cone, Tumble Lube mold and I like the Lee liquid alox lube and the Lee press mounted sizing die although some bullets shoot best as-cast depending on the alloy.

The more Tin and antimony an alloy has the lighter it will weigh. The more pure lead content it has, the heavier the individual bullets will weigh.

https://leeprecision.com/new-lube-size-kit-.356.html
 

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Was going to link to a 6 cavity lee 120gr TC mold that I absolutely love, but everywhere is sold out. I suggest reading as much as you can on the castboolits forum. Powdercoating and sizing to .357 would be a good place to start. I little bit of tin from salvaged pewter will make things easier. I’m a big fan of six cavity moulds, bottom pour furnace with a PID.

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GrFrPIajZtU&t=1s
 

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Hi OP,I’m a long time caster. You received some good advice from the previous posters. I’ll add something that alot of us casters learned the hard way and that’s to never,ever place any lead that is damp/wet into a pot of melted lead as the water will instantly turn to steam and cause the molten lead to be ejected from the pot with alot of force. I’m not trying to scare you away from the hobby as it’s safe as long as you follow some basic precautions. Wash your hands after casting,don’t eat or smoke while casting. I stand while casting near either a fan or preferably outside. I wear a hat,safety glasses and welders gloves and in over 30 years of casting the only burn i’ve received was from a hot bullet mold i touched. Once was enough to make me pay attention.I prefer cast iron molds but have many aluminum molds too. The aluminum molds heat faster but are not as durable as cast iron. The cast iron take longer to heat up but will last a lifetime if cared for. When casting tap the mold handles at the hinge to free your bullets never hit the mold. Close them slowly making sure the pins line up. I’d highly recommend Lyman’s caat bullets handbook volume #4.After your bullets are cast you have a couple ways to prep them for shooting,either you lube the bullet or you can powder coat which most of us casters now do. There’s a great website for casters called “castboolits” look it up there’s an incredible amount of information there. View attachment 745804
 

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Can't really add much to what @orangejeep06 said in post #5. Keep all water away, rain, sweat or possible lead with any dampness. Only takes a a drop or two to get a visit from the dreaded "Tinsel Fairy". Read up on it a bit, be safe, have fun.
 

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Thank you all for the input, looks like I have some reading to do.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, casting is much more complicated than just reloading for pistol. I second the suggestion to read all that you can over at castboolits.gunloads.com. There’s all the info you could ever hope for over there, if you’re patient enough to distill it out of the posts there. I perused that site for a month before I worked up the courage to try it for myself.
 

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Was going to link to a 6 cavity lee 120gr TC mold that I absolutely love, but everywhere is sold out. I suggest reading as much as you can on the castboolits forum. Powdercoating and sizing to .357 would be a good place to start. I little bit of tin from salvaged pewter will make things easier. I’m a big fan of six cavity moulds, bottom pour furnace with a PID.
View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GrFrPIajZtU&t=1s
Two question to the above:
1. Why 357? I always thought for 9mm lead, size to 356.
2. What is PID? Probably not Pelvic Inflammatory Disease...
 

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It’s easy to get overwhelmed, casting is much more complicated than just reloading for pistol. I second the suggestion to read all that you can over at castboolits.gunloads.com. There’s all the info you could ever hope for over there, if you’re patient enough to distill it out of the posts there. I perused that site for a month before I worked up the courage to try it for myself.
I actually thnk casting is far simpler than reloading. It is one reason I enjoy it, I dont have to stay razor sharp focused on the process,
The castboolit site has a wealth of knowledge there. You have 3 choices for casting:
Ladle & open top pot
Bottom pour pot hand operated molds
Semi auto bottom pour casting unit like Magma
I never warmed to the ladle, seems inefficient. So I like bottom pour pot, Lee 20# is fine, 4-6 cav molds. Iron or alum molds for me, brass is nice but stupid heavy. A casting therm is useful.
Never melt your range scrap in a bottom pour, asking for clogs imo. You want to work in some sort of ventilated soace but there are no lead fumes to worry about. Fumes from fluxing are the issue.
I really enjoy the process, turning scrap into useable bullets. Powder coating makes cat bullets better still. So another thing to consider is lubing or coating & size or shoot as cast.
I like to size all my bullets for uniformity, especially with mixed brass. You can use lee sizers in a SS press to size bullets. For coating you need a cheap toaster or pizza oven, some powder & food grade plastic container. Head over to castbooltis & the coating threads for details.
 
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As @fredj338 mentioned never melt range scrap in a bottom pour (btdt). I melted larger quantities of lead (30-60#s) in a turkey fryer over a propane heater. That worked quite well.I too prefer the 20lb. Lee pot,they’re fairly cheap. You’ll get good results with a bottom pour as opposed to ladling which i found to be frustratingly slower..
Another thing that many folks may not know is to never use car battery plates as it’s releases toxic fumes when heated. The battery posts however are fine.
 
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Yeah, turkey frier & heavy cast iron pot is my smelting setup. Though I do also have a 20# open top elec for melting smaller batches of range scrap. Ladle that into ingot molds & only use clean alloy in my casting pots. I also se diff ingot molds foe diff alloy & combine what I need in the pot. I could alloy & pour ingots but my way offers the most flexibility.
Btw, never drain your bottom pour pot. That is how many get clogs. The crud goes right into the spout & is hard to get out. If I want to change alloy for some reason I run it down to 2-3# then go to the other alloy.
 
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